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General news from the club

Worthwhile Journey for Stirlingshire Team

Bridge of Allan 3 18-2 Gala


Iain Gorman 0-3 Stewart Penman

The first match up of the night was cagey and not too spectacular. Penman won 3-0 and the key was each game he motored off to 5-1 or 6-1 before Gorman could get into his stride and it was just too big a defecit for Gorman to overcome. Bridge of Allan took this 15-9, 15-6, 15-12.


Del Sharratt 2-3 Karen Robertson

Del got Gala’s only points of the night in what was tie of the match. This game went the distance and each game down to the wire, the first four games went 13-15, 16-14, 12-15, 15-13 and although Del shot off into a 4-1 and 8-5 lead in the decider, Karen pulled it back to 9-9 in another close tussle. At 13-11 for Brige of Allan, Del tinned a straight forward drop and lost the serve and momentum and Robertson took it 15-11.


Graham Bensted 0-3 Walter McAllister

These two veterans of the sport oozed experience, as Bensted had player Team Racketball up and down the country and McAllister had won several Mastes Tournaments over the years. This match though proved fairly one-sided as McAllisters experience shone through and what he lacked in fitness he made up for in know-how and took it 15-6, 15-5, 15-9.


Adam Niemzewski 0-3 Robbie Harper

Robbe Harper, just off the back of the East of Scotland Under 21 tournament hit the ground running in this tie. THer was some good squash and both players were on good form. This was another match were BofA got off to fliers in each games and gala had to come from behind. This match up produced some awesome rallies and although Harper took it 15-6, 15-5, 15-13 the match was more intense than the score suggests.


Pat Spence 0-3 Dougie Curtis

AnotherBlank for Gala, as BofA took maximum points from this match, Gala’s Spence a seasoned campaigner was just up against a better player in Curtis and Curtis mopped up fairly quickly with 15-6, 15-2, 15-7.


Bridge of Allan came to Gala s League Leaders and Unbeaten, so we knew it was going to be tough; the pattern of this match was the Start of each game in the ties where BofA seemed to get off to the best starts and then were able to relax later in the games. That sort of thing comes from experience and Gala can only learn from games like these.

My Top End of the team are missing due to holidays and injuries and it means everyone has to move Up a level so we were up against it. I know we could do some damage in this league with a full team.


Del Sharratt

Captain GSRC

Waverley Win Again

Waverley 4 10-7 Galashiels


Iain Gorman 3-1 Brian Scott

Iain Gorman took full points for Gala in the first match, the first game was a story of long and hard hitting shots, the heat in the court meant the ball was bouncing well and the players started slowly. Iain took the first 15-7 and Brian the second 15-12 for 1-1. The this game Gorman commanded the T-Line and made Brian Scott do all the running about and took it 15-11; the fourth game again was a series of full length shots and Gorman again took charge of the rallies and made the more senior Brian Scott tire quickly and triumphed 15-12.


Del Sharratt 0-3 Stuart Johnston

In what is developing into a bit of a rivalry, Sharratt and Johnston took to the court, last season they played each other twice and it ended 1-1 with both players winning the home rubber.

This one went the same way, as home advantage played into Johnston’s hands, although Sharratt fourght valiantly Johnston recognised that Sharratt’s weak Backhand could be exploited and won almost AL the rallies on that side of the court. Stuart rattled the games off 15-7, 15-13, 15-9.


Graham Bensted 0-3 Andrew Melvin

Youth and Fitness prevailed in this match, Gala’s Bensted, who has a history of playing Racketball in Competitions was finding the switch to squash a little daunting. That coupled with the extreme heat of the Waverley courts meant the edge was with Melvin, Melvin took it pretty straightforward 15-6, 15-6, 15-13.


Pat Spence 3-0 Dave Ferguson (Inj)

Only Two games were played in this match as Waverley’s Dave Ferguson pulled up injured after the second, but Pat was dominant from the start and was on top in fitness, skill and know-how in this match. Pat had the better of Dave from the start and although Dave played as far as he could he was dissapionted not to have finished the match. Pat took it 15-11, 15-7 w/o


Kev Douglas 1-3 Neil Porter

Gala’s Douglas had calf trouble prior to this but played through the pain barrier, his movement was restricted and Kev didn’t want to take any risks and wasn’t reaching Porter’s drop shots as he usually would. The game was a bit duller due to the injury but Kev gave a good account of himself and each game went to the wire but Kev lost 18-20, 16-14, 15-13, 15-11

Gala Captain Sharratt said afterwards “Home Advantage is key in these league matches, Waverley have the warmest courts we will play in, where as Gala’s courts are considerably colder – this does affect the speed and bounce of the ball. It was a shame the injuries had to hamper the games but it was an enjoyable match.”

