Match Reports DLR 2010/11

  1. October 7, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Wednesday 29th September v Giffnock
    Got stuck in a traffic jam on the M8 just outside Edinburgh – got stuck in the football traffic on the M8 in Glasgow…….. aaaaaaah it must be Wednesday Night Squash again!

    So a tough one to get us under way against Giffnock (last year’s No.2 team) and it’s just as well that our No.1 from last season had popped in to say ‘hello’ on his way from the US to the Commonwealth Games in India; and also to lend his team a hand for the final time! The best of luck to Lyall Patterson (and all of the Scottish squad – Alan Clyne, Chris Small, Harry Leitch, Frania Gillen-Buchert and Lisa Aitken also travelling Kev Moran & Chris Ferguson) on the search for medals in singles and doubles in Delhi.

    Anyway back to the match and I was on first against Niall Morris at No.4 and this was always going to be a tough one. Niall is very fit (well compared to me anyway!) and a tough first game didn’t help even things up at all. However I did manage to win it 11-7 so it was all looking good at that point, but things didn’t get any better than that and as the rallies were drawn out there was only going to be one winner. Note to self – “Play more matches and get fitter!”

    Next up was our ‘new signing’ for this season Dougie Kempsell. Dougie had a real baptism of fire as he lined up against Owen Haden at No.3 and although he had beaten Owen 3-2 at a recent tournament, he couldn’t regain this form. Owen came fully armed with his half-volley-top-spin-cross-court-nic (which he always seems to catch you with) and Dougie wasn’t able to keep him under enough pressure to stop him using it…….again and again!! Never mind it was a very good and determined performance from Owen and Dougie will probably not have a harder game at No.3 this season (he may do at No.2 though!!).

    As all this was going on Brian Cadenhead stepped in at No.5 for the injured Sean and played Mikey Rodgerson. Once again this is undoubtedly the best No.5 in the league and Brian was always going to struggle. I didn’t see the match, but from the score card (11-6 11-5 11-9) it seems that Brian was just warming to the task when Mikey finished him off.

    Everyone took a step back when I asked if they wanted to mark the No.1 match Lyall v Chris Ferguson (Scotland’s No.4 v Scotland’s No.5) so I had to do this one myself. But they needn’t have worried as both players were real gentlemen and had no problem accepting my No.4 standard decisions. Chris got off to a 6-1 flyer and didn’t let up as he thrashed Lyall 2-11 in the first. Lyall went off muttering something about the fact that he’d only played forehands for the past 3 months (in preparation for the doubles tournament at the Commonwealth Games – where he’s playing on the backhand side! Good preparation Lyall!!) but he came back with a new plan and he volleyed much higher up the court and made Chris rush his shots. This worked well and he won the game 11-7. The 3rd was all one way traffic as Lyall started to dominate and he won this 11-1 and in the 4th Chris put up a much better fight (including doing the splits ‘twice’ as he chased Lyall’s shots – the crown winced! ‘Twice’!!) but Lyall was well in charge by this time and with his tactics well in place he won 11-5.

    Last up was Kev Moran and he was on court at the same time as Lyall so I missed a lot of his game, but he passed me between games and looked at Lyall’s result in the first game and just tutted and walked off. When I arrived Kev was 2-1 up against Iain Tennant (Who? Well He’s new recruit to Giffnock from BoA) but had lost the 3rd. I saw the end of the match and Kev was really going for it. Iain is a real talent and was playing all the shots he had left, but Kev was determined not to give anything away easily. The fantastic penultimate rally saw Kev dive full length to keep the rally alive……..twice. Great effort! The match was in a tie break at this point and Kev kept his concentration to finish things off 13-11 and the rubber 3-1.

    All in all not too bad a loss (7-11) against a side that must have aspirations of winning the title this year.

  2. October 7, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    Wednesday 29th September
    We were playing Newlands 7 at home. Off court, it wasn’t a great start to the season as the restaurant weren’t expecting us for food and I managed to lose my locker key and spent ages wandering about with a member of staff in a vain attempt to find it before the master was finally produced and my clothes were available to me. Anyway, we did manage to get food and, as far as I know, nothing was missing from my locker.

    As for the match, James was on first at 3 against Martin Dunn and, despite losing the first game 15-4, he took the next 3 to get our season off to a good start. The ever improving Jason was named at number one and was on next. Despite not playing a very tight game, he was able to despatch his opponent Bernard fairly comfortably 3-0. He managed to impress his opponents though as they voted him our man of the match. So 6-1 to us. It was looking good.

    Next on was John at 5 against schoolgirl, Kerry Nichol. John never got to grips with Kerry’s game and despite making a fight of it, went down 3-0. Paul was also up against a girl at 4. He took the first game against student, Linda but as she settled into the match, she had too much for him and took the next 3 games. To be fair to our guys, these girls were better than their position in the team suggested.

    So it was 7-7 and all to play for as I went on last at 2 against Frank. I took the first 2 games quite comfortably but lost the 3rd 15-13. I didn’t let him continue the fightback and took the 4th 15-7. That gave us a 13-8 victory.

    Let’s hope there are no girls to play next week.

    Robert

  3. October 21, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Wednesaday 6th October
    Well any match against Newlands I is gonna be a tough one and any win is gonna be a good one.

    Confusion reigned at the start of the match as the Newlands lads weren’t sure of their order and Kev had gone to the wrong venue! So the attempted early start was delayed, but eventually the line up was established and so I was on first against the man they call “the dog” aka Stuart Brunton. I was expecting him to chase everything (as his nic-name would suggest) and I wasn’t disappointed; it felt like I had to win every rally at least twice to get the point. But gradually I wore him down and managed to get the first two games. I felt the third game slipping away from me as Stuart hit the ball with more and more effort (I thought I was playing Monica Seles with all the grunting going on!) and got more and more back and at 6-10 down it looked like it was destined for a fourth. However I made a big effort to come back at him and it was all going so well until he got the ball right behind my back-hand. I swiped at the air, but fortunately I managed to have another swipe before the second bounce and made contact, there was only one place the ball was destined for after that and sure enough Stuart could only watch as it hit the nic! Quality! This knocked the stuffing out of Stu and I managed to get back to parity and then go on to win the game and claim the match 3-0.

    Kev then arrived from Newlands (!) and was on court against Peter O’Harrow …… Well I say he was on court, but I reckon some of him was still on a plane from Dehli where he’d been for most of the past 10 hours. Having said that he was determined to give a good account against Peter and although he lost 3-0 he did play well. Peter just had too much for him and the length Peter hit always had Kev chasing and the plane journey made his shots not quite up to the standard he would have needed to compete with Pistol Pete. Good effort though and without him at No.1 we would have been struggling to win down the order.

    Sean was on next against Gary Nicholson at No.4 and I was marking at this point so didn’t see the match. Sean assures me that he had Gary twisting and turning all over the place! But having said that he did go 0-1 down in games so I think we can safely say that he probably referring to the knock up! However a good come back by Sean saw us take the match 3-1.

    Our new No.2 Dougie Kempsell was on next against one of the most consistent performers in West squash over the past 10+ years in Malky Watt. I told Dougie to expect everything to come back and it was soon obvious that it was going to! Dougie however played very well and volleyed well to keep Malky at arm’s length for the first two games. But Malky came right back at him in the third and at 12-12 in the fourth game it looked liked it was going to go the distance. However Dougie managed to hold it together and push home the advantage 3-1. An excellent win for Dougie.

    Henry was on court at the same time against Pete ‘the barman’ Cummin at No.5. Pete had been seconded into the teams due to lack of other players and was always likely to struggle against the experienced old campaigner and so it proved. Henry was always in control of the match and ended up winning 3-0, but not before a tighter 2nd game.

    But all-in-all a great result for us against the Champions and a 12-5 victory (this must also be the first time we’ve ever beaten Newlands!)

  4. October 21, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    Wednesday 6th October
    The seconds were away at Newlands 3. We were surprised to see a less than chuffed Kevin Moran beat a hasty retreat after realising that he should have been at home. It was bad enough that he had to face Peter O’Hara.

    Jason Lang was on first at no 3 against the veteran John Rae. John’s crafty lobs, drops and boasts had Jason in trouble and he didn’t really get a foothold in the match, losing 3-0.

    On the other court, a rather apprehensive Colin Richardson faced another veteran, Emilio Fazzi. His summer abstention from squash was likely to leave him rather rusty. There was no sign of it though in the first game and he was giving at least as good as he got. Despite twice conceding what looked like winning leads, he took the game 17-16. When Emilio squared it in a less competitive second, we feared that Colin was succumbing. It didn’t happen. He won a very tight 3rd but lost an equally tight 4th. The decider was no different and the match could have gone either way. Fortunately, Colin took it and that squared the match.

    At number 4, we had Gordon “Rally after needless rally” Smith up against former team-mate Emma Ford. Emma looked to be playing well and was fairly belting the ball. In a very competitive and entertaining match, Emma edged it 3-1.

    I was on next at 5 against a junior, Ross Andrew and had to win to keep the match alive. Ross liked to hit his shots at 150MPH but fortunately for me, not all of them were out of my reach. He also had the very annoying habit of getting to all of my irretrievable shots. This led to a lot of very long rallies and although I won my fair share, I lost the first game. The second game was closer but despite getting to 14-14, I lost that one too. Ross got to 14-10 match ball in the third before suffering an outbreak of youthful showmanship. Not content to play a simple winner to kill me off, he attempted some yet to be invented shots. As his underhand, reverse boast corkscrew smash hit the tin, it was suddenly 14-14. He resorted to proper squash in an attempt to salvage the game but by this time, I was determined that my fightback would not be in vain. I put in a supercharged effort and took the game 17-15. Could I go on and win the match? Spurred on by the ignominy of losing the third, Ross was more clinical in the fourth and won it 15-10 ensuring the bonus points for the home side.

    So it was 14-5 as Brian went on at 1 to try to make the score more respectable against Jim Smith. From what I saw, Brian was not at his best and, although it was a competitive match, he lost 3-1.

    Overall score 17-6.

    Robert

  5. October 21, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Wednesday 6th October – 3rd Team
    The third team were away this week to last years promotion team, Glasgow Uni 2. This was looking to be a hard match from the start as they had easily despatched Bowfield the week before, however our win the previous week over Newlands had us feeling optimistic.

    First up was John McConnell at N°5. He had stolen the position from Craig Connelly after seeing that their N°5 was a fit young lady. He looked as if he had made the right choice as he powered the young lady off the court in the first game, with cross court after cross court. The second game started as well as the first but the young student wasn’t having a whitewash and staged a comeback that seen a race to line for the game. John decided it was time to bring out his secret weapon, the overhead volley with just a bit of wrist; unfortunately the secret weapon was so secret, even John didn’t know how to play it and tinned three consecutively costing him the game and as it would turn out the match. The match see sawed after and John even resorted to hitting a straight drive once to try and swing the game his way, but just couldn’t close her out and lost 2-3. No Pressure John but two weeks two girls and two lasses…..errr I mean losses??????????

    Second on was Paul Rogan at N°1 – This was a deceptively tight game with both players sending the other the wrong way and Paul gave an impressive account of himself at N°1. Unfortunately he lost 3:0.

    At the same time as Paul was Craig at his new N°4 position. Not much to say about this, as I was marking the other match and never saw it, however he apparently dispatched his opponent with ease and if he never won man of the match, he should have; 3-0 victory.

    I was on at the same time as Andy Jackson, I was playing 3 and Andy was playing N°2. Despite taking the first two games to tie break and being hit with the ball, I lost 0-3 to an up and coming tennis star; any lob he could get his racquet on was dead in the nick after hitting the wall 1mm above the tin. He was also as fit as the proverbial butcher’s dog and retrieved everything I gave him. On another night, I believe I could have squeezed at least a couple of games from him; high hopes for the return, where at least we will have some lights on in the courts.

    On the other court was the battle of the night between the two beardies; if I didn’t know better I would have thought it was some Andy playing his love child. Beards and eye make up aside, they were very different players, Andy with his wisdom and tricky play and non-matching socks against the young, incredibly fit, fast and hard hitting opponent. Andy sent him left, sent him right lobbed and dropped beautifully but it just was not to be. Very close game and unfortunate outcome; 2-3 loss.
    Overall a 7-15 loss, should have been better but never mind.

    Stu

  6. October 28, 2010 at 11:38 am

    Wednesday 20th October
    It’s been ages since Glasgow Uni were in Division 1 so it was great to see them back there. The last time I played against them they had Martin and David Heath in the team, which made them quite good!!

    The Uni team have moved courts since then are now playing at altitude (well the 4th floor of the Stevenson Building anyway) and we had two courts available and so Sean Norris and I went on first. Sean had a comfortable match against their No.4 and he even handed out a doughnut in the 2nd game to win the match 3-0. Meanwhile I was playing Iain Tennent’s brother (Stewart) on the other court and in the knock-up I noticed that he didn’t boast anything – even if that was the only shot – he just bounce the ball and then hit it straight. So a cunning plan immediately hatched in my head to make him boast everything. Unfortunately the plan (code named ‘Le renard’) didn’t work for a couple of reasons – firstly because the court was very strange and it was difficult to get the ball round him to the back and secondly because when I did Stewart boasted with no problem! Still, you’ve gotta have a plan eh! Fortunately I managed to surprise him with a few short boasts and stopped him from lashing his backhand volleys into the nic too often. I ended up winning the match 3-0 but was still scratching my head as I left the court as to how strangely it played.

    Next up was Helen Nicol against Dave at No.5 – I marked it and wished I hadn’t by the end of the match. Nothing to do with the players though….. well read on and you’ll see what I mean! Helen looked in control of the first two games and that’s because, well because she was. She won them reasonably comfortably, but Dave got right back into the match in the third and both players were cracking the ball low and straight on the backhand especially. The ball seemed to fly off the front wall when it was hit low and both players had to do some impressive retrieving to stay in the rallies. Dave won this game and at the start of the fourth Helen tried a few drops to move her opponent, but he was equal to them and so the hard hitting started again. Dave was 10-7 match ball up, but Helen clawed her way back with some tenacious squash and then she turned the tables and was 13-12 up. There was good rally at this point and Helen cracked a great length backhand down the wall to win the match, but Dave was adamant that he would have got it and asked for a ‘let’. Dave was a very fair player and had been a gent throughout the match, but I was sure that there was no way he’d have got this ball so I had to stand by my decision (as tough as it was to make). This obviously didn’t go down well at all and I was in no doubt that Dave felt hard done by. If you’re reading this Dave I can only say that I wish I didn’t have to make the decision, although I still think it was the correct one.

    Whilst this was all going on Dougie Kempsell was playing Robert Adam at No.2 but I didn’t see the match. Apparently the score was 3-0 but one of the games was a tie-break and could have easily gone to 3-1 and then who knows. Still it didn’t and another good result to Dougie against a very good player. Kev Moran was on at the same time against Liam Dickson and Sean was happily barracking him from the balcony! Kev was his usual nippy self and was on everything in a flash. The whole game was a bit scrappy, and Liam’s shoes looked like they were about to fall apart at any given moment, but Kev did what he had to to win – and he did it 3-0.

    So a good win for the team tonight and onto Ashton Lane’s ‘Radio’ for some nachos and a drink. A good night and the Uni lads were great hosts.

  7. October 28, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Wednesday 20th October
    Last night the seconds were at home to Townend 2. They had come down from division 2 so they were expected to be strong.

    Unusually, we started off with 3 matches simultaneously with Jason, James and I taking to the courts at 3, 5 and 4 respectively. The matches were to be of vastly different duration. James was up against a young student, Stephen Gregg and took the first game 15-12. A couple of minutes into the second with James down 4-7, it was all over as James retired with a hamstring pull. I was still in my first game against John Robertson and this one went all the way. I squandered a couple of game points before losing 17-16. I then went 2-0 down before mounting a comeback to win the third. The tide seemed to have turned as I got to 14-11 and was ready to square the match. John got it back to 14-14 and I chose to set 1 as it must have been my turn to win a point. It wasn’t and the match was lost 3-1.

    On the other court, Jason was having a marathon against Danny Russell. He had just squared it at 2-2 but Danny’s experience won through in the end and he took the final game to confirm that we had now lost with the score at 12-4.

    Colin went on at 2 against Ross Allan. He seemed out of sorts and never got to grips with the fast and fit Ross’s game and he lost 3-0.

    Finally, Brian was up against Kenny Hardie. In the first 2 games, Brian was blown away by Kenny’s pace. He managed to stage a comeback in the third though and won that to take the match into a fourth game. Kenny was in no mood to let it slip and looked more determined as he kept Brian at bay to win 3-1.

    Overall we lost 18-5.

