7th League vs Bryanston

NEWSFLASH: 'Unsinkable' Titanic hits iceberg

Yup, the unthinkable happened to the unsinkable. 7th league finally experienced defeat - and did we like it, no not one bit! Admittedly it was as a consequence of 'Cookie' Bowes, who crumbled with an injury in the second game of his tie, otherwise it was going to have been a very close evening.

It started badly with 'non-playing' captain Bullen dusting off his squash shoes at 4 and playing like the proverbial donkey. After 2-9 in the first, it looked like one way traffic. I jumped him in the second but he dug deep and won the third 9-7. Then going 1-7 down in the fourth it was all over, right? Nope, Bullen fought back from match point down for a dramatic 10-9 victory. Into the last game and guess what? Yup, 1-7 down again. Again the fight back to 8-8. Match points were exchanged, until finally, Bullen won on a clear stroke! But what? Gavin G, our own team member and marker called it a let? Bowes had even given him the correct call. Sadly, that allowed Gary back in and in the end he nicked it 10-9 with an amazing recovery winner. 2-3. It was only afterwards my opponent told me he had not lost all season...

COTY award for 'crook' Gavin G for stealing victory from his team mate and captain?

Then on went Richard, elevated to one at the behest of the non-playing captain. Another humdinger of a game which could have gone either way and, in the post match analysis (thanks Terry), should perhaps have swung our way. However, it was not to be and for the first time this season we had lost two games in a match. Richard went down 2-3.

But all we needed was for the broad shouldered Gavins to step up to the plate, as they had done all season. Sadly 'Cookie' Bowes, playing two, experienced a calf injury and crumbled in game two after having won a tense first game 10-9. Although he tried to battle on, ultimately he had to concede 1-3 and the match was over. If he'd spent more time warming up and less trying to sell his house (you have to question some people's priorities), it might have been a different story.

Finally Gavin G ('the crook') playing three held the floor in another amazingly close game. As with all other games, the victories alternated, but GG came back from 1-2 down to salvage some pride for the dented egos of 7th league with a 3-2 victory.

If Gavin B had finished, I'm fairly sure it would have 3-2 and we'd have had a points count out...wouldn't that have been fun.

Match result 8-14.

Lessons for markers: If it's a stroke, call a stroke, even if it is match point.

Lessons for captains: Dropping your number one and your top-performing player in the same match might not be a smart move.

Lessons for the team and match reporters: Never get arrogant, Bowen is bound to have some advice...

Lessons for all: Stretch thoroughly before stepping on to the squash court - you could get hurt!


Match result: 8-14.