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Clown claims Fives crown in thrilling Smacker final

ImageFives legend Ivor Shuffleov missed his chance to claim the coveted Triple Fives title at this weekend's Smacker Magnum, we can finally report, now that the traditional post-match blackout has ended.

After a frantic series of heat events, Shuffleov prepared to face his final opponent, a newcomer to the Fives circuit and first-time Smacker competitor known only as Mr Binky.

Shuffleov, competing in his trademark snorkelling gear, started strongly to end the first day's play 6-2 up, having demonstrated his usual flair for double-enders, flicks off the wrist and well-timed finger-thrusts.

His opponent - aping Shuffleov's disguise tactic by competing in full clown regalia - held on grimly to remain just in contention. But everything was to change after nip, when Binky reversed the tables and amazed the crowd with a staggering repertoire of long-corner edge-hangers, subtle thumbstrokes and sliding butts to level the match at 8-all.

The usually unflappable Shuffleov was visibly shaken. It only remained for Binky to claim his crown by stuffing the purse, not once but five times, and with three farthings left on the clock.

Shuffleov declined to comment on his defeat, and left the arena in disgust. Binky, resplendent in his Smacker Magnum tiara, welcomed the attention of the gathered media but answered every question by holding up a sign that said "beep".

Will Binky become the dominant force in Fives that Shuffleov has been? Will Shuffleov return? The coins may be stacked against him, but if the world of Fives has ever proven anything, it's that it takes more than a quick jangle to break the bank.

The upcoming Banger Mashup in Rhyllsworthy promises more drama - and we'll be covering every flip.

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