Princes St E 7 Crosby F 3
Mini Match Report
It was the penultimate game of the season , the Princes sat in mid table and welcomed relegated Crosby. Suprisingly the capacity crowd of 4 were crammed into the Parc des Princes for this enjoyable encounter but otherwise meaningless match.
You certainly get your money's worth with Andrew Armstrong ! Two 5 setters and 2 wins for the Princes no.2.
His first game against the visitors no.1 and former film star Alex Baldwin looked to be a match where the player who missed the least was going to win - we were reminded of the 60/70's sitcom "never mind the quality feel the width " as the spectators were in a perpetual sense of danger from stray ping pong balls. However the match settled down and in the 4th and 5th games both players produced some superb points and in particular two incredible returns away from the table by Alex in a losing point will live long in the memory. Despite that Andy took it 11-4 in the 5th.
The game against young Ciaran Lynch was even closer. At one point Ciaran complained that he was tired because he was doing he GCSE's - let me tell you Ciaran I've been watching this Brexit fiasco unfold for the last 2 years and I'm sick AND tired! The momentum of this match ebbed and flowed but Andy clung on to beat Ciaran 12-10 in the 5th.
Not to be downhearted Ciaran who surely has a future as bright as spectator Pete Ashley's socks had previously beaten the Princes supersub Irene Mullen in 4.
The match of the evening was undoubtably the game between Brian Haslam and the visitors Tony Bramham. With a combined 162 years between them these 2 octogenarians incredibly played out a 5 setter of superb quality. Brian went 2-0 up and looked to be coasting but Tony staged an amazing comeback to win the the match.
These 2 set the bar so high for over 80's table tennis that even Peter Crouch wouldn't reach it.
Tony complained that he was feeling incredibly hot and the crowd were of course concerned only to find that Irene and the watching Chris Foley ,complaining of the cold, had put the Air Con onto 29 degress. So we had gone from "never mind the quality feel the width " to "it ain't half hot mum " in 1 hour! You certainly get entertainment at the Parc.
In the remaining games reigning Princes champion Irene and the aforementioned Brian both beat Crosby's Sunil Sapre .
Captain Nick Foss beat Alex and Tony in his singles despite Tony employing an unusual tactic of shouting at his opponent mid point.
The doubles were shared between the teams with a notable moment in the final doubles when Brian Haslam ( playing with Irene against Tony and Sunil ) struggled to get to a ball and switched the bat from his right hand to his left to effect a winner - eat your heart out Timo Boll!
So it ended 7-3 to the Princes in a great game played in a wonderful atmosphere.
Ray was strangely missing from the press box but happily was replaced by the newly unelected leader of the Independant Group Heidi Allen who was match summariser for Talksport. "I was impressed " said Heidi. "There was a wonderful spirit of comradery between the teams - it's a shame we don.t see that in the House of Commons " . When asked if it was likely that Corbyn and May would come to an agreemet she replied " Don't make me laugh - there's more chance of Nick Foss getting a game off Rhys Davies".
And there you have a folks - another crazy night at the Parc des Princes.