Category Archives: Club news

General news from the club


Dear Member,

Upon the release of the Scottish Squash Guidelines for reopening of Squash Clubs (Scottish Squash Guidlines) please find below the measures that will be in place for your safety, and the safe reopening of our squash club.


Del Sharratt, Gala Squash Club TTreasurer, is the respected Covid officer, having run and still continuing to do so risk assessments of the club. The club and Del conform to council rules, having been scrutinised by them.

Measures will be in place. It must be reminded these are in the interest of yours and public health, something much bigger than any sport could be. 


Playing Squash – Please follow the Following Guidelines:
1. IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS OF CORONA VIRUS THEN DON’T PLAY – common sense, if you have the symptoms of the virus then stay away from the squash club – but ANYONE who feels they MAY have the Virus and has been at the Club MUST let Del/Iain G know for the purposes of Track and Trace.
2. USE THE ONLINE BOOKING IN SYSTEM – We are all set up on and this is the ONLY way to book courts now, you MUST book this before playing.  Members ONLY, no guests using the club please.  this is to keep the footfall within the club to a minimum and to record track and trace.  The courts have been staggered for alternate use.  **If anyone has problems logging into the booking system then let Del Sharratt or Iain Gorman know and we will talk you through it or book on your behalf**
3. TRACK AND TRACE – Also sign the Sign-In sheet at the door of the squash club with Time of arrival.
4. COMMONROOM IS OUT OF BOUNDS – apart from parents of kids.  Under 11s are allowed to play unconditional squash, if playing another kid then One parent may spectate.  But ‘Hanging about’ in the Common Room is a strict NO
5. ARRIVE READY TO PLAY – Arrive ready to step on court.  If you need to change trainers then do it at court door, do not leave any kit behind in the club and take your bags on court with you
6. SHOWER AT HOME – The Changing facilities and Showers are out of bounds, the Ladies toilets at the moment are the only ones available to use.
{ We are renewing the faccilities in the Gents imminently then we will look at the changing room re-opening}
7. KIT – Bring your own racket/balls/goggles. If anyone needs any kit from the Club then let me know and I will assign one racket per person with their name on it and that is the one they will use.  Use your own Balls if possible.  If you use ANY kit from the club then clean it after with the wet wipes provided.
8. ARRIVAL – Try to arrive at the club separately.
9. ETIQUETTE – Do not wipe your hands on the walls.  As the courts are staggered this allows enough time for players to clean any areas they have touched or sweated on after their game.
10. PLAYING DIFFERENT OPPONENTS – At the moment we Are only allowed solo squash and household squash.  SOLO squash means only ONE person on the court for a 45 minute session, swapping in and out with someone else is not allowed.  Household squash is UNRESTRICTED SQUASH against persons of the same household or “household bubble” common sense prevails!
11. DON’T SHAKE HANDS – After the game don’t Shake hands with opponent, a nod or “good game” will suffice for now.
12. HAND GEL – there will be several hand gel stations around the club, upstairs and downstairs, use them upon arrival and before you leave.

Life is like a box of chocolates. We’re on the roses just now…..


updated 30.08.20

3-in a row for Reivers

Abercorn 9-12 Border Reivers

Nick Burton 1-3 Jordan Reid
Jordan got the Reivers off to a victory with a hard fought 3-1. Jordan took the first 15-9 but the Borderer wasn’t going to have it all his own way as Burton fought valiantly in the second for a 15-13 to tie 1-1. But the more the match went on the more Jordan got into it and won the rest 15-10, 15-7.

Stewart Simpson 2-3 Graeme Gillie
Defenitely match of the night, as both players had contrasting styles, Simpson relied on skill and placement where as gillie excelled in speed and movement. Gillie powered off to 2-0 with 15-13, 15-9; but in a tight match Simpson brought it back to 2-2 with 15-12, 15-10. The decider was just as tight and another day this could have went the other way 15-12. Gillie scored another victory for the Reivers

Tom Clemens 3-0 Del Sharratt
Clemens got Abercorns first victory in this tie, the first two games seemed to be straightforward Clemens winning 15-9, 15-9. But Sharratt changed his game in the third game as Clemens wasn’t a fast hitter,Sharratt left the ball a bit later before taking the shot and this made for a better game. But Clemens JUST held on for 1-14.

