Ex-Smasher Andy Taylor had been signed by Scousers in the summer transfer window ... he said “the win bonus is pretty good but it was the company car and pension scheme that swung it for me”.
Scamperer, Dazla and No Nickname Hibbs were the Smash trio. And it was Scamperer versus his old stablemate Taylor to start proceedings. Taylor pretty much gave him the runaround ... Scamperer was like a labrador getting its first taste of the beach after a 100-mile car journey, biting his own tail and chasing squirrels up trees ... but ultimately not getting enough points to win a Table Tennis match. 3-1 to Taylor.
Up stepped Hibbs, surely the Smash No 1 would level things ... but something strange happened ... Martin Cook kept knocking the skin off the ball with his deadly backhand ... I can’t remember him missing a single shot and he went on to win in five. The capacity crowd expected to see a jaded Hunter at the table (he had only just returned from holiday that morning) and when Dazla took a game signs were good ... but he smashed the Smash boy in the fourth set and won 3-1 ... all three of the opening games had gone to Scousers.
The two Martins (Machin & Cook) battled it out in the next ... Cook’s lethal backhand had decided to sit this one out ... he surrendered and Machin won Smash’s first game. It was a temporary reprieve though, Taylor then took to the table against Dazla and won 3-1 ... he had thumped both his ex-stablemates and was in for an almighty win bonus.
13-7 to Scousers at the halfway point.
The Smash boys had a half time team talk, which was utterly pointless because No Nickname Hibbs had forgotten his hearing aid ... when he was asked to play in the doubles he didn’t hear a thing and remained seated ... so it was Dazla & Scamperer that played Wilkinson & Southworth and won in straights ... was this the start of a comeback?
No Hearing Aid Hibbs impressively took the scalp of Hunter with some cagey table-craft. This was followed by Dazla beating Cooky ... the Cooky backhand wasn’t cooking on gas ... it was barely even a pilot light ... Dazla took it 3-1 ... that was three consecutive wins for Smash.
The penultimate game. Hunter was playing with a borrowed bat, he was still jet-lagged from this mornings flight ... would Scamperer take advantage of this tired and jaded man in front of him? Damn right he would, 3-1 to Smash.
The final game. No Hearing Aid Hibbs got his nose in front against Win Bonus Taylor, surely Smash weren’t gong to win five in a row ... that was unheard of ... but Hibbs defied the odds and took it in three straights ... Smash had surprised themselves by winning all the games on the back nine ... 22-16 to Smash.
Theresa May was in the Sky Sports studio as guest pundit ... she was insightful in her match review ... “table tennis is like Brexit ... the net is an analogy for the Hard Border in Ireland ... the players represent the political parties ... whilst the ball is Joe Public, getting knocked about by both sides of the argument”.
She liked her analogy and said she would write this into her conference speech this week ... you couldn’t make it up!