Category Archives: Competitions

Posts that are all to do with leagues, ladders, tournaments and other internal compeitions

The trophies being contested

2017 Club Championship

It was “Finals Night” at Galashiels Squash and Racketball Club and there were plenty spectators for the matches.

The Alex Doherty Memorial Shield and the Club Championship were both being played for.

In the Shield tournament Veteran Andy Waddell was up against student Amir Hosny. Andy, who was a previous Club Championship finalist in the 1990s was looking to turn the clock back and prove he could still beat the young ones.

It was a great start for Waddell, as he showed his prowess by winning the first game 15-8, this was with the Stalwart playing plenty winners and keeping the ball tight to the walls so he didn’t have to run about to much.

The second game was considerably closer, Hosny knew he couldn’t match shot Placement and skill of Waddell so Amir chose to play full length shots and prolonged the rallies to try to tire Waddell out as he knew he had the edge fitness and stamina wise. But despite that Waddell took it 15-13 for a 2-0 lead.

Amir continued his tactic in the third game as he knew Waddell would start to make mistakes if he got tired. Hosny was 14-7 and serving for the game but Waddell’s head didn’t go down and fought valiantly to 14-11 but one drop shot from the Youthful Hosny took the third game.

The fans were getting treated to an awesome match now, and several rallies earned rounds of applause and cheering from the crowd. Hosny seemed to be getting into the game the more the match went on and Waddell was starting to hit the tin and make more unforced errors. Indeed this led to 15-11 to Amir for 2-2 to take it into a decider.

The fifth and final game seen Hosny improve yet again and he was getting better and better the more the match went on, in contrast the Stamina and fitness of Waddell was fading and although the game was close till 8-8, Waddell just found the going too tough and Hosny pulled away and took it 15-8. Amir Hosny 3-2 Andy Waddell.


In the Club Championship Final Andy Gill was looking to emulate Club Legend Ian Hogg by winning 4-in-a-row. Club Championship Debutant Tony Elliot was looking to win the title at his first attempt. Andy Gill had been nursing a sore back since the start of the Championship but a decisive 3-0 victory over nemesis John Sharratt in the semi-final gave Andy some confidence coming into the final.

Although the Tony took the first game it was close 15-10, and the level of squash exceptional. But Andy’s back problem persisted and his usual twisting and movement disappeared and Tony took the remaining games 15-6, 15-3. For a great 3-0 triumph.


Andy Gill acknowledged his back issue but said “Tony was just a far better player on the night, my back restricted my movement but all credit to Tony!” Tony said of his victory “I was hoping for more of a match, it would have benefitted some of the new members that were spectating.”

Alex Doherty's grandson presenting Amir with the Memorial Shield

Alex Doherty’s grandson presenting Amir with the Memorial Shield

"The Quest for 4" fell at the final hurdle.

“The Quest for 4″ fell at the final hurdle.

Your 2017 club Champion - no not Del, Tony Elliot

Your 2017 club Champion – no not Del, Tony Elliot

Handicap Tournament Exciting Finals

The Finals of The Handicap Quaich and the Plate tournament took place at the squash club last week and two great finals were played.
First up in the Plate tournament Club Captain Del Sharratt took on Student Darren Quinn, Darren started the match with a 10 point advantage and Del knew it would be difficult to claw it back.
Del took off out the blocks and rattled off 12 straight points before Darren could trouble the scorer, this gave Del a 9-7 advantage and Del knew he wouldn’t throw it away from there. Del was focussed and played some tremendous placed drop shots and everything stayed tight to the wall as Quinn just couldn’t quite reach them. This one ended up going t othe wire and sudden death when a deft boast to the front of the court seen Del take it 17-15 for 2-0. The Third game again seen Del rattle off several points as Darren just couldn’t get the ball tight and everything seemed to sit up for Del who would then drive the ball into the corners. But a couple of loose serves was all it took to let Darren into the game and Darren took the third to go 2-1. The fourth game seemed t oturn in favour of Darren, he was on a roll after winning the previous game and at 10 point start it was just too much for Del and Darren took it comprehensively 15-3. The match was poised at 2-2 and it was going t obe a thrilling Decider. Again Darren just couldn’t keep the ball tight and at critical points in the rallies th ball would sit nicely for Del who would capitalise with a drop or lob and after an intense affair Del took it 3-2. Del Sharratt(-3) v (+7) Daren Quinn (15-12, 17-15, 13-15, 3-15, 15-13).

