Stevie Nicks It...
Winchester's Sigvaris-sponsored Veterans 2nd team boosted their hopes of Hampshire Premier Division survival with a crucial 2-1 victory at fellow strugglers Five Rivers II.
Winchester's evening did not start too promisingly as Hampshire Ladies captain Bev Mackay struggled to find her usual fluency against a resolute Mark Potts. Although Mackay briefly took control with some flashing drives and precision drop shots to take the second game 9-2, Potts' consistency proved too much and he ran out a worthy winner in four games.
However Winchester were soon back on level terms thanks to a determined performance from skipper Patrick Fisher against the hard-hitting but occasionally erratic Peter Hardingham. In a tight encounter punctuated by many let calls, Fisher could count himself unfortunate to be edged out of the first game 8-10, but he refused to let this put him off his stride and dug deep, keeping the ball tight to the side wall to frustrate his opponent and take the next three games.
So the scene was set for the respective no.1s Steve Besant and Aubrey Smith to decide the match. With Smith being the higher ranked player the Salisbury team may have fancied their chances - but clearly no-one told Besant who, after squeezing a tight first game 10-9, proceeded to out-manoeuvre and outrun his opponent to take the next two games 9-2 9-5 and so claim the all-important bonus points for his team.
So a vital win for the Bereweeke Road side which, with some more winnable matches to come in the next few weeks, gives them a fighting chance of retaining their position in the top flight for another season.