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Poole Cup 2011

Concourse Athletic Club captured the Poole Cup, Atlanta's annual 15-person interclub team competition, defeating the Piedmont Driving Club 13-2 and Midtown Athletic Club 10-5 at the CAC on Saturday, May 21.

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The Poole Cup, which has been held annually (sort of) since 2004, is named for Keith Poole, an avid Atlanta squash player. Keith was known for his competitive and sometimes argumentative spirit on the court and the event seems to have borne the stamp of his character since the beginning. The Poole Cup has always been hotly contested but also greatly enjoyed as a gathering of the Atlanta squash clan, and this year was no exception.

For the first time, a four way event included CAC, Midtown, the PDC and LifeTime Fitness in a knockout format that ran 60 matches dawn to dusk on Concourse's four courts. While the first round results- Concourse defeating PDC and Midtown defeating LifeTime 11-4 - were as predicted, the second round was anybody's guess. In the end, the depth of the CAC team under captain Justin Mather was too much for Midtown's 15 and LifeTime posted their first Poole Cup win against the Driving Club by a 9-6 margin. Full scoresheets are at the back of this letter.

Great matches were much in evidence. The LifeTime team was anchored at the top by the three Saleem brothers, who played their six matches with only one loss. Arhum, currently ranked fifth nationally in the BU17, defeated both Diniar Alikhan and Allen Post in one day... a pretty good performance. Older brother Nabil handled John Mahorner and Todd Knutson without loss of a game. Danial took a win from Trey Paris and barely missed a win against Midtown's Michael Gilman. Gilman, down 9-5 in the fifth, rallied to win 17-15.

In the CAC-MAC dustup, Diniar squeaked out a 3-2 win over David Perry to give MAC its only point in the top three divisions. Aaron Luque took a five-game Donnybrook from Tom deLange and Alejandro Caipa caught out Guri Ben-Hashal in five as well. In the <3.5 division, Trevor Yosslowitz took two 3-0 wins to post an unblemished record for the weekend.

LifeTime/PDC saw real strength in the middle of the PDC order as Mssrs. Rollauer, Green and Winter took their matches without loss of a game. In future, watch John Winter carefully as I predict he will spend only a little time in brackets that begin with a 4. Elsewhere, LifeTime produced a strong performance from Pritesh Patel with two wins (one including a particularly unusual let call at match point the other way), and wins in the <3.5 from Prashant Devaraju and Uzma Saleem.

All in all, a splendid time, a great competition to watch or play in and a fine end to the Atlanta squash season.