1. Dan Oliver
2. Pete Borrett
3. Mark Blaker
4. Stuart Morgan
5. Andy Richardson
Team colours = Fluorescent slime green
The first big struggle to get a team out saw an SOS email message & some desperate "Please play for the
team phone calls". The reason - Dave, Gav, John, Marshall & Andy were all unavailable. Fortunately Stuart
& Andy answered the call to become the 7th & 8th caps for Tadley Squash Club. It was agreed the two new
guys would play at 4 & 5 based on an injury issue for Stuart & lack of match practice for Andy. It meant Mark
& myself had the honour of stepping in at no 2 & 3. Ooh er!
Dan, Stuart & myself travelled together so we could do some squash bonding & sing a few songs on route.
Stuart's stirring rendition of "The winner takes it all" was mightily impressive & Danny boy's "Unbelievable" by
EMF was freakingly awesome, especially as he renamed it "I'm unbelievable". That's the way Dan, build
yourself up, you are unbelievable! Soon we got to the sports centre in Festival Place where we met up with
Andy & Mark. Dan presented (threw) the club colours to the new boys. We huddled up, prayed that
the squash Gods would show mercy on our souls & then found our way to the courts
First to play Stuart & myself.
I felt nervous as usual but I was looking forward to an improvement on my last game. The game plan, to work
hard, dig in & play as much good length as possible. The reality? I thought I was playing pretty well. Trouble
is I was up against a very fit & capable opponent. I won plenty of serves but couldn't get points on the board.
Some lengthy good rallies but he always had an answer. I was brushed aside 9-0 in the first game. The
second was more of the same & by the end I was knackered. I managed a meagre point 9-1. He was playing
with me by the third game. Embarrassing really. A couple of 20 shot rallies had me seeing stars. 9-0. A three
set massacre. Apparently I can't be sacked from the team as I know the website passwords. ;)
Stuart was playing a talented lady squasher. Each time I lost a game I came out of the court gasping for air &
Stuart would be coming out too, having won a game. By all accounts, Stuart dominated the T position &
made it very difficult for his opponent to build any momentum. I heard she was playing some good tight
squash but she couldn't live with Stuarts power & court craft. I'm delighted to report that Stuart has the great
honour of recording the first victory in the history of Tadley Squash club. 9-3, 9-4, 9-4. Congratulations
mate!!! :) :)
Next up Mark & Andy.
I marked Andy's game. He started really brightly & took an early 3 point lead. Multiple hand outs later, I think
about 10 straight & suddenly the Basingstoke player got a run of successive points together to take the first
game 9-3. Andy was playing some great squash & his fitness looked pretty good for a guy that hasn't
played for so long. He chased down some lost causes & won some miracle rallies. Alas, the Basingstoke
player's match experience showed with another 6 point blast of points & suddenly Andy was down 2-0, the
game finishing 9-2. The third game was really tight to start with but again the Basingstoke player was able to
find a burst of points, this time 5 in a row & soon it was match ball. Credit to Andy, he kept at it & survived 6
match balls & won 3 point before the Basingstoke guy wrapped it up. Final score 9-3, 9-2, 9-4. One thing of
note - Andy could of asked for a few lets but continued to play, at least two of these were clear stokes.
Mark was playing a powerful hitting, stocky guy on the other court, unfortunately I didn't see the game. I
heard that Mark wore a ball on his neck. No, not a cunning fashion accessory to confuse his opponent. Mark
got hit by a power driver. Nasty! What a brave boy you are Mark. By all accounts Mark played a great game
& was in front in the first but couldn't press home his advantage. The Basingstoke player took it 9-7. The
second game was equally tight with some great rallies & power hitting. Unfortunately Mark lost out 9-5. The
third was more comfortable for the Basingstoke guy, taking the match 9-1. Mark, you can take great credit
from yet another good performance. :)
Finally - Lets get ready to rumble! Danny boy! All I can say is "Well done Dan". His opponent was different
class, top drawer & by far the best player we've seen to date on these club squash nights. Dan played a
great game & looked both classy & resilient against an ex County level performer. Ooohs & Arrrs &
rapturous applause were heard by both teams on the packed balcony for Dan's incredible endeavours.
Twenty shot rallies from front to back & Dan was still flying around chasing balls that had been placed to
near perfection by the Basingsoke no 1. This guys length was simply incredible. The score line doesn't
reflect the quality of rallying & the shear guts & determination shown on court. Dan went down 9-2, 9-1, 9-0.
The reality of this game shows just how good some players are at this level. Head held high Dan - you
played an awesome game. :)
Final score Basingstoke 4 Tadley 1
The post match meal was Chicken curry, nan bread, poppadoms, couscous, beer, cider, etc = happy days!
A good friendly bunch at Basingstoke. Thank you! We will look forward to the rematch at The Hurst on 7th
Next league match HOME to Wellington on June, 12th. Get your games in! Be part of it. As Delia would say
"LETS BE HAVIN' YOU!"