Monthly Archives: November 2019

Castle Conquered

Border Reivers 13-9 Colinton Castle 5


Andrew Dowlen-Gilland 1-3 Mark Crease

A winning start for Colinton Castle, Crease has been a regular at 5 this season and always seems to have close matches. Reivers Sir Andrew had been out of action for a couple of weeks prior to this game and it showed as the edge was with Crease. The first two fames went 15-12, 15-7 to Crease although he didn’t have it all his own way. Sir Andrew was pretty fast despite his years and it was just the odd nick and boast that was proving successful for Crease. Sir Andrew won the third game 15-10 just by controlling the rallies and keeping his opponent behind him. But Crease didn’t tire and rattled off several points on the trot in the fourth for a 15-7 victory.


Del Sharratt 1-3 Bob Blaikie

This was a bit of a rivalry, as each of the teams previous meetings have yielded a 3-1 victory to Blaikie in this tie. Sharratt was starting to think he was jinxed against Blaikie as again he couldn’t get closer than 3-1. Blaikie won the first 15-7 as both players had a slow starrt and Sharratt brought it back to 1-1 with 15-12 in the second. Blaikie tried to serve to Sharratt’s back hand but Sharratt managed the cross court volley on almost every return to keep Blaikie from scoring heavily. The third and fourth games went 15-7, 15-2 to Blaikie as he changed his serve to a lob and this seemed to flummox Sharratt as he struggled to control the return and Blaikie killed the ball for the points.


Pat Spence 1-3 Adam Hill

Spence was slightly frustrated during this game, as several of his usually dependable drop shots would hit the tin, Spence thought he should be beating Hill but this was an off day for the Borders Veteran coupled with Hill having a Good day and this won the rubber 12-15, 15-10, 15-5, 15-12 to the City Man.


Adam McKay 3-0 Michael Gibbs

Borer Rivers Debutant Adam McKay started his campaign with a victory. McKay has recently set up his business in Galashiels and joined the squash club in the last two weeks. McKay is a former Northumberland youth champion but has been out of the game for 3-4 years. The first game was a close 15-13 as the borderer was just getting used to the courts and the ball. The second game was a cracker as Gibbs managed to go 14-9 up but this spurred McKay on and McKay brought it back to 14-14 with some tight shots and managed to find the corners when it matters, this went to 18-16 in the end; the third game was relatively easy for McKay as he found his squash head and showed his prowess with 15-2.


Tony Elliot 3-0 Phil Nickells

This was an awkward match for Elliot, Elliot hasn’t dropped a game all season, but Nickells 6’5” frame meant Elliot found it difficult to get the ball past Nicholls and couldn’t find much rhythm to his game. Elliot just plugged along and won 15-10, 15-9, 15-7.


Captain Sharratt said “We always have a close match with Colinton Castle, this was 9-9 in games but they won 3-2 in rubbers for the bonus 3 points. I’m going to have to try to avoid Blaikie in the return – I seem jinxed against him! McKay will prove to be a great Asset to the team and indeed the squash club and I’m looking forward to the second half of the season”.

Grange beat Reivers

Grange 5 15-4 Border Reivers


Darren Quinn 0-3 Alfredo Iavocone

Alfredo hit form at the right time for Grange 5s; the City Slickers form has been patchy of late but he brought his A game to the table against the Borderer Quinn. Quinn’s mind just didn’t seemed to be on other things as he just couldn’t get into a rhythm, Iavocone took this rather straightforwardly in the end 15-3, 15-5, 15-3


Alan Hepburn 1-3 Mike Gore

This was a pretty evenly matched game in all aspects, as both players were the same size, build, age and had similar styles. Hepburn was making his first appearance after a long injury lay off and found his movement rather hampered; Hepburn relied on tight shots to score points as he wasn’t yet at full fitness. Hepburn was serving for the game at 14-13 in the first but some shrewd boasts by Gore meant the Grange player took it 17-15, the second game was just as close, it seemed to swing one way then the other; a comment from the spectators was “it’s like watching twins playing”. The remaining game were close but Gore just sneaked it at the right time as they went 15-13, 12-15, 15-11 to Grange.