I hope Kev recovers as he’s a big loss to my team, but you can only play the cards you are dealt and someone else will capably step up I’m sure.

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.

Losing Start for Gala

Galashiels 4-13 Edinburgh Sports Club 8


Andy Waddell 0-3 George Jones

Jones made the most of being almost 50 years junior to Waddell by trying to tire the veteran early. Although Waddell, who had the edge on shot placement and accuracy couldn’t match the fitness and speed of his youthful opponent and Jones seemed to be able to pull away during the middle of the games and won 15-8, 15-10, 15-8.


Iain Gorman 0-3 Johnnie Webster

Gala’s Gorman, who was unbeaten during the run of pre-season friendlies found the step-up to league squash not quite so straight forward. Gorman’s stocky build gave Webster the impression he wasn’t very fast or fit, but when Gorman stormed to a 7-0 lead in the first game, the ESC man knew he had to switch on and work hard if he was going to win this. Indeed despite the initial defecit Webster pulled of some awesome fast and wide serves and Gorman could hardly get into the rallies as the serves were to good to return.

When the rallies were prolonged it was the Gala man that was winning the points but more often than not when Webster got the Hand his prowess with the serves proved the difference. 15-11, 15-8, 15-6


Del Sharratt 0-3 Chris Patterson-Brown

Another whitewash by ESC which meant they had secured the match, but opposite from the previous tie there were plenty decent rallies in this match and good usage of the T-Line. The first game went point for point until 7-7 and Chris pulled off a series of 4 points just by playing the longer and tighter shots in the rallies and took it 15-9. In the second Del seemed to drift towards the back of the court during the rallies and ESC’s Chris would then throw in a drop shot that del couldn’t reach and this seemed to set the pattern for the game and although close went 15-11 to ESC. Then in the 3rd, Chris just seened to do everything right and wasn’t missing a shot and swept up 15-4, for 3-0.



Kev Douglas 1-3 Glyn Cave

Douglas was making his debut for Gala, he was put in at 2nd seed due to call offs but met a strong experienced league player in Cave. The first game was slow and not too spectacular as both players were pacing themselves, The edge went t ocave as he semed more agile and Douglas was rather heavy footed, the first went 15-9 to Cave. In the Second it was more skilful squash and the players were having a right ding-dong affair as the umpire had to rule on several shots as both players were getting on top of each other and not clearing shots, but an excitinggame went 16-14 to the Gala Man. Fatigue seemed to set in as Douglas just couldn’t seem to keep up with Cave in the rallies and it was precise drop shots that won through for ESC 15-11, 15-9


Tony Elliot 3-1 Des Creasey

Tony was making his league bow for Gala, having previously had caps in the East of Scotland Cup and some Friendlies and came into the match unbeaten in all competitions. But Tony was caught off guard at first and was nursing a groin strain as Des quickly got off to a 7-1 lead in the first game. Both players were obviously the respectives clubs top seeds as the squash was faster and tighter than any of the other matches. 7-1 went to 11-3 and Tony pulled it back to 12-9 before Des took the remaining points including a Cork-screw serve for 15-9. The Cork Screw serve seemed to Rile Gala’s Elliot as hhe played with increased aggression in the next game and feeling no effects from his groin played more like his usual self znd even came from behind to take it 15-12. The third game was just as close, Des was no longer show boating and had to work for every point, Tony was getting better and better as the match went on and the shots seemed to be going exactly where Tony wanted and won the third 15-11. The fourth game again seem Tony seemingly improve as the game progressed and it was the killing of the ball in the corners that won it for Tony and took the points for Gala 15-5.


Captain Del Sharratt said “Well it was a step up from pre-season ESC8 are a new team and I didn’t know what to expect. There guys all have many years league experience and they brought a strong team down. I have a couple of big players on holiday to bring in for future ties so hopefully it’s upwards form here.”

