The Veterans Squash Rackets Club of Great Britain

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2nd FEBRUARY 2019

The GBVETS were welcomed to Dublin for the annual fixture against Fitzwilliam club. Timed to coincide with the England Ireland Rugby International, hopes were high for an England double. Our support for the England rugby team we were sure would be reciprocated by the huge number of England supporters in Dublin!

Friday night’s match got off to an early start to accommodate the later festivities and it seemed as if our lower order were in a hurry to start the festivities early. Bedford Lloyd, Tammy Bennet and Kim Ricks went down to some strong opposition, albeit not without a fight, recording a game each. It was left to Ian Bradburn, Steve Johnson and Steve Jackson to salvage something from the ashes. Fortunately the trio were suffering no jet lag and the two Steve’s managed convincing 3/0 victories while Bradders got off to a slow start with a tight game in prospect after each managed narrow wins in the first two, but he then picked up the pace and ran out an easy 3/1 winner.

So honours even, but a moral victory to GBVETS in that the games score was 12/10 in our favour!

However, Fitzwilliam have been here before and after a pleasant few drinks at the club we were inveigled by our hosts to continue festivities in a bar followed by a night club followed by…….. Suffice it say that all arrived home well after bedtime and as we were due on court 10.30am next morning, some of us might not have been in top condition!
Clearly our training had not been of the right type and we must take lessons from the hardy northerners messrs Bradburn and Johnson, who though perhaps a little jaded, still managed impressive 3/1 and 3/0 victories at 1 and 2. We shall draw a discreet veil over numbers 3, 4 and 5 while Tammy did appear to be upright and managed to put up some kind of performance in going down 3/1.

Our hosts provided a Saturday lunchtime party prior to the rugby and with some lucky enough to have tickets for the match, the rest reciprocated the support we had received, adding our enthusiastic voices in a largely partisan crowd in a bar. Of course we were duly rewarded with a crushing England victory, unlike ours which ended with a whimper and a 7/5 overall defeat. When will we learn that it is a match of two halves!

However, in consolation we were rewarded by our superb hosts who ensured we were treated royally, culminating in a superb dinner on Saturday evening where they presented themselves with the trophy! The trophy itself bears mentioning. Presented by Trevor McVeigh , it was his father’s trophy who was a noted Irish tennis player, who also played at Wimbledon. He won the Irish open 3 times in succession in the 1930’s and thus retained the trophy. Trevor thought the solid silver cup was a fitting prize for the important GBVETS annual fixture and it has been the coveted prize since 1976.

Next time boys and girls……..

Steve Jackson

(Picture of both teams)