"I'll do you a favour this week, Pikey, but I doubt I'll play anymore games," said the man from Mumbai.
We rocked up, played a quick practice frame to get used to the table, then it was time for business. I selected Jamie to go first, and he repaid my confidence, making a top-drawer five-ball clearance to put us 1-0 up. Next up was Danny, whose style we'll come back to later. After a couple of a chances each way, Danny took control, making it 2-0. Normally I save myself for either fourth or fifth in the rotation, but I decided that if I could make it 3-0, we'd be in a very strong position. I played one of the guys who'd beaten me the previous week, but I got my own back fairly comfortably, and did indeed make it 3-0. There had been talk of going out to TJs if we won that night, and at 3-0, it looked a distinct possibility.
Next up was Callum, who played the oppostion captain. As to be expected, he was a fairly good player, and dragged it back to 3-1, despite Callum's best efforts. Step forward the ringer coming in for one week only as he was "not great" at pool. Alex got off to a fast start, sweeping around the table; potting balls in every direction. Aided by the fact that his opponent was only slightly better than your Grandma, Alex ran riot, easily making it 4-1. At the half way stage, with the prospect of an easy victory, the TJs idea seemed to fade.
As we sat eating the half-time food, it gave us a chance to fully appreciate what we were sharing the room with. At the other end of the room, there sat a DJ table, with two old men sitting a yard away from each other. Clearly, the idea was a karaoke night. In reality, in the two-and-a-half hours that we were there, not one single person went anywhere near them. In addition to the complete lack of interest from other people, the men themselves seemed utterly lost. Not once did one speak to the other, instead they just sat and stared into space.
But anyway, back to the pool. Any complacency we had at 4-1 was quickly eradicated, as Jamie, Callum, and then Danny all lost, making it 4-4. Tension City. Needing just one frame to be guaranteed at least a tie, I thought it'd be better if I played the ninth frame, with the intention of winning, then leaving Alex freerolling in the tenth. As it happened, I could easily have lost the ninth as, after a fast start, I fouled, leaving my opponent with a very makeable clearance opportunity. Just as I was resigned to losing, he missed his last colour, which gave me the opportunity to clear. I held my nerve and did so. The opposition captain stepped up again in the tenth, never really giving Alex an opportunity, and so it went 5-5. In a league match, that'd be the result, but as it was the Cup, obviously a tie-break frame was played.
The next week saw us play Victoria 07. Fair to say, luck wasn't on our side. Ewan won the first frame of the night, and I won the last frame of the night. But I did so whilst on tilt as we lost the eight frames in between. The less said about that, the better.
Last Thursday saw us play Sharky's Spartans, and we began the game having won just five of our previous 20 league frames. Ewan had two of those victories, and he took his total to three after the first frame. Jamie was up next, and should have made it 2-0, but instead it went 1-1. We'll come back to that later. Callum went third, and was in a similar situation to Jamie - probably should have won but didn't. I then lost as well, something which we'll also come back to.
So we were 3-1 down, and it was a familiar story, losing frames we shouldn't have. Alex dragged it back to 3-2, before Ewan continued his good form, making it 3-3, although it's fair to say he got a little lucky as his opponent potted the white in the same shot as the black. Not something that happens very often, but remarkably it happened again the very next frame. Jamie was the beneficiary this time, profiting from a dreadful shot by his opponent. Lucky? Quite possibly, but I didn't feel it was undeserved. So we were 4-3 up when I put Alex in. He did exactly what I wanted him to, which left us with two frames to get the all important sixth win. I took my customary ninth frame spot, and despite a horrible frame which had no flow, I scraped over the line, giving us our first league win of the season. Callum finished the match with a flourish, making the score a resounding 7-3.
It's currently 1939 on Tuesday night, we're just about to go play a rearranged fixture against another Nuthouse team. Local derby time. Back in a bit.
Back. Thoroughly pissed off as well. We just lost 9-1, and deserved to as well. Hopefully Thursday will go better.
It's now Thursday, we lost again, this time 6-4. I don't really want to talk about that, so I'm gona do some squad profiles instead.
Donkament of the season: After a very nice five-ball clearance of my colours, I left myself a semi-difficult pot on the black. I'd expect myself to pot it maybe six or seven times out of ten, but on the back of a decent potting spree, I was confident. I got down, struck the white and... completely aired it. I didn't even hit the black, let alone pot it. My opponent went on to clear up, and I headbutted a fruit machine.