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Berkshire C bt London C 27-17

Inter CountyBerkshire C 27 – London C 17

It was a bad day at the office as we slumped to a disappointing defeat in Reading. Make no mistake, this was a good Berkshire side and they took out some solid finishes, as befits a team that won the region last year, but we can expect to be disappointed after going 4-0 up. They then woke up and squared up the match and we kept it tight, but as soon as they took a 10-8 lead we never recovered, and when they went from 12-10 up to 18-10, the writing was firmly on the wall. There was to be no rallying back from this one and despite some valiant wins we could never put the run together we needed, and they ended a four game streak of ours by taking nine out of ten on their way to a comfortable victory. They outplayed us and we have to accept that, just as we have to acknowledge their greater experience which showed in their more clinical finishing. Of course, it was hard given that we were playing on split tables on different sides of the venue – we have a strong team spirit and a vocal atmosphere adds a few percent to our performances, which was lacking this time due to the spatial constraints (and to be honest I’ve never ran back and forth across a club floor as much as I did on Sunday – I must be getting too old for all that exercise!). But that is no excuse for letting things slip away. I saw so many games which we looked to be in total control of, about to win in fact, only to then find out we had lost them. We definitely need to tighten up and use our collective heads a bit more – take control, wait for the right moment, and go in for the kill.

It’s hard to draw positives from a disappointment like this, but Mark Hester’s performance certainly counts as one. Mark took 3 from 4 and played some great stuff. Peter McCafferty came off the bench to seal 2 from 2 – well done to solid Pete. Both these guys will be starting for the next game. Tony did another good job with 2 from 4 and solid pool, and Colin got 2 from 4 for the third consecutive match, which is good consistent form. Paul is also playing well and took 2 from 4 to add to his 3 from 4 last outing. B team loan Graham also scored 2 from 4. The usually consistent Patrick disappointed with 1 from 4, and a few other players will be disappointed with their stats: Bruno and Alex Stones are NOT two guys I would think of as candidates to come off after winless first halves, but neither played like they are capable of, while Kevin had a poor day, winless coming on as sub, and Shane, Akar, and B loan Alex Lawrence would all expect to do better than 1 from 4.

The team has had time to settle in now and a good look at the stats after four matches shows up who is keeping pace and who needs to up his game. There’s real competition for places and in the best traditions of reality TV, at half-time we will be losing a few of our squad to reserve status. Performance is the number one factor although reliability makes a difference, and the home game against Sussex on June 6 will be the last chance for players to stake a claim before the mid-season culling.

So far we have won two games, both at home 23-21 and 27-17, and lost both away games by the exact same margins. We are clearly not good travellers. Mind you, I think Kent and Berkshire are the strongest teams we will face BUT we need to reverse those results when they visit us later in the season.

Well done to the other three teams who all pulled out wins. I’m really pleased to see how Mikey’s Bs are playing now – a confident and strong squad after that shaky first match.

Can I draw players’ attentions to the following four items which are advertised elsewhere on this site: The London qualifier for the World Championship on 31st May at JFK’s (contact Jerry), the London qualifier for the World Masters on 4th June at JFK’s (contact Jerry), the GLCPA singles league division 1, starting 27th May (contact Jerry), and the Scottish Open on July 24th-25th in Aberdeen.

Come on lads, let’s put this one behind us and raise our games for Sussex!


#1 | Michael_B on May 23 2010 18:13:01
Superbly written as always but I am now scared of the cull as I have been shocking so far!!! Being able to hold a cue without it shaking due to nerves would be a good place to start.
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