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A Team report: London 27 -17 Kent

Inter CountyLondon 27 - 17 Kent
8th August 2010
County A Team report

This was a good opportunity to bounce back from a disappointing day at Surrey last time out, and I'm very pleased to be able to say that we responded well both in terms of spirit and performance.

Rob Chalmers' recent win in the Kent Open earned him his first opening position for London. The omens were good for his first frame as he faced Jordan Church, who he'd beaten in that final. Jordan slipped up and Rob finished well. Meanwhile Jack Pople was having a tricky frame against Kent's other England Pro Ian Hubbard. Ian missed the black twice, neither was easy but you'd have expected him to get one of them especially as they were similar shots into the same corner. So, he let Jack back in and he mopped up the remaining colours before taking on a long black into the same pocket Ian had been going for; this time it was on the side rail but Jack powered it in... the black jumped up out of the pocket ("Cadbury's chocolate parrot" style) but fell straight back down.

Andy Breen was on third. His opponent broke, and Andy dished. That was a bit of a theme for Andy, his first 3 frames containing a total of 4 visits to the table. He did lose one of them, to a high class break-and-dish from Jordan, but won his last frame with as much class as his first 2 so, especially since no-one won all 4, Andy was clearly the man of the match. Back to his best (well, you can't get better than flawless).

Jamie Fay won the 4th frame to make it 4-0 but we stumbled a bit and Kent pulled it back to 4-3. At which point London went on a run of 13 consecutive wins (particularly pleasing at home, since that means the run included at least one frame for every member of the team). Among the memorable moments were a sick double on the black by Joe Prince, an 8 ball finish from Rupe, and a dish by Darren Baker off of Jordan's dry break. But perhaps most important was Tony Bailey's hard-fought 8th frame which started our run, a run which was ended when yours truly, given a very good chance by Chris Hearnden, messed up an easy positional shot, rolling forward into a difficult cueing position, and my cue slipped to give Chris 2 visits and a easy win. Bah.

So, 18-4 up at half-time. Perhaps we got a bit too excited by that, perhaps it inspired Kent's fight-back. Or perhaps they're simply a very capable side who were bound to get a few frames at some point. Anyway they beat us 8-3 in the third set. Needing 2 frames to clinch the win, Jack started the final set with a terrific break and dish against Jordan (whose day was kind of the reverse of Andy's, winning with a B&D and losing the others without getting much of a opportunity), before Rob and Andy made the match safe.

We added another 3 for the final total of 27 frames. Less than we might have hoped for at the halfway stage, but we would happily have taken it at the start.

Special mention to Tony Bailey and Michael Brown who were brought in at late notice and who were more solid collectively than is reflected by their total of 3 frames.

I reckon we're 12 points behind Surrey now, which makes them clear favourites. But if we can repeat this kind of showing in our next 2 matches then it could very well be up for grabs when we go to Brighton on the last day of the season.

Jack Pople 3/4
Rob Chalmers 3/4
Andy Breen 3/4
Jamie Fay 2/4
Chris Snyman 2/4
Darren Baker 2/4
Michael Brown 1/4
Tony Bailey 2/4
Joe Prince 3/4
Rupert Ward 3/4
Jerry Tickell 3/4


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