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.”

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

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.”

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.

The trophies being contested

2017 Club Championship

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

Alex Doherty's grandson presenting Amir with the Memorial Shield

Alex Doherty’s grandson presenting Amir with the Memorial Shield

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

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

Your 2017 club Champion - no not Del, Tony Elliot

Your 2017 club Champion – no not Del, Tony Elliot

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.