Category Archives: East of Scotland League

High 5 for Reivers

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.”

Tough Start

Colinton Castle 5s 12 v 6 Border Reivers

 

Sir Andrew 0-3 Mark Crease

Mark was no stranger to the Reivers squad having had many epic tussles in the league and in friendlies in previous years. This game was closer tan the scoreline suggests; Sir Andrew just couldn’t get Mark Crease off the T-Line enough so that Mark crease could command the rallies and Crease won 15-12, 15-10, 15-10.

 

Gary Bramble 0-3 Steven Hill

The City Youth Hill was making his debut in the Senior leagues, and his skill and fitness showed why the junior had been called up with an awesome performance. Despite his youth Hill had very fast, powerful shots and Bramble couldn’t get past the youngster and Hill got the second match-up for Colinton Castle 15-7, 15-6, 15-10.

 

Del Sharratt 1-3 Bob Blaikie

These pair had met previously in the league, with Bob Blaikie taking it a pretty straightforward 3-0 last time out. This time it wasn’t so easy. The first game was pretty even with the scored going tit for tat until 7-7, then Blaikie managed to gradually get a gap with a couple of cross court drops to Del’s backhand that Del just couldn’t reach. Blaikie took it 15-11. In the second game Del managed to keep his shots tight to the wall and slowed the game down a bit which cooled the ball down and Del capitalised with a 15-11 victory.

The Third and Fourth games were very similar with Blaikie commanding the rallies, he had the knack of keeping Del at the back of the court then pulling out a cross court drop, this tactic produced 5-6 points for Blaikie. Del had no reply and Blaikie cleaned up the game 15-8, 15-8.

 

 

Amir Hosny 2-3 Michael Gibbs

Amir struggled to get going in this match, h covered the court well but whenever Amir got the Serve back his serve went above the court line and out so Amir couldn’t find any sort of rhythm. Michael pulled off some great shots and motored away to a 2-0 lead 15-8, 15-6; In the third Amir decided to change his serves and played the ball to the front of the court more, this change of style seemed to do the job as Gibbs started missing key shots and not reaching the ball, Hosny focussed more and kept his eye on the ball and had to work to claw it back to 2-2, 15-9, 15-6. Gibbs must have gave himself a good shake after the fourth game as a more polished performance in the fifth won him the game, Hosny’s head didn’t go down but an improvement from Gibbs won 15-9 and 3-2.

 

Tony Elliot 3-0 Adam Hill

Reivers top seed Elliot – who went the entire previous season unbeaten kept going where he left off; although Hill fought valiantly Elliot was just a class above and didn’t have too much trouble seeing off the City Veteran 15-6, 15-2, 15-9.

“We all performed well, this as a tough opener as Colinton castle have just been relegated from league 4 and are one of the strongest teams in our league. It was a good team effort and hopefully this can spur us on for the season.”

Victory Snatched at the Death

Waverley 4 11-8 Galashiels

 

Graham Bensted 3-2 Gordon Scott

A tale of two halves in this game. Gordon Scott motored away in the first game, Scott would reel off 3-4 points at a time and Bensted would nick the odd point here and there when Scott hit the tin or put the ball out, this was 15-6 to Scott. In the second game again Scott would reel off several points 7-2, 10-4 and finally 15-9, at 2-0 up this looked very one-sided and was making for a quick match. The game had been long hard shots, both players trying power to win the rallies and had been a war of attrition which Scott was winning. In the third, Scott seemed to sit back a bit, and almost took it for granted too much and bested went for everything and refused to give up, although they were still playing shots to the back wall, now they were slightly looser and with the ball now quite hot it w\s bouncing more and this was extending the rallies; this seemed to suit Bensted and he went from 9-8 to 15-8 for the game.

Both players starting to vary the play now, Bensted was noticeably more confident and Scott seemed to slow slightly and probably rued taking his eye off the ball in the third, With a deft serve to the corner Bensted sneaked it 16-14 and 2-2. The momentum was with Bensted, and Scott now struggled to string off points and the deciding game opened with a series of winning serves as Bensted shot off to 6-0 and 11-3. Scott’s head was down and Bensted completed his comeback 15-8 for his first victory in the Leagues.

