The good news was that David Mawdesley was available to play after his trip to Belgium last week ... he had been negotiating Lexit ... a little known breakaway movement where Leigh becomes a principality of its own ... he was in buoyant mood so we assume negotiations had gone well. The Dragons line up was Cappo Garfin, Lexit Mawdesley and Rumsey-Korsakov.
Last weeks man of the match Lawrenson failed a late fitness test for Smash ... so Nick the Knife joined Machin and Kennedy to fight the fire of the Dragons.
Lexit Mawdesley v the Smash Scamperer ... a riveting five setter to start proceedings which included two tight deuce finishes ... ending with a 3-2 victory to Smash ... the first of many five setters ... or so we thought ... actually it was the last of the five setters ... and there weren’t even any four setters either .. the remaining nine games were all won in straight sets!
Nick beat Rumsey-Korsakov ... Cappo Garfin then beat Mighty Joe ... followed by Machin beating Rumsey-Korsakov ... in a bizarre first set Rumsey-Korsakov was 9-3 down and then won seven consecutive points to have game point at 10-9 ... before finally losing 12-10.
Lexit Mawdesley then used his punch block to good effect to beat Mighty Joe ... the doubles went to Smash, coming back from 10-6 down in the third to win 12-10. Remember these are all straight sets wins ... Nick out-served and out-spun Cappo Garfin ... then Rumsey-Korsakov had his first victory of the night over an out of sorts Mighty Joe. In the penultimate game Machin beat Cappo Garfin.
Lexit Mawdesley v Nick the Knife to round the night off ... at ten all in the first it was anybodies game ... spin v speed ... serving excellence v pinpoint winners ... and the winner was ... wait for it ... Lexit Mawdesley.
Due to the number of straight set wins it was a low scoring night ... 18-14 to Smash ... on the bright side it meant everyone had a pint in their hand before 10pm!
The guest pundit in the Sky Sports studio was Nicola Sturgeon ... “I love this sport and I love Leigh, I foresee a time when Scotland and Leigh breakaway from Europe and all the Leigh folk will join us in the Highland Games where we can toss the caber together”. Andy Burnham stepped in and said “we will not let this happen but just for the record we have bigger tossers in Leigh than in all of Scotland”.
At around 11 o’clock Mighty Joe stepped outside, ostensibly to light his pipe ... one long pull on the pipe and he was gone in a puff of billowing smoke ... it was like a magic trick ... I swear I caught a glimpse of him cavorting across the car park with Debbie McGee ... his nurse liked it, but not a lot.