OK, the Surrey Cup is not as prestigious as the National League, but believe me, the faithful followers like me enjoy great matches, great fun,
and great players.

So guys, don’t forget to send us the results of your matches, and nice little reports would be more than welcome….


28th Oct: CLOSE SHAVE….
I was today at my old Club, Wimbledon Raquets & Fitness Club, to see their first team (they have two teams in the Surrey Cup this year) playing against Wimbledon Lakeside. Well, it was a close call, but the home team got the match in the end. Not much between the two teams, though, only four points, and one little match… and an injury.

Yes, I know, it’s the season, isn’t it? Well, the players are about to start the British Open, so no wonder they don’t want to
take any risks…


Bad hair day for Steve Richardson ...Steve Richardson, who is playing for Lakeside, is not competing at a professional level anymore. I was told that family life gave him all the excitement one needs to find life enjoyable…

Steve was playing Wimbledon R & FC’s pro, Phil Rushworth (who I called Rushmore in my last report, oups sorry man…) at fourth lstring. The match was extremely pleasant, as Steve was attacking as many backhand balls he could put his racquet on, and Phil was retrieving as many lost causes he could fight for.

Phil RushworthIn the first, Richardson went up very quickly 6/1, let his opponent catch up 4/6, but quickened the pace to grab the first game 9/5 in 17 minutes. After which he decided to rest for a while, and let the second go to Rushworth 9/0 in 3 minutes.

In the third, Phil could only serve 5 times, but still, the rallies were intense, disputed, even if the score doesn’t reflect it, 9/1 for Richardson in 12 minutes.

The fourth and last game was the most interesting one by far, both players giving us their best. Rushworth took the lead 4/1, but Steve caught up at 5/5, and with good hitting, great length and a mind on the game, took the game 9/6. Overall, an extremely pleasant encounter that lasted 45 minutes.

   Phil Rushworth lost to Steve Richardson
       5/9, 9/0, 1/9, 6/9


As I was watching Richardson/Rushworth match, I missed the first game between Mark Ford, a club player at Wimbledon for a few years now, and Alex Couch, alias “the Lungs”, in reference to his endurance on a squash court.

“Well, I only have one lung left now, I’m getting old…” smiled Weybridge David Lloyd’s squash coach at the end of his marathon against Mark.

             Alex "one lung" Couch

But boy o boy did those two run tonight!

It started very well indeed for Alex, as he took the first two games, 9/7, 9/4, and it looked quite a doomed future for the home camp. But as usual, Mark Ford fought very hard, and made the comeback of the week…In the third, up 6/0, he let veteran Couch come back to 4/7, but still picked up the game 9/7. Same story for the fourth, Mark is up 6/2, Alex comes back at 6/6, but Mark still forces a decider.

The decider lasted… forever! We stayed a little while at 2/2, at 4/3, I thought we would never get out of 6/4… But tiredness started to take its toll on the elder player (well, even if he is Mr Lungs himself, he is still 38), and faults started to creep in, drop shots went in the tin more than they should have, and after a 100-minute match and three match balls, Mark Ford gets a well deserved victory, that I think gave his team the edge…

   Mark Ford beat Alex Couch
       7/9, 4/9, 9/7, 9/6, 9/7

In other words, 2/2….


In came the number ones, Rodney Durbach, R & FC, and Stacey Ross, Lakeside. Once again, I was looking forward to that game, as although the world ranking of those two players are quite apart (Durbach is 30, Ross 58), Ross has been winning some hard matches against players ranked much higher than him (Alex Gough for example, two weeks ago at Esporta).

Rodney started the match a bit grumpy, and wasn’t really concentrating on his squash, allowing Stacey to take the first game 9/0 in 7 minutes. Very quickly, he got his act together, and the second was very interesting, both players sticking to their game, Rodney lobbing beautifully, varying the pace, and Stacey dropping irretrievable shots, and although Stacey had a comfortable lead of 4/0, Rodney wins the second in 21 minutes 9/6.

In the third, again Ross takes an early lead, 4/1, but Rodney clings to his opponent 5/6. The rallies are long, quite physical, and the match is a bit tense, but seems to ease a bit around the end of the third. We saw some beautiful return of serve nicks from Stacey, and some lethal cross court shots from Rodney. Some very good rallies indeed. Stacey takes the game 9/6 in 16 minutes.

Once again in the fourth, Stacey is up 3/0, but at 3/2, falls heavily, and twists his ankle. Very understandably, just two days from the start of the British Open qualifying draw, he chose to stop and assess the injury quietly.

   Rodney Durbach bt Stacey Ross
      0/9, 9/7, 4/9, 2/3 rtd

So that gave a slightly unexpected victory to Wimbledon R & FC, who will be extremely happy to win the match, meaning that once again, in my view, they win thanks to the gutsy performance of their number 5, Mark Ford.


St George's     4-1    Wimbledon II
Colets              5-0    Christophers
W'don R&F I   3-2     W'don Lakeside
Surbiton           0-5     Esporta

Although I’m still working very hard on my cloning skills, the results are far from satisfactory, and I missed two matches that proved to be quite one sided, at strings two and three. Tim Vail, playing for Lakeside, the Chicester pro, took very little time to beat Tony Hands, a newcomer in the Wimbledon R & FC team, and Jason Barry, from South Africa, gave the same kind of treatment to his opponent Ritwik Bhattacharya from Lakeside.

   Tony Hands lost to Tim Vail
      5/9, 4/9, 0/9
   Jason Barry bt Ritwik Bhattacharya
      9/7, 9/4, 9/2


At last, I met Debbie, the new Mrs Stacey Ross, who is about to give birth any minute now. And that’s probably why we were allowed to meet the lovely lady at last! Yes, as the birth is imminent, Stacey wouldn’t let his new bride out of his sight.

“We met 6 or 7 years ago, in Sutton’s Cannon’s Club, where I was working as manager. Since then I left the leisure industry and I’ve been working in the banking sector for two years. For two weeks now I've been on maternity leave, and I’m enjoying every minute of the rest...”

The baby was due from today and will be born in Epsom. Neither of the two future parents wanted to know the gender of the baby, so, “as long as it’s healthy, what ever comes is fine with us…” smiled Debbie.

And when I asked her my usual three words to describe her man, she paused for a while and said:

“Laid back, Funny and Determined”.

Some get all the luck…

Durbach and Barry,
Wimbledon's own Springboks

Bob Colthup, referee ...

Mark Ford