    Robert

  8. November 4, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    Wednesday 27th October
    Well a match against Western 1 was always going to be a tough one and it didn’t disappoint. I was thinking what the line up was going to be before kick off and I though it may be 3-2 either way – guess what?? I wasn’t disappointed! In fact it couldn’t have got much closer.

    I was up first against Richard King and despite the two of us both being around for a million years (well I have anyway) have never played each other and to make matters more exciting I though this would be a crucial tie in the match. The plan was to start well and keep the pressure well and truly on Richard, but I’m beginning to wonder why I bother making plans, as I’m always revising them a few minutes into the match! And at 1-5 down that was exactly what I was doing! So while I was busy trying to come up with another plan I managed to get back to 4-5 – anyway it was soon 9-9 and at this point it was time to ‘not make an ar*e of things’! I managed that and got to game ball and though don’t give him an easy serve (as he’d been hitting cross-court nic’s of my lose serves for fun!) So put some hard cut onto my serve to his backhand and forced a tin to take the first game.
    At 1-4 and 4-8 down in the second game ‘Plan A’ was still far from working. At this point I played what my opponent (and everyone who was watching) thought was a complete mis-hit winner into the vertical nic from the middle of the court; and Richard commented on how that one wouldn’t make the match report! I said you’d be surprised what a good shot that will be by the time I reach the computer!! So I’d like to say that it was completely meant and it was just the racket speed and deception that made it look like a complete fluke. Anyway I managed to pull the game back to 10-9 game ball, but I just couldn’t capitalise on this and Richard won the game 12-10.
    It suddenly dawned on me that Richard was tiring at the end of the games and if I made it physically harder at the start this may help. And what do you know I was in the third at 3-3 and 7-7 and then I felt I had a platform to win rather than always playing catch up and that’s what happened. The fourth went one way then another, but at 10-7 up I though I must win this one. Richard then played 1 x over head cross court nic & 1 x drop shot from the back into the nic and then I wasn’t quite as optimistic, but in being so aggressive with his shots he mis-timed the next one and I sneaked the match 3-1 and was delighted and relieved to do so.

    Next up we had Dougie Kempsell against Iain Logan, Helen Nicol against Matt Mackie and Sean against Andy Philips all on at the same time. Sean was in good form in the first game managed to catch Andy cold and just grab the first 12-10. He carried this into the second game and was 6-3 up; unfortunately Andy had got into his stride by this time and began to turn the tables and was soon 10-6 up. It was always going to be tough from here and Sean lost the second. The third and fourth followed very similar patterns, both being very tight at 5-5, but Andy taking control of both and winning the last two 6-11 5-11 (needless to say Sean was incredulous after every decision made by Henry who was refing!).

    Meanwhile Helen was having a torrid time against an old campaigner of West Squash in Matt Mackie. Helen never really got going and everything Matt hit was going within an inch of the tin or the nic at the back. A great performance by Matt and sometimes you just have one of those day against an opponent who is as awkward as he was effective.

    Dougie put in another convincing performance, this time against Iain Logan. He kept his opponent chasing and tied up in the back and then slotted in a good short volley (usually a flashing cross court nic!) and finished the rally. Iain never really got going and so Dougie won 3-0.

    Last up was Kev and this one turned out to be a real barn-stormer. Kev was in convincing form in the first and won it 11-6, but when he was 8-4 down in the second I thought this was going to be too far a come back against someone like Andy McBean. Amazingly he did get it back to 10-10 and even 13-13, but Andy finished the game off 15-13. The third saw Kev back into dominating form 11-6 and the fourth went to Andy 11-8 with some good work in the backhand drop area; and so the match was all on the final game! Kev was lightning quick in this match and there was an incredible incident where he fell over at the front of the court and the ball was driven hard to the back, but in a flash Kev was on his feet and retrieving the situation and winning the rally as I remember. The fifth (and fourth) games were very broken up with a lot of ‘discussions’ with the ref from Andy and this resulted in a warning being handed out to him when he was 8-6 down. Then there was a clash between the two players and Andy seemed to hurt his ankle soon after that he was down 10-7 match ball and Kev only needed the one opportunity to win.

    So a great 13-8 win against a very good team.

  9. November 4, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Wednesday 27th October – 3rd team
    Last night was the turn of the 3rd team to make the trip to Whitecraigs LTC and after our bitter defeat in our last match, we were all determined to try and force a victory.

    On paper the team looked very strong at the top with Robert Finlay (Snail) making a guest appearance at No.1, during a trip home to visit his family (i.e. get his washing done) and Robert (tricky flicky) Wilson at 2. Unfortunately the team sheet went a bit down hill from there but we hoped that one of us lesser mortals could scrape a win. It was looking promising as there no girls on the opposition, so John McConnell might have a chance this week.

    First up was John at 5 against, not a girl this week, but a wee lad. (The poisoned chalice match). John battled hard against young Alex Ross in the first game, he even seemed to be moving between shots, (shock / horror), and bullied the youngster into a tie break win. Snail decided at this point to give some advice to John, so the inevitable happened and John lost the next two games straight. Once I restored John’s game plan back to just bullying the youth, he came back and took the 3rd. Unfortunately for John, I think Alex must have had some Aptimel or Cow & Gate Growing up milk in the break and he came back with vengeance; the game see sawed but Alex was just to fast and fit. 2-3 loss.

    Next on was Paul Rogan at 4 against the veteran Richard Ralph; I only saw the start of this match as I was on at the same time; however it was the same old game plan from the Sudo South African, to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Paul Played hard but found it difficult to cope with Richards last minute disguised boasts and despite taking the first two games to tie break and the 3rd to 13-15, managed to lose 0-3. Good show form Paul and it was so close but so far.

    I was playing Phil Booth at 3 and was very disturbed to see how good his racquet skills were during the warm up. The court was 29.9°C, judging by my sweat during the “warm” up and the thermometer on the wall, so this game was going to be a hard game no mater what. After a slightly shaky start I realised that although Phil could fairly hit that ball, he wasn’t as mobile as I first thought, so by mixing up length and drops I took the first two games relatively comfortably. I came on in the 3rd expecting an early bath and it looked that way for the first half of the game, then a mixture of my drops hitting the tin and Phil suddenly getting round the court a bit more, gave Phil the game. I was lost and confused at what had just happened and with no team talk from anyone, (aaaaaaaaaahhhhhh), I went back on court with my head in bits. Phil was a new man, or his twin brother had just turned up, and he destroyed me 15-4 with a mixture of great movement, great length/width and the classic LTC disguise boast. What was this, could I lose after almost certain victory, were the ghosts of last year coming back to haunt me, defeat after glorious defeat? I went off court and gave myself a good talking too, I can’t remember what I said but it must have worked as I came back on court determined to chase everything to the last; if I was going to lose then it wasn’t going to be easy for him. At 13-9 I thought I had it sewn up; however my tank was running on fumes now and my legs were like lead. 12-13 (what was going on), 12-14 (that must be it now), 13-14 (Please let him miss or hurt himself); Phil hits the tin and my lungs give in. 3-2 win.

    Robert, (tricky, flicky), Wilson, was on court at the same time as me, so I missed most of his match; however it sounded an excellent game and although Robert looked comfortable for most of it, it took all his fitness and guile to win the match 3-1 with his usual display of delayed lobs and boasts.

    Although now level on games at this point, we were 8-9 down on points and it was all down to Robert (Snail) to finish the match and bring home the bacon.

    Snail looked at his opponent, the veteran Harry Couchlin, with abject boredom in his face during the warm up, so we were expecting a quick victory. Snail then lost the first game?????????????????? He claims he couldn’t deal with the slow turn around between points; however I think he was just a little too sure of himself. Were we going to have a shock defeat on our hands? Fortunately Robert knuckled down and brought home the match 3-1, he even managed a couple of cork screw shots in the dying points to show how good he is.

    Tight match from a very hospitable team and the final score was a David Lloyd 3rd team win 14-10.

  10. November 11, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    Wednesday 3rd November
    Well on paper this week saw a slightly easier match for us this week as we took the long trip South to Ayr Citadel (despite Sean trying to go to East Kilbride!) and I was on first against Alistair Meldrum at No.3. – Alistair has a very unusual swing and hits a great disguised cross court and this completely threw me in the first few points, but after I’d got to grips with this I managed to compete better. All three games were tight and every time I got to game ball Alistair would put together a great run of points and he seemed to play 50% better than the rest of the game. Fortunately for me I had a good enough lead in each game to just sneak that final point and win my tie 3-0.

    Next up was Dougie Kempsell against Scotty ‘Shabana’ Bradford. I missed the first two games, but was thoroughly entertained in the third with the various comments and taxis that passed by in the game. Not only that but near the end of the 3rd Shabana did full length dive to retrieve a backhand and then worked his way back into the rally and then finishing it off in style with a reverse angle backhand …………. into the tin. Great fun and Scotty then insisted on playing a “best of 17 friendly” soon after. Dougie was amused to find out later that Scotty had awarded him man-of-the-match.

    Sean and Helen went on next and I marked Sean and am delighted (and not a little amazed) to report that he didn’t argue with even one of my decisions! That’s a first! So onto the match. The 2nd rally of the 1st game was huge and about a minute into it I was regretting offering to mark! It continued and neither Sean or Andy (Neely their No.5) were prepared to let it go. Not a drop shot in sight the rally continued and seemed to go on forever; I was thinking of nipping out for a shower and coming back to see if it was still going! Eventually Sean wore Andy down and won the point. The next few points were the complete opposite with both players trying to finish it off as soon as possible! The first game was very tight and Sean just piped it on a tie break. Sean gained control after that and he next two games were more comfortable, but Andy was never too far behind.

    Helen was having a tough time on the other court against James (I think). I didn’t see it but she told me that she was 0-5 down with the first five points going as follows “Nic-nic-tin-tin-tin” and she never really seemed to recover from that. James won the match 3-0 and seemed to be in control most of the time. One of those days at the office I reckon.

    Last up was Kev against Euan Allison. Euan was his usual quick and elastic self and he was given the full chance to use all of his speed and dexterity. Kev seemed happy to oblige with ‘drive boasts’ – ‘top-spun trickle boasts’ – ‘very wristy cross-courts’ and a couple of great ‘holds’ that gave Euan the opportunity to run three different ways before ending up taking the wrong direction! Having said all that the games were all close in the score line, but you always felt that Kev had a bit in reserve.

    So a solid 4-1 win and then off to the hotel bar for some great scran and good chat – I love Wednesdays!

  11. November 11, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Wednesday 3rd November – 3rd Team
    Its Team 3 report day again folks and it’s nice after the last couple of seasons to give upbeat reports for a change. Last night we were at home against the struggling Wanderers 2nd team and the feeling was one of anticipation and hope, as the Wanderers have not been very strong so far this season.

    Despite the extraction of our N°1 and N°2 into the 2nd team, the team sheet still looked good with Andy (slim face) Jackson at N°1 and a guest appearance from Simon McEntee at N°2. This is a rare appearance from Simon as he is always of jet setting round the globe, so there were high hopes for him.

    First up was John (two girls and a lad) McConnel at 5; could this be the week he breaks his West of Scotland duck and brings home a win? For the first time in his short West of Scotland career he was up against a male adult and we were not sure whether this was a blessing or a curse; however John started off very strongly and went steaming ahead. He must have been feeling the pressure of being ahead at this point and decided he was going to try out his new trickle boast, which out of the first 4 attempts reached the front wall once!!!!!!!!! Any lesser man would have given up on this shot but not John, he was determined to master it at all costs. Fortunately for the team, his opponent, Gerry Henry, was out of sorts in this game and lost just as many. First Game to John, I decided to have a word and told John to keep it simple and cut out the boasts, “play one long and then drop it at the front, as Gerry was not moving very well,” was my advice. After 3 long and a missed boast from John, Gerry started his come back. 1 all! However despite Johns best efforts to lose the match he managed to pull off a 3-1 win – Still never managed to master that boast!!!!!!!!!!!

    Next up was Paul Rogan at 3. Like John, Paul was still trying to burst his duck and despite some very good performances has never managed to convert a game never mind a win. Paul was playing the Veteran Jim Smith and went straight to his usual game plan of taking it to a tie break, the crowd moaned, “not again”, but no it was not to be – 17-15 and first game to Paul. This quietened Paul’s nerves and despite Jim moving Paul around the court very well, he was no match for Paul’s steely determination and fast movement, it never looked in doubt after this and Paul strolled home with a 3-1 win.

    2-0 up!

    I was on next at 4 against John McTiernan – I raced into the lead 10-0 in the first game and after a dodgy decision from the ref, who was feeling sorry for John, lost my first point. John started a mini come back but the game was only ever going one way. The next game was a lot closer and we were both all over the court but I managed to hang on close it out 15-13. John’s exursions in this game had highlighted an old injury in his ham string and the last game was just me being very unsporting and dropping everything I could to, (Booooooooo), but I am sure he would have done the same to me if the tables had been turned. (Ed – ‘oh no he wouldn’t!’…..sorry I thought this was the start of panto season!)

    3-0 win and the match was now secured at 3-0 to David Lloyd.

    Andy Jackson was on at the same time as Simon McEnttee, against Craig Jones at N°1 and because I was marking Simon’s game I didn’t see much of the action, however judging by his new slim line appearance, he must be training hard at the moment which paid off, because what I did see of the match was Andy at the top of his game and moving well. Man of the match and a 3-0 victory. I think my days of sneaking the odd win against Andy are over!

    Simon was playing against the tricky Vic Hallack at N°2. Unfortunately the game was a little one sided as Simon struggled with Vic’s service down the middle of the court, a large number of which nicked the bottom of the door and never came back out. When Simon did give a good return of service, it was back to the fast and accurate Simon we all know so well. Unfortunately this was not Simon’s night and he lost 3-0. Vic explained after the game that he didn’t mean the first couple of services that he put down the middle but after realising that Simon was returning his normal serve so well and not dealing with the other serve, he decided to serve as many as he could to that awkward place. Good tactics from Vic, not so good for Simon; however I am sure if there is a return match between the two of them it will be a very different game.

    All in all a great night and a 15-4 overall score for David Lloyd 3rd team.

  12. November 18, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Wednesday 10th November – 1st team
    Townend 1st team are like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re gonna get.
    Still they are a well turned out bunch https://broadberrysports.co.uk/harrow/team-wear/ !!!
    This season already they’ve had Alan Tasker and Neil Bennet playing for them and tonight was the turn of Stuart Crawford to make the trip West. Looking at the two teams I reckoned it was going to be either 3-2 either way with the crucial game falling on Sean’s shoulders this week…. no pressure Sean!

    Well I was on first again and up against an old mate in Alan Law at No.3. I’d managed to get the better of him in our previous few encounters, but I remembered that it wasn’t easy as he goes for everything and is hard to contain, so I was ready for him in the 1st game and I did manage to contain him 11-5. However it was a different story in the 2nd with Alan getting off to a great 3-9 start and was soon 6-10 game-ball up. At that point I went into a damage limitation exercise as I was fully expecting to lose the game, but amazingly I managed to get it back to a tie break and won it 13-11. The 3rd game was a lot more comfortable for me and I ended up winning the match 3-0.

    Brian Cadenhead had graciously stepped up to the 1st team this week and his reward was to play a Kenny Hardie, who he already played for the 2nd team. Kenny was in good form unfortunately and the score suggests that he got stronger and tighter as the match went on. I didn’t see the first two games as I was on court, but Kenny was hitting a great length and dominating the court when I arrived to see the last game and there was little Brian could do about it – so 0-3 to Kenny.

    Sean Norris was up next and as I said earlier, this was probably going to be the tie to decide things at No.4. In the 1st game Sean was trying to play all sorts of weird and wonderful angles (reverse and otherwise) and his opponent, Alan Nicol, was wise to them. However it was still tight and Sean got it back to 9-10, but Alan had just enough guile to take the game. The 2nd saw the scores reversed as Sean played a lot straighter and chased well to even things up. Sean also took the 3rd as Alan hit two tins in a row at 7-5 which gave Sean the momentum to go on and take the game 11-5. Then in the 4th when Alan’s strings went (and he was forced to play with someone else’s racket) another two errors meant that Sean was able to turn a 3-7 deficit into a 11-9 match win. A great result for Sean and he was definitely our MOTM.

    Dougie Kempsell went on next against Andy McCully at No.2 and this was a comfortable match for Dougie. He took the 1st game easily and although the next two were much closer he was still an easy winner 3-0. In fact the only mistake he made was excepting a challenge against Sean afterwards – with a 0-7 start to Sean for a tener! I’m sure Dougie would have won it as well if he hadn’t put two comedy serves out and so lost 15-13 (he’ll never hear the end of that one! You’ve gotta make money when you’re a pro Dougie!!!!).

