The Princes St club from Southport have a team in the Wigan league under the umbrella of our chums at Rainford TTC. Seven Princes St players plus one Crosby star (Nick Wilson) form the squad playing in the newly constituted Division 1.
Last night we kicked off the Wigan league away to the Pirates of Poolstock ... Pirates were hot favourites to be promoted, so this result will be like a licence to frack and send shockwaves from Pemberton to Hindley.
Captain Foss was accompanied by Colin Fyles as they got lost on the short journey from West Lancs to the Pie eating capital of the World. "Why don't you use your sat nav Nick ?" asked Colin to Nick who was clearly all at sea as he tried to navigate a route to the Pirates. Gerard Wilson who had never played there before was bang on time and made up the Ex-Pat Southport trio ... the usual 4 man team used in the Principality of Southport was a 3 man team in Wigan.
The scoring system in Wigan is also much different and dare I say better and fairer as you get a point for each game ( set ) you win so if you lose a match 3-2 you still get 2 points for your team.
Colin started the proceedings with a superb win , beating Pirates no.1 Carl Murphy 3-0 , controlling the game and hitting his trademark backhand winners.
Nick then beat Keith Dootson 3-0 to give the Sandgrounders a perfect start.
Next up the Gedmeister playing Pirates superstar Brian Cantlie. Brian has a lovely modern game of 3rd and 5th ball attack with great serves , an awesome loop and ferocious kill and raced into a 2 game lead. Ged though pegged him back with stubborn defence and great counter hitting. 2-2! Into the final game it was nip and tuck but Ged completed the great comeback to win it 3-2. A breathless Ged commenting to Elton Welsby who was covering the game for Talksport said " Yeah it was a decent win but coming back from 2-0 down to Ray Hibbs last week was harder. " It seems Ged likes to get his money's worth when playing.
Colin returned to take out Keith in 3 straight with Ged doing likewise against Carl.
At half time it was 15 - 2 to the Sandgrounders - incredible. The large crowd in the adjoining room were getting restless and the atmosphere was turning nasty. However this was nothing to do with the ping pong score apparently the pies hadn't turned up for the snooker players , oh well "let them eat cake" as the Sandgrounder's sub Marie Antoinette was heard to utter.
Ged and Nick teamed up to win the doubles against Brian and Carl in a high quality encounter.
Nick and Brian stayed on the table to play their singles match. This was an exciting affair with Nick trying to counter Brian's aggresive play and get some loops and kills away himself. Nick took a 2-1 lead but Brian found his range and brought it back to 2-2. In an epic final game Nick just got it over the line 15-13.
Ged completed his POM performance beating Keith in 3 before Brian returned the complement to Colin. In the final match Carl had far too much fitness for an exhausted Nick taking it 3-2.
The final score ended 26-11 to the Sandgrounders - what a start to the season.
The new boys Ged and Colin clearly enjoyed themselves in their first foray into the Wigan league. This was a match of very good quality played in the usual superb spirit proving yet again that Wigan really is the friendliest league to play in.