Thornbury's finest back door bandits managed to survive in division 3, to fight another year. The ever so slightly edited version of the Summary of the highs and lows of Team Rubbish during 2012/2013.
Frampton C vs Thornbury C - The Rubbish's last stand - 3rd Apr 2013
With the Stroud league website showing the Rubbish played 21, points 77 and G’s spreadsheet showing played 21 points 84 we may have to demand a recount before finally submerging even deeper into the bowels of the Stroud league. With the coldest winter for 50 years not yet behind us the purple, white and orange crocuses in G’s garden are tentatively trying to take centre stage from the snowdrops that have flowered proudly despite this harsh winter, resisting all that mother nature can throw at them, it is time for the final showdown in this rearranged fixture at one of the favourite venues for the Rubbish, Frampton upon Severn. Tonight however, it is Thornbury who are aiming for a seven in order to avoid a wooden spoon. With a 3 line whip in place the expectation was that all personnel would report for duty and indeed they did. Grampy started the ball rolling by beating Dave in three straight, this was followed by the battle of the Lens, fortunately our Len got the better of the super hard horizontal smashing Frampton old timer. Rosey tripped up against one of the signings of the season, Kim who’s allround game is proving to be too strong for most of her opponents, Kim won 3-1. Our Len beat Dave 3-0 then Grampy faced his toughest challenge of the evening playing Kim, he had to up his game when at 2-0 up he dropped a game, his renewed vigour paid dividends as he took the win 3-1. Rosey had a tough match against Len but narrowly managed to pinch the first 2 games 12-10 which seemed to break the spirit of Len as he put up little opposition in the third game. Kim thrashed our Len taking game one 11-1, took comfortable wins in games two and three to give Frampton their second point. The tea break saw some mingling with the players at the other end of the hall, Tracy digging Peter in the ribs prompting an immediate puddle on the floor as he did a Jack Douglas with his cup of tea. While Rosey was busy beating Dave, G had a spot of wind and let a ripper go, much to the disgust of his Captain, Tracy on the other hand was close to tears. The last singles saw Grampy take a 3-0 win over Len to make the Thornbury win very comprehensive. G teamed up with Tracy in the doubles against Dave and Kim in a cracking match. Thornbury taking game one before seeing the Frampton duo up their game. There was some quality encounters and razor sharp shots from both G who spent an inordinate amount of time on his knees and Tracy but they were not enough to prevent Frampton getting their third point. We settled in the bar within the hall afterwards to reflect on the season just ended. G’s defining images are of Len displaying unbelievable acrobatic supremacy in his defensive play, Rosey producing more chops than the entire New Zealand lamb industry, Tracy continuing to confound lots of the opposition with the speed at which she hits the ball and Captain, who after a sticky start to the season rose like the Phoenix that he is to lead his team producing results head and shoulders above anyone else, a true inspiration as the Rubbish may just have avoided finishing bottom with this performance. With Mike packing his bags and moving further west it remains to be seen if Captain makes any signings in the summer transfer window.
Frampton C – 3, Thornbury C – 7,
Sheepscombe vs Thornbury C - Another victory turned into a draw - 26th Mar 2013
As G made his way along the narrow country lanes to Sheepscombe accompanied by his next door neighbour, one of the potholes very nearly kept hold of G’s front axle. Upon arrival G knocked up with the Sheepscombe trio who was to include a very old face, Hugh’s son Will is back in town and has to be one of the hardest hitters in the league. When the rest of the Thornbury contingent arrived Captain Grampy was at pains to point out that he was, for once at least, not responsible for the ever so slightly late arrival. Grampy kicked off playing Nigel and was soon into his stride as he took the first match 3-0. Tracy faced Will next in a battle of the hard hitters, it started off fairly even with Will taking game one but Tracy pinching game two. Will just started to edge it after that as he picked up gamed three and four. Len was back in good form, in amongst his star jumps when he played a poor shot. He beat Roz in three and set the tone for his nights play. Tracy could not stop Nigel as he recovered from his loss to Grampy, Grampy beat Roz in three. Next up Will played Len and despite losing game one the Rubbish old timer sized up the immense hitting power of young Will and turned it around using many years of experience to take the win 3-1. Roz playing Tracy was another hard hitting affair, it went all the way to five with Roz just pinching it. Nigel played Len next and it was another marathon, Nigel trashing Len 11-2 in game one, Len soon recovered to take game two, Nigel replying with a win in game three which left Len with it all to do, and do it he did as he and Nigel seemed to be playing sideways at some points with the angles they were putting on their shots. Len won game four with some of his traditional defensive master shots including a lob that nearly ended up in orbit and took so long to come down that Nigel had taken his eye off it and smashed it into the net. He pinched the fifth 13-11 aswell to take a well earned hatrick. Grampy had to beat Will to get his hatrick and it started off well as he won game one, but then his wheels came off as he had no answer to Wills supersonic smashes and had to settle for just the two wins. G teamed up with Len for the doubles against Will and Nigel. Nigels strategic placement of many of his shots meant an easy victory followed and with it Sheepscombe earned a draw, the Rubbish unable to convert their early lead into a win. Unusually there was no space in the carpark at the Butchers Arms where the Rubbish were joined by Will and Hugh to go over some of the old times and battles we have fought over the years. It seems Sheepscombe may struggle to get a squad together or next season, lets hope they can find some new recruits or dig up a few old timers as we enjoy the long trip and the battles that follow. A quick mention for Mr R G (G senior) who is using up his NHS season ticket in his local hospital, and was in his day The Heinz TT champion, hopefully he’ll be out for Easter as G has bought him a Monster malteser Easter egg, sod the diabetis, R G’s moto is if you’re going to die, die happy.
Sheepscombe - 5, Thornbury C - 5
Maltesers always go down well with Mr G senior.
