………. at yesterday’s 2nd Leg of the annual Winter Friendly against Caerleon when Monkstone had a disastrous morning, Caerleon were sure that they had done enough to retain the trophy but Monkstone mounted a spirited comeback.
That was how I was going to start my report of yesterday’s dramatic encounter but I can do no better than reproduce, with the kind permission of Kon Tomczyk, the account published on Caerleon’s Facebook page.
“Sunday saw the conclusion of the 5th annual friendly winter cup competition between Monkstone P.C and Caerleon P.C.
The cup is played in the same format as the European cup for clubs, singles, double and triples, the only difference being the amount of games played and in an attempt to maximize each clubs member participation it was 18 aside therefore 6 singles, 6 doubles (played at the same time) and finishing with 6 triples with home and away fixtures.
As always this is a very closely contested event and although played in a friendly atmosphere there is enough competitiveness to rival any competition, this year being no exception.
The 1st leg held at Monkstone on the 26th of November saw both clubs winning 9 game each, Monkstone just took the leg with 31 points against Caerleon’s 29, coming away with a 2 point lead going to the away leg at Caerleon.
Caerleon, although losing the leg, were it must be said quietly confident for the return match, having the home advantage and only 2 points behind.
The match was played on Sunday 7th January a fitting start to the new year.
Caerleon’s home advantage seemed to be working when they took 4 out of 6 singles and 5 of the 6 doubles before lunch giving them a lead in the 2nd leg 23pts to 7pts ( 16pts ) and a total lead including the 1st leg of 52pts to 38pts so a 14 pts lead overall with 30pts to play for in the triples.
Caerleon now looking red hot favourites to win the event only having to take 2 of the 6 triples on offer.
After a rousing team talk by their captain and, now including a late comer who had flow home from Australia and came straight to the venue, luggage included, they set about the task of making a come back.
Well, whether it was something their captain said or just the sheer competitiveness of the Monkstone players, they started to claw back the points they needed with the Aussie (Sean) leading his team to a the first win (13 -7) 4 more needed. Caerleon responded with the second result (13 – 10 Win). 1 more game needed (for a Caerleon victory) however as the results started to come in, the lead was gradually slipping away from Caerleon result 3 ( 13 – 7 Monkstone).
Result 4 (13- 9 Monkstone) it was now totally evident that Monkstone were intending to take the cup back home.
Result 5 (13 – 11 Monkstone ) it was now down to the last game playing on the most difficult piste at Caerleon,
After 35 games it was all on the 36th game result, winner takes the cup.
With all the supporting players cheering every boule that took the point throughout every end, it turned into a nail biting finish with some players staying in the club as they couldn’t bear the suspense.
Caerleon were in control in the early part of the game and went into a 10 – 8 lead and looking favourites to win but every time they looked like they were going to cross the line Monkstone produced a point or a shot to take the end and denied them the win.
The score now at 12 – 11 to Caerleon, was Monkstone going to finally get the win to pull off an incredible comeback, the end was as intense as the rest put together. With Caerleon holding boule close to the cosh it looked as if at last Caerleon might have done enough. However, Monkstone again produced a incredible shot and made a carreau on the Caerleon boule, Caerleon now back under pressure with only 2 boules versus Monkstone’s 3, the Caerleon team discussed what shot to play and decided to go for a heavy point into Monkstone’s boule. This was executed to perfection and bumped the Monkstone boule back and sat in the same spot, pressure now back on Monkstone. The crowd was deadly silent as Monkstone tried to take the Caerleon boule out but this time it was not to be, with Caerleon taking game 13 -11 and as a result, winning the cup for Caerleon, final overall score after 36 games, 62- 58 just 4 points difference.
It was a shame there had to be a second place in this fantastic battle, well done to Monkstone for their resilience and never say die attitude and well done to all the Caerleon players, a well deserved win.
Thanks again to Kon for allowing us to republish his report and congratulations to to Caerleon for a victory which will be long remembered and in which Monkstone PC is proud to have taken part.
Both Teams before the Afternoon Drama
Monkstone Captain, Bernard Adshead, presents the trophy to his opposite number, Kon Tomczyk