Stewart Boswell marked his return to league squash last night with a resounding victory over training partner Scott Handley.
In doing so he helped Edgbaston Priory to an emphatic 4-1 victory against defending champions Wolverhampton.
The competition may be different - it is now the grandly- named Premier Squash League - but Boswell appeared unchanged despite his 18-month absence from the Priory line-up.
Still tall, thin and sometimes gangly, he appeared close to his best in beating Handley 4-9, 9-1, 9-5, 9-5. He might not think it but the old grace that comes from an immense reach was all too evident as he dominated the T on the Wolverhampton glass-back.
Afterwards, Boswell, who has won eight of his last ten tournaments, declared himself satisfied but "still with a lot of work to do."
He has to go through the gruelling qualification process for next week's British Open, starting on Sunday.
"My aim this year is to get into the top 24 in the world so I don't have to go through qualifying," said the world No 29 who looked a class apart from Handley, the world No 69.
His priory team- mate David Palmer, the world No 3 and the man who beat him in th St Louis Open last month, believes his fellow Australian will soon start to trouble the world's top ten players again.
Palmer, for his part, was made to work hard in a thrilling but often fractious 11-9, 9-6, 5-9, 15-13 victory over compatriot Anthony Ricketts, the world No 7 in 1hr 26mins.
Vicky Botwright eventually dispatched a game Dominique Lloyd-Walter, ranked 21 places below her on the women's tour.
Botwright, the seventh best in the world, was lethargic at the start. She lost the opening game but breezed through to a 6-9, 9-1, 9-3, 9-4 victory. A change of racket? A change of shoes? Or merely a deep breath, Botwright emerged for the second game a different person, winning it easily.
Adrian Grant, who has recently dropped from 14th to 19th in the world made a mockery of his current place with an exemplary 9-7, 9-7, 9-3 defeat of Shahid Zaman, the Pakistan world No 16.
Peter Barker squandered leads in the first two games of his rubber against the experienced Alex Gough, eventually losing 9-11, 6-9, 9-4, 8-10.