 

Del Sharratt 0-3 Dave Ferguson

In what is now a bit of a friendly rivalry, Sharratt and Ferguson took to the court, the Banter was flying as they both tried to out psyche each other with mind games, but when the match started they were both completely focussed on the task at hand. Ferguson seemed to have the guile from the start and his accurate drop shots to Sharratt’s forehand were all really tight and this was enough to seal several points for a comfortable 15-8. In the next Sharratt seemed to ‘wake up’ as the movement was better and he exploited Ferguson’s weaker point by full length shots to Fergusons backhand corner, but Ferguson persevered with his successful drop shots as although Sharratt made valliant efforts to reach them, they were all tight enough to the wall to be winners. It was a closed game, although Sharratt served for the game at 14-12 and the serve was down and Ferguson capitalised and took it 17-15. The third game again seen a sequence of forehand drops by Ferguson that seemed to make all the difference throughout the match and won 15-8 for the white wash.

 

Adam Niemczewski 0-3 Bob Porch

This was youth against experience as Adam, who was relatively new to competitive squash, bumped into an in form veteran of the game in Bob Porch. The thing with the veterans is although they MAY lose the fitness and speed over the years, the know how and skill never dies. Indeed Porch seemed to know exactly when to play what shot and when to fake shots.

This was too good for Adam who although he covered every inch of court just wasn’t clinical enough to take anything from the match, Porch won 15-10, 15-8, 15-9.

 

Tony Elliot 3-0 Peter Cochrane

Gala top seed, and STILL unbeaten Tony Elliot didn’t disappoint in this rubber, Peter Cochrane tried to throw everything at Elliot, but whenever Cochrane was getting the upperhand Elliot would change his game and take over again, I’d like to say Elliot bossed all the rallies and this was pretty straight forward but the scoreline doesn’t do Cochrane justice, Eliot just didn’t seem to miss anything! 15-5, 16-14, 15-7

 

Pat Spence 2-3 Florient Chevreul

This was match of the night, indeed a contender for match of the season. Seasoned Veteran Spence and young French prodigy Chevreul had the complete opposite styles of squash but this seemed to make for an amazing and tight tussle.

#chevreul, who was rather more erratic with his shots than Spence who placed his shots although was that yard slower. The first game went right to the wire at 14-14, it was a couple of clever serves that took it for Chevreul 16-14. The second game was going along similar to the first, Chevreul would run about endlessly but he didn’t know where his shots would end up so Spence had no chance! Then at 9-8 to Waverley, Spence appeared to run out of steam and the youngster ran off 15-9.

Spence knew he had the better, tighter hots and he too a couple of minutes to compose himself as he really didn’t fancy a 3-0 loss. Spence seemed to be a different player as he came out with guns blazing in the third and used his sqush brain to tire the French man out and switch his shots from front to back and he took it 15-11 to ensure Gala got at least 1 point from this game.

The match was now heating up, the other players were keen spectators as this rubber decided the match. Chevreul took command in the fourth, keeping one or two points ahead of Spence throughout, but his erratic shots meant he came unstuck and although Floriant served for the match at 15-14, a well controlled lob for Spence gave him the edge and he took it 17-15.

Now 2-2 in this game and 2-2 in rubbers, the pressure was on for both players. Spence appeared the more relaxed and Floriant more tense and the match was still intense as it went 10-10 and 14-14, it was Chevreul who held out in the end for 17-15 and took the match for Waverley.

 

Gala Captain Sharratt said afterwards “What a close exciting match, we always seem to have classic encounters against Waverley and this one could have went either way. Again Gala lose valiantly But we just need the rub of the green in these matches and we wll secure a victory.”

Xciting Match

Galashiels 9-12 Craigshill Xcite

 

Iain Laing 3-1 Kenny Aiston

Gala got off to a winning start in this opening rubber. Former Club champion Iain Laing, just making a comeback after 14 years away from the game, wasn’t quite upto pace and didn’t have the focus he used to be renowned for. But he came from behind in the first game to win 16-14. The second game was a typical game for two evenly matched players until it was 8-7 to Laing, but then Aiston changed his game and stated playing to Laings back hand and rattled of 5-6 points in quick succession and held on for 15-11. Laing dug deep, and despite his absence from the game, seemed t ofind an extra yard when needed and managed to keep the ball just out of Aistons reach and took the remaining games 15-8, 15-5.

