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LATEST MATCH REPORTS...


A Team Report: Hants 13 - 31 London

Inter CountyHampshire A 13 - 31 London A
Academy, Basingstoke
9th September 2012

Set scores: 7 - 8 - 8 - 8


We were top of the region going into this match, having dropped only 2 points all season. But we'd not had any properly big wins, and a lot of the close wins (and the draw) involved skin-of-our-teeth stuff at the end. So it was nice, at last, to come away with a really convincing score. And all the more so against the team which had taken those points off us in the draw at Canavan's back in April.

It didn't start so well, with Jack and Joe losing the first 2 frames, the Hampshire players taking their chances well enough to be reminiscent of that previous match. In the 3rd frame many players would have been in deep trouble when his opponent almost dished up, leaving his last ball over a critical pocket... but Andy produced another one of his fudging masterclasses, making never giving his opponent more than the faintest glimmer of a chance look easy (although I think he missed his only hope, passing up a chance to blast into the cluster over the pocket and hope that nothing went down). I doubt if Paul Fudge has ever been better fudged.

Chris also won to bring us back to 2-all, and from that point we started to take control, with Hants winning only 2 more frames in the set.

Sometime early in the second set we took a break for the buffet. I'm not a big fan of breaks like this but to be fair it seemed to go very smoothly to me (maybe partly because I got there fairly early). And you can't really argue when there's nice food like that. Unlike last month at Berkshire, the break didn't seem to do us any harm. We only lost 3 frames in the
second set, 2 of them being to first-visit finishes; one off of Jerry's dry break and one, against Chris (who seems to be a bit of a magnet for these things) including some suspiciously jammy-looking flicks. Chris responded in his third frame with a dish-off-a-dry-break of his own.

The whole team responded to being ahead in the way you always want but get all too rarely. They carried on playing the same way, with the same level of attention, in most cases at least*

The win was wrapped up early and there was a real desire to get to 30 frames. And that's why we did.

Very solid stuff all round. By which I mean that not only were there some very good finishes, but there was intelligent enough stuff when the finishes weren't there, and enough composure in the team, that we were clinching most of the scrappy or fudgy frames too.

So, this and Surrey's loss to Berkshire means we're 6 points clear with 2 to play. Surrey up next...


Individual scores:

Jack 3/4
Joe 3/4
Andy 3/4
Chris 2/4
Sean 2/4
Alex 4/4
Nigel 3/4
Jon 3/4
Rupe 4/4
Adam 2/4
Jerry 2/4


* Joe did say he wanted a special mention

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