Duns 10-5 Gala
On Friday night Merse squash club in Duns hosted a team from Galashiels squash club in a challenge match. The team from Duns consisted of Iain Richards, Billy Gibbs, Hugh McLelland and Matthew Gibbs. Gala rested several key players ahead of their East of Scotland League match with Watsonians and travelled with Captain Del Sharratt, John Barrow, Rachel McAleese and Darren Quinn. In the first Rubber teenagers Darren Quinn and Iain Richards took to the court and Iain’s power shots proved too much for Darren as he took the match with a comprehensive 11-2, 11-7, 11-5.
Gala’s current Ladies Champion Rachel McAleese was next up with Duns Billy Gibbs, this proved a pretty evenly matched contest and some long rallies made for entertaining viewing. Rachel took the first two games 11-8 and 11-6 and seemed to be cruising. then in the third game Billy got off to a flying start taking the lead 3-1 then 5-2 and dominated the game triumphing 11-5. The fourth game was no less intense, Rachel had taken her foot off the gas slightly but the> pair had some good tight shots and despite Rachel having 3 match points Billy took it 12-10. Into a decider and another close game , Billy survived 4 match points and then eventually took the match 3-2 after coming back from 10-6 down to 12-10.
The next math was battle of the veterans as Gala’s John Barrow and Duns Hugh McClellend were pitted against each other. A shaky start by Barrow soon got rectified as he took the match 3-1 (6-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-6).
Then the clubs top seeds stepped up, Matt Gibbs of Duns proved too strong for Gala Captain Sharratt as he was swept aside 3-0 (11-7, 11-9, 11-8) although the game was a lot closer than the scoreline suggests.
Gala captain Del Sharratt said after the game “What a thoroughly enjoyable event, these sort of games are vital preparation for Gala as the league season approaches. Duns are in the process of rebuilding the club and this will be the biggest event they have hosted for many years.