BURNLEYS undefeated record in Division II (North) of the L.T.T.A. was shattered by the Nelson team on Tuesday last at Clifford House. Nelson won be eight sets to two.
How the Nelson officials must regret those three lapses at the beginning of the season, when Southport, Burnley and Preston in succession, each snatched a 6-4 victory, for, from their last six matches, Nelson have obtained eleven points out of a possible twelve. Surely this has been championship form.
Burnley were represented by T. Alston, J. K. Holmes and K. Tattersall - probably their strongest side in spite of the fact the first two have represented Burnley for many years. Nelson again relied on R. Pickles, Z. Kabrna and L. Stevens who were responsible for that brilliant victory over Bolton three weeks ago. The confidence of the selection committee in this trio was not misplaced.
R. Pickles faced J. K. Holmes in the opening set before a fairly good crowd. It was obvious from the start that Pickles was on form for repeatedly hit the loose ball with confidence and put Nelson in the lead, winning 21-11, 21-8 with ease.
The second set saw the scores levelled when T. Alston, No.1 for Burnley, just defeated L. Stevens after a grim struggle which went to three games 21-14, 18-21, 22-20.
Z. Kabrna quickly restored Nelsons lead when with comparative ease he defeated K. Tattersall, who only a season ago was considered by many as Burnleys No.1 choice in two straight games 21-15, 21-14. Tattersall found Kabrna drove so consistently on both wings that he could not gain the initiative and any attack he attempted to launch was quickly countered by his opponents hard, accurate driving which left him helpless.
Stevens then faced Holmes and again we saw a Stevens determined to win, waiting for the loose return before attempting to kill, and gaining point after point through brilliant defensive stroke play winning 21-13, 21-18.
|Pickles then increased Nelsons lead to 4-1 when he defeated Tattersall. So cunningly did he mix defence with attack that on more than one occasion he forced his opponent into to making wild shots which earned him a 21-10, 22-20 victory.
Then Burnley momentarily halted Nelsons progress when Alston and Holmes defeated Pickles and Kabrna in the doubles 21-17, 21-19. There is no doubt that the Burnley pair are still one of the most powerful combinations in the N. E. of Lancashire. Their positioning and anticipation is of a very high standard.
Not daunted by this reverse Kabrna quickly put Nelson on the victory trail again for he overwhelmed T. Alston, outplaying him in every phase of the game to ensure Nelson of one point when he won 21-11, 21-4 making the score 5-1.
Stevens then made certain of a Nelson victory when he proved his defence to be better than Tattersalls attack winning after two very close games 21-18, 21-18.
Then came the Kabrna - Holmes tussle. Holmes set about the job of attempting to subdue his opponent from the first point. Producing a great variety of brilliant
strokes he won the first game 21-15. Unruffled, playing extremely well, Kabrna forced the pace in the next game and levelled the set one game all with a 21-12 win. In the decider Kabrna gradually gained the mastery and by brilliant all-round play with the accent on attack he forged ahead to a 21-14 win amid loud applause.
In the final game Pickles quickly gained the ascendency over Burnleys captain, Alston, and after some exciting rallies took the set 21-12, 21-10 to make it Nelson 8 Burnley 2.