A night when nerves were on edge and averages were on the line. Unusually for some of these players it seem they were a little nervous, you’d have though they were both going for the title.
However poor Chris turned up in circunmstances when most people would have said sorry. His commitment cannot be faulted but for his health it might have been better to let the team play with two.
So the night opened with a routine win for for Andy over Gareth - who was to havge a tough night.
I then played Chris and in a game that ebbed and flowed Chris won in five but certainly a better performance from me than in recent meetings.
Pete then took on his nemisis from earlier in the seaosn with a steely determination (Pete has never beaten Tony and has routinely won the first two legs and lost the next three) which was fine for the first two legs but his demons then set in and he lost the third and was trailing in the fourth but with a little luck and some good play he somehow managed to wih the fourth.
Andy then took on Tony in what was thought to be a key game and their styles really did not suit each other meaning a five legger was almost inevitable. Love 1, 1-1, 1-2, 2-2 (in deuce) and then Tony stole a march to win the fifth to 5. Nat West in the driving seat you’d have thought but amazingly that was as good as it got.
Pete took on Chris and with some impressive defending on both sides Pete’s ability to launch backhand attacks against Chris’s pimples won out in the end to make it 4-2 with Chris really looking like he should be anywhere but at the other end of a TT table.
This brought up another key game with myself taking on Tony, someone I’m not sure I have ever beaten but that was about to change on a classic deuce in the fifth. 1-0, 1-1, 2-1, 2-2 and then Tony was 5-1 up in the fifth and then 9-5 but somehow I managed to claw my way back into it only to blow match point at 10-9, usually a fatal one to lose in a recovery game. However lady luck was with me and I somehow managed to squeeze it 12-10 and thus at least a draw for Castaways.
Pete then executed the three straight cou de gras on Gareth in three to take the maximum 3 for Castaways to take it to 6-2 and the win.
Andy then had to take on a flagging Chris who just would not concede defeat to the point that he managed to take the third leg top take it to four but that was a sgood as it got and with Chris out on his feet Andy took it to finish the singles and put Castaways 7-2 up.
Chris was then in no shape at all to play on so Gareth and Tony took on Pete and Andy in a rather one sided doubles to take the match score to 8-2.
Another hurdle successfully jumped for Castaways in their quest to finish the seaosn on top of the pile but a long way and no doubt some twists to come yet.The pub was then hugely enjoyed by the two teams (minus Chris who at last did the sensible thing) joined by
Mr Crawford who had only managed one against an under strength HMT A.