Smash and Pirates were meeting for the first encounter of the new decade ... and it was also the first encounter in the brave new world ... because it was the first game since the 12 December, the day when everything changed because Wiff-Waff enthusiast Boris won his majority ... “let’s get wiff-waff done” said Keith Dootson at 7:30.
Pirate Carl Murphy started the first of this five-setters against Pimps Out Taylor ... leading two nil Carl lost his way and Pimps Out did what Pimps Out does ... 3-2 to Smash. Next up Dazla against the late Brian Cantlie (he’s not dead, he arrived at 7.45). Top spin mastery by Pirate Brian and he had it done and dusted in three. Scamperer returned the favour in the next by beating Keith in three.
When Pirate Carl took the first against Dazla and led 10-8 in the second he appeared to be strolling ... you can never quite tell with Carl though, his cool impassive demeanour gives nothing away ... it turns out he was a little rattled and Dazla came back to win 12-10 ... game on. Big hitting by both ensued ending with a 3-2 win for Carl.
It was two games all and 8-8 on the night. It felt very much a pre-election Brexit quagmire ... it was gridlock ... suggestions to prorogue the game and go to the bar were dismissed. We needed someone to step up and make a change.
Cometh the hour cometh the man. Pimps Out Taylor stepped into the arena and took down the Dootson. He then stayed on the table for the doubles and Pimps Out led the Smash duo to a 3-1 win. He had created momentum ... not the political party-within-a-party Momentum ... no, this was real momentum. Scamperer was inspired by the example set by Pimps Out and he had five sets of random thwackery with Pirate Brian ... in which he landed every big hit in the first, then lost 11-1 by missing every big hit in the second ... but eventually winning in the fifth.
Five more sets followed in the Dazla v Dootson encounter ... Keith Dootson is well known to come from the Mawdesley Academy of Table Tennis when he and the teenage David Mawdesley were schooled in the art of ping pong by Mr Mawdesley senior ... back in the days when the world was in black and white. It was an open, attacking game in which Dazla (now 50 and entering his mid-life crisis period) just edged it in the fifth.
In the penultimate game Pirate Carl went two down to random thwacking Scamperer and then beat him 3-2 with some clever strategic adjustment to his game ... clever strategic adjustment means he stopped hitting up as high so Scamperer kept hitting into the net whilst wondering what the hell was going on. Finally Pimps Out won in three straights against a generally out of sorts and disgruntled Brian. Once more he lifted the imaginary Man of the Match trophy aloft. Smash 25, Pirates 16.
In the Pye Sports studio we had Dominic Cummings as guest pundit and he had this to say ... “In this post-modern, post-election, mid-Brexit, middle class, vote lending part of the world it seems that nothing has changed ... Man City are predictably beating Man Utd whilst those north of the border are still predictably asking for a referendum. And not forgetting that our old friend Mr Trump is still trying to wage war. But the ping-pongers are still obliviously ping ponging at The Rainford Labour Club Stadium Arena of Light ... long may it continue”.