Monthly Archives: February 2019

Junior Big Shots

IMG_20190223_170632L-R Dima Graham , Sahsha Graham

 

The Latest instalment of the Big Shots series was held at Edinbugh Sports Club – The Big Shots series is an entry level Squash Tournament for kids age 6-16 and is split into divisions. Galashiels Squash Club was represented by Current Junior Champion Dima Graham and his younger brother Sasha Graham.

 

Sasha was placed in Div 4 and struggled to live with the competition. The tournament was MONRAD format so everyone got 3 games and an overall ranking, the games were timed for 7 minutes so the highest score after 7 minutes would win.. The first game seen Sasha pitted against Daniel Evans form The Grange. Sasha found Daniel’s serves very difficult to read and Daniel would score several points just from the serve, this went 22-9 to Daniel. This put Sasha in the 5-8 playoff and he came up against another of Grange’s rising stars in Megan Read, this was a closer game and both players enjoyed the rallies, Megan took it 18-12 which meant it was Sasha Graham v Benjamin Wilkie in the 7/8 Play Off. This was and exciting watch, and remained pretty close for the first 5 minutes, but at the end Benjamin was too fit and strong and pulled away to take it 20-12.

 

Dima Graham was in Div 2 with some Formidable players, his opening rubber seen him against James Kelly of Edinburgh sports Club, James Kelly proved a very skilful player and rocketed off to a 32-10 victory, James Kelly later pulled out of the tournament but was on track to win Div 2 before he withdrew. Dima was then put in the 5-8 play off where his first opponent was Josh Myers of Edinburgh Sports Club. This was a close fought match with neither player really pulling away, Dima triumphed with a confidence boosting 17-15. For 5/6 place Dima was up against Finlay Templeton of Colinton Castle, Finlay had beaten Dima in a previous encounter, so Dima was keen to settle a score! Templeton started well in this and some good squash from both kids made it entertaining to watch, but Finlay went to 12-7 and seemed to be in control, but Dima kept his focus and wouldn’t take his eye off the ball and Dima knew time was running out for him to come back but a series of clever boasts by Dima brought him back into the game and Finlays head went down as he swiped at a couple of key shots and Dima Graham came from behind to sneak it 19-18 in the dying seconds of the match.

Dima was delighted with his 5th place and was already look9ing forward to the Next Round at Colinton Castle. The Div 1 title for the day was won by Thomas Crawley of The Grange, who beat Scotland Under 13s Representative Jamie Pearman of Tyne Squash Club 32-10 in the final.

Gala Squash Club Captain Del Sharratt said “It’s great just to see the kids get a competitive tournament against kids from other clubs, this is a vital stepping stone for Dima and Sasha into the Junior Open events and both boys are as keen as mustard.”

Close Victory for Reivers

Border Reivers 13-9 Grange 5

 

Del Sharratt 0-3 Josh Stokes

Josh Stokes maintained his 100% record against Sharratt with a great display of squash. Despite the loss, Sharratt thoroughly enjoyed the match and there was several long rallies and fast movement but Stokes was too good for Sharratt and this went Grange’s way 15-9, 15-13, 15-10.

 

Graham Bensted 1-3 Alex Whitters

This was a close tight tussle, both players have a very strong powerful serve and this earned several points for both players, the hard fast hits didn’t produce many long rallies but neither player would relent and the scores were 15-12, 12-15, 15-12, 15-2 in favour of Grange.

 

Piers Wilkinson 3-1 Peppe Andaloro

This was a battle between old pals. As Piers had played Team Squash for Grange in previous years but now represented The Reivers. Piers and Peppe had many a titanic tussle during Piers time at Grange and this match was to prove just as exhilliarating. Piers started strong and had precise placement of the ball, he romped to a 15-8 victory in the first game. The second game seen a complete reversal as Peppe commanded the rallies and found the corners t otake it 15-5. This made both players focus and the rest of the match there wasn’t much to separate either player, Piers used his 6’4” frame to reach almost anything that Peppe tried to lob or put past him,but Peppe jut didn’t seem to stop running, with the help of a little bit of good Fortune, Wilkinson took the next games 15-13, 17-15 for 3-1.

 

Amir Hosny 3-2 Jonathan Hughes

This was another cracker of a match, this went the distance and as soon as one player looked like they would pull away, the other would come back just as strong. Amir won the first 15-10, then the next ones went 13-15, 12-15, 10-15. The match had lots of good long rallies. Amir would command the T-Line for the majority and have Jonathan running from side to side to play the ball, a lot of the sqush was full-legnth here and both players seemed reluctant to play drop shots or to the front. At 2-2 Hosny decided to throw in some front court boasts to keep the ball away from Hughes, but several of these hit the tin and Hosny ha to go back to the long game. Hughes was 13-9 up when Hosny seemed to find an extra boost form nowhere and got to 14-14, both players served for match ball but it was Hosny who kept with his long game plan that won 19-17 in the fifth for another Reivers victory.

 

Tony Elliot 3-0 Andrew Light

Tony showed glimpses of his best here, Andrew Light just couldn’t live with Elliot and The Reivers Top Seed made this look easy. Light put up a good battle in the first game, losing a close 15-12 but just couldn’t maintain it as Elliot ran out 15-5, 15-7 for 3-0 and the Match victory for the Border Reivers

 

Gala Captain Del said “This was a close match, if Hughes had held on to his lead against Hosny in the fifth we would have lost the match. But we always like to get one over the Grange, a Friendly Rivalry has developed between our clubs.

