CHIST players’ close call in Portugal
CHESHAM International Squash Team (CHIST) lived up to their name this month by flying out to Portugal to challenge some of that nation’s best, then returning for a match against the Irish at Chesham 1879 Club.
The 11-strong Chesham team, along with their coach Jim Morrison, travelled to Cascais, near Lisbon, to play against a team prepared by Luis Ferreira, president of the Portuguese Squash Federation, which included two national team players and a former Portugal number one.
The match that ensued was a battle royale and, not for the first time, plucky Chesham put up a spirited fight, but victory eluded them, winning just three out of the 20 encounters and just edging a doubles exhibition game at the finale.
“New friends were made and the Portuguese were great hosts,” said veteran player David Ouvry.
“It was our ninth consecutive annual international tournament, following Belgium, Germany, Holland, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Jersey, the Isle of Man and Ireland.
“It all began one day when our group of unusually talented Saturday morning players decided that it was time to think big and challenge not just other clubs, but other countries.”
The team returned home for a match against a team of six highly selected players from the Fitzwilliam Club, representing Ireland.
Each Irish player had two bouts with Chesham players, with the Irish led by their exuberant captain Richard Tierney, and this time the result was a draw, with an equal numbers of winners from both sides.
Outstanding winners for Chesham were Neil Hollister, Paul Griffiths and John Mackenzie, with the latter’s unique ‘late drift’ shots bamboozling his Irish opponents.
The CHIST players line up against their Irish (left) and Portugese (right) opponents