So, It’s the second half of the season and this was a rearranged match from later in the half to make sure it was played. It has a familiar ring about it, Castaways at the top of the League come up against Treasury who are in the chasing two and we find a new player turning out for them who is rather special to say the least.
The mystery name in the website rankings is revealed as the Treasury’s latest signing, Yiji is here on a Sports Science Masters course at Loughborough London campus from China where she is champion of one or perhaps two provinces according to what we were told.
The match opened with Pat playing Winston who was in good form and duly won three-straight.
Pete was then the first person to face Yiji and Yiji’s class showed as Pete, a player with excellent pedigree in this league and last season’s merit award winner was dispatched three-straight, 4, 6, and 5. Not looking good for Castaways.
Tony Egan then appeared for his third game of the season having only played Castaways and Comets A so far, Neil took him on, having lost three-straight in the first half and although Neil went one leg better losing in four but that still made it 0-3.
Pete then restored his reputation with a four-leg win over Winston to get Castaways on the Board, 1-3.
Pat came back to the table to face Tony and despite some valiant efforts lost in three.
Neil then faced Yiji and as is so often the way his serving and half pace game unsettled a better player and he managed deuce and 9 legs but was unable to convert to a winning leg and lost three-straight. 1-5.
Pete then showed some real class by beating the previously unbeaten Tony three-straight, 2-5, a fight back on?
Unfortunately, not, as Neil’s first half win over Winston was avenged 5, 5, and 11, 2-6.
Pat was then next lucky person to face Yiji and suffered the three-straight loss his teammates had, 2-7.
Could the doubles bring about a change in fortunes?
For a while it looked as though it might as the legs went 7, -9, -9, and 4. Unfortunately Yiji then stepped up a gear and Castaways lost the last leg to 1.
So, an 8-2 loss for Castaways all but wiped out their half way lead of 11 was reduced to 4 as Morpeth won 9-1 on an adjacent table.
Early days in the second half but it certainly makes the title race a tadge more interesting though with Castaways having a second match this week they should re-stablish a healthy lead though the other teams will have a game in hand of course.
Nine matches to go, where will it end …. Stay tuned to find out!
Also Yiji was superb to watch, her technique and skill were present in abundance with lots of players from other tables admiring the games and asking who Yiji was. Apparently we had something in common, both our parents also play or played but that was far as the resemblance went :>)