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Thornbury C vs Woodchester D - The concrete boots finally set on Team Rubbish - 20th Mar 2013
Team Rubbish finally threw in the towel last night as they crashed 9-1 to an in form Woodchester team of Ken, Colin and Roger With the Captain on the side lines entertaining some new faces the rest of the team crashed and burned in a vain attempt to stay in division 3. Mike losing all three of his matches in 4, Tracy too provided little resistance to the quality of Woodchester. Only Len put up any real opposition with one win in 4 and two losses both in 5, one where he was 2-0 up, so the story could indeed have been different. It became very apparent that it was not to be Team Rubbishes night when Grampy and G who were playing Ken and Colin in the doubles took a 10-4 lead in the second game but lost 12-10 unable to convert some excellent play into a win. Afterwards, Grampy asked G when was the last time we lost 9-1, well after a trawl through the history books you don’t have to back that far, it was the same team in the same fixture last year on the 27/3/2012, b*st*rds. Before that it was to Sheepscombe on the 15/3/2011, and we play them next week, so it looks historically like March is not the best month for The Rubbish, there is certainly some regrouping to be done before we face Sheepscombe.
Thornbury C – 1, Woodchester D – 9
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Thornbury C vs Frampton C - It may just go to the wire - 13th Mar 2013
Our Captain at times shows great character in his leadership, not least when the Thornbury backs are up against the wall. He leads with head up high and shoulders back, as far as his dodgy back will allow anyway. He makes us fight for every ball in every point. We are without doubt the Wigan Athletic of the Stroud League, minus of course the fat pay cheques. As the snowdrops peak and look their best in the late winter sunshine and the early daffs dare show the first sign of colour as the buds unfold the Rubbish find themselves having to fight like a hungry wolf pack desperately trying to find a weak Buffalo to pull down and feed on. When a wolf pack find a Buffalo herd as long as the Buffalo hold their nerve and stand their ground the wolves can’t get at them, but if the Buffalo’s nerve breaks and they start to run then the wolves take their chance and can pick out a stray animal for lunch. Frampton’s nerve broke last night in a tense standoff as the Thornbury team ripped into them in search for enough points to keep them in division 3. Grampy as ever lead from the front, savaging all before him, dropping only one game all night, despite yawning all night like a lion that has just finished a mighty feast that will last a month. The game he dropped was to Len, who despite his years still as one of the fastest and nastiest horizontal smashes you are likely to see anywhere. Our Len took a brace of wins as he beat Dave and his name sake Len but despite taking the first game off Kim the new face at Frampton she recovered to beat him. Mike also took a pair of wins, also against Dave and Len but made hard work of it as they both went all the way to five, Mike choosing a more defensive strategy this week not showing us too many lashed winners. The doubles saw G and Tracy take on Dave and Kim, the first two games both ending 11-9 and in favour of Frampton prompted a collapse in the third as Frampton put their third point on the board. A glance as the division 3 table as I write shows us 12 points behind with a game in hand on Frampton who we play again in two weeks, and 22 points behind Forest Green with 3 games in hand. Can we bridge the gap... who knows, we may just be able to pass the wooden spoon on to someone else. Our usual pit stop at the Anchor was well attended including the team hound Charlie where we learned that Arsenal had won away to Bayern Munich but lost on the away goals rule. G made a second pitstop at his local Chinese takeaway for some sweet and sour chicken balls and very nearly made it to bed before he fell flat on his face, luckily he never spilt a drop of sweet and sour sauce.
Thornbury C – 7, Frampton C – 3
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Cam A vs Thornbury C - G's loooooong wait is over ! and in some style - 5th March 2013
This weeks report is in Miss World order, ie back to front.
Lets not beat around the bush, both in singles and the doubles there have been
some outstanding performances from Rubbish personnel this season which have
reaped no reward. Len in particular in the singles has played some astonishing
table tennis, way over and above what any statistics table will tell you. Of
late G has up the level of his doubles play and he along with his colossus of a
Captain showed the Cam pair of Neil and Bob just how much damage they can cause
when firing on all cylinders. There were a few lashes as G struggled for
position at times but overall a calculated approach to the match saw the
Thornbury duo out think, out serve and out shoot the Cam boys with contemptuous
ease as G had no trouble returning the ultra spinny serves from Neil alias
Carlos Fandango in a match that stood head and shoulders above any other this
season. It was an important point too as it earned the Rubbish a draw on the
night. Grampy doesn’t have the best of records against Neil and that continued
last night as Neil piled on the pressure with his curving backhands which
earned him a 3-1 win over the Thornbury Captain. Grampy soon shrugged this off
and was back in his recent groove as he picked up the wins against Bob and
Paul. Len once again played some table tennis that defied description but still
Neil got the better of him despite a valiant comeback, the match going all the
way to five with the pressure showing on Neil as he scowled at the spectators
rustling a bag of munchies too loudly for his liking. Also Bob managed to beat
him aswell, in four, so he ended the match with just the one win over Paul. Mike also
played extremely well in his matches, like Len his defensive play truly
astounds at times, however the attacking play of Bob and Neil also emerged
victorious leaving Mike with just the one win over Paul. After the customary
handshakes the Rubbish took the longish roll down the hill to The Old Spot for
a well earned half, the discussion got round to names and in particular middle
names and how they cascade through the different generations of familes. which
drew a blank on Grampy and G as they don’t have one, Len however revealed his
to be Bert, not a lot of people know that!
