Ladies Serve up a Thriller

LADIES CHAMPIONSHIP 2018 FINAL

SCKASarah and Kerri (with baby Fionnlagh)

Sarah Chrystie 3-0 Kerri Andrews (15-10, 15-13, 15-4)

 

The Ladies Final had been long awaited and a highly anticipated dual as defending Champion Kerri Andrews came up against Debutant Sarah Chrystie. Kerri had a spell out of the game earlier in the year as she gave birth to a Boy- Fionnlagh, indeed Kerri has only been a mother for 12 weeks and is already competing in a squash Final having came through a gruelling Semi Final against Former Club Champion Rachel McAleese 3-2; this speaks volumes for the fitness and dedication of Kerri. Sarah was playing in her first tournament at the club having previously played for many years in Dubai and just recently moved back to Scotland – coming from a sporty family Sarah’s brother is Melrose RFC First team coach Rob Chrystie.

The match didn’t fail to deliver top quality squash, although sarah took a 4-1 lead in the first game, both lAdies were quick out the blocks and any idea of starting slow and sussing the opponent out was non-existent. The pattern of the first game was whoever had the serve would score 4-5 points and vice-versa Sarah went 4-1, 4-4, 9-4, 9-10 then when Sarah got the serve back at 10-10 shhe seemed to find a different gear. Although Kerri was proving a formidable opponent Sarah would play the back-back-front game and the drop shots were proving decisive. Sarah motor on to 15-10.

The second game went much the same, whoever had the sedrve would rel off several points on the trot. In this game it was Kerri who scored several points from some deft drop shots that Sarah just couldn’t reach. But sarah wa fit and covered the court well. Kerri got the serve at 13-12 down and unfortunately served out which dented her confidence and Sarah took the second a very close 15-13.

In the third game Sarah wasn’t missing anything and Kerri fought Valiantly and refused to give up but Sarah seemed to have found her rhythm and the ball was going exactly where she placed it, this was 15-4 but the third game was just as scintillating as the other two.

Match Umpire Del Sharratt said “That was one of the best matches I’ve watched for a long time, both ladies seemed to have kept their best squh for the big occasion. It’s particularly impressive that Kerri Andrews has just had a baby and is back playing at this level already, her enthusiasm and dedication is commendable. Sarah just joined the club early last year and has proved a major asset, the Ladies game has started to soar recently as we have attracted a couple of new lady members and hopefully the Ladies tournament can thrive over the neat year. A Big Well Done to Sarah Chrystie for her victory.

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.”

Not so Xciting match

Craigshill Xcite 18-2 Border Reivers

 

Darren Quinn 0-3 Robin Nisbet

Darren Quinn answered the SOS from Captain Sharratt as the Reivers were one player short. This was Quinn’s first game for the team this season and came up against an experienced campaigner in Nisbet. Nisbet has played league squash for over 15 years and had the measure of the younger Reivers man. Quinn never gave up and couldn’t be faulted for effort but Experience won through in this one and Robin Nisbet ran off 15-7, 15-3, 15-5.

 

Del Sharratt 1-3 Craig Baxter

Sharratt got Reivers first point of the night, but also found the going tough. Baxter boasted a p3 w3 record against the Borderers. Sharratt just couldn’t find consistent length in his shots; whenever Del got the ball passed Craig he would win the rally but more often than not the ball stopped short and Craig Baxter would be all over it. Baxter seemed to be nursing a thigh strain but despite Sharratt trying to send him round the court the loose balls made it relatively easy for the Xcite man to return. This went in Baxters favour 15-4, 15-5, 13-15, 15-9.

 

Pat Spence 0-3 John Taylor

This was a repeat of last seasons top seed fixture – thet time Spence won out 3-2. But it’s amazing how effective Home Advantage can be at Squash as John Taylor seemed to have the better of the match this time. Taylor has a very unorthodox style; and this distracted Spence enough as Spence would try to Second Guess Taylor but it wasn’t the way to win and a few key misses from the Borders Stalwart meant this time the tie went Xcites way 15-8, 15-11, 15-13.

 

Amir Hosny 1-3 Phil Brown

Brown was another who, like Nisbet has been around the East Leagues for many years. Although Hosny is fairly new to the League he was extremely fast and skilful. This was a titanic tussle as some rallies were 20-30 shots and both players excelled in retrieving the ball no matter where it was placed. A niggle in the groin hampered Amir a bit – indeed enough to slow his movement and this meant Brown took the match in a close fought 17-15, 15-6, 11-15, 15-13.

