After delays due to holidays and injuries the Handicap Plate tournament final eventually got under way at Gala Sqaush club last Monday, Andrew Dowlen-Gilliland and the Club’s Spanish player Luis Molero had got through some tricky ties to contest the event. The match was Point a rally to 15 and the players were so evenly matched that they started on scratch.
The first game saw both players trying to make their opponents run about to discover how accurately each other’s shots were and hoping to tire their opponents out. The momentum was with Luis in the first game as his shots had the best length he galloped to a 12-5 lead; then one loose serve by Luis saw Andrew capitalise with a stunning boast that hit the nick and that one point swung the whole game as Andrew grew in confidence and took it 15-12. With both players well into their strides the second game didn’t produce as many rallies as a war of
attrition took over with serve and returns being the key point scorers in this one; in another close game Luis took it 15-11 (1-1).
The third game produced some really exciting squash, with Andrew trying to out psyche his opponent with his speech play. This was close all the way 2-2, 6-6, 8-8, but Luis did his talking with his racket and triumphed 15-11. At 2-1 Up Luis was confident but knew he couldn’t ease off as seasoned veteran Andrew D-G was used to long matches and was a clever player. With both players focussed on the victory some great squash was produced in the fourth game. Luis pulled off some cracking forehand drop shots but Andrew seemed to read them all and had an answer for everything Luis was throwing at him. The intensity of the game grew as several points had to be ruled by the umpire Del Sharratt as the players were running into each other and shots were close to the tin. Andrew produced the most consistent corner shots and took the 4th game 15-10.
At 2-2 and with neither player losing focus the deciding game was vital, and umpire Sharratt was kept on his toes as the game was fast and furious. As soon as Andrew out smarted Luis’s shots, Luis responded with some unbelievable movement and replied just as cleverly. Luis knew his forehand drops weren’t producing the usual points and struggled to vary his game enough to out smart Andrew. Neither player managed to pull away and when Luis was match point and 14-13 up Andrew ensured ALL his shots were tight to the wall and made Luis work. This paid off and the match went to sudden death, Luis who had been 2-1 up and 14-13
up in the decider had several chances to wrap the game up but a steely Andrew wouldn’t let up and Andrew took it 17-16. Andrew D-G 3-2 Luis Molero.
Andrew said after the game “What a match, Luis was sensational and I didn’t think I was going to beat him in the decider”. Luis responded with “the best player on the night won, I look forward to a re-match in the league.” Club Captain and umpire for the day Del Sharratt said “I thought we were going to be here all night, what a cracking display of squash, Luis threw away the first game at 12-5 up and mentally that was probably the turning point of the
whole match. I was exhausted just watching it.”
The Club Leagues are on going and the annual Club Championship will kick-off in