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London vs Surrey A team report, 7th Feb 2010

Inter CountyLondon A 21 - 23 Surrey A

Disappointing not to get at least a draw out of this game, having thrown a few frames away (but don't dwell on them... one always remembers those frames better than the ones which were thrown the other way).

Having said that, for a new team, playing against a Surrey side which is still very strong despite the loss of the likes of Norris, Strivens, and Richard Lambert, this was a very encouraging result and performance.

London got off to a cracking start, taking 5 of the first 6 frames, but Surrey rallied well to win the next 5. It was
nip and tuck from then on, with Surrey finally stretching to a 22-18 lead leaving us needing the last 4 frames for a draw. The next 3 to play hadn't had the best of days, but Kyle Merrigan and Rupert Ward both managed to finish well to win their second of the match before Michael Brown pulled off a great finish under a lot of pressure (it being his first win of the match as well as a potentially match-saving one). That left Jerry Tickell under the spotlight again, and he was on for a break-and-dish when he lost position... ending up too close to one of his 3 remaining balls. Half an inch either way and it would have been simple, but while he managed to pot it had become too hard to retain position, and Jason Retter took his chance to nick the win for Surrey.

We started with 5 players from last year (all of whom finished in the region's top 20):

Jack Pople 3/4 (Man of the Match)
Sean Halligan 2/4
Joe Prince 1/4 (one of his losses being a B&D)
Rupert Ward 2/4
Jerry Tickell 2/4

4 coming up from the B team:

Rob Chalmers 3/4
Paul McHale 2/4
Kyle Merrigan 2/4
Michael Brown 1/4

and 2 former National Champions returning to the side:

Andrew Breen 2/4
Nigel Smith 1/4

London A squad members Jamie Fay, Chris Snyman, and Darren Baker had to play in the Bs this time, but their chance will come. It was hard to choose who to play in this match, and I can see that being a theme of the year, particularly as I'm hopeful that we'll have fewer absences than over the last couple of years. But with a bit of patience and understanding, and enthusiasm for playing for the county whichever team we have to play in, I'm sure that we'll be building a very solid team from this squad. It's also worth mentioning that the atmosphere around the A and B tables was one of the best I can remember at JFK's, so good work on that front to everyone.

The team is definitely up for it, and more than capable of winning the region despite this early (but minor) set-back.


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