NWSCE prevent Gresham’s from completing cup hat-trick


- Credit: PA

The third of this season's four Star Paving Services North Norfolk League cup finals saw Gresham's School A, fresh from winning both of the Knockout Cups, take on NWSCE.

The team of James Lester (29), Ben Lester (35) and Andrew Weston (37) lined up for NWSCE while Gresham's School A were represented by the team of Robin Thaxter (0), Haken Bennell (5) and Colin Humphries (25).

The final, which took place at Antingham Village Hall and was umpired by Peter Ward, was an entertaining spectacle with the North Walsham side coming out on top 5-3.

The first two battles saw NWSCE start 21 points ahead of their more experienced opponents and the NWSCE trio played very sensibly in mixing a pushing game with attacking when opportunities arose as they ran out easy winners.

In the third battle Gresham's started 2-37 down against the Lesters but the combination of Bennell's spin and Thaxter's positional play proved too strong as they pulled one back with a 51-46 win.

The next two battles both went to the golden point, proving to be the tensest part of the evening, with NWSCE caught at 45-45 in the fourth and 47-47 in the fifth and as often happens in handicap contests they matched the better team before losing.

Gresham's School A had recovered from a 0-2 deficit to lead the final 3-2 however the Lesters then found the composure they had at the start of the night to win the sixth battle easily.

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With the final locked at 3-3, unbeaten Thaxter and Bennell (2) took on Weston and Ben Lester (36). The Gresham's duo looked favourites to win this encounter but their opponents were now having less trouble with Bennell's spin and hence the pressure moved to the other end of the table.

Gresham's tried everything in their armoury but their opponents had all the answers and won 51-41. With confidence now high, the Lesters (32) faced Thaxter and Humphries (12), winning 51-39 at a canter and hence sealing the Cup 5-3.

It was a thoroughly deserved win and the Gresham's team nominated James Lester as player of the match.

A reminder to all club's that the league's annual meeting is now taking place a week later than originally planned on Wednesday, May 31.