Bognor are short of a man - but long on spirit to beat Midhurst

Bognor’s first team ended a dismal run of defeats when they travelled to play Midhurst II, who were one place above them in division three west.

They did it the hard way, managing to pull off a win despite forfeiting the No5 string match.

For the second game in a row, Bognor travelled a man short because of illness and were therefore a rubber down when their first player, Steve Carruthers at No4, met Simon Milner.

Carruthers made a confident start, taking the first game, but Milner managed to squeeze the second game 10-8 to level and went on to take the match 3-1.

Bognor’s third string was Luke Allen, making a welcome return after injury, and he started the Bognor recovery with a great win over Paul Fairminer.

The home player looked to be well on the way when he took a 2-0 lead but Allen found his rhythm after several weeks out, coming back strongly to 2-2 to set up a fifth-game thriller in which he used his speed around court to good effect, finally taking the match after the closest of games. The score was 4-9, 7-9, 9-6, 9-0, 10-8.

Bognor’s two top seeds, Steve Enfield and Steve Porter, proceeded to turn the match on its head with straight-games wins.

Enfield took on Dan Page and was not too troubled in coming out on top 9-5, 9-2, 9-2, then Porter made short work of the deciding rubber, beating Christian Brown convincingly 9-2, 9-1, 9-0 to give the visitors an unexpected but welcome win. Midhurst took eight points to Bognor’s 15.

The next home match at Hawthorn Road is Friday, March 4 (7pm), when the second team take on Middleton. Visitors are welcome – details on 01243 865462.