Archive

Archive for November, 2021

Match Report 24th November v The Rugby Club

November 25, 2021 Leave a comment

The Rugby Club came calling last night and they brought a solid team.

First on tonight was Ollie (Millen) v Allan McKay at No.4 and I didn’t see too much of this one, but Allan seemed to be in good control. It was a 3-1 victory for him, but Ollie did get a game and he’s looking much more solid every week. Of course we had to hear about how he should have won and would have won and will win next time, but it’s all on the day!

Next on was Hamish (Buchannan) v Dougie Emery at No.5. I thought Dougie may be too steady for Hamish tonight and ultimately I was right, but (after the 1st game) it was a really good fighting performance from Hamish. He got into a good rhythm and used his speed against Dougie to create a lot of problems. He also fought really hard to get 2 games, but ultimately Dougie brought home a close final game to secure the 3-2 win with the right shots at the right time.

I went on next against Adam Hunter at No.2 and I haven’t seen a squash ball walloped this fast in quite some time (on Adam’s forehand……… note to self: ‘don’t put it there much!’). On top of that, he was really quick! From outside the court he probably looked even quicker against someone like me! However, he didn’t like it when I slowed it down and so guess what?!?? Well, no one was more shocked than me, when I won the 1st game, and in truth the match appeared to be close for the next 3 games, but unfortunately Adam won them all. I think it was a fair result and I played OK, but would have been interesting if just one of those two crucial drop-shots of mine went up at the end of the 3rd and 4th games!!! Ho-hum!

The No.1s were on next as Chris (Murphy) took on Andrew Glen. These guys have known each other for ages and have played many times, which was good news for Andrew, as he has seen some of Chris’s ‘unusual’ shots and was prepared for them. That said, Chris did win the 1st game with some great thought-out shots, just at the right time (especially the strange reverse angle he played to get a game ball!). However in truth, Andrew was so quick and well drilled that it would have been some performance to win this one against him. As Andrew grew in confidence, he got his own trick-shots out with, for example, a great top-spin return of serve! Chris was particularly annoyed at this as he said he’s taught him that one! 3-1 to Andrew (I’m looking forward to seeing Andrew’s squash career progress and hopefully a very bright future).

Last on was Cammy (Colquhoun) v Andrew McBean. I didn’t see much of this, but it appears that Andrews was well on top and Cammy wasn’t able to get the length and width required to step up to a slightly higher level. Still a good learning curve for him and if he takes away the lessons learned it will stand him in good stead and improve his game.

No gourmet burgers tonight, but we were in for a treat with a choice of Lasagna for the carnies and Mac & Cheese on offer as well. Ollie’s plate was so full you couldn’t see the top of the plate at all, and Chris’s second portion was so impressive I had to take a snap! 😊

No one went home hungry tonight – and with three teams at home and two university visiting teams it was a great atmosphere. Another Uni lad told me I coached him when he was much younger (Andrew Turnbull) I didn’t immediately recognize him as he didn’t have that beard when I knew him!   


Match Report 17th Nov. 2021 Whitecraigs LT&SC home v Giffnock (Div 1. West of Scotland Squash)

November 18, 2021 Leave a comment
where does he get his energy?

Well there were no fireworks tonight and the result was just as you thought it might be against a Giffnock team on top of the West Squash Division 1 table, but none the less it was a great night out.

First on at No.1s was Chris (Murphy) v James Singh. This was a bit of a rammy and the first blow was traded by James with a racket in Chris’s face and this was closely followed by lots of bumping and barging. Chris returned the favour, with ball driven into James’s leg (a tad unnecessary) in the 3rd game. Overall, I’d say Chris managed to shake things up well, because I expected to see an exhibition of straight drives, volleys and control from James, but this was not to be. Despite this James won 3-0, but Chris has to be commended for forcing his game plan on the match and making the 1st and 3rd games really tight.

Next on I marked Hamish (Buchannan) v Ben Mazzucco. Ollie (Millen) had missed this court as he was faffing about looking for the less essential parts of any players equipment like ………. a racket, kit, and shoes! However, he managed to find his racket (in the bar obviously) and discovered his unwashed kit from last week – or by the stench, maybe the week before that! (both teams thought Ollie had left a ripe stilton in one of the pockets and were less than impressed by the lack of Febreze!)

Back on court with Hamish and Ben, it was great to see my old team-mate (Ben Mazz) tonight and his undeniable attacking style helped him throughout the match. Giffnock’s Stuart Pitt said to me “Did you teach him to play a boast every other shot when you were both at David Lloyd’s?” and he had a point (as I remembered sessions Ben and I had on the backhand boast). Ben won the match, by attacking with the boast (among many great shots) so it was a lesson well remembered! 3-1 to Ben.  

