Princes St 5 Waterloo A 5
Mini Match Report
Waterloo rocked up to the Hall of Happiness with a side much changed from the corresponding fixture at the start of the season.
The only survivor for them was Mark Brooks but such was the strength and improvement of their team that Mark was playing at 4 whereas in the first encounter he was at 2. Chris Greaves was now at 1 , Phil O'Mullane at 2 and Dave Regan at 3 .
Opposing them were Nick Foss , Andrew Armstrong , Derek Aitken and playing up as sub Irene Mullan.
The crowd was massive , surely this was some sort of mistake , the A team play on a Friday. But no they kept coming in , this was incredible. The E team had a spring in their step - well after they turned heating up to 29 degrees - they had never played in front of such a huge crowd , but alas the masses were there for a meeting of the synagogue not the ping pong and so they adjourned to a side room.
Waterloo called the first game - the 2 4's Irene v Mark. Mark took the first but Irene fought back to level. The 3rd was delicately poised at 8-7 to Irene when disaster struck. 3 ladies from the meeting decided to make some tea and waltzed straight into the table tennis room and walked into the kitchen. "What are you doing " , said the Umpire "we are in the middle of a match" . Irene's concentration was broken and Mark took the next 4 points and the following game to give Waterloo a lead.
Andy maintained parity with a straightforward win v Dave.
The 2 1's then locked horns and after taking the first game captain Nick found Chris' topspin too hot to handle and lost in 4.
2-1 to Waterloo soon turned to 3-1 with a superb display of controlled hitting by Phil beating Derek in 3 straight.
Waterloo then called on the 2nd doubles with Nick and Irene playing Dave and Mark. In a great 5 game encounter Irene showed that she has been doing a lot of weight training during the break as she carried the Princes captain in an unexpected win.
Waterloo won the 2nd doubles to leave the score at 4-2 to the visitors.
At this point there was a polite knock on the door and head honcho of the synagogue and Crosby player Selwyn Goldthorpe came in with a peace offering of homemade parkin and fruit cake - delicous!
The Princes then staged a tremendous comeback to win the next 3 games to leave them 5-4 up with the final game to be played.
The best game of the night was undoutably Irene v Dave Regan. The Waterloo no.3 raced into a 2 game lead. But Irene isn't the Princes St champion for nowt and back she came to win in 5 , amazingly winning the 5th 11-2!
In the final match Chris took on Andy and despite Andy taking the opening game Chris fought back to win in 4 and desrevedly take the POM prize.
So a draw , an entirely fair result , a super game , played in a great spirit but alas , not before a sell out crowd. Despite that the Princes might need to employ stewards when the next meetings on !