The tension had been building all week, the cheese and biscuits and mince pies cleared away and the table tennis table restored to its rightful place in Greenheys reception ahead of the big tournament.
The crowds started to gather (the old geezer from next door eating his lunch, 2 random students and some lad that looked like he had got lost) as the i2i gladiators assembled.
The draw was made the day before; 8 of i2i’s finest randomly drawn from the hat by the gaffer pitched Clayton V Walker in the first of the 4 quarter finals. Walker obviously spent far too much time practising around the world on his pigging jobs and held his own, but lost out 21-10.
Second quarter-final pitched Banks V Quek. Quek tried hard with his borrowed bat but Banks aggression proved too much for the diminutive pencil-hold specialist. 21-17.
Third quarter-final saw Hodson take on Gill, the latter stepping up bravely to take on one of the favourites after Dave Keeling withdrew ( failed a dope test we think). Despite Gill having arms long enough to reach the net from the back wall, Hodson eased through 21-6.
Last quarter-final saw Edge take on the new boy Smith. Edge controversially chose to reject the quality 3 star white ball for the “council ball” in orange. The random shape of the house ball – resembling a tangerine – led to a good battle that Edge edged…..21-3.
Clayton V Banks. Excalibur flashed away, leading to a 21-12 win for Clayton. Banks storms off “to a meeting”.
Hodson v Edge. Hodson won the toss and selected the white 3 star ball. This was obviously too much for Edge who lost out 21-8.
Clayton v Hodson. A possible grudge match, the young designer still smarting from “Chilli-Gate” when accusations were made around how a fiery chilli found its way into a doughnut that Hodson bit into. (Culprit still unidentified…Anthony now known as Hot-Lips Hodson !)
Best of 3….Hodson takes first game 21-10. Clayton obviously tired from earlier exertions
Second Game. A sweaty Clayton fights back, 21-13.
Decider. A now very sweaty Clayton perspiring heavily, Hodson starts well but gets the jitters late in the deciding game to allow Clayton to power through, probably 2 mins from collapsing !
Champion for 2016 = Clayton.