All posts by msrgi1971

Waverley steam past Gala

Waverley 4 13-8 Galashiels 

Andrew Dowlen-Gilland 3-0 John Allan

John Allan was a last minute call up for Waverley, as the city side had to change their team several times due to injuries, this meant he was coming in cold and not mentally attuned to the task.  Gala’s Sir Andrew proved to be too strong having been better prepared and maintained focus throughout in a pretty convincing 15-8, 15-7, 15-5.

Del Sharratt 0-3 Stuart Johnston

In the previous leg of this tie in Gala, Sharratt had triumphed 3-0 in the cold courts.  But home advantage does have  a huge factor to play as the “near sauna like conditions (Sharratt)” totally changed the bounce of the ball and the outlook of the whole match.  Stuart dominated from the ‘T’ and had Del running about from corner to corner.  This was another convincing win for the City side, 15-9, 15-8, 15-0.

John Sharrat 3-1 Chris Jeffrey

This was John Sharratt’s first away tie this season and he was pitted against the Central Masters over 70s champion Jeffrey.  John, a couple of years junior to Chris, hadn’t played squash for a couple of months and very nearly pulled out after losing the first, but he seemed to find a second wind and ran on adrenalin to take the tie.  It was some amazing squash from the Veterans with over 100 years of experience between them both players were reading every shot well.  What they may have lacked in fitness they made up for in shot placement and know-how.  John Sharratt, who has had experience in the West of Scotland leagues many years previous said “It was good to get involved with the team again, I don’t remember the West leagues being as competitive or as enjoyable as tonight was.  Hopefully I can get fitter and possibly get some more caps in the future”.  John took a tight one 15-12, 11-15, 15-12, 15-8.

Ian Chalmers 0-3 Malcolm Lunn

These guys were not only the youngest and the fittest players in the respective teams but both players were head and shoulders above the rest.  Plenty of long tight rallies and trickery and drop shots made for a thoroughly enjoyable match up.  Waverleys Lunn proved better on the night and deserved his 15-12, 15-10, 15-4 victory.

Pat Spence 2-3 Gary Loake

With the match tied at 2-2 in rubbers and 7-6 in games, Pat and Gary felt the pressure as the victor in this match ensured victory for the respective team.  It was a very ding-dong affair; as soon as one player pulled away and took one game, his opponent would take the next.  With the audience cheering on both players this tie also went to 2-2 so the deciding game effectively decided the whole match.  After lots of tooing and froing and a couple of deft serves Gary took it 15-5, 5-15, 15-10, 4-15, 15-5

Gala Captain Sharratt said afterwards “Can’t get much closer than that, I’m slightly disappointed in the result as we beat them in Gala but thoroughly enjoyed the occasion and the squash was top quality.  Next week we have our Rivals Grange Squash Club at Gala so we will be looking to pinch victory form them.”

Gala taste victory over Bridge of Allan

Gala 17-6 Bridge of Allan 3

Fraser Forrest 2-3 William Rea
Fraser, who was making he debut for Gala in this tie came out the blocks running and stormed to a 7-0 lead in the first game with some big serves before William could get to grips with the ball, Fraser maintained his lead and took it 15-10. Indeed in each of the first three games, the Gala man got off to a flyer and William was playing catch up from the start the next games went 13-15, 15-11. In the fourth game William struck first and some good drop shots proved too good for Fraser and Rea took it 15-8 .  The fifth and deciding game was close from the start, Rea proving best at drop shots and Forrest having excellent length and width.  an exciting game went the bridge of Allan youngsters way 15-13.

Ruaridh Kohler 3-1 Daniel McDonald
Each game was close – 15-10, 12-15, 15-12, 15-11 and one key point in most rallies was what won or lost the games.  Ruaridh was deft with his now trademark boast drops and Daniel kept running about indeed I think he covered every inch of the court during the match.  This was now two wins in a Row for Ruaridh and his morale is better now than it has been all season.

Del Sharratt 3-1 Neil McKenzie
This was the battle of the Captains, both usually 4th or 5th seeds for the respective clubs, they had to play at no.2 this week due to injuries.  Del’s full length shots and dominance of the ‘T’ ensured the key in this tie as he ran away with it 15-5, 10-15, 15-9, 15-8.

