Category Archives: East of Scotland League

Reivers lose to Abercorn

Abercorn 18-6 Border Reivers

Del Sharratt 0-3 Bernard Starkey

Del was quietly confident going into this tie. Bernard, although a seasoned veteran was 30 years Del’s senior and Del was hopeful his stamina could win out. This proved to be a false hope for Del. Bernard had accurate shots and used the full length lob several times which always seemed to find the nick at the back of the court and Del couldn’t get the shots back. Del tried to boss the rallies by dominating the T-Line but Bernard would throw in a lob every so often and this would be good enough to beat Del, the match wa 15-12, 15-9,15-10.

 

Graham Bensted 1-3 Tom Clemens

The games here were 15-13, 14-16, 14-16, 11-15 and the match could have gone either way. Bensted has a hard fast shot and Clemens had to be quick to react to get the shots. This match was as much a mentally tiring as physically as the players had to react quickly to the fast shots. Tom used home advantage in the bounce of the ball and the heat in the courts count and just sneaked the victory in a close tie.

 

Pat Spence 1-3 Neelu Sarkar

Abercorn Captan Sarkar has been out for several months with an injury, but s=there was no signs of this hindering Neelu’s performance tonight. Reivers Veteran Spence was trying to send Sarkar to the front of the court so he would have to lunge in the hope that he may still be feeling the after effects of his injury. But if anything Sarkar seemed to be back more refreshed than ever and has obviously been working hard on fitness and movement over his spell out. This was an exciting match up and the scores went 11-15, 15-11, 11-15 as little separated the players. Spence’s usual deft drop shots weren’t quite coming off for him and he surrendered several points in each game by hitting the tin from the drops. Sarkar proved equal and more to whatever Spence threw at him and won 3-1 for the City Side.

 

Amir Hosny 2-3 Martin Browse

Browse record against the Border side now reads p6 w6 as he remained undefeated. On another night the result may well have been the other way rund but Hosny’s mind just didn’t seem to be on the game.   Browse opened the match 15-9 and 15-1, then Hosny took a couple of minutes at the end of theseconf game and Captain Del Sharratt took the opportunity to motivate Hosny to keep focussed and get mentally attuned to the game; Sharratt also advised Hosny that Browse was trying to slow the game right down to suit his own style and told Hosny to go out all guns blazing. Hosny must took something on board as a completely different player emerged in the third game. Hosny exploded out the blocks and played a fast flowing game to disrupt Browse slower play, Hosny won it 15-10 and carried this onto the fourth. Browse was trying to play the referee and claim some soft lets but the referee was having none of it and dismissed Browse claims. Hosny seemed to have the nack of coming from 2-0 down to win games and this tie went to 14-14 before Browse pulled out some excellent cross court shots to win 16-14 for 3-2.

 

Tony Elliot 2-3 Senga MacFie

Tony seemed a bit out of sorts in this tie and was swiping at several of Senga’s serves. Tony found it difficult to get on top of the rallies, and former Scotland International Senga used her accurate lob serves to dominate the rallies, whenever they got into rallies Tony proved to good but senga would ratle off several points jst from her serves, this was good enough for the first two games which Senga took 15-13, 15-12. But like Amir, Tony emerged a different player in the third and was more like the Tony Elliot we know (and, begrudgingly admire!) and had the measure of Senga’s serves. Tony rattled off the games 15-6, 15-3. But Senga dug deep in the fifth and used all her guile to win 15-11 For a huge Scalp.

 

Reivers Captain Del said “We didn’t get the rub of the ball in the games tonight, luck seemed to favour Abercorn and if we play again tomorrow it may well be a different result. To be fair to Abercorn the Resolve of the ir players is second to none and all the matches were exciting ties.”

Defeat for Reivers

Hatton 15-3 Border Reivers

Andrew Dowlen-Gilland 0-3 Malcolm Mitchell

Sir Andrew found he was chasing this game from the off, Malcolm was straight out the blocks and took a 4-0 lead fairly quickly. Sir Andrew was just a wee bit too slow and Mitchell rattled off the points and won the first 15-5. Although Sir Andrew had the shots and the knowhow, this seemed to be a low key performance for the Reivers veteran. Sir Andrew just didn’t seem to have the right movement and kept getting himself in a twist, Mitchell had a focussed performance and took the next games 15-8, 15-7.

 

Del Sharratt 0-3 Nick Tinning

The 15-9, 15-11, 15-9 scoreline flattered Tinning a bit in this game, this was a more exciting match, Tinning seemed to have the knack of keeping Sharratt behind him and therefore dominated most of the rallies. It was the odd lapse of concentration from Sharratt that meant his normal safe shots didn’t find the target and Tinning would pounce and kill the ball. This made it 2-0 to Hatton.