Final Warm up Game

Waverley Select 12-6 Gala Squash


Brian Magowan 2-3 Brian Scott

Magowan was making his debut for Gala Squash Club having been called in late due to a rescheduling of the match. Brian put in a solid claim for future Caps though having pushed the Veteran Brian Scott to 15-10 in the fifth game. It was a close math and a lot of tit for tat scoring extended the duration of the match.


Darren Quinn 0-3 Florent Chevreuil

Waverley Newby Chevreuil was also making his team debut and proved too skilful for Gala’s Quinn. Chevreuill, who switched from Tyne District squash Club to represent Waverely this season didn’t fail to impress and applied a good squash know how to send Quinn the wrong way on a lot of shots and convincingly won it 15-10, 15-4, 15-7.


Del Sharratt 1-3 Dave Ferguson

This was a ‘grudge match’ as both players had previous mettle and had a good record against the opposite team. Del stormed off with the first game as he found good width on a lot of his shots and was just able to place them just out of Dave’s reach and took it 15-11. In the second game, Dave used a lob serve which proved awkward to returs, and anytime Del did return the serve Dave just done a drop shot to the front forehand of Del and Del just couldn’t find an answer to it as Dave took it 15-5. The Third game was closer, Dave used home advantage well as Del wasn’t used to the Hot courts at Waverley and seemed a wee bit more sluggish than Dave and Dave took this one 15-11 for 2-1. Del refocussed in the fourth and again found perfect width, Del was seemingly away and almost home with a 13-8 lead but one basic forehand drop that is usually straight forward for any squash player, hit the wood on the racket and didn’t hit the front wall, this turned the whole game and Dave took it eventually 16-14.


Pat Spence 0-3 Lee Calder

Waverley’s Lee was 30 years junior to Gala’s Spence and his youth and agility was key as Lee never seemed to run out of breath or tire and indeed seemed like he could run all day add took it in straight sets.


Tony Elliot 3-0 Malcolm Lunn

Tony Elliot was trying to get a consolation victory for Gala and didn’t have it easy in the first game. Although both players kept the ball tight to the wall and used every inch of the court, neither player missed much and this made for long fast rallies and exciting squash. Tony took the first 15-13. With a lot of expectation on this game it attracted a few viewers from each team but Lunn seemed to lose the niche and what promised to be a hard fought, close tight match seemed to end up pretty straight forward for Tony and after expending so much energy in the first game Lunn just ran out of steam and Tony took the remaining game 15-5, 15-7


Gala Captain Sharratt said afterwards “That’s the final warm up match before the league season starts, and this has been by far the toughest of our pre season games. I have a couple of decent players to draft in for the main season but I can’t really fault any of the guys today. Waverley produced a Really tough team and I expect some of their players to be playing in the league above us this season so I am not disappointed with Gala’s performance at all. I’m particularly impressed with Magowan who was just “making up the numbers” but had the most exciting game of the night.


Next up for Gala is the opening league match

Gala v Edinburgh Sports Club 8

Gala win in Derby Re-Match


Gala Squash Club 10-4 Duns Squash Club

Iain Gorman 3-0 Iain Richards
Gala’s Gorman boasts 100$ record for the team played 2 won 2.  This was the opening rubber on the night and it was the battle of the hard hitters, both players used power in their shots and although quite evenly matched fitness wise, Gorman was more accurate and whoever took serve seemed to reel off 5-6 points on the trot before the opponent could get the serve back.  This was story for most of the game and Gorman took it 15-10, 15-7, 15-6.

Darren Quinn 1-3 Billy Gibbs
Although Darren went into this game with confidence, having analysed Billy Gibbs style of play, it wasn’t to prove as straight forward as that.  Darren couldn’t get his shots tight against the wall and this gave Billy the time in each shot to kill the ball and won the first fairly quickly 15-8.  the Second was much the same although Quinn found his drop shots were proving winners and tried to adapt to low drop shots during the raillies and this was a lot closer but the Duns man took it 15-12.  With Darren now using the tactic of keeping Gibbs to the back of the court then pulling low drop shots, he maintained this throught the third and won the third 15-9 to close to 2-1.  Darrens morale was high going into the fourth, but his shots were loose and although he still had the length it meant gibbs again had the extra fraction of a second at the shots and Gibbs gathered himself together and won 15-10.

Del Sharratt 3-0 Hugh McLelland
This was a close affair with the games going 16-14, 15-12,15-12.  The elder statesman Hugh, although oozing experience didn’t have the movement and agaility of his younger opponent.  Hugh had to rely on full length serves for several points because as soon as they got into rallies Del proved too fit and strong and would take the point.
With Hugh being made to run about a lot he just faded as the game went on and Gala’s Sharratt sealed a straight forward win.

