Border Reivers 15-4 Waverley 4s
Del Sharratt 3-2 Stuart Johnston
In the first match of the night, Del had a point to prove as Stuart had won both previous encounters 3-0 – but with really close games and Sharratt felt he should be beating Johnston. Again this proved to be a close tussle, the match started with Johnston taking a 3-0 lead and Sharratt brought it back to 3-3, the rest of the game progresses with either player taking 1-2 points then the opponent dong likewise, the match went 10-10, 12-12- 14-14 and with 2 points needed to win the game the players knew it would be tough to pull away. The game went on point for point until Sharatt pulled out a fast backhand that flew passed Johnston to take it 22-20! The second game went mus the same way, as soon as one player got a 2-3 point lead, the opponent would bring it back; this game also went to 14-14 but Stuart produced two serves that just didn’t bounce to take it 16-14. Stuart took a 5-1 lead in the third and semed to be varying his game with front court boasts that would send Del the wrong way, Stuart took this a slightly more comfortable 15-10. Sharratt took a couple of minutes to focus between the 3rd and 4th game and seemed to find adrenalin from somewhere as his long full court shots were too good for Stuart and the Reivers Captain got to 6-1 before Stuart goe going again, but the revigoratd Sharratt played tight shots and kept Johnston behind him so he could control the ralies and won 15-12. It was 2-2 and into a deciding game, Del didn’t have much left in the tank, but Stuart seemed to drom his racket half an inch and found the tin more often in this game, it was 9-6 to Sharratt when he reled off 5 points just from deft serves and held on for 15-7 and 3-2.
Graham Bensted 3-0 Ronnie Petrie
This match was more straight forward than the Sharratt-Johnston tussle. Bensted had a fast powerful serve and if Petrie didn’t find the volley return it meant Bensted could control the rallies and therefore the match. It wasn’t all one way traffic though, when Petrie did return the serves he proved a good skilful player who played very accurate shots and made Bensted work round the court. Bensted was too good in theend though and won 17-15, 15-11, 15-9.
Pat Spence 3-2 Dave Ferguson
This was the battle of the Veterans, both players have played league squash for many years up and down the country and the crowd were hopful for a spectacular tie.
The match wasn’t spectacular but swung from one side to the other. The courts in Gala are colder than the city players are used to and this meant It was easy to kill the ball as there wasn’t much bounce without rallies warming the ball up.
The match progressed very much Serve-Return-Kill Serve-Return-Kill but the first game went in Ferguson’s favour 15-13, then the second game although much the same with few rallies was a one-sided 15-3 for spence. The server would serve to the back of the court and the receiver would return to th back of the court and one drop shot to the front would be out of reach, then it went 15-8 Ferguson and 15-11 Spence. Although this tie was also 2-2, there had ben more shots played in one game between Sharratt and Johnston as this entire match. The fifth game seen some loose returns which did make for a couple of 6-7 shot rallies and Spence made home advantage count 15-11 for the victory.
Amir Hosny 3-0 Gordon Scott
Youth v experience this time, and Youth won out, the first game was a close 15-11 and both players played a controlled tight game, neither wanting to take risks and playing the percentage shots. But The next games seen Amir use his youthful fitness and stamina to his advantage and could cover the court relatively quickly and total focus meant only a couple of rare misses for Hosny and he wrapped it up 15-4, 15-4.
Tony Elliot 3-0 Florent Chevreuil
French prodigy Chevreuil, who had beaten Pat Spence in last years match up found Elliot was a level above and couldn’t live with the Borderer, Elliot controlling the game and the rallies. Although Florent had an uncharacteristic off-night and couldn’t find consistency with his shots, this was frustrating the Frenchman and his head went down. Elliot just stayed composed and never seemed to be in doubt about any of his shots. Indeed Tony won out 15-8, 15-5, 15-6.
Gala Captain Sharratt said afterwards “What an amazing team effort, a clean sweep of victories and we are now at an all time high of fifth in the table, our courts are colder than most of the city courts which affecgts the bounce of the ball and we can use the home advantage well this season. I will look to keep the same team for next weeks tussle against our rivals Grange 5s.”