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|Recorded By: David Unwin||6 - 4|
Thurston Spitfires 6 - 4 Thurston Vulcans -
27/11/2017 - Colin Baxter -
A Christmas tree, fairy's wand, lockets and the one that got away...
That dreaded sight greeted the two Thurston teams before their latest encounter. The pesky Christmas tree had returned with vengeance before November was over and no doubt will be there until the end of January, nicely in the way of any first division matches that will be played through this time.
Life however has to go on with it and the game commenced.
Paul Evans (Spitfires) managed to win one of his three games on the night. By the time I had gone to the loo and back he had already lost his first game to Gordon Meadows 3-0. By his own omission he informed me that he never got going. He did however make amends by turning the tables in his second game by beating Andy Janes very convincingly in straight sets. However, he couldn’t replicate this against Sean Gridley, losing 3-1.
Colin Baxter (Spitfires) in his fourth week of having a cold started off very shakily in his first game against Gridley but somehow managed to level it at 1-1. As in his last match he couldn’t maintain the pace in his condition. When he did show any threat Gridley used the net and edge skilfully and with some good consistent play defeated him 3-1.
Before Baxter’s second game of the evening against Meadows he dosed himself up with some lockets which got him off to a flyer going 2-0 up. Once gain Baxter started to fade and with some good counter hitting from Meadows the score soon became 2-1. Baxter, knowing he wouldn’t last 5 games decided to throw caution to the wind in the fourth and decided to attack more in one last ditch effort to see Meadows off. Fortunately for him it worked winning 11-4.
In his third game of the evening against Janes, after having some more lockets, he decided to rely on spin and trickery more than energy and movement and went on to win 3-0.
The best shot of the evening was from Meadows in his game against Baxter. Pinned against the wall, Baxter returned a defensive shot off his finger which managed to find its way onto Meadows side of the table, but with an enormous amount of peculiar spin after one bounce was hurtling its way back to Baxter’s side. Meadows in an amazing speed of thought and skilful execution read the spin superbly well and caressed it back into a winning shot which left Baxter completely stranded. It was as if the fairy had got down from the pesky Christmas tree and given Gordon her wand and he duly obliged with the magician’s touch.
Andy Cullen (Spitfires) was in fine form again, although in his first game Janes played fantastically well with some great shots to take him to 2-2. Cullen however moved up a gear to win the decider 11-3. He also went on to beat Meadows 3-1 after going 1-0 down.
In Cullen’s other game it was all about the one that got away. He was looking very dominant going 2-0 up against Gridley with some sharp attacking play. However, Gridley the grinder was slowly easing his way back into the game and pulled it back to 2-1.
Cullen then dominated the fourth until he got to match point and with a few deuces that could have gone anyway it was Gridley who won it 15-13 to take it into a decider. Another nail biting game finishing 12-10 led to a Gridley victory and him taking top honours on the evening.
Cullen teamed up with Baxter in the doubles and won 3-0 in style against Gridley and Janes and therefore the match 6-4. Once again these two teams from Thurston had produced another competitive tight match of table tennis, as so often they do, and always played in a good friendly spirit. Now, where did I put my lockets?