Mini Match Report - Princes St B 2 Southport A 8
An air of despondency had settled on the Hall of Happiness. This was not due to the fact that Messrs Wilson , Hibbs & Foss ( heckled by Dave Mullan ) couldn't erect the new table in time for tonight's match.
The reason was that the 2 other Princes St division 1 teams had both tasted defeat in their opening fixtures so could the B team regulars of Roger Neal , Ged Wilson , Dave Britton and Martyn Coleman lift the doom and gloom or would it be a hat trick of division 1 losses?
The omens were not good for our brave boys as they limped into the arena to the strains of Shania Twain's " that don't impress me much".
From the off it was clear that fitness might be an issue. Captain Roger had been nursing a calf strain all summer. Dave Britton , whose fitness deteriorated throughout the evening was blowing for tugs 5 minutes into the warm up and Martyn filled his Nottingham Forest shorts in a manner that Stuart Pearce would have been proud of. Indeed the only member of the team that looked remotely fit was Ged , fresh from his wonderful charity run . I understand that he completed the half marathon in a shade under 7 hours 43 minutes and is attempting the full distance in Manchester next time. May be a good idea NOT to have a full English before that run Ged.
Facing the so called Dad's Army was the might of Southport A in the shape of Mark Barnes , free signing Kyle Lavender , Phil Robinson and Thomas Ray. So strong is the Southport squad this season that they were able to rest ( before the season starts?) their regular 1 & 2 and the mystery 16 year old spinner.
At half time the brave boys trailed 2-3 . Tom Ray who was chaperoned for the evening had to get off early ( students these days have no stamina ) and after 2 gruelling 5 setters in which he had prevailed his parentis in loco ( none other than the webmaster himself ) told young Tom it was time for bed. Tom was heard to mutter " it's easier in the British league " which met with the comment from Martyn "they don't like it up em". Truly Stuart Pearce would be proud.
Dave who along with Martyn had taken part in the Ray epics had had the misfortune to roll his ankle and despite this played on and gave a wonderfully heroic performance in the doubles along with Roger which they easily won v Ray and Robinson .
Captain Roger played very well to beat Kyle - ah the sweet smell of success - even if at times he gave a more than passable impression of Boris Johnson on one of his infamous jogs.
Sadly 2 was the magic number and no more points could be collected.
Ged turned himself inside out playing Mark and in attempting to retrieve the ball adopted more positions than Theresa May on Brexit.
Yet another sell out crowd went away disgruntled. Amazingly ( and I'm not making this up although I usually do ) the crowd contained Kim Philby bringing his mate Guy Burgess - aka Pete Ashley and Tony Bramham - and a zoologist from Norway! Sadly Dave Mullen had to be ejected at half time due to heckling. Crazy times at the hall.