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“George, you owe me one, though I doubt there will be much interest in this outside the 5 who played.”

Much was made yesterday on the radio of the greatest sporting rivalry in history, before India and Pakistan took to the crease in the Cricket World Cup, but obviously Radio 5 Live hasn’t heard about Windsor and the Boat Club. The last match of the Masters’ season, which took place at Windsor, was the local derby. An eagerly awaited battle, perhaps mostly by Council, who knew that Paddy Craig would be playing and as a result the bar takings for tonight would probably be equal to those of an average month.

First up was Mark Paden vs the aforementioned Paddy Craig. I didn’t see any of this match but I can only assume that Mark ran and fought and bullied and hustled en route to a 2-1 victory. The general consenus was that this was a very good win for Windsor.

I was next up vs everyone’s favourite, Brian Bourke. I met Brian as I ambled into the club, and my heart sank. Brian’s prefered court is ice cold and his prefered shot an angled slice into the corner. Fortunately, the heaters had been on from what must have been about 4pm this afternoon, so Brian’s angled slices were not so nick perfect as normal. In addition, he had forgotten his spats so was trying to fill the shoes of the current no 3 in Europe at U 15 level, Michael Craig. I took the first quite easily, as he (literally) found his stride only to be given a lesson in precision squash in the 2nd. The third turned into a bit of a tussle which I won as a result of some very good refereeing from BBC team mate, Robert Peel, though Brian may not agree. The general consenus was that this was a very good win for Windsor.

While my match was going on on the show court, Gorgeous George (not Geriatric George, please!) was teaching Michele Jackson a thing or two about squash on no 1 court. I only saw the last game, when it was 1 a piece, but George dinked and dropped the ball as if he were a youthful 45 year old. Michele didn’t have a chance. The general consenus was that this was a very good win for Windsor.

With the match secured, Stephen and Keith Holmes took to the show court. By this time the temperature was well up – Hades would have appeared cold in comparison – and after the first game, which Stephen lost narrowly, I took to the shower knowing that my CPR skills are a little out of date and fearing that they might be required….by either or both players. The battle was still raging intensely when I returned, Stephen having levelled at 1-1, but he narrowly missed out in the third. You couldn’t say he didn’t try, though. The general consenus was that this was an unfortunate loss for Windsor.

Guy was last up against a rejuvenated Robert Peel. I remember the days when he used to plod around the same division as me, but he has upped his game, become a Masters Interprovincial player and as a result showed Guy a few tricks which used to be in Guy’s repetoire, but which our man seems to have forgotten. The general consenus was that this was a fair result for Windsor – only joking Guy….just checking to see whether you read to the end!

My political/sporting history is not sufficiently good to know in what spirit the India/Pakistan match was played, but this match was a credit to all that is good about squash – respect for players and referees alike and genuine, heartfelt camaraderie and friendship over supper.

Makes you almost wish the new season was starting…..doesn’t it? Though maybe it says more about the Masters League and the average age of the particpants than the squash. Or maybe it highlights the need for every club to have a local rival to bring out the best in us all.

Happy training in the closed season and see you all for a Handicap tournament in September?

Olivia Moore

(aka Squash Princess)