From the beginning, the Wardogs were behind the 8-ball. For a couple of reasons: Firstly, three of their players needed subs for the most important match of the season. Travel and injuries aren’t planned around the boasters finals and the Wardogs are simply a victim of circumstance here. All three of those players were ranked highest in their level for the season. So, (technically) any sub stepping in would be a step down. Nor can those subs earn bonus points.
And secondly, I predicted the Wardogs would win. That in itself is a death sentence. Maybe I should predict that the Tigers will not win the World Series this year…
Smelling blood, the Winky-Dinks took advantage – as they should have done. All three of their players who did have to battle against a sub won – and including bonus points, just on those 3 results alone, the Winky-Dinks recorded 11 points to the Wardogs 1. But that wasn’t the only good news for the Winky-Dinks.
Stepping up when push comes to shove, and avenging a loss from the previous encounter in round 8 makes a significant difference when teams are playing head-to-head. Matt DiDio did just that against Jay Bonahoom. He reversed his 1-2 loss into a 2-1 win, and surprised everyone as he survived the match injury free and in no need of some surgical procedure.
|Maggie Durant and Jerry-I-can-drop-it-from-anywhere-Rock|
In another turn around, and in one of the more exciting matches of the evening, Jerry-“lob-lob-drop-lob-drop”-Rock needed all of his experience, wrist flicking, mis-direction-ing, that he could muster against Maggie Durant. Jerry has beaten Maggie twice before, but Maggie did beat Jerry in the most recent encounter 2-1. Hitting some strong length was a good tactic against Jerry, but somehow, against the laws of physics in some instances, Jerry regularly managed to squeeze his racquet between the floor / back wall / ball and pop in a deft dropshot while facing the wrong direction. It’s a risky way to play squash, but it paid off – just. Jerry took the first game 15-14, lost the second 14-15 and then won the third 15-9.
There weren’t too many highlights for the Wardogs. But it wasn’t all doom and gloom. Marc Topacio scored the biggest reversal from round 8 and he took care of the human pinball Bob Rogers 2-1. Bob had shut him out 3-0 in round 8, but it appeared Marc had figured a way to keep Bob bouncing off the walls just enough. Strong 3-0 performances were all put in by Pat Hughes, Haytham Hermiz and Greg Allare, and Curt Pedersen repeated his 2-1 victory over Mike Cooney.
Of the 15 matches completed, the Wardogs only won 5 of them. The subs had certainly hurt their chances, and we all know about captain Paul Ward’s Achilles injury. Two matches were outstanding – but they weren’t needed anyway as the Winky-Dinks lead at that stage was too great. Final score: 41-30.
Captain Justin Winkelman can be very proud of his team. They came through at the right time, convincing wins in all three rounds of the finals. It is also the Winky-Dinks’ second title in a row. The target is now squarely on their backs as the number one priority for next season from the other captains will be to stop Justin from claiming a 3-peat…
|Boasters Players. Happy family!|