 

Tony Elliot 0-3 Albeer Mahmood

Tony’s reputation in the league preceded him – as Mehmood was drafted in by Xcite for this particular match. Mehmood though was a standard above the rest of the players, and even the usually victorious Tony Elliot couldn’t live with him. Mehmood has qualified for the National Championships next year and is expected to get far! Although Tony played the squash of his life, Albeer took it 15-7, 16-14, 15-5.

 

Sharratt said “This is our biggest defeat to date, I’m a bit miffed that Mehmood was brought in just to play against us, this means the rest of the team move down a seeding. But if we want to mprove then players like that are who we strive to be like and it showa the level we Can get to if we are dedicated enough.

That’s the mid-way point of the season and although we are 6th of 13, I fancy a few wins in January and hopefully we can climb the table.”

Watt a win for Reivers

Heriot Watt 4s 7-13 Border Reivers

 

Sir Andrew 3-0 Callum Ross

The Experienced Sir Andrew mopped this tie up relatively quickly. A lot of loose shots by the young student made life a wee bit easier for the Reivers No. 5. All through the match it did seem like Sir Andrew could up a gear whenever he liked. It was won 15-4, 15-12, 15-10.

 

Del Sharratt 3-1 Ben Graham

Sharratt was battling a cold in this game and it affected his breathing and movement, The Reivers Captain found it hard to get any momentum and coughed and spluttered his way through the match. Ben Graham won the first 15-13 as Sharratt was doing just enough to keep he match close. In the second Sharratt was placing his shots to Graham’s backhand but this proved futile as back hand seemed to be Graham’s best side, Sharratt took it 15-12. The last two games were just as close, but Sharratt was eventually getting into his stride and varied his shots as Graham was good on his back hand. Sharratt took it 15-11, 15-12.

 

Zsolt Husz 3-1 Graham Bensted

Bensted came away from this match believing he should have done better. The borders Veteran didn’t do much wrong in this game, Husz just done even less wrong. It was a good match to watch, as this game boasted several long rallies and skilful squash. Both players would get to shots that would normally beat them and the quality of play was high.

The young student held on and seemed to have that extra yard of speed and Zolst Husz took this one for Heriot Watt 15-12, 10-15, 15-12, 15-9.

 

Alan Hepburn 3-0 Alex Young

Hepburn was making his debut for the Reivers in this game, and demonstrated why Club Captain Del Sharratt had called him up. Hepburn played a patient game and let Young make unforced errors. Young was missing some easy shots and got frustrated and annoyed at himself, several times Young would shout at himself and bang his racket off the wall. Hepburn won the first 15-6. The second game was closer but Young would make sever uncharacteristic mistakes and his head went down as he got annoyed at himself.

The match umpire had to give Young a conduct warning during this game for throwing his racket away twice. Young was making Hepburns life easy by beating himself mentally. This went 16-14 to Hepburn.

The third game was one-sided; Young was slightly quieter in this game but he was still snatching at his shots and had already lost to himself. Hepburn took a Debut Victory 15-3 for 3-0.

 

Pat Spence 0-3 Gregory Laplatre

Although young in years, French prodigy Laplatre had a great squash brain and played as if he’d been playing for many years. Leplatre bossed the vastly Experienced Spence, Spence was experienced enough to know to vary his shots and put some disguise in but Laplatre was too good on the night and won 15-6, 15-10, 15-5.

 

Captain Del Sharratt said “My team was depleted due to injury and illness. Pat Spence had to rearrange work plans and I had to play though a cold, we battled on though and the Team puled through and triumphed. We won this as a team as we all encouraged each other and the dedication and commitment of the players cannot be faulted. We have one more match before the Christmas break and a victory there will put us on the verge of the top 3.”

Sweet Victory over Abercorn

Border Reivers 16-4 Abercorn

Del Sharratt 1-3 Stewart Simpson

A well matched pairing, both players had similar styles of play. Whenever one player had the hand they would rattle off 3-4 points (2-4, 7-4, 7-10, 11-10) at 15-15 Del played the serve out and Stewart punished him 17-15, the second game although Del took a 7-2 lead, Stewart fought valiantly and again the game was close. At 11-11 Del kept his shots tight and got to everything and took it 15-11. Del seemed to tire and Stewart had the better stamina, Del wasn’t going for some of the shots later in the match that he returned with ease earlier in the game and Stewart won 15-8, 15-9.