Cam A – 5, Thornbury C – 5
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Thornbury C vs Nailsworth Phoenix C - A tale of two poles - 27th Feb 2013
Two teams a division apart clashed as the league leaders Nailsworth Phoenix C, consisting of Mike, Pete and Allan visited lowly Thornbury C. At least Thornbury’s in form Captain featured in the line up along with Len who played an absolute stormer in the away fixture. Mike was the third member of the squad to face Nailsworth. A noticeably absent characteristic of Thornbury’s play this year has been consistency and that was evident in this fixture. Lens superb form from the away match deserted him as he struggled against the three visitors, the closest match being against the number 2 Pete who Len lost game one to, then took the lead at 2-1 only to see it slip away. Mike is becoming a bit of a marathon man, his matches being wars of attrition and this encounter was no exception, with a win in 4 against the number 2 after being 1-0 down and a loss in 4 to the number 1 and a loss in 5 to the number 3. Grampy it has to be said is maintaining his late season form beating the number 2 and 3 players but Mike the number one showed some impressive movement around the table allied to lightening reaction speed to spoil the Rubbish captain’s chances of another hatrick. G was not feeling at his best and spent a good proportion of the evening perched on the sports centres porcelain. When it came to the doubles he partnered Grampy against Pete and Allan, the Thornbury duo playing an absolute shocking game, never in it resulting in a 7-3 win for the visitors. Tracy was not with us her thoughts were needed elsewhere, our thoughts are with her as she supports those around her in their recovery. G traded the pub for an early night aswell so there was little learnt, just the realisation that div 4 beckons ever louder for next year.
Thornbury C – 3, Nailsworth Phoenix C – 7
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Forest Green C vs Thornbury C - Only Grampy walks on water, we are not worthy - 20th Feb 2013
Possibly the defining game of the season as the Rubbish went head to head with the team 16 points ahead of them albeit we have two games in hand, Forest Green occupy the first safe slot which Thornbury and Frampton are fighting for. You know what they say, a bird in the hand....etc, etc. In an attempt to confound the enemy the Rubbish mixed up the playing order, Tracy took the number one slot against Lucky and at 2-0 down it seemed to have back fired, but then Tracy woke up and started hitting Lucky off the table and managed to level at 2-0, but then the concentration went and Lucky took an easy fifth game. Grampy took centre stage next against Keith, Grampy twice taking the lead only to be pegged back, fortunately he kept the sequence going and took the fifth to put a point on the board. Mikes first opponent was Tony who sadly for team Rubbish was playing out of his skin and again it went all the way to five after Mike rescued a 2-0 deficit but could not convert it to a win. With three five setters eroding valuable drinking and letching time at the Britannia Grampy decided to up the pace a little, the result being a comfortable win over Lucky. Tracy could not manage to out hit Tony as his good form continued, winning in three straight. Mike managed to win the first game against Keith but that was it as another point went the wrong way as Keith took the next three. Grampy was still pushing hard and halted Tony’s rich vein of form easily winning 3-0. Mike’s match against Lucky was another one that went all the way, Mike’s 2-0 lead being clawed back by Lucky but in a superb display of back hand winners Mike won the fifth in some style. Keith’s chopping style proved too much for Tracy as he took the last singles point leaving the Rubbish needing to win the doubles just to get a draw. Grampy partnered G against Lucky and Tony and in a very tight match The Rubbish lost game one but levelled, lost game 3 but levelled, then at 9-7 down in the last Lucky lived up to his name getting an outrageous edge giving the home team match point which they duly converted. G for the third week running played a cracking game with his Captain but could not convert it into a win. I described this match as a 6 pointer last week unfortunately the wrong team got the 6 points, not sure if too many rolo’s or Tracy rubbing her lips with Vaseline affected the teams concentration, anyway it was off to the Britannia, as we arrived Tracy was complaining about her knickers being tight, G’s suggestion to remove them was not heeded. Inside while consuming a swift half the Rubbish talked over the impending club tour details should Mike realise his move to cornwall.
Forest Green – 6, Thornbury C – 4
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Thornbury C vs Sheepscombe - Will it be enough ? - 13th Feb 2013
Our illustrious Captain lead the way in a hard battle against Sheepscombe, the Sheepscombe top player, Bruce having lost only once in 24 matches this season. That was all about to change as the Rubbish Captain took a 2-0 lead. Then the thoughts of last seasons away fixture must have flashed before our Captain’s eyes when he let the same 2-0 lead slip into a 3-2 defeat, because Bruce dug deep and levelled at 2-2. Captain’s instructions before the match were to fight tooth and nail for every point in every match and that he did and this time he took the win. Mike in the mean time was playing Hugh and took a comfortable 3-0 win. Tracy, still under the weather and coughing like she’s about to win who want’s to be a millionaire struggled against a much improved Martin, the match went to five where Martin managed to take the spoils and put the first point on the board for Sheepscombe. Grampy despatched Martin and Hugh in 3 straight to take his total of 3-0 wins to 154. Mike beat Hugh but could not beat the Sheepscombe no. one so had to settle for a brace of wins while Tracy lost in 4 to Hugh and 3 to Bruce. All that meant the Rubbish were 5-4 up with the doubles to play. After many attempts Mike joined G at the table playing Bruce and Hugh. G had hit the sweet spot with the smarties, his movement about as good as it gets and played well but it was not enough to stop Sheepscombe securing a draw. There was two other matches on which resulted in a large crowd at the Anchor. Tracy made a brief pitstop to collect Charlie the hound who always sits impeccably well behaved just underneath the box of dog treats on the bar while the rest of Team Rubbish comtemplated next weeks must win away game at Forest Green, a real “6 pointer”.
Thornbury C - 5 , Sheepscombe – 5
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Thornbury C vs Cam B - A whisker away - 30th Jan 2013
Well, we needed to dig deep and continue the climb up the vertical face of survival and by enlarge we did it. Cam brought some old faces with them namely Bev and her son Joe along with a new recruit, Robbie, no push over with the second highest average in div 3 at 86.67%. Grampy set the tone as he so often does by spinning his way past Robbie, Len took the win against Bev but was made to produce a host of astonishing shots to do it. Tracy, under the weather was battling hard against Joe but the incredible reach and unorthodox style of Joe eventually took the spoils. Grampy continued to baffle the opposition on his way to a hatrick, Len was beaten by Joe and Robbie, Tracy won the battle of the ladies when she playing Bev but was no match for Robbie. So after the singles the Rubbish were 5-4 in the lead and needed a win to take the match overall. Len won the spin but somehow Grampy ended up at the table with G, facing Robbie and Joe in the doubles match of the season so far. Twice the Thornbury pair took the lead against the formidable Cam duo, G was dancing on the ceiling and playing out of his skin, indeed the Rubbish pair had points to win the match in the fourth game but couldn’t take them so it went to a fifth where Cam pinched it 11-9 and with it a draw. A disappointing end to a great match, G left wondering what he has to do to get a win this season. It was off to the pub where we swapped our bats for some darts and played round the clock, and in the process the Rubbish learnt that their darts are even worse than their table tennis. We have also learnt recently that our beloved Captain’s youngest is beginning to exhibit considerable engineering and construction skills and as a result made a snowman in the recent poor weather. Sadly her Dad who has a super duper carlos fandango multi mega pixelating camera could not get in out of the box quick enough to get a photo before the Bristol urban fox community trashed it that night, he’ll never get a job with the BBC at that rate.
