The Veterans Squash Rackets Club of Great Britain

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The third annual Festival of Squash hosted by the GB Vets was held at the RAC, Woodcote Park, Epsom on Sunday 8th November. Following discussions after the fixture in 2014, it was decided to play the entire event over one day. This meant an early start for some of the players. This did not seem to blunt any of the competitive spirit as the forty players from the RAC, GB Vets, the Army and the Escorts, began arriving shortly after 9 a.m. Each side fielded four singles and six doubles players.

Dave Smith, Dave Leach, Stuart Hardy and Chris Wilson represented the GB Vets in the singles; our representatives in the doubles were Robert Smith and Karen Hume, Nigel Belle and Roger Sulley and Lance Kinder and John Woodliffe.

Stuart and Chris won all their three matches each scoring 12 points, while the two Daves each won two, scoring 18 points between them.

This enabled the GB Vets to dominate the singles. However, the results in the doubles were less successful although all the matches were very close and hard fought. Nigel and Roger won two of their three matches earning 9 points. Neither Robert and Karen or Lance and John were able to win their matches but won enough games to score 4 points each.

Overall, the Army team did just enough to retain the trophy they won in 2014, with a total of 63 points against the GB Vets score of 59 points. Very creditable performances saw The Escorts in third place with the RAC in fourth.

Shortly after the final matches finished, beer, wine and canapés were served for both players and guests, courtesy of the GB Vets. Finally, the GB Vets Chairman, Tom Hendry thanked James Dubois and the RAC for their generosity in making it possible for the event to take place in such fine surroundings. Tom then thanked all the team captains for putting their teams together and congratulated all the players for both turning out and demonstrating a tough competitive spirit whilst maintaining good grace on and off court! Tom then presented the 2015 Festival of Squash Trophy to the Army’s captain Phil Ashman and, finally, invited teams to return in 2016 to this special celebration of the game that is so special to us all.

A special thank you must go to John and Terry Woodliffe for their hard work in organizing the details of the event for the third year running. Terry especially was able to demonstrate her calmness and flexibility as she orchestrated the matches for the four courts throughout the day.

This splendid event, which was devised in 2013 to celebrate the GB Vets 50th anniversary, has now become a fine fixture in the calendar. See you all in 2016!

Tom Hendry