 

Graham Bensted 3-1 Peter O’Conner

Graham took the first in a one sided 15-5 affair, he bossed the game from the start and the spectators were expecting this to be over quickly but Peter had other ideas and dug deep in the second game, Peter didn’t take the ball so quickly and changed his stance, the adjustment threw Bensted and a lot of long fast rallies made for a more entertaining game, Bensted took it 15-10 for 2-0. Graham appeared to have a rest in the third, O’Conner triumphed 15-8 and either Bensted had exhausted his arsenal or was pacing himself and eased off slightly; it proved to be the latter though as a focussed performance and some aces meant Bensted took it 15-8 for 3-1.

 

Iain Laing 3-0 Bernard Starkey

Laings record since returning form injury was played 2 won 2, for 6 against 0. Iain plays a calculated and slow game as he reads the shots and susses out his opponent. Bernard Starkey, who had been around at Abercorn for many years would try to step up a gear every so often, but Laing would just step up two gears. This went 15-10, 15-11, 15-6 to Iain

 

Amir Hosny 3-0 Tom Clemens

With Tony Elliot and Pat Spence both abroad; Amir had to play at No.1 seeding, this was his debut at No.1 and he didn’t disappoint. Although some of the shots were loose this made for long rallies and Amir was trying several different shots and varied his game to keep Tom Clemens on his toes and the Abercorn man had to second guess everything; several points were won by Amir just with Tom going the wrong way. It wasn’t one sided, indeed Clemens had 4 game points in the first game before Amir stuck in and took it 19-17, the remaining games all went close and although the score suggests oterwise this was a very close affair 19-17, 15-11, 15-11.

 

Reivers Captain Del said “I’m really pleased with this victory, we had several key players missing and I wasn’t sure how the game would go. Abercorn only brought 4 players as opposed to the usual 5 so Gary Bramble went home without lifting his racket but it meant he won by default 3-0. But the team done really well and the effort the guys put in cannot be faulted.”

Hat’s Off for Hatton

Border Reivers 8-12 Hatton

 

Del Sharratt 3-0 Tim Wong

Del commanded this match from the word go, the Reivers Captain continued his recent form and a run of 3 victories. Del motored off to 3-0 and 4-0 starts in the games which meant he could relax in the games, most of Dels tight shots were winners but when Tim Wong was also replying with tight shots, Del just stayed focussed and played the percentage shots and Tim Wong would inevitably slip up at some point, it meant several long rallies and Del came off feeling like he had played a five setter; 15-7, 15-9, 15-13.

 

Graham Bensted 1-3 Nick Tinning

This game was more exciting and went one way then the other. Tinning started strongest getting off to a 6-1 lead fairly quickly and seemed the faster and more focussed player taking the first 15-6. The second was a mirror of the first as Bensted this time took a 6-1 lead, and most of the Reivers veterans shots were finding the corners this went Bensted’s way15-7. The match became a bit of a ding dong affair with neither player able to shake off the opponent and several let/stroke calls also kept the Referee Busy. Bu in the end Hatton took the tie 15-6, 7-15, 15-9, 15-12.

 

Iain Laing 3-0 Malcolm Mitchell

This marked the Return to the team for Gala Squash Club’s Two Time Champion Iain Laing. Laing, who hadn’t featured for 12 months due to injuries started a bit cagey and took a while to get going as he was wary of aggravating previous injuries. But Laing got into his stride, and his squash know-how and accurate shots were evident. Mitchell seemed to snatch at all LAings serves and it prevented the match from flowing but Laing won this one for the Reivers 15-11, 15-4, 15-12

 

Amir Hosny 1-3 Sammy Caseby

Caseby was making his debut for Hatton Squash Club, Caseby had previously played for now defunct Deer Park and proved a worthy addition to the Hatton team. Hosny seemed to be tight and lack agility as Caseby took 13 points before Hosny toubled the scorer, Hatton took the first two games 15-3, 15-10. Then Hosny seemed to relax in the third and play like he was enjoying it and this seemed to help his shot placement as he took the third 15-12. The match now flowing and long fast rallies made a thoroughly enjoyable spectacle for the fans. At 15-14 and game ball in the fourth Hosny served out and Caseby took over and won the match 17-15 and 3-1.

 

Pat Spence 0-3 Alan Love

Pat Spence found the Top Seed position tough going, regular No. 1 Tony Elliot was missing on holiday and Tony was :Usually a banker for 3 points. This was 15-8, 15-7, 15-5 to Alan Love. Spence started off well and didn’t seem to do much wrong. Alan Love was just that extra yard quicker and played slightly tighter shots and blew spence away with some awesome squash. This won the match for Hatton.

