Craigshill Xcite 15-6 Galashiels
Ruaridh Kohler 0-3 Brian Chapman
Ruaridh ran into an on form Brian Chapman , although Ruaridh was up for this and had his eye in he wasn’t quite a match fitness or skill wise for the Livingston teams opener. Brian took the tie 15-5, 15-8, 15-6 although Ruaridh put up a good fight and the score flattered Brian a bit.
Del Sharratt 2-3 Ross Cunningham
These players were well matched, and power was the key here, both players had long fast shots and this proved to be match of the night, Del won the opening game 15-13 managing to dominate the game from the ‘T’ and keeping Ross to the back of the court, the second game also went in Del’s favour 15-10 but this was not easy and both players were really hitting the ball hard.
2-0 up and Del knew he wasn’t comfortable as it had been a really close game so far. Ross started jumping on all Del’s shots now as Del struggled to vary his shots and Ross anticipated where most of the returns would end up. Ross clawed the match back 15-8, 15-10 to 2-2. The deciding game was more of a war of attrition as the skill went out the window and most points were won on serve and return, therefore the points were racking up fairly quickly, but neither player could really find the edge with the decider going 11-11, 14-14 and both players at some stage in the game had served for the match. In the end Del played a couple of loose drop shots that Ross totally killed in the front corner and took the game 20-18.
Luis Molero 2-3 Iain McIvor
Both players controlled their own shots and the rallies were tight down the walls, it was long rallies and both players played really tight and didn’t want to risk anything too often, again Gala took a 2-0 lead Luis winning the first two 15-11, 20-18. In the third game, the Umpire was making some odd calls and Luis was frustrated at the strokes given against him and this completely threw Luis out his stride. The Craigshill Xcite number 3 came back with a 15-10. In the fourth, Luis was still distracted from the previous game and although he tried to settle back into long tight rallies, Iain had other ideas and started throwing in boasts and drop shots which Luis couldn’t adjust to: 15-8 to Iain. 2-2 and like the previous game the fifth was going tit for tat, Luis had reverted to his first game tactic of long tight shots and was looking focussed again, but again the deciding points were a couple of awesome and well timed boasts by Iain and the Livi man took it 15-10.
Ian Chalmers 2-3 John Taylor
John Taylor took off in this and motored to a quick 6-0 lead, Ian had been taken by surprise and couldn’t quite claw it back, 15-10 to John. The second game produced some class squash, the skill was good and the tempo was fast, the rallies in this could have gone either way, one loose shot would take the point. Ian took it 15-12. In the third game John again did what he knew he had to and took an early lead 4-1 and 6-2, then triumphed 15-10. Neither player was letting up and the games were still fast and skilful, Gala’s Ian Chalmers wouldn’t stop running and seemed to reach everything that was thrown at him, he took the game 15-9. Another 2-2, another decider and another 3-2 victory for Craigshill Xcite. John just seemed to play slightly tighter shots than Ian and won 15-11.
John Sharratt 0-3 Craig Baxter
Two of the hardest hitters in the respective clubs took to the court in the final rubber and after a series of 3-2 matches this game had a lot to live up to. It didn’t quite produce the same rallies or scorelines but the shots were so fast it was hard to keep track of. It ended 17-15, 15-8, 15-9.
Craigshill Xcite had travelled all the way from Livingston for the match and were not in the mood to return without a victory. Del said “It was frustrating, both myself and Luis threw away 2-0 leads and they were both games we should have won. That would have been some vital points in the league, but we only have ourselves to blame and will look for improvement next week.”