1st League vs. Parkview

What a great turnout - the call from Chairman John to lift our boys was taken to heart and I would have been proud to be a 1st leaguer myself and have that kind of support.

By the time I got seated Francisco was one down to a rampant Gary who showed remarkable ability to return absolutely everything with interest to boot. It's the first time I've seen Gary play and was surprised at what ability this somewhat awkward character had - I was left speechless, not for the last time that evening. Francisco seemed at odds with his game and Gary's confidence grew from strength to strength and he took the second. I did notice how the Chamber team rallied around to give advice and encouragement to a struggling teammate in the breaks but unfortunately to no avail as Francisco made two service errors in the third and could not put up a fight. (0-3)

Earlier in the evening I saw this youngster walking about the courts and I thought that it was somebody’s kid hanging around. The kid turned out to be "JP", Gareth’s opponent for the evening and it pretty much needed an evening to conclude this battle. I found out from his teammates that JP is 19 years old and what a future he has ahead of him. He plays a fine game and showed such maturity and composure in keeping within reach of Gareth in this tick-tock, thousand-shots-a-point duel. We witnessed some heated moments as players disagreed with the marker and it then became a war of attrition and somewhere in the 4th I think Gareth’s lost his legs and although he recomposed himself, this thoroughly entertaining match ended up with Parkview drawing a line in the sand and claiming the second match. (2-3)

Then along came Mwansa, this man looks like he is dancing with happiness while he is playing - he exudes and embodies the joy that the game of squash brings and boy-oh-boy when the ball presents itself he hits it so hard that big George had his jaw dropping. It felt like this match was a one-horse race and that is not to belittle his opponent Grant, but Mwansa was just so on-song that he could pretty much kill the ball when he chose to. We could see Grants spirit disappear in the third and suddenly Chamber was back in with a chance at a draw if the Gods could just smile on us. Mwansa did an on-court flick-flak to celebrate his win. Joy personified! (3-0)

The guys who did battle

Craig vs. Kelvin (how much better could this evening get?) This match had everything - a theatrical production in itself - highs, lows, twists & turns, comedy & tears and that was just dealing with the marker. The first game was a cracker and it went to the wire with Craig coming out on top, the second started and a gazillion shots and two let's transpired before the first point was on the board. I was on the edge of my seat and the audience was spell-bound by the sheer mastery of the game and how it could be played if only the Gods had fairly distributed talent. Craig took the second and most of the hope that Chamber was praying for. The third started on a rather tetchy note as the crowd applauded Craig tinning the return of serve and Craig let his displeasure be known. Kelvin then found a new resolve and was volleying the most impossible lobs and finding the nick and putting in some of the tightest drops imaginable. Somewhere in amongst this was the high drama of marker having to stand up to silence a disgruntled Craig which was followed by the comedy of a "yes let" being mistakenly called a "no let" and finally laughter restoring the mood of good sportsmanship. Kelvin taking full advantage wins the next two games and setting up a potential points count if he can just hold on and take the decider. Unfortunately Christmas did not come early to Chamber on the night and sadly we had to settle for second place - but boy did we enjoy some entertainment. (2-3)

Bad luck guys and you made us proud notwithstanding.

Match result: 7 - 12

(Report written by "Ear Ear Gary")