Home > Uncategorized > DLWE v Newlands – Away (Match Report) 20th November 2013

DLWE v Newlands – Away (Match Report) 20th November 2013

PaulHannahLogoPlaying at Newlands this season is almost like a home tie with all those teams in one Division! And not just in Division 1, as tonight we had 6 Newlands teams (numbers 2,3,4,5,7 & 8) all playing at home on 5 courts (one off which was also being used for a spin class) so with 0.8 courts per team it was looking like it could be a long night!

Sean (Norris) was on first at No. 5 against David Fallis and with the length of the rallies they were having, we expected this to go on for hours. However at the business end of each game David was in charge and he took all three of them. Good fighting performance from Sean and with a back problem as well, but David was just too difficult to put away.

I was on next and this tie was probably one of the few matches I thought I’d have a good chance of winning at No.2 (v Brendan Forrister). However after a massive 1st rally I was thinking the opposite and things didn’t get any better as Brendan wrestled the 1st game away from me.

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A few magic words from Sean, of all people, in-between games and the plan was becoming clearer. Brendan in the meantime was getting his own magic words from Mark Ford from the 2nd team on another court (I used to like Mark!). So I had to step up the court and become a bit more aggressive with my volleying and also take some chances. The problem with taking chances is that you miss some as well, and this can lead to frustration. However while the plan was working, I was “happy” to take a few hits. And the plan seemed to work in the main, although not without quite a few close ones with Brendan digging and digging; especially in the 3rd game for example when I was 8-4 up, then moments later 9-8 down! But I did manage to take control and by the end of the 4th game I dominated the court well to win 3-1.

So another massive improvement in Brendan’s game and it was a real pleasure to play someone as determined, yet fair, and we both were happy to play ‘lets’ when there was a disagreement. It’s what Wednesday squash should be all about.

Next up were the No.1s; Doug Macmillan for us against Christian Donelan. Another over 35 for Doug to contend with this week and a very tricky player. It’s the first real time I’ve seen Christian play and I was suitably impressed! He’s got a great serve (and return) and fabulous short game and a very dangerous backhand volley and forehand kill (which is pretty much every shot covered!). It took Doug a few points to work out what he was likely to have to chase, but when he did, he played really well.

The 1st was close, but Christian edged it 11-9 and the 2nd was closer, but Doug took this one 13-15 in an epic tie-break; where I reluctantly had to give a ‘stroke’ to Doug at game ball – I was enjoying watching the game.

Doug was doing a lot of chasing and this was evening things up fitness wise, but make no mistake this was very close to going to 5 and then maybe Doug would have been able to use his fitness to an even greater effect. Unfortunately Christian won the next two 11-8  11-9 (with another reluctant ‘stroke’ on match ball).

Next on court was Captain Cantlay v David Morrison. This was a great game with David taking the 1st with some good hard hitting and then Richard really winding up the power to not only compete, but to take the game head on. And the main difference in the power fest was that Richard hit straighter and so managed to get the ball behind David and then dominate the rally better. With this new tactic there was no stopping Rich and he won the next 3 to pick up his first win of the season. Great effort from the big man.

So 2-2 and all to play for (I’ve missed saying that!).

Next on at No.4 was David (Craig) v Alan Susskind for the big 6 pointer! Now this was a tough one for Dave as Alan was playing really well. The first was tight at 11-9 to Alan and the rallies were all close, but Alan dominated the 2nd to go 2-0 up.

See if you can picture this one. At one point in the 3rd Dave drove across court (from almost touching distance from the front wall) and Alan returned with a quick boast that went the wrong side of his opponent (who was also now facing down the court!). So as the ball skimmed Dave’s shins he had to do a quick turn to play a winning drop. I’ve never seen that and the crowd found it amazing and funny all at the same time! The rest of the 3rd game was the closest of all, with a tie-break the only thing to separate the two gladiators, but unfortunately for us it was 12-10 to Newlands and so also the match.

Alan was really in form tonight and I know Dave was disappointed with the way he played, but sometimes the other guy deserves credit for his performance and quite often making his opponent feel like he played worse than he did.

Never mind, a good fun game and a great atmosphere at Newlands and they’ve got also Erdinger! Which I inspired Christian to sample when he saw me marking with a pint!

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