    Last on was Kev Moran v Stu Crawford at No.1 and so it was the the Jedi Master against the young Padawan! Kev played a very different game this week with many of the Kev-tastic shots being left in bag. There was a lot of good length and probing squash and although neither of them seemed to be in full flight it was a very absorbing game to watch. The young rebel took the 1st game 11-9 but Darth soon got a strangle hold and the 2nd fell followed by the 3rd in a similar way (both 8-11). However in a surprise 4th Kev seemed to have struck his opponent down with an 11-1 win, but Stu was just waiting to pounce back. The 5th was very close with Kev wrestling a 6-10 score line back to 9-10, but just at this point in the battle the evil Vador drew Kev into a Close Encounter and Forced a stroke to take the match 2-3 ……………….. booooooooooooooooooo.

    Still we won anyway 14-7 and there was a excellent curry for dinner!!

  13. November 18, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Wednesday 10th November – 2nd team
    Last night I was back at Whitecraigs LTC again. This time with the seconds. We had lost stalwarts Colin and Brian but Gordon was back, Umar started again and Andy Jackson slipped in at 5.

    Jason was first on at 3 against the veteran Alex Everingham. Alex just had too much variety and experience for Jason and was able to chalk up a 3-0 win.

    Andy was next on at 5 against Scott Morton. He got close in the first and despite threatening to make comebacks in the next 2 games, he also lost 3-0.

    Umar looked to have the hardest task facing Dennis Liddell at 1. Umar claims he is not fit enough yet but he was thrilling us, well me anyway as no-one else was watching, with some turbo charged retrieving which caught Dennis out on numerous occasions. He also took everything possible on the volley and rarely let anything go by him. Although the shots were sometimes loose, they didn’t give Dennis much time to react and forced him into mistakes. The first game was close but Umar just edged it. Same again in the second. It looked as though Umar was tiring in the third and Dennis got to 14-11. However, Umar dug in to force the tie break then rattled off another 3 points to take it 17-14. A great win and we were still in with a shout.

    Gordon went on at no 2 against Bob Buchanan. Bob took the first game but I saw Gordon take the second before I had to go on myself. I was facing Ian McDermott who was the baby of the Whitecraigs team and an unknown quantity. I raced through the first game remarkably easily but was soon brought back to reality in the second. It was very tight but I just lost out. I edged ahead by taking the third. There seemed to be something amiss on the balcony as iPhones and Blackberries were being consulted. It turned out that both Rangers and Celtic were 2 goals down. I was surprised to learn that St Mirren were 1 up at Tannadice. That lifted my spirits but not my performance or energy levels. Ian established a good lead in the fourth and I was starting to feel the pace and couldn’t get back into it. So it was going all the way.

    I decided that a change of shirt and racquet was required for the final push. As I went back on, Morty who was marking, perhaps unwisely informed me that Saints were now 2-0 up. Buoyed by this news, I got off to a good start. However, Ian came back at me and from then on it was nip and tuck. When it got to 13-13, it was really anybody’s game so I was grateful when Ian tinned the last 2 points to give me victory.

    I knew that Gordon’s game was finished as the crowd (actually only Andy) had migrated to my court. He had won the fourth game to level it and the result of the final game would determine the ultimate winner of the match. I heard the score was 17-6 but who to? Bob had taken it so it ended up a 14-8 loss.

    Robert

  14. November 18, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Wednesday 10th November – 3rd team
    Last night was the chance for the 3rd team to continue its run of good results as we travelled to Giffnock @ Parklands, now named Giffnock @ Winterlands, to play Giffnock 5.

    The night started well as I sat in the car park known as the M8, pondering our team strategy for the night. Early in the week it had looked like certain victory as Team sheet looked very strong, (Umar and Andy J at 1 and 2); however the usual call offs resulted in the usual Tuesday for Mr Churcher, re-arrangement after re-arrangement. This loss of our star players did not down hearten us as the subs and the regular lower team are all very much of a muchness, so the bottom half of the team should be as strong as it would have been anyway, it would just be the top two that would suffer.

    When I finally arrived at Parklands I was looking forward to getting inside for a bit of heat. Imagine my confusion as the temperature seemed to drop the closer I got to the squash courts; I don’t know how it was possible but it was colder inside than out, my only explanation for this was that they were extracting the heat from the squash courts, like a fridge, to heat the spa area, hence it’s new title “Winterlands”.

    Anyway back to the match – First up was one of our gracious call ups – Eric Sharkey at 5 against Fraser “Fireman” Ross. Eric got right down to it and took the first game with relative ease, off to a flyer. Unfortunately someone must have been Coaching Fraser on Eric’s style during the break and he came back strong to take the next two games straight with out too much resistance from Eric. Eric, although keen to get away for his holiday, decided to put up a fight and fought back to make it 2 all. The final game to decide the first match started well but unfortunately Eric had already changed into his flip flops and couldn’t seem to get round the court quick enough to close out the now on Fire Fraser. At the end of the match Fraser extinguished his flames but still leaving us scorched with a 3-2 loss.

    On at the same time as Eric was John McConnell, who after beating a ‘grown-up’ last week was full of confidence and bravado. He entered the squash court like a proud matador flourishing his racket like a cape; after his opponent, Derek Hanlan, saw red at one of my decisions, (fair one if you ask me – if you don’t show intent to play a ball you can’t claim anything), John thrust home the spear into the ragging bull to take the game 15-12. Unfortunately for John, the lose of the first game had just angered the beast and the next three games went exactly the other way, John even pulled out his much improved, but still pathetic, trickle boast to try and get something out of the match. Derek was just too cunning for John and he limped off court gouged by a 3-1 loss.

    Next on was our own Fire starter, Craig Connelly against Stewart Hamilton. Could Craig raise the temperature and burn down the opposition’s defences? It was looking good in the first game as Craig despatched Stewart with relative ease. The second was not so easy and with Stewart calling for everything, he put the ref, Derek, under extreme pressure to give lets for pretty much nothing. Craig couldn’t deal too well with Stewart’s style of play and indignation at the ref and lost the next game. Craig, being the super sub he is, came back fighting and in a match that swung this way and that ended up with a match point in the 5th game, Craig called 3 and I was sure he took the first point; however the sheet reads a 17-14 loss and 3-2 overall. A well deserved man of the match, another night it would have been a different result, well done Craig!

    We had now officially lost the match but there were points still up for grabs, so Paul Rogan went on at 2 against Ed Swan. Paul Race out the blocks like a thorough bred against “Mr Ed” and cantered into a relatively easy 2 game lead. Paul looked certain to be heading for an early bag of hay but when Ed re-entered the court for the 3 game there was something different in his gait. During the break he had shed his carthorse exterior to reveal a prancing pony. Ed must have been watching Paul’s shots closely in the first two games and all of a sudden he seemed to know where his weak spots were. Ed came back strong and took the next three games straight, despite a valiant fight back by Paul in the 4th and 5th, the vet was called and Paul was put out his misery with a 3-2 loss.

    Up last and least was myself against Mike Hannah at 1. The courts were cold, I played luke warm and never really got going – a good pumping by Mike warmed me up a little, although it left me feeling a little cold with a 3-0 loss.

    Final Score 18-7 to Giffnock (mainly thanks to all the gracious subs, thanks boys).

    Freezing Cold Courts but a warm reception and great hospitality from the Giffnock boys.

  15. November 25, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Wednesday 17th November 2010 – 1st Team
    Well on paper Strathgryffe away looked like a 3-2 either way, but we got the news that their No.1 had pulled out and so things were looking up for us.

    First up was Colin Richards with a magnificent 3-0 result against an injured James Dare at No.5 which I didn’t see, but a good 3 points to kick us off.

    I was on next against The Red Lawrie and as I haven’t played Ross since he was playing for Lloyds, so I didn’t know exactly what to expect, but I did suspected a tough one. Our travelling support were amazing with most of the crowd being Lloydies and buoyed by this as I took to the court. The 1st game showed a clash of styles as, to put it simply, Ross was hitting hard and I wasn’t. I did, however, take the first game by playing tight length (for me anyway) down the wall and with a controlled pace. Ross seemed keen to take the ball as early as possible even when I’d hit a really good width this often produced a mistake from him. At the start of the 2nd I got involved in some hard hitting and long rallies and was soon gasping for breath, until I remembered the way I’d won the 1st game. So back to plan ‘A’ and the second turned in my favour as I took a 2-0 lead. Ross had sussed things out by the 3rd game and his ‘hard hitting’ game turned into a ‘hard hitting game with better length and better shots’ – this was now officially tiring! He kept ahead of me for the the whole game and at 10-7 there was no come back for me. The 4th game showed the clash of styles to it’s fullest with The Red Lawrie hitting well and I was getting my slower length and width going again. It was a good tough exchange, but this time I got to 10 first – match ball. Another hard rally ensued and I eventually got on top by putting Red to the back left and with a weak return to the middle I then went to the front right quickly and the marker (Chris – their guy) didn’t give Ross a ‘let’. Tough call to take on match ball – but I was delighted with a 3-1 victory.

    Whilst all this was going on Kev was on against their new No.2 Phil McWilliams from SSq’s training academy. I missed this whole match. In fact I only saw Kev at the water fountain between games where I was lying on the floor trying to get my breath and Kev was doing squat-thrusts!! Kev won with a 3-0 victory.

    Next up was Dougie Kempsell against Chris ‘The Pirate’ Patrick. Dougie seemed amused to have to play a character like Chris who turned up with no racket and outrageously loud shorts. And this was precisely the problem for him as Chris’s banter and charm lulled him into a false sense of security in the first. The Pirate then got to (pieces of) 8-4 before Dougie knew what hit him. Now don’t get me wrong Chris played really well and Dougie’s style really suited him – he was retrieving like a dog chasing a stick and he was brilliant at it, winning the 1st game 11-8. The 2nd game went much the same way with Chris getting some breathtaking shots back (still not quite sure how he played one particular back wall boast – at full stretch – 1 inch from the floor – at around the service box!). But it was much closer this time and at 10-10 it was anyone’s for the taking. However it seemed that no one wanted to take it as both players made lots of mistakes. Eventually Dougie elected not to hit the tin at 14-14 and he won the game. The next two were much more straight forward for Dougie; maybe he concentrated better or maybe Chris was tired (although he didn’t show it) either way Dougie took both game and the match 3-1.

    Last up was Sean Norris against Gary McIlree. I though that Sean would struggle in this match, but not a bit of it, he played really well. Both players were, once again, quite similar in style; both nippy around the court and got loads back. I can’t remember who won which game, but it was soon 1-1 with Sean retrieving like a greyhound (and arguing with every decision Kev made! Kev told him that when he marks a match then he can talk to him about decisions – much to the crowds amusement!). Sean then took a 2-1 lead, before being pegged back to 2-2 (shot of the night has to go to Gary for taking a high backhand out of the air and chopping it into the nic in the 4th – the crowd went wild). The fifth was again hard fought, but Gary got a good lead and never let it go and so he won the tie 3-2, but 2 valuable points from Sean and he got MOTM (as did Gary) for his efforts.

    So a good 17-5 win for us and that should keep us at the top of the table ……….. well until Newlands and Western get their scores put in!!

  16. November 25, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Wednesday 17th November – 2nd Team
    Last Night the seconds were at home to Whitecraigs Rugby 2. They had won all their matches so far so it was going to be tough. With Colin and Brian already missing, it was a blow to hear that Umar was also a late injury call off. Fortunately, Ian had persuaded Paulo to make a guest appearance to make up the 5.

    Steven and Jason were first on at 2 and 3 against Dave Bynoe and James Wilson respectively. Jason never got on top of the experienced Dave and lost out 3-0. Steven’s opponent, James was a youngster who was accompanied by his coach John Kirby. It was good to see John again. He hasn’t changed a bit. Some of us are old enough to remember him from his playing days.

    Anyway, James looks a good prospect. Steven, starting only his second match since February looked decidedly rusty. For whatever reason, he said he was feeling weak and even had trouble holding the racket properly. The games were close in terms of score but it seemed that both players couldn’t play well at the same time. Steven would appear to be getting the upper hand and win a string of points only for James to come back and win more. James ran out a 3-0 winner so we were quickly 6-0 down and seemingly heading for defeat.

    Paulo was next on against Andy Walker. This was also a close affair but Paulo edged the first 2. Andy was 14-12 up in the third but Paulo got it back to 14-14 before winning 17-15 to get us our first points and give us a chance of salvaging something.

    I was on next at 4 against the wily and unorthodox Archie Pollock. Archie would have expected to figure higher up the order but he had not been feeling 100% with spells of dizziness. There was no sign of it in the first game though and it was a ding dong battle. It went all the way and Archie took it 17-16. He seemed to wilt in the second game and I took it to square it at 1-1. The third game was closer but I managed to take it to edge ahead. Archie got himself together in the fourth and blew me away, winning 10 points in a row in the process. So it was all set for a thrilling finale. My plan to keep it tight went out the window as I lost the first 6 points. Gradually though I managed to turn it around and, with Archie probably in a daze, I got past the post winning 15-12.

    So we were still in with a shout when Gordon faced Jim Cross at number 1. Gordon had lost 17-16 in the fifth last week which cruelly cost us the match. Although he didn’t know it at the time, his was the deciding match again. When my match finished, they were into the fifth game. Despite coming from behind in the fourth and getting to match point, he had lost it 17-16 to set up a deciding game. This was a very competitive match with both players playing the same style and the rallies went on and on. Gordon kept his nose in front and got to match ball again at 14-13. Jim saved it though and Gordon chose to set to 3. Predictably, it got to 16-16. This time, Gordon got the break and took the glory. Overall 12-10 to us.

    Robert

  17. November 25, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Wednesday 17th November – 3rd Team
    Last night the 3rd team found itself back on home territory in a clash against its arch rivals the West End David Lloyd. These matches have always been very close in the past with just the slightest margin pushing it this way or that, so it was with baited breath that I awaited the final, final, final team sheet to see what hand the gods had dealt us.

    It was with triumphant jubilation that I received the good news; Paolo Mori had been coaxed back from the wilderness in Mexico, judging by his Movember tash, to fill a gap in the 2nds, leaving us our most consistent player Andy J at N°1 and with a guest appearance from Billy Anderson, it was going to be all down to who the West End could turn out.

    Paul Rogan was on First at 2 against Craig Paris. I know both players well and both have the fitness speed and touch to make this a very tricky one to call. The first game saw Paul race of into the lead, chasing down point after point and although there were a lot of tight Rallies, Paul closed the first game out 15-10.The second game was a, little bit of a different story: Paul was disguising his drops so well that they didn’t realise they were meant to be drops and either hit the tin, or were 5 foot up the wall. This was all Craig needed and he raced into the lead smelling the possibility of blood. At 11-7 I thought it was all over for us but Paul’s tenacity shone through and he dragged it back to 11-11, then 12-12, then 13-13. The pace was starting to show on Craig, (new fathers they’ve no stamina), and Paul closed it out 15-13, helped by a couple of mistakes from Craig. The third game See Sawed back and forth with a mixture of genius and madness from both players; I was sure someone was going to get hurt but I thought, what the hell its great entertainment. Paul fought back from a 12-9 down to take the match 15-13. Craig came of shattered, complaining about his fitness; well now you know how I feel! Babies are Great Craig but they don’t half muck up your squash.

    Next up was the elusive Billy Anderson making a pleasant but unexpected return to West Squash against the unknown quantity of John Scott! There was a great expectation on this stalwarts’ shoulders to bring home the goods and playing at 3, it should be quite comfortable for him. 8-2 down; you heard me 8-2 down in the first game, what sort of monkey business was this. Then I realised, he was luring his opponent into his spiders web of complacency, getting ready to pounce like a Lion on a young impala. 14-11 that was more like it; unfortunately Billy started strutting round the ring like a proud young Peacock thinking the game was over; however Mr Scott had other ideas and dragged Billy back to 14-14. Billy got his game head back on and brought the game to a 17-15 conclusion. John was still a little punch drunk in the 2nd and Billy strolled home 15-7. The 3rd game went spookily like the first, and without anymore animal imagery, Billy closed the game out 17-14 to bring home the match 3-0.

    Craig was playing next at 5 against Zahir, and after his MOTM defeat last week, was desperate to get a win this week. These are two very different players and it was going to be interesting to see how the two styles matched up against each other; unfortunately I was on at the same time and didn’t get to see much of the match. Craig drew first blood taking the team one step towards the ultimate victory; however Zahir wasn’t going to lie down and let Craig walk all over him and in a nip and tuck second went from 11-11 to close it out 15-12. In the 3rd game the Ghosts of Craig’s squash past visited him, showing a possible future of defeat after defeat from the jaws of victory and during this ghostly visitation, Zahir romped home 15-5. The vision had shaken Craig to the core and he didn’t want to let tiny Tim down, (aka me), so he decided, in true Christmas Carol style, to change the future for the good and throw off the shackles of the past, 15-9, 15-6. MOTM, 2 weeks in a row, a 3-2 victory and secured the overall match.