In the Quaich final Iain Gorman gave a similar start to Ladies Champion, this tie was a demonstration of strength and power from Iain as although Rachel had some quite graceful movement and accurate shots; Iain Gorman powered the ball at every opportunity and was too fast and strong for Rachel. Iain Gorman (-2) 3-1 (+8) Rachel McAleese.

Schools’ squash compeition comes to Gala

On Wednesday 16th June, 2016, several pupils from Jedburgh Grammar School (JGS) and Galashiels Academy S1 and S2 gathered at Gala squash Club for the final of the inaugural Border’s Inter School Squash Championship. The JGS Team was Steven Dawson, James “Veg” Wieczysty, Kerry Munro and Daisy Findlay and representing Gala Academy were Blair Turner, Sean Easson, Paul Boggs, Ryan Goudie and Beth Logan.

The Girls’ Championship took the form of a round-robin between the three girls and the
opening rubber pitted the JGS girls Kerry and Daisy against each other, and in a close run match Daisy triumphed 2-0 (11-7, 11-9).  Kerry then took on Gala Academy’s Beth Logan and Beth won in a relatively quick 11-3, 11-2.  The final match was Beth v Daisy and although Beth ran out 2-0 (11-4, 11-2) it was a much closer match than the result suggested.  Gala Academy’s Beth Logan won the Girls Competition with 4 points,  Daisy Findlay (JGS) 2 points and Kerry Munro (JGS) 0 points.

The Boys tournament was straight knockout and there were some swashbuckling tussles between most of the players as they were pretty evenly matched across the board. The first Round opened with Gala Acad pair Paul Boggs and Blair Turner fighting out a 2-0 (11-4, 11-6) for Blair and Sean Easson and Steven Dawson in a titanic tussle which ended 2-0 for Sean (11-9, 11-8). Steven covered every inch of the court but long tight shots from Sean proved too strong for Steven. In the Semi-Finals James “Veg” from JGS also lost to Blair Turner 2-0 (11-2, 11-7) as Blair seemed to be improving game to game whilst Sean Easson conquered the older Ryan Goudie 2-0 (11-7, 11-5).

The Final was an All Gala Affair with Sean and Blair going hell for leather and producing some excellent squash and great movement.  Blair took the first game 13-11 as the scoring went tit-for-tat until Blair got the last point with a sensational drop shot.  The second game was just as intense and some long rallies were fought out and Sean just managed to hold on and take this one 11-9.  With the match locked at 1-1 and heading into a decider, both players were tiring and getting heavy on there feet.  This game produced less rallies and adrenalin took over, Sean got off to an explosive start and quickly took a 5-1 lead, and although Blair battled on bravely he just couldn’t get the gap back and Sean Easson won that game 11-6 to take the match, and championship, 2-1.

In the plate tournament the games were short and fast and the results were Ryan Goudie 11v4 Paul Boggs, Steven Dawson 11v4 Daisy Findlay, Ryan 11v5 Kerry Munro, Steven 11v6 Veg. THen the final was contested between Steven Dawson and Ryan Goudie, Steven managed to bring home the trophy with a stunning display in a 11-5, 11-9 victory and ensured JGS didn’t return home empty handed.

All entrants from JGS and Gala

All entrants from JGS and Gala

The day's trophies

The day’s trophies

The boy's champion

The boy’s champion Sean Easson

The girls champion Beth Logan

The girls champion Beth Logan

Daisy Findlay (JGS) struggling to get to grips with Beth's drop  shots.

Daisy Findlay (JGS) struggling to get to grips with Beth’s drop shots.

Ryan Goudie showing his dedication by keeping himself warm between matches.

Ryan Goudie showing his dedication by keeping himself warm between matches.

