On Saturday January 17, in one of the most exciting
squash matches ever seen at the Chiang Mai Gymkhana Club (CGC), the home
team came from 5 matches to 1 down at one stage to triumph 6-5 against the
British Club (BC) from Bangkok. The two teams have enjoyed many memorable
encounters in the past but this year’s was to prove exceptional.
British Club Sports team from Bangkok.
In the opening match between the 11th seeds, the home
team got off to the perfect start when Mark recovered from 2 sets to love
down to beat the BC’s Dale Lamb 3-2. First blood to the Gymkhana.
However, the visitors soon equalized when Barry Daniel
overcame Nad by a similar 3-2 score line. This was then followed in quick
succession by convincing 3-0 wins for the BC’s father and son combination
of Jack and George Dunford over Dejana and Alan respectively.
Squash thriller winners of Chiang Mai - tired but happy.
When Marvyn Lewis extended the BC’s lead to 4-1 with an
equally convincing 3-0 win over the Gymkhana’s Willie Bourne, things were
starting to look rather bleak for the home side. And it was to get worse.
The BC’s John Vivien then accounted for Sarawut 3-0
and, at 5-1 down with 5 matches to play, it looked all over for the
But then, a glimmer of hope. Thomas van Nes came from 0-2
down to beat the BC’s Andre Tissera 3-2 and this seemed to give the
remaining 4 players just that bit of momentum that the home team needed.
Further Gymkhana victories for John Leavy 3-2 over Nick
White and Sutidej 3-0 over Colin Hastings reduced the margin to 5-4 and it
was ‘Game On’!
It was then left to the top two seeded matches to decide
the final outcome. First, Derek Johnstone prevailed for Gymkhana over the
BC’s Chris Browning in yet another 3-2 win to bring the scores level at
As this match concluded, the final match between the No.
1 seeds, Sumit for the Gymkhana and Nick Thwaites for the BC, was already in
progress and finely balanced at 1 set all. How much closer could it get?
Sumit then edged a tense 3rd set to take a 2-1 lead and
the home side suddenly had their noses in front for the first time since the
With a packed gallery now cheering every point, enjoying
squash of a very high quality, it was Sumit’s speed and fitness which
eventually told and he wrapped up the 4th set for a fine 3-1 win and a 6-5
win for Gymkhana - a remarkable turnaround to a remarkable match.
The Gymkhana’s captain, Bob Molloy, who on this
occasion could only coach and encourage due to injury, said afterwards,
“It was more exhausting watching than playing. To come back from 5-1 down
to beat a team of the British Club’s strength was a superb effort. The
whole team was magnificent, as were the British Club. Full credit to both
sets of players and their supporters for having contributed to such a
Although extremely competitive, the games were played in
a tremendous spirit as always, typical of squash encounters between Gymkhana
and the British Club. On this year’s showing, next year’s match has a
tough act to follow.