A late cry-off from Joel Makin saw Warrington have to make changes to the team order to play Wigan. We were only 14 points ahead and Liverpool were chasing hard.
On first was Rob Downer against Patrick Rooney. This was always going to be tough for Rob at 1st string and so it turned out to be. Patrick always looked comfortable despite the pace of the match (below). He covered off Rob’s every move and he ran out the winner in 3 fairly easy games.
Meanwhile on court 6, Ameel Talib was having probably his best performance of the season against Mike McDonald. In a close first game, Ameel won the tie break 12:10. After that it was somewhat easier with Ameel showing composure and a greater variety of shots. He took the second game 11:3 and then went on to win the third to level the tie (below).
Adam Taylor was next on the show court against Ryan Atherton. On paper, Adam was clear favourite. Unfortunately, Adam never really turned up which allowed Ryan to boss the game. Adam’s shot selection was below par and they were going down all too regularly. Ryan seized his chance and took the match in 3 games to the disappointment of the large home crowd (above).
Next on court 6 was Carlton Oldham against Paul McDonald. Now we needed Carlton to win. In a close first game, Carlton edged ahead 11:8. Then the scores were reversed in the second - all square. While on the show court, Andy Whipp took on former Warrington player, Nat Fairhurst. Nat moved to Wigan to play higher up the order. There is no doubt that Nat’s game has improved with this experience, but 2nd string is proving a bit of a challenge. With the League title at stake, Andy was taking no prisoners. He dominated the match from start to finish, winning in 3 easy games (top).
So now it all rested on Carlton’s match which was still in progress (above). Carlton won a tight third game, 13:11, and Paul responded winning the fourth 8:11. With the crowd crammed into the viewing area above court 6, it was now down to who could win the final game. Carlton put a few shots down and Paul edged into a lead. Then Carlton won four points in a row to take the score to 11:10 and match point. Paul saved it and then he too had match point which he converted to take the match 11:13 and with it the tie in by 14 points to 8.
With Liverpool dropping only 3 points their last home match against Grove Park, Warrington’s lead is down to 5 points. If Liverpool score 5 points more than Warrington next week in the final matches of the season, they will win the League title. Warrington are at Alderley Edge and Liverpool are at Wigan. It’s going to be a cliff hanger!