First of all, it’s been too hot today, but now I’ve mentioned that I won’t repeat it for a while at least. I arrived early at bar billiards such was my enthusiasm for the whole project, indeed so early I was the first player to arrive.
Thanks to Chay and Eli for ensuring the food came out just before I started the break on my singles game, meaning I was well fed before playing. Not that it mattered, I was hammered in my singles game 1,480 to 590. However, the Serengeti managed to be ahead 4-2 after the singles despite my little defeat, but the games were close and the opponents were great company. And we had plenty of food, so what more could we want?
Our captain Roy in action.
Anyway, Wes and I were drawn last to play doubles, so all our team had to do was to win one game (there are three doubles games) and all the pressure was off us. What happened? Our team lost their two doubles games, meaning that it was 4-4 and Wes and I had to play the final game. I won’t reveal our strictly confidential tactics here, but we were playing some fine players and we came up with a strategy which we thought might work. To cut a long story short, the bar dropped (signalling the end part of the game), the other player’s team member missed the final red which meant one thing.
That one thing is that I had to play the final shot (in bar billiards, there’s a second part to the game if the score is within 200 with a white ball remaining, or 400 with a red ball remaining). The final shot into the middle pocket and if I missed our team would lose 5-4. If I got the ball in, we would win 5-4. This is not an easy shot, it’s one that I really hate playing and the stress of trying to make this shot was not inconsiderable. I know I’m trying to build slight drama, but it’s a sub-optimal shot to have to play as the final one of the night when it decides who gets the points.
Going back a bit, I signed up to bar billiards because I was told there was beer, food and exciting company. I didn’t sign up to be any good at bar billiards, I just knew I’d merrily turn up to everything the captain organised to make up the numbers and I could be relied upon to gossip quite a lot about stuff. That was my skill-set (primarily the gossiping), not being competent about potting balls on a table with a stick. I didn’t expect to be in these stressful situations with 20 people watching, I was sold on the food and gossip if I’m being honest. There was definitely no mention of having to play shots like this under extreme duress.
But, what happened?
Did I pot that final shot?
Yes, of course I did 🙂 I was very grateful to the Tuesday night players from various teams who I’ve been practising with recently. Maybe I’m finally taking this seriously. Well, not too seriously.
It means the Serengeti won 5-4 against the Disasterfarians in what was one of the most fun games so far of the season. And thanks for the hugs and emotional responses from both teams, it was much appreciated and even Julian S sitting in the other room of the White Lion was startled by the cries in the room following the shot. To celebrate, I went to the King’s Head with Emma and Julian despite having squash in the morning. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?