Stowmarket Pumas 5 - 5 British Sugar
08/02/2017 - David Gough
In this fixture in September, our two younger players, Jack Samson and Luke Davies-Stokes had
exceeded themselves and scored memorable wins over Dominic Melero and Bob Harman respectively.
Nonetheless, to be honest, I was fearing another 10-0 drubbing, a fairly common score for British Sugar this season - not unlike Pumas last season (with different players).
As it turned out, with Bob Harman and Mark James being ruled out through injury, and being so far ahead at the top of the table, they could afford to lose 3 points, so it was left to Will Hall and Dominic Melero.
Luke and Will were first up and Luke got off to a flying start, attacking everything. Will’s solid defence and counter-hitting made for some terrific points but Luke took the first game to 8. The 2nd game was pretty much a repeat with the same score. Finally, Will started to show his ability and took the next 2 games to 6 and 4. The momentum now seemed to be with the older player but, to his credit, Luke found another gear and edged the decider 11-9 in what was to be the best match of the evening.
Jack hadn’t played for several weeks and despite some great shots, his timing was obviously off and couldn’t get anywhere near repeating September’s victory over Dominic, who took a comfortable win.
David Gough had never played Will Hall and it was a better match than expected. Will took the first game to 6, but David played probably the best of his season to take the second 11-9. The third was still quite close with Will taking back control, and the 4th was anyone’s guess at 10-10, but Will took the next 2 points.
Having gained confidence from his earlier win, Luke was arguably even more attacking against Dominic whose own attacking style was therefore inhibited and Luke managed to win in 3.
After a nervous first game against Will Hall, Jack Samson’s timing started to improve and, although he didn’t actually win a game, the next two went to 10-10 before Will edged both.
David has always struggled against Dominic's strong looping game and this match was no different with the latter never troubled.
Jack and Luke played the doubles and, while the first game ran away from them the next two were very close, 12-10 and 16-14. Once again, though, both went to the league leaders to gain a 5-5 draw.