Thornbury C - 5, Cam B – 5
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Woodchester D vs Thornbury C - The fight back starts here - 15th Jan 2013
Only on one occasion in the history of Team Rubbish have the team scored less points after 15 games than this season, way back in 2009/10. They say in the Barclays premiership that whoever is bottom at Christmas is relegated. Well the Rubbish are out to defy all the odds yet again and after a blip in the first match started the new year like a hamster catching a ride on a firework night rocket. Len looked as if Mrs P’s mince pies had got the better of him as he struggled to regain the astonishing form he had showed at the tail end of last year, he was beaten soundly in match one and match two and had to show immense character to come from 2-0 down to win a marathon against the Woodchester no. 3. To be fair I don’t think a single one of Len’s shots which hit the net dropped over they all fell back on his side and all of his opponents similar shots dropped over the net, it was one of those nights. Mike on the other hand had taken the lead and was looking to better last years new year run in result of 17 from a possible 23 points (one game the opposition only brought 2). Well he started with some determination slaying all of the opposition to take another hatrick, no mean feat at Woodchester. Tracy meanwhile is playing with as big a smile as I have ever seen and seems to be enjoying her games and continues to astound a lot of the opposition with her hard hitting, not sure what father Christmas brought her, a new rabbit perhaps. The result was a win against the Woodchester no. 3 and some close games against the other two. At 4-1 up at half time the Rubbish knew there were some hard matches still to play and Woodchester came good second half getting back to 4-5 down with the doubles to play. Mike won the bat spin and joined G against Colin and Roger. At 2-0 down to the Woodchester pair there was a glimmer of hope as the Rubbish pair got a game back with a couple of lashed service returns from G, arguably his best doubles of the season, although his battered old knees may tell a different story, but Woodchester pulled it together to take the next game and earn the draw. So with 5 points on the board the 9 point gap to escape relegation does not look insurmountable. The Old Fleece was the pitstop for a swift half where we found a bruiser of a black Labrador waiting for us, happily wagging his tail when he saw the bowl of dry roasted peanuts arrive on the table.
Woodchester D – 5, Thornbury C – 5
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Thornbury C vs Cam A - Victory is ours..... - 19th Dec 2012
Well, it has been a long time coming this season. I remember the 15th September 2009, our first match in division 3 away to no other than Cam A where we got mullahed 10-0. The Rubbish have come a long way since that dark hour and with two of our heavyweight hitters in the front row last night it was always going to be a bloody encounter. Grampy made relatively light work of Brian winning 3-1, Len was taking a bit more time over beating Bob but put the second point on the board as he won in five. Tracy continues to impress with her overall level of performance, she took a game off Neil and Brian then realised well if you can beat somebody in one game you can beat them in three games or four as was the case with Bob. The hard hitting nature of her game has many quality players on the back foot from the off. Grampy made shorter work of Bob taking the Rubbish haul to 4 and with plenty of matches left, dare we think of victory. Grampy tripped up against Neil but Len’s wiley old tactics got the better of Neil and Brian aswell cementing the first victory of what has been a hard season. A reasonable game of doubles saw G and Captain take on Neil and Bob and despite some cracking winners they were no match for the Cam boys. Another astonishing performance by the Rubbish old timer Len taking a hatrick. The now familiar face of Charlie hound joined us in the pub for a snack where there were one or two jokes going down well with the beer. G said his good nights and set off up the M5 and with the needle touching the 1101110 marker on his binary speedo saw an array of blue lights appear, luckily they were on the southbound carriageway.
Thornbury C – 6, Cam A - 4
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Nailsworth Phoenix C vs Thornbury C - Cometh the hour, cometh the mountain - 13th Dec 2012
A man with character the size of a mountain walked into Nailsworth last night and left almost on top of the world as he ripped apart the would be champions of division three. His remarkable show of restraint in refusing the chocolate on offer to remain focused on the job in hand spoke volumes, because he does like a biscuit does our Len. Lens victories were to start after his team mates as he was number three on the sheet. Mike kicked off and we all thought we would be having an early bath as Mike lost game one 11-2. To his credit he knuckled down and took the second game to level, but then Mike Davis started to open his shoulders a bit and eased away to a win. Captain sick note was unable to take part again and with Tracy doing her duty where every little helps it was left to G to make up the numbers and play his first singles of the season. He faced an old friend Allan Lardner and right from the off G was getting more than his fair share of nets and edges, Allan took it all with a smile as usual and took a reasonably comfortable win, G managed just one of his wild backhand slaps that bought a big smile to Allan’s face as it raced past him. Lens first opponent was Peter and he proved quite a tough one although Len always seemed to have just that little bit in reserve on the big points and took a 3-0 win. G was up against Mike next and managed the same poor score in the first game as Rosey, getting just 2 points, it got a bit better in game 2 with 4 points and in the third game G gained 9 points and made the Phoenix number one earn his win. Our Mike played Peter next and could never really stretch the Phoenix man who won 3-0. Len was next to play, against Allan where the nets and edges just kept on coming as Len piled on the pressure to take a second 3-0 win. G’s last match was his best, playing against Peter he was never too far behind and indeed in game 3 got the score to 10 – 10 before losing 13-11 in a creditable performance. Len stepped up to try for the hatrick in his last match, and it went all the way as he pinched a tight first game 16-14 only to see game 2 go to Phoenix, a renewed effort saw Len edge in front with a victory in game 3 but Mike the Phoenix number one was not taking it lightly as he kicked the ball in disgust at his loss and he channeled his anger into winning game 4. The final game was nip and tuck with Len just missing out losing 11-9 in a titanic five setter. Mike last match was against Allan and this usually goes to five and this match was no exception, Allan took the first game only to see Mike take the next two, but Allan fought back against a barrage of nets and edges to take the win in five.