Toughest task yet

Border Reivers 5-15 Heriot Watt 3s

 

Del Sharratt 3-0 Jorge Gomez

A polished performance by Del ensured the Reivers opened with a victory. Del seemed to find total performance in all areas, movement, drop shots, full length sots, boasts. Everything seemed to click for Del at the same time and Jorge had no reply. Even when the Student got the Hand back Del’s returns would go exactly where he wanted them and Jorge couldn’t find any momentum; Sharratt won 15-6, 15-8, 15-7.

 

Graham Bensted 0-3 Josie Wishart

This was the same result as last season, the younger fitter student was just to fast for the seasoned veteran. Bensted boasted a strong powerful serve but once they got into the rallies it was the fitness of Wishart that shone through and the student took his 15-8, 15-8, 15-9.

 

Pat Spence 1-3 Euan Hurter

Euan Hurters skill and ability on the court took Spence a wee bit by surprise, this was Spence’s toughest game to date. The young student – like his compatriots had excellent stamina and speed. Hurter flew to a 15-6 vicroty in the first game. Spence – who boasts 40 years of experience on the court changed his game in the second, Spence made Hurter move off the T-line more and varied his shots to keep Hurter guessing and this worked for Spence 15-13. In the third game Euan again dominated the rallies, Pat still made the student run about but the youngster didn’t seem to tire and a close game went 15-11 to Hurter; the fourth game seen Spence tire slightly and drop his racket head causing some errors and Heriot Watt took this 15-8 for 3-1.

 

Amir Hosny 0-3 Peter Weston

Hosny, who was used to 3-2 games in the league came up against a former League 2 player in Peter Weston, Although Amir was equal in fitness and speed, Peter proved why he was capable of playing in the higher leagues and won through quite comfortably 15-3, 15-3, 15-5.

 

Tony Elliot 1-3 Bruno Shaw

Although Heriot Watt had wrapped up the victory in the previous rubber, Elliot had an undefeated record to think about and this was in no way a pointless match. Tony Elliot won the first 15-11 in what was a tough opener, the rallies were fast and Elliot found himself on the back foot in a lot of the rallies. Bruno Shaw, who’s record boasted competitive matches against Scotland Internationals Kevin Moran and Rory Stewart; was on his way back from a Cruciate Ligament injury and hence why he wasn’t yet picked for Heriot Watt’s higher teams. Bruno’s fitness didn’t seem to be in doubt though and this was a highly exciting match which drew all the other players as spectators. Bruno took the second 15-9 and it was looking like he could turn it up anytime he liked. But Elliot gave a good show of himself, but just wasn’t getting his shots as tight as he needed and Bruno would have space and time to play a shot of his choosing. The rest of the game was close and Elliot lost his first match in League 5 by 3-1 (11-15, 15-9, 15-13, 9-15)

 

Gala Captain Del said “That is the strongest team we have met in League 5, we came into this on theback of two decent victories and moral was high. Bruno and Western are arguably the two best players in the league, and I can’t fault my boys for effort.”

Two in a row for Reivers

Border Reivers 12-8 Grange 5

 

Iain Gorman 0-3 Josh Stokes

Iain Gorman was a last minute call-up for the team as Graham bensted called off due to an emergency literally one hour before kick off. Although Gorman couldn’t be faulted for effort, Stokes proved too strong for the Borderer. The first game was tight and had plenty of rallies. But Stokes was just that wee bit more accurate and took it 15-12. Although Iain Gorman never stopped running for the ball, Stokes shots were just that wee bit out of Gormans reach and Grange ran out 15-7, 15-7.

 

Del Sharratt 0-3 Andrew Light

This game was closer than the soreline suggests. Although Andrew took a 10-5 lead in the first game, Del clawed it back to 11-9 with a series of aces that found the nick. But Andrew stayed focussed to take it 15-10. In the second game, Del quickly took control and again some awesome serves made it 6-1 to Del. But Andrew got in with a drop shot that was too good for Del and then rattled off a series of points to go 7-6. With control now with the City boy, he took the second 15-12. The third game started as a mirror image to the second, with Andrew Lighbt shooting away to a 6-1 lead with some unreturnable serves. Del never really got a grip of this game and was always chasing it eventually going down 15-8.

 

Pat Spence 3-1 John Wallace

The tie started close, more than 80 years of experience between the players meant the shots were well thought out. Spence had a great technique to send the opponent the wrong way, he would set up the same for every shot and it left Wallace guessing where the ball would go. Although the first couple of games were really close, Spence’s fitness won through as he motored away and wrapped up the tie 17-15, 12-15, 15-7, 15-3.

