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Amicus Cup (2020)

On March the 4th 2022 the final of the Amicus Cup (due to be contested 16 months earlier) was finally played. The tournament had limped on during various stages of lock-down including some rounds marked behind perspex. And here we were…

In the blue corner, Andrew Hamilton, veteran of many a handicap tournament win. His ability to insinuate that the handicap difference is an outrageous injustice whilst placing a hand on each hip (his famous ‘teapot’) is legendary. As is his ability to – nonetheless – grind out 6/5 set wins and 2/1 match wins. His preparation was impeccable, and his serve was looking good.

In the red corner, Chris Marguerie, who had used lockdown like a Tyson Fury training camp. If you could do a montage it would be of someone refusing to be beaten by unusual spins, racing to get the balls in and sneak in one more basket before the lesson’s end. Though some tend to have lessons with either Tom or I, Chris has lessons with both, and often. This human sponge (in the nicest possible sense) had absorbed his way down to a career best handicap just before kick-off.

The advantage each has over other opponents is to keep on trying without undue discouragement from short-term adversity or the score. Prior to the match and with a considerable handicap difference of 30-owe 30 favouring Chris, I felt it was too close to call.

And fortunately having written all that in advance, that is exactly how it happened. Close first set edged 6/5 by Andrew (despite the outrageous handicap!). Chris tried to fight back but found himself 1/3 down in the second. He then doubled his resolve to lead 5/3 before Andrew varied his serve again and sneaked home 6/5 6/5. Well played both players.

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