Hero in Heriot Watt Open

champ2Tony Elliot, Gala Squash Club Champion

In the Heriot Watt Squash Open, Tony Elliot was flying the flag for Gala Squash Club. In the Qualifying match, Tony was against Watsonians French Prodigy Remi Lecompte, Remi took a 2-0 lead and Tony battled back to 2-2 but the Frenchman just edged Tony in the decider to book his place in the main Draw, (11-8, 11-6, 7-11, 4-11, 11-8). This put Tony in the B-Grade Draw against some formidable opponents.

Tony was drawn against Jonathan Hughes of The Grange, Jonatan had o pull out due to last minute emergency and Tony got a bye to the quasrter final where he met James Robertson of Watsonians Squash Club. Tony played out another 5- set thriller and again came from 2-0 down this time to win 3-2 (7-11, 9-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-2). Tony’s next opponent in the Semi-Final was teenager Andrew Chrumka, although now a student at Glasgow Uni, Chrumka has won junior tournaments up and down the country. Chrumka won the fitness and indeed the skill battle and triumphed over Elliot 3-1 (11-7, 11-6, 6-11, 11-7).

With Chrumka advancing to the final Tony Elliot had a 3rd place play off to look forward to, in this he was against another Glasgow Univ Student in Steffan Gwynn. Tony liks to get his moneys worth as this match again went the distance and Tony won 3-2 (11-5, 8-11, 10-12, 12-10, 11-2) to earn 3rd spot in a highly talented field.

 

The Main event was won by Edinburg Sports Clubs Scotland International Rory Stewart – Rory is connected to the Borderers as he is the Gala squash Club coach and Tony Elliots Coach and Mentor. Rory Stewart beat Giffnocks James Henderson 3-1 in the Final to claim the prizemoney and trophy.

Tony said after the tournament “I am delighted to have bagged 3rd place in my grade, this tournament brings in some of the top players in the country and the experience can only help my game.”

WAVE Hello to Victory

Waverley 4s 5-15 Border Reivers

 

Graham Bensted 3-0 Keith Miller

In the first match of the night Bensted and Miller played out at thriller, although the score was 3-0 for Bensted, it didn’t tell the story of the match as the games couldn’t have been any closer 15-13, 15-13, 17-15. Both players were evenly matched fitness and skill wise and it was nip and tuck for most of the match. Bensteds legendary fast serves worked for him at key times though and he managed to take a match that could really have went either way.

 

Del Sharratt 0-3 Dave Russell

Russell was filing in at 4 covering for several injuries from Waverley regulars and he wasn’t too confident of defeating Sharratt. But Sharratt seemed to be out of sorts and couldn’t find his usual rhythm or movement. Sharratt couldn’t find the back of the court with his shots and Russell would return everything from the middle of the court, Russell took the first 15-10. In the second Sharratt mad a conscious effort to put more length in his shots by playing higher up the front wall but the shots were loose and Sharratt couldn’t cover the court as he normally does and Russell won 15-12. In the third game Sharratt was getting frustrated with himself and started swiping at the serves and his head went down, Russell cleaned up with a relatively straight forward 15-4.

 

 

Stuart Johnston 1-3 Pat Spence

Spence went into this one high on confidence after a good couple of victories recently and the first game Spence didn’t seem to put a foot wrong and his shots were controlled and placed and the textbook squash won him the game 15-6. In the second game, Johnston commanded the T-Line more and would make Spence do all the running about, this tactic was to tire Spence out with the running and the heat in the hotter courts which Johnston was more used to. Although Spence again played controlled shots, Johnston would send him round the court and sneaked it 16-14. The third game Johnston was adopting the same tactic of making Spence run around; but Spence is deceptively fit and stamina is no problem to the Veteran; a few of Spences usually controlled shots were low and hit the tin but this game was mush the same as the previous only with Spence triumphing 15-12 for a 2-1 advantage. The fourth game started with Johnston exploding off to a 4-0 lead but the Reivers Vice Captain plodded through the game ands made Johnston do more running, the rallies were longer in this one and this seemed to suit Spence better as a couple of deft drop shots won him the tie 15-13.

 

Amir Hosny 3-0 Neil Kempsell

This was another 3-0 match that was closer than the scores suggests, 15-13, 15-13, 15-10. Hosny managed to control the rallies and this was a story of some long tight shots as neither player seemed to like drop shots. This made for some long rallies and when Hosny had Kempsell pinned to the back of the court he would throw in the occasional boast to wrong foot Kempsell and Win the rally. Although the game was close Hosny always looked like he could step up a gear if needed and was in control throughout.

 

Tony Elliot 3-1 Ed Granville

Elliot had a shocking start to this match, Granville was 7-0 up in a matter of seconds as Elliot just seemed to be switched off, Elliot did get going but was too far behind to catch up, it went to 12-7 and 15-12 for Granville. But normal order was resumed in the rest of the match as Elliot found his mojo and proved he was the far more skilful player by rattling the games off 15-4, 15-0, 15-6. Granville had played a match for Waverley 3s prior to this and was half a yard slower than usual but after a shocking start Elliot barely put a foot wrong and this took the match for the Border Reivers.

 

Gala Captain Sharratt said afterwards “Apart from myself the team played really well. I don’t know what I was playiung during my game but it wasn’t squash! This is a great away victory for us and we head to The Grange next looking for 3 wins in a row.