 

Amir Hosny 3-1 Jonathan Hughes

This was tie of the night, Hughes had previously been unbeaten against the Borderers but Hosny won out. The first game went 15-12 to Hughes, the shots were fast and tight and great squash was played, neither player wanted to give up and it was just occasional nicks that won the points. The second game was 15-12 to Hosny. Amir didn’t seem to tire and again this was a great display of squash by both players- The points were won by changing from full length to drop shots or vice versa. During the third game, Hosny knew his opponent was weaker at the back of the court on his backhand so Hosny sent most of his shots to that corner and the tactic won with 15-8 to Hosny. The fourth game Hughes tightened up his back hand and was dominating the rallies, able to stand on the t-line and make Hosny do the running. At 14-6 to Hughes he seemed to start swiping his shots and Hosny got the serve back, Hosny seemed to relax and this helped him play tighter shots as he expected it to go to a fourth game, but a relaxed Hosny soon had the game at 14-14 and Hughes couldn’t deal with the pressure as well as Hosny and the Reivers player took it 18-16 for thw 3-1 wictory.

 

Tony Elliot 3-0 Josh Bain

This tie was pretty straight forward for Reivers top seed; Josh Bain showed some glimpses of a great player and was able to put the ball pretty much where he chose to. But Tony was just equal to anything Josh could throw at him and won out 15-11, 15-6, 15-6.

 

Gala Captain Del said “It was always going to be a tough tie after Bensted pulled out just before the match started, it meant I had to shuffle things around and it was fantastic that Iain Gorman could step up at short notice. This puts us above Grange 5s in the table so it was an important victory.”

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.”

Reivers Feel the Heat

Kirkaldy 2 11-7 Border Reivers

 

Gary Bramble 0-3 David Brown

The first rubber of the night was won well by Kirkaldy veteran Brown 15-12, 15-9, 15-8. The challenge here was the sheer heat in the Kirkaldy Courts, The Reivers were used to colder conditions.The heat meant the ball was bouncier than usual and the shots that Bramble would kill in Galashiels courts were just bouncing up and Brown would capitalise with front boasts. The Veteran ran off 3-0 fairly quickly.

 

Graham Bensted 0-3 Steve Creene

This was much the same story as the first game as Reivers Bensted wasn’t used to the heat in the court and it completely changed the style of game, Creene made homer advantage count and although he triumphed 15-9, 15-8, 16-14 the game was closer and better than the scores suggested. This was won mainly when Creene played long full length shots that found the corners.

 

Del Sharratt 1-3 Robert Brown

Del started strongly winning the first 15-13, albeit assisted by some poor unforced errors by Brown who let some simple shots go wayward and gave away some silly points.

The second game seen Brown take control, Del was pinned to the back half of the court and Brown would therefore throw in a drop shot every so often that was out of Del’s reach and took it 15-6. Del was struggling in the heat and in the third game Del had to stop for breathe for 30 seconds as he was finding the heat too much and Brown took it fairly easy 15-5, after a couple of minute break Del seemed to find his feet a bit at the start of the fourth abut again proved to struggle in the temperatures and the Kirkaldy team – who were well used to playing in the heat took this one 15-6 for 3-1.

 

 

 

Amir Hosny 3-2 Alex Allan

15-8, 9-15, 10-15, 15-11, 16-14. This was tie of the night. Reivers Hosny, who seemed to make a habit pf playing in 5-set thrillers as his previous Cap had seen him go down 3-2; this time Hosny held out. Hosny managed to stay focussed despite the conditions and managed to play some tight shots and generally run down his Older opponent. Hosny nearly lost th game with some poor serving but managed to stay focussed and took the teams first victory of the night.

 

Tony Elliot 3-0 Andy Cant

Tony Elliot’s record for Reivers now is played 14 won 14. Although this game was no walk in the park. Elliot had pulled a nerve in his neck playing football over the weekend and found this impeded his movement and vision in the court, but the Reivers top seed put the pain to the back of his mind and triumphed over the Fifer 15-9, 16-14, 15-13.

 

Captain Sharratt said after the match “That’s the hottest court I’ve played on! They have recently installed some new Gas heaters at Kirkaldy, I’ve played in some hot courts before but they must be the hottest; I can’t remember ever finding it hard to breathe in the court due to the temperature before – but that is what home advantage is all about; when they come to the Borders the ball won’t be bouncing as much and hopefully we can use that to our advantage.