    I was playing at the same time as Craig at 4 against another unknown quantity of Callum Mitchell. Despite Callum’s very hard hitting style, the first was relatively easy with a 15-6 win. The second game went much the same way and at 12-6 up I thought it was a certainty and started show boating a little; this let Callum back into the game 12-13. Luckily I got my game head back on and closed it out 15-12. The third went much the same as the second and at 13-8 up and only two points required to close out the match I relaxed and Callum got into his stride. Needless to say I was a little surprised to find myself in a tie break situation and I was really starting to tire, (the usual mixture of festive colds and parental induced unfitness). I decided to end the Pantomime by sending Callum the wrong way a couple of times and shouting, the balls behind you, 17-15 and 3-0.

    The team score was now 12-2 with only Andy J to play Mr Mazzucco.

    Luckily for Andy and the team, it was Daddy David Mazzucco we were playing against and not his son. This was always going to be a battle of wits, as both have a great touch and love covering the court. Andy raced ahead in the first, despite some very close rallies, to bring the game to a 15-9 conclusion. The second and third games were a joy to watch; both players playing a mixture of near genius disguise drops and drives but Andy always seemed to have the edge with the cross court lob, when in any sort of discomfort at the front. This concluded the match 15-10 in the second and a nail biting 1 point decider in the 3rd to give Andy a 15-14 game and a 3-0 win.

    Team final score, an impressive 18-2 overall win; however the games in most matches were so tight that the West End were unlucky not to get some more points; could be interesting on the return match.

  18. December 2, 2010 at 1:00 am

    Wednesday 24th November – 1st team
    A tough match tonight against Giffnock 2, as we’ve now lost our regular No.4 & 5 ……………………………………. and 6! Well that didn’t dampen our spirits as the strength in depth meant we could use Donald ‘Old’ McDonald and Gordon Smith.

    An early start was arranged and I was there at 6pm on the dot to play Noel Woods, but not a sign of him, so I chatted to the other Giffnock teams until I was eventually informed that I was playing at Lloyds (by a Giffnock junior!).

    So as I arrived at the club Donald was well into his match and not faring too well. He was playing Graeme Swain and looked like he was doing plenty of running. It was very very close at 9-10 but unfortunately Graeme won that one 9-11. And I soon discovered that this was match ball as well, so a 0-3 loss to start us off although Donald was getting closer with each game and had it been best of 7 I’m sure he’d have won the last 4!

    I went on second and felt that I would have too much for Noel. I was wrong; he had too much for me! My serves were being dropped with devastating accuracy, my cross court drives were being boasted within an inch of their lives, my cross court lobs were being taken out of the air and cross courted into the nic! So at 9-5 it was only a matter of time until another couple of winners came Noel’s way and he ended up taking the 1st 8-11. So I thought to myself he’s too good whenever I cross court it (penny dropping pause!) DON’T CROSS COURT IT!
    Now this was one of my better plans and as I kept it straighter I also made him do a lot more running and Noel isn’t renound for his marathon running capibilities. Hey presto I was in control of the match and I wasn’t about to let that go as I took the 2nd game 11-5. The whole match was played in a great spirit and Noel was a gent with any disputed calls (and I tried to do the same) and after the initial change of plan I managed to take the next two games and win a thoroughly enjoyable match 3-1.

    Gordon was on by this time and keen to get his teeth into Division 1 squash. He matched up against David Rogerson at No.4 and was at the end of the 2nd game when I came off court. This went to a tie-break and Gordn called 2 ……………………….. not realising that it was 2 clear points! Well as it happens he didn’t need to know as he won the game 12-10. In-between games Gordon confessed to noticing a big difference to the normal games he plays in Div.3 with a lot more coming back from David. Rally after endless ralley was not a phrase I’d use to describe Gordon’s play and he admitted to going for a lot more, unfortunately he wasn’t able to keep it off David’s volley and as David is (as all Giffnock players are) very good on the volley this was always going to make things difficult. The next two games were close, but unfortunately David won them both and so we lost 1-3.

    Kev was picking Dougie Kempsell up from the station and the train was 40 mins late, so Kev had to come straight to the club and I took the taxi duties. I waited for a good 10 mins at the station until Dougie phoned to say he was outside and couldn’t see me. I got outside in my kit and was walking about for a minute waving, before I discovered that there were two stations in Paisley! Who knew?
    Anyway when we eventually got to the club Kev was finishing his match at No.1 against Garry Blanchflower and Garry was stunned at how quick Kev was. He still couldn’t quite believe it, even at the meal afterwards he just kept saying “I put a great ball into the nic and Kev had no right to get that back. And do you know what not only did he get it, but he hit a winning length off it!!!” Garry then just shook his head!

    So at 2-2 in matches Dougie took on The Mugger (aka Graham McAinsh) at No.2. Now Graham has been a stalwart of the Giffnock team for ever and also a past club champ (on a few occasions), but the young Dougie had too much for him tonight and although my marking may have been in question the result never was (despite Dougie putting about 10 lobs out!). So he won 3-0 and we took the match 13-7

    Tough one next week though!

  19. December 2, 2010 at 1:01 am

    Wednesday 24th November – 2nd team
    Last night, the seconds were at Parklands. With Brian, Colin and Umar back, it looked a strong line-up on paper despite last week’s hero Gordon being called into first team action.

    Jason and I were first on at 4 and 5 against Steve Borys and Peter Miles. It seems that Jason had a comfortable 3-0 victory and it looked to be going the same way for me until the start of the second game. I was unable to cope with any shots that came my way and was soon too far down to rescue the situation. Normal service was resumed in the third and fourth though and I emerged a 3-1 winner.
    The bandwagon ground to a halt when Brian went on at 2 against John Pinkerton. He won the second game but John had too many nicks and bamboozling angles which had Brian’s legs in a perpetual tangle. John won the match 3-1 to keep his team’s hopes alive.

    While this was going on, Colin was playing Jim Orr at number 1. The hot court seemed to suit him and he was thundering drives down the walls for winners which the rest of us could only dream about. Jim was making a fight of it though and there were some good exchanges. Colin just edged the first 2 games but was more dominant in the third to ensure a 3-0 victory and secure the bonus points. Or so we thought.

    With 2 courts lying empty, there was no sign of Umar. He had been expected at 8.30 but it was now 8.45. There was no answer from his mobile. Then at 8.50 he called to say he would be there in 20 minutes. He wasn’t. With hope fading and the match in the balance, Umar finally appeared. He had been detained in a particularly particular customer’s house but the good news was that he had secured a big sale.

    Any chance of catching any of the Rangers v Man Utd game had gone by the time Umar went on against Ian Paterson. This turned out to be a close contest with rallies going on forever. Umar took the first 2 games but in the third, Ian got an early lead. We were expecting Umar to come back into it but his response was to hit the ball harder and harder but also wilder and wilder and he barely won a point. He straightened himself out in the fourth and managed to take it for a 3-1 victory.

    So overall a welcome 16-5 victory.

    Robert

  20. December 2, 2010 at 1:01 am

    Wednesday 24th November – 3rd team
    Last night saw the depleted 3rd team make the expedition to the costal resort of Largs, what a place that must have been in the early part of last century, you can tell because it hasn’t changed since. Imagine all the City folk making their way to the coast for their holidays; ice cream cones, amusement rides and long walks along the promenade. The simplicity of yesteryears, how we were longing for it last night as the four musketeers, (one game lost before we reached the club), arrived at the home of Inverclyde sport.

    We had a lovely warm reception, almost tropical, in the viewing gallery above the well maintained courts. I think we should tell Parklands to contact these guys for the number for their heating engineer.

    As we gathered our thoughts and started to discuss tactics, Paul Rogan dropped the bombshell – He had locked his keys in his boot! (Dramatic music in the background)

    A fancy car like that, you would have thought there would be some safety mechanism to stop this from happening, even in my wife’s Nissan it is impossible to do this, but no, Audi have seen to it that it is very possible and so now Paul was potentially stuck there for the night, or longer if the fog came down and Largs disappeared for another 100 years!!!!!!

    The tow truck was called and some yokel turned up with the IQ of an amoeba’s toe, (yes I know they don’t have toes), and set about trying to break into Pauls car. Off came the fog light and out came the coat hanger; although I am not sure either action was particularly useful, as an hour later he was still not in the car. Eventually 1.5 hrs later the car door is opened and the inevitable question is asked, “so where is the boot release”? Paul and the knuckle dragger stood scratching their heads. After 20 minutes of searching for the boot release, the next question was asked; “why don’t you just drop the back seats”???? Doh!

    So the keys were finally recovered and everyone was happy.

    The food was fantastic; sandwiches and Paprika beef with rice, accompanied by a pint and the Rangers second half, so good hospitality.

    What’s that I hear you cry, “what about the squash” – 18-0 annihilation by the league leaders, really nothing worth reporting on!

  21. December 16, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Wednesday 1st December – 1st Team
    Well with the snow as deep as anyone can remember on the 1st December and with a late call off, we once again needed the services of Gordon Smith to step up to the 1st team and this time he wasn’t to be denied!

    The match was a bit disjointed to say the least last night, Sean Norris was almost snowed in as the 4 inches of snow came up to his waist (!), Dougie Kempsell made a great effort to make it from the even more snowy East Coast and Kev was travel weary and almost without his luggage after a 23 hour snow affected trip from Greece (where he had been playing the PSA Greek Open and beating the Austrian Stefan Brauneis PSA No.215 in 5 games to make through qualifying and into the main draw; before going out to Ben Coleman ranked PSA No.139).

    First on was Dougie who matched up against James Singh at No.2 and this turned out to be a bit of a ding-dong! James got the 1st before Dougie had really got going, Dougie came back and got the 2nd and before too much longer it was 2-2 with James volleying short and Dougie retrieving long. But in the 5th game it was one way traffic and Dougie ran away with the game and sneaked the match 3-2. To be honest I always felt that Dougie had another gear, but I have to say that I was getting concerned as James played very well.

    At the same time Sean was on against John Bannister at No.4 (I was marking the other game so didn’t see this one). Sean was 2-0 up and looked like he was going to win in three straight games, however John slowed the game down considerably and managed to get the next one. The 4th was a really even game (from what I could see as I glance over every now and then) and at the business end of the game I heard an argument between Sean and the marker that seemed to go on for minutes. All I could hear was Sean’s dulcet tones refusing to give up the argument and I was thinking it’s a pity the ref isn’t Kev as he’d have told him to ‘shut up’ and ‘speak to him when he’d actually marked a game!’. Anyway John admitted after that this had probably affected his concentration a bit too much and so Sean went on to win the game and the match 3-1.

    I went on next at No.3 against Alan Susskind and at the same time Gordon went on against John Singh at No.5. Alan was being very aggressive with his returns of serve and it took me some time to remember to both serve better and cover the killer returns that were coming my way. I did manage to wake up to the danger by 9-9 and went on to win the 1st game and I also took the 2nd more convincingly as I got into my stride. And so to the 3rd where I have to say I played the shot of the night!! Alan hit the ball cross-court to the back forehand side. I tried to volley, but couldn’t so the ball went behind me and off the side and back wall; in a last ditch attempt I swung the racket behind my back and drove the ball straight and quite well (considering!) for a winner. Classic!! Anyway I was buoyed by the audacity of the shot and won the 3rd game to take the match.

    At the same time Gordon was having a great game against John. I was getting the thumbs up in-between games so I knew things were looking good and I think the 2nd game was a crucial one as Gordon won the tie-break to take it 12-10 and then he finished off a fine performance by closing the match out in three straight games. Congratulations Gordon on your first win in Division 1. MOTM for me.

    Last on was Kev and having just picked his kit up from Glasgow airport he was having a right old battle with Mark Ford at No.1. When I arrived it was the end of the 3rd game Mark got the final point to go 2-1 up. I could see that Kev’s game was scrappy and he was trying to force too many openings at the front of the court – however in teh 4th he was retrieving like a whippet and in the end Mark made 4 or 5 errors to hand the game to Kev. In the final game Kev played better, straighter and harder. He softened Mark up early with some punishing rallies and by the middle of the game Mark was struggling to keep up. Kev turned the screw and apart from the odd flash Mark was then beaten.

    So a great 18-5 win for us tonight and then back up the snowy hill to home.

  22. December 16, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Wednesday 1st December – 2nd Team
    The 2nd team were at home to Newlands 4. We were hopeful of a victory to make it 3 in a row. As there was only 1 team at home, we started off using 3 courts with me, Jason and Brian on against Amanda Nicoll, Gordon Wilton and Ross Andrew.

    I started off well and seemed to be coasting in the first game, getting to 13-5. Then suddenly it was 12-13. Somehow I managed to stop Amanda’s charge and took it 15-13. The second game was more comfortable and I took it 15-6. The third was close all the way and Amanda kept her hopes alive by taking it 15-13. I was getting a bit worried as, given the chance, Amanda could put the ball away pretty smartly so I tried to keep her off balance by delaying and disguising everything I could. It worked and I took the fourth 15-8 for a 3-1 victory.

    Jason was already comfortably 2 up when I got off but he then went 14-10 down in the third. Jason didn’t seem to fancy another game though and started concentrating and managed to get back to 14-14. Gordon chose to set 3 but he had no answer as Jason took it 17-15 for a 3-0 win.

    Brian romped through the first game 15-4 against young hard hitting Ross but it was soon to get more competitive. Ross took the second game and from then on, it was anybody’s match. It was to be Brian’s day though as he just pipped Ross in each of the next 2 games. That gave us an unassailable 12-2 lead.

    Umar was playing Roy Nicoll at no 3 and I had the misfortune to mark this one. Not because of any difficult decisions but because it was excruciating to watch and it went to 5 games. Umar took the first game so comfortably that it would have been a granny under the old scoring. The second game was the complete opposite with Umar so inept it was unbelievable. At every opportunity he tried to play fancy shots instead of just sticking to the basics. He got back on track in the third to take a 2-1 lead. Determined to take the match the distance, Umar was back to his old tricks in the fourth. It was awful. In the fifth, he went back to taking things seriously and won it 15-5.

    In the last match, Colin was playing the young whippet, Peter Cumine. The first game was close but Colin took it 15-12. Peter stormed back to take the second 15-5. Colin reversed that score to take the third. The fourth was very tight and I felt that if Peter won it, his fitness would see him through in the decider. Colin probably thought that too and stuck in to just edge it 15-13.

    Overall 18-5 to us and our first maximum.

    Robert

  23. December 16, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Wednesday 1st December – 3rd Team
    Last night our brave and intrepid 3rd team fought polar bears, killer penguins and arctic blasts to arrive at Hyndland Road, (somewhere in the arctic circle), by snow mobile and Husky driven sledge for our match with Western 6. The match came close to be getting called off earlier in the day but our guys were having none of it; “every day is a good day for squash”.

    First on was James Browning at 1 against Neil Craig. Although both players started off looking a little unsure of themselves, James soon got into the groove and before we knew it he was 2 games up; a great start but this was never going to be a walk over and at the end of the second game, James looked to be tiring a little. James started well in the 3rd and we thought it was going to be an early ice bath for our N°1 but as the game progressed James seemed to be moving less and less between shots and some one said he was blowing out his a**e. I thought this was just rude and wasn’t quite sure what he meant, as surely this was anatomically impossible, but whatever was happening James lost momentum and the game 15-10. Neil must have been starting to feel the pace a little as well as the interval was a little longer than the first 2. The 4th game was a See Saw of points and Neil threw away a couple of shots at the front of the court to let James in and bring home our first victory of the evening. (3-1 win).

    Next on was John and who do you think he was playing this week; yes you got it, a young lady (Alison Hamilton). This didn’t bode well for our number five, as followers of John’s career in West squash will know; John has never beaten a small child or member of the fairer sex. We watched with trepidation during the warm up to see if Alison had any weaknesses, or if it looked like John’s rocket shots could bully her off court. I don’t know what they feed them where Alison comes from, but the ‘flame haired pocket rocket’ was hitting the ball harder and faster than John. Nay luck John. Despite this it was a great game and for most of it John looked as if he was actually thinking about the best shot to play rather than the best boast to play. There were lost of good tight rallies and when John got to the tee, the points normally fell his way. The first 3 games could have went either way, but after playing 3, it was 2-1 to Western. The 4th game started with hope that John could turn this tide of embarrassing defeats back and maybe claw back a victory; unfortunately it looked like the late nights and early mornings that come with a newborn baby were starting to catch up John and his movement between shots almost stopped and then in crept the obtuse boasts, so called because of the crazy obtuse angles that John was trying to play. The only person I know that could pull of angles that that is Kevin Moran and unfortunately John is no Kev. Unlucky John but a good fight against a strong number 5 – (1-3 loss).