Pat Spence 3-1 Matt Gibbs
THe top seeds completed the night, both payers were vastly experienced and both had many years of Team Squash behind them.
It was a cagy start as neither player wanting to take a risk and this made for long tight rallies and some point for point scoring s the first went 8-8 and 109 to Pat before ha took several points on the trot with his serves finding the nicks but it went to the wire and 16-14.  The Second gamme was of similar ilk, the players now well in their strides and starting to take risks instead of playing the percentage shots, it was amazing to wathch ang Pat took it 15-11.  Tight serving was the key In the next as Duns Gibbs took the serve at 6-6 and didn’t lose serve again until 13-7 and took it 15-7, but there was fewer rallies and Pat may have taken a “rest game” with a view to one final push in the fourth.
Indeed the fourth game was more like the first couple of games but Pat had his eye in and kept playing winners behind Gibbs and took it 15-9.

Gala Captain Sharratt said “I am happy with the whole team tonight, we are going well in the pre-season and everyone is getting their eye in and blowing off the cobwebs in time for the league season; this was revenge for Duns victory over us last year at there patch.  We goto Waverley for a Friendly in a couple of weeks- which will prove to be a toughie then it’s full on when the Season starts at the end of September.  We are looking forward to it and I’m looking for a good start to the season.”
Duns Squash Club Matt Said “It was an evenly matched tie, I look forward to the return leg at Duns next year where we hope to take our title back.”

Handicap Tournament Exciting Finals

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

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

Dean Dish out Defeat

Simon Fairburn 1-3 David Thomson

Gala Debutant Fairburn gave a great account of himself in his first league outing for Gala. Indeed Fairburn got off to a great start takig the first 15-8. It was a case of Thomson getting into his stride, as Simon was leading 8-6 in the second before David Thomson started finding good length and rattled off several points to take it 15-10; In similar style the full length shots seen David motor away to a 9-1 Lead in the third before Simon, who was covering every inch of the court, started to get back into the game. But David just wouldn’t relent and never lost his precision or length and triumphed 8-15, 15-10, 15-5, 15-4.


Ruaridh Kohler 0-3 Duncan Cleat

Ruaridh just found himself against an in-form opponent tonight, Cleat didn’t do much wrong, he was focussed, fit and had the clinical finishes that were too good for Kohler. The Gala man, despite trying several different tactics couldn’t get Cleat to make any errors and it was 15-6, 15-10, 15-13 to The Dean Captain.


Del Sharratt 0-3 Andrew Robson

This rubber sealed the match for Dean, although Del who scored points with tight full length shots found a formidable opponent in Andrew, Andrew was good at switching the game from front to back and Del found little time to think about movement and shots and although the game had many long fast rallies, Andrew’s consistency was the key and he was too strong for Del 15-8, 15-8, 15-7


Andy Gill 2-3 Marc Ivory

This was the tie of the night. Both players were closely matched and there wasn’t much separating the players skill, fitness or movement. Whenever either player managed to get on the they would dominate the rallies and make the opponent run about. This happened game about and it went 7-15, 15-4, 4-15, 16-14, in the end Gill just ran out of steam and although made a valiant effort in the fifth Ivory took it 15-5 for the match.

Adam Oliver 3-0 James Birkhead

Both players were obviously the top seeds in the respective teams as the standard of squash was top drawer, the spectators enjoyed the demonstration and Gala’s Oliver remained the most focussed and took a pretty convincing 15-5, 15-4, 15-8 victory.


Captain Sharratt said of the match “Very exciting tonight, The Dean are arguably the strongest team in the league just now and seem to be beating everyone. The boys put up a good fight, and Fairburn’s performance will maintain his place in my team for next week.

Waverley steam past Gala

Waverley 4 13-8 Galashiels 

Andrew Dowlen-Gilland 3-0 John Allan

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

Del Sharratt 0-3 Stuart Johnston

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

John Sharrat 3-1 Chris Jeffrey

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

Ian Chalmers 0-3 Malcolm Lunn

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

Pat Spence 2-3 Gary Loake

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

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

Gala taste victory over Bridge of Allan

Gala 17-6 Bridge of Allan 3

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

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

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

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

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

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