Lens stature as immense as a granite mountain.
With the singles complete a bat spin saw G and Mike take on Allan and Mike in what was a poor attempt at a game of doubles by the Thornbury pair losing comprehensively to Phoenix, the highlight being another of G’s wild backhands that nearly took the plaster off the walls. It has to be said that Thornbury must have had more nets and edges last night than in the last six seasons put together, te he he, the Phoenix boys taking them all in their stride and of course having the last laugh as they won 8-2. We settled in the Britannia for a swift one on the way home and congratulated Len on a spectacular return to form just in time for his 77th birthday next week.
Nailsworth Phoenix – 8, Thornbury C – 2
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Thornbury C vs Forest Green C - Time Gentlemen please - 5th Dec 2012
It seems our captains sphincter has settled down but he is still not well enough to lead his team in battle, bless him, so he chose to have an evening in front of the log burner no doubt entertaining his 3 ½ year old daughter who is growing up rapidly. Meanwhile back at the front line his infantrymen were slugging it out with their counterparts from Forest Green who sit one place above bottom slot which Team Rubbish occupies. So it was likely to be a close one and that proved to be an understatement as 5 matches went all the way to 5 games in what proved to be a truncated marathon night. If it had been conducted on one table I think we would have been there until the wee small hours. Mike was in at No. 1 playing Keith and was struggling as he slipped 2-0 down but with true grit and determination Mike pulled it level and matched Keith point for point in game five only to lose it 11-9 in the fifth. On the second table Len was comfortably beating Ian after a tight first game Len run away with it. Tracy’s first game was against one of the few players who can match her rapid fire game, Tony, and initially it looked as if it was going to be one of those nights as Tony took a 2-0 lead. However Tracy has found new depths to dig down to this season and new confidence with which to dig it and she fought hard to get it level at 2-2, the match was littered with nets and edges so it was fitting that at 11-10 up a looping ball hit the edge of the table and deflected out of reach of Tony, he took it well though. Mike made short work of Ian, Tracy struggled against Keith, and Len surprisingly struggled against the pace of Tony’s game, but had a better go at beating Keith as Len took a 2-0 lead only to see it slip away as Keith chopped his way to a 3-2 win. The tea break came and was cut short as time was becoming of the essence. The idea was for Tony to play Mike in the last singles while Keith and Ian played the doubles but Keith the old muppet wouldn’t play the doubles so we had to wait for Tony to finish his singles, needless to say it went to five yet again with Mike winning. Len won the spin to team up with G in the doubles with Forest Green taking game 1. The Thornbury duo leveled at 1-1 at which point the decision was made to cut the match from best of 5 to best of 3. As G has a round trip of 70 miles just to play the doubles he was not best pleased as he had on Tracy’s instructions told reception we would be a few minutes late. Anyway, game 3 went to Forest Green and Thornbury missed another chance to pinch a draw in the doubles. The frost was beginning to form as we made our way to the pub for a top up where Charlie the boxer was in attendance, an ever popular visitor he said hello to all but his favourite place was sitting and patiently watching the box of dog treats on the bar just incase any should fall out which inevitably some did, much to his delight. So losing 6-4 means The Rubbish fall even further behind at the bottom of the table....has anybody got Harry Redknaps phone number.
Thornbury C – 4, Forest Green C – 6
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Randwick B vs Thornbury C - Never before.....and hopefully never again - 26th Nov 2012
With our recently returned to form Captain incapacitated and leaking from both ends, super sub dibble arrived in her usual array of waves and hellos.
G, should have been having his new direct line plumbed in but sadly there was no room at the inn so he made the journey to Randwick to support his team mates. The opposition consisted of only two players, Jim and Dan, surely the Rubbish could overcome them in search of the first victory of the season. Well it started ok Mike managing to beat Dan in five. Len then played Jim, there’s something about Jims style of play that makes it very entertaining to watch, he stands away from the table and invites his opponent to take the initiative, and last night he was moving like a Gazelle about to have it’s rear end savaged by a hungry Tiger. He beat Len in four and had exceptional matches against both Mike and Tracy, both of whom lost in four to Jim. Dans dad, Paddy was there watching him, and as Randwick were a player short he took the opportunity to hone his skills in some practice games. Dan seemed to be struggling a little with his form but sadly the Rubbish were struggling just a bit more as Dan beat Len and Tracy in four.
That left a now increasingly familiar position of the Rubbish needing to win the doubles to gain a draw. The first game was close Randwick edging it 11-9 but then total collapse saw Randwick take a comfortable win 3-0 and with it the match 6-4.
Mrs W is still being plagued by a trapped nerve and not much sleep is being had, this was evident at the weekend as G tried to make a phonecall using the TV remote control instead of a cordless phone. Fortunately G was a little more awake as the team rolled down the hill to the Prince of Wales for the swiftest of refreshments where they encountered a friendly mutt by the name of Mason, half German shepherd, quarter Staffordshire Bull terrier, luckily he did not fancy any of our crisps. There were no real lessons to be learned from this pit stop in the pub. Great care was required on the homeward journey as it was still pi**ing down and you could not see Jack sh*t because of the fog. Lord only knows how the Rubbish lost this match, the saying goes that the Lord works in mysterious ways well where the first Rubbish victory of the season will come from is one big mystery. Without checking the records I am confident in saying The Rubbish has not lost before to a two man team, and hopefully won’t again.
Randwick B – 6, Thornbury C – 4
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Thornbury C vs Randwick B - Oh what a lovely war !!! - 21st Nov 2012
After G was unable to get to the match due to half of Gloucestershires road being under water, report writing duty once again fell to his deputy Len. Many thanks.
