Galashiels 4-13 Edinburgh Sports Club 8
Andy Waddell 0-3 George Jones
Jones made the most of being almost 50 years junior to Waddell by trying to tire the veteran early. Although Waddell, who had the edge on shot placement and accuracy couldn’t match the fitness and speed of his youthful opponent and Jones seemed to be able to pull away during the middle of the games and won 15-8, 15-10, 15-8.
Iain Gorman 0-3 Johnnie Webster
Gala’s Gorman, who was unbeaten during the run of pre-season friendlies found the step-up to league squash not quite so straight forward. Gorman’s stocky build gave Webster the impression he wasn’t very fast or fit, but when Gorman stormed to a 7-0 lead in the first game, the ESC man knew he had to switch on and work hard if he was going to win this. Indeed despite the initial defecit Webster pulled of some awesome fast and wide serves and Gorman could hardly get into the rallies as the serves were to good to return.
When the rallies were prolonged it was the Gala man that was winning the points but more often than not when Webster got the Hand his prowess with the serves proved the difference. 15-11, 15-8, 15-6
Del Sharratt 0-3 Chris Patterson-Brown
Another whitewash by ESC which meant they had secured the match, but opposite from the previous tie there were plenty decent rallies in this match and good usage of the T-Line. The first game went point for point until 7-7 and Chris pulled off a series of 4 points just by playing the longer and tighter shots in the rallies and took it 15-9. In the second Del seemed to drift towards the back of the court during the rallies and ESC’s Chris would then throw in a drop shot that del couldn’t reach and this seemed to set the pattern for the game and although close went 15-11 to ESC. Then in the 3rd, Chris just seened to do everything right and wasn’t missing a shot and swept up 15-4, for 3-0.
Kev Douglas 1-3 Glyn Cave
Douglas was making his debut for Gala, he was put in at 2nd seed due to call offs but met a strong experienced league player in Cave. The first game was slow and not too spectacular as both players were pacing themselves, The edge went t ocave as he semed more agile and Douglas was rather heavy footed, the first went 15-9 to Cave. In the Second it was more skilful squash and the players were having a right ding-dong affair as the umpire had to rule on several shots as both players were getting on top of each other and not clearing shots, but an excitinggame went 16-14 to the Gala Man. Fatigue seemed to set in as Douglas just couldn’t seem to keep up with Cave in the rallies and it was precise drop shots that won through for ESC 15-11, 15-9
Tony Elliot 3-1 Des Creasey
Tony was making his league bow for Gala, having previously had caps in the East of Scotland Cup and some Friendlies and came into the match unbeaten in all competitions. But Tony was caught off guard at first and was nursing a groin strain as Des quickly got off to a 7-1 lead in the first game. Both players were obviously the respectives clubs top seeds as the squash was faster and tighter than any of the other matches. 7-1 went to 11-3 and Tony pulled it back to 12-9 before Des took the remaining points including a Cork-screw serve for 15-9. The Cork Screw serve seemed to Rile Gala’s Elliot as hhe played with increased aggression in the next game and feeling no effects from his groin played more like his usual self znd even came from behind to take it 15-12. The third game was just as close, Des was no longer show boating and had to work for every point, Tony was getting better and better as the match went on and the shots seemed to be going exactly where Tony wanted and won the third 15-11. The fourth game again seem Tony seemingly improve as the game progressed and it was the killing of the ball in the corners that won it for Tony and took the points for Gala 15-5.
Captain Del Sharratt said “Well it was a step up from pre-season ESC8 are a new team and I didn’t know what to expect. There guys all have many years league experience and they brought a strong team down. I have a couple of big players on holiday to bring in for future ties so hopefully it’s upwards form here.”