Hamilton away tonight and we beat them in the first half of the season, but we got wind that it would be Hamilton & Edinburgh tonight, so we were up against this week – and after last week’s heroics we knew that we were in for a tough night. And so it proved.
First on was Big Davie (Craig) at No.4 against Allan McKay (who played No.1 last time!). A decent first and last game from the big man, but Allan was in control of most of the match and won 3-0.
Craig (V-W) played Alistair Mutch at No.1 next. Ali’s only lost to Kevin Moran, Dougie Kempsell & Peter O’Hara so far this season so Craig was really up against it – to say the least. However great touch, fantastic movement and excellent volleying…………and Ali was pretty decent as well. However 3-0 to Hamilton & Edinburgh.
Colin (Clark) was on at No.5 next against David McAleese. This was the tussle of the night with both players making mistakes by the bucket load and every game was very close. Colin had his chances in the 4th and even had a match ball, but a Dave wrestled it back and he went on to win the 5th as well.
I was on next against ex-U19 No.1 (from the 1990s) Chris Grey. Great bloke and a great talent and I was so outclassed it must have looked ridiculous at times (it certainly felt it). Encouraging words from Doug in-between games with comments like “Seeing as you’re getting tanked you’re actually doing quite well!” helped.
Having said that, the night was not entirely wasted as I invented a new game in the 2nd when I shouted:
“So many times” as I hit another backhand into the tin. A thought came to me, so I followed it up, when the ball came back to me very quickly, by shouting:
“It happened so fast” – do you see where this is going? Well you’re obviously from the 80s & 90s then! The next shout would be more difficult! Would Chris notice?
Another point lost:
“Trade your passion Jason!” he didn’t seem to notice. Next I would need a great shot for the next line – sublime forehand boast:
“For Glory” I shouted. Chris didn’t seem to either know what I was up to (or care!) I can’t believe he didn’t hear me!!
Doug wasn’t very impressed when I told him either (mind you he didn’t recognise the ‘Eye of the Tiger’ lyrics – he must be from the noughties!). Or maybe it’s just a that ‘little amuses the innocent’
Anyway I got thumped and didn’t really get a great run either – it was good to watch Chris play though!
Last up was Doug (Macmillan) v Seigo Masuda (from Japan, via London & now living in Edinburgh). This lad could run! Craig mentioned that he’s had a massive 3-2 with him once and it had lasted about an hour and a half, so when I came out of the shower I wasn’t surprised to find out it was only the 2nd game. Doug was playing well and he won the 2nd to even things up. Seigo didn’t have a bead of sweat on him!
At 16-16 in the 3rd Doug would need to win this one to have a chance in the match, unfortunately he didn’t and lost the 4th as well. However he did play very well.
So a tough 18-3 loss and we’ve slipped back into 3rd last spot in the table. It’s close though
PS – I see Giffnock beat Newlands last night 15-5 (good win for Pistol Pete though!) – we’ve got them next week!!
Last Wednesday the 1st team played SSRC and we’d heard it through the grapevine that the SSRC superstars from Edinburgh were not available (due to tournaments and girlfriends) so could this be our chance to put a few points on the board for the team the club and our ‘Kelvin Financial Planning’ Sponsor! Oh yes!
First on with the early start was David Craig. This week he brought the whole family, so my mascot minding duties were limited. Dave played Rahul Gupta at No.4 and went on court like a coiled………banana! Yup the usual 0-1 start from the big man, mind you he was soon up 10-3 in the 2nd game and obviously wasn’t going to lose this one? You’d think! Well Dave tried his hardest to lose it, as Rahul came back to 10-9, but Dave obviously had it all in control and won the next point (I slapped him with a wet fish when he came off court!).
The next two were hard fought but Dave was always in control with and won the match; taking none of the 10 (or so) strokes on offer, although Rauhl was looking for a few strokes that weren’t even lets!
On at the same time was Dougie (MacMillan) against Dave McCormick (at No.2). The two players know each other well and big Robert (Dougies old man) joined in the fun by marking the match. I didn’t see the match, but Doug seemed to stroll the first two games, then it became more interesting in the 3rd at 10-9 to Dave (and 12-12!). However Doug wrestled victory from the jaws of defeat and won 3-0 (it didn’t stop Dave claiming the moral victory for almost taking a game though!).
Colin (Clark) went on next against Martin Sullivan (at No.5) and when he was safely 2-0 up I knew he would bring the match home so I went on court myself about then.
I was on against Chris Holt who I’d had a few tussles with over the years. And I wasn’t helped by not feeling 100%: the racket felt like I was playing with a tennis bat. Still I was moving OK and won the 1st by volleying well – having said that I lost the 2nd by not volleying. So it was good to get some sound advice from Doug after the 2nd “Volley more you idiot!” The legs were feeling heavy as well, but I managed to keep the advise in mind and won the match 3-1.
So we must be 4-0 up in the match, no? NO?!?! Colin was in the 5th game against Martin and at 8-8 it could have gone either way. Fortunately Colin got the last 3 points and won 3-2. Colin claimed he was just looking for value for money for the night!
Last on was Craig (Valentie-Wallace) against Brian Robertson at No.1. Brian came off after the 1st saying “I hate playing guys who get absolutely everything back!” and he was looking suitably red-in-the-face as he said it – having just lost 11-8. However when Brian won the 2nd game he came off and said “I hate playing guys who get absolutely everything back!!”.
