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A Team Report: Surrey A 21-23 London A

Inter CountySurrey A 21 - 23 London
Basingstoke, Sunday 20th May 2012

It's always a terrific result when you get an away win against your closest rivals, and all the more so when it sees you leapfrog them to the top of the table.

Having been 21-14 up early in the final set, we could be excused at being disappointed to have only just crept over the line at the end.

But it's worth remembering that Surrey threw a few frames our way when we took control in the middle section of the match. So just as we might feel we should have made more of that lead, Surrey will probably feel that they never should have let us take that lead.

And both sides would be right.

It was a scrappy match overall to be frank, but lit up by some very fine frames and finishes. Michael Hope won the first frame with a break and dish against Jack, and Darren lost his first frame after his tip fell off.

From 3-1 down we went on to lose the first set by the odd frame, the highlights being a fine dish from Jamie and a masterful display of World Rules style fudging from Andy. The latter reminded me very much of a few frames I saw John Wylie play. Anyone new to the rules should pay close attention if they get the chance to watch the likes of these guys at work in that kind of frame. I know I learned a hell of a lot from watching John back in the day.

Jerry finished the first set off with a great finish and went on to win his next 2 as well, all in fine style. Thanks to squad shortages he'd had a bit of a reprieve, following a bit of a mare in the previous 2 matches, so it was very nice to see him respond to that pressure so well.

Darren won the first of the second set to pull us level and at 9-9 we took a break for food. I guess we needed feeding because it was after that that we started that good middle section run, losing just 3 of the second set. One of those was to a dish from Andy Esgrove off my dry break - seemed to me that there were a lot of those but not many break and dishes ([i]any[/i] apart from that first frame? Can't remember any...). Dunno what that means but there it is.

It carried on into the third set which we won 7-4 with I think 3 first-visit dishes for us and one against Chris. I had a roll-off on a long shot with the object ball a few inches from the pocket, which straightened the shot up so that the white followed it in. No excuses, mind, should have played it differently! At least it wasn't just plain rubbish like my first frame.

So like I said, we got to 21-14... then lost 7 of next 8. I'm afraid to say that while Surrey played alright, our focus did go somewhat in that spell. We need to remember how to close matches out - by continuing to play the right shots! There were a few that seemed a bit too eager to get us over the line and/or a bit too complacent about the match situation. Things can turn very quickly in pool matches, even 44 frame matches.

Or maybe my teammates just wanted to give the chance to make up for my less-than-inspiring 0/3 so far. Max Brooker broke dry in the second-to-last frame and I was able to dish them up to get us to 23, despite accidentally potting two of my balls into the same pocket on one shot (what was it with the the following-in for me that day?!).

As always with Surrey the match was played in great spirit and with some very fine banter particularly from Jamie (of course) and Surrey's Paul Brooks with the 5D glasses. Congratulations to Paul for playing his 500th frame of A team pool in the match - a frame which I believe he won when someone on the other side lost the cue ball to a roll and saw it follow the object ball into the pocket...

Special thanks to Joe for managing to change his shifts at work at late notice when it became apparent we were short, and turn up after a 20 hour shift to win all 4 frames.

Onwards and upwards. Kent next, at home on 17th June.

Individual scores

Jack 1/4
Joe 4/4
Darren 2/4
Sean 1/4
Alex 3/4
Jamie 2/4
Chris 1/4
Adam 2/4
Rupe 1/4
Andy 3/4
Jerry 3/4


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