Or, as Tracy said, What might have been-Part 2...Please excuse the reporting of Len's games first but they are most vivid in my mind. Leading 2-1 and 8-3 Len lost to Dan. He did manage to beat Ben 3-2 only to go back to square one by losing to Jim from 2-1 up and 10-10 in the 4th. Captain Marvel was his usual dependable self beating Dan 3-1 and Jim 3-0 but surprisingly losing 3-0 to Ben. Although Tracy did not win a set her form and confidence remains good and she took Ben to 5 in a very closely fought set and her 1st 2 games against Jim read 10-12, 11-9 before losing 3-1. Tracy and Grampy trounced Dan and Ben, who only managed 10 points in the set to record the 1st Doubles of the season for the Rubbish. Can't speak for the others but Len was OK after a good cry, 77 next month, Pull yourself together man. 4-6 could have easily been 5-5 or even 6-4---Dream on.
At least the Rubbish have an early opportunity for revenge in the reverse match at Randwick on Monday.
Thornbury C - 4 Randwick B - 6
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Cam B vs Thornbury C - What might have been !!! - 13th Nov 2012
Cam started off like a train winning the first 3 matches in straight sets Robbie v Mike, Joe v Len, Harry v Tracy. Len then took a game off Ace Robbie but lost 3-1. At this point the Rubbish fortunes changed as Mike found his form, using his old bat, to beat Harry 3-1 and Tracy followed by trouncing Joe in straight sets. Unfortunately Len could not keep the run going against Harry despite feeling confident having beaten the old boy at Thornbury. At 1-1 Harry decided to take all the pace off and use his vicious spin. Len had no answer and crashed 3-1.Robbie beat Tracy and then in the final singles Mike gave Joe the same medicine as Tracy had done with a 3-0 victory. Poor Joe did not know what had hit him. So to the Doubles finale. The Batspin saw Mike and Len paired to face Robbie and Harry. What followed was a titanic match which had so many twists and turns with Cam emerging eventual winners 15-13 in the 5th. We trundled into the Pub only to wait what seemed like an eternity to get served. We roasted in front of a roaring fire and reflected on an excellent nights TT and What might have been ! On the positve side we saw Mike's return to form and Tracy's continued contribution. All Len had to console himself was Tracy's comment that the rallies against Robbie and Joe were spectacular. During the evening Mike had told us that he would be taking voluntary redundancy and re-locating probably to North Devon in the Summer. At least the Rubbish will have him for the rest of the season, after which, he will be sorely missed.
Cam B - 7, Thornbury C - 3
Sheepscombe vs Thornbury C - Like lambs to the slaughter - 6th Nov 2012
G was standing in a Chinese takeaway reading the daily paper when a txt come through requesting the postcode for that evenings venue. He reminded his team mates that all info is on the TTTC website. Captain was not amused with this straying of the staple pre match diet of a light pasta meal. G took a while to eat his shrimp foo young which gave his team mates an opportunity to overtake and arrive early and indeed get half way through game one before he entered the arena. Mike had the number one slot this week and played Bruce, a deceptively efficient played who beat Mike in three. Grampy was up against Roz next and although she struggles with his serve she has a very balanced game and managed to pinch a game from our out of form leader. Our Tracy then took on Nigel who was in no mood to mess about and quickly took command and with it victory on three. Captain set about Bruce who was taking swigs from what appeared to be a vodka bottle inbetween games, what ever it was in the bottle worked as he came from 2-0 down to beat our Captain. G managed to snap a picture of Bruce emptying the vodka bottle but his camera mysteriously disappeared after that and is nowhere to be seen. Mike played Nigel next, Mike had won the two meetings against Nigel last season, both 3-2 but not at this attempt as Nigel took a comfortable win in three. Tracy’s good run of form showed against Roz with a three straight win. That win was followed by Grampy beating Nigel to give a glimmer of hope to the Rubbish. However it all fell apart after that as Bruce beat Tracy in three. Mike had beaten Roz on both occasions last season he had played her but that was about to change, in very close games it was Sheepscombe turn for revenge as 3-1 win materialised for Roz. So with the match already beyond saving G partnered Grampy in the doubles again Bruce and Nigel and it has to be said G played a bit of a blinder, a tight first game went Sheepscombe way 14-12, they then rampaged through the second winning 11-2. The Thornbury duo staged a bit of a come back then as they took a comfortable win 11-6 but could not maintain it and Nigel’s clever placement of a lot of his shots proved too much for G and Grampy. So another match and another defeat. We assembled in the Buthchers Arms as usual but most unusually it was almost empty. The conversation went from bad to worse as G mentioned he had seen a TV programme the night before on the size of mens tackle presented by a black stand up comedian who started a website for people to fill in the size of their assets, however when he measured his own he put its size down as 9.2 cm instead on inches, and for those of you not too used to converting units that knocks 60% off its length, he was not best pleased when he realised his error. The tone deteriorated even more as the subject touched on suicide and Grampy explained that he has an idea to end it all early rather than be left to dribble hopelessly in a hospice bed. All you need is a World War II German helmet and a few ounces of Semtex placed carefully in the roof of the helmet which is then secured with an aircraft specification strap around the head. This will force the explosion basically to blow your brains out, he went on to explain that there will be a his and hers version for the couples who want to go simultaneously, Tracy perked up when she leant there would be a luxury version supplied with a rabbit and a new packet of duracells although the timing of the explosion relative to the activity of the rabbit needs a bit of work, as it would be a bugger if the semtex went off too soon. I think he is going to start work on the Team version soon as with the spineless performances so far this season I think that’s the best result for the Rubbish
Sheepscombe feeling the pressure...is that a vodka bottle
Sheepscombe – 7, Thornbury C – 3
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Thornbury C vs Woodchester D - Another day, another flirt with a draw...well almost - 31st Oct 2012
