The Harper Plate Final played at the Lindfield Club brought together two teams who have fought many fierce battles on the green baize during the past three decades.
The enthusiastic audience were aware that Franklands A and Clayton B were meeting for the first time in a final and were in no doubt that the match would be extremely competitive and would go all the way to the wire.
The top guns of each team were drawn together and after a nip and tuck start, Village’s Trevor Smith eased into a potting mode to move on to beat Peter Mann 59-23. Clayton’s skipper Roy Tucknott was fully aware of Ray Baker’s potting reputation and by keeping the frame tight he was able to gain the equaliser to win 44-15.
The third frame saw both players showing much respect for each other and it was Clayton’s Jamie Ruffle who kept his nerve over Andy Robus when they both competed in a black ball finish, Ruffle potting to win 28-25. The opening period of the fourth frame saw Village’s Les MacKay containing the dangerous Don Miller, it was Mackay who dug in like a tenacious terrier to open up a lead and take the frame 60-34.
The audience were now sitting on the edge of their seats as Rob Green, the youngest player performing on the night, was up against Clayton’s Simon Vincent in the decider.
Vincent commenced with some silky play to open up a healthy lead, however, Green found form and grew in confidence to secure the frame 70-44 and for Village to take the Plate Trophy winning 3-2, referee Dave Fry commented that it was probably the most competitive final that he had ever marshalled.