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London C 23 Berkshire C 21

Inter CountyThe Cs picked up our second straight win, but we rather fell over the line in a remarkable match against a relentless Berkshire team. Make no mistake, this was a decent side who expect to once again contend for the region in this division, but we made them look truly average as we pounded our way to an 8-3 first quarter lead, then extended that to 16-6 at half-time, but any thoughts of a quick win were dashed as they smashed us up 8-3 in the third quarter and won the final one 7-4, by which time we had just about done enough. The lesson here is simple - don't underestimate anyone! The early score clearly flattered us because Berkshire are a stronger side than many we will face, and to be fair no team could have withstood the avalanche we subjected them to, but the second half results were clearly more indicative of their actual abilities. By that time, the luck, which had no doubt favoured us earlier on, had deserted us and we were making a mess of finishing off frames, too many snookers on the last ball and too many foul snookers given away at crucial times. We threw away so many chances to clinch the 23 we needed, I wondered if it wasn't destined to end up as a draw, despite our early efforts, but thankfully Chappers was gifted with a sitter to finally get us over that line.

This was a bizarre match in many ways. Four frames were won by virtue of a cueball potted at the same time as the black - two went our way, but then two went their way!

After Andre lost the opener, we went on a magnificent seven frame run which was as good as anything I've seen from this team, thanks to Tony G, Mark, Baz, Michael, Will, Ben, and Tony Bailey (break-dishing with some style). Though they ended that little run we had another great run in the second quarter thanks to Andre, Tony, Mark, Baz and Michael (also break-dishing, well done to him). That strengthened our lead and 16-6 looked unassailable. It wasn't!

They came out in the third quarter like a different team. They took seven straight frames of their own, and 16-6 was suddenly 16-13. We managed to stay just in front, thankful for that early run, as they continued to pile on the pressure in the fourth quarter. We maintained that three frame lead at 20-17 and then crucial wins from Michael and Will gave us a cushion, and took us to within one of victory. Ben, who'd taken full advantage of some errors from opponents to win all his previous frames, was never in his fourth so we turned to Tony Bailey, but he also gave away a foul at the wrong time, and they were suddenly only three behind again. Fitz had his chance, but as he cut the black into the middle the white travelled down and up and into the corner bag, so we saw victory denied us again. When Chappers's opponent had two visits on his last colour and the black over the bag, it seemed destined to come down to Paul Dawson - but thankfully he rattled his first shot, then decided to play off the cushion to pot the colour which he missed, gifting Chappers the easy black. Phew! It ended 23-21 and we will take the win and, hopefully, some memories of how well this team can play, certainly from those early exchanges.

We clearly have a good shot at the region this year but we will need to iron out those silly mistakes, and make sure of those frames we are in control of. The talent is there but it needs tightening up a bit.

Hard to call a man of the match. Early on it seemed we might have loads of contenders, and Tony B's superb BD made him an early favourite, but in the end nobody had 4/4. Three players were on 3/4: Michael Bonney, including a BD of his own, Ben Williamson, and Tony Gear. I think Tony gets the MOTM nod narrowly for some steady play.

Baz Folkard, Mark Christensen, Will Gayler, Richard Chapman and Paul Dawson all ended 2/4. Paul Fitzgibbon had a poor day on 1/4, as did Andre Cox, although one of Andre's losses was from a superb BD by their super-sub! Myself and Paul Williams were on the subs' bench and I would have made changes had we kept that comfortable lead going, but under the circumstances it made more sense to keep players who were already warmed up on as things tightened up.

A win, though, is a win, and we'll be hoping to go for a third one next month. See you all there!


#1 | williamgayler on March 12 2012 11:51:43
YES the C team good team effort yesterday second win of the season although squeaky bum time at the end

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