AN exciting Cecil Cup Final saw Ellesmere take on Hawkshaw D at Lostock.

The handicapped competition saw Hawkshaw D, the Division Five champions, handed a 53.5 games start against this season’s Division Two runners-up.

Dark clouds were threatening as the knock-up commenced and, just as play was about to commence, the heavens opened.

The shower was short, however, and the players were soon back out on court.

Hawkshaw got off to a good start, taking nine games from the first three sets. The pairings of Luke Brandwood/Sue Manning and Ross Manning/Joan Waddell did particularly well in taking four games each.

The pendulum swung back towards Ellesmere as they won the next three sets to love, with wins for John Nuttall/Christina Millington, Sarah Davies/Jeanette McCormick and Ged Sheppard/Chris Cain.

In tough conditions, a gusty wind getting hold of some shots, the momentum continued for Ellesmere, as Hawkshaw were only able to collect three more games in the next three sets.

This left Hawkshaw needing a further seven games to claim victory.

The final sets started well for Hawkshaw as they picked up early games in each, but eyes were soon turning to the set on court four between Waddell and Nina Baxter of Hawkshaw and Davies and McCormick, which seemed to give Hawkshaw the best hope of victory.

The other sets had finished 6-1 in Ellesmere’s favour, but by this time the court four match was locked in a real tussle at 3-3.

The Hawkshaw pair took the next game, so only required one more to secure the cup for their team.

A long game ensued, with several break, effectively championship, points coming and going, but eventually, after what seemed like an eternity, Waddell and Baxter clinched the game.

They went on to take the set 6-5 to give an overall match score of 73.5-71 to Hawkshaw D. It was tough on Ellesmere for whom Nuttall, Cain and Millington had been particularly dominant, but Hawkshaw stuck to their task and kept their nerve at the crucial moments with Baxter and Waddell putting in a fine performance for their side in the last set.

Hawkshaw D: Graham Edgington, Nina Baxter, Ellis Calland, Kath Abbott, Luke Brandwood, Sue Manning, Ross Manning and Joan Waddell.

Ellesmere: John Nuttall, Christina Millington, Chris Cain, Jeanette McCormick, Alastair Lindley, Lisa Gorse, Ged Sheppard and Sarah Davies.