Our beloved Captain has taken considerable stick in recent weeks, his form like the rest of the team with the exception of Tracy being well under par so far this season. Well Captain has been training hard with the Thornbury heavyweights and indeed gained a victory playing in division 2 recently. The improvement in form seems to be filtering through into his bread and butter division 3 games as he still tops the Rubbish averages by a country mile. It resulted in another double against Woodchester D for the stats page. It is often said that the sign of a true champion is racking up some points while not playing well and that is exactly what our Captain has been doing. That said the Rubbish are going to have to emulate the Arsenal great escape of this week as they clawed their way back from 4-0 down to win an amazing game 7-5 against Reading, if they are to avoid the drop. A result for the history books. Roger, the Woodchester man who beat Grampy took a hatrick as his relentless backhand was beyond equal. Chris, however was beaten by all 3 of the Rubbish as they piled on the pressure. Tracy was showing signs of her recent good form, particularly against Roger, but could not quite get the better of him. Woodchester’s Mike managed a pair of wins to make it 5-4 to the visitors with just the doubles to play. So another chance for a draw was within the grasp of the Rubbish, but not for very long as Roger and Mike buried G and Mike in 3 straight take a 6-4 win home with them. All the Woodchester boys joined us at the pub where a rather friendly greyhound was stretched out enjoying some attention and we learned that Kim’s new electrical business is on fire as he struggles to keep up with demand, forgive the plug, and the pun, contact him here for all your electrical needs http://www.alvestonelectricalservices.co.uk/
Thornbury C – 4, Woodchester D – 6
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Thornbury C vs Frampton C - Send her Victorious, happy and Glorious, long to play TT with us, we love Tracy Dibble - 24th Oct 2012
Captain decided to spa with the heavyweights playing the B team this week so left it to his subordinate muppets to organise the clash with Frampton C. The visitors turned out to be Len and Dave, old time adversaries and a new face, Kim who sadly for us was looking quite handy in the warm up. Dave, unusually took the number one spot, played Mike who was taking no prisoners as he took that match 3-0, meanwhile our Len was playing their Len, our Len took the first only to be pulled back level, another burst of energy saw him take the third but again Frampton’s Len levelled and a tense fifth game which could have gone either way was finally won by Frampton. It was Kim’s turn next and the fears of the warm turned out to be well founded as she beat Tracy, not satisfied with that she beat Mike and Len to take a hatrick. Mike ended the night with just the one win as Len beat him in 4. Our Len beat Dave in 3 straight, but the spotlight from a Rubbish perspective once again shone on Tracy who not only beat Dave 3-0, she took an impressive scalp by the way of Len, not only did she take 5 games to win but came back from being 2-0 down in yet another historic night for Tracy as she racked up another brace and is starting to jump up the averages. Captain would have been proud. So with the doubles left Len teamed up with G to see if they could pinch a draw, it was a close match against Len and Kim but G’s static legs failed to get to one ball too many as Frampton cemented their win 6-4. By this time Tracy was half way to cornwall for a well deserved dirty weekend. Mike left early aswell so there were no lessons to be learned at the pub this week.
Thornbury C - 4, Frampton C - 6
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Cam A vs Thornbury C - You can do it if you really want to - 16th Oct 2012
There was a message when G turned on his TV when he got home after the Cam match, to retune which he promptly did only to fall asleep while the retune took place. He woke up at 03:30 only to find Celebrity Master Chef starting, the setting was Bletchley Park where young Genius minds were rounded up to break the wartime codes of Britains enemies. Some of those Genius minds had been invited to taste the fine food being prepared. It all made G a little peckish, the cup of tea two toast and marmalade followed by a Rolo and Milkybar dessert on special offer at Asda didn’t quite have the same ring to it as the Bletchley Park menu even though the marmalade was home made by Mrs W senior. The realisation of another match and another defeat saw the shoulders sink as he fought desperately for some words to put in the match report. In these times of trouble we have to pick out the positives, Grampy didn’t have any, that said he managed to claw his way to victory in two of his matches, beating Brian and Steve. Mike lashed a few horizontal forehands across the net and played well but ended the night pointless as the night belonged to the Team Rubbish darling Tracy, as she played her own style of bodyline against Bob, tucking the ball tight into his body time and time again and with such ferocity that he just could not cope, it’s good to watch and so Tracy two weeks running has knocked serious lumps out of the opposition and surely now is starting to believe, as we all are. Steve from Cam deserves a mention as he made some astonishing retrieve shots during his three matches even while suffering from Sciatica. So 6-3 down and G stepped up to play the doubles with Grampy who won a marathon bat spin. The Thornbury pair were never in it, losing in 3 straight. The Rubbish then went in convoy to their favourite watering hole in that part of the world, The Old Spot, Grampy seemingly already totally resigned to The Rubbish being relegated. Maggot the Mentor had been with us and gave us the benefit of a talk he had been party to where the speaker was explaining that you can do anything if you really want to, better get him round here at the double.
Cam A - 7, Thornbury C - 3
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Yate vs Thornbury C - So near but yet so far - 9th Oct 2012
Thornbury C vs Nailsworth Phoenix C - We have every confidence in our Captain - 3rd Oct 2012
It was the top of the table versus the bottom clash as new
club Nailsworth Phoenix C strolled into town. Naturally Thornbury were the
bottom club with it all to do if they were to get anything at all from this
encounter. Captain was on one table and Len the other, playing Mike and Pete
respectively. It was not long before the class started to emerge as the hard
hitting pair put the visitors into the lead. It didn’t stop there as the
two number 3’s clashed, where Tracy, after taking game 1 at a canter suffered
a catastrophic failure, losing 3-1. Backs now to the wall, Len and Grampy dug
deep, Grampy managed to win his to remaining matches to lift the spirit, but Len's dip in form continues, as he drew a blank. So with the score at 7-2 to
the visitors is was G’s turn to see if he could contribute to a point in the
doubles. Grampy span the right colour match at the second time of asking
and stepped up but it was no good as Nailsworth took it in 3 straight. In the other match the A team took on the Woodchester B
heavyweights and managed to go one better than the Rubbish as they lost 7-3.
