HKFC Squash Section - Taipei Tour – 25th – 27th July 2014


A team of highly tuned professionals left the hallows of Hong Kong Football Club squash section in late July to go forth and conquer the challengers on offer in nearby Taipei city.  Just a short hop, skip and an hour and a half plane jump and we were landed in Taipei.  First there was some acclimatisation to local food at the Shida Night Market and then we loosened up with some dance moves at a local club – Spark 101. 

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Group Picture - with the American Club

Next day was Saturday and we were hosted by the American club.  So eager were certain members of the team (aka Andrew Wood, Mark Sutcliffe and Michael Yang) that they turned up a full hour early from the planned start time.  I am not sure that the advance practice was necessary (either that or communication skills need some fine tuning).  At least they made it as opposed to Mark Ritmayer who hadn't even made the plane!  The matches were fast and furious and the reinforcements conscripted in from the local national squad helped the American club to a 6-3 result over HKFC.  The wins for HKFC were provided by Andrew Wood, Rob Jones and Mark Sutcliffe while Michael Tsang lost very narrowly.  The hospitality was more than generous with an ongoing rolling buffet lunch which the team took full advantage of.  Each opposition player was also presented with a HKFC shirt as a memento of the occasion.  Subsequent to the matches, the rugby watching fraternity went on to a local establishment to watch semi-finals super 15 rugby.

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Simon Barton and Adrian Ng sample the local delicacies

Saturday night we had a team dinner at Brass Monkey followed by some cultured Jazz at one of a number of local Jazz bars in Taipei.  Unfortunately the advertised starting act had not shown up however Rob Jones knew the guy on the drums in the main performance who came and gave us all a rundown of the local Jazz scene.

TW_-_Brass_Monkey_Dinner.jpgBrass Monkey Dinner

Sunday came and a local gem was unearthed at the Taipei Squash Center.  Despite the inauspicious look from the outside (we thought the Taxi had dropped us in the wrong place) we had an excellent day of battles with young local talent. 

TW_-_Group_Picture_with_TSC.jpgGroup Picture with TSC

A solid meal and a good night's sleep must have paid dividends for the team.  We won 20 matches to 10 in a full day’s squash schedule.  Notable matches of the day included the Jones Family (Rob, Vicky and Isaiah) all chalking up good wins for the cause.  Michael Yang must have gone close to claiming player of the day losing only one of his five matches.  Simon Barton also only lost one of his five matches (despite strict instructions from his physio not to play at least for another two weeks!).  Special mentions also go to Vicky Jones for rounding out our ladies contingent and also to Isaiah Jones for being our focus on the future.  Meanwhile the gentlemanly exploits of Mark Sutcliffe followed on by Rob Jones both succumbed to the local delight - Lilly Lee who astounded the whole HKFC team with her warm up stretching routines.  Therefore a special mention must go to Adrian Ng, not only for organising such an excellent tour but for also defeating Lilly 2-1, the only person to beat Lilly on the day.

 

TW_-_Adrian_and_Lilly.jpgAdrian and Lilly

With an excellent tour wrapped up the party returned to the familiarity of Hong Kong to plan another tour – can't wait for next year!

Written by Simon Barton

 

TW_-_Gift_Exchange_with_TSC.jpgGift Exchange with TSC

 

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TW - Gift Exchange with the Amercian Club

 

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A Little Bit of Culture Too