    Now level in points it was time for me to play at 4 against the so called “beginner”, Jon Moore. This was never going to be an easy match as it was speed against speed and fitness, I will let you work out who was who but a clue is, I’m not fit! Despite numerous double bounces and a couple of wood shots that weren’t called against Jon in the First, I managed to fight my way to a 15-13 win. The second game went a little easier and I cruised home 15-7. During the break I noticed a little team talk going on and whatever was said seemed to work and Jon rocketed ahead in the 3rd to something like 12-6. I looked up to the balcony and couldn’t see any large woman doing Karaoke, so I decided it wasn’t time to lie down yet and fought my way back to a tie break and even went 15-14 up; unfortunately the butchers dog forced me into a couple of mistakes, whilst trying to force the win, and I lost that one 17-15. It was now my time to feel the pace and I was never really in the game in the 4th and quickly lost 9-15. I left court and in between trying not to be sick and replacing my lungs in my chest, the pendulum of luck and determination started to swing back my way. If I was going to loose, he was going to have to work for it. I quickly went 6 points up but there was no time to rest as Jon came straight back at me. I was slightly in the lead with 12 points and played two consecutively bad and completely unnecessary shots. I looked up to balcony for inspiration and found the glare of Andy Jackson upon me. The look said, play the long game and let him lose the point, so I did and he did. (3-2 win, thanks Oh wise one).

    Two games left and only one win would bring overall victory.

    Andy and Paul Rogan were on at the same time as each other in the good courts, as the upper teams had just finished.

    Paul was on against Chris at number 3 and this was going to be a hard match as bandana’d Chris hit the ball incredibly well and was moving round the court like lightning. Paul lost the first match relatively easily 15-9 and I thought it was going to be down to Andy to salvage a win for the team but when Paul came back on court for the second game, there was a look of steely determination in his eyes and his jaw was clenched tight, either that or he had just stubbed his toe on the way into court. What ever it was, it seemed to have the desired effect and Paul moved Chris round the court beautifully and with each point that came Pauls way, Chris got more angry with him self. The match was never really in doubt after this, despite a close finish in the 4th. Great play from Paul to bring home overall victory with a 3-1 win.

    Andy, playing at 2, was against Frazer Gemmel. This was a tough tough match and I even thought Frazer might have fancied Andy at one point as he was almost hugging him every time Andy tried to take a swing at the ball; the old campaigner was having none of this and even used it to his advantage a couple of times to force Frazer back before dropping the ball, or driving it right past him. Frazer must fancy himself as an Olympic sprinter, as every time he was out of position he would barge into Andy and call for a let; some of these were balls only Linford Christie would have reached. This made it a hard game to ref for Alison and I am only glad I wasn’t marking. The game went this way and that with too many incidents to mention and Andy should have one it in the 4th. I think Andy played the better squash but unfortunately the score was 3-2 to Western. I wouldn’t have minded so much but the game went on so long it was causing the Pizzas to go cold.

    Overall a well fought 15-10 victory.

    Stu W

  24. January 7, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Wednesday 15th December – 1st Team
    Not played for a FORTNIGHT?? Nightmare!

    Thankfully the Arctic Circle didn’t descend to the Central Belt this Wednesday and so squash was well and truly back.

    Last night was the final (official) week of the season and it saw us match up against Western 2 and although I was hopeful of a win, it was gonna’ be all about how many total points we could get. Gordon Smith stepped up to the plate again and was playing Karen (pink) Lawrie at No.5 – I marked this one and was a little dismayed to see Gordon lose the 1st game 7-11 by being too much of a gent; he was letting Karen volley at will and was floating the ball around like he was playing a Monday Match! The 2nd wasn’t much better, although at least he was in the lead for some of the game, but Karen won it 8-11. However the tide was about to turn and a new man came out in the 3rd game with some harder hitting, better serving, better retrieving and less of those ridiculous drop shots from the back! This was more like it (and it also prevented me from having to slap him with a wet fish after the match!!). Gordon raced to a 6-1 lead, only to surrender the advantage moments later at 5-6, but after that he gained his composure and won 11-7. The 4th was all one way traffic as Gordon realised that the chances were there if he created them and he won 11-3. So imagine everyone’s surprise to find Gordon in a 5th game! But by this time Gordon was well and truly on top of Karen (!) and she was making some bad errors as Gordon didn’t let any rally go easily; he won the game 11-4 and the match 3-2 (relief for me and I stopped scowling!).

    Next up was Kev at No.1 against Colin (guy) Fawkes. Eric S asked me what I thought the match would be like and I said probably Kev winning easily and playing lots of shots; it was soon 7-0 to Kev and although Colin was giving it his best, he wasn’t really at the races. Colin did make a bit of a comeback at 10-2 down to end up losing 11-6, but it was never in doubt as to who was going to win and the next two were 11-4 11-5. Kev is incredibly quick these days and it’s almost impossible to play a winner against him, so this match looked a bit like the Road-Runner against Wiley Coyote and Colin wasn’t able to get the Acme Anvil to hit Kev on the head (3-0 to Kev).

    Sean and I went on next; I played an old mate called Matt (Magic) Mackie and Sean was up against John (talks to the animals) Morris. Both guys with a lot of experience and very good match players. Gordon agreed to mark my match and then instantly regretted it as he was asked to make a load of decisions by both of us not willing to give an inch to the other. ‘Stroke’ to Matt which I thought was fishing and ‘no let’ to Matt for a good length ball, which he was far from happy about – it wasn’t (that) bad tempered, but it was ultra competitive. I was 9-7 up and then 9-10 down……disaster! I managed to get it back to 12-12 and then got my first game ball which I was delighted to take 14-12.
    Matt was in no mood for banter as Dougie found out in-between the games and he was well and truly fired up for the 2nd as Kev took over marking duties. It was becoming a tough physical encounter, but I had the points advantage all the way up to 8-8, but then made some bad errors to hand it back. 8-10 down swung back to 11-11 and this time it was Matt who held on to take the game 11-13. At the start of the 3rd Matt suggested that there should be no ‘chat to the ref’ from now on and I was happy to agree, but he couldn’t keep quiet so all bets were off again! It became a real war of attrition in the 4th and was very close up to 6-6, but after another physical rally Matt looked very very tired whereas I was merely very tired. So I battened down the hatches and worked him round the court as much as I could and won the game 11-7. The plan was to do exactly the same in the 5th work him early on and take his legs. This worked a treat and I took a 7-0 lead and decided I’d won the match and in truth I had, but not before a comeback from my opponent. However he had given me too much of a lead and even at 10-7 I wasn’t going to let him back and eventually won the last point to win the game 11-7 and the match 3-1. What a great game; tough mentally and physically and very competitive, but after the match a pint in the bar and good chat – it’s what Wednesdays should be about!

    I missed Sean’s match as he was on at the same time, but he must have played well as it was 1 game each (7-11 11-7). However John must have tightened up just at the right times as the last two games were 9-11 9-11 both having been 9-9 at one point.

    Last on at No.2 was Dougie against Alistair (the biscuit) McVitie. Dougie and Al play a similar game and maybe a year or two ago this may have been a real tough one. However Dougie is now very fit and strong and the result was never in doubt 11-5 11-9 11-2.

    So an excellent 16-6 win to us and some great scran (a ruby) at the bar.

  25. January 7, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Wednesday 15th December – 3rd Team
    Good Morning all and in the count down to Christmas, last night the 3rd team played Bowfield 2nd team at home.

    There were high hope in the air for an early Christmas present, as Bowfield are currently bottom of the league and we are fighting for a 3rd place promotional slot against Giffnock and Strathclyde Uni.

    James Browning was first to take hold of the (reindeer) reins, as he took to the court in 3rd position against Kenny Wright. There was merriment and good will to all men, as James, (despite a wobble at the start), never looked in any distress and easily despatched his opponent 3-0.

    Ho, Ho Ho and a great start to our night.

    On at the same time as James was Raul Rogan against Ronnie Barron playing at 4. Paul decided to play his match in the medium of mime and his choice for this evening performance was the Snowman. Unfortunately during Paul’s first game, the snowman had still not been brought to life, so Paul could only stand statically by and watch his opponent PUMP his frozen and statuesque form 15-3. Luckily for us, the second act saw the Snowman magically animated, as he magically flew about the court to the tune of, “Walking in the Air”. The next two games flew by with Paul back to his usual self and he took the match to 2-1. During the 4th act, either the lights on court were too hot, or the magic that had brought him to life had left and Pauls mime of the Snowman continued as he started to melt, and as he did, he dribbled away a tie break to allow Bowfield to even the score. Luckily the melt water left on court was enough to slip up Ronnie in the 5th match, as it certainly wasn’t Paul’s tight play?

    Ho Ho Ho – 2-0 in games and 6-2 in points

    I was on next at 5 against David Hughes; I must have been a good boy this year as Santa delivered my Christmas presents early. This year Santa gave me the ability to volley!!! This new found talent was put to good use as I dispatched David back to Bowfield with a Bah Humbug 3-0.

    Ho Ho Ho – 3-0 in games (the match secure) and 9-2 in points.

    Robert Wilson (aka Jack) was up next against Tom Semple, (aka the Giant, but very nice person). Every time I looked in on this match it seemed that Tom was towering and powering Robert of the court; however every time I asked the score, Robert was further ahead, what type of trickery was this? Jack, (Robert), used his “tricky, Flicky” magic beans to outwit the giant, steal the goose, make it back down the bean stalk and chop it from under the giants feet. 3-0 felling of the big man!

    Ho Ho Ho – 4-0 in games and 12-2 in points

    Last up was Snail against Brad McGuire at 1;(did every body know that snail has now lost to me 3 times in the last couple of weeks, nothing to do with the match report, I just though you might all like to rib him about that, and I only had a head start in only one of those games). Luckily for us Snail didn’t treat Brad with just quite as much indifference as he did me, although not by much. The scores were 15-7, 15-9, 15-11 but if young Robert would have concentrated a little, poor David may not have managed a point. Despite Roberts indifferent performance a festive 3-0 win for the team and eggnog all round.

    Ho Ho Ho – 5-0 in games and a final score of 18-2 in points.

  26. January 14, 2011 at 12:23 am

    Wednesday 5th January – 1st Team
    We were up against the top side in the division on Wednesday and we were two players short from the first half and they (Kev and Lyall) were the two that won their ties in that match, but enough of my excuses…… it was going to be a tough one and the main question was ‘were we going to get a match point?’

    First on was Sean against Owen Hadden and the first point didn’t come here! There was no real chance for Sean, but we did manage to get him a couple of free points in the 3rd game by gearing loudly from the balcony.

    I was on next against Iain Tennant who had given Kev a tough 3-1 last half, so I wasn’t too optimistic of my chances. Instead I went on with a relaxed attitude and was happy to lob up the serves and play a few shots. This made not-a-jot of a difference in the 1st game as I was chopped. So I got a bit more of the chat going in the 2nd and a few comments and stupid shots later I asked the marker the score (as I had no idea) and I found out it was 9-7 to me!!! Well just 2 points was doable so I sent up another another massive lob serve and forced a boast, which I dropped to about an inch of the front wall…………game ball. Then I played some outrageous shot in the middle of the next rally and it came off, so I got the team a point and was very impressed with my contribution. I expected a bit of a back-lash as Iain came to the realisation that he’d just been mugged! It came in the 3rd game with an comfortable win and then in the 4th with an attempted granny, but I was too proud to get grannied so I threw the racket at a few shots and managed to secure a couple of points before I was dispatched. I was however reasonably sure that the point was going to be the only one the team would get that night.

    Next on was Dougie Kempsell at No.1 against Chris Fergusson and what a game that was. Chris was not feeling too well, but none the less Dougie played magnificently. He moved round the court with great speed and flexibility (I’m sure i used to be able to do that…………….no really!) and retrieved everything Chris had to throw at him. So much so that he ended up 10-9 game ball in the 1st game, but one stroke against (fair enough) one flashing cross court tin and another stroke against (you’re having a laugh Naill) and the game was 12-10 to Chris.
    The next two were just as good quality wise with Dougie taking full advantage of Chris’s man flu! Dougie got himself into another good position in the second, by getting the ball around Chris with a strange, but very successful width. But once again just as the big points of the game Chris played much more cautiously and Dougie was undone. In the 3rd Chris looked like he was really struggling physically, but equally he looked pretty determined not to let this go to a 4th game. He gasped for oxygen a few times in-between points and after one particularly massive rally both players were gasping, but Chris managed to hold it together more successfully and he ended up winning the match 3-0.

    Gordon turned up next with no shoes and no racked, so he borrowed Dougie’s size 10 and my Vapor and went into battle. All of this new apparel must have put him off as he got chopped 11-3 11-3 in the first two games. Now as I said before Giffnock were very strong and we weren’t so it was no real surprise that Gordon’s opponent, Mikey Rodgerson was winning. we told Gordon to go for it in the 3rd game and he did and managed 7 points in the 3rd game (which more than double his tally), but it was 3-0 none the less.

    Last up was Helen against Naill Morris and it looked that the Lloyd’s pocked dynamo was gonna be up against it just like the rest of it. She was, but she also played really well and seemed to run to exactly where Naill was putting the ball much of the time. There were some great rallies and the crowd (well me, Sean N and Brian Lang) were cheering at every given opportunity. But alas it was not to be and Helen lost 3-0.

    So the team were thrashed 18-1 by the league leaders, but it wasn’t all over. I still had to play for man-of-the-match and I really pulled that one out of the bag, with a Captain’s over-rule from Owen (and Dougie name was vanquished!!!). Quality chat and plenty of pizza & chips to get the New Year diet off to a flyer!!

  27. January 14, 2011 at 12:24 am

    Wednesday 5th January – 3rd Team
    It was a bit close to New Year but the thirds were back in action last night at Newlands. It was their seventh team and we had managed to beat them at home in the first half despite Paul and John being thrashed by 2 girls at 4 and 5. This time they had 3 girls in the line up so the omens weren’t good.
    First on at 5 was Craig against Kerri Nicoll. Craig was shown no mercy and was quickly dispatched 3-0. One nil to the girls. Stuart was due on next at 4 against Frank Logie but as our number 3, Paul hadn’t appeared and we had been unable to contact him nor Ian Churcher to check what was happening, we had to switch Stuart to 3 to avoid automatically losing the match if Paul failed to show up. That wasn’t good news for Stuart as he had to play Elaine, the younger of the Duncan sisters.
    The first 2 games went to Elaine as Stuart failed to cope with her athleticism and range of shots. Elaine was able to get her body into all sorts of contortions as she flashed about the court. She reminded me of the old stage act where a person squeezed themselves into a small suitcase. She could probably qualify as hand luggage. She must have had some ballet or gymnastic training as she was particularly adept at doing the splits with one particular lunge bringing tears to my eyes.
    With defeat staring Stuart in the face, he resorted to desperate measures. He pulled a container from his bag. He broke the seal and gulped down a couple of pills. It seemed to do the trick. He was moving better, hitting better shots and totally dominating the game. Elaine had no answer. She only managed a handful of points. The fightback was on and we could still win. I checked the container. It was marker “Anti-fannying about”.
    In the fourth, the pills side effects started to undo their benefits. Stuart’s symptoms of standing still and breathing heavily were to cost him dearly. Elaine stormed to victory and with Paul posted missing, it was 2-0 to the girls and a winning 12-1 lead for Newlands.
    Andy and I were left with only pride to play for but some points would be welcome. Andy was up against the third girl, Linda Duncan. A hat trick of victories looked on the cards as Linda raced to a 9-3 lead in the first. Andy managed to steady the ship though and fought back to win 15-11. The second game was tough with lots of long rallies with Andy keeping the ball at the back of the court stopping Linda from playing killer shots at the front. There was no way Andy wanted to have to chase the tight drops and boasts and any attempt at the splits was totally out of the question. Even half way down would have resulted in a trip to casualty. The first game score was repeated as Andy took a 2 game lead. Well into the third game, the result was still in doubt but in the end, the symmetry was maintained with another identical score giving Andy a 3-0 victory.
    I was on last at 1 against Bernard Dunn. In the first game, it was close all the way but I just edged it 17-15. The second game was a different story. I romped through it with the loss of only 2 points. Any thoughts of an easy victory were dispelled as Bernard took an early lead in the third. I managed to get back into it and it was even up to 10-10. I wasn’t to be denied and I took it 15-12 for a 3-0 victory.
    So overall we lost 12-7. We found out later that Paul was still on holiday and had actually notified Ian but there had been a mix up. It’s a pity as we had several players we could have called upon to fill the vacancy.
    Robert

  28. January 20, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Wednesday 12th January – 1st Team
    Well if we thought last week was tough the match on Wednesday was tough with bells on.