Ali Fleming 3-0 Pat Spence
Spence once again ran into a young and fast opponent, and was put to the sword by the fast pace game. 15-9, 15-12,15-10. Spence prefers a more deliberate and controlled game but this was fast and packed and it favoured Fleming from the start. This made it 2-2 in rubbers and the match would be decided by the top seeds in the next match

Martin Browse 0-3 Tony Elliot
15-4, 15-3, 15-1 pretty much tells the story of this one. Browse, who had been promoted to top seed as Senga MacFie had recently picked up an injury, found the step up too difficult. Elliots reputation in league 5 meant theis was going to be a daunting experience for Browse.
Elliot took the game and the Victory for the Border Reivers.

Post Christmas Blues

Dalgety Bay 2s 13-8 Border Reivers


Iain Penman 3-1 Jordan Reid

This was Reid’s Debut for the Reivers and the youngster made a good start, Reid rattled off several points off his serves and won the first 15-11.  But that proved to be the only game that Reid won as the Fifer Penman took the rest in a CLOSE fought 15-13, 15-10, 15-10.


Paul Jukes 1-3 Graeme Gillie

Gillie, is another fairly new player for the Reivers.  This give Gillie a played 2 won 2 record.  Jukes sneaked the first 15-13 and Gillie sneaked the seconds 15-12 but Jukes was flummoxed by Gillie’s unorthodox squash style as Gillie plays with BOTH hands and seldom uses a backhand.  Gillie got better the more the match went on and reeled off the remaining games 15-4, 15-9.


Alan Jones 3-0 Del Sharratt

Jones has only played a handful of games this season and Sharratt couldn’t shake off the cobwebs from the Festive break and seemed half a yard behind throughout the game.  Sharratt was chasing the game from the start and although some long rallies ensued the match was closer than the 15-8, 15-6, 15-8 scoreline suggests.



Grant Sinclair 3-1 Iain Laing

Iain Laing played some great squash and used his years of experience when playing his shots in this match.  But Sinclair seemed to be able to keep Laing at the back half of the court so won several rallies with drop shot or boasts as Laing had been pinned to the back of the court and couldn’t get to the short shots quick enough.  This was one of the better matches of the night as both players oozed experience and kept each other guessing with some trickerty.  Sinclair took it 13-15, 15-9, 18-16, 15-11.


Tony Elliot 3-0 Neil Whiteside

The ever reliable Elliot didn’t have too much trouble polishing off Whiteside in this match.  Whiteside had been undefeated this season but Elliot was a higher Calibre opponent and Whiteside just couldn’t live with the Borderer.  Tony took it 15-6, 15-6, 15-10.


Captain Del Sharratt commented “We were all a bit rusty after the Christmas break, but they are in the same boat so a lot of the games were sluggish.  Reid and Gillie are both fast, fit squash players and with a bit of coaching will be major assets to the Border Reivers.”

Charity Event

Over £200 was raised by members and guests of Galashiels Squash Club for the Galashiels Foodbank.


A1 Iain Laing, Brian Magowan, Anita Laing

A2 Graham Bensted, Iain Gorman, Cameron Couper

A3 Amir Hosny, John Armitage, Jonathan Fletcher

B1 Pat Spence, Darren Quinn, Albin Laing

B2 Piers Wilkinson, Jack Neary, Nick Jupp

B3  Sir andrew, Sarah Chrystie, John Barrow


A3 3v0 A2 – Jonathan F 15v10 Cameron, John A 15v13 Iain G, Amir 15v13 Graham

A1 2v1 A3 – Anita 15v13 Jonathan F, Brian 15v4 John A, Iain L 12v15 Amir

A2 2v1 A1 – Cameron 15 v7 Anita, Iain G 15v11 Brian, Graham10 v 15 Iain L


B3 2v1 B2 – John B 17v15 Nick, Sarah 15v13 Jack, Piers 15v13 Sir Andrew

B1 3v0 B3 – Albin 15v11 John B, Darren 15v12 Sarah, Pat 15v8 Sir Andrew

B1 2v1 B1 – Albin 15v11 Nick, Daren 8v15 Jack, Pat 15v10 Piers


A2 2v1 B3Cameron 9v15 John B, Iain G 15v5 Sarah, Graham 15v8 Sir Andrew

3rd/4th PLAY OFF

A1 2v1 B2Anita 13v15 Nick, Brian 15v8 Jack, Iain L 15v11 Piers

FINAL: B1 2v1 A3Albin 12v15 John A, Darren 16v14 Jonathan, Amir 18v16 Pat

MOTM charity runner up charity winners charity some players charity donation2 charity all players charity clubroom charity

Coast to Victory

Dunbar 6v13 Border Reivers


Iain Gorman 3-0 Harry Nicholson

16yo Nicholson had been a last minute call up for Dunbar as the top seed Evan Green had been rushed to hospital with appendicitis earlier in the day. Gorman is one of the hardest hitters in the Reivers squad and Nicholson just couldn’t cope with the fast shots as Gorman ran out 15-5, 15-7, 15-7.


