The climax of the summer league was upon us ... table topping Dragons were playing second placed Titans ... Pugwash and his piratical crew were up against Stretch Armstrong Nev and his motley bunch ... the winners would be crowned champions ... the loser would become a mere footnote in the history of LSG Summer League ... it was winner take all.
So when Kenneth Wolstenholme did that clever strategy stuff to beat Chris Naylor in the opener the Titans immediately became favourites ... briefly ... because Dave ‘wobble-pimple’ Goulden restored order beating Machin in three.
The two captains ... Pugwash and Nev ... each won a rubber for their team to make it two each ... and so to the first doubles of the evening ... unbeaten Nev and Kenneth were clear favourites, especially when they strolled through the second set 11-5 ... but the sprightly Naylor and the assertive Bolton had other ideas ... they took the final set and with it took the sting out of the Titans ... and when Pugwash beat Scamperer it was 4-2 to Dragons and the title was heading their way.
Hang on a minute ... Gary has only gone and beaten Wobble-Pimple ... then Kenneth has done the same against Usain Bolton ... followed by a win for Cappo Nev ... three on the bounce for Titans ... barely believable ... Titans led 5-4.
It was doubles time again ... Wobble-Pimple and Pugwash v Chadster and Scamperer ... just prior to the start Gary and Martin were deep in conversation ... were they discussing strategy? A new game plan perhaps? As it turned out they were talking about the recent vacancy in the Chuckle Brothers duo ... if you’ve watched these two perform in the doubles across the summer season you’ll know both have the qualifications to fill the vacancy.
The doubles swung both ways and went to a final set ... and at 10-all it was anybodies game ... for a fleeting moment it looked like the scoreboard would show a 6-4 lead for Titans ... but the Pugwash/Wobble-Pimple combo dug deep ... and they nicked it 12-10 ... the electronic scoreboard displayed a finely balanced 5-5 draw ... with just four games to play ... it was squeaky bum time.
Pugwash stayed on the table to take on Kenneth Wolstenholme ... he seemed to have lost his way ... both his thrust and his parry had deserted him... Kenneth completely jolly rogered him, winning the first 11-2 ... once again the Titans fans were optimistic. The grumpy Pugwash channeled his anger to start a comeback ... with a rekindled fire in his belly he buccaneered Kenneth in fine style ... suddenly it was 1-1.
The swashbuckling continued into the final set ... at 7-3 to the marauding Pugwash it looked all over but Kenneth wasn’t ready to walk the plank ... he fought back to 10-9 ... it was nervy ... Pugwash’s Poop Deck was plain to see ... his timbers looked shivered ... but in a tense final point Pugwash took it and the tables once again turned in favour of the Dragons.
Dragons needed one more win and they got it when Naylor took the next game ... the last three matches all went with the seedings (whoever seeded these players did a fine job) ... final score 8-6 to Dragons. But for a couple of tight finishes in final sets it could have been the other way around ... but it wasn’t ... the Dragons had won the key points ... in the key games ... with a steely determination.
After the final game a delighted Pugwash puffed on his crack pipe and was rightly satisfied with the part he played in the pivotal games ... in the post match interview Dave Goulden was asked to describe his emotions ... “I’m a spread better, I’ve played for three different teams in summer league so my chances of a medal were always much better than anyone else’s”.
One final thought ... there is no place for sentiment in summer league ... Titan Cappo Nev’s daughter had journeyed all the way from France to watch her Dad lift the summer league trophy ... but it wasn’t to be ... her cries of “come on Dad” hadn’t been enough to sway the game in Titans favour. The right team had won ... but quite how they will sleep after upsetting this poor girls dreams I don’t rightly know.