Andy Gill 3-1 Walter McAllister
Andy Gill was victorious when the top seeds took to the court, Walter had previously claimed the scalp of Gala’s Pat Spence in the BofA home fixture but Andy proved a different prospect as Andy’s shot placement and accurate lobs won over Walter’s hard and fast approach.   Andy took it in a tight and intense match 15-13, 15-12, 15-17, 15-13.

BofA couldn’t fulfil the fifth rubber and it was awarded as a 3-0 to Gala’s Andy Waddell by default.

Gala Captain Sharratt said “It was a huge win for us, this sets us up nicely for our trip to Waverley next week and we go high on confidence and confident of a victory”

Watsonians bring a strong team to Gala

Galashiels 6-11 Watsonians 4

Ruaridh Kohler 3-0 Charlie Hill

Ruaridh Kohler started off the 2nd half of the season with a massive victory over Charlie Hill.  Ruaridh ran away with it 15-8, 15-9, 15-8.  Ruaridh’s fitness proved key as Charlie found himself lacking the extra yard needed to reach the ball and Ruaridh’s trademark front court boasts ensured a fairly straight forward victory for the Gala man.

Del Sharratt 0-3 Michael Macari

Boroughmuir High Pupil and Watsonians Junior Starlet Michael Macari won 15-13 in each game in this one, the match couldn’t get much closer. Del was kicking himself for letting a 13-8 lead in the third game slip away and had no-one but himself to blame as he found himself snatching at a lot of shots and lacked fluency.  Del said “It’s fantastic to see 15yo Macari strutting his stuff in the East Leagues, there are several Junior competitions in Edinburgh at Squash is getting more and more popular in the Schools these days and it is encouraging to see the kids progressing so quickly.  Michael thoroughly deserved his victory tonight”.

Luis Molero 0-3 Peter Thomson

Luis couldn’t shake off the Christmas Cobwebs in this one and found himself chasing the points in every game in this tie.  Peter Thomson was more focussed and Luis lack of concentration and rustiness from the Christmas break showed.   Luis made a valiant effort in the third but was just too little too late. Luis, normally a banker for some points, said afterwards “I’m extremely disappointed with my performance, it’s below par for me and I feel I’ve let the boys down tonight.  I’ll have to focus and work on my sharpness for next week.” Thomson took it 15-10, 15-4, 15-13.

Ian Chalmers 3-2 Gordon MacDonald

With seasoned veteran McDonald travelling with Watsonians it meant more than 40 years separated City Teams youngest and oldest players. Gala’s Chalmers started slow and  just concentrated on keeping the ball tight to the wall and not trying anything spectacular.  McDonald certainly didn’t lack anything in fitness and took the first a tight 15-13, the score was reversed in the second and this match was proving to be an absolute cracker and certainly had the best squash of the night. Gordon took the third 15-11 and at 2-1 up must have fancied himself to hold on for the victory.  It was this point that Ian started speeding the pace of the game up and Elder Statesman McDonald just couldn’t keep up as Ian proved victorious and took the last two games 15-4 and a close 19-17.

Andy Gill 0-3 David Hutton

This was a rematch of the top seeds as in the Reverse fixture Hutton had triumphed 3-1 at Myreside in the first match of the season. This time Andy, who was another who hadn’t really played much over the Christmas Break found himself snatching several shots he would normally get back and as the game progressed and the shots were coming from every angle Andy tired more and found his shots going wayward at key points.  In the end Hutton took it 15-13, 15-9, 15-6.

Captain Sharratt said of the night “ We had hoped for victory in this tie, this was a winnable match and several of my team, myself included, would normally have been a bit sharper, but we’ve now blown the cobwebs away from the Christmas Break and will work on our game before next weeks match with Bridge of Allan.”

Hat trick of titles for Gill


Andy Gill successfully defended his Club Championship title at the Gala Squash Club last night, the now 3-time champion triumphed 3-1 over 2013 Champion John Sharratt.  Andy was in amazing form and hardly missed a shot while in contrast John had an out of sorts performance and lost several points with loose shots and unforced errors.

Andy’s near faultless display seen him take the first two games pretty convincingly 9-0, 9-1.  John was annoyed with himself and knew he wasn’t playing with his usual prowess.  Indeed John had fought off the Pre-Tournament favourite Pat Spence 3-2 in a thrilling semi-final but it just didn’t click for him in the final.