 

Del Sharratt 2-3 Walid Magby

This was only Magby’s second league game for Xcite, and the cold temperatures in the Galashiels court took him a bit by surprise. Del was used to the bounce of the ball in the cold courts and used this to his advantage winning two close games 15-12, 15-11. Both players were of similar ilk in the court and lots of long rallies and great squash ensued. tHings changed in the third game when Magby kept Sharratt at the back of the court and refused to let him boss the rallies, this meant Del was limited to the shots he could play and from 9-7 up the Xcite player ran away to 15-7. The fourth game was fast, Magby gradually getting used to the conditions and Del just couldn’t find the back wall with his shots as Magby was keeping the ball tight and took it 15-11. Del was feeling the pressure having thrown away a 2-0 advantage and heading into the decider both players were equally determined but some deft drop shots from Magby were too good for Del (15-12) and the visitors levelled the rubbers at 1-1.

 

Graham Bensted 0-3 Iain McIver

Bensted found the going rather tough against his younger opponent in this tie. Iain McIver, who is a League regular for Xcite showed his quality as he varied his play. tHis meant Bensted couldn’t read the shots and often went the wrong way in the rallies. McIver rattled off 3 games in a fairly straight forward 15-9, 15-6, 15-12.

 

Adam Niemczewski 1-3 Phil Brown

Phil Brown, boasting an unbeaten record against Gala, was looking forward to this tie against relatively unknown Niemczewski. Brown took the first game as he motored put of the blocks and commanded the T-Line in most of the rallies and won 15-5. The play switched in the second as Adam was the one getting to the T-Line first and managed to keep Brown at the back of the court and took it 15-13. This could really have went either way, but brown just had the edge on speed and accuracy and took the remaining games 15-10, 15-5 to clinch the match for Xcite.

 

Pat Spence 3-2 John Taylor

The two in the final rubber were the respective teams top seeds and the quality of squash in this match lived upto expectation. Both players, similar age and fitness provided highly entertaining squash for the spectators. For the first four games it was a case of as soon as one player had advantage, the other player would come back and it went 0-1, 1-1, 1-2, 2-2. The deciding game was even closer than the rest and at 14-14 it went to sudden death. But Spence stayed calm and collected and Taylor felt the pressure a bit as Spence bossed the remaining points for 16-14 and 3-2.

 

“What a match, most of the games could’ve went either way, I’m (Del) a bit disappointed at losing my match from 2-0 up, but I hope we can have a rematch at the return leg and I’ll get a chance to remedy that score line.”

Winter Whitewash

Galashiels 0-15 Watsonians 4

 

Ruaridh Kohler 0-3 Matthew Gibbs

Ruaridh was making his first appearance of the season for Gala after recovering from an injury and faced Matthew Gibbs who has played at Gala previously but never tasted victory. Gibbs was determined to get maiden victory at Gala and didn’t let up as some accurate shots and great anticipation seen him overcome Kohler 15-5, 15-7, 15-8. Kohler didn’t play too badly but didn’t match the determination of Gibbs and although Kohler enjoyed the tussle he was disappointed by the result.

 

Darren Quinn 0-3 Ross Taylor

Quinn, who normally filled in at no.5 when needed was promoted to no.4 for this match due to lack of available players. Again the Gala man gave a good encounter of himself and made for some cracking squash but the better player triumphed on the night 15-6, 15-6, 5-6.

 

Brian Magowan 0-3 Clive Shannon

Magowan was making his league bow for Gala and came up against Watsonians league veteran Shannon. Magowan had previously represented Gala in Friendlies found the step up to Competitive League squash too much to handle, lack of Competitive experience meant the edge was always with Shannon and the Watsonians Stalwart won a pretty straight forward 15-7, 15-3, 15-6.

 

Graham Bensted 0-3 Bobby McKinney

The first game started with Bensted pulling away as his powerful serves took McKinney by surprise, although it didn’t take McKinney long to adapt and as soon as they were passed the serve and returns McKinney always controlled the rallies, there was some good fast shots but Bensted relied on his serve too much and the Wats player took this one 15-11, 15-6, 15-6.

 

Del Sharratt 0-3 David Hutton

Hutton’s record against Gala in the Leagues is now played 3 won 3. Hutton, who is Watsonians regular top seed is probably used to playing higher quality opposition as Del is usually seeded at 3-4 for Gala. Gala’s top seed Tony Elliot – Unbeaten in the League was abroad and with other players pulling out due to holidays/work it meant Del had to make the step up.

The pair played some good squash and long rallies but it was always felt that Hutton could have stepped up a gear if he really needed to. Although Left-hander Del got close in the first game due to some uncharacteristic unforced errors from Hutton, the Edinburgh Man seemed to get the bounce of the ball and won 15-10, 15-9, 5-8.

