After a more tame night in Halifax where we got some much needed sleep, we awoke at the Premier Inn and left by checkout time of 12h00. We needed to get to Durham, which is about a 2 hour drive along the A1, pretty much travelling directly north. Dan was is one of his last days of quarantine in the Vauxhall and the rest of the team drove together. We got to the courts in the afternoon and met Dave Geldert who had put the evening together, before setting out for a shopping mall to look around before our fixture.
We found a Starbucks where we could relax and play a card game endearingly known as 'Turd' or the more straightforward South African equivalent 'S**T-HEAD.' All you need is a set of playing cards and a decent playing surface. The loser is the 'turd' and has to perform all the tasks the rest of us would rather not do, for example, paying bills, carrying bags, making hot drinks etc. You don't want to be losing the game... After the others had learnt the game at the premier inn in Halifax, Dan played for the first time in Starbucks and evaded losing whilst Kyle took on the responsibilities for the evening.
We headed back to the courts to find a large crowd gathering to watch our matches across two courts. This was the Knights 1st fixture in Durham and we were keen to put on a show. The crowd had paid some money to watch us play and this was kindly donated to us after the match! Michael introduced the Knights and the team individually before we set off to play.
Dan struggled in his sickly state against a hard-hitting and fast paced player. Charl got close to extending his match to 5 but it was not to be. Mike's opponent had to forfeit after the first 2 games with sore shins. Stef dug deep for the team to win his match in the 5th and keep the fixture alive before Kyle took to the court against a slightly unconventional player the team compared to Migs Lombard from UCT and northerns. The no.1 gave nothing away and took the close match in 4, meaning a loss for the Knights. The matches had been great to watch and the crowd was fantastic with applauding both teams for good squash and getting behind their own players when needed.
We had a wealth of pizzas to choose from for supper along with beers or our new favourite recovery drink, J2O. The players, Dave and our hosts stayed on to share the meal and some stories with us. Kyle and Stef decided to put on a mediocre-at-best 501 darts contest following the World Darts Championship that we'd all been watching that week. Needless to say, the rematch was a 301 contest as we might never had left had it been 501! Mike played right handed against a righty that played left, before it too was clear that a switch was needed to speed things up. Mike gave a warm-hearted thank you speech and Dave said some words too. He also gave us each a Norton Hall T-shirt, we weren't sure whether or not he was being serious or not when he said he had heard that we needed some fresh playing kit. We were on our last legs on the clothing front and luckily enough our host, Andy, let us do as much washing as we could possibly fit in overnight and the next morning. At Andy's, we played a bit of Turd before going to bed...
Even though we lost, we all agreed that the Durham fixture was one of the best and definitely a club the Knight's would love to visit again in the years to come!
Knights Lost 2-3
11-13 11-8 9-11 6-11
11-7 6-11 10-12 11-6 11-5
11-9 11-8 11-0
7-11 9-11 11-8 8-11
6-11 10-12 8-11