THE forecast for heavy rain meant that there were fewer players at the Winter Flyers Tournament in Birkenhead Park on Sunday, but in the event the rain held off and conditions were excellent.

When Jamie Fitzpatrick yet again reached the final it looked very likely that the undefeated Tixall player would win his fourth title of the series however his opponent, Upton Victory Hall's Tony Ratcliffe, clearly had other ideas.

Right from the start he was in brilliant form and he stunned Fitzpatrick with the quality of his play, he dominated the game taking a fairly comfortable victory by 21 points to 11 for his first win.

In reaching the final Ratcliffe had beaten Ledsham Royal's Adam Hormbrey in the quarter final before overcoming Lever's Colin Portis in the semis.

Fitzpatrick probably had the harder run through to the final, he was a little too good for Port Sunlight's Nick Woodward in the quarters and then he had to be at his very best to beat his great rival, team mate Mick Andrews in the semi final.

Ratcliffe must have been delighted with his achievement and this result should give him the confidence to seek further success.


Quarter-finals: T. Ratcliffe (Upton Victory Hall) 21, A. Hormbrey (Ledsham Royal) 13, C. Portis (Levers) 21, T. Walker (Hoylake Central) 20; J. Fitzpatrick (Tixall) 21, N. Woodward (Port Sunlight Village and Works) 15; M. Andrews (Tixall) 21, P. McGhee (Cammell Lairds) 17.

Semi-finals: Ratcliffe 21, Portis 12; Fitzpatrick 21, Andrews 18. Final: Ratcliffe 21, Fitzpatrick 11.

Despite losing in the final Fitzpatrick has gone to the top of the points table, he has 41 points to Andrew's 40.

The Birkenhead and Wirral Afternoon Section annual meeting takes place on Monday, November 12. This will be at the Oxton Conservative Club, starting at 2pm.

On Wednesday, November 18, the Wallasey Association holds its annual meeting at the Manor Road club.