Pre season favourites Standish trundled along to Rainford on Tuesday night after a dodgy start to their season... they were playing current table toppers Smash at The Rainford Labour Club Stadium Arena of Light.
Scamperer, Kraftwerk Nick and Dazla represented the precocious table toppers ... very aware that their lead at the top was at stake without their star man Pimps Out Taylor. The Standishians were Gordon ‘chopping’ Wood, Matty Kennedy and new kid on the Wigan League block Adele Spieby ... their forenames of Matty, Gordon & Adele somehow reminds me of a 1970’s folk trio ... you know, a la Peter, Paul & Mary ... ok just me then.
First game of the night ... Kraftwerk Nick (last season playing in Div3) versus Matty (last seasons highest average in Div2) ... baptism of fire ... 3-0 to Standish ... but Dazla then played some really controlled stuff against Adele to level things up at three apiece.
When Scamperer beat Chopping Wood 3-1 the Smash boys were in front 6-4 and they weren’t missing Pimps Out Taylor at all. It was a perfectly executed squad rotation system and a strategy that would likely serve them well throughout the season ... little did they know that would be their last win of the night.
Next up Matty showed his class beating Dazla ... followed by five sets of thrust and parry between Chapping Wood and Kraftwerk Nick ... the duelling was exhausting to watch never mind play in ... Chopping Wood blunted Kraftwerk’s blade and won in the fifth.
The Standishians then took the doubles with relative ease and they led 13-9 as we went into the back nine. After the doubles Adele and Scamperer stayed on the table for five more exhausting sets ... much too exhausting for Scamperer with Adele taking the fifth with some fine hitting.
Now into the final three ... Chopping Wood chopped consistently until his chopping thing did for Dazla ... full credit to Chopping Wood ... rarely will you see a 94 year old man cover so much ground. Five sets of Matty v Scamperer then ensued ... generous on entertainment, guile and pendulous swings ... with the greater technical ability of Matty winning out.
And so into the last match ... Kraftwerk’s elevation to Div1 after only one season in the game meant he has to learn fast ... and Adele was on smashing form ... the following five sets were none too shabby ... both playing some resounding winners ... but Adele got it over the line ... whilst Kraftwerk can be well pleased with his progress.
The Standish ropey start to the season was put to bed with this 25-15 win ... they had found some form ... and they didn’t even need their talisman Alex Almond who opted to watch a dour 1-0 win for Wigan Athletic instead being at The Rainford Labour Club Stadium Arena of Light for this humdinger of a match.
We were lucky to have Wiff-Waff enthusiast, Prime Minister and illegitimate Proroguer Boris Johnson as the guest pundit in the Pye Sports studio ... he’d had a bet with Michael Gove that he could deploy the phrase “surrender act” in his punditry ... “after the first three games I think Smash we’re guilty of a Surrender Act, and what’s more Govey owes me a fiver”. You couldn’t make it up.