Tyne District 9-7 Gala (12-7)
Del Sharratt 1-3 Dylan Pearman
Gala Captain Sharratt was surprised to see 12yo Dylan Pearman playing at 5 for the Haddington clubs full team – but it soon became apparent that young Pearman was more than capable of handling the pressure of the East Leagues. Indeed the youngster has travelled the country representing East in the Scottish U-13 Region championships.
It was rare to see two left handed players on the same court and it made for a spectacular match. Sharratt knew he was in for a hard match after sneaking the first 16-14 as Pearman wouldn’t let Sharratt pull away. After the first game, Tyne Captain Nigel Pearman spoke to the younger Pearman and advised he plays to Del’s back hand corner. The youngster duly complied and Del just couldn’t find the swing of his back hand as Dylan rattled off the remaining games 15-7, 15-4, 15-3.
Graham Bensted 0-3 Gordon Hamilton
Bested found the going difficult in this match, although Bensted had a mean serve that won him several points, Hamilton’s fast hitting meant Bensted was just a yard or so to short for most of the full length shots and with little time on the ball wasn’t able to fully control his shots. Hamilton took this for Tyne 15-6, 15-7, 15-10.
Pat Spence 0-3 Chris Dixon
Gala Veteran Spence, was making his first appearance of the season due to business commitments but had been playing plenty squash and wasn’t short on confidence.
Both players were obviously skilful and fit with tight full length shots the story of this one, but the rallies were textbook up and down the walls but just the lapses of concentration from Spence led to several unforced errors mainly on drop shots and Dixon capitalised took the match 5-8, 15-8, 15-8.
Kev Douglas 3-0 Graham Morrison
Kev Douglas came into this match oozing confidence after his victory previous week against Kirkaldys top seed. Kev has a knacl of starting slowly and working the opponent out as the match goes on.
The first game was anything but slow and long rallies ensued as both players showed their quality, Kev seemed to have the edge on his returns and it led to him controlling most of the game and took it 15-10.
Both players changed their style in the second game, Morrison was trying to read Douglas’s shots but Douglas varied his game enough and really had the edge over Morrison in most areas and took it 15-8.
Morrison gave his all in the third and seemed to be able to return anything but Douglas’s disguised drop shots was enough to Get Gala’s first victory of the match 15-11 and 3-0.
Tony Elliot 3-0 Nigel Pearman
Pearman had a very unorthodox serve but it was obvious why both players were the number 1 seeds in the respective teams, Pearman found good width and length in his shots but Elliot motored around the court and returned everything Pearman threw at him, and just as Elliot was commanding the T-line Pearman would be just as good at returning whatever was given to him, the first two games reflect this and both went to sudden death in Tony’s favour 16-14, 17-15. The difference in the third game was that Elliot’s elite fitness meant he just refused to wilt and Pearman was running on empty as it was more straight forward for the Gala top seed and 15-6.
Gala Captain Sharratt said afterwards “They all seem to be strong teams in the league, this is one of my best possible line-ups and I’m a wee bit disappointed we couldn’t take more from the match. It’s exciting to see youth being so eager and skilful at squash and if Dylan is anything to go by then the future of East of Scotland Squash is in safe hands. We have a Break in the season next week so I might look at some training for some of the squad players and work on movement and footwork. But no match is easy in this league.