    Still they only had James Snell (World Ranked No.87) – Peter O’Hara (a decent No.2 eh!!) – Paul Bell (one of Cumbria’s best players) – Malky Watt (got to be one of the best players ever to play at No.4!) – and David Fallis at No.5. so it could have been worse! Jethro Binns could have been playing!!!

    Well I didn’t have to wonder too long where we were going to get our team point this week!

    Dougie and I were on first and we both got chopped 3-0 at No.1 and 2 (both games were a good run though, but no real chance).
    Sean also had a good run around courtesy of Paul at No.3 – but was chopped none the less 3-0 and Helen was on after this and was also chopped 3-0 at No.4 (although she played much better in the 3rd).

    And so to the No.5s. Now this was interesting – we had Michael Currie playing for us and they had a guy called David Fallis. Michael hasn’t played much at all this season and so wasn’t at his fittest. Conversely David looked like the proverbial butchers dog and he ran around like one too!
    In the first game Michael only hit the ball to the back and so David soon got wise to this and won the game reasonably comfortably. In the 2nd Michael got the ball around the whole court much better and so took control to win the game (team point secured!). It was tough work though and Michael was definitely feeling the pace – David was charging around every inch of the court in the 3rd; and he had to as Michael was sending him to every inch. There were some great exchanges of cross court drops, but unfortunately for us David was flinging himself about so much he got to everything and won the game.
    Michael was still determined in the 4th, but the body wasn’t quite as willing and David was much more in control, but a great effort from both players.

    So another 18-1, but the second half of the season starts in earnest for us next week (good to get an Erdinger with the pizzas for dinner though!)

  29. January 20, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Wednesday 12th January – 3rd Team
    Last night the thirds were at home facing Glasgow Uni 2 who were unbeaten and flying high at the top of the league. It was looking good for us at the start of the week with Umar and Jason listed on the team sheet. However, by the time Wednesday came around, we had lost both of them. So it was with some trepidation we welcomed the 5 young gladiators into the arena.
    James went on first at 3 against Richard McNulty. It started well with James taking the first game but then things changed and Richard won the second easily and raced into a 13-4 lead in the third. It was then that James got himself together and started to turn the tide. He took the next 11 points to take the game and with Richard still in shock, James polished him off for a 3-1 win.
    John was on next at 5 against Robin Smith. This was a close contest but John edged the first 2 games and looked to be heading for victory by the time I had to mark Stuart’s game on the other court. He was facing Shaakir Salam at number 4 and the early signs were that he was in control of the match. Sure enough, he played a steady game and despite having sinus problems, he ran out a 3-0 winner.
    So could John be the hero and secure victory? The bad news was that Robin had now pulled it back to 2-2. The students were not going to give up their unbeaten record easily. The deciding game was also close but it was a happy outcome for us as John did the business. That put us 12-3 up and it was just as well as no-one had beaten their top 2 players all season.
    The new super slim Andy was playing Phil Emerson at 2 and went down in 4 very tight games and I did exactly the same against Ollie Blakemore at 1. That gave us a 14-9 victory and kept us in the hunt for promotion.
    Robert

  30. January 27, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Wednesday 19th January – 1st Team
    Well after a tough start to the season we were in with a chance tonight and we had Kev back in the team, so things were looking up.

    The Glasgow Uni lads had strengthened their team since last half with a New No.3, but we also had Michael Currie playing at No.5 so we were a bit stronger too.

    First on was Kevin against Liam Dickson. Kev had won 3-0 in the 1st half so hopefully a win to us was on the cards. Liam was determined to give it all he had though and I thought he played really well as he hit great length and volleyed well. However it’s a testament to Kev’s game that he looked reasonably comfortable in the 1st and won it 11-4. In the 2nd Kev let things get away from him and relaxed a bit too much and Liam took full advantage with a 7-1 lead and from then on it was reasonably plain sailing for Liam to win the game 11-2.
    In the 3rd Kev realised that Liam was left handed (!) and started serving accordingly. But it was more the general tightening up that did the trick and when he took the game 11-2 and kept his concentration in the last (11-7) he brought the match home 3-1.

    Dougie Kempsell went on at No.2 at the same time, against Robert Adam. I was marking so didn’t see this one and Dougie won 11-5 11-6 11-4. I was told that it was much closer than the score suggests with Dougie having to weather a tough 1st game especially.

    Next on was Michael Currie at No.5 and Sean Norris at No.4. Mike played Blair Paton and made heavy weather of the 1st game. Both players were similar in style with crunching forehands and good understanding of the angles and at 11-11 it could have gone either way, but Mike just managed to get his nose ahead and won the game 13-11. I asked Michael in between games if he had noticed that Blair was left-handed and he said “Of course” and it was just a cunning tactic to serve and hit the ball to his opponents forehand all the time! “Oh right,” I thought “was it a tactic to hit the tin a lot as well!!!!” Anyway in the 2nd and 3rd games Mike took control and moved Blair to the front right (which incidentally was Blair’s backhand!) with a much higher frequency and he won the next two games 11-4 11-2. Good solid performance.

    Sean was up against it next door as he was playing Stewart Tennant and he felt that he was not getting the rub of the green with the marking decisions. It was a really close game though and although he lost 3-0 all the games were close 9-11 7-11 10-12 and I think if Sean could have kept a little more focus on the game instead of the marking (that’s rich coming from me!) he may have won a game or two and then who knows what may have happened?!? Never mind, Stewart played well and although he didn’t play one boast in the entire match (!) he was very effective.

    I was up last and was glad that the match was already won as I was playing the new No.3 Uday Dass and he looked impressive. So I felt I had to be right on my game as the ball came whizzing back at me in the 1st game. Fortunately for me I managed to keep it tight at the back and volleyed well (into the backhand front corner especially) and this along with the large amount of tins from Uday meant that I was able to win 11-4 11-6 11-7, but I reckon that Uday could be a real tough player to beat if he managed to harness his game and play the percentages.

    So overall a 4-1 (15-5) win and we’re back on track (good curry and veggie option at the bar as well – the students were impressed with scran as they hadn’t seen a decent meal since they last visited their families!!!).

  31. February 3, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Wednesday 26th January – 1st Team
    After a wonderful 1st half to the season, the 2nd half is proving to be a bit testing without the fire power of both of young-guns at the top of the order. So with Kev away we were staring down the barrel against Western 1.

    Michael Currie was on first at No.4 against Andy Philips in the evening’s early kick off. This was a good clash of styles with Michael looking to play shots at any given opportunity and not run (!) against Andy who was looking to run at and given opportunity and not play shots. It was a tough first game that went to a tie break and had Michael gotten a couple of strokes earlier on in the game by showing he could have ‘played the ball’ (with his racket up) he may have sneaked it; as it was Andy sneaked it and this was crucial as the bio-diesel was already in the red in the Currie tank. Michael was soon 2-1 down, but a great exhibition of shot making put Michael right back into the match to seal a game (although the tank was now at critical). In the 4th Michael only had a few fumes left in the tank and Andy had little trouble mopping up anything loose and putting the ball short for a winner. Good game though and with a few more miles on the treadmill Michael will be much tougher to beat.

    Next on promoted up to No.1 was Dougie Kempsell and I needn’t have been concerned as he played really well against Andy McBean. Despite losing the 1st in a close tie-break, Dougie kept his head and managed to come back in the 2nd with a great focus on his own game and not what was going on around him. In the 3rd his movement was holding up and so was his fitness and although it was always going to be a tough physical battle against Andy he was more than up for it, as he won the game. The 4th went much the same way and Dougie got a good lead which took him to 10-4 match point. A tin from Andy (not given) and a stroke to Dougie (also not given), and Dougie was still searching for the match winning shot and it was now 10-7, but he held his nerve and won the match 3-1. Great effort and our MOTM.

    I was on next at No.2 against Iain ‘Columbus’ Logan, who used to be an old adversory, but has long since stopped phoning me for games as he’s too good and too fit – and so it proved last night. The highlight of the game for me was the first point, where I ran him all over the court several times, but the ball just kept coming back and eventually Iain won the point. No matter, I thought, just keep doing the same thing and we’ll see how fit he is! Unfortunately it didn’t happen like that; Iain took better charge of the game and hit a great length. I was always on the back foot and under pressure from the pace and the length of the shots. Fair play to Logie he was significantly better than me and won the match comfortably 3-0 (he even hit a drop shot at one point!). In the bar later Dangerous Dave Kelly gave Logie the new nic-name Iain ‘Columbus’ Logan as he was amazed that he could successfully circumnavigate me with just a dried biscuit and some Vitamin C! Harsh – but fair!

    Sean went on next at No.3 against Richard King and although I didn’t see the first game, there were apparently a few massive rallies which Sean used to softened up King Richard (as Logie calls him). And I think this worked as when I saw the game Stilgo (as Dave Kelly calls him) was moving slowly. Unfortunately for Sean he was also controlling the game and although Sean got a good 8-4 lead in the 3rd game Dick King fought his way back to pip him at the post and win the match 3-0.

    Last up at No.5 was Gordon Smith against Dangerous Dave Kelly. The marker (Richard) said he’d never seen so many angles and tins as in this match. And it was certainly a game where both players were going for their shots. Gordon struggled to gain control of the game and although there were flashes of inspiration, unfortunately they were only flashes and Dave was the 3-0 winner.

    So a 1-4 (4-16) loss to a team that will now overtake us in the Division and hopefully we’ve now played the top 3 sides. Ho-hum good chat in the bar after and a Chinese meal to boot – good hospitality and good chat from the Western lads.

  32. February 3, 2011 at 3:16 pm

    Wednesday 26th January – 3rd Team
    I am feeling very important this week. Not only have I had the opportunity to pull out the splinters in my backside from the bench I’ve been sitting on all season, as about 25 people called off this week, I also get to write the match report. (It will be a bit shorter than Stuart’s usual King James New Testament Version).

    The Super Average Subs team (The SAS) were at home against Whitecraigs LTC, whose team also seemed to have a new look from the last match against them, which I gather was close with a narrow DL win. Craig Connolly was on first as our 4th SAS. Paul Rogan would have played but Whitecraigs only had 4 players, so he stepped down as being a regular team player he felt left out as he did not have an SAS uniform. Craig never really looked in trouble against Andrew Chees(y)man. He won 3-0 and got MOTM as he lost the least amount of points 15-8, 15-7, 15-6.

    Next on was our 3rd SAS, John McConnell. He was on against a young lad of about 17/18 who claimed he was new to squash, but seemed to be winning the warm up. But John was comfortable in the first two games winning 15-6, 15-8, keeping it tight and with good length. He had a little scare in the next as he tried to mix it up a bit (why?), but anything loose and his opponent Andrew Murphy was on it like a “gazelle” [copyright Stuart Ward Oct 2010]. He realised this on time and won 15-11, for another 3-0 victory.

    I (5th SAS) was on next against Graham Taylor and Craig reminded me that they needed me to win to claim a victory – no pressure then. I dusted off my splinters and found myself up against someone who could run about as much as me and there were quite a lot of decent rallies. It was close all the way in the 1st, right up to 12-12, before I stretched into the lead to take it 15-12. In the next I was down 12-9, got to 14-12, then managed to dig in to win 17-15. I was not as lucky the next time though and after I gave him a 4 point lead early on with a few sloppy shots, he won it 15-10. I was a bit peeved and decided to put my concentrated face on (that’s what Jason coached me today- serious facial expressions) and ran away 15-3, to finish it off 3-1 and a win for DL. Graham got MOTM.

    Billy Anderson (SAS Dress Sergeant – usually missing in action) stepped into 1st position and, although I did not see the game, he had a close first match winning 17-14, then was more comfortable to win 3-0.

    So 18-1 to the SAS.

    Well it was going to be short, but I have to share this with you…

    Stuart (who joined us for some grub as the 2nd team refused to feed him) stood up to leave and started patting all his pockets as if he had just passed a “Beware of Pickpockets” sign.

    Stu “is this my jacket? Where’s my chugging car keys?”
    John “It does look a bit big for you, check the labels”
    Paul “It says Large Boys on the label, it must be yours”
    Stu “Where’s my chugging car keys then?”
    John “check your bag and locker”
    Stu “nope, not there, I’ll check reception”
    Receptionist “Write your Reg and car type down in case they get handed in”
    Stu “reg is ….. and it’s a Mazda”
    Paul “What happened to your old unreliable Alfa Romeo?”
    Stu “traded in for a nice shiny RX8” (OOPS)
    Paul “Hope it’s still there then, where did you park it”
    Stu “Over on the right…well it was there a minute ago…oh wait a minute there it is there, that’s right I parked it on the left”
    John walks over opens the passenger door, spots the car keys still in the ignition…
    All together “You Dipstick!!!!!!”

  33. February 10, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Wednesday 2nd February – 1st Team
    Well it was a ‘must win’ match against Ayr Citadel last night, if we were still going to be in the running for a top 3/4 finish and on paper we were looking strong.

    So on first was Dougie Kempsell at No.2 against Scotty (Shabana) Bradford. Scott was warming up for half an hour before we arrived, so he was obviously keen to impress and he was full of running in the first. And at 10-9 it was quite a close game, but Dougie finished him off 11-9. Dougie then got a good 10-3 lead in the 2nd game so the result of this one was never in doubt, although ‘Shabana’ did get it back to a respectable 11-7. Much the same happened in the 3rd with Dougie just too strong with a 10-4 lead, which transferred into an 11-5 final game and a 3-0 win to Dougie.

    I was on around the same time against David (the Rocket) Morrison and the ball was flying all over the court! Fortunately I was able to keep it tight at the back (inspired by Simon Parke’s performance at the Artemis Tournament in Edinburgh on Friday night) and this caused lots of errors from ‘the Rocket’ so I took a comfortable 11-4 first game. The second was far from comfortable at 6-9 down and even though I kept telling myself to stop hitting it cross court my arm wasn’t listening. It was all a bit lucky, but I managed to rescue a game ball at 10-10 and sneak home 12-10. I was determined to tighten up in the 3rd game and with a 5-0 lead I was always going to be difficult to catch. So the 3rd game finished with an 11-6 win to me and 3 more points to the tally.

    Kev went on next at No.1 against Euan Allison and what a ‘to-and-fro’ this turned out to be. Kev took the 1st, Euan the 2nd and so on until we came to the inevitable 5th. Euan was chasing really well and Kev was trying to win every rally in 3 shots, so this meant that if Euan could keep things going Kev was prone to going for it a bit too much. Euan said after the match that he thought Kev was giving him a chance, but I didn’t see it like that. I though Euan worked the chances and deserved his two games – having said that I always thought Kev had more to give. The 5th game showed exactly that and when Kev ‘screwed the nut’ he was much more in control (as he took an 8-1 lead) and won the game 11-5 and the match 3-2 (11-9 9-11 11-4 7-11 11-5). A great 2 points for Euan though and undoubtedly their MOTM.

    Sean was on at the same time at No.4 against Alistair Meldrum and I marked this one so I can say with some authority that Sean was terrible in the 1st game (!) and the 9-11 score line flattered him. I told him this in-between games and he didn’t look too amused! None the less it had the desired effect and he played much better in the 2nd and although he also lost that one 9-11, the score was a much fairer reflection. So with a good improvement to build on (and no doubt David relaxing a bit) Sean improved again in the 3rd and an excellent 8-1 lead set up an 11-4 win and the comeback was well and truly on! The start of the 4th game was a fantastic battle of wills and at 4-4 the rallies were tough and fiercely contested; but Sean won the battle and took the next 5 points to go 9-4 and eventually won the game 11-5. And so to the 5th!! A great 8-3 lead by Sean was countered by an equally great 9-10 comeback by Alistair, and now it was anyone’s match. The tie break and match points came and went both ways and at 12-12 it was impossible to call with both players making mistakes and winners, but it was Sean’s tenacity that eventually prevailed and he won the game 14-12 and the match 3-2. What a comeback from our MOTM!

    Last up was Michael Currie against Callum Morrison at No.5 and although Michael had a good first game (winning it 11-7) he must have put too much of his energy into this as Callum chased many of his shots down and made Michael work harder than he’d have liked. So a reversal in fortune wasn’t too surprising in the 2nd and as Callum took it on a tie break 11-13, it also seemed to sap any remaining energy Michael had left! The last two were close, but Callum was always looking the favourite and he won both 9-11 and match 1-3. Back to the cardio workouts Michael!

    But all-in-all an excellent 16-7 win and only 2 points off maximum – and with curry and chips for dinner and Liverpool winning 2-0 the night “just got better and better” (as Andy Gray would have said if he were doing this report! Probably……. amongst other things……… probably………allegedly…………whatever!!!!!).

