So a match where player availability and match order plus a few deuces decided the match score and there aren’t many that would have predicted the outcome that ensued. Unusually and one for the statisticians (as Richard likes to say) only two games troubled the fourth leg column and only one the fifth with eight being three straight.
With me back from my rib injury and lacking both fitness and match practice the nightmare scenario was to meet John in my first game as I’m always a slow starter and this is always a war of attrition but due to my being our only player there I had to bat first. Heck of a game probably settled by the second leg deuce where John came from 10-8 down to win and then run out an easy winner in the third.
Castaways then ran into a string of what looked on paper easy wins and probably were with George losing to both Colin and I whilst Ronnie lost to Pete to make the match score 4-1 and surely put Castaways on the road to a win.
John then managed a fairly comfortable win over Colin before Pete took Castaways to at least a draw with a regulation win over George. Unfortunately that’s where they stayed as they weren’t to win another game.
The win possibly hinged on the end to end game between Ronnie and I with each player winning when at one end of the table which didn’t bode well for me as Ronnie would finish at that end and so it proved with the second, fourth and fifth giving Ronnie the win.
John then managed a win over Colin albeit going to four and only just winning two legs on deuce fighting back from leg point down in one of them.
That left the doubles to decide the win for Castaways or the draw for PRO and it was the latter that were to take it. Again two deuce legs decided the win though one was quite bizarre.
In the first leg Castaways dodgy team of Pete and Neil were up but John and Ronnie fought back to deuce. They then managed to take it at the first time of asking. The second was a very easy win for Castaways with PRO only managing two points.
The third leg was another tight affair with first one and then the other pair having the upper hand but at deuce it took the bizarre turn. Ronnie’s phone suddenly rang and instead of what most people would do, apologies grab the phone and turn it off Ronnie proceeded to answer it and enter into a conversation with Alan Kellaher! Despite a number of us trying to draw his attention to end the call and continue with the game he carried on talking and before finally put it down. The game then proceeded to 11-11 all before PRO won it 13-11, whether the frustration of the break had anything to do with it we’ll never know.
After the easy second leg win you’d have bet money that the combinations meant this would go to a fifth but it was not to be. A combination of luck, good shots from PRO and nerves on the part of Castaways led to them losing 11-7 and thus their winning record for the first half, 8 from 8 previously, came to an end.
The good news, Castaways went top of the table by three points on equal games with Credex for the first time this season with one match each to play.
The bad news is that with Credex expecting to finish with a regulation 10-0 against Outcasts, Castaways will need an 8-2 or better to stay top though a 7-3 win would still leave them top courtesy of matches won. Given that their opponents are the tricky EMP who have provided a few little shocks during the season, then anything is possible, any predictions?