Plate winner

The plate winner Steven Dawson


Success for Gala at Colinton Castle

A strong squad from Gala squash Club made the journey up the A7 to Collinton Castle Squash Club for the latest round of the East of Scotland Squash Conference. Pat Spence, Luis Molero, Del Sharratt (capt), Ruaridh Kohler, Rachel McAleese and Joy Borowska competed against players from The Grange, Watsonians, Edinburgh University and the hosts, Collinton Castle. The games were point-a-rally to 11 and 2 games per match – this was a short sharp format!
Last time round at Gala the Borderers narrowly missed out and they wanted to make amends this time. The whole team played well and the event was opened by Gala Captain Del Sharratt taking the scalp of Edinburgh University’s James Cottam 2-0 (12-10, 11-8); this was followed by a series of draws as the games went Rachel McAleese 1-1 Evie Coley (Edin Uni); Pat Spence 1-1 Jim McConnell (Watsonians) and Luis Molero 1-1 Jamie Dalrymple (Grange); Ruaridh Kohler got Gala’s next victory beating Jame Turing (Edin Uni) 2-0; Joy found the going a bit tougher as she was out fought by Edin Uni’s Katy Welford 2-0 (12-10, 11-9)- Joy then had to withdraw from the tournament due to a hip injury.
Del’s good form continued in the second round of games with a victory over South African player JamesTuring, then Pat Spence turned on the Skill as he triumphed 2-0 against local favourite, and last years player of the season, Gordon Robertson. There was a lot of long rallies in this one as the players covered every inch of the court but Pat’s concentration held out and he took the match. Luis Molero then beat Jim McConnell 2-0, Rachel beat Katy Welford 2-0 and Ruaridh got a second victory as his boasts and drop shots proved too clever for Edin Universities Anthony Bulling and he took it 11-7, 11-5.
Gala’s Ruaridh Kohler maintained a 100% Record beating James Cottam 2-0, Del drew 1-1 with Anthony Bulling, Pat beat Grange top seed Jamie Dalrymple 2-0, Rachel beat Prateek Bawa (Edin Uni) 2-0 and in what is proving to be a bit of a rivalry now Gordon Robertson was victorious over Luis Molero.
Ruaridh and Mark Hooper (Grange) got joint man of the match awards as they were both 100% victorious in the event.
In the overall team scores Gala regained the title with 24 pointe, The Grange 21, Edin Uni 11, Watsonians 7 and Collinton Castle 7.
Mark Hooper and Ruaridh Kohler -joint Man of The Match
Several of the players after the event .

Close but not good enough for Gala

On Saturday 12th Dec an Edinburgh select team travelled to Gala for the second round of the East of Scotland Squash Conference. In the previous event Gala had triumphed at Grange Squash Club and this time were hoping home advantage would ensure another victory.

The Edinburgh team consisted of Christy Looby, Shane Martyn and Laura Robertson from Grange, Jim McConnell (Watsonians), Gordon Robertson (Collinton Castle) and Guest Cameron Saetre.  Although the Gala team included the Club Champions Andy Gill and Rachel McAleese, as well as Luis Molero, Del Sharratt, Ruaridh Kohler and Sarah Hale – the Edinburgh select team proved too strong as they won the key matches.

Laura Robertson of Edinburgh was Player of the Match as she made quick work of Sarah Hale (3-0), Rachel McAleesae (2-1) and Ruaridh Kohler (2-1).  Gala’s top seed Andy Gill put up the best fight with victories over Jim McConnell (2-1) and Shane Martyn (3-0), but it was all too little to late as Edinburgh select won 27-23.

Gala captain Del Sharratt said “It was a frustrating day, I think there was a lot of heavy legs out there today as the guys have played  a lot of squash lately with all the various tournaments and the Club Championship.  I know I certainly felt my usual movement and court coverage wasn’t what it usually is.  But the main thing was it was a thoroughly enjoyable event and we will be back for the next one in January.”