 

This was a difficult match and pretty much an entire reserve team, Gala’s top seeds are ALL back next week and hopefully can steal a victory against Craigshill Xcite.

Gala Struggle at Heriot Watt

Heriot Watt Uni 3 14-3 Gala

 

Darren Quinn 0-3 Alastair Hill

This was a bad day at the office for Darren Quinn, he just couldn’t get himself motivated for this tie and every unforced error in the match just made his head go down, an out of sorts Quinn lost 15-3, 15-4, 15-3.

 

Del Sharratt 0-3 Scott Hunter

The Gala Captain also wasn’t at his best in this tie, Sharratt came off court feeling he should have taken more from the game. Hunter had good length in his shots and had the knack of keeping the ball at Sharratt’s back hand corner so Sharratt was forced to drop most shots which Hunter was all over. Before long the match was all over and the Student won 15-9, 15-6, 15-9.

 

John Sharratt 0-3 Zsolt Husz

Another below par performance from Gala. Sharratt would normally beat Husz but just lost focus and a lot of Sharratt seniors shots hit the tin that normally would be winners, the rallies were better in this tie though but again Heriot Watt took it in straight sets 15-13, 15-12, 15-6.

 

Graham Bensted 0-3 Josie Wishart

Josie proved too strong for Bensted in this. This time the student was the better player and bossed the rallies. Bensted found the pure speed of Wishart too much to handle as he darted about the court and seemed to anticipate most of Bensteds shots. tHe better player on the day took it 15-3, 15-6, 15-10

 

Tony Elliot 3-2 Umair Saeed

Once again the ever reliable Tony Elliot ensured Gala didn’t leave without a victory. Tony is unbeaten in the League this season but this was by faar his toughest test yet. Heriot Watts Saeed had been a regular in League 2 for the seconds this season but due to some big names returning he had to drop to league 5 for the week. Tony just wasn’t missing anything and never more than 2 points separated the players in the first four games. It was so close it went 15-13, 16-18, 16-14, 13-15, then in the fifth game Saeed seemed to have the edge and led 4-1 then 11-4 but Tony dug deep and just refused to give up and some amazing shots thet Tony just killed in the corners turned the 11-4 defecit to a 15-12 victory.

 

Gala Captain Del said “Apart from Tony we all seemed to have a bad day at the same time, normally John and Myself would have got some games off those guys but there must have been something in the air tonight. Tony seems unstoppable – that was a League 2 quality opponent tonight and when I get my full team back we will do some damage in this league.”

Grange put Gala squad players to the sword

Grange 5 12-5 Gala

 

Andy Waddell 2-3 Andrew Light

Veteran Waddell, who was a last minute call up due to injury, gave a good account of himself in this. Indeed he dominated for most of the first games and took a 2-0 lead with 15-13, 15-13 but early in the third game Waddell felt a twinge in his troublesome ham-string and this hindered his speed and movement and the younger Grange player took full advantage and rattled off the remaining games 15-6, 15-5, 15-10.

 

Iain Gorman 0-3 Alex Whitters

Iain Gorman just came against a superior squash player in this tie, Alex was relentless in his play and made it seem pretty straight forward with 15-8, 15-1, 15-7. Iain couldn’t be faulted for effort but fitness was in Whitters favour and this was over relatively quickly.

 

Amir Hosny 3-0 Josh Stokes

Gala won this one with debutant Hosny, who had featured for Glasgow University the previous night. This was full of long rallies but Hosny’s accuracy with his full length shots proved key as Stokes just couldn’t flick the ball out the back corners, the match was closer than the scoreline suggests. 15-11, 15-9, 15-5

 

Del Sharratt 0-3 Jonathan Hughes

Hughes, who is relatively new to the League scene proved too good for Del as he clinched the match for Grange 5 in this tie. Both players were pretty evenly matched, but home advantage Does make a difference as Hughes seemed to anticipate every bounce of the ball. Del was 14-13 up in the first game and serving for the match, but a loose drop shot let Hughtes back in and he took the first 18-16. The second game was just as intense, Hughes seemed to have mastered the knack of sending Del to the back corner then dropping to the front as this sequence scored Jonathan several points and he took it 15-10. In the third game, Del tired mentally and his focus and concentration lapsed but it went close again 15-11 to Jonathan for 3-0.

