Later-arriving Stefan then faced a very tricky match against Lucky. Lucky came out on top, levelling the scores after the singles. The doubles games were then shared, leaving things delicately balanced at 3-3 with the deciding Beer Leg still to be played. It looked like the girls were going to get their first victory, but Pita Bar claimed the victory with the deciding frame of the match and a 4-3 scoreline.
Next up, Mango Bar hosted Black Sheep. This pairing produced a final game upset last season, with Mango becoming one of the only RPL teams to beat the reigning champions. This time the tables were turned, and Black Sheep raced off in the singles to take a 0-4 lead and book the early victory. Mango’s players mounted a fight-back, taking both doubles, but it was Black Sheep who had the final ‘baa’ with the Beer Leg win. Final score 2-5.
The headliner this week was last season’s second-placed Shot Bar against third-placed White Hart. Shot Bar looked in fine form winning the opening two games. Neil, who is showing great form in recent tournaments, then pulled a game back for visiting White Hart. Pan won his singles game against Phil F. to put Shot 3-1 in front going to the doubles. Paul and Jig won the first doubles leg for White Hart, keeping some pressure on the hosts. The visitors then won the second doubles 0-2 to set up a final leg decider. It was White Hart who then pulled off an excellent comeback to beat Shot Bar 3-4.
Heading down to Rawai Beach, Freedom Bar awaited the arrival of Black Bull. The visitors got off to a strong start taking the first game, but Freedom Bar used their home know-how advantage to take the remaining three singles games without dropping a frame. Andrew and Paolo tried to kindle a comeback for the visitors in the first doubles, but Freedom had the run of the table and in the end, extinguished Black Bull 6-1.
Masaya played at home to Stor Bar, but in a classic case of forgetful winner/team captain, the scoreboard was wiped without any record of the result being captured. Winning points from this match are now lost forever!
White Hart BBQ greeted Rose’s Bar in a match that would pit two recently promoted teams against each other. There was no meeting of equals, however, and Roses Bar proved way too much for the hosts. The visitors won every singles and doubles game, only dropping two frames in those six matches. With the result already decided, only the Beer Leg stood in the way of a whitewash. White Hart BBQ eked out a 2-0 win in the final leg, to hedge the loss to 6-1 on the night.
All Tight in Division B
This week delivered some of the tightest scorelines we’ve seen this season in Division B. Starting off proceedings, Dilligaf entertained O’s Bar for a match that would stay tight to the end. Visiting O’s Bar took an early singles 0-2 lead with wins from Milan and Ashley, but the hosts pulled back through Marcel and Ping to level the score going to the doubles. The doubles pairings proved too strong for Dilligaf, with O’s taking both legs and the match victory. Not lying down, Dilligaf then fought hard to win the Beer Leg, and leave the score 3-4 for a good away-win for O’s Bar.
Newly formed Cosmo Bar played another brand new team – Tamarind Bar. This match followed a very similar trajectory, with both teams sharing the singles spoils after the visitors went 0-2 ahead. This time it was the home side who won both doubles matches to take the victory before the Beer Leg started. Yet again, it was the losing side who won the Beer Leg as a consolation on a night that sees Cosmo make a good 4-3 home victory.
Moonlight Bar paid a trip over the hill to Happy Jack Gastro Bar. Hosts Happy Jack took early control of this match, winning the first 3 of 4 singles games. A late win by Italian Claudio kept the visiting side in the match, and a doubles win in the next game gave Moonlight a further ray of hope that a comeback was on the cards. Alas, Phil G. and Bobby ended the visitors’ hopes to clinch match victory in their second doubles game. The Beer Leg also went to the hosts, giving Happy Jack a 5-2 winning scoreline tonight.
The next match would need the final frame of the night to put light between the opponents. Black Panthers welcomed Islander B, and this match would also follow a common script we’ve observed this week. Both sides shared the singles points, with quite a few bonus points going to players for winning their singles without their opponent taking a frame. The doubles also went one game to each side leaving the Beer Leg as the deciding game for the match. It went right down to the wire with both sides winning a frame, but it was visitors Islander B who managed to steal the victory tonight with a 1-2 Beer Leg margin, and 3-4 final scoreline.
Meanwhile, twin side Islander A welcomed LuLu Bar. Travelling the short hop up the road for this match, visitors Lulu Bar looked all set for a win. The singles were a one-sided affair, and only some fine play from Islander’s JJ kept their side in contention trailing 1-3 going into the doubles. Needing only one more game win to take the victory, the French side snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Good play through both doubles drew the home side level for a deciding Beer Leg send-off which went down to the wire. It took the deciding frame, but they pulled off a great comeback to leave the score 4-3 in favour of home side Islander B. Victories for both Islander sides tonight!
Spot Bar faced Tropical Sands tonight, and it was a case of deja-vu here again. It was honours-shared in the singles, with visitors Tropical Sands running to an early 0-2 lead, only to have the hosts pull back two in the remaining singles games. And yet again it was alternate wins to leave the competing sides level after the doubles. So it would be another Beer Leg decider on a night of all-to-close matches in Division B. Yet it was visiting side Tropical Sands who would coast to victory in the Beer Leg without dropping a frame. Final score Spot Bar 3 – 4 Tropical Sands.
– Gregg Bremner and Richard Hearne
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