Friday, December 18, 2009


It’s quite remarkable that all you have to do to peak some interest is mention “free beer” and everybody’s busy work schedule suddenly clears up. In reality the Beer Challenge wasn’t any different to any other league night, except for the fact that the matches didn’t count, but for some reason the fascination of the event sparked 28 registrations, and we could have had half a dozen more if everybody signed-up on time!

Maybe it was the attraction of Phil Pitters and Scott Adlhoch going head-to-head in the feature bout, the loser of the match responsible for paying for the keg. Watching these two is kind of like watching a car accident – you know it’s going to be ugly, but you just can’t look away. More on that match in a moment. The two are pictured before the match.

The rest of the players were split into two teams. There was really no significance what so ever of which team won or lost since everybody got to drink for free anyway, but no one wants to lose and pride is always on the line. Mike Semanco and Ken MacDonald had a very close contest before Ken went down in 5 very long games. Mike is once again trying his hand at squash from that “other racquet sport” and it appears he is transitioning quite nicely. In another very tight battle, Jason Close went down 9-7 in the 5th to Chuck Doyle (Photo - action shot of Chuck and Jason). Both Jason and Chuck looked ready for an oxygen tank after the match, but I suppose guzzling a few beers instead is just as beneficial. Patrick Petz had his work cut out against Anthony Fracchia. Anthony is an awkward customer on the court. He runs all day and has a rather unorthodox technique which can throw anybody off their game. Patrick struggled in stages and was caught out a number of times with Anthony’s unexpected retrievals, but he managed to compose himself long enough to get by in 5.

Moving on the main event, the crowd was psyched for the 2 antagonists. Phil was considered the underdog (sorry, Phil!) but got off to a flying start. He built a solid lead in the first game, much to the roaring delight of the now half drunken crowd, and kept Scott at bay to take a comfortable first game. Of course, he had to chug a beer for his troubles. He continued his good form in the second, playing timely drops from the back catching Scott flat footed many time, and also took that game for a healthy 2-0 lead. In the third it all unraveled. Suddenly, the drop-winners were finding tin and Phil’s legs were losing their jump. Still, the two had some tremendous gutsy rallies where they both covered a vast amount of court unnecessarily (but entertaining!), coupled with their outright refusal to call any ‘lets’ on each other what-so-ever, their twisting and turning was enchanting to behold – especially for the now inebriated audience. Once Scott had the momentum, he ran all the way to the finish line with it and won the match in 5 leaving an exhausted Phil disappointed and with an unwanted bill. (Photo - The two are still smiling after the match!)

Small consolation that Phil’s team actually won the night – none of his team member’s offered to help pay for the keg. They only offered to drink it.


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