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Knights V Templars 22nd July 2019


Monday night with the temperature in the 30’s saw temperatures rise higher in the Miners as these two teams faced off against each other. Captain Pitchfork, sorry Pickford led his team into the arena with Taxi Bill Smith, table tennis R R ,not Rolls Royce but Richard Redding and Jeremy Fisher aka John stand toe to toe with I don’t want to be Captain Malcovitch, Neil Newcastle, sorry Sunderland, the Umpire Geoff and newly promoted Captain Chaptain, sorry Chapman.The atmosphere could be cut with a knife as the seasons last match took to the floor.

First tense game saw ‘Newcastle v the Pitchfork (complete with his matching bionic knee protectors) with both games going in favour of experience.Next Captain Chapman took on R R and after sharing the first two games R R accelerated away to take the decider.   Malcovitch versus Taxi Bill, saw the Taxi pull away 2-0. Things weren’t going according to plan for the home team, 3 games played, 3 games lost. All eyes were on the Umpire to try and steady the ship and true to form he performed to get the Knight scoreboard ticking over with a 2-0 against Jeremy Fisher.

First doubles game saw Pitchfork and the Taxi take the game against Malcovitch and Newcastle 2-0. 5 games down against - could the Knights make an unprecedented comeback? Captain Chapman took the next against Jeremy, and The Umpire took the match to half time with a victory over R R. Half time score Knights 3 Templar’s 4.

Lynda and Gill served refreshments to the vast crowd and after everyone had enjoyed fresh salmon and cucumber finger sandwiches and canopies, battle recommenced.. Newcastle v the Taxi, oh no shouted the crowd, the wheels had started to come off the comeback wagon as the Taxi took the game and extended the lead. Malcovitch v the Pitchfork, saw the old Malcovitch turn up and take a hard fought game 2-1. The doubles saw the Umpire and Captain Chaptain retain their unbeaten partnership with a 2-0 victory over R R and Jeremy Fisher.( a fete that the Umpire felt obliged to inform the throng of spectators). ( as if I would) he he😀. Newcastle v Jeremy went 2-0 to put Knights in front for the first time, but then The Umpire lost to the Pitchfork after which the Pitch publicaly apologised for all his net and table edges during the game. Captain Chapman lost to the wily Taxi to put Templar’s one up going into the final game. - Malcovitch v R R. One game each and entering the third and nail biting final. Malcovitch went behind, and already having made enough waving of his bat/paddle to have landed 50 Jumbo jets at Heathrow, he then kept the crowd entertained whilst waiting for the ball to be retrieved, by going into an unseen occurrence at the Miners. It was hard to differentiate as to whether it was the Locomotion, the Funky Chicken or The Moon Walk, but it resulted in Malcovitch nearly doing the splits and falling flat on his face. David Bellamy was overheard telling Sir David Attenborough that it was ‘Pwobably the nearest thing he had ever seen to the courtship dance of the Aboriginal lesser spotted roadrunniing wombat’ but it did the trick as he took the game 13-11 to tie the match up at 7-7. Great last night, great crowd, played in good spirits. Good night was had by all.

Bill Kenwright was heard after the match talking to Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and asking who this fleet footed arm waving individual was as he was looking for new talent for the forthcoming tour of Thriller, the Michael Jackson Story.

Knights v Slayers 10th July 2019

It was a moonlit night in old Mexico - but in Leigh the powers that be at LSG had been drafting players into this fixture to be thrashed out at The Miners under the floodlights and the multitude of spectators that had anticipated this battle and turned out in their numbers.The Slayers were led by Captain Austin/Morris ( an old car company for you young followers) had cut his holiday short to play in this fixture. Peter “ black rinse “ Libbey was unavailable having taken his long suffering wife of 25 years Sue to Barbados to celebrate. ( he was actually just getting rid of his ill gotten gains on windows and doors - but don’t let HM Customs and Revenue know!), so in was drafted Ambidextrous ( that means he can speak two languages) Michael ‘change hands’ Snape. Pistol Packing Perkins - man of the match on Two tables last time out was in at three with the younger more good looking Libbey completing a very strong team. The Knights were led by debut boy Captain Von Ryan Warhurst, expressly followed by I don’t want to be Captain Malcovitch, Neil, haven’t won a game for the last two outings Sunderland ( but we won’t bring statistics up) and the Umpire - trying his hand with a new bat. Hand, arm, leg anything as long as it had the desired outcome.


