It was a feeling of trepidation as Trawlers saw Torbay 3's big guns enter the hall: Alessandro Mitranescu, Kacper Piwowar and Ivan Vaplaks, champions elect perhaps in the battle for Division 2, but then excitement at the prospect of playing these lads again.
Make no mistake, these boys are good and perhaps deserved of Div 1 table tennis next season, but when you play the leading average players, it focuses the mind and brings out the best in your own game.
It was at 3-0 down however, that we began to worry that they had become too strong for us ageing players, when, out of nowhere, Trawlers' top seed, Ian Saxby pulled out his "win of season" (his words, not mine) in forging a five-set victory over Mitranescu.
Then Alan Maynard used his experience and combination bat to overcome Vaplaks in four (just as the youngster was starting to get to grips with it) to bring the score line to 2-3.
Unfortunately, Simon Hopkins found the opposition too sharp and went down in straight sets, leaving Saxby and Maynard to put up some fine resistance in further five-setters, both Trawlers players coming from 2-0 down to level, but both last sets going to the opposition.
Trawlers fielded their one doubles combination not tested this season: Saxby and Hopkins, but Mitranescu and Piwowar were just too strong.
A really good battle tonight. The author of this report is feeling it the day after! No complaints about that though when you get to compete against top quality, gracious and polite opposition.
Well done TTTA3, deserved 8-2 winners.