  34. February 10, 2011 at 2:25 pm

    Wednesday 2nd February – 2nd Team
    Last night the seconds were away to Milngavie and Bearsden. I had been contacted earlier in the day to say that their courts were out of action and they were playing at Allander instead. As there was only one court, they wanted us to have an early start. After much e-mailing and texting, this was arranged and the DL team bus set off from the club at 6pm. Nobody had mentioned the road works in the Clyde tunnel and that we should have gone over the Erskine bridge. A 20 minute journey turned into 1 hour and 10 minutes.

    Missing Colin, Brian and Umar from the first half’s encounter, I reckoned that the match would be a close 3-2 with Jason’s game at 3 being the crucial one and likely to go in our favour. There was a family element to the match with 2 father and son combinations along with an uncle and nephew (erroneously reported as father and son in the first half).

    First on was Paulo against first father Ian Hay. The first game was close and Ian just edged it. Paulo squared it in an equally close second. By the third, Paulo had got the measure of the tiring Ian and took the next 2 games comfortably to set up a 3-1 lead.

    I was on next at 4 as second father against nephew, Chris McGeady. Chris has made great progress since the start of the season and I had to be on my toes to keep on top of him. Experience told though and I ran out a fairly comfortable 3-0 winner.

    So it was on to the crunch tie at 3 with Jason up against the experienced Steve Lott. This was the only non family match so I adopted Jason for the occasion. I went through the traumas normally experienced by Brian as Jason let an early lead slip in the first to go 14-10 down. I was preparing my pep talk to initiate a 3-1 recovery when Jason suddenly decided that he didn’t really want to lose the game. He stepped up a level and got it back to 14-14. Steve was ruffled. He called set 3. Jason obliged with another 3 points.

    Steve was determined to make up for that lapse and started the second with renewed vigour. Jason had obligingly gone into snooze mode and Steve seemed to be cruising to 15 to level the tie. At 14-6 down, Jason clawed back a couple of points to give him a glint of hope. Nobody thought that the game was still salvageable. But point by point, he reduced the deficit until it got to 14-14. Steve was perplexed. He called set 1 thinking surely Jason couldn’t win 9 points in a row. He was wrong and Jason was 2 up. The third game turned out not to be as dramatic and although it was close, Jason got his nose in front to clinch victory.

    So we had already won and were 12-1 up when Gordon “3-2″ Smith went on against first son, Scott Hay at no 2. This turned out to be a typical Gordon encounter. The rallies went on forever and both players were very comfortable in this mode. Scott was the more aggressive of the 2 and he took the first game. It went on like this and Gordon took the second, lost the third and won the fourth. It looked as though Scott was the more tired but he kept pace with Gordon throughout the game. Gordon got to 13-9 but Scott took the next 5 points to reach match ball. Inevitably it got to 14-14 and set 3. At 16-15 match ball to Gordon, he pushed an easy shot into the tin and Scott took advantage to win the next decisive point. It was the match of the night with barely the width of a Rizla to separate them.

    Last on was second son, Steven against uncle Colin McGeady. Could Colin get revenge for Chris’s demise? This was a contrast of styles. Colin had the steadiness and experience. Steven had the athleticism and the flair. It was close all the way. Colin took the first 2 games. Steven was having to cover every inch of the court and kept himself in it with some superb forehand winners and deft disguises at the front. On the other hand, he was losing rallies with some over ambitious shots. Colin is renowned for his corkscrew serves and he usually gets several cheap points from them. The first few he tried, Steven volleyed them into the nick. Undeterred, he persevered believing that the shots had been flukes. Steven continued to hit winners. Eventually one serve did get past him but he won that point too.

    In the third game, Steven looked set to reduce the deficit but Colin got in back to 14-14 and chose to set 1. It paid off and he won the match 3-0. It was just as well as the janny was at the door to call a halt to proceedings. It was after 11pm and closing time. He allowed us a very quick shower before chucking us out. It was back to their clubhouse for a quick drink, soup and sandwiches. So we had won the match 14-7.

    Once the team bus had dropped its passengers, I got home at 12.20 and got myself a beer to sit down and watch Match of the Day before retiring to bed. It wasn’t to be as I hadn’t set the recorder. How did that happen? Well at least we won.

    Robert

  35. February 17, 2011 at 12:47 pm

    Wednesday 9th February – 1st Team
    Would Stu Crawford turn up for our match against Townend? If he did it would make the match very interesting!

    Sean went on first matching up against Andy McCauley at No.4. The first few rallies all went Sean’s way with Andy not really being at the races, so I went on court thinking that Sean would win comfortably and by the time I’d warmed up (against Alan Law at No.3) he was 1-0 up although it turns out that Andy had got going and it was tighter than I’d have thought. Meanwhile I was ready and raring to chase Alan’s shots all over the court, but Alan was not on form tonight and/or I didn’t give him a look in as I moved really well (for an old boy) to win our match 3-0.
    On the other court Sean had won the 2nd game, but Andy had staged a big come back to win the 3rd in a tie-break. When I came back to watch it was the 4th it was a nervous affair and Sean wasn’t moving the ball with any real purpose. This meant that Andy could get into a rhythm, which he did to take the match into a decider. In the 5th Sean seemed to bounce back and was much more positive which I reckon ended up being the difference. Sean went on to clinch the match 3-2 good comeback in the end, but if he’d lost it it would have been a disastrous result from 2-0 up – “Win in 3 don’t lose in 5″ as my old man used to say (please don’t tell him I’m quoting him or I’ll never hear the end of it!).

    Dougie Kempsell was on next at No.2 against Danny Russell. Danny has improved his game quite a lot in the past season and so was promoted to No.2 for his efforts, but Dougie was some way ahead of Danny and chopped him in the 1st and 2nd games. Danny did play much better in the 3rd with some better retrieving and Dougie got a bit frustrated at the end on the game.
    However it was soon all over and Dougie won 3-0 (Danny won the prize for most bounces of a squash ball before serving……….since Bert Mitchell!).

    The No.5 match had taken to the court with Michael Currie v Kenny Hardy.
    Before the match Sean had told Kenny not to break any rackets this time and Michael had told me he was confident of a win as “Kenny normally beats himself!”). I began watching in the 2nd game and Kenny had already lost the plot. He was arguing with the ref (their guy – Alan Law) over everything and had indeed beaten himself already. When I was watching Alan didn’t make one bad marking decision against Kenny, but it seemed like Kenny felt he was being persecuted! Michael said nothing and let Kenny carry on – and what carry on it was! I’ve seen guys ‘lose it’ before, but this was as bad as it gets. So Michael was 2-0 up and then as if by magic Kenny stopped arguing and guess what? He won the next two games! And played much better by moving Michael round the court. But the self destruct button was never too far away and he slammed it again in the 5th and it was game over (not to mention racket over).

    Last up was Kev against Stu Crawford (oh did I mention Stu was there, after being in Manchester earlier in the day at the British National Championships watching Alan Clyne progress to the quarter finals, by beating the World
    No.18 Adrian Grant 3-0). Anyway this must have inspired him as he was ruthless on court as his deliberate squash shots and wonderful retrieving overpowered Kev’s game. It was 3-0 and Kev got a bit frustrated in the end as Stu finished off rally after rally by keeping Kev stretching for everything. Great to see the old boys move the ball round so well (and happy birthday for the big milestone on Sunday Stu).

    So a good 15-7 win for us and good chat with the lads after (Kenny was man enough to apologise about his game and all was left in good spirits)

  36. February 23, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    Wednesday 16th February – 1st Team
    We sneaked the match against Strathgryffe 3-2 in the first half of the season so this looked like shaping up to be a good match, but would home advantage help us?

    First up for us was Dougie Kempsell at No.2 against the Northern Irishman Phil McWilliams; this was always going to be tight as both players train together and know each other well. I missed the first game which Phil won 11-8 ( I was marking the No.5 tie, DLR’s Michael Currie v Frank Hyndes. This was over quickly as Michael was in good form and won the 1st game 11-7, but didn’t need to dig too deep as Frank was nursing a groin injury and had to retire at 8-5 in the 2nd game). By this time Dougie was 7-1 down in the 2nd game and doing a lot of hitting to the back, but not much else. At this point he seemed to realise that the front backhand corner was a good bet and he started to counter drop Phil whenever possible and the tide began to turn as he went on a winning streak to claim the game 11-9. In the 3rd game he added pressure to all the corners, but still concentrating on the front left and began taking control of the match with an 11-3 win and the transformation was almost complete. Dougie dominated the last game, getting Phil to do all the running and was really in control; his confidence was up and he was playing some great stuff to finish the match off 11-3 in the 4th (great performance I thought)

    In the mean time Sean Norris (the current DL Club Champ) had gone on against Ross ‘Red’ Lawrie (a previous Club Champ) and I wasn’t too confident for Sean, especially when he lost the 1st game 11-3. But what a come-back! Sean dug in and started upping the pace, which worked wonders as ‘Red’ began to tire and make mistakes. Sean got some belief and this spurred him on to greater heights as he took the 2nd game 11-9 and he kept the pressure on to win the 3rd 11-7. The last was going to be a battle of wills and Sean won the opening skirmishes to go 3-0 up, but Red gave it everything he had to come back to 8-3 up – however as I said, it was everything he had and Sean wasn’t going to let this sort of opportunity go! He battled and ran and kept Ross stretching and went on a match winning 8 point run to win the game 11-8 and the match 3-1. This is probably Sean’s best ever result – MOTM and MOTS (match of the season for him) and this was the winning game in tonight’s team match.

    Kev was on next against Martin Woods and this one turned out to be a real tough one. The smart money was on Kev as he’d won the previous couple of West League encounters, but they were both close and so it was going to be far from easy. I was on shortly after the game started and didn’t really see it until the 4th game and by this time Martin was 2-1 up (including a 15-13 win in the 3rd), but Kev was determined! He dominated the 4th game and won it 11-5, but the 5th was all a bit too tight for my liking! Martin got into a good position in the at 7-4 up, but Kev took the next 6 points to reverse the pressure and the momentum and he took a match winning 10-7 up. Apart from a blip he then took the game 11-8 and the match 3-1.

    As I mentioned I was on at the same time at No.3 against James Dare. James had beaten me 3-2 in our last match and so when I realised I had a chance to over-turn this I was really up for the encounter. The first game couldn’t have gone better, I kept the ball really tight and James was always struggling to deal with this. I was 6-1 up in no time and won the game 11-3.
    The 2nd however was a different story as James hit a much better length and moved me around much more. At 8-7 up I told myself to keep it tight and make no errors, but 3 errors later and I was 9-8 down then a string went and I was down 10-8 game ball. I changed from my normal racket (the Fury) to a Harrow Vapor and soon I was 12-11 up! James helped me out by really going for his shots and making a few errors and eventually I won this crucial game 14-12. The next was just as hard and James kept the ball just out of my reach for most of this game; winning the 2nd had tired me and James’s pressure was forcing me into making some bad errors – James won this game 11-6.
    A change of plan was called for as I wasn’t going to be able to compete with the pace, so I decided that I’d revert to my first plan of tying everything up in the back corners. Now my memory of this game is that I did exactly that and won the game easily, but when I look at the marking sheet it tells me differently! I was 9-8 down at one point and 10-10!?!?! Don’t remember that – anyway I managed to win the game 12-10 (somehow!) and the match 3-1.

    So a great 5-0 (18-5) win for the Mighty Lloyds and 10 players stayed for the food and quality chat (that’s a first! Every one staying – not the quality chat!!)

  37. February 23, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    Wednesday 16th February – 2nd Team
    Last night the seconds were at Whitecraigs Rugby. The courts play differently there and it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Steven and I were on first at 1 and 5 against Archie Pollock and Alan Gray. In my first game, I was having trouble adjusting to the court and Allan took it 15-9. Steven was even worse on the other court, going down 15-3. I got to game ball in the second but Alan pulled it back and I elected to set to 3. It was the right choice and I levelled by taking it 17-16. Steven had also squared his match. My third game was very close but I managed to take it 15-13 to edge ahead. On the other court, Steven was now trailing 2-1.
    Alan got a good lead in the fourth and was set to level it when I made a determined effort to get back into it. I got a good run of points to get it back to 13-14 but a poor attempted boast struck the tin to hand the game to Alan. The good news was that Steven had come back to beat Archie 3-2. Unfortunately, he had broken a racquet in the process. This was a replacement for the one stolen before Christmas. Lucky white heather?
    I decided that my racquet had been responsible for my rubbish shots so I changed it for my final game and I immediately felt I was getting better length despite losing the first 3 rallies. I gradually established a lead and was able to reach the winning post 15-11.
    So a good start and it was up to Brian at 3 to see if he could earn us the early bonus points. We were interested to see how he would fare in his first game. Happily, unlike the Wilsons, he looked perfectly at ease on the court. He was playing Andy Walker and took the first game comfortably. The next 2 followed the same pattern and he ran out a 3-0 winner giving us a 12-4 winning lead.
    Gordon was on next against David Bynoe. The gaming board was set to investigate as the bookies had been taking large sums on 17-16 in the fifth. Gordon took the first game and it didn’t look like his usual 3-2 marathon was on the cards. David came back to win the next 2 games. Gordon wasn’t happy with the way the court was playing and kept describing it as “weird”. He was given his usual advice. Stop cross courting and throw in the odd drop.
    History had shown that a 3-2 was now virtually certain. And we weren’t to be disappointed. By the end of the fourth, David wasn’t looking too fresh and Gordon must have been favourite to take the fifth. He was in control but was frustrating us by continuing to feed the ball for David’s forehand drop volley and by prolonging rallies by driving to his stranded opponent at the back. Despite this, Gordon had an 11-7 lead going into the final stages. There was no way this one was going to 17-16. But wait. Gordon failed to push home his advantage and found himself match ball down at 14-13. It was Déjà vu all over again. The game then followed its predetermined course. 14-14 set 3. Gordon was at 16-15 match ball when David got stuck at the back and played a desperate boast halfway up the wall. David lowered his racquet in defeat as Gordon was standing waiting for it. Fate had made a mistake as this was supposed to go all the way to 17-16. However, the simple drop at the front didn’t materialise and we gasped as Gordon hit the ball hard. It didn’t reach David though as it smacked into Gordon’s body. He later explained that the ball hit the nick and he didn’t have time to react. So it was a toss up who was going to take the glory. The clenched fist belonged to David as the final shot took its second bounce on the floor.
    It was left to Jason to finish off at number 4. He was playing the unknown quantity of Graham Kelly. This was as straightforward as it gets on a Wednesday night. Jason was in total control hitting the ball well and able to send irretrievable shots to the back despite the warm conditions. A 3-0 victory gave us a good 17-7 win.
    Robert

  38. March 3, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Wednesday 23rd February – 1st Team
    You’ll never believe what happened tonight – it all started normally enough, Giffnock had phoned me looking for an early start (normal) – I arrived early and played Graeme Swain at No.3 (hummm). I won 3-0 with no real drama’s to report 11-8 11-6 11-4 then Michael Currie turned up 30 minutes late (normal) and played Kieran Pole at No.5 (I marked this one ((normal)) and Michael thwacked the ball as hard as he could cross-court (normal) followed by a couple of shots through his legs (normal) and won the match 11-8 11-2 11-8 and then went to the bar to watch the footie (normal) …………….. then it all went very strange ……………. bizarre ……………. weird even!

    Dougie Kempsell went on next against David Rogerson at No.2 and Sean had turned up and was waiting for his opponent. He and I were the only ones in the balcony and so I said “Looks like you’re marking Sean” to which he replied “No way!” (normal). I said well there’s no one else to do it and I’ve already marked. Sean countered with I haven’t got my glasses (normal) at which time I turned the score sheet over and wrote on extra-big writing Dougie v Dave 0-0. Sean then made several more (normal) excuses, but I’d got him backed into a corner and wasn’t about to let the advantage slip. Sean looked nervous so I said I’d help him (I lied) and I couldn’t believe it when he actually picked the pen up!???!?!?! Now you have to know that although Sean has been playing for about a million years he’s never actually marked a match (ever) so I can take great kudos in this momentous achievement! Being the first man ever to get Sean to mark a squash match! Wow!
    * So the 1st game started 1-0 to Dougie. Sean says nothing, but does mark the first point up.
    * 2-0 to Dougie, Sean still says nothing.
    * At 3-0 I whisper “You’re supposed to say 3-0” …… “Tree-Nil” says Sean and he was off and running.
    * At 4-2 Dave asks for a ‘Let’ and Sean mumbles “Whatever.” (which apparently means ‘Yes Let’)
    * At 8-3 to Dougie, I make Sean write ‘R’ and ‘L’ next to the scores (Sean recognises these symbols from to tops of his shoes!!) and before long the game was 11-4 to Dougie.
    * At the end of the game Sean is sweating – and when we turn round Kev has arrived and is looking at the Sean marking with his eyes like saucers and his jaw hitting the ground.