First game Neil v Austin/Morris. Neil carrying on his tradition of late 1-2 to the Car Company. Next up Von Ryan’s Express against PPP ( not Penguin) Perkin. What was happening the crowd roared as Von Ryan took the first game pretty easily against PPP, but big game experience told as Sam came back to take the next two. Malcovitch next against Change Hands with Snapey taking it 2-1. 3-0 down the Knights were looking shakey until the old warhorse Umpire took to the floor to steady the ship! Young Libbey pushed him hard all the way but once again experience took its toll and the Umpire put the Knights first points on the board - much to the delight of the enthusiastic multitude of on lookers. Malcovitch and Neil took the first doubles 2-0 , Knights back in the game 2-3. The atmosphere could be cut with a blunt knife and the crowd were becoming restless with anticipation.

Von Ryan came down to earth with a bang as the Younger Libbey disposed of him 2-0. The Umpire took on the precocious PPP and proved that experience stands for nothing as Two tables brushed him aside 2-0. Now known as PPPP . Neil v Change Hands ( two team mates last season) but no love was lost as Neil took it 2-0. - his first victory in three weeks - but we won’t mention statistics. Malcovitch beat Austin/Morris 2-0. Neil beat Young Libbey 2-0 forcing the question to be asked “who are you and what have you done with Neil “. Doubles went to PPPP and Young Lib. The Umpire lost 2-1 to the Car Company, Von Ryan lost out to Change Hands and Malcovitch lost out to PPPP. Final score Knights 5. Slayers 9.

It was a dark Knight for the Knights easily slayed by a strong Slayers team.
After the game Theresa May was seen talking to Captain Von Ryan on the fire escape and apparently she volunteered her services as Press Officer for the Knights as she is now out of a job, but Von Ryan turned down her offer saying it was too pressurised a job for her to do. ( rumour has it Arthur Scargill is in line for the job as long as no one undermines him!) More news next week!

Templars V Knights 24th June 2019


Monday night at the Miners saw the Templar’s at home against the Knights. After travelling all day to get there the Knights were hot under the collar mainly due to the heat wave but also to get the game under way and get their season back on track. The Templar’s were led by newly promoted Captain Jonathan Melling and this made way for Ringer Rob Bannister to come out of retirement, put away his Zimmer frame, cast away his crutch ( stop it!) and remove all his elastic strapping to come out fighting for the cause. The cause being the first game against I don’t want to be Captain Malcovitch.These two went to the table like Hinge and Bracket,being old friends,with the emphasis on old. Ringer Rob started off as though he had never been away taking the first game 11-1. This shocked Malcovitch into action ( action we hadn’t seen during the past three weeks ) and he fought back to 4-11 to tie the game. A long drawn out third game saw the Ringer take the game 13-11. 1-0 to the home team.
Jeremy Fisher,aka,John then took on Umpire Geoff and a hard fought game saw the Umpire take it 2-0. Acting Captain Mainwaring, I mean Melling took on last weeks man of the match Neil, who was not doing anything more important today, and the Acting Capt took the game 2-0.Fourth game of the first round saw Taxi Bill Smith ,better late than never,take on Captain Simon,but Taxi Bill proved too strong and won 2-0. The first doubles saw Malcovitch and Neil take on Acting Captain Mainwaring and Ringer Rob, but the experience of playing together saw Malcovitch and Neil overpower their opponents to win 2-0. Jeremy Fisher and Captain Simon saw the latter win 2-0, Taxi Bill and the Umpire played a hard game with Taxi Bill taking a close fought victory. Half time Templar’s 4 Knights 3.
After cucumber crust free finger sandwiches and French Fancies ( stop it) the match resumed with Ringer Rob taking on last weeks man of the match Neil, but the Ringer proved too strong and took it2-0. Captain Mainwaring and I don’t want to be Captain Malcovitch played a hard game with the Home Guard winning 2-1. The doubles saw Captain Simon and the Umpire beat Taxi Bill and Jeremy Fisher 2-0 extending their unbeaten run. ( who can stop them?) The Ringer took on Captain Simon and was a little taken aback, but finally overcame Simon 2-1. Ringer Rob - 3 wins out of 3 games. What a good idea to put him in the ream. ( whoever’s idea that was?) Taxi. Bill took on, I don’t want to be Captain Malcovitch ,and the old Malcovitch that we all know and love showed his face at long last and overpowered the Taxi 2-1. Jeremy Fisher took on Neil in the next to last game. Neil who had gone from Hero (last week) to Zero this week saw Neil finally find form and he won 2-0. Last game of the night with the scores at Templar’s 7 Knights 6 saw Captain Mainwaring (Melling) take on the Umpire with the latter needing a win to tie the game. The Umpire took the first game and the crowd went into a frenzy. Even spectators from Pie Country (Wigan) who had made the journey over through Customs were ecstatic. All this excitement went to the Umpires head and he lost the next two games to give victory to the Templar’s 8-6.
When all the excitement and jubilation had died down Boris Johnson ( who had been giving a lecture on Brexit and Family relationships at nearby Tyldesley) asked the players for their views on the game. They all gave answers that they don’t discuss private matters with the public - and all vacated the premises.

