Week six pits Team Tash (just for you Pingu) against a Sheps side who have also fallen below their own high expectation so far (though not to quite the same degree as TT) following the addition of Tony ‘The Bullet’ Bowler. Will Team Tash awaken from their season long slumber, or will it be Sheps who emerge with the home win…
Sheps 1 Team Tash 0
Rack one pits the leading Prem One stats cueists from the last two season in a genuine battle of heavyweight potters. The rack turns tactical from the start and when Dave Headdock fudges Dave Walker plays the intentional foul. Headdock replies with one of his own but Pubby – with his ball awkward – fails to make the two shots pay. Headdock is in and nails a tough black to clinch the opener.
Sheps 2 Team Tash 0
A different type of heavyweight clash sees Bob Grant come up against Tony White in the next. It’s tactical again but Captain Fudge struggles to bring his safety game to bare and it’s White whose in control. And when White is given two shots the end is inevitable.
Sheps 3 Team Tash 0
Steve Pardner makes his Winter League debut and is tasked with getting TT in the match. Once again the balls go awkward which plays into Ant Bunting’s hands. The Pest aims to shatter Penguin’s confidence with some psychological warfare (clumsiness) – but fails to disrupt Bunting. An intentional foul gives Penguin two and despite moving the black safe Bunting nails a double on rack ball to increase TT’s woes.
Sheps 3 TT 1
Rileys turn to Andy Jones to get them into the match and The Professor obliges with a top drawer clearance. Tony Bowler is in trouble from the off after Jones pots off the break. The key bag is covered and despite fudging alternatives The Prof goes for an early clearance. His last red is a beauty down the rail from distance. And the black’s not bad either.
Sheps 3 TT 2
The revival looks short-lived after a great break from James Ellison. But a pot using the black into the middle leaves Fast Eddie in a tough position and he wastes his two shots after an early foul from Paul Coppock. In reply the Rileys player embarks on a clearance but misses his final colour. A thin snick looks on in what would be virtual match ball but Ellison misses. Coppsy is left with two gimmes and the gap is down to one.
Sheps 4 Team Tash 2
The awesome Jason King break basks in its own glory in rack six. The Terminator manages to get a huge amount of pace on the white – after it has come off the pack. And unsurprisingly nothing drops. Dave Crossland can’t believe his luck (though the Rileys team expected nothing less). The clearance is on and despite leaving an awkward final yellow Crossy manages to play it at perfect pace to leave the black on. It’s tough… but Crossy nails it for a fine counter-dish. Where’s the vid?
Sheps 4 Team Tash 3
Crossy has the break in the next after missing nothing in the last. But he can’t repeat the trick and when the error arrives Dom Mills is invited to the counter-dish party. The Gypsy makes full use of the over-sized pockets to make his way round the table and a mid-range pot on the black seals the win. Where’s the vid?
Sheps 4 Team Tash 4
Enough of this counter-dish bull… try not even giving your opponent a shot. Dave Walker is up to the challenge and dishes up for a second time this season. He’s forced to change shot selection once or twice, but it’s never really in doubt and we’re back to all square. Where’s the vid?
Sheps 5 Team Tash 4
Rileys are spared the agony of seeing Jason King’s break. And he doesn’t get a shot in the next as Ant Bunting demonstrates his ability to clean up. The final colour looks a little thin. But Penguin plays it well, using one of Kingy’s balls to hold for the black. It drops to complete a sequence of two counters followed by two dishes. Where’s the vid?
Sheps 5 Team Tash 5
Following some classy finishes in the previous four racks the next is error-strewn in comparison. But Paul Coppock does what’s necessary to get over the line after being gifted two shots. He doesn’t need them but low and behold we’ve got the action on tape (you’d think we’d have captured one of the previous four):
Sheps 6 Team Tash 5
The crucial 11th is marred by threats from the referee who lives up to the first syllable of his surname, leaving players on boths sides fairly bemused. Dave Walker’s comment that the Sheps official should take the white out following a Bob Grant intentional foul sparks the outburst and why wouldn’t it – cos that’s serious slander in anyone’s book. In mitigation Pubby also made a mess of the time-keeping due to I-Phone password issues so maybe that explains it. Back on the table Captain Fudge is in complete control before not one but two outrageous pieces of fortune favour Dave Headdock and the rack goes to Sheps.
Sheps 7 Team Tash 5
Rileys are still reeling from the last and a dry break gives James Ellison the impetus against Andy Jones. Fast Eddie seals the deal with a confident double which leaves the remainder simple enough and the away side are left bemused as to how they didn’t claim a draw.