Graham Bensted 0-3 Harry Grenwood

15-10, 15-10, 15-8 was how the match went in Grange 5s favour. Greenwood is a highly skilful player and normally plays further up the order. Bensted has a fast and hard shot and used this to good effect to reel off sevral points but ultimately Greenwood had the more skilful game and better movement and took this – a far closer encounter than the 3-0 score suggests!


Del Sharrattt 0-3 Stephen Thomas

This was another close match up; but once again the rub of the green went the way of Grange 5. Thomas was trying to play the ball to Left handed Sharratt’s back hand hoping that it was his weaker hand. But most of Sharratt’s back hand returns yielded success. When there was rallies it was Thomas that would keep control and boss the rallies and Sharratt found it difficult to move Thomas about. tHis was 15-10, 15-12, 15-4 to Thomas


Tony Elliot 3-0 Finlay Halton

15yo Finlay Halton was the top seed for Grange 5 and he was the youngest opponent Elliot has faced this season. Tony Elliot won 15-11, 15-9, 15-13 but in Tony’s own words – “This was the toughest match I have had this season, if it had went to 4 or 5 games he would have motored away”. Halton just wouldn’t stop running and it’s great to see a junior player of this standard in the East Leagues, it bodes well for the future.


Gala Captain Del Sharratt said “We don’t seem to travel well this season, in our 8 game so far we are unbeaten at home but haven’t won away from home. Tonight the rub of the green just went against us in all the rubbers, I anticipate a different story in the return leg in March.

Wave Away Victory

Waverley 4s 13-7 Border Reivers


The Border Reivers lost a close one at Waverley squash Club, this match is developing into a bit of a friendly rivalry as both teams seem to win the home tie against the other.

Graham Bensted got the Borderers off to a good start with a 3-1 victory over Callum Henning (7-15, 15-8, 15-6, 15-6). The Reivers only other victory was top seed Tony Elliot as he beat Gordon Scott 3-0, Scott started fast and looked threatening in the first game as he pushed Elliot to 16-14 but Elliot ran off 15-3 15-7 in the remaining games. An out of sort Iain Laing lost 3-1 to ed Granville; Iain Laing seemed a bit more off the pace than normal and the match was 12-15, 15-11, 15-2, 15-5, Granville got better and better as the game went on.


The other games were 3-0 victories to Waverley Stuart Johnston 3-0 Del Sharratt and Alex Ross 3-0 Pat Spence.

Home Victory for Reivers

Border Reivers 13-10 Linlithgow 3s


Iain Gorman 1-3 Lyle Black

Gorman got his first point of the season for the Reivers. Gorman made life difficult for the younger Black; Gorman won the first 15-9 and seemed to be in control, but this was a fairly even match up and it was nip and tuck all the way through. Black reversed the score in the second 15-9 and at 14-13 to the Linlithgow player a duffed serve let Gorman back in but after an intense tight couple of rallies, Black held his nerve to win 16-14. Gorman tired more in the fourth and seemed to have lost half a yard, but put up a good fight to a 15-10 loss.


Graham Bensted 3-2 Ross Lyall

You couldn’t get a closer match! The games were 13-15, 15-13, 15-17, 15-13, 15-12. It was a war of attrition as both players are hard hitters but it was a great match to watch as neither player could pull away, Bensted was more relieved than anything else after taking the decider 15-13 for a Reivers victory and to tie the match at 1-1 in rubbers.


Pat Spence 0-3 Sammy Ralston

A One-sided match up, after the close encounters in the previous rubbers, Spence failed to get off the ground in this tie. Although a good thinker of the game, Pat couldn’t keep up with Sammy. Sammy exploded out the blocks and seem to be able to maintain his pace and focus throughout as Pat just couldn’t get into a rhythm and this went 15-4, 15-6, 15-9 to Linlithgow.