Sir Andrew 1-3 Keith Nicholson

Sir Andrew started well and made Nicholson do all the running in the first game. But Nicholson proved fast and fit and pushed Sir Andrew all the way to 15-12. The Second game was one-sided in Dunbars favour as Sir Andrew seemed to have lost a bit of agility and Nicholson took it 15-4 for 1-1. In the third game Sir Andrew hurt his shoulder stretching for one of the balls and had to pull out of the game to give it 3-1 to Nicholson.


Graeme Gillie 3-0 Neil Black

Reivers debutant Gillie gave a polished performance 15-13, 15-7, 15-8. Gillie, from Kelso, has just recently joined the Galashiels Squash club and took to competitive action like a duck to water. Gillie moves fast which makes up for some of his loose shots. Gillie has an unorthodox style as he can play with his right and his left hand which confused Black somewhat and Gillie won this one fairly quickly.


Del Sharratt 0-3 Jane Cunningham

Del didn’t play as well s he had been of late and found the step up to 2nd seed a bit daunting. Sharratt usually plays further down the order but just didn’t seem to bring his A-game tonight.

Cunningham found the tactic of back court then boast won several points as Del would get wrong footed and then not reach the ball. And although Del found several points from his Lob Serves Cunningham took it 15-12, 15-9, 15-12

Tony Elliot 3-0 Norman Lazenby

It cannot be said that Tony started slowly in this as he took the first game 15-0 and was well in control of the T-Line and the rallies. But Lazonby adjusted his returns a bit in the next game and the game wasn’t smooth and had no rhythm as the to and fro game went 18-16 to Elliot. The Third seen a few more rallies played out but Elliot was Always in control and finished with a 15-5.


Captain Sharratt said “We travelled right to the East coast for this one, and it was good to come away with the victory and Nice to see some victories for Gorman and Gillie, there is a bit of strength in depth in the squad now and hopefully we can all come back refreshed after the Christmas break for the second half of the season.”

Castle Conquered

Border Reivers 13-9 Colinton Castle 5


Andrew Dowlen-Gilland 1-3 Mark Crease

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


Del Sharratt 1-3 Bob Blaikie

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


Pat Spence 1-3 Adam Hill

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


Adam McKay 3-0 Michael Gibbs

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


Tony Elliot 3-0 Phil Nickells

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


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

Home Victory for Reivers

Border Reivers 13-10 Linlithgow 3s


Iain Gorman 1-3 Lyle Black

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


Graham Bensted 3-2 Ross Lyall

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


Pat Spence 0-3 Sammy Ralston

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


Iain Laing 3-2 John Black

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


Tony Elliot 3-0 Ashley Mears

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

Old and Bold!

Auld Crocks 10-7 Young Guns
It was a close fought thing at Gala squash Club, with the Border Reivers Auld crocks showing the Reivers Young Guns that you can’t have a substitute for experience.
In the first matches Auld Crocks Sir Andrew beat Young Guns Del Sharratt 3-1; every game went to the wire, it was 17-15, 18-20, 16-14, 17-15.  Theis match went on for almost 60 minutes, neither one gave an inch and any slight let was asked for but referee Graham Bensted kept good control of the match.  In each of the games Del got to 14 points first but just couldn’t sneak over the line as seasoned veteran Sir Andrew possessed the knowhow to finish things off.  at the same time on court 2 the top seedes Pat Spence and Tony Elliot were facing off. This was was 3-1 to Elliot for the young guns.  The ever reliable Elliot took the first two games 15-6 and 15-7 before Spence came out like a coiled python ready to pounce and stormed the third 15-13, nobody at the club bar Championhip runner up Kev Douglas, has managed to take a game off Tony for many weeks, indeed it was Spence in the leagues in March that was the last to accomplish this.  But Tony just shrugged it off and took the fourth with a 15-1 statement to reinforce his superiority.
Elliot was the only victory for the Young guns but the rest of the rubbers were also close with former club Champion Iain Laing beating Amir Hosny 3-2 (15-10, 9-15, 7-15, 15-8, 15-10) and two Reivers squad players facing off with Graham Bensted taking it 3-1 against Gary Bramble (15-9, 15-9, 12-15, 15-7).
Club Captain Del Sharratt said “It was a great match to prepare for the East Leagues, we are straight into it as we host Dalgetty Bay 2s in Gala next week. This was as competitive as any match we could have played and all  I can say is – ‘Auld yins, enjoy it while you still can!’
It was great getting 8 squad players facing off tonight and everyone is chomping at the bit for the East League season to start so hopefully our enthusiasm can convert to victories.

