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Stowmarket Leopards 4 - 6 Thurston Victors -
22/11/2017 - Ian Bridgeman -
For Stowmarket Leopards the second round of Div 2 matches got under way with a visit from Thurston Victors. Leopards were holding a slender 1 point lead at the top of the division from Jaguars, although Jaguars had a match in hand. With Jaguars hosting Bury Normans on the next table an interesting night was in store at Stowupland.
The first match on was the two Ian's, Bridgeman for Leopards and Freeman for Victors; not surprisingly this went to 5 and with both players missing the equivalent of wide open goals, the match was won by the player making the least mistakes - 1 up to Victors.
Victors continued their winning ways with Mick Beale beating Carol Clarke 3-1 and Robert Duncombe beating Mel Redit 3-0. 3-0 to Victors.
Leopards then began their fightback, first Carol 0-2 down to Ian F pulled it back to win 3-2, Ian B continued Leopards winning streak with a win over Robert. Then came Mel against Mick, in no time Mel was 2 games to nil up leaving Mick looking completely perplexed at what Mel was doing to force all his returns to end up in the net. Somewhere between games 2 and 3 Mick had his 'light bulb' moment... or Mel stopped doing whatever he was doing, as Mick took the next 3 games comfortably. Leopards 2 Victors 4.
The next match between Carol and Robert was probably the most exciting of the evening a full-on, wide open attackers delight. At one stage Carol hit a 'winner' wide to Roberts forehand, somehow at full stretch Robert sent back an unorthodox forehand with enough backspin to drill a hole in the table, then he watched with gritted teeth from his position on the floor as Carol's return smash went into the net before climbing over and trickling down the other side. Carol finally winning 3-1 with a maximum of 3 points difference in any game.
Ian F took the next match against Mel and Ian B the final singles match against Mick. Leopards 4 Victors 5.
So with the doubles remaining Leopards needed a win to draw on the night. Victors Ian F and Robert took the first game, Carol and Ian B the second for Leopards, then Victors then Leopards. In the fifth Victors were ahead 5-0 at the change round, Leopards fought back to 6-6 but were unable to move on from there and eventually lost 11-8.
Final score Leopards 4 Victors 6.
And on the other table? Jaguars 5 Normans 5, which, if I have done my sums right means Leopards and Jaguars now have the same number of points but Jaguars still have that match in hand...