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Bucks Men's B V Oxon Men's B ~ Match Report
Posted by bullet.gif Barlow on May 21 2010
An early start at the Herald as almost everyone was there by 11:00am thanks to the much publicised election of the new Men?s squad manager following the resignation of Dan Wilkins. Congratulations to Liam Harty who piped Dane Tuttlebee to the position on a second vote following a tie in the first vote.

Bucks B?s needed to put the disappointment of last month?s game behind them when they were in the embarrassing position of having to field a team 2 players short. Today it was a different story with 14 players to choose from as they entertained local rivals Oxfordshire at the Herald. The first 9 players on the team sheet was an easy choice for the captain, rewarding loyalty by picking the 9 players who made the journey to Worcestershire last month. This left 5 players with only 2 places on the teamsheet to fill, so we were always going to start with 3 disappointed players. This is an issue the men?s B team will be faced with throughout the season and last month?s game only emphasised how important it is to have a squad big enough to cover absentees. Although competition for places should be seen as a positive thing, it can be detrimental to the morale of the whole team when players openly vent their anger at decisions made honestly and fairly. I can understand the disappointment of not starting or being dropped, but it?s up to individual players to cement their place in the first eleven by turning up for every game and producing strong performances on the table.

Let?s get things straight now. This is not the A team, this is the B team where difficult decisions have to be made to pick a team from the rest of the squad who haven?t made it into the A?s.

Fact: If you don?t turn up for the preceding game, chances are you WON?T start in the next match.

Fact: If we have a large turnout and you lose your first 2 frames, chances are you?ll be replaced for someone who has started as sub.

Very often it?s a thankless job for the B team captain, regardless of who it may be, and to be honest the present one is ****ed off with remarks made in corridor conversations causing more bad feeling and unrest in the squad. Based on the above, no one should be surprised or disappointed if they don?t play or get dropped so enough of the back stabbing and put the energy into turning up regularly and improving your game.

Anyway onto the match itself, the B?s lined up with the 9 players who were present at the last match, those being Kenny Riddell, John Kennedy, John Hardaker, Dane Tuttlebee, Nick Bowden, David Larner, Tony Haggarty, Daren White and Chris Cox with Scott Rutter and John Clavey making the 11, those players having the best record out of the rest. This left Dan Wilkins, Liam Harty and Franco Marsala starting as sub. To be fair, 2 of those 3 players accepted the decision in good nature.

The B?s made a poor start with only David Larner taking a win in the first 6 frames, but a surprise change of fortune saw John Clavey, Chris Cox, John Hardaker, Tony Haggarty and Daren White turn the match around and take the first session 6-5.

The second session was much closer throughout with Bucks going 2-0 down then 3-2 up thanks to wins from John Kennedy, David Larner and Dane Tuttlebee. Chris Cox and John Hardaker added to those wins, but Bucks lost the session 6-5 with the match closely poised at 11-11 at the halfway point.

Three changes were made at this point which paid dividends straight away with Franco Marsala, Liam Harty and Dan Wilkins recording wins. John Kennedy, Chris Cox, John Hardaker and Daren White added to those wins and Bucks took the session 7-4 and 18-15 overall.

It was a tense start to the 4th session with Franco Marsala putting Bucks 19-15 up, but Oxfordshire came back and took the next 3. Dane Tuttlebee and Dan Wilkins took the next 2 for Bucks but again Oxford came back with 2 frames of their own. 21-20 with 3 to play. John Hardaker won followed by wins from Tony Haggarty and Daren White to take the match 24-20.

John Hardaker won the player of the match award for the third time in the 4 matches played this season with the B?s first 4/4 of the season. Chris Cox and Daren White each won 3/4 and Franco Marsala and Dan Wilkins both won 2/2.

Congratulations to the Bunnies with a big win against their arch rivals and supposedly the second best team in the region, 33-11, and also the A?s with a superb 23-21 win to make it a clean sweep for the Bucks!
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