The Veterans Squash Rackets Club of Great Britain

home > tours > york
GB Vets v Wiggington
25th & 26th March 2022

GB Vets were again honoured to accept the annual invitation extended by Wiggington Sports Club, returning for the first time in three years due to the pandemic. This fixture has been a main stay in the Vets calendar for many years.

The Vets fielded a reasonably strong side with a wide range of age and abilities.

Matt Stevenson, Neil Harrison, Allen Barwise (capt), Keith Ragg, Alison Goy, Bryan Francis and Polly Woodward.

First to play on Friday was Ali Goy who contested a closely fought match with one of the leading Wiggies ladies. Ali just lost out 3-2 to Diane who surprised all the spectators with her incredible speed at the front of the court.

Keith Ragg entered the fray next taking the first game 11-9, the following games were exchanged until the 5th then Rob’s superior fitness became significant with the Wiggie man taking the last 11-2.

Bryan Francis played out of his skin to destroy his opponent 11-1, 11-1, 11-1 showing great guile and retrieving ability in his win.

Polly Woodward then picked up a fine win 3-0 against another local lady, Jules. Polly’s recent coaching paid off enabling her to chop up Jules in 20 mins.

Next up was Neil Harrison who has had a mixed year with little competitive squash due to covid and becoming granddad of the year. Ben Collard took it 3-1 although the match was a little controversial due to a very poor decision given to Neil at game ball which would have made it 2-1 to him.

New member and York resident, Matt Stevenson played three sets of powerful lengths and deft drops the beat their No1 player to square the match at 3-3.

Allen Barwise took to the court with the spectators shouting for the home man, however, the Vet captain used all his experience and court craft to beat the much younger man 3-0.

A great start to the weekend for the touring team. Vets 4 Wiggington 3

Wiggington’s team manager Nick Clifford then shuffled his pack for Saturday afternoon’s match bringing in a stronger selection in at several positions. They were not keen on losing another match.

Again Wiggie got off to a great start with Ali and Keith losing to stronger opponents despite both of them playing better than the night before. Ali losing 3-0 but all the games being extremely close. Keith played almost a mirror image of himself and although their styles cancelled each other out the home man came through in 4 games.

Our banker from last night Bryan unfortunately couldn’t replicate his form and lost out to a hard hitting opponent although the games were tight.

With the visitors 3-0 down it was left to Polly to try to keep the match alive, losing the first game it didn’t look good, however she rallied well and took the next three. A good performance from the left hander, whose confidence has grown since acquiring one of Stuart Hardy’s racquets.

Allen played the local ‘runner’ next, winning a tense match 3-1, a good weekend’s performance from the Cumbrian lad who volleyed the ball at every opportunity against his much fitter rival.

At 3-2 down in the match Neil had to pull out a result against a much younger guy. Neil was two down but found his rhythm and produced some crowd pleasing shots which confused his opponent and referee. Neil dug in well to make it 2-2 when Matt had to retire due to a hammy strain brought on by the sudden changes in direction Neil subjected him to. Great result for Neil.

Matt then played Jonny Duffield, a rivalry which has extended over several years. Many would say a grudge match, especially as the players’ home clubs share intense Yorkshire league competition. With the crowd displaying great support for Jonny he raised his game and made Matt play at his best, the Vet’s newcomer taking the match 11-5, 11-9, 11-8.

The overall match result on the Saturday - a 4-3 win to the Vets.

Allen thanked the club management, bar staff, caterers and club members for their kind invitation and support over the weekend. We then took the Wiggington players to dinner in York and a very pleasant evening was had by all.

Allen Barwise.


Friday 25th March

  Wiggington   GB Vets    
1 Tom Pepper lost to Matt Stephenson 0-3 4/11,9/11, 9/11
2 Ben Collard beat Neil Harrison 3-1 8/11,11/5,13/11,11/6
3 Angus Clapham lost to Allen Barwise 0-3 9/11,9/11,8/11
4 Rob Cooper beat Keith Ragg 3-2 9/11,11/5,8/11,11/8,11/2
5 Diane Fenwick beat Alison Goy 3-2 9/11,11/7,7/11,11/6,11/7
6 Dave Vickers lost to Bryan Francis 0-3 1/11,1/11,1/11
7 Jules Frost lost to Polly Woodward 0-3 3/11,1/11,4/11

Wigginton 3 GB Vets 4

Saturday 26th March

  Wiggington   GB Vets    
1 Jonny Duffield lost to Matt Stephenson 0-3 5/11,9/11,8/11
2 Matt Everitt lost to Neil Harrison 2-3 11/5,11/9,9/11,9/11(injured)
3 Phil Arnold lost to Allen Barwise 1-3 6/11,3/11,11/3,6/11
4 Robin Wright beat Keith Ragg 3-1 9/11,11/8,11/7,11/2
5 Kathryn Cordell beat Alison Goy 3-0 14/12,11/9,11/7
6 Graham Wakefield beat Bryan Francis 3-0 12/10,11/8,12/10
7 Nick Clifford lost to Polly Woodward 1-3 11/9,8/11,8/11,3/11

Wigginton 3 GB Vets 4

Allen Barwise Nick Clifford &  
Polly Woodward
Bryan Francis  Alison Goy 
Keith Ragg  GB Vets Team Back Row:
Keith Ragg, Neil Harrison,
Bryan Francis, Matt Stephenson.
Front Row: Alison Goy,
Allen Barwise (Capt),
Polly Woodward