7th A League vs. Chamber B

What could be more satisfying than playing the most coveted local derby match and having your spouse watch you win? I do believe there is no bigger ego-booster/buster. It might sound cheesy to some, but not to our dearest foes the “B” team who have retained the bragging rights for yet another season. As we all know, bragging rights are the alpha and omega, the be-all and end-all, the yin and yang and have the power to settle any argument at any time, irrespective of your standing on the log. “We hold the bragging rights” are the words you want in your arsenal. In our own defense – it was only by a few measly points. But who’s counting?

Captain Peter arranged that we play at JCC which turned out to be a blessing with the under-floor heating so that the support from our wives and teammates would be a little more comfortable and warm given the cold snap in the air at the moment. Pairings were made and the battle commenced…

As scribe, I only saw the end of the first game between Karel and Peter LR and for some reason they were marking themselves, which is never a good idea when playing league where egos are at stake and social niceties need to take a bit of a temporary respite. I understand (from Karel’s wife - Elize) that it was not necessarily a pretty battle but Karel remained true to his word that he was not going to loose again in league and his resolve shone through as he fought back from losing the first and won in a five setter. (3-2)

I was busy on the adjacent court fighting my own losing streak demons and a determined Digby all in one match. We did the tick tock thing and were relatively civil with one another and even debated with each other as we received the odd markers call. The gloves finally had to come off in the fifth and it turned out to be a tightly contested affair as we both had match point. In the end Diggers finally pulled it off with overwhelming support from the onlookers, winning the decider 17-15 and giving his wife Kate a reason to celebrate. (2-3)

At this point in the proceedings, at 1 match each and everything to fight for, I must say that I prefer it when we play on one court and are able to see what our teammates are doing and can give support. I never got to see the tussle of the number ones - but it would seem that Graham has found his groove again and beat Paul in a four setter and can wear the crown of “Emperor of the 7th League”. Paul might have to remedy his losing streak in squash league or else he might receive the same rating as per his Comrades status “not yet started”. Maybe a new pair of shoes is not a bad idea for starters!? (1-3)

The only game I managed to watch was that between Michael and David. Michael was slow out the starting blocks (not forgetting that it was a cold evening) with David taking the first. Then Michael stepped up a gear and chased, yes, chased almost everything down and was getting some fine shots down the line and picking up the drops, stirring the memories’ of when he played 2nd league and sported a head of hair. David was a little out of sorts and was making too many unforced errors and Michael pretty much walked it from then on with some showing-off for good measure. (3-1)

So there we were again, in an all too familiar scenario, at 2 matches apiece, 9 games all and having to count the points (the 3rd time in our league season so far) and not 1, but 2 points separated the men from the boys. It would appear that the snot snivelers are not so snotty after all.

Our huge party retired to the JCC clubhouse for the post-battle feast where ruffled feathers were stroked and smoothed and murmurs and threats were made for the 2nd leg. The evening was made all the more notable by the support from the non-playing teammates, Peter F, George (back from running a 10:51 in the Comrades), Chris, Nick and Steph. It was good to see the guys with their wives – it completed the picture. The best part of our fabulous chow-down was that despite having played on two courts we finished the evening close to 11pm, which is much later than if it were just the boys without their spouses (spice), so they can never give us hell about being home late again…

Hold on to your rights, keep them close to your heart and remember your struggle to achieve them and know that if you lose your vigilance – your rights will be taken from you.
“To be wounded in the house of one's friends is perhaps the most grievous affliction that can befall a man.”


Match score: 7 - 9