The Veterans Squash Rackets Club of Great Britain

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On a recent Friday evening a number of Vets Club members gathered together at Colets for a few games of squash with a difference. This was to be no ordinary match but the Final of the Surrey Veterans Knockout Competition for the 2009/2010 season.

It was played late, because although both teams were from the same club, International commitments and various successes in Cologne in the World Masters Championships prevented the match being played at the correct time. A bit like rearranging the FA Cup Final really without the crowds.

With neither team at full strength the outcome was in doubt right up to the start.

The first team consisted of Alan Thomson, world No.2 over 50 and Scottish International many times over. Dermot Hurford, English International. David Clarke another English International. The list goes on. Stuart Hardy and Richard Mosley both English Internationals. Players unavailable for the potential line up were Adrian Jaski, James Hyatt and David Stanton, but as these are not Vets Club members they were not missed.

The second team consisted of lesser lights in the squash world. Rosser, Howes, Temple, Scroxton and a young lady soon to join the Vets Club Ms Tamsin Bennett. How could this low life bunch of wanabe squash players compete with the might that is Colets 1st Team.

Easily! We cheated.

The tournament rules allow for an handicapping system borrowed from Real Tennis called Bisques. Points available in each game to be awarded to the lower team and adjusted by age difference. Howes had 6 a game on Hurford and Temple 5 on Clarke. Rosser had 4 on Thomson and Scroxton 4 on Hardy. Bennett’s advantage over Mosley was prettier legs.

So how did the match develop?

I would love to report that the 2nd Team conquered all before them but the truth was that though the bisques gave a considerable assistance youth and ability will always win. Thomson’s refusal to play any winners and keep the rallies going was just not fair. Rosser being far too unfit to last but did manage to take a game on bumper strip winners. Howes frustrated Hurford by winning points and claiming bisque after bisque but eventually went down 9-7 in the 5th. Hardy scrapped a 3-1 win over our captain and Temple nearly caused an upset to form, but also went down 9-5 in the 5th to the Dark Destroyer. The only success was from Tammy beating a tired Mosley.

A few SWAGS were present to support the players and there followed the usual squash post match celebrations by drinking the prize money in Colets Bar and retiring to the newly refurbished Rose of Thames Ditton for the obligatory Friday night curry.

(SWAGS Squash wives and girlfriends)

Geoff Howes