 

Pat Spence 0-3 John Miller

This was another 3-0 victory for Hatton; Spence was a bit fatigued having travelled around the country on business for most of the day and this hindered his movement slightly and Miller, although not particularly quick himself mastered his footwork and moved smoothly around the court. Spence gave a goo showing and found the corners with a lot of his shots but Miller won 15-8, 15-6, 15-7.

 

Amir Hosny 0-3 Milan Govan

This was a fantastic match up, this was a fast speedy performance from the players, neither player really pulled away and Govan just had that wee bit of Luck that meant most 50/50 rallies ended in his favour. Hosny’s forte was sending Govan to the back of the court and had great length on his shots, but Hosny’s lack of killer edge at the front meant Govan could capitalise and it was close at 15-11, 15-13, 15-10.

 

Tony Elliot 3-0 Alan Love

Tony Elliot mad this look ease, but it was a tight tussle. Love, who hadn’t lost at home all season oozed confidence but Tony showed his prowess around the court and some great reaces and counter attacks from Tony were the main difference. Tony found when he reached the front court forehand drops that Alan couldn’t handle his fast cross court returns and this got several points for Tony. Tony won the Borderers only points of the match with 15-7, 15-13, 15-10.

 

Captain Sharratt Said afterwards “this is our biggest defeat of the season, Hatton had a strong strong team and it’s obvious why they are top of the league. This was always going to be a tough game but hopefully this spurs us on for the remainder of the season and we can bounce back with a win at Abercorn next week.

Close Victory for Reivers

Border Reivers 13-9 Grange 5

 

Del Sharratt 0-3 Josh Stokes

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

 

Graham Bensted 1-3 Alex Whitters

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

 

Piers Wilkinson 3-1 Peppe Andaloro

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

 

Amir Hosny 3-2 Jonathan Hughes

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

 

Tony Elliot 3-0 Andrew Light

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

 

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

WAVE Hello to Victory

Waverley 4s 5-15 Border Reivers

 

Graham Bensted 3-0 Keith Miller

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

 

Del Sharratt 0-3 Dave Russell

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

 

 

Stuart Johnston 1-3 Pat Spence

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

 

Amir Hosny 3-0 Neil Kempsell

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

 

Tony Elliot 3-1 Ed Granville

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

 

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

Heavy defeat for Reivers

Linlithgow 3s 15-5 Border Reivers

 

Ruaridh Kohler 0-3 Ross Ferguson

Ruaridh was making his first appearance of the season for the Border Reivers; although was no stranger to team squash having had caps in previous seasons and regularly playing for Stewarts Melville Old Boys in clubs around Edinburgh.

Kohler started well, using his trade mark Boast to wrong foot Ferguson and win several points. Ferguson seemed a bit sluggish off the mark but his accurate shots made up for it and Ferguson won the first 15-12.

The second game was marred by several contentuous referee decisions, Kohler felt his opponent was getting strokes for 50/50 calls and this upset the Borderer so much that he couldn’t focus on the game, this happened on several shots and both players lost their eye through it but Ferguson held up for 15-10.

Both players were tense and had lost concentration, the match had lost it’s flow and there was still some niggles in the third game when Ferguson would stop and claim lets on several shots he could have reached. Kohler just never regained concentration and lost 15-10.

 

Del Sharratt 0-3 Tim Jones

Sharratt found it difficult to find any rhythm in this match, although Sharratt felt he was easily a match for Jones, Jones seemed to win all the close rallies and dominate the court. Sharratt struggled to find tight shots and although here were some decent rallies the Linlithgow boy made the match lookeasier than it actually was. It was a decisive 15-12, 15-9, 15-10 victory in the end.

 

Piers Wilkinson 2-3 John Smith

This was a classic squash match and the tie of the match. Wilkinson was making his debut for the Reivers; but had previous experience in higher Leagues with The Grange in previous seasons. John smith had played in the West Leagues most of the season with Loch Leven but was turning out for his home club Linlithgow in this tie. Smith had the fastest shot of the teams and Wilkinson had to keep on his toes to rach the ball before the shot past him, although Wilkinson used the back wall repeatedly to let the ball come back to him before playing it and this made for a good skilful match. Smith proved too fit and powerful in the first game and took Wilkinson a bit by surprise, although the Borderer Battled well it went 15-8 to Smith. In the second game Piers was getting to know John’s style, and although John still played tight fast shots, Piers found he could return them better; John made a couple of silly errors and his head went down a bit, Piers took it 15-12. Almost nothing could separate the players in the third game, as it turns into an exhilliarating tie. Wilkinson actually came from 11-8 down to win 15-13 a lot of this due again to Smith making a silly error and beating himself up about it. In the fourth game Wilkinson seemed to get to everything until he was 11-8 up, then a poor serve from Piers let Smith back in and in no time Smith was suddenly 12-11 up and everything he played was tight – this was remeniscant of the first game and Wilkinson had no reply as Smith triumphed 15-11. At 2-2 Smith came out the blocks running and seemed to miss nothing as he dominated the court and Wilkinson found no way past Smith, Smith won 15-10.

