The intrepid Chamber Nelspruit team (Gary, Dave, Chris, John and Helena) once again travelled to the Lowveld to battle it out for HUGE prizes on offer.  To our shock and dismay, the half-way stop for a cup of tea near Machadadorp (Millie’s) had burnt down and we had to resort to the small café instead.

The captains meeting on the Friday was a complete success with Dave firmly putting his foot down stating we would NOT play in the A-section. Luckily they had no intention of putting us in the A-section so Dave sat down. There were other important issues discussed apparently but Dave couldn’t be bothered to tell the rest of his team.

Saturday morning dawned with only minor hangovers and after a hearty breakfast of toast and rusks, our first match was against the Samoosa 45’s from Witbank.

Chris playing first at 3 waltzed into a 2-0 lead only to relax in the 3rd and 4th before winning the 5th. (Nothing like a 5-setter to start off a squash weekend)
John next had an easi-ish game winning 3-1
Helena also had a comfortable 3-1 win
Dave at 2 was extremely unsporting, making his opponent look foolish with his boasts and lobs and winning 3-0. The highlight of this match was Gary and John trying to mark this match neither of them having a voice to speak of.
Gary on last with nothing to play for decided to rest his legs and lost 0-3.

Saturday afternoon saw a sterner task against Midlands.

Chris on first again, again went into a 2-0 lead, lost the 3rd and with his legs starting to wobble badly, just managed to clinch the 4th for a 3-1 win.
John on against a guy nick-named “The Gecko” for the way he climbed up the walls to play tight shots. A few scares but another 3-1 win.
Helena had no answer for her tall, well-built, hard-hitting opponent. Went down 3-0.
Match of the day was Dave against Sjors – a shot-player of note. After losing the 1st from a winning position, Dave got a strict talking to from the team and a lesson in self-belief. This worked wonders as Dave won the 2nd. However, coming off court with his racket in hand sent shivers down the team – was Dave going to concede (it’s been known to happen before!!!!!). After another team-talk and persuasive phrases such as “don’t be a woos” and “no Millers if you don’t go back on”, Dave took to the court and pulling himself towards himself, proceeded to play magnificently to win the next 2 games.
Gary on last again with nothing to play for got whipped by a 25kg overweight Mike Short. This guy will be magnificent when he’s had the baby. This was a lesson in anticipation – wherever Gary hit the ball, Mike was there to play a winner.

The day was finished off at the White River Barnyard being entertained by a band who had lost their lead singer. They were rubbish but after a few beers, who cares. Helena certainly had her dancing shoes on and it showed the next day. Or was it the Poncho's for all???

Sunday morning, what a dreary morning after such a night before. We had the Wolves as our opponents, and that they were a Northerns side who ultimately won our section.

Chris on 1st again at the old Planet Fitness. Shame. Played a Duracell bunny of note. Chris had no legs to force a win in 5. A fine effort by Chris over the weekend.

Sadly Julie’s dad passed away on Saturday, so John was not available to play. Luckily we managed another long hair to play in his place – taller and much more handsome then Gary, and younger, plus a better player, and..... Paul won 3-0.

Sorry for Helena. Opponent too tough. Comments were made by certain spectators, one of them, “this lady can play”. He’d obviously never seen the game played before.

Dave went on to throw away match point in the 4th. Helmet (sp?) would dive for Dave’s drop shots, and more often than not, get them up. After much running and diving about, Chris calling foot fault more than once, causing much consternation, Dave then threw away 3 match points in the 5th. Even served out on one of them. Dave then mumbled to his team something about regretting not having stayed in the gents after the 4th, which was totally ignored by all.

Gary went on last again, just wanting to win one match and raised his head to the squash gods. And they answered him. Gary played his best match of the weekend to win a hard running match in 5.

Then off to lunch and prize giving at the News Café. We were pipped into 3rd place by Midlands, who we actually beat on the Saturday afternoon. Red wine as a prize for all. Helena and Julia (Gauteng side) were given an extra gift for playing in the mens sections. Some sort of anti-aging cream, maybe hair remover!!!

And so we went home exhausted.

Other Chamber players who played were Jeff playing for the victorious Gauteng A team, Julie playing for the Ladies Gauteng B and “traitor Gerhard” playing for Old Eds.