 

John Sharratt 0-3 Robert Koenig

Grange new boy Koenig was head and shoulders above everyone else in the teams; he just didn’t miss anything. Even when he was going the wrong way and the ball was at speed he seemed to be able to correct his footwork and get the shots back, John Sharratt who is a seasoned Veteran of the game and had the know-how even applauded some of Koenigs play as he wouldn’t miss a thing. Even when Sharratt was standing on the T-Line and sending the Grange boy from corner to corner it wasn’t enough and Koenig put on a great display of squash and took this 15-7, 15-12, 15-10.

 

Gala Captain Del said “I always enjoy playing at The grange, they have two Glass Back courts and it’s an amazing set-up. This as almost my entire reserve team as all my regulars were injured or on holiday, so the score line was pretty respectable considering. I would normally play at seed 4 or 5 but I was in at 2 today. My top players should beback for next weeks trip to Heriot Watt so hopefully we can steal a victory there.”

Heavy Defeat for Gala

Galashiels 3-15 Abercorn

 

Iain Gorman 1-3 Tom Clemens

Iain, fresh from his victory the previous week was oozing confidence going into this tie; Iain has improved no end from pre-season and has been enjoying the competitive week in week out league squash. It was Gala’s Iaian that took the first game, Iain just used his superior strength and found the back wall with most of shots and took it 15-11; in the second game, Iain was taking his time and varying his shots. But Abercorn’s Clemens seemed to reach everthing and Tom won 15-7, the story of the third game was just as the second – Tom getting to everything and seem to get fitter the more the game went on, indeed Tom took it 15-9 for 2-1 to Abercorn. In the fourth Game, Iain upped his game and although he commanded the T-Line Tom just wouldn’t let up and it went right to the wire before Tom took it 15-13.

 

Del Sharratt 0-3 Neelu Sarkar

In what was developing into a bit of a Friendly rivalry, Sarkar and Sharratt locked horns for the 3rd time in two seasons, although Sarkar had the edge in the previous games 3-2 and 3-1, Sharratt felt he could beat Sarkar and was looking forward to the match.

It was an amazing first game, Sharratt was at 14-12 and serving for the game, but Sarkar wouldn’t give in and Sarkar then had game points at 17-16 and 19-18 and Eventually took it 21-19. This seemed to knock the wind out of Del a bit and Sarkar motored on in the next and it was a bit more comfortable -7. The third was as intense as the first and the rallies were long as both players played safe and waited for the opponent to make errors – it was Gala’s Sharratt that seemed to make more errors though and Sarkar took the match 3-0 with 15-12.

 

Graham Bensted 1-3 Michael Baty

Graham was going into the unknown as Baty hadn’t faced Gala before and was a bit of a Newby to the Abercorn team. But it seemed to be Baty that, had the -edge in this tussle, Graham, renowned for his hard powerful serves won most of his points without a rally being played, but as soon as Baty got into the rallies he seemed to be firmly in control. This one went to Abercorn – 15-9, 15-12, 14-16, 15-10

 

Adam Niemczewski 1-3 Martin Browse

City Veteran Browse, who had a 100% record against Gala, wasn’t expecting too gard a time from Niemczewski, the Polish Boy had played against Abercorn last year and failed to take a game. But Adam showed his mettle and this was a titanic match, the rallies were tight and both players were relativelty fit; in the first game Martin rocketed away to 13-7 but Adam wouldn’t give in and came back with a series of tight shots before going down 15-12. The Second game was just as exciting, this time Adam threw in some deft drop shots and this took the game 15-9, at 1-1 Martin started to really slow the pace down and took time at his serves, this got to Adam’s rythym a wee bit and Browse took it relatively easy 15-5. Although the final game was a thriller, Martin seemed to have the mental edge on Adam and his Slow pace got into Adam’s head, Adam fought valiantly but Abercorn took it 15-5 for 3-1.

 

Pat Spence 0-3 Jamie Irving

Gala were missing their top seeds due to injury and holidays and Spence, normally at seed 3 had to step upto seed 1 for the night. The Step up proved tough and Spence gave a good account of himself, some inch perfect lobs the highlight of Spence’s game but the Better player on the night took the match, 15-10, 15-9, 15-11.

 

Captain Del Sharratt commented “Ooft, that is our heaviest defeat to date, This puts us on the back foot going into the tie against top of the table Bridge of Allan next week, I don’t envisage my top seeds being back so we’ll likely go with the same team again. I can’t fault the guys for effort and we just need the rub of the green to go our way.”

