Brilliant performance and very unlucky from Greg Lobban against the No.3 seed Daryl Selby in a massive 5 setter lasting 82 minutes!
Meanwhile Peter O’Hara cruises to the Semi-finals of the O40s draw
A trip to the south side to play Giffnock 2 this week – the Giffnock young guns! You’ve got to hand it to the club, they really have produced some good young players over the past 5 or so years (and some good old ones as well!).
First on this week was at No.4 was Joe ‘old’ McDonald against Jonathan Brady. Jonathan only had one gear and that was overdrive! Everything was hit like a tracer bullet, which meant he found it quite hard to control many shots resulting in lots of mistakes. So Joe got off to a great lead, winning the first 2 games. Jonathan’s teammates must have told him to slow things down because he gradually got back into the match and eventually won in 5 by controlling his pace much better (2 good team points from Joe though and a hard fought performance).
Next on was the new addition to our team Finley McGhee against Mikey Rogerson at No.5. This was an ‘old school’ Giffnock performance with Mikey’s tennis volleying coming into full effect as he took the 1st game. Finley had to keep the ball straighter and lower. He did this in spade-fulls and so took the next 3 games reasonably comfortably to win the match 3-1. Another great performance (this 1st Division malarkey is easy eh Finley?).
I went on next at No.3 against Mark Coyle. I had seen Mark play recently and I fancied my chances of dominating the ‘T’ and taking the game to him. Well I did right up until the middle of the 1st game when I realised that this was never going to happen! Fair play to Mark he put in a very mature performance and didn’t let me in at all (apart from when he let me in to win the 2nd game!). I felt I could have played better, but when someone beats you convincingly that is normally how you feel, so I just have to give credit to Mark for the win (and Owen Haden who told him how to play me!).
We had a new No.1 this week as Jason Lang went on against Matthew Stout (Jason and Craig had a match in The U23 Nationals last weekend which Jason managed to win). This tie was a great match, with Matthew volleying beautifully to take the first two games and Jason digging in to take the next two. And so to the 5th! Well it was tight, but Matthew just managed to get the better of Jason this time by holding the ‘T’ and volleying Jason’s cross courts away. Still two more points to the cause and a decent performance from Jase.
Fresh back from the British Nationals in Manchester and last on was Craig Valente-Wallace against Chris Murphy at No.2. This was only 4 games, but every one was really tight and at 1-1 and with Chris up in the 3rd game it looked like there could be an upset on the cards! Craig did just enough to come back and clinch the 3rd game 12-10 and then he went on to dominate much more in the 4th to force home the victory. You have to hand it to Chris though it was a good performance from him.
So into the bar for five massive pizzas – the food of athletes! Whilst I was in the bar I was having a discussion with a woman and she said “You guys are all the same, you only hear what you want to hear” and I replied “Sure, I’ll have a beer”. Erdinger please!
A narrow 3-2 loss, but a great match and it’s how all matches should be played – hard fought and very even.
The Main Draw of the 2016 Nationals kicks off tonight with the top two seeds Nick Matthew and James Willstrop, being ranked in the top 12 ranked players in the World.
The Scottish hope comes from No.6 seed Greg Lobban (PSA World No.37) and Joel Makin made it through the qualifiers to represent Wales
I think Chris Simpson may be the man to keep an eye on, but what do I know!
In the women’s draw the top two seeds Laura Massaro (PSA World No.1) and Alison Waters (PSA No.13) look nailed on to reach the final (and it’s a shame that Sarah Jane Perry (PSA No.12) didn’t get a chance to meet Alison in the semi-finals – but you’ve got to beat everyone if you want to win!)
And don’t forget the age groups with Peter O’Hara, Fiona McLean, Mark James, Pauline Douglas, John Rae, David McAleese, Jim Dougal, Tom Adams, Colin McMullen & Rodger Longman all representing Scotland. I hope you all play to your best.
It was a Western showdown last week and so hopefully our chance to pick up a few points against their 2nd team.
I was only a couple of minutes late, but when I arrived there was already the discussion that many teams must have most weeks! And I’m equally sure it goes like this for everyone “Oh well if you are No.3 and I am No.4 and we’re here first let’s just play and get things started as there’s not much difference between the numbers” !!!
I managed to divert this and at the same time get on first against the other No.3! So I played against Gavin Picken (who I had sparred with in the first half). I remembered he was an Ironman athlete and a good tennis player so the tactic of trying ‘not’ to get into too much of a run around would be crucial! For me!
So inevitably the first rally seemed to last for an absolute age and I thought I’ve got no chance if this carries on. Fortunately it didn’t and I managed to hit a very good dying length (helped by the fact that Gavin didn’t volley much). In the end the result was comfortable looking, although I can’t help thinking it would have been much closer if I hadn’t got my tactics right. Another frustrated opponent and another one chalked up to experience for me!
At No.2 Jason (Lang) went on next against Dave ‘Hello sailor’ Kelly. I joined this in the third game and Jason was comfortably in control. Unfortunately for Dangerous Dave he was just too quick and so Jase won comfortably 3-0 (no innuendo intended towards Dave, he’s just a sailor! #FrigginInTheRiggin)
Craig (Valente-Wallace) went on next at No.1 against Sam Peacock and at the same time I marked the No.4 match which was Joe (McDonald) against Joseph Ghaemi, so I didn’t see any of Craig’s match. However, he seemed to be winning comfortably 2-0; but then Sam made a great comeback in the 3rd game, but ultimately Craig must have reapplied the pressure as the 4th was comfortable and he won the match 3-1. Sam was delighted with the point and presumably gave himself MOTM!
Meanwhile, in the No.4 match up, our Joe was 2-0 down and not really getting the ball deep enough, then just like the match next door Joe won the 3rd game and looked good doing it with a much better length ball. However the 4th game was quite scrappy with both guys fighting for the dominant ‘T’ position; unfortunately for us Western’s Joe got on the ‘T’ more often than our Joe and eventually won the 4th game to take the match 3-1.
Last on and making his 1st team debut was Finlay McGhee (which comes out as ‘Friendly Maggie’ on my voice recognition doofer!) against Jon Moore. Great performance in the 1st game saw him winning 11-3, but his opponent came back to take the 2nd – game on!
Once again it was length to the back that was going to make the difference and this time Finlay managed to be the one to create the pressure and bring home the match 3-1. MOTM for Finlay the debutant.
So a good 16 points for the team and I think we are getting vertigo with our lofty position in the 1st Division! So maybe we were due a special dinner to celebrate?? Nope Jacket potatoes! Yuck!!