Score North 37 - 31 South
The St George’s Cup VIII raised over £12,000 for their chosen charities The Guide Dogs and The John Taylor Hospice.
The North regained the St George’s Cup after another spectator 37-31 victory to bring the overall series at 5-2.
The enormous amount raised will see a guide dog puppy be named and met by the St George’s Cup Committee. Money raised for The John Taylor hospice will enable an inpatient to be looked after for 11 days.
North Captain Bronagh Toleman made it back-to-back St George’s Cup titles.
Last years North wooden spoon winner Lee Webb turned the tables to remain unbeaten over the weekend to take the Darren Beardsmore award (MVP).
The Barry Brindley award (North Wooden Spoon) went to Ben Stanway.
On day one the running total raised edged close to fives figures before the start of play.
The South kicked off the first session with a narrow 5-3 lead in the opening session of the pairs.
With a notable win for MVP Webb and Malcom Follis (throw away pair) over Paul Seaman and Jake Atrill, for the North to stay in touch early on in the contest.
The North then found their voices and form, as they swept the session 6-2. Toleman’s blue army got crucial wins from Ellen Lunn & Matty Worden, Tony Colclough & Gareth Stanway over Alistair McCrea, James Bucknall, Gareth Davies and Chris Coates respectively.
Young Northern duo Liam Lowery and Callum Mitchell came from behind to take a narrow 21-20 victory over Tom Clough and Ollie Hipkiss, to take the lead 9-7.
In the rinks, the South were under the cosh early on as the North momentum continued. A late surge from the South across the board managed to overturn the situation to edge the session 6-4.
Day one concluded with the scores all square at 13-13, as the captains named their singles with some mouthwatering ties for day two.
Before start of play the total was at £11,000 and the competition poised for an epic finale.
Both Captains made minor tweaks to their sides for the fours and was a role reversal of day one.
The South started well but the North wrestled for an advantage and took both bonus points for a 6-4 session win, for a two point lead going into the singles at 19-17.
The North had a dream start taking the first five points in the singles. Chris Willies came from the jaws of defeat to beat South Captain Mitchell Young for an early momentum swing as Mitchell (Callum) took the North a step closer with a 21-20 win over Jason Mclean.
The South stopped the rot but could not gain enough ground the heap pressure on the North. Key victories for Alan Jones over Anthony Fautley, Nathan Cairnes over Simon Willies and Lawrence Moffat over Seaman saw the North on 31 points; four off victory.
The South then threw the kitchen sink at the North to notch six wins on the board to bring the scores at 31-28.
Toleman’s side then found their second wind and cranked the noise levels up a notch. Victories for Lowery, Ivan Lunn and Stanway (Senior) put the North one point away from the trophy.
The North clinched victory from none other than John Lax who beat debutant Karl Hudson 21-12, to erupt with joy as celebrations started with five matches left to finish.
The North regained the trophy and brought the overall series to 5-2 for the South with a grand finish to match the superb fundraising done by all players and supporters.
The South MVP who also remained unbeaten for the weekend was Gary Best who was awarded the Craig Burgess award. With the Richard Walker award (South Wooden Spoon) going to Chris Coates.
The new Steve White Outstanding Achievement award was set up by the SGC committee. This was awarded to Chris and Becky Willies for all their dedication and hard work behind the scenes for the SGC cause.
Both captains now pass the baton onto the next. Those nominated by each team was Nick Tideswell for the North and Karl Hudson for the South for the ninth instalment of the competition next year.
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Thank you for reading, Mitchell Young