All I had to do was fill in the score sheet.  Terry had to leave the match early and asked me to write down the scores when the games finished and add up the points.  Boy did I make a mess of it!

We all knew that visitors, Fulwood, had won 5 of the 8 singles games in Division D of the Hallamshire League (on 11th July), and that the margin of their wins gave them a narrow but higher aggregate total.  Yet, when we added up the scores, Meersbrook Park kept coming out ahead. 

About 6 times, Alan, the Fulwood captain, and I retotalled the scores.  The numbers did not make sense.  Somehow, Meersbrook Park had chalked more points and thus won the aggregate.  And then Alan spotted it.  I had mistakenly put the last game to finish, Jim’s game, down as a 21-15 win, when in fact, Jim had lost.  Reversing this error and the result was confirmed, a 7-3 win for Fulwood – a defeat that more or less seals our fate for relegation this season – although we won’t give up yet.

And the MP’s did not give up in this match!  It went to the wire.  Jim had played a magnificent game against one of their best players.  The scores were level at 15 and if Jim had been able to run in another 6 points and collect his first Hallamshire win, the match score would have been 6-4 to Meersbrook Park.  Jim’s luck did not match his effort though, epitomised at the final end when, bowling almost the full angle of a sodden green, and laying 2 down, Jim smashed into the jack, full on.  The bowls split painfully and Jim’s opponent was almost apologetic for the fortune with which they reassembled and the match decided.

There were other close calls prior to this.  David M is another player waiting for his first Hallamshire win this season.  He started slowly but turned around a 15 – 7 deficit to lead 19-17, before losing at 20 across.  It is the second time this season Butch has reached 20 and the fifth game in which he has made 17 or more.

Of the others starting when rain was not falling, Jon and Tucker secured relatively comfortable wins and while Mick hung in until the end, he couldn’t quite make it over the line.  Still, we reached the turnover with the score at 2-2 and ahead on aggregate.

By then the rain had restarted and the ends slipped away.  Agnes bowled quite brilliantly at times but kept coming up just out of scoring range with bowls that would have won in another match.  Paul, a late replacement, also had some unfortunate ricochets and came close.  Rodney did win.  Again.  What a stalwart for the team he has been this season – and so it all came down to Jim’s game.  I tried my best with the scoring, but we just came up short and with Nether Edge winning by the same 7-3 margin, we are left needing a couple of huge wins in our next fixtures to survive.  A very tricky trip to Hallam Grange next week is where we must start.

Fulwood Taken To The Wire