Doug Kempsell’s first thought was for his wife Lucy after the Edinburgh player and East of Scotland coach Kevin Moran inspired Scotland to a first medal this century at the European Team Squash Championships in Warsaw.
The Scots had lost bronze medal play-offs to arch rivals Germany in each of the last four years but made it fifth time lucky as they climbed the podium for the first time since 1999.
Scottish No.1 Alan Clyne threatened to upset top-ranked German Simon Rosner in the opening rubber but Rosner came from two games down to nick it in the fifth.
Kempsell then edged an equally competitive encounter with Rudi Rohrmuller, coming through 11-6, 8-11, 11-9, 3-11, 11-8 in 81 minutes for his third win of the week.
Moran’s four-game victory over Wirth Lukas brought Scotland closer to their goal, and when Greg Lobban and Raphael Kandra shared the first four games of their match, it was mathematically impossible for Germany to win overall. It officially ended 2-2, with Scotland taking bronze on countback, having won ten games to Germany’s eight.
Kempsell, who headed straight to the airport to join his wife on their delayed honeymoon, said: “I’m ecstatic! I’m gutted I can’t be there to celebrate with the boys, but it’s time to relax and celebrate with my wife. I couldn’t be more proud of every single one of the team plus the support staff and coaches. Everyone played their part.
“The future is looking bright for Scottish squash, and we proved that today. It’s time to keep improving and push even further.”
Moran added: “I’m just delighted to get Scotland onto the podium for the first time in 17 years! We’ve worked so hard to get here and for it to finally happen is just surreal.”