A good fightback by John in the third, with a more controlled performance saw John recover from 8-5 down to take it 10-9.  But it was short lived as Andy cleaned up 9-1 in the fourth and took the title.

Andy becomes only the third person in the history of the club to win 3-in-a-row and joins club greats such as Reg Slater and Ian Hogg.

The match was marked by one-time member Andy Waddell who made his first appearance in the club house for several years.

Club Captain Del Sharratt said “It was a good game to watch, John kept snatching at the ball and it just wasn’t to be for him tonight.  But both players respected the opponent and it was a good advert for squash.”

Andy presented with the trophy by club captain Del

Andy presented with the trophy by club captain Del

The prizes on display motivated the players...

The prizes on display motivated the players…

The gallant runner up John Sharratt gets his trophy from son Del

The gallant runner up John Sharratt gets his trophy from son Del


Two up for Rachel


Rachel McAleese 3-0 Jane Logan (9-6, 9-3, 9-4)
For the second year in a row Rachel triumphed over Jane in the ladies final, more ladies entered this time for many years and it had concluded in a repeat of last years final.  Rachel found it slightly more straight forward this time but thoroughly enjoyed the match.

Rachel gets her hands on the trophy again

Rachel gets her hands on the trophy again – presented by Julia Corcoran

The Alex Doherty memorial shield

Alex Doherty memorial Shield Final:

Andrew Dowlen-Gilland 3-1 David Burnie (8-15, 15-11, 16-14, 15-9).
Sir Andrew triumphed in the inaugural season for the Shield Tournament.  This was a new tournament for the players that lost in the first round of the club championship.  Alex Doherty was a long, loyal member of the club and for several years it was only due to his single handed efforts that the club managed to remain operational.  His tasks included being Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary, Membership Secretary as well as physically keeping the property in a reasonable condition. Alex sadly passed away last year and this seemed a fitting way to honour him for all he done for the club.  There certainly wouldn’t be a club today if it hadn’t been for Alex’s efforts and commitment.

The trophy was presented on the night by Alex’s Grandchildren Julia and Cairan Corcoran accompanied by Alex’s daughter  Carrie Corcoran. Carrie said “Mum (Alex’s widow) was touched to recieve the invite and notification about the tournament, she is unable to attend but can remember clearly constantly having to pick up receipts/bank money etc when Alex was at the club. We are all moved by the Squash Clubs new tournament in Alex’s memory.”


David and Andrew with Cairan Corcoran

David and Andrew with Cairan Corcoran

The trophies on offer...

The trophies on offer…

Club members on the night Back L-R Rachel McAleese, Sir Andrew  > (Winner), Del Sharratt (referee), David Burnie (Runner-Up), Ruaridh Kohler, Darren Quinn. front L-R Alex Doherty's family Cairan Corcoran, Carrie Corcoran, Julia Corcoran.

Club members on the night Back L-R Rachel McAleese, Sir Andrew (Winner), Del Sharratt (referee), David Burnie (Runner-Up), Ruaridh Kohler, Darren Quinn. Front L-R Alex Doherty’s family Cairan Corcoran, Carrie Corcoran, Julia Corcoran.

Gala defeated again in some tight matches

Craigshill Xcite 15-6 Galashiels

Ruaridh Kohler 0-3 Brian Chapman

Ruaridh ran into an on form Brian Chapman , although Ruaridh was up for this and had his eye in he wasn’t quite a match fitness or skill wise for the Livingston teams opener.  Brian took the tie 15-5, 15-8, 15-6 although Ruaridh put up a good fight and the score flattered Brian a bit.

Del Sharratt 2-3 Ross Cunningham

These players were well matched, and power was the key here, both players had long fast shots and this proved to be match of the night, Del won the opening game 15-13 managing to dominate the game from the ‘T’ and keeping Ross to the back of the court, the second game also went in Del’s favour 15-10 but this was not easy and both players were really hitting the ball hard.

