Match Report

Here we go ... strap yourself in ... the first derby match of the season at the Hut of Dreams ... Rainford Surge v Rainford Strike ... Strike Captain Alan Baron took a knock in training on the day before the match ... but was declared fit by his wife because she wanted him out of the house as her mates were coming round.  There was concern in the Surge camp too ... luckily Ged Sefton passed a late fitness test ... the acupuncture had done its work ... he wasn't going to let a little prick keep him away from the derby match.

First up Paul Andrews took on Acupuncture Ged ... and in the blink of an eye it's 3-0 to Ged ... Liz v the Red Baron and in the blink of the other eye it was 3-0 to the Strike captain and 3-3 on the night.  We needed a good old five setter to get the crowd on its feet ... enter new boy Paul Melling ... he had a good old scrap against the experienced Andy Melding ... he gave Andy a spanking in the fourth 11-6 and looked odds on to win it ... but it wasn't to be ... Andy regained control and took the fifth.

Liz then took on Paul Andrews and in a cagey game it looked all done and dusted ... 10-8 to Liz in the fifth and in she served her special serve ... you know the one, we've all done it ... you give it all you've got only for the ball to go too long ... and suddenly it was 10-9 ... Paul calmly made it 10-10 and then went to win 12-10 ... Paul understatedly celebrated with a wry smile.

In the next big hitting Paul (Melling not Andrews) blazed into a two game lead against Ged ... after losing the third Paul had match point in the fourth ... it was all done and dusted (have I said that before?) ... but Ged took it ... actually he stole it 15-13.  The five setters were coming thick and fast now ... but not to worry Paul had match point again in the fifth and he was able to put things right ... or so we thought ... surely Ged wouldn't pick-pocket him again ... oh no, it's 14-12 to the artful dodger (AKA Acupuncture Ged).

At the half way point Surge had a narrow 11-10 lead ... they took the doubles without too much stress in three straights ... the Surge trio looked in control ... surely it was done and dusted.

In the battle of the two captains, Melding and Baron, it was Baron that won out in three straights ... and then the swashbuckling new boy Paul Melling beat Liz 3-1 ... this was a turnaround ... with two to play Captain Baron's Strike boys had nudged themselves into a 16-15 lead ... Jim Mulvaney tried to start a Mexican wave but there were no takers ... the fans sat there biting their nails and hoping the commentator wouldn't say 'done and dusted' again.

Captain Melding returned to form in the penultimate game ... so the match was in the balance as we entered the final game ... Baron v Sefton ... at one-all it could go either way ... but Acupuncture Ged squinted his eyes once more ... no he hadn't forgotten his glasses ... he was giving Captain Baron his best Clint Eastwood stare ... and it worked as he took the game 3-1.  The bragging rights around old Rainford town go to Surge with a 21-18 victory.

In the Sky Sports studio the guest pundit was Big Sam Allardyce ... "Ged won all his games tonight, he's a bit like me  ... did you know I'm the only England manager to win all my games?" ... thanks for that Sam, Ged will be pleased with that comparison.

The fans left The Hut of Dreams feeling drained ... they had watched some ding-dong Ping Pong that will live long in the memory.
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