    The game itself was another good exhibition from Dougie. He ran everything down and left Dave always having to play another shot. Dave played well, but the pace and power was just too relentless and Dougie cruised home 3-0. Finishing the match off 11-6 11-3 (nice volleys as well).

    Sean himself was on next at No.4 against new recruit Steven Paton and he handed a dismal 1st game to let his opponent get a good 11-8 win. The 2nd was much better and Sean had put his match face on, although he still lost it 11-9. However the 3rd saw the tide turn and Sean took this easily 11-3. The 4th saw Sean hand the match to Steven at 3-8 down, but Steven wasn’t able to take full advantage as Sean came back to 7-8. Steven then got a match ball at 10-7, but Sean wrestled 3 match balls back and went on to win 12-10.
    The 5th was much more straight forward as Sean played a physically tough start to the game and “took Steven’s legs”. This made the rest of the game plain sailing and Sean eventually won 11-7 in the 5th to win the tie, the match and take MOTM for the second week in a row (not normal!)

    Kev was on last against another new recruit in Ewan Stewart from Perth. Ewan was very nippy about the court, but Kev just played at too high a pace for him and so won the match 11-3 11-7 11-4 reasonably comfortably.

    So a good 18 points to the team and the Erdinger and pizza went down a treat. Nice bunch the Giffnock guys.

    • March 3, 2011 at 3:49 pm

      I don’t believe it !!!!

  39. March 3, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Wednesday 23rd February – 2nd Team
    Short and sweet this week, we were up against Parklands, currently above us in the league position. Strong performance all round, even Gordon didn’t make full use of this court time!!
    Ended up with an 18-3 victory.Well done guys.

    This means that we are currently sitting around 4th place as we should overtake Parklands and the Rugby Club and be within a bawhair of SSRC who were 5 points ahead of us before tonights scores go in. It will all come down to our 2 games against SSRC, will we go for the promotion?

    Brian

  40. March 3, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Wednesday 23rd February – 3rd Team
    The 3rd team hosted the league leaders Largs 2 last night. We were hopeful of a better result than the corresponding fixture in the first half when we were whitewashed.

    John at 5 and James at 2 were on first against Ian Cameron and Graham Bamford respectively. James got us off to a good start with a comfortable 3-0 victory. John was finding it much harder and lost the first game. He recovered to take the next 2 but failed to finish Ian off in the fourth and the match went to the final game. John kept his nose in front and despite a late flurry by Ian, held his nerve to win 15-12. A well deserved man of the match performance.

    Paul was next at 4 against Jim McGonigle. Paul’s speed about the court proved to be the difference here and he took the match 3-0 giving us a 12-2 lead. It was up to me and Andy to accumulate a few more points to make the victory more impressive. Andy was up against Dave Armstrong at number 2 and although coming close in the second game, he went down 3-0.

    I had a good competitive match at 1 against Frank Davidson. I edged the first game 15-12. Frank stormed back in the second to win the first 7 points and then got a 10-3 lead. I had just about written the game off when I got a few points back. I sensed that there was still a chance of salvaging the game and stepped up my concentration level. I got to 14-13 but Frank squared it. I chose to set 3 and took the next 3 points. Buoyed by this and with Frank presumably deflated, I was able to drive home my advantage to take the third game as well.

    A great 15-5 win and a dent in Largs’ title aspirations.

    Robert

  41. March 10, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Wednesday 2nd March – 1st Team
    Newlands 2 this week and with a full team we were hoping to pick a few points up.

    First on was Dougie Kempsell at No.2 against Paul Sweeney. This was a good match and although I thought Dougie didn’t play that well, it was maybe because Paul didn’t let him.
    Paul was 10-5 up in the 1st, but Dougie made a good comeback to get it to 10-10 by shutting up shop and getting everything back. However it wasn’t to be as Paul found the right shots at the right time to close the game out 10-12. However Dougie took this momentum into the next game and at 6-2 up he was never going to be caught, winning the game 11-6. Paul played much better in the 4th, but he also used a lot of energy doing so – it was tight at 7-5, but Dougie was relentless with much improved length on his drives and he won the game 11-6 finishing Paul off with a few crucial drops. The last game was all about fitness and Paul was run out of his! So it was a much easier for Dougie as he won the game 11-1 and the match 3-1.
    Michael Currie was on at the same time against David. I was marking at the time so didn’t see any of it. I think it’s safe to say that Michael played at least one shot through his legs and a few 100mph backhand-cross-court-nics in his 11-4 11-6 11-5 victory (if he didn’t I’d be amazed).
    Sean was on next against John Bannister. Sean had won this tie in the 1st half by 3 game to 1 so could he do it again? Well the answer to that was ‘probably not’ as he lost the first two games 9-11 7-11. However John was red in the face by this time and Sean was getting into his usual rythm of losing the first two games. The 3rd was tough at the start with Sean really digging everything back and this set him up for an 11-4 win and when he repeated the 11-4 score-line in the 4th it was looking like Sean’s fitness was going to get him through. And so it proved with Sean winning the 5th game easily 11-2. In the bar after Sean decided that he was MOTM again this week (I said that if we balanced the rubbish in the first 2 games with the resilience in the last 3 then he may have just piped it. Mind you I was angling for MOTM myself!)
    So I went on next and thoroughly deserved MOTM for my wonderful shot making and fantastic movement. Well Alan (Susskind) thought I played well as I won the match 11-4 11-5 11-7. To be honest I’ve always been able to read Alan’s game well and have usually had the better of our encounters – and if that weren’t enough I also clonked him on the nose with my racket in the 1st game just to make sure he had too much to think about rather than beating me (only kidding it was a total accident, which I had to insist wasn’t a stroke to both the marker and Alan – sorry Alan).
    Last up was Kev against Mark Ford at No.1. Now this has been a spicy affair in the past few encounters and although Kev has won a few of them they are always very tight and usually 3-2s. I’d heard that Mark was playing quite well at the moment so was very interested to see how Kev would do against the old campaigner! When I came off court Mark had just won the 2nd game 11-7 and I feared that Kev was 0-2 down, but not a bit of it. He’d won the 1st game 11-9 (despite being 6-9 down). Just as with Sean and Dougie he’d already done a lot of the spade work as Mark was looking tired, so the 3rd was a comfortable 11-3 win to Kev and Mark was obviously saving himself. The whole game saw some terrific squash, Kev played a few shots I’d not seen from him before including a very nice disguised forehand drop; he also volleyed very well on the back-hand side. Mark was his normal self with his fantastic defensive game that is very hard to break down and his attacking angles. In the 4th Kev got off to a great 7-3 lead and Mark was physically struggling to keep pace with the young buck. At 10-5 however he did manage to wrestle 3 match-balls back to get to 8-10, but Kev was just too strong and it was only a matter of time before he finished Mark off and it ended 11-8.
    So a good 18-4 win for the team and as we all discussed the future of the Old Firm as McCoist and Lennon squared up to each others hand-bags!

  42. March 10, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Wednesday 2nd March – 2nd Team
    Tensions were running high for our match against Newlands 4 last night, as we’re neck and neck with SSRC and Whitecraigs RFC for that 3rd place, and every point counts.
    Due to a couple of call off’s we had to dig deep into the treasure chest of reserves and managed to pull out a couple of rough diamonds in the form of John F and Paulo. I needn’t have worried as Paulo had already brought home the bacon by the time I arrived, first 3 points in the bag!
    Next up was John and it was good to see that in his time in the squash wilderness he hasn’t lost any of his skill, he can still manage to talk his way to victory, another 3 points to the good!
    Next up, Jason with a chance to put the match to bed and guarantee the 3 bonus points, which he did in style, 9-0 to DL.
    I was up next against a young wippersnapper, Ross, who obviously had a point to prove after I pumped him 3-0 at Lloyds. He had a better match this time and despite his constant questioning about the decisions going against him he ran out a 3-0 victor.
    So it was up to anchorman Smith to close out the game against a squash veteran at least 50 years older than him (!) John Rae. Things didn’t go to plan and Gordon didn’t quite get the court time he had planned for, losing 3-1. Final score 12-6 to Lloyds.

    Checked the league position and not updated yet, the Rugby club have sneaked in the backdoor to take 3rd position due to a late score going in from last week, so we’re currently in 4th with 2 games against SSRC and one against Western 4 to go. Still think we can do it though, all down to the SSRC matches.

    Brian

  43. March 10, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Wednesday 2nd March – 3rd Team
    Last night the thirds were at home to Western 6. We were hoping to keep the winning run going and clinch promotion. We had gambled on Colin’s flight from London being on time so he could slot in at 1 around 8.45. John McConnell was obligingly standing by to step in should bad news be received from the airport.
    Paul was on first at 4 against Charlie Gibbson. He made heavy weather of the first but took it 15-11. In the second, he really got into his stride taking the first 10 points on his way to a 15-3 victory. Charlie came back into it in the third, getting to 9-5 before Paul steadied the ship to win 15-11 and give us a 3-0 lead.

    On the other court, it wasn’t looking good for Billy against John Moor at 3. He had lost the first game 15-5 and then the second 15-9. We were hoping for a big turnaround but when John got to 13-5, defeat looked a formality. Billy got a few points back but then faced match point at 14-9. He saved it but would have to save 4 more to stay alive. Incredibly, he did and John chose to set to 3. He immediately regretted it as he won the next point. Billy took the next 2 to get to game ball but John saved it to get to match point for the 6th time. Billy’s fightback wasn’t to be in vain as he clinched the vital last point. That proved to be the turning point as Billy took confidence from this and won the next 2 games 15-11 15-8. No doubt who was going to be man of the match after that.

    I was on next at 2 against Fraser Gemmell. I took the first 2 games comfortably but I found myself trailing all the way in the third until 12-12 when I put in that final spurt to win 15-13. That gave us a winning 12-2 lead.

    There was still no sign of Colin but the news from our Airport correspondent, John was that the plane was 4 minutes ahead of schedule. So Stuart went on at 5 against his namesake Michael Ward confident that we were not going to forfeit the match. Stuart just had too much for Michael and ran out a 3-0 winner. By this time, Colin had arrived and was able to take his place at the pinnacle of the team order. He was playing Danny Norris. In the first game, Colin’s jet lag was evident as he struggled to impose himself. He had to go all the way before winning 17-15. Thereafter, he took control and saw out the next 2 games to give us an 18-2 victory.

    An excellent 5-0 win for DLR.
    Robert W

  44. March 17, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Wednesday 9th March – 1st Team
    SSRC tonight and we hadn’t played them since Spring 2010 as the Arctic conditions in December had snowed off the match, so I got a touch of de ja vu when I woke up on match day to see the car covered in snow!

    I was on first at No.3 against the weekends Scottish Masters over 50′s runner up Chris Holt. There was an ensemble of David Lloyd members who had come to see if I could do what I’m always telling them to do at training! I couldn’t! Chris dominated the first game from the get-go. Initially I couldn’t find a good length and equally Chris started well and then the rallies were long and hard, but I always seemed to be making the crucial mistake at the end. The plan in my head was to move the ball around and let Chris wear himself out. At 1-8 down this didn’t seem to be working; it was about then that I realised that Chris gets himself facing forward and crouching when retrieving the ball so this means he’s not as quick back to the ‘T’ as he could be. So the new plan formed in ma napper I had to take the ball early as well – and volley quickly. It was however too late for the 1st game and I just couldn’t wrestle back the deficit and Chris won 11-6.
    I suppose I deserve the comments from the crowd (Craig) “You’ve gotta get back to the T” – “Get your racket up Jase” etc etc! The 2nd was going to be different! The start of the 2nd game was tight, but my quick volleys were beginning to pay off, when I got them going well and I raced to a 7-4 lead and took the game 11-6 (Craig again “Well that was better than the pesh in the 1st game”) .
    The 3rd saw much of the same from me to take a 6-1 lead. Chris got the next point (no problem) and the next point as well (tighten up Jase) and the next (good shot Chris) the next and next……. at 8-10 down I was wondering what had happened, but fortunately I got a 4 point run to take the game (the ref was asked to make a few decisions at this point and I thought he – Dougie – was very fair apart from the call “That wasn’t a let Chris, but I’ll give it to you this time”???? Mind you Chris wasn’t happy about a few either, so swings and roundabouts).
    In-between games Sean told me to “shut up” (fair enough – I’d told him the same many times) and so the 4th game started with good advice ringing in my ears – “don’t let this go to a 5th!”
    At 5-0 up it didn’t look like it was going to, but at 9-9 it was anybody’s match – which is just as well coz it was mine and I won the game 11-9 and the match 3-1. A good tough match though.

    Michael Currie and Sean Norris were on next and I marked Sean so I didn’t see Michael who was playing Dave Ward at No.5 (at least I think it was Dave as I never saw him again that evening). Kev said this was the best Michael has played for the team so far; even his ‘between-the-legs’ shots were bordering on good! He ran away with the first two games 11-3 11-5, but Dave then realised that he was playing with a broken racket! So Dave devised the cunning new tactic of “playing with non-bust equipment” and this worked brilliantly as he won the 3rd game 4-11. However Michael’s equally impressive match tactic of “taking a couple of days off the pop” kicked back in to trump Dave’s tactic and he ran away with the 4th game 11-2.

    I was marking Sean on the other court and I could go in to a long explanation of the match, but I think it’s a much better summary to just say –
    1) Sean lost the first two games – as usual (throwing away good opportunities whenever he could).
    2) Sean then won the next two games – as usual (by becoming the human JCB and digging really well)
    And so to the 5th. I was sure that Sean had his man in the last game as Brian (Robertson) looked very tired in the 3rd (when he didn’t serve from the left box once all game! What?) and exhausted in the 4th (when he only served there once!! – this must be a record!), but not at all! Brian got off to a great start and soon got his confidence back with some great length and lovely straight drops. Sean tried to extend the rallies, but just wasn’t able to do them as effectively as he needed to and in the end I think Sean tired himself out. Brian continued to move Sean around well and ran away with the 5th and the match 3-2 and MOTM (10-12 10-12 11-6 11-6 2-11).

    Kev was already in full flow when I joined the game and he’d won the 1st game 11-8 against Steven Halliday. He was however 7-8 down in the 2nd and Steve is very dangerous in these situations. He played a couple of tricky angles and at 10-9 wasn’t about to let the chance of a game pass him by and he finished the game off 11-9. Kev’s racket was thrown to the floor then picked up again and then thrown to the floor again! Kev must have been thinking of going into fast food in the next game as he handed Steve the squash doughnut 11-0 and then finished things of clinically in the last with a 11-4 win and some great athletic displays (MOTM for me).

    Last up was Dougie Kempsell at No.2 against Pete Halliday. Dougie couldn’t have played better in the 1st game. He completely dominated every aspect of each rally and by 8-2 he had Pete blowing out of his…………. blow hole to win 11-2!
    Pete employed much better tactics in the 2nd and went for more shots to go 6-3 up. In contrast Dougie was stuck in cruise-control and it was only a disputed stroke that jolted him out of this frame of mind. He wasn’t happy with the decision, but I was as it made him re-focus and take the game 11-8. The 3rd was much better for Dougie as he won it 11-6 and was happy with this warm up the Scottish Nationals this weekend in Edinburgh.

    So all in all a good 17-6 win and once again a very nice curry and chat about that old chestnut moving West Division 1 to a Tuesday! (Good to have that chat again after so many years!! Great idea – will never happen!)

  45. March 17, 2011 at 9:17 am

    Wednesday 9th March – 2nd Team
    2nds were up against SSRC at there place and we’re locked in a battle for the elusive 3rd place and potential promotion to the 2nd Division. Due to a late call off from Jason who had a sniffle! we called in the supersub Paulo who we were confident would notch up the 1st 3 points. Alas, it wasn’t to be and Paulo just didn’t seem to get his game going, getting caught out with some tight balls and nicks and going down 3-0. Next up was Colin and he was playing a veteran of the game, John Thistle and Stevens early prediction was that Colin would walk it. He was soon left eating his words as Colin lost the 1st game 15-7, however things improved in the next game as Colin started to get the measure of John and he took the next 3 games comfortably to even the match. I was next up at 3, playing a girl, Maggie, which Colin described as a no win scenario for me, as I’d get no credit for winning and a power of abuse for losing! Anyway, we kicked off and before I knew it I was 8-2 down as Maggie was playing some powerful drives and also some tight boasts. All of a sudden I woke up and started to get things going and gradually I pulled things back, taking the 1st game 15-12. I was confident that I could close out the match, now that I’d got the measure of Maggie’s game and did so fairly comfortably in the next 2 to give us a 6-4 lead with the big guns still to be deployed!
    Gordon was on next, up against a wee terrier of a player, David Irvine. This was a bit of a cat and mouse game first David was leading, then Gordon, and it was clear that it was going all the way. I headed for a shower and arrived back just as they were going