Inspiring captain Ray Wickham leads Team Purple to victory in pulsating Acme Blinds & Commercial Products Division 2 decider

Report by AOB

After 18 matches spread over almost three months, the Acme Blinds & Commercial Products Div 2 team league was decided at a well attended St. Josephs Community Centre last night, when Team Purple, led by inspiring captain Ray Wickham, eventually overcame Team Cream by 3 games to 1.

Team Cream – Ross Arnold, Barry Byrne, Eugene English, Jamie Barnes, Suzanne Fitzharris, Acme Blinds, Team Purple – Ray Wickham, Morgan Nash-Colfer, Sean Fitzharris, Niall Lacey

Team Purple represented by Sean Fitzharris and Morgan Nash-Colfer got off to a flyer when they recovered from a shaky start to win the first game against Jamie Barnes and Ross Arnold by 15-7 and give their side a one game and 8 point lead. They maintained their dominance in the second and forged 9-0 in front, but just when it seemed that Team Cream were going down without a whimper, they suddenly found their feet and the fightback was on. Now it was Barnes and Arnold who were winning the rallies and when they levelled at 12-all, it was they who had all the momentum. The last few points came swiftly and that 15-13 win left the sides level at 1 game apiece, but with Team Purple six points in front. This final was effectively decided in the first game of the second match on court, between Ray Wickham and Niall Lacey, Team Purple, and Eugene English and Barry Byrne, Team Cream. The opening exchanges saw English and Byrne get away to the better start and when they led 6-0, it meant that the sides were now level on aces, and with Cream looking good to take the game as well. But just like the first match, things were about to change. Throughout the competition, Team Purple captain Ray Wickham had driven his side on and now when it was most needed he led from the front. Slowly but surely alongside a battling Niall Lacey the defecit was wiped out and when they powered home 15-8 the turnaround was almost complete. Now 2-1 up in games and with a 13 ace cushion, they only needed to score 3 points in the second game to win the competition. English and Byrne battled hard but the odds favoured their boyant opponents and it was Wickham and Lacey who closed it out with a 15-13 win. The final winning margin was 3-1 in games and 58-43 in aces.              

That winning feeling!
Gallant runners-up!