By the time I made it onto the next court to see Ollie’s game, he was 2-0 down against Niall Morris at No.5. However, when I watched the 3rd game, Ollie was really getting involved in every rally. I thought maybe Niall was trying to get away from Ollie’s fermenting kit, but actually Ollie was sticking in the rallies well (although he was hitting cross-court far too much). Niall “what’s a drop shot” Morris was moving the ball around really well himself and there were some great (and long) rallies where you just didn’t know if Niall was going to slot in another good length, or if he was merely going to hit one to the back!! 😊  

Ollie played well to pinch the 3rd game, but he seemed far too happy with himself at this point, so Niall finished things off a bit too easily in the 4th for my liking. But a good team point from Ollie 1-3.

Next on was Cammy (Colquhoun) v Stuart Pitt at No.3. Although it was really Cammy Pitt v Stu Colquhoun as both players’ styles, were a mirror of each other! This definitely had 3-2 written all over it!! So after the first game and a half I thought, I’ll play my match and come back to watch the 5th!

I was up against an old advisory in Owen ‘Haddaway’ Hadden and although he’s been better than me in the last 15 or so years, there was a time that I could beat him! And tonight was reminder of those days, as I wrestled a tight 3rd game off him and was close in the 4th, but ultimately Haddaway remembered “What is squash? Baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me no more!” – 3-1 to Owen (it always hurts!).

Straight back to the 3-2 match next door and what do you know, it was the 5th game and match ball! Niall was regretting taking the markers chair as his muscles were in atrophy, and apparently Cammy had a big chance at 9-8 up in this game, but could only find the floor with his drop! So a good 2 points to the cause and time to hit the back-bar for burgers and chips.

Someone had put an old Man City game on the telly (the Agueroooooooooooooooo! one) which was played in 2012 ….. during the day …….. and James asked if it was on live! Stick to squash big-yin! Just then there was large ‘clang’ on the floor as Ollie dropped the biggest name he could with his ‘pint with Neil Lennon’ story. Everyone was gripped as they’d never heard it before, well not in the past 20 mins anyway! Match result was 18-5 but it was against the Division leaders so could have been worse.


Match Report 10th Nov. 2021 Whitecraigs LT&SC away v S.S.R.C. (Div 1. West of Scotland Squash)

November 11, 2021 Leave a comment

Scotland & England were both out of the 20/20 Cricket World Cup (England having lost an hour or so before we headed north of COP26 to take on SSRC tonight.

Have you ever actually played a match in the correct ‘Manfred Man’ order i.e. No.5, 4, 3, 2, 1? Me either, but that’s what happened tonight, at a packed Maryhill club, with other matches including our 5th team, making it a great atmosphere.

Ready, steady, go! On at No.5 was the Mighty Millen – or Ollie as he’s better-known v Jesse Mills. Normally I’d say that Jesse is quite capable of beating himself, but something had changed! Ollie battled well and even had his chances to get involved in a tough battle, to see where that took him. However, tonight Jesse was all over the court and kept Ollie quiet with his great retrieving and decent length. Ollie wasn’t able to keep the ball’s width tight enough and Jesse countered with a good short game to punish anything loose. Watch out ‘West Squash’, ‘he looks good, he looks fine’ (well his squash does!). 3-1 win to Jesse.

Next on was Hamish (Buchanan) against Brian ‘Robbo’ Robertson. Brian was impressive against Hamish and his dying length to both back corners was excellent. Hamish displayed his normal frequent tins, but I thought he could have kept Brian on court longer and examined his fitness much more, especially as Robbo was giving him about 40-odd years! Unfortunately, this wasn’t to be and Brian ran away with a 3-0 win (I wonder how good I’ll be when I’m as old as Brian? Well I’ve got 20 or so years to find out!!?!?!?!).

The No.3s were on next, as Cammy (Colquhoun) took on Joe Ewan. Joe won the 1st game easily (11-1 or so) and so I went to warm up for my match against Dan Wearing thinking this would be a very short match!

I was chatting to several people, during my warmup and someone asked:

‘How do you think you’ll do against Dan tonight?,’ but before I could answer, SSRC’s Scotty Mowat said:

‘You’ll get pumped!’ I had to concede that he was probably right. However, having thought about it much more, I realise that coming from Scott, it was probably more the old adage that ‘Even a stopped clock is right twice a day!’

When I came back to Cammy’s match, he was playing with a new racket and was 2-1 up! Where did he come from, where did Joe go? I’m not sure the new Harrow Vapor can take the credit, but Cammy was a different player. He’d pinned Joe to the back and stopped him taking control of the ‘T’. Now the attritional war was being won by Cammy and on top of this, his backhand volley drops and hard/quick length were impressive and forcing errors from Joe. 3-1 to Cammy.

Dan and I were on next and the match went much the way both I (and Scotty M) thought it would. Dan was too good from the start, taking the first easily. I did much better in the second game, by taking my ‘between game’ advice from Ollie – and getting the ball behind Dan much more. However, it only delayed the inevitable, as I lost the match 3-0.