Craig had let him in the 2nd by not playing with 100% intensity, but this was the last chance he gave Brian as he made fewer mistakes after that and won the next 2 much more comfortably.
So a win! And our first of the second half! It’s good to win – even the dinner tastes better!
Newlands 2 tonight and certainly a chance to pick up a few points, maybe even sneak a win if we were really lucky/good/fortunate/on top of our games & lucky!
I got on first this week (as the mascot didn’t make it along) and I played Brendan Rogers at No.2. I’d lost the last one against Brendan 3-1 so it was gonna be tough, but when I won the first 2 games it was looking much more likely. However a great comeback from Brendan saw the match tied at 2-2 and so to the 5th! Well at this point I remembered to try and step up and dominate the ‘T’ as much as possible and what do you know it worked! I won the 5th and the match…….silky!
Doug (Macmillan) went on shortly after me against Mic Cockburn and was just finishing his match off when I came off court. He’d won 3-0 but didn’t look overly delighted with his performance, but a win’s a win and Mic hits a ferocious ball at times.
So we only needed one more tie for the match, but that’s easier said than done!
Next on was David (Craig) against David Fallis – they had also played in the 1st half and Newlands Dave had won this 3-0!
So DLWE David resorted to his ‘old school’ tactics this week by losing the first 2 games (and a match ball in the 3rd game!) and thus lulling his opponent into a false sense of security, only to run-riot in the next two game and tie things up. And so to the 5th! – and at 14-14 in the 5th both David’s had their chances. Unfortunately Newlands David dove-over the line and so the match was still on for both teams.
At No.5 a much improved Andrew Morris (Newlands) played our Colin (Clark) and he ran riot in this one. Colin actually played quite well, but couldn’t really get near Andrew in the first two games. He played even better in the 3rd and even created a chance to sneak a team point, with some great length, but Andrew held on to win 11-9 and take the match 3-0
So at 2-2 in the match the No.1s went on court – Craig (Valente-Wallace) v Mark Ford. And this would be the 2nd time in two days that they have played – National League last night, where Mark had won, but could Craig turn it round? Well the short answer was 3-0 to Mark, but it was a tougher game than 3-0 may suggest. It was also tougher than Craig may realise; it included a tie break in the 3rd and Mark had to work hard for the win, with Craig having the speed and tenacity to push many of the rallies. It would have been interesting to see a 4th game if Craig had won that tie-break – and ask the question could Mark keep the pace up for another 10/15 minutes! But we’ll never know the answer to that (until the next time!)
So a tantalising 3-2, but on the plus side 8 more points to the cause!
The Malaysian superstar, who first headed the Women’s Squash rankings in January 2006, overtook the 105-month record (set by Susan Devoy, the four-time world champion from New Zealand).
Nicol’s achievement is the latest milestone in an amazing career which has included a record eight World Championship titles, two Commonwealth Games gold medals to name just a couple of highlights.
First on was David (Craig) and as ever he had Elvi, the mascot, in tow. I think this wee girl has seen more squash than her mother ever has – and that’s in her first 2 years! And she’s probably been on court more as well! Honestly you can’t keep her off in-between games and I’m usually the one doing the fetching as the opposition player wonders why a munchkin has got hold of his racket! This week’s bemused opponent was Ross Lawrie (Vogue fashion guru!) – but undaunted Ross strolled the 1st two games. However it was looking like our first team point was secured in the 3rd as Dave was game ball up, but Ross wrestled victory from the jaws of defeat to win 3-0
Next on was Colin (Clarke) against Scott (Dilbert) Adams. Now Scott has got a bit of a forehand on him (leftie). So don’t put it there Col! It was a bit of a ding dong, but Col was doing most of the donging at the crucial times, because although all of the games were really close (with 3 tie-breaks) Scott won this 3-1. Still a team point towards the good ship DLWE!
Next on was me against Jase Lang. Now talking of ding dongs, we’ve had a couple in our last encounters! Jase (L) is more than half my age, fitter and better at every shot on the court – except one! So the whole game is spent with me trying to only play one shot! I’m sure Jase is fed up playing me, but there you have it – I’m not here to lie down and so when I had match ball in the 4th game I thought this was a great opportunity! However Jase wrestled the match back with some great retrieving; and I couldn’t help but think that if he’s capable of doing that for a few points, then if he did it on every point I wouldn’t have got any games. He stepped it up in the 5th and I hit a few too many in the tin, but ‘you live by the sword and you die by the sword’, so ho-hum. I gave it my all and I know that because the next day I could feel the injuries! Loss 3-2
Doug (Macmillan) took to the court next against James Dare and it’s fair to say that James gave it his all tonight, just like I did – and tonight this was enough. James took a storming lead by winning the 1st two games – and with those in the bank, he was never going to be easy to beat. Doug got back to 2-2 with a great 13-11 win in the 4th, but in the 5th James had saved just enough. He won 7-11 to take the match 2-3.
Last up was Craig (Valentie Wallace) against Martin Woods at No.1. I went for a quick shower and was amazed to hear it was all over in the blink of an eye! Craig came into the changing room looking slightly bemused, as he’s won 3-0. The first was a tough one by all reports and Craig won it 11-8, but with an 11-1 in the 2nd it wasn’t all together surprising to hear that Martin retired in the 3rd. Still a win against your coach is a great thing and so Craig got to drive Martin home with tonight’s bragging rights!
So 8 points is double our tally last time so onward and upwards! Hopefully!
Soup, sandwiches & pizza – with a bottle of Kelburn – finished the night off a treat!