Slayers V Knights 19th June 2019


It was a balmy night ( in more ways than one) at the Welfare in Leigh, we did not have the accompaniment of torrential rain that we have been used to this “Summer”, so the players nerves were taught and feelings ran high as Dave Morris fresh from his holidays led his team of Dave's and Libbey's into the arena to face Simon, ( I’m the only one who will be captain ) Chapman's Knights, back to full strength. Dave Pops Haines had been sacked following his peaking too soon in the Knockout final and failing to rise to expectation last week, which saw the return of Neil Sunderland who tonight had nothing better to do so he turned out for his team.


First out, complete with Barbados black rinse was Libbey senior against don’t want to be Captain Malcovitch. One game each when Black rinse pulled it out in the final game ( stop it! ) and took the match 2-1. Next up was second Dave, aka Al Pacino, who was guesting for hop along Meredith (sorry Kev) and he took to the floor against The Umpire Geoff. A very tough game with the Umpire taking it 2-0. First Dave, Captain Morris then took on Neil, one each again until Neil finally “extinguished “ Dave's challenge (do you get it?) to win 2-1.

Finally Libbey junior took on Captain Chapman and a hard fought match saw Junior take it 2-0.


First doubles saw the home ones and twos ( say no more !) take it 2-0. Al ( where’s Holly ) Pacino lost out to Captain Chapman which saw Simon doing back flips, circuits of the table and acknowledging the vast crowd as he took his first Summer League victory. Libbey junior came out to face The Umpire - not a pretty thought - and was baying for blood, but experience told in the end 2-0 to the senior.

Half time score 4-3 to the Knights. After finger sandwiches, petite fours and cups of china tea the second half kicked off with Lib Senior v Fireman Neil and again Libs was extinguished in 3. Malcovitch finally found his form ( I don’t know where it had been hiding) but he overcame Captain Dave 2-1.


Doubles saw Captain Chapman and the Umpire continue their unbeaten run with a 2-1 victory. Libs Senior beat Simon, Libs Junior beat Malcovitch, Al Pacino lost out to Neil and Captain Dave beat the Umpire. Final score Slayers 6 Knights 8.

After the game Radio Manchester presenter Alan Beswick tried to interview the teams, but no one could find Al ( where’s Holly), Neil dashed off to find other things to do, Libbey had an appointment with Vidal Sassoon for a new black rinse and Malcovitch was talking in the car park. All in all a very enjoyable “Knight” was had by all.

Knights V Raiders 12th June 2019


Wednesday evening saw the clash of the night when Newly appointed Captain (Black Beard) Simons Knights took on Scotts unknown quantity The Raiders.

Tensions ran high as all pleasantries were dispensed with as the first game got under way. Dave Pops (I am Neil) Haines took to the floor to play Captain Scott, but Pops playing on the back of his Handicap Cup success failed to find his form and Scott took the game 2-0.

Next game saw Black Beard take on the unknown Julie and after a shaky start by both saw Julie run out winner 2-1. "I don’t want to be Captain" Malcovitch made his debut after injury playing the inform Two table Thomas, but Malcovitch couldn’t find his old form and Two Table took the game 2-0. Umpire Geoff took on Richard in their first game and after a close fought game Geoff ran out 2-1 winner giving the Knights their first point on the board. 3-1 games to The Raiders.

The first doubles of the night saw Malcovitch and Pops(I am Neil) take on Captain Scott and Two table Thomas and after a good start by the home team(Knights) The Captain and Two tables ran out 2-1 winners.

Black Beard Simon took on Richard but experience came through as Richard ran out 2-1 winner. Umpire Geoff V Unknown Julie but couldn’t work her out and Julie won 2-0.

The battle of last years Raiders saw Pops(I am Neil) taking on Two tables, but youth overcame in the end 2-0. Match score Knights 1 Raiders 7. "I don’t want to be Captain" Malcovitch then took on Captain Scott, but injury ridden Malcovitch crumbled under pressure and Scott took the game 2-1.

Second doubles game saw the Umpire and Black Beard take on Unknown and Richard and after a good start by the home team the game came to 1-1. Knights dug in and came out 2-1 winners which saw the Knights double their match total - to 2.

Pops ( I am Neil) who had his Wembley in the Hanicap Cup Final capped off a bad night by loosing 2-0 to Richard. He afterwards told Sky Sports News that he had peaked during that final, and was unlikely to ever peak again!.

The Umpire took on Captain Scott and eventually wore him down to take another point for the Knights - Now 3. Black Beard lost 2-0 to Two Tables Thomas and Malcovitch lost 2-1 to Unknown Julie.

The game finished Knights 3 Raiders 11.

BBC sports correspondent Dan Walker was later seen in the bar and explained that first game of the season, players are not up to speed, with the exception of the Umpire who’s Thursday night extensive training at the Mill showed tonight after scoring all 3 points for the Knights. Full report will be on Breakfast on Thursday morning.

Templars v  Slayers 12th June 2019


The Summer League got under way at the Miners for the Second Division in pouring rain and cool conditions, summer competition, where is the sun.

Both teams made late changes to their starting line ups so first on was Caretaker Bill against the Libbey senior, with Bill taking the match against a rusty Libbey. Next on was Captain Kev against newbie John, with Kev taking the game in two.

Wiganer Dennis against the Wily Mike was a close encounter with Dennis taking the third game. Playing on both tables and much appreciated was Thomas the Beard Cuthbert who took on the Young Pretender Libbey and with some impressive play from the youngster he finally went down in two. In the doubles the Libbey and Wily Mike proved too strong and won in two against the Caretaker and the Wiganer, the match was finely balanced at 3-2 for the Templars.

The battle between the Young Pretender and John ended with John going down in two well fought games and in

the next with the Bearded one getting the better of Captain Kev.

The battle of the Caretaker Bill and the Wily Mike was soon over with Bill taking it in two with some ease and followed by the Wiganer beating Libbey senior in the third in a tight match.

In the doubles the Young Pretender and Kev got the better in two over Tom and John and followed the best match of the night when the Caretaker just got better of the Young Pretender in the final game with good shots all-round the table from both players. In another tight match the Libbey beat the Bearded one in the third but needed to work hard for his win. In the penultimate game the Wily Mike proved too strong with his spin for John and with the score at 7-6 for the Templars.

The Wiganer was too strong for Captain Kev in the final game with the Templars worthy winners. For the

first outing of the season the Wiganer and the Caretaker caught the eye with impressive performances also from the Bearded one and on his debut the Young pretender, with good performances also from John playing in his first competition.

After the match outside of the Miners Laura from the BBC was seen interviewing Boris Johnson launching his bid to become PM, out walked the Libbey, Boris stopped his interview to ask Libbey if he would pop round to Downing St and give him a price for two new windows and a composite front door, Libbey said he was busy and fully booked until the middle of July and he would have to wait until he got back from his


Never a dull moment at the LSG after another good night of Table Tennis enjoyed by all.

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