Mike Tunningley Shield won by the Cypriots

editorial image

Stanley Street Cypriots followed up their runners-up achievement and promotion from Division Three by adding the Worksop League’s flagship competition, the Mike Tunningley Handicap Shield to the trophy cabinet.

The Cypriots have had a fabulous season and individually Graham Stent won the Division Three Singles title and teamed up with Mitchell Radford to add the Division Three Doubles.

Fiona Halpin-Stent has marshalled her troops superbly and never more so than in the Mike Tunningley Shield.

The Cypriots had a bye in the first round but then beat Division Two opposition in Ryton Park Cougars and followed that up in the quarter-finals with a win over DTH Redlands Tarr Babies.

In the semi-finals they came up against Division One’s DTH Redlands Roosters who were duly dispatched to give the Cypriots a place in the final against fellow Division Three side On-Line Elks.

The Elks have also had a good season finishing in midtable and making the final of The MBE Trophy.

The handicapping points which would be revealed after the match were in the sealed envelope, but because of the league placings both sides knew that the Elks would be awarded the points and it would just be a case of how many.

The Cypriots set about their task of building a lead straight away with Mitchell Radford defeating Jonno Blood by seven points, and George Makrakis beating Neil Houghton by a single point.

But then Graham Stent lost to Glen Gillgrass by two points to leave a slender lead of only six, which was never going to be enough.

With this in mind they upped their game, Makrakis beating Blood by 19 points and Radford taking 12 off of Gillgrass to leave them in a much better position.

Graham Stent then got in on the act by defeating Houghton and Blood to increase the Cypriots lead.

When Makrakis beat Gillgrass and Radford saw off Houghton in the last match it gave the Cypriots a lead of 90 points before the handicap was revealed.

The On-Line Elks had been awarded 36 points and when added to the totals it meant that the Cypriots were 367-313 winners.

On the same night and at the same venue the final of The Reg Wilcox Handicap Trophy for Division Two sides was played, between Stanley Street C and Manton Sports.

Street C probably went into the match as slight favourites, finishing one place above Sports in the league table, but knew due to the handicapping system they would have to give Sports a 33-point lead.

Stanley Street’s task of reducing the deficit didn’t get off to the best start as Daniel Cutts lost by 10 points to an in-form James Weston, followed by Andy Kirkland’s loss to Keith Smith which increased the gap to their opponents to 49 points.

In the next match Weston and John Lowde teamed up in one of the doubles sets but were beaaten by eight points by Kirkland and Paul Linfield.

And when Linfield then beat Smith by nine points in the next singles match it was suddenly game on again.

Their joy was short lived though as the Sports increased their lead with Lowde beating Cutts, Smith and Lowde beating Cutts and Kirkland in the doubles and then James Weston made short work of Linfield.

Stanley Street C did try to make a fist of it when Kirkland beat Lowde in the singles but the writing was on the wall and it was left to Smith and Weston to fire Manton Sports to victory.

Captain John Lowde has put some real thought into his team selections all the way through the competition and mention must also go to Alan Wilson who despite not being selected to play in the final made some vital contributions in earlier rounds.

Manton Sports won the final by a scoreline of 492-425 but a measure of how well they played on the night is that they would still have won the match even without any handicap points.