Just What the Doctor Ordered

Border Reivers 15-4 NHS Select
Tony Elliot 3-0 Dave Shields (15-6, 15-0, 15-1)
Pat Spence 3-0 Sandy Morris (15-11, 15-13, 15-13)
Del Sharratt 3-1 Paul Neary (15-13, 15-10, 12-15, 15-10)
Iain Gorman 3-0 Brian Magowan (15-11, 16-14, 15-11)
Darren Quinn 0-3 Sir Andrew (13-15, 10-15, 13-15)
As the East of Scotland squash league season fast approaching, the Border Reivers got some much needed game time with a pre-season friendly against NHS Borders Select.  What is turning out to be an annual event the doctors and staff from NHS proved tricky customers.
In the first rubber, the NHS Dr Jon McLaron pulled out last minute with injury so Sir Andrew was drafted in at last minute, the late call up didn’t phase the veteran as he conquered the youthful Quinn 3-0 but the games were close at 15-13, 15-10, 15-13.  the next game was an evenly matched tie Gorman v Magowan, The NHS team were glad Magowan chose them as he was also a member of the squash Club and a squad player for the Reivers, but he just had no luck as another 3-0 defeat came down to the wire 15-11, 15-10, 12-165, 15-10.  The third seeds next and in this rube last year Neary triumphed 3-1 over Sharratt so the Reivers Captain had a point to prove this time.
Neary couldn’t fid his usual game though and this time Sharratt repaid last years defeat with a 3-1 victory.  Sandy Morris made Pat Spence work for his victory, both had very contrasting styles but with 15-11, 15-13, 15-13 it was only one mistake that separated the players.  Tony Elliot found the going a bit easier and Dave Shiels is usually reliable but all of his shots found the tin and Dave just couldn’t find any rhythym.
Reivers Captain Sharratt said “The result flatters us slightly, the NHS team just had no luck and on another night the score could be different.  These pre-season games are vital for my team so we can get our eye in again before the leagues start.

Epic Final for Shield Tournament

ruaridhRUS sir A -winner

It was The Final of the Alex Doherty Memorial Shield tournament 2019 at Galashiels Squash and Racketball Club. This is a tournament for the First round losers of the Club Chapmionship and is a very prestigious and highly sought after prize.

When the club was near collapse several years ago Alex Doherty single handedly pulled the club out of the doldrums and the club wouldn’t be here now nevermind thriving if it wasn’t for Alex Doherty.

Alex Sadly passed away in 2015 and the club uses this tournament to honour his memory.


It was an epic 5-game thriller, two veterans of the game in Sir Andrew Dowlen-Gilland and Ruaridh Kohler put on an awesome spectacle for the club members.

In the first game Ruaridh shopt off to a 5-0 lead but as soon as Sir Andrew got the hand (serve) he played some unreturnable serves and it was soon 6-6. Sir Andrew seemed to find his way after a slow start and he maintained focus and concentration to take the first 15-10.

The second game again seen Ruaridh start strong as he used the back-back-front technique to keep Sir Andrew running and Ruaridh commanded most of the rallies from the T-Line; this one went 15-9 to Ruaridh.

A familiar pattern was starting to emerge as Ruaridh went 4-0 up in the third, Sir Andrew Again capitalised as soon as he got the hand and reeled off several quick points to take it to 5-5.

But again Sir Andrew found his niche and although Ruaridh didn’t stop running and reaches even the tight balls Sir Andrew proved too strong and won 15-8.

The momentum was with sir Andrew and in the fourth it was Sir A that took an early lead 6-2 – but Ruaridh refused to give up and fought back valiantly with some varied shots to 14-14 and into tie-break as a 2 point cushion was needed to win the game. Ruaridh used a couple of deft boasts to send Sir Andrew the wrong way and Ruaridh took it 16-14. To tie the match at 2-2.

Into the decider and it was impossible for the fans to call a winner. This was another close game and Ruaridh used some of his trademark boasts to win several points but Sir Andrew found the length when it mattered and proved just too good to win 15-12 and 3-2.

Match umpire Del Sharratt said “It was a classic 5-setter; I was also kept on my toes with several contentuous decisions that the players were challenging but I just called it as I saw it and it contributed to the tension and pressure of the match. Sir Andrew is a stalwart of the club and plays for the Border Reivers in the East Leagues so he is no stranger to competitive Squash and a big Congratulations to him winning this trophy.