It is week thirteen of the winter season, a bad night to be out and about in Fleetwood for anyone suffering from ocheological triskaidekaphobia.
For there is always much wailing and gnashing of teeth amongst that section of polite society who consider the number thirteen to be unlucky.
It is highly unlikely that Geoff Coulborn, the gimlet eyed captain of the Cons is in anyway superstitious, given that he once walked ten miles through the snow just to make sure that one of the opposing players from the local orphanage was indeed missing a mum and dad.
Highbury ‘A’ skipper Chris Job, on the other hand, is obviously the type of guy who salutes solitary magpies, although this week he must have injudiciously walked beneath a ladder or two, such was the spanking handed out to his previously undefeated table toppers by the rampant Lotharios.
A brace of wins by Steve Cowell and Dave Smith gets the home side off to an emphatic start, this before man of the match Robert Job gets the visitors reply underway in game three. Alas, Highbury ace Scott Hayton finds himself up against the born again Warrior in game four, the outcome leaving the visitors with a mountain to climb at 3-1 down.
At the start of the second period, hope springs briefly to life in every footballing chest, when Carl Simey resolutely reduces the deficit to a solitary leg. Sadly for the visitors, that is to be their final hurrah of the evening as Dale Newton, Jeff Walkington and new individual averages leader Alan Ashton all win to leave the final score reading 6-2 in favour of the Cons.
It is rumoured that Sean Atkin, skipper of the Royal Oak, has spent most of last week watching black cats cross his path, so cruel are the fates in the dying embers of their match against the Olympians on Friday. Having taken their illustrious opponents down to the wire over the opening seven legs, they appear to have snatched a point at the death, when last man for the Mount Martin Parry Jones misses his finishing double by a distance with the first two darts of his final throw.
As his third dart arcs board wards, the gathered Deaduns contingent begins to celebrate, so sure are they that it is heading in the wrong direction. But then, with a click and a clatter Martin’s misdirected missile collides with one of his earlier efforts and ricochets unerringly into the required doubles segment, thus securing both points for the Mount and a share of top spot in the table. Andy Parry Jones is best again on the night for the providential promenaders, with Tony Brogden level with the leading group in the individual race after his eleventh win of the campaign.
Defending champions Dockers ‘A’ comfortably maintain their fourth spot in the table with a 6-2 win away down Broadwater. Robert Dagger is on imperious form for the victors this week, with Dave Pilling suitably surprised and delighted with his man of the match performance for the still winless Cricket Club.
Still winless is a phrase that can longer be associated with the Femme Fatales, this after they at last pick up both points at the thirteenth time of asking. Wins for Tracey Cunningham, dame of the game Trish Hughes, Carol Evans, Joanna Coultas and (after seven previous fruitless attempts) Jade Wright, sees the ladies safely across the winning line at 5-3 against the perplexed peripatetics. Having missed the opening three months of the season, Keith Carnell’s man of the match performance for the Ashley cannot save the retirees from sinking deeper into the mire.
Another captain cursing his luck on Friday is Chris Blyth from Dockers ‘B’. Having contentedly watched his Mitch Blyth inspired charges cruise serenely to a 3-1 half time advantage, Mr. B can only wring his hands in frustration as visitors the Bowling Club take all four legs in the second period, the victory secured by last to the board Isaac Guy.
Things also seem to be going the way of the Peking Ducks this week, when skipper Reb Hogg levels things up at 3-3 against hosts the Fuzzy Ducks. But he too is left bereft as Graham Hopkinson and Andy Gratrix take the final legs to secure a splendid win for an Ian Ball inspired Strawberry outfit.
Meanwhile, across town Highbury ‘B’ and the Queens Hotel are involved in a ding dong encounter at the football club. An outshot of 106 by Geoff Ward is the highlight of the ‘B’s’ performance, with Daniel Christian suitably delighted for the Beach Road Boys, this after recording both his first win and first man of the match nomination on the same night.
Finally this week, let us go to Annie’s Attic, where the home side are taking on the Blasted Heathens. So large is the Collapsible squad these days that the subject of a cull during the Christmas break is causing much consternation amongst those occupying the well worn seats of Complainer’s Corner.
An 8-0 win for the Comrades does little to further the prospects of an early return to league action amongst the benchwarmers, although Taverners skipper Pete Hornby would probably be happy to accept a job lot given the paucity of his squad these days. Stan Billington is best on the night for the rampant hosts, with Chris Grinstead just one of a number of heathens who coulda, shoulda and probably woulda entered the winner’s enclosure, had this been any week other than number thirteen on the fixture list.