Full Results:

Luis Molero 2-1 Gordon Robertson, Jim McConnell 2-1 Ruaridh Kohler, Andy Gill 3-0 Shane Martyn, Laura Robertson 3-0 Sarah Hale, Cameron Saetre 2-1 Del Sharratt, Andy Gill 2-1 Jim McConnell, Gordon Robertson 2-1 Del Sharratt, Luis Molero 2-1 Christy Looby, Laura Robertson 2-1 Ruaridh Kohler, Cameron Saetre 2-1 Sarah Hale, Rachel McAleese 3-0 Sarah Hale, Shane Martyn 2-1 Luis Molero, Gordon Robertson 2-1 Andy Gill, Jim McConnell 2-1 Del Sharratt, Laura Robertson 2-1 Rachel McAleese, Shane Martyn 3-0 Ruaridh Kohler, Rachel McAleese 2-1 Cameron Saetre.


Some of the players involved in the match

Some of the players involved in the match


Rachel powers through to take the title

For the second year running, following a significant hiatus, the ladies championship was played at Gala Squash and Racketball Club.  It was set to be an open match with the defending Champion (Sandra McCutcheon) and club new comer (Joy Borowska) dispatched in the Semi-Finals.  Contenders and club regulars Jane Logan and Rachel McAleese faced each other for the 2015 Club Championship.  Both ladies were used to friendly matches but never had they played together for the coveted trophy and for the kudos of having their name etched permanently on the Championship Board. It was bound to be a tough match and intriguing to know who would have the upper hand in skill, determination, court craft and Stamina.  Rachel was going for the Double as she has already triumphed in the 2015 Handicap Cup at the Squash Club.

First out of the blocks was McAleese, swiftly securing the first game by domination of the centre of the court and blocking any effort Jane made to break to the front.  Logan didn’t do herself any favours by playing too many half court shots which were easy fodder for Rachel to cut in and kill.  The first game was 9-4 to Rachel.  Straight into round two and both ladies appeared more settled though Rachel was going all out to make short work of this game too.  Ahead 6-1 a minor error let Jane back in to score 2 more points, it was just enough to remind Rachel to up her pace and power (concluded at 9-3 to Rachel).  After a short rest, both returned to court.  A mental barrier faced Jane as she had to secure this game to have any chance of winning the championship.  Refreshed, Jane took the first 5 points with relative ease and decisiveness, presenting Rachel with her signature and challenging lob serve.  A switch had been flipped and a determined Jane was fighting her way back.  Rachel broke in with the odd point but was definitely in a defensive position.  Fighting to stay in the competition Jane stole this game 9-6.

Going into the fourth game Rachel was not going to make any point easy for her opponent to win.  She significantly upped the power on each of her serves.  She very quickly, and worryingly for Jane, was ahead 8-0.  Then Jane snatched one point on her serve (8-1), then another before reeling off 6 in a row.  The game was most definitely on and their was little quarter given.  The score was tight and the atmosphere was tense.  Rachel 8, Jane 7 (playing to 9).  Jane only needed 2 points to take it to a deciding game.  However, it wasn’t to be as a loose shot into the ‘tin’ resulted in Jane’s departure.

The final scores of Jane and Rachel respectively were: 4-9, 3-9, 9-6, and 7-9.  So, the first victory for Rachel McAleese- a worthy champion.  Both ladies congratulated each other on their performances, and that of the marker/umpire (Sandra McCutcheon).

Jane (left) and Rachel (right) after the match

Jane (left) and Rachel (right) after the match

Gala members taste success at Grange Open

On the 5th & 6th December, two players from Gala Squash Club made the trip to Grange Sports Club in Stockbridge, Edinburgh for the Close Brothers Asset Management Grange Open 2015 – Club Championship Runner Up Luis Molero and Club Captain Del Sharratt.  The Grange Open regularly attracts big names from the squash world and is Open to Players of ANY club.  A recent winner of the Grange Open is Scotland International Dougie Kempsell who, due to squash commitments, was unable to enter this year, but the draw was full of other players of similar standard.

