2016 HKFC Squash Section Handicap Tournament (by Rob ‘baseball’ Jones)


The 2016 HKFC Squash Section Handicap Tournament got off to a great start in March with a number of upsets and unexpected outcomes.  Congratulations to Nadia Munoz for sending Ho Fai Chiu to the Plate competition!  And what an amazing run by KL Ho to make it to the Cup finals, despite a relatively low plus ten handicap.   The format of the tournament was best of three, played to 21 points. 


The Cup and Plate finals, along with matches for 3rd/4th were played on Saturday 2nd April, and there were quite a few spectators soaking up the competitive atmosphere and the free drinks!  


With the weight of the entire ladies section on her shoulders, Gemma Sung (15) was first up against Gergo Schlosser (-8) for Cup 3rd place on court 7.  Gergo’s hard drives to the back of the court kept Gemma off balance for most of the match, and marker Leo Kwok (Gergo’s division 7 teammate) made sure that there were no disputed marking calls.  Sadly for the ladies she went down 2-0; congratulations to Gergo for securing 3rd place. 


Next up was Eric Ho (-20) against Ho Fai Chiu (-23) in the Plate final on court 6.  Eric immediately proposed a best of 5 match played to 11 points as that would somehow even the odds.  Unfortunately for Eric, I made the executive decision to disallow any deviation from a best of 3 (or 5) match played to 21 points.  After settling on a best of 3 match (yes that took a few seconds to sort out – luckily there were free drinks whilst waiting for this to be sorted), Eric entered the lion cage against the reigning Club champ.  We all knew this was going to be a very long battle, which was good because KL Ho (10) and Nathan L’Huillier (-25) had just started their Cup final on court 7.  KL Ho’s wife Javy came down to support and her big smile exuded confidence that KL would have little trouble taking down Nathan.  Happily, KL Ho came off court between games 1 and 2 sweating like a live pig before a HK BBQ. Unhappily, all of KL’s fitness gains from running around the court came at the expense of losing 2-0 as Nathan never seemed to be in trouble.  Let’s just say there were no gasps from the spectators as Nathan walked off court without sweating, as might be expected from a division 2 player! Congratulations to Nathan for winning this year’s Cup final!  And well-played KL for securing runner-up.


Ok back to Court 6, where the epic battle between Eric and Ho Fai had more twists and turns than a corn maze (pun intended).  Eric had many amazing shots and Ho Fai pulled out quite a few trick shots of his own.  Points that should have been won or lost early on continued in some tremendous rallies that had the gallery gasping for breath!  It was a match where few wanted to visit the bar or the washroom for fear of missing out on the action.  In the end, Ho Fai overcame Eric 2-0 but the games were extremely close and both players smiled so often that it was difficult to work out whether they were smiling in pain, or because they weren’t sure what was going on, or if they were trying to befriend marker George Chan to gain a marking advantage.  In any case, congratulations to Ho Fai for winning the Plate competition, and to Eric for finishing runner-up.


Lastly, Mark Sutcliffe (10) and Dave Chan (9) competed for 3rd place in the Plate fixture on court 6, with Mark simultaneously battling the flu!  Some of us thought Dave’s edge in fitness and youth were enough to carry him through to victory.  However, Mark’s wisdom and handsomeness actually gave him the edge, and the flu only acted as a slight inconvenience.  All of the games were tight with Dave taking the first and Mark taking the second.  Prior to the third game, Mark’s wife Rachel and Dave’s wife Cindy (sitting in opposite corners of the gallery) whispered lots of technical advice to their beloved and the two gladiators went back on court with renewed vigour.  With a packed gallery anxious for Mark to finish him off, (we all want to see age win over fitness, or did I get that backwards?), Dave prevailed in the end and the spectators erupted in cheers as it was a great match indeed.  Congratulations to Dave for taking 3rd place, and to Mark for making this match the closest of the day whilst keeping the flu at bay!


Many thanks to all of the spectators who enjoyed the matches and drinks, to all of the spouses and friends who came for support, to Vicky our roving photographer, and to all of the markers Leo Kwok, George Chan and Ashwin Padgaonkar.  And many thanks to Simon Ho for organizing this successful event despite a crazy work schedule of late. 



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