Cross Border Challenge
“Whipping.” “Walloping.” “Worked.” “Whacking.” “Wrecking.” The one ‘W’ that we didn’t do is “Win”. As usual, however, I do like to emphasize positives and even though it was our goal to bring victory for the DAC and return proudly with the Cross Border Trophy, we can all be satisfied with our splendid efforts for one, and two, for the fact that we had 22 participants! Considering that the event took place in Windsor, that’s a record!
Also gratifying was the amount of ‘new’ faces that made the short journey through the tunnel. The interest is growing - especially at the 3.0 level and below - and it is definitely one of the best things one can do to gain invaluable experience. If only the 4.0+ level players would follow suit.
The day started off evenly enough for the two clubs. There were 3 matches to kick off the day at 2pm. Patrick Petz and Mike Petix dominated their doubles match and took all 3 games comfortably. Our 2 singles competitors didn’t fare as well, and we lost one in 3 and the other 3-2. But the day was young. As it turned out, that day turned rather bleak fairly quickly. We didn’t win another match for 2 hours.
|Graham Duguid, Doug Fields, Mike Counsman, John Dunwoody|
Of the next seven matches completed that continuously added notches in the Windsor win column, only 2 of them were 3-0. Three of them were 3-1 and in all honesty we did stand a decent chance of grabbing those victories. They would have needed to be at the top of their games to do so, but they were by no means blasted off the court. The other 2 matches went 5.
‘Match of the Day’ must be handed to Josh Gershonowicz. Playing against Peter Ryan, I was a little skeptical that Josh stood much of a chance. But he unmistakably proved me wrong. Losing the first game 12-10, he hustled himself to a 17-15 game 2 win. Josh’s counterpunch had Peter coming back with one of his own as the 3rd game went Windsor’s way. Josh swung back and muscled through the 4th to set up the grueling 5th neither player really had the lungs for. But that didn’t stop them from fighting for every rally and back and forth it went - all the way for fitting tie-break. Josh had his chance at 11-10 up, but a cross court from Peter (un)luckily found the middle of Josh’s chest, handcuffing him completely. It was the only opportunity he would get as Peter somehow scored the next two points for the 13-11 victory. Lady Luck was not on our side.
Not to be outdone, running himself into exhaustion was Shri Rangaswamy. He had it tough against a shooter and after the first game I thought Shri had no chance. But he stormed back with plenty of better, tough length, which of course makes it difficult for anybody to hit winners from. Another 5-setter was ours for the taking, but once again it slipped from our (Shri’s) fingers. He gave it all he could - and I’m sure he felt every piece of it on Sunday!
In a good trend, we had 4 women sign up to represent. It was a nice touch that Windsor managed to give each of them a female opponent as well. Unfortunately for us, they were all a little too skillful for our tastes and our ladies went 0 for 4. But, it was great to see them out there and I’m sure we’ll be seeing some of them come over to the DAC for some ladies only practice sessions.
The DAC’s second win came from our ever more reliable Sante Fratarcangeli. Sante took care of business 3-1 with a solid performance. Naturally, playing just once is never enough for him, and Sante was kind enough to step in for a DAC player who cancelled late in the day. He won that match too (also 3-1) for our third victory. Our fourth and final win was from new member Ian Edwards who scored all 3 games against Michaela Birley.
|Tom Porter and Andy Adamo|
For the final match of the day, Andy Adamo had it tough against the wily Tom Porter. Obviously we had lost the day, but that didn’t stop Andy from pushing Tom the entire match. Tom is an awkward customer to handle with his flicky technique and unanticipated angles. Andy almost pulled off the upset, but it would another 2-3 result to ponder.
Overall we lost the day 16 matches to 4. Wow. I knew we would have it tough when I saw the match-ups, but I did think we could have made it closer - we had our chances to do so. We still would have fallen short even if we had won all the 5-set matches. No matter, we need to do better. And we’ll get our chance in April when we host them at the DAC. Most importantly, we all had a great afternoon of squash and socializing. Thank you to Windsor and Dave Guthrie for being the gracious hosts and thrashing us with such friendly smiles!