Sidmouth edged out by Plymouth University in Devon Shield Plate final

In their final game of the season Sidmouth lost out narrowly in a thrilling Devon Shield Plate final to Plymouth University.

Sidmouth began well against their higher ranked, and younger, opponents. Paul Clare completely dominating his opponent in a comprehensive 3–1 victory, whilst captain Rob Cann came from two games to one down to win 8-15, 15-12, 13-15, 15-8, 15-13.

The decider was a real thriller with Cann trailing 7-13 and serving through the remaining points to clinch it!

Alick Russell came up against a very good third string in Dewi Banks. Russell could not get to grips with the deceptive shots of his opponent and went down in straight games 9-15, 1-15, 12-15.

Second string Nigel Desousa went the same way losing in straight games 7-15, 12-15, 13-15, to the University second string.

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The deciding rubber was a real thriller with the result in the balance until the final points!

Sidmouth’s Chris Woodruff began well and secured the opening game against the University number-one Ben Hamer.

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Hamer took the second, Woodruff the third, this after recovering from a six point deficit in the early stages of the game.

A slow start to the fourth was too much for Woodruff to recover from, setting up a final game decider.

The pace of the early games was clear to see on both players and unfortunately for Woodruff it was the far younger man that held his form to secure the fifth game and with it the Devon Shield Plate.

There was no disgrace in the 15-10, 12-15, 15-13, 14-16, 15-6 defeat and Woodruff should be proud of his efforts.

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