Tyne Triumph in Titanic Tussle

Tyne District 9-7 Gala (12-7)

 

Del Sharratt 1-3 Dylan Pearman

Gala Captain Sharratt was surprised to see 12yo Dylan Pearman playing at 5 for the Haddington clubs full team – but it soon became apparent that young Pearman was more than capable of handling the pressure of the East Leagues. Indeed the youngster has travelled the country representing East in the Scottish U-13 Region championships.

It was rare to see two left handed players on the same court and it made for a spectacular match. Sharratt knew he was in for a hard match after sneaking the first 16-14 as Pearman wouldn’t let Sharratt pull away. After the first game, Tyne Captain Nigel Pearman spoke to the younger Pearman and advised he plays to Del’s back hand corner. The youngster duly complied and Del just couldn’t find the swing of his back hand as Dylan rattled off the remaining games 15-7, 15-4, 15-3.

 

Graham Bensted 0-3 Gordon Hamilton

Bested found the going difficult in this match, although Bensted had a mean serve that won him several points, Hamilton’s fast hitting meant Bensted was just a yard or so to short for most of the full length shots and with little time on the ball wasn’t able to fully control his shots. Hamilton took this for Tyne 15-6, 15-7, 15-10.

 

Pat Spence 0-3 Chris Dixon

Gala Veteran Spence, was making his first appearance of the season due to business commitments but had been playing plenty squash and wasn’t short on confidence.

Both players were obviously skilful and fit with tight full length shots the story of this one, but the rallies were textbook up and down the walls but just the lapses of concentration from Spence led to several unforced errors mainly on drop shots and Dixon capitalised took the match 5-8, 15-8, 15-8.

Kev Douglas 3-0 Graham Morrison

Kev Douglas came into this match oozing confidence after his victory previous week against Kirkaldys top seed. Kev has a knacl of starting slowly and working the opponent out as the match goes on.

The first game was anything but slow and long rallies ensued as both players showed their quality, Kev seemed to have the edge on his returns and it led to him controlling most of the game and took it 15-10.

Both players changed their style in the second game, Morrison was trying to read Douglas’s shots but Douglas varied his game enough and really had the edge over Morrison in most areas and took it 15-8.

Morrison gave his all in the third and seemed to be able to return anything but Douglas’s disguised drop shots was enough to Get Gala’s first victory of the match 15-11 and 3-0.

 

Tony Elliot 3-0 Nigel Pearman

Pearman had a very unorthodox serve but it was obvious why both players were the number 1 seeds in the respective teams, Pearman found good width and length in his shots but Elliot motored around the court and returned everything Pearman threw at him, and just as Elliot was commanding the T-line Pearman would be just as good at returning whatever was given to him, the first two games reflect this and both went to sudden death in Tony’s favour 16-14, 17-15. The difference in the third game was that Elliot’s elite fitness meant he just refused to wilt and Pearman was running on empty as it was more straight forward for the Gala top seed and 15-6.

 

Gala Captain Sharratt said afterwards “They all seem to be strong teams in the league, this is one of my best possible line-ups and I’m a wee bit disappointed we couldn’t take more from the match. It’s exciting to see youth being so eager and skilful at squash and if Dylan is anything to go by then the future of East of Scotland Squash is in safe hands. We have a Break in the season next week so I might look at some training for some of the squad players and work on movement and footwork. But no match is easy in this league.

Distance to Despair

Kirkaldy 2 13-4 Gala

Gala made the daunting trip upto Kirkaldy minus some key players and this made it difficult for the rest of the team as the rest of the regulars had to play against tougher seeded opponents. Squad Players Iain Gorman and Darren Quinn both lost their rubbers 3-0 to Robert Russell and Steve Creene respectively. Captain Del Sharratt scored Gala’s first point of the match but succumbed to a 3-1 defeat to the experienced Willie Schultz, Del was playing at no.3 seed where he would usually be no.5 so this was a tougher opponent that what Del is used to, but Del gave a good account of himself despite the loss. then Graham Bensted – playing at no.2 also lost 3-0 but it was tight games (15-11, 15-12, 15-9) and the rallies could really have went either way.

Gala’s other points and only victory of the match came from Kevin Douglas – Kevin was playing at a higher than normal position but despite losing the first game 15-5, he rattled off the next three games 15-12, 15-13, 15-7 it had been a shaky start but the more the match went on the more Kevin was getting into his stride.

 

Captian Sharratt said “It was always going to be difficult – I should have my top seeds back for the return leg in January so I am looking forward to the re-match. Next week we entertain Tyne District at home and I’m confident this can bring us our first league victory of the season.