Iain Laing 3-2 John Black

Two seasoned veterans took to the court, both players have a wealth of experience of league squash up and down the country. John Black started well and took a 2-0 lead 15-4, 21-19. The marathon 2nd game seemed to have affected Black more than Laing though and Laing maintained concentration to come back with the next 2 games 15-7, 15-12. Black knew he had to rdo something different and attempted to send Laing t othe back corners in the fifth, but Laing would do a trademark boast out of the back corner and Black was caught out of position several points and Laing therefore wrapped it up 15-13 for the win and to tie the match at 2-2.


Tony Elliot 3-0 Ashley Mears

Tony never really doubted himself as he aimed to seal the match for the Borderers. Although Ashley Mears is a tricky player and plays accurate shots, Tony is in a rich vein of form just now and it seems like he can beat anyone that takes to the court against him. This won the match for the Border Reivers.

Tyne Triumph

Tyne District 2s 16-5 Border Reivers


Andrew Dowlen-Gilland 0-3 Raymond Jeffries

15-9, 15-13, 15-10 to the Tyne 2s opener. Sir Andrew seemed a bit rusty, having been abroad for a few weeks this was the Borderer’s first match for nearly a month and the cobwebs were evident. This should have been a good 5-set thriller but Sir Andrew was half a yard slower than his usual self and Jeffries was on form. It was maybe down to fatigue but the referee found himself busy having to call several strokes and lets as the players were getting in each others way. A good 3 points for the Haddington Club to open with


Graham Bensted 0-3 Richard Lockhart

Although Bensted was a mainstay in the Reivers team last season, this match represented his debut fixture for the season. Bensted has a fast hard serve, but Lockhart didn’t let it phase him and controlled the match throughout; not too many spectacular rallies but basic squash won through in this for 15-5, 15-3, 15-8 for Tyne 2’s no. 4 seed


Del Sharratt 0-3 Andy Stafford

Del found the going tough in this match, Sharrat normally a fourth or fifth seed player had to step upto no. 3 due to call offs.Del couldn’t be faulted for effort and determination, the first game seen some decent rallies but Tyne’s Stafford just managed to keep the ball tighter to the walls to take it 15-7.In the second Andy seemed to switch up a gear and Del was sent to every corner of the court, Andy stayed focussed and took it 15-12.In the third Del found his length and enjoyed some prolonged control but the Tyne squasher just seemed to have the edge and took the third 15-9.


Pat Spence 2-3 Gordon Hamilton

Spence seemed to be on the back foot from the start, Hamilton was quick out the blocks and seemed dominant as Spence had no answer for any of Hamiltons shots, Tyne took a 15-8, 15-6 lead fairly quickly and seemed cruising. But Spence has a good squash brain and he played to Hamiltons weaknesses and kept the ball tight to bring himself back into the tie with 15-12, 16-14 for 2-2. The fifth game didn’t seem to live upto the billing though, Spence made several unforced errors and his shots were just sneaking onto the tin or the out of court line and this meant Hamilton took it 3-2 with 15-9.


Tony Elliot 3-1 Shane Presslet

Ever Reliable Tony again secured a victory for Gala, Elliot, who has yet to be beaten in league 5 this season, had the edge in what was an intense tussle.

A fast start for Elliot, the higher ranked Pressley fancied taking this one but seemed to make basic errors in the first as Elliot took it convincingly 15-5. The second game Pressley seemed to switch on and although Elliot pummelled shots from corner to Corner, Pressley reached them and the skill in this game was amazing, Pressley managed to hold on with some deft drop shots to win 16-14. But Elliot commanded the rest of the match and Pressley was sent round the court and tired quiker than Elliot. The Reivers no. 2 took the games 15-11, 15-9.


Gala Captain Sharratt said afterwards Haddington’s Tyne District 2s are a new team, but we have encountered some of their players in previous seasons. Tony once again was the star of the show and this was one of the strongest opponent’s he will face this season. Tony has pulled a muscle in his leg and is a doubt for next weeks match vs Linlithgow 3s; so it may be a tough ask to win next week.