Ping pong is a funny old game, as Chester Barnes once remarked. Funnily enough after losing to Geoff Pye in the 1st round of the Celebrity ‘Cruise or Lose’ challenge.
And so it proved again this week in the topsy turvey world of Wigan TT.
Last week the table toppers were mauled at Mawdesley. This week Mawdesley were defeated by the resurgent Dragons and the Sandgrounders bounced back to smash Standish , who in turn had stuffed them in the first match between them this season.
As the clock ticked to 7.45pm and with captain Nick Foss consulting the Wigan rule book about claiming a match (which was a complete waste of time as he didn't have his reading glasses) in walked Adele Spibey . " Oh am I the first one here?" remarked Adele ..... " yes and the only one !" was the reply.
Matt Kennedy joined us a few minutes later with the sad news that Alex Almond couldn't make it due to a serious family illness. Our best wishes go to Alex and his family.
First up Matt against Uncle Ray Hibbs. This was a tremendous game, Ray took the first on duece. Matt leveled it before Ray took the lead and in a nail biting 4th game sealed the victory 14-12.
Captain Nick then took on Adele, the Sandgrounders' nemises from the previous game between the teams. Nick was able to return Adele's tricky serves and suberb backhand loop and somehow ran out a winner in straight games.
Matt then defeated Colin Fyles in 3 with the final game going deuce.
Adele back on against Uncle Ray and his controlled chop and push enabled him to avenge his defeat in the first third of the season against her , winning 3-0.
Next up the two captains, Nick v Matt. The Fossmeister played out of his skin to beat last year's divisional runner up (don't get too excited Nick after all Matt only lost to Martin Machin in the final). He was able to return tricky serves with interest , keep the game short and attack on the odd occasion.
In Adele's final singles game against Colin she was once more frustrated and unable to capitalise on great serves and Colin dug in to record a superb 3-0 win. This was an incredible turn around as Adele had absolutely destroyed the Sandgrounders in the first encounter when she walked away with the POM award.
The final match was the doubles and what a game to finish the evening. Nick and Ray took on ....... err ..... Adele and Matt.
The Sandgrounders took a 2-0 lead. Back came Standish to level at 2-2, after the 3rd and 4th games both went to deuce. It was looking like the table toppers would throw away a much needed point. But no, Nick and Ray re-focused and took a 5-0 lead in the decider before remarkably they were pegged back once again before eventually just getting over the line 11-9.
So the Sandgrounders once more stretched their lead at top of D1. Will it last. Perhaps not with the Sandgrounders facing a tricky derby next up against their Smash cousins ... or are they a sister team ... or step brothers ... let’s settle for stablemates.