 

Pat Spence 0-3 Ashley Mears

Reivers Vice-captain Spence showed his dedication to the team as he had drove to the match straight from Edinburgh Airport having just flew in half an hour before kick off. Ashley, who has been Linlithgow Ladies Champion on several occasions may not have the power of Pat but had the knack of slow placed shots that were unretrivable. Spence did miss the ball on several occasions and mad some uncharacteristic errors, may have been due to fatigue from the flight. But all credit to Mears who proved why she merits a place in the Linlithgow team with a comprehensive 15-10, 15-8, 15-8 victory.

 

Tony Elliot 3-0 Richard Kent

Tony was at his best during this match and won 15-7, 15-5, 15-10 and although Kent ran every inch of the court and didn’t show signs of wearying, Elliot was just too good on the night; although Kent got close in the third game, Elliot always had a higher gear in reserve if he needed it. But Elliot was never really under threat and got the Reivers only victory of the night.

 

Captain Del Sharratt commented “Linlithgow 3s are one of the strongest teams we’ve faced this season; my tam was depleted due to injuries and Pat should be Commended on his commitment for playing for the team Straight from his flight! Hopefully some of the regulars will be back next week for the home tie against Kirkaldy and we can get back to winning ways.”

Castle Conquered

Border Reivers 13-8 Colinton Castle 5

 

Graham Benstead 0-3 Mark Crease

This match was a lot closer than the score suggests, indeed Bensted was a tad unlucky as several shots from crease hit the wood of the racket or found the nick. It was a focussed performance by the Colinton man though; whenever Bensted got the Hand back he would dominate the rallies but just had no luck on this occasion, it was 15-9, 20-18, 15-12 to Crease

 

Del Sharratt 1-3 Bob Blaikie

In what was starting to become a bit of a rivalry, Bob Blaikie took this by the same scoreline as the rubber in the reverse fixture between the teams. The story was one player would rattle off 4-5 points then the opponent would do the same. Del was determined to triumph this time but just souldn’t find full length to get the ball past Blaikie. A good close fought match went 15-8, 11-15, 15-9, 15-11.

 

Peter MacKenzie 3-0 Adam Hill

Reivers newest member and making his debut for the team was Peter MacKenzie. Although Peter was no stranger to the Ease Leagues having previously played for Edinburgh Sports Club in league 2 a few years back. This was Peter’s first competitive squash outing for 5 years and he proved squash is just like riding a bike. MacKenzie was too skillful and powerful for the Colinton Castle Stalwart and ran off a pretty straight forward victory 15-13, 15-8, 15-10.

 

Pat Spence 3-2 Eric Donohue

The Senior most players of both sides put on a thriller of a match! Although there was over 120 years between the two of them, the fitness and speed was like that of much more youthful men. This was a close and well fought match. Lots of long rallies and deception in the shots made for a great spectacle for the watching fans. In the first game Spence took the lead 5-0 and held onto 12-8 but Donohue seemed to find focus and rattled of a series of excellent serves to take the first game 15-13. The second again was a similar story with Spence taking a 5-1 lead and maintaining it, this time Spence kept his nerve and found some handy drop shots at the right time to take it 15-8; in the third game Spence seemed to be in the Zone and Donohue ran for everything and the squash was spectacular as both players found the nicks and full length, this went to Eric 15-13 for a 2-1 lead. The last two games went to Spence as he just seemed to edge out Donohue on focus and determination, Spence seemed to want it more and took the last games 15-10, 15-4 for the 3-2 victory as Donohue just ran out of gas.

 

Tony Elliot 3-0 Michael Gibbs

The match was tied at 2-2 in rubbers so this tie would decide the victory, the pressure was on and the match was tense, both players started rather cagey and neither one wanted to make a mistake as some textbook down the wall shots and percentage shots were the way this started. Tony took the first 15-9 as Gibbs found the Borderer started the more determined; although the City Captain Michael fought valiantly he was no match for the Reivers top seed and Tony finished the a 3-0 rout with 15-11, 15-6.

 

Reivers Captain Del Sharratt said “ That was a great team effort, 10/10 for effort for the boys tonight. I’m glad we won as they beat us at their bit earlier in the season so we got one over them this time. It’s great to see new members like MacKenzie keen to play Team Squash too and hopefully the Reivers can kick on from this with a few victories.”

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.”