Monday, May 1, 2017


Boasters League Final~~

It was a contest between the heavily favored Mongoose and the “Cinderella Run” of Vivio’s for this season’s Boasters League superiority. Mongoose ended up on top of the standings with a strong run over the last couple of weeks and a dominating semifinal performance, Vivio’s ended up third but have been scraping through the finals with some last minute desperate bonus point wheelings and dealings and substitutions.

Based on current form, Mongoose were heading in to the final week as the prime choice for victory despite losing to Vivio’s way back in round 1. But they made life difficult for themselves in the fact that 4 of their players were not able to pick up bonus points. Vivio’s on the other hand had 16 of their 17 players turn up, and that gave them a 3 point advantage straight away. It was needed, and early on in the evening, Vivio’s would extend that lead.

Only one sub was required for the finals and surprisingly it wasn’t team Vivio’s that needed it. Tom MacEachern stepped up to replace the injured Bret Williams (Mongoose) to play Jason Currie (Vivio’s). A match that on paper could have gone either way, even though that these two only had 1 previous result recorded on the rankings – a match that Jason won. He won this match as well, 3-0 to boot, all three games within a 2-3 point margin. A huge boost for Vivio’s – in fact a 4 point gain – considering that subs do not receive bonus points.

Adding onto their lead, Gus Ploss, Pat Hughes, and Haytham Hermiz all recorded 3-0 victories as well for Vivio’s. Counting the already 2-1 win on the books from Gina Greer that was played earlier in the week, Mongoose was lagging behind and had some serious hard work to do to get back into the mix.

One match at a time, the lead started to evaporate. Jack Bernard (Mongoose) needed a new pair of shoes, burning through the rubber soles, with the amount of running Fred Minturn made him do (Vivio’s). An entertaining affair, Fred’s experience with placing the ball all over the court fell just a couple of points short every game compared to Jack’s tactic of just chasing the ball down no matter what. Jack’s 3-0 was the start of a positive run for team Mongoose.

Fellow Aussie and new (~ish) member of the DAC, Damien Rocchi (pronounced “Rocky”, just like the movie!) was kept waiting by Brian Farkas, clearly playing the mind-game strategy (!), which in the end didn’t work at all. Damien cleaned up shop, with a scream of “Adrian!” which was kind of weird, but who are we to judge. At least Damien barracks for the right Aussie Rules football team, although we shouldn’t be saying that too loud considering they are a total disaster this season.

Ian Edwards (Mongoose) played inspired squash, either motivated that his team needed help or motivated by the loud Vivio’s captain shrieking at his opponent to pick up his game and figuring that the best way to shut him up was to win 3-0. (It didn’t work, by the way). Probably one of Ian’s best outings this season which is the perfect time to play at his peak, all at the expense of Mike Rock.

While Ian was marching to his 3-0, Josh Gershonowicz (Mongoose) was trying to do the same against Greg Baker (Vivio’s). Josh has had an excellent run this year, so far losing only 1 match, and his good form continued here as well. He too, though, had to contend with the earsplitting encouragements of Grizzly Adams – sorry, I mean Rich Stimson – towards his opponent. Josh held a 2-0 lead and Greg looked all but spent. Nevertheless, somehow, somewhere, Greg found some inspiration. Maybe he also thought that by winning some points, that background racket would fade away, or maybe he was inspired by the fact that by winning he wouldn’t have to deal with the squawking aftermath, either way, Greg dug deep and pulled out a much needed 3rd game win for Vivio’s. To absolutely no one’s surprise, the yelling was still present.

With 2-1 wins for Mongoose’s Greg Allare, David Zack and Nick Petcoff, the score was suddenly taking on a very different look. There were still 3 matches to be played but now it was Mongoose holding on to a 3 point lead. And we would have to keep everybody in suspense for a few days waiting for these matches to be completed. Mongoose would need to win outright – a tied score doesn’t help them since Vivio’s held the bonus point tie-break.

When the first of the three results came back, it just made everything even tighter. Brendan Fossee (Vivio’s) tied the scores with his 3-0 win over Paul Huth, pushing more and more pressure onto the last 4 players. Next up would be Mike Petix (Mongoose) and Grizzly Adams – sorry, I mean Rich Stimson – who after arranging 17 times to play eventually got their schedules together. Rich could have potentially ended the competition with a 3-0 win and was looking like he may do just that after taking the first game with a 15-8 win. But his 5-hour energy drink that he chugged before walking on court didn’t live up to its promise and Mike came back at him strongly. He took the next 2 games and in doing so set up the scenario that everybody was waiting for – final match winner takes all.

Jed Elley (Vivio’s) v Vikram Chopra (Mongoose) – Our top 2 players going at it, the winner of this match securing the boasters league title for their team. Both players needing significant extra time to prepare, secret weeks away training, one to Florida, the other to Austria, prolonging the tension throughout the squash community.

At last they got together – on a Sunday morning no less – so I imagine there weren’t too many witnesses. There won’t be any description of the match here, no idea how epic it may have been, (or not!), just a 1 line e-mail from the loser come Monday morning… “I lost 2-1”… No more than that. It was signed… Jed.

Final score in the end was 41-39. Mongoose take the season Boasters League title! It was regrettable that it took so long to complete, the excitement tends to diminish a just a tad having to wait. But, on the other side of that coin, thank you to the captains for agreeing to wait until both Jed and Vikram were able to play – it was the fairest outcome. Rich Stimson has since taken to the razor and no longer resembles a beefy lumberjack, maybe in mourning?

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