Millenium Tour to Amsterdam, 10-12 November 2000
Nine members of Stamford Squash club embarked on the Millenium tour to Holland playing two top clubs in the Amsterdam area.
The tour was open to all members of the club, however the party was made up of experienced players all of whom regularly play in the Peterborough District Leagues for Stamford.
Stamfords first match was against the Alkmaar Club situated on the outskirts of Amsterdam. They had 600 members with an impressive 12 glass back courts.
However, undauted by the size of the task, the Stamford team played with great skill. Brothers Richard and Simon Barker providing skilful performance overcoming their opponents both with a scoreline of 3-0. Paul York underlined his status as Stamford number one with a good 3-1 win over the Alkmaar number one. Jonathan Oakley overcame his recent groin injury and produced a stirring 3-2 win over a very fit opponent who took Jonathan to a nail biting 10-9 in the final game.
Unfortunately with 4 of the other team members losing it was left to Simon Richardson to see if Stamford could take the tie. Although Simon hadn’t been unable to play much recently he took the first game with ease 9-3.
The tension then rose as Simon gifted the second but reasserted himself to take the next two games 9-7, 9-5 to decide the tie in favour of Stamford.
The highlight of the day was a doubles match in which the unbeaten pairing of Paul York and Mark Smith took on a formidable Dutch pairing one of whom was a former North Holland District player.
This match created great interest in a gruelling contest which lasted 1 hour 15 minutes with the Stamford pair remaining unbeaten taking the match narrowly 3-2.
The next days contest saw Stamford take on the Amstel Park club from Amsterdam which is a spitting distance from the famous Amstel Stadium.
This time Stamford faced a team which had been depleted by injury and other commitments.
Again Stamford took to the task this time Ferlin Barnard coming out victorious 3-0 against his opponent. Kim Cozens and Martin Brewin emulated him with solid 3-1 victories.
The toughest match involved Mark Smith and the Dutch clubs semi professional, ‘Skipio’. The dutchman took the first game with ease but Smith used all his experience to slowly come back although he lost the second it was soon becoming a closer encounter.
The Stamford man was able to probe weaknesses and identifying that his opponent over played the front wall trickle boast. Smith eventually won overcoming severe fatigue after the encounters of the weekend. Stamford took this tie 6-3 underlining the playing strength of the club.
The opposing Captains were given Tour shirts and prints of Stamford kindly donated by club member and local artist Graham Wright.