Later on, Scotty Mowat told me that I’d get two veggie pies tonight for dinner, but he was wrong, so he must have got something else right earlier on in the day to confirm the ‘Stopped Clock’ saying – which seems very unlikely! (or maybe Scott works off a clock that doesn’t have an a.m. because he’s ‘anti 24 hours’ or something equally bizarre, knowing Scotty!).

Last on were the No.1s as Chris (Murphy) took on Ali Prott, who must be pushing the top 5 in Scotland – this would be some workout for Chris! Unfortunately, Ali was all over this match and even when Chris did get on the ‘T’ another well honed shot came back at him, putting him immediately under pressure again. There was a point in the second game where there was a glimmer of hope at 6-5, but Ali soon shut that door and went on to win the match 3-0.

Mushroom pie, beans & chips for dinner (Scotch pie for the ‘normals’) and cake to finish. With quite a few tins of Tennent’s in him, Ollie was on good form, but when I told him earlier to get the ‘T’ as much as possible tonight, it wasn’t exactly what I meant!


Photo Montage of RASTA ‘Match Day 3’ at Edinburgh Sports Club 6th Nov. 2021 – Sponsored by JC Lindsay

Photo Montage of RASTA ‘Match Day 3’ at Edinburgh Sports Club 6th Nov. 2021 – Sponsored by JC Lindsay

Match Report 3rd Nov. 2021 Whitecraigs LT&SC home v Scoutstoun (Div 1. West of Scotland Squash)

This week’s story starts on Monday, when one of the team had to take a PCR test, so we didn’t know the line up until Tuesday. But all turned out positively (or negative to be more precise) and we were at full strength to welcome Scotstoun to the club.

This is the first time I’ve ever played against a Scotstoun team, so it was good to see that there was an ex-DLWEer (David Lloyd West End) playing for them in the guise of Finlay McGhee (and an ex-Strathgryffer at No.1 as well).

First on, for the early start, was Chris (Murphy) at No.1 v John Meehan – I sat down to mark this one and was looking forward to watching Chris play, but when an opportunity to nick another court arrived, I jumped at it (mainly because there were three teams at home, so it could’ve been a very long night!).

Anyway, do you know when you see an ex-junior who used to play in your squash YoungSTARS Tournaments in the past and they’re now grown up, but although you know that you recognise them ……. you don’t know why? Well, for me, the clue was that my opponent had ‘Niven’ written on his shirt and so I thought, the name ‘David Niven’ rings a bell? Na that’s the old actor bloke ………. was it ‘Pat Niven’, no that’s the winger for Scotland in the 80’s? It was actually the one and  only Sandy Niven (!) and I went onto the glass back against him. At 8-1 down in the 1st game, I thought those YoungSTARS tournaments have really paid off! I also thought, this is going to be short match as Sandy’s serves put me into all sorts of problems ……. every time – and also he was hitting a great length. However, I started to get into better ‘T’ positions and Sandy obliged me with a few tins at just the right times. I thought I played quite well by the end of the match and felt much more in control (3-1 win).

I saw Chris in-between my games and he was 2-1 down and plotting how to sneak another game. However, I think it was a great effort to get 1 point off an on-form John Meehan, so well played Chris and a good team point under the circumstances.

Next on was Hamish (Buchannan) at No.4 against James Crowhurst. Hamish stormed to a 2-0 lead – although not convincingly, so maybe stumbled would be a better verb! Therefore, I was not massively surprised to see James get back into the match, to level things up at 2-2 (aided by Hamish tinning the odd ball or 8!). James was a tricky player to break down, as he was very fit and you had to beat him several times to get a point. Hamish was also playing his opponent’s game too much and then snatching at the half-chances into the tin. Chris M went to speak to Hamish in-between the 4th and 5th and obviously made an impact as Hamish got out of the situation he’d created and won the 5th convincingly-ish (3-2 win).

Ollie (Millen) took to the stage next against Anastasios Markopoulos (thankfully ‘Taco’ for short!) at No.5. A club member had asked what time the team were playing tonight and when I saw him there, he said he was only really there to see Ollie get chopped and break a racket! Unfortunately for Bruce (!) Ollie looked in charge for the most part and although Taco had a great volley and half-volley, Ollie didn’t let him settle and he won the match 3-0.

So last on was Cammy (Colquhoun) against Finlay McGhee at No.3 – ‘David v Goliath’ as far as height was concerned. It was great to see Finlay again, since our time at David Lloyd West End and it was also good to see the pocket-rocket playing as well as ever. In the 1st game, Cammy clinched victory from the jaws of defeat (from 2-8 down to sneak it 12-10), before Fin levelled up a close 2nd. The 3rd saw Cammy gain the momentum (11-3) and he never looked back, taking both games to win 3-1.

Not many fireworks tonight, but a good 4-1 team win, so we retired to the Back-bar for the now traditional gourmet burgers & chips – they were as good as ever and as there were not many veggies, I got extras – whilst watching Liverpool win the footie! Loving the post Covid Wednesdays – a bit strange, but great to be back!


Categories: Uncategorized Tags: