Our opening match of season was the annual mixed friendly against King George Field IBC. This fixture was first instigated in 2018 by Don McCleod, who at that time was Match Secretary for both clubs.
The first encounter was not exactly a triumph for Cuddington, who were soundly beaten on all three rinks. The following year, although we did manage a win on one rink we still lost on shots overall.
The impact of COVID and lockdown meant that the fixture did not take place in 2020 or 2021. So, would this year prove to be third time lucky for Cuddington?
Indeed it did! The match followed a not uncommon pattern where one rink tends to fall progressively behind, the second surges into a commanding lead, and the third more or less holds its own. In terms of the overall score, it was nip and tuck all the way, with Cuddington virtually throughout just about managing to maintain a slender lead. However there were never more than one or two shots in it, and in the end it all came down to the wire in a nail-biting finish.
Paul, Josie, Maralyn and Norman on rink 3 had done the business against Dave Morgan's team, chalking up a resounding win by 25 shots to 11. Brian, Pauline, Gordon and Steve on rink 5 were always a few shots behind their opponents, skipped by Richard Wooster, and after the 21st end had been played their final score was 16 shots to 20.
All eyes were now on the main scoreboard, which showed Cuddington nursing a fragile lead 52 shots to 50. It would all hinge on the final end being played out on rink 4. Jan, Les, Mike and Graham had faced an uphill battle all the way against a dogged performance by Peter Blyth's team (aided and abetted by a very effective contribution from Keryl, who was on loan to the opposition team as they were a player short). They were 11 shots to 19 down going into the final end. It was now all about damage limitation - and they managed it, conceding just the one shot. Final score: Cuddington 52 shots, King George Field IBC 51!
In flagrant disregard for the laws of etiquette, Josie was determined not to relinquish possession of the Top Rink pen she had so valiantly fought for to her opponent. And who could blame her? It was her first. There will be many more to come.