All of the opposition made the journey to the pub where we were joined by
Charlie hound, Tracy and Ian’s bruising boxer dog who came for his biscuits. We
learned that Tracy has accepted an offer on her house and all being well
will be moving but staying in Thornbury. As was mentioned last week our Captain has our full vote of
confidence, just like Peterborough United who this week said that even if they get relegated they will stick with manager Darren Ferguson, son of Sir
Alex Ferguson, that’s loyalty for you. Newcastle United are also following the theme of stability is bestas they award manager Alan Pardue and his backroom boys 8 yr contracts, nice work if you can get it !
Thornbury C - 2, Nailsworh Phoenix - 8
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Forest Green C vs Thornbury C - At least we did better than the A team - 26th Sept 2012
Something is eating at the very core of Team Rubbish whether it’s the self imposed retirement of G that’s left a stake through the heart of his Captain who knows, maybe the local beers are just not up to scratch this season. The Rubbish must get some motivation from somewhere if they are not to be relegated by Christmas. Captain is doing his bit, out with the big boys on Monday this week training against the might of the Forest Green A Team and by all accounts pushing them hard and making them earn their 8-2 victory over Thornbury A, and the rumours were that puppies were running amock in the Britannia. The result of Captains hard training was a brace of victories against Ian and Tony but he could not stop Keith from taking his hatrick for the home side as he put the strongest team the Rubbish had to offer aside. Len is also struggling with his form this season as he walked away with a crispy duck, winning just the one game in is three matches. Mike, last weeks hatrick hero managed just the one win against Tony, but lost in 5 to Ian after being 2-1 to the good. Yes some inspiration is needed if the Rubbish are to survive and the column inches are to be filled in the write ups. G came off the bench to partner Mike in the doubles and although he had a fair match with one of the traditional back flip aces in a pile of good shots it was not enough to stop the Forest Green duo of Tony and Ian taking the spoils. It was the usual run down the hill to the Britannia next where we met Nick and his wife who is now studying hard in a years college course. The only consolation is that we had lost 7-3 and got one more point than our A team against Forest Green. Lets hope we don’t go the way of Coventry City, relegated from the Championship last year, have not won a match this season, got hammered 6-1 by the Arsenal in the League cup, and have sacked one manager already this season. Sound familiar ? Anyway we all have every confidence that our Captain can pull us round, there’s a vote of confidence for you.
Forest Green C - 7, Thornbury C -3.
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Randwick B vs Thornbury C - Where do we go from here ? - 11th Sep 2012
Maybe it’s because Thornbury did not have a summer break this year, maybe depression has set in with the thought of the winter being as poor as the summer has been, something had to be at the bottom of our Captains’s lack of vigour and enthusiasm for the new season. He and Tracy turned up on time for once with the usual beaming smiles but they soon turned to frowns as Ben, the new kid on the block at Randwick took the Captain apart in 3 straight. The Team Rubbish center back, Mike, was on next playing Dan and he duly showed Captain how it can be done as he chopped his way to victory to level the scores, also in 3 straight so at least we were looking good for the pub. Tracy had her match all by won against Gavin as she mullahed her way to a 2-0 lead with her raging hard hitting game, but somehow the wheels then fell off and Gavin clawed his way back into it and took a hard fought win. I think the fact that the Team Mentor was not there to analyse and pass on some tips made a difference. Rosey had a bit of a marathon against Ben and had to come from behind twice to level as Ben took the game to Mike. However as the game neared it’s end the youngster showed a few signs of nerves and allowed his own mistakes to play on his mind, Mike pinching it in 5. Grampy vs Gavin was another marathon, Grampy this time taking a 2-0 lead only to see Gavin pull it all back and level at 2-2, but this time it was not to be for Gavin, Grampy was not going to let him recover from 2-0 down and win twice in a row. Dan against Trace was a relatively uneventful match with Dan running out the winner. Gavin took the first game off Rosey bu that was as good s it got as Rosey upped the anti to take a hard fought hatrick. Tracy took on the hard hitting new boy next and took the first game off the youngster, sadly he managed to compose himself to take the win.Dan vs Grampy saw Dan get frustrated and stamping his feet, like and elephant who has had enough of his days logging and Captain seized the opportunity to capture his first point of the night. G awoke from his slumber on the bench to partner Mike against Ben and Dan in the doubles but were never really in it as the home pair took a 3-0 win and with it a 6-4 win on the night. The only thing Grampy remembers about Randiwck is that the pub is shut sometimes so without further ado we rolled down the hill to The Prince of Wales for our pint and watch England pull off a draw against Ukraine in the footy. Never before has Grampy only won 1 out of 3 in the opening two matches of a season, lets hope he gets some inspiration from somewhere before we once more go into battle.
Randwick B - 6, Thornbury C - 4.
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Thornbury C vs Cam B - Howz that - 5th Sep 2012
Some old faces re-appeared along with a rather dangerous new face, to do battle with Thornbury’s Rubbish and it didn’t take long before we were bundled up in black bags ready for the skip. Robbie, the new face looked to have good technique and was soon on his way to a hatrick as he rampaged through the home teams defence. Joe, a very tall young lad who’s game has improved no end was in a number 2. While the England cricket team was getting a lesson from South Africa Joe was giving Thornbury C a lesson in his own style of cricket, as his backhand stroke resembled a forward defensive cricket stroke. Only Captain managed to get the better of Joe. Last up for Cam was Harry, an old timer who attaches the wildest of spin to just about everything. That spin told too, it took our own old timer Len to beat Harry and give the scorecard a modicum of respectability.
When it came to the doubles G made if off the bench to partner Tracy against the two youngsters where there was no let up in pace as the visitors took it 3 straight with G on his knees during a number of points, think he is going to need two new knees soon as well as a new brain as they are shot to pieces with the constant falling. All in all a match Thornbury C will want to forget.
Thornbury C – 2, Cam B – 8
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