Match Report

Wigan Riverside won the Div 2 title a couple of seasons ago and took their rightful place amongst the Div 1 elite ... and at the same time changed their name to Wigan Roby Mill. 

Upon their return to Div 2 they changed their name again, now they are The Cotton Kings ... confused?  Given that half the players in Div 2 don’t even know whether it’s their serve or not, then of course you’re confused!

But fear not the Cotton Kings, alias Wigan Roby Mill, alias Wigan Riverside are still the usual suspects.

Mick Mahon, the Wolverhampton wanderer ... born in Wolverhampton and moved up North ... hence the Wolverhampton wanderer ... he sounds like a Brummie but is actually from Wolves ... that’s a lot of words to explain a nickname!  Geoff Tweedie (Geoff the Ref) was their second player.  Both were captained by the chattering and singing Lord Pemberton (yes, he was singing Christmas tunes throughout the evening ... quite a crooner actually). There was no sign of fourth squad member, Paul Penny, but it is only Wednesday so there’s still time for him to arrive.

The Hibbster v Cappo Pemberton ... five sets of cat and mouse with a rolling commentary from The Cotton Kings Captain ... 3-2 to Smash.  Then Scamperer took on the Wolverhampton wanderer and this was unexpectedly done and dusted in three, Smash had an early 5-2 lead.

The Rainford Labour Club Stadium Arena of Light were ecstatic when Mighty Joe beat Geoff the Ref in five ( including a close 11-9 fifth set) ... Smash were really on a roll when Scamperer won the next, quickly followed by Hibbster taking another scalp ... played five, won five!

Geoff the Ref seemed to umpire more than his fair share of games ... and also seemed to call more let serves than anyone that had recently been to Specsavers (hence the nickname).

Smash won the doubles (Mighty Joe was on fire) and it wasn’t until the penultimate game that Cotton Kings had their first win ... it was Cappo Pemberton the singing Wiff-Waffer that took a match for Cotton Kings.  And then the last and best game of the evening.

The Hibbster v the Wolverhampton wanderer ... both won a couple of sets each with relative ease ... then Wanderer took control in the fifth ... 10-7 ... three match points to the Wanderer ... but the Hibbster wasn’t done ... 10-all ... match points changed hands like pies on Wigan Market ... 14-all ... the Hibbster eventually took it 16-14 ... credit to both players ... Smash 27, Cotton Kings 13.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable game at The Rainford Labour Club Stadium Arena of Light, with a surprise result. After the match Sky Sports interviewed Kerry the bar-maid (person?) ... “Smash played well and move to third in the table ... so we should all ready ourselves for their traditional mid-season slump” ... thanks for that Kerry.
Written by: Martin Machin
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