2-0 up and Del knew he wasn’t comfortable as it had been a really close game so far.  Ross started jumping on all Del’s shots now as Del struggled to vary his shots and Ross anticipated where most of the returns would end up.  Ross clawed the match back 15-8, 15-10 to 2-2.  The deciding game was more of a war of attrition as the skill went out the window and most points were won on serve and return, therefore the points were racking up fairly quickly, but neither player could really find the edge with the decider going 11-11, 14-14 and both players at some stage in the game had served for the match.  In the end Del played a couple of loose drop shots that Ross totally killed in the front corner and took the game 20-18.

 Luis Molero 2-3 Iain McIvor

Both players controlled their own shots and the rallies were tight down the walls, it was long rallies and both players played really tight and didn’t want to risk anything too often, again Gala took a 2-0 lead Luis winning the first two 15-11, 20-18.  In the third game, the Umpire was making some odd calls and Luis was frustrated at the strokes given against him and this completely threw Luis out his stride. The Craigshill Xcite number 3 came back with a 15-10.  In the fourth, Luis was still distracted from the previous game and although he tried to settle back into long tight rallies, Iain had other ideas and started throwing in boasts and drop shots which Luis couldn’t adjust to: 15-8 to Iain.  2-2 and like the previous game the fifth was going tit for tat, Luis had reverted to his first game tactic of long tight shots and was looking focussed again, but again the deciding points were a couple of awesome and well timed boasts by Iain and the Livi man took it 15-10.

 Ian Chalmers 2-3 John Taylor

John Taylor took off in this and motored to a quick 6-0 lead, Ian had been taken by surprise and couldn’t quite claw it back, 15-10 to John.  The second game produced some class squash, the skill was good and the tempo was fast, the rallies in this could have gone either way, one loose shot would take the point.  Ian took it 15-12.  In the third game John again did what he knew he had to and took an early lead 4-1 and 6-2, then triumphed 15-10.  Neither player was letting up and the games were still fast and skilful, Gala’s Ian Chalmers wouldn’t stop running and seemed to reach everything that was thrown at him, he took the game 15-9.  Another 2-2, another decider and another 3-2 victory for Craigshill Xcite.  John just seemed to play slightly tighter shots than Ian and won 15-11.

John Sharratt 0-3 Craig Baxter

Two of the hardest hitters in the respective clubs took to the court in the final rubber and after a series of 3-2 matches this game had a lot to live up to.  It didn’t quite produce the same rallies or scorelines but the shots were so fast it was hard to keep track of.  It ended 17-15, 15-8, 15-9.

Craigshill Xcite had travelled all the way from Livingston for the match and were not in the mood to return without a victory.  Del said “It was frustrating, both myself and Luis threw away 2-0 leads and they were both games we should have won.  That would have been some vital points in the league, but we only have ourselves to blame and will look for improvement next week.”

Gala secure first league win


Ruaridh Kohler 3-0 Brian Scott
Gala Secured the first points of the match fairly quickly, Ruaridh, who wanted to make up for his 16-14 defeat in the deciding game in his last match for Gala, was focussed form the start.  He swept aside Brian Scott, Waverley Seniors Champion, 15-13, 15-8, 15-12.

Del Sharratt 3-0 Stuart Johnston
In the second rubber, Home Advantage was playing a big part for Del as the cold courts meant the ball wasn’t bouncing as much as the Edinburgh Club were used to, this was causing Stuart Johnston to hit the ball harder than normal and took the skill out of the game.  Del capitalised and although it was 3-0 it was a close 15-10, 15-10, 19-17.

Andrew Dowlen-Gilland 0-3 Malcolm Lunn
Normally a good bet for some points – Sir Andrew was out of sorts in this tie; nursing an injured Achilles Tendon doubled up with a cold Sir Andrew found his usual elegant movement was somewhat reduced and although his ‘never say die’ attitude shone through it really wasn’t enough to keep up with Waverleys youthful Malcolm Lunn.  A determined effort from Sir Andrew and the first game was a close run thing but then Sir Andrew started feeling the pain in his Achilles and really just marked time in the remaining games, 16-18, 9-15, 8-15.

Ian Chalmers 3-1 Neil Kempsell
Ian secured the victory for Gala in this tie.  Neill had the same issues as Stuart in a previous tie as he wasn’t used to the cold courts.  Ian just focussed on his own game and wouldn’t give up as he reached every ball and long rallies made this a really entertaining game for the spectators Ian ran away with the first two games 15-8 and 15-11.  At 2-0 down Neill dug deep and started getting used to the bounce of the ball, Ian maybe let his racket drop slightly in the third and Neill took it 15-9.  Ian got his focus back in the fourth and raced to a 4-0 lead, this proved decisive as he won 15-13.

