Tuesday saw the 3rd annual contest for “The David Vaughan” Squash trophy between the School and the OC’s. The School were keen to win this year and put a stop to the OC winning streak and they were on court already warming up as the OC’s arrived!
The first match was between Rob Green (Cubitt) and Mark Robson (OC). Mark had practised fanatically for this moment since last year’s match to ensure his place in the squad, as there are so many new OC’s fighting for his place. Mark’s tactic this year was to conserve energy and only run for the ball if it was moving in his direction….fortunately for him it was in the first two games but Green realised the error of his ways and started to play more drop shots in the 3rd game, leaving Robson rooted to the tee. 2-1 up, but on the back foot, Green could sense a come back, until out of nowhere Robson’s second wind gave him enough to snatch victory in the 4th and a 3 games to 1 win.
Freddie Edwards (Cubitt) took to the court with Mike Stonebridge (OC), 55 years his senior! There was nothing in the first game but Edwards took it 11-10 (not sure how as you are supposed to be 2 points clear!) but wise old Stonebridge had spotted a weakness in Edward’s game and took the next 2 games to put him 2-1 up. Edwards wasn’t having any of it though and fought hard to claw back the 4th and 5th. A great match to watch and well played both.
Meanwhile Gregor McIntyre (Cubitt) was battling with new recruit for the OC’s, Rod Kohler. Kohler’s power and shot selection won him the first game but McIntyre, determined to spoil the Kohler family party (with his two daughters watching from the gallery), fought back hard and took advantage of the PAR scoring which clearly confused Kohler. McIntyre took the next three games for a very close victory 11-9; 11-7; 12-10.
So with the School 2-1 up it was down to the No 2’s to battle it out and Lewis Bedford (Cubitt) stepped up to take on veteran and team captain Alistair Chesser. Chesser, again with family on the balcony, was keen to keep the match short, and narrow the risk of injury or fatigue. 3-0 to Chesser and the match was level at 2-2.
At this point Jamie Bartlett and Carolyn Nicholls played their trump card and put Ollie Pope (Loveday) out to bat against old timer Reg Langmead. Ollie, a keen cricketer, had spent the year practising and had risen up the batting order from No 5 last year to take the No 1 slot. Langmead, held together by straps and braces, looked more like he was about to face Pope at the crease! The first games were very close and Langmead’s shot selection outwitted Pope, but in the 3rd game Pope threw a couple of googlies and a reverse sweep to snatch a game back. Langmead had to pull out all the stops to prevent a collapse in front of a crowded gallery, including stalwart OC liaison officer Mike Payne, and he battled hard to win the 4th and the game.
We were all delighted that Jane Vaughan was able to join us to present the trophy to the OC,s over dinner in the dining hall, where the discussion turned to next year’s match at the new courts which are due to be ready in September.
Richard Winter OC