The event was graded and Gala’s Luis Molero was Runner Up in the Secondary grade; his matches included a 3-0 (15-9, 15-2, 15-6) victory against Andrew Chrmka (Grange), and Luis took the scalp of the grade’s top seed Jamie Dalrymple (Grange) in an epic 3-1 (16-14, 6-15,15-9, 15-8).  In the final, Luis was against the youthful Tom Clark (Watsonians) and the youngster’s fitness and speed proved too much for Luis as he as won 3-0 (15-11, 15-8, 19-17).

In the same grade Del Sharratt crashed out to eventual champion Tom Clark in the opening round 3-2 (15-10, 16-18, 15-8, 13-15, 15-8);  therefore Del entered the plate tournament, which he won with notable victories over Edinburgh Waverley’s Samir Nizam 3-0 (15-6, 15-7, 15-13) and in the plate final Del triumphed against Luis’s first round victim Andrew Chrmka 3-0 (15-11, 15-5, 15-10).

In the Main Event the final was contested between Heriot Watt University’s Michael Ross and Edinburgh Sport Clubs Canadian player Jaques Laas.  The match went the distance and both players had their chances in a thrilling 3-2 (12-10, 11-13, 11-7, 9-11, 11-2).

Del Sharratt said “It was a great experience just to rub shoulders with some of Scotland’s best, these guys are an inspiration to some of the younger players in the country and hopefully more of Gala Squash Club members will participate in this event next year.”


Close Brothers Asset Management Director presenting the Winners Trophy to Michael Ross

Close Brothers Asset Management Director presenting the Winners Trophy to Michael Ross

Close Brothers Asset Management Director presenting the Grades Runner up trophy to Gala's Luis Molero

Close Brothers Asset Management Director presenting the Grades Runner up trophy to Gala’s Luis Molero

Gill Retains Club Title

On Monday 30th November, reigning champion Andy Gill took to the court for the defence of his title against a constantly improving Luis Molero. Along the path of his defence Andy had seen off 2014 runner up Ian Chalmers 3-1 and 2013 Champion John Sharratt 3-0 in the Semi-Final.  Luis had defeated two opponents he had never beaten before: Michael Haywood 3-0 and in the Semi Final took the scalp of Poland’s Adam Niemczewsi 3-1.

Many had Luis written off before the final and Andy took the first game relatively quickly, 9-2, as the gulf in quality seemed evident.  But something just clicked for Luis in the second game and despite Andy Gill romping to a 3-0 lead, Luis’ enthusiasm and determination saw him fight for every point and return shots that lesser mortals would have given up on - even the tight shots and  the balls out of the corners – to take the game 9-4.

The third game saw some long rallies and awesome squash, the pair seemed happy rallying the ball down the walls and trying to force their opponent to make a mistake. Stamina and concentration were the deciding factors in this game and with Andy capitalising on some loose shots from Molero this one went the way of Andy,  9-2.

In the fourth game Luis used his key shot – an excellent overhead backhand return of serve which just kills the ball in the front corner, Luis claimed at least 4 serves back with this shot as Andy found no answer to it.  Then some accurate and powerful serves that seemed to find the corners perfectly ensured Luis levelled the match 2-2 with a 9-4 victory.

Luis served first for the deciding game and immediately found fatigue kicking in as his serve went AWOL and nearly ended up in the viewing gallery upstairs.  Andy capitalised by taking a 3-0 lead relatively quickly and although Luis ran for every ball and nearly burnt a hole in his soles the reigning champion seemed slightly more at ease in the final game and soon took a commanding 6-1 lead.  Luis’s usual signature shot- his forehand straight drop shot was starting to find the tin as fatigue started to affect his concentration and despite a late push and several ecxhanges of serves Andy became only the fourth man in recent history to successfully defend their maiden title.

A gruelling encounter came to a conclusion as Andy triumphed 3-2 (9-2, 4-9, 9-2, 2-9, 9-2).

Match umpire Del Sharratt said ” The quality of squash on display was the best I have seen for some time, all credit to BOTH players. If Luis had played like that against anyone else at the club he would likely have won the match.  I have no doubt the name of Luis Molero will feature on the Champions Board in the not too distant future.”