John Sharratt 2-3 Lee Calder
Gala’s John Sharratt rolled the years back as this was his first “league game” in squash for over 20 years.  John, who was one time a regular in the West of Scotland Leagues, answered the call of Gala Captain and his son Del Sharratt as Gala were short of a top seed due to call offs.  The younger Lee Calder ensured the pace was fast from the start as he looked to tire the veteran out and capitalise with swift sharp shots and took the first 15-11.  John kept his shots tight in the second game and every shot seemed to find the corner and his experience showed as he won 15-5.  The third game was a close one, the spectators were cheering and shouting for their favourites and the squash was top drawer with the shots staying tight against the walls and both players showing sleek movement and made the game look easy, John just edged it 16-14.  With very little to separate these players (apart form 30+ years) Lee won the fourth 16-14 in a game which mirrored the third.  Locked at 2-2 and although John battled hard in the fifth, the older legs just didn’t seem to have the same go about them and Lee’s tactic of back-back-front paid off as John just ran out of steam and couldn’t reach the drop shots; a valiant effort took the game to 15-11 for Lee.

Gala Captain Del Sharratt said “Yeeha, our first league win!  great effort by the team, we work and play as a team and we are in this together. Our next match is against Grange 5 and that is a bit of a Grudge match as a “friendly rivalry” has developed through our tussles in the Non-League circuit.  This was a good confidence builder going into our next match and hopefully it’s Upwards from here on for Gala.

A long road for defeat…

In their latest match in the East of Scotland Squash League, Gala Squash Club travelled up the M9 to Bridge of Allan. Several key players called off due to other commitments and the Gala team was thin to the ground. So Gala took on Bridge of Allan 3:


Bridge of Allan’s junior Kyle Penman had a fairly straight forward ride against Rachel; in the first game Rachel underestimated Kyle a bit and Kyle proved his worth by taking it 15-3. The second game was won by the same score line as Rachel was struggling to read Kyle’s shots. In the third game Rachel took the serve fairly quickly and managed to keep the game flowing. But Kyle’s shots were accurate and he won 15-7.


Over 40 years separated these players, with Gala veteran John Barrow finding Allan Junior Waddell too much to cope with, In the first game the squash was of a decent standard and the match was close as Ross edged out John 15-11. In the second game Ross’s never say die attitude meant he ran for every ball and despite John finding the corners Ross took it 15-7. In the third, Ross who was going from strength to strength and was getting more and more into the game looked far fitter than John and won convincingly 15-5.

ANDREW DOWLEN-GILLAND 3-2 RICHARD MORRIS The third seeds game was a lot closer and they were very evenly matched. “Sir Andrew” of Gala started off strongest taking a 5-0 lead in the first, the game then became one of wit and intelligence as both players were made to think and vary the game. Sir Andrew lost his lead in the end with a couple of loose shots which Richard jumped on and killed the ball in the corner, he took the first 15-13. The second game was no different, with a lot of rallies reaching 20+ shots and they players waiting for the other to make a mistake, Richard won by the same score 15-13. In the third game, Sir Andrew’s boasts and drop shots were getting higher up the front wall and therefore easy for Richard to return and Richard looked to be heading for a victory at 13-9 up, Sir Andrew dug in and again used his head and came back to take it 21-19.  Sir Andrew kept the momentum going in the fourth and never lost focus taking it an emphatic 15-3. Locked at 2-2, The younger Richard seemed to fatigue more than seasoned veteran Sir Andrew and Gala’s Andrew found another gear and took it quickly 15-7 to complete his comeback from 2-0 down to win 3-2.


Gala Captain Sharratt was dominated by Stewart in this match. Usually seeded 4 or 5 , Sharratt played at no2 due to several call offs from key players and was behind from the start. Stewart had good length in his shots and Del found himself pinned to the back of the court while Stewart controlled his shots and made some key drop shots to triumph emphatically 15-10, 15-5, 15-6.


Gala’s top seed Pat seemed out of sorts from the start as he seemed to lack that extra yard of pace he is renowned for. Several unforced errors seen Walter take the first 15-8. The second game was closer, both players showing why they were the top seeds with amazing movement and variety of shots, Walter struggled with Pat’s serve as Pat reeled off 5 straight points without receiving a return of serve, but again unforced errors let Walter in to take it 15-12. Pat gave all his energy in the third game and the standard of squash was immense and kept everyone watching intently. A lot of the shots that went one way could easily have went the other but Bridge of Allan’s Walter proved equal to all Pat could throw at him and took the game 15-7 and the match 3-0.

Del Sharratt said of the night, “It was a make shift team, several of my players didn’t seem to fancy the long journey upto bridge of Allan, but the dedication of the players that played is noted. The team can’t be faulted for effort and we will only improve from these kind of games. We have our first home game of the season next and I’ll have some of my top players back so we are looking forward to that.”


Dunbar 15v6 Collinton Castle 5

Bank of Scotland 15v6 Abercorn

Grange 5 15v2 The Dean 2

Waverley 4 9v11 Craigshill Excite

Bridge of Allan 3 14v3 Gala

Gala off to a poor start

Gala Squash Club’s baptism into the East of Scotland Leagues proved a tough one. Entering into League 5 for the first time in many years, Gala opened with a trip to Watsonians Squash Club in Edinburgh. The Gala players were excited for this new challenge and were ready and on court sharp. Due to holidays Gala were without a couple of their top players and travelled with: Gala Team + Seedings 1. Andy Gill, 2. Luis Molero,
3. Del Sharratt, 4. Andrew Dowlen-Gilland, 5. Ruaridh Kohler


Ruaridh Kohler 2v3 Jim McConnell
This match was a riot – well as close as we could get; there was plenty of hustling and bustling and barging and charging as the players constantly seemed  to be on top of each other and the referee had to intervene several times and rule on several shots; this made for plenty excitement and doggedness and both players’ “never-say-die” attitude ensured it was an extremely tight match. Jim triumphed 14-16, 15-17, 23-25, 15-13, 13-15.

Andrew Dowlen-Gilland 2v3 Fraser Scott
Another close match and some good rallies made this a much more flowing squash match.  Andrew’s serves let him down as they kept falling below the line and costing himsome vital points. Fraser took it 15-12, 13-15, 15-4, 13-15, 15-13.

Del Sharratt 0v3 Scott Casey
There literally wasn’t much room for error in this match with both players towering over 6’0″ tall.  This match was dominated by hard hitting and power shots as a war of attrition took over; although some shots lacked finesse, neither of these giants gave an inch and although Scott took it 15-8, 15-6, 15-11 the match was closer than the scoreline suggests.

Luis Molero 0v3 Clive Shannon
An International flavour in this game as Gala Squash Club’s Spanish Member was up against the Irishman Clive Shannon.  This proved a bit of a ding-dong encounter and a high level of squash was displayed as tight fast shots and long rallies enthralled the crowd.  Although Clive took the first two games relatively quickly, Luis pushed hard in the third and, had Luis taken the third game, an ever tiring Clive may well have ran out of gas.  Clive took it 15-8, 15-9, 15-10.

Andy Gill 1v3 David Hutton
The clubs’ top seeds took to the court to contest the final match, and everyone gathered around the back of the court to watch this match as a good close match was expected.  Andy was quick out the blocks and played the power game to win the opener.  David, who had more experience in the Scottish leagues, paced himself more and didn’t take too long to come back into the game.  Indeed David’s fitness and prowess proved the deciding factor over the speed and power of Andy Gill. David won 11-15, 15-9, 15-7, 15-10.

Team Captain Sharratt said after the match.  “What an introduction to League squash, this is a glimpse at how difficult it’s going to be in the leagues and the level of players we will be facing.  I have some fit young players to bring in for our next game and hopefully a decent victory over our next opponents in a couple of weeks time will make up for a disappointing start to the season.”
Next match:
Bridge Of Allan 3 v Gala

Bridge of Allan 3 2-15 Abercorn
Watsonians 4 15-5 Gala
Bank Of Scotland 12-9 collinton Castle 5
Waverley 4 7-10 Dunbar
Craigshill Xcite 11-7 Grange 5