The three amigos of Mighty Joe, Scamperer and Dazla lined up for Smash ... their erstwhile team mate Andy ‘local legend’ Taylor lined up for Scousers along with Phil Wilkinson and Martin Cook ... aka Wilkinson Sword and The Cooky Monster.
Unusually it was a Southworth free zone ... neither Dave nor John were playing ... but Mark Hunter had travelled on the Scousers team bus ... he was on the subs bench (available for the doubles if needed) ... he had additional rolls of captain, coach and copying out a duplicate scorecard for the Scousers Archive (yes really) ... but his main role was to be general mickey-taker when easy shots were missed.
All the pre match friendly stuff was done and dusted ... it was game on @ The Rainford Labour Club Stadium Arena of Light ... Wilkinson took the first set against Scamperer and then stopped attacking which allowed Scamperer to take the next three. Taylor v Dazla ... Taylor was firing on his backhand... the bad news for Dazla was that he was firing in his forehand as well ... 3-0 to Taylor.
Then we had the battle of the backhands between Mighty Joe and The Cooky Monster ... five sets of nip and tuck ... match point Joe ... but Cooky rattled a risky backhand down the line for 10-10 and went on to win 12-10. Dazla v Wilkinson Sword in an expansive, open game ... at 2-1 to Dazla he was favourite but Phil calmly regained control and won in five. Scousers had won three on the bounce and led 10-7.
Scamperer beat Cooky Monster 3-1 ... then Hunter stepped off the subs bench to partner Local Legend Taylor in the doubles ... Hunter was suffering from BBT (Back & Bat Trouble). He had a back twinge which made him move carefully... and he had gone back to his old bat (from 1967) because his two latest purchases weren’t doing the job ... Scamperer & Dazla were delighted with his issues, they fully exploited his lack of mobility and won 3-1.
Andy beat Joe ... but Joe snook an important game ... 3-1. The scoreboard at the Rainford Labour Club Stadium Arena of Light showed Scousers had the lead 15-14 with three to play. Dazla swung it in Smash’s favour winning 3-1 against Cooky Monster ... then Joe helped the Smash cause beating Phil by the same score ... some good game management by the Smash boys.
Taylor and Scamper had a good knock in the last game ... one knocking the skin off the ball whilst the other chased every single lost cause ... 2-2 in sets and 9-9 in the fifth ... Scamperer was serving and he dreamed of beating Taylor for the first time ... and while he was dreaming Taylor drilled two winners past him to take it 11-9. Taylor was Man of the Match but Smash had nicked it 20-18.
Jacob Rees-Mogg took time off from being an 18th Century role model to be guest pundit in the Sky Sports studio ... “the final score of 20-18 reminds me of the Brexit vote ... it’s a clear win for Rainford ... the players have spoken ... let’s get out of the Wigan League and make Rainford great again”.
Steady there Jacob, it’s just a game of wiff-waff don’t you know.