Del Sharratt (Left) presents Andy Gil lwith the Trophy, Luis Molero looks on wistfully

Del Sharratt (Left) presents Andy Gil lwith the Trophy, Luis Molero looks on wistfully

Andy with the trophy

Andy with the trophy


Gala & BGH: squashing for charity

Members from Galashiels Squash Club teamed up with staff from the BGH and some guests for a charity squash match. The event was for the Friends of the BGH to raise money for a Photo Dynamic Therapy lamp for Skin Cancer patients and over £400 was raised.
The Tournament was straight knock out and there was a plate tournament and a shield tournament for first and second round losers.
In an epic Final, Walkerburn’s Brendan Calaghan of East Sports Club beat Gala’s current Squash Club Champion Andy Gill 11-6, 13-11. It was an awesome display of squash and it could have gone either way. Each time Brendan pulled away Andy fought back and there was some thrilling rallies as each player didn’t want to concede anything to the opponent. After the match Brendan said “It was an intense affair and I had to keep focus and concentration to win, Andy Gill played really well and was a tough opponent”.
In the Plate Tournament, Gala squash Club Captain Del Sharratt won a slightly easier match against Andy Greenfield 11-9, 11-6, and in the Shield tournament final, Top Porter held out 11-7, 11-6 against Steve Brown.
Sandra Henwood, representative of The Friends of the BGH, said “A big thankyou to Gala Squash Club for helping with this, this was an amazing and thoroughly enjoyable event; and a special Thankyou to Del Sharratt for organising the tournament and draw for the occasion. The money raised is an extremely big step to purchasing the PDT Lamp, which is vital in the treatment of skin cancer”.
Main Event 1/4 Fianls:
Brendan Callaghan 2-0 Bill Urquhart; Paul Neery 2-0 Rachel McAleese; Andy Gill 2-0 Ruaridh Kohler; Sandy Morris 2-0 Luis Molero;
Callaghan 2-0 Neery; Gill 2-0 Morris; FINAL – Callaghan 2-0 Gill
Plate Tournament 1/4 Final:
Del Sharratt 2-0 John Barrow; Dawn McBrayne 2-0 Darren Quinn; Andy Greenfield 2-1 Vineeth Ravindran; John McLaron 2-0 Simon Watson;
Sharratt 2-0 McBrayne; Greenfield 2-0 McLaron; FINAL – Sharratt 2-0 Greenfield
Shield Tournament Semis:
Steve Brown 2-0 Joy Borowska; Tom Porter 2-1 Simon Watson; – FINAL: Porter 2-0 Brown.
Gala Club Captain Del Sharratt presents Brendan Callaghan with the winners trophy

Gala Club Captain Del Sharratt presents Brendan Callaghan with the winners trophy

Several of the players including kneeling - Finalists Andy Gill and Brendan O'Callaghan

Several of the players including kneeling – Finalists Andy Gill and Brendan O’Callaghan

Rachel is handicap champion

In an epic final of the 2015 handicap competition, Rachel McAleese started on +8 against Del Sharratt on -4. Games were point-a-rally to 15, meaning that 2013 runner up Del was up against it if he was going to triumph in the best of 5 match. Rachel took the first game quite convincingly (15-6) as both players were pretty slow to get going, but in the second game a near flawless performance saw Del take it 15-9. The third game was a tight affair, as Del’s powerful serves and Rachel’s drop shots were all successful and Rachel eventually took it 15-14. Another focused performance, coupled with quick movement from Del won him the fourth game 15-9.  Locked at 2-2 and both players tiring the deciding game had more rallies as neither player wanted to give an inch to their opponent – then at 14-10 down a very rare loose serve from Del gave Rachel the title by 3 games to 2.  Del congratulated Rachel and said ” I am pleased for Rachel, it was a good fast paced match in the end and it could have gone either way; I will just have to work hard and come back next year.”

In the final of the plate competition Ian Chalmers (-2) beat Joe Eyre (+2) 3-1 – {15-9; 15-10; 16-17; 15-12}.  Joe was the reigning Handicap Quaich Champion and was quietly confident of repeating that success. Both players showed good movement and had long tight shots. In the third game Joe saved two match points but it was the younger Ian Chalmers whose fitness won out in the end as Joe faded towards the end of the tie.


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