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Beccles on top in Challenge

PUBLISHED: 16:34 01 May 2008 | UPDATED: 07:22 01 August 2010

BECCLES have moved further ahead in the annual clash of the Waveney Valley rivals after the Beccles and Bungay Challenge events of the past week.

The Scrabble teams in the Journal-sponsored Challenge finished all square in their contest.

BECCLES have moved further ahead in the annual clash of the Waveney Valley rivals after the Beccles and Bungay Challenge events of the past week.

The Scrabble teams in the Journal-sponsored Challenge finished all square in their contest.

And on the squash court at Beccles Sports Centre the home team just edged home 3-2 in a tight match in which Bungay actually won more games.

For Beccles, Linda Green played Brenda Thompson, who couldn't match Linda's strength of shot or racquet skills. Brenda made a comeback in the third game but Linda put her down convincingly in the fourth to win 9-2, 9-6, 2-9, 9-1.

Ruth Shipley, for Beccles, was the favourite against Bev Todd, who is a hard hitter, mobile and determined. Ruth dug deep but couldn't raise her game sufficiently to succeed for her town, and Bev won 9-1, 9-7, 9-7 to square the match.

Mandy Morris, for Beccles, was matched against Pam Froide, a late substitute for an injured Wendy Farrer. Pam was slow to get into the match but gave Mandy a worrying third game. The fourth was tough but Mandy was determined not to let the match go to five games, and won for Beccles with a score of 9-7, 9-0, 5-9, 10-9.

Jan Line, for Beccles, was up against an unknown entity in Terry Brookes, who covered the court well but lacked match experience. Seasoned campaigner Jan demonstrated excellent technical shots but saw her game stretched by Terry.

The outcome of this match was unknown to the last. At 8-3 in the final game it looked as though Terry had it in the bag, but Jan was not going to let this victory slip through her fingers.

Faultless serving at this stage helped give Jan the game 5-9, 9-5, 9-7, 1-9, 10-8.

The final match of the evening was a spectators' delight. Dave Hall, for Beccles, met Hadleigh Farrer, who had trounced him some weeks earlier. Hadleigh had youth and deceptive shots on his side, leaving Dave to guess the direction of the play, resulting in a lateness to the ball. Both players executed some quality squash shots, and, although Hadleigh played several unforced errors, Dave could not capitalise on these.

A wobble in the second game did not leave the victor in doubt, and the result was a 9-2, 9-8, 9-6 Bungay win.

Although Bungay took 10 games to Beccles 9, Beccles took the match 3 against 2. Both teams and supporters enjoyed a post-match supper together, and the event raised £60 for the Challenge charity, Waveney Hospice Care.

In the Scrabble match at Bungay Library on Thursday, some good word compiling by both sides meant it was exciting all the way through.

At the end the teams could not be separated, finishing at six games each, giving each town half a point.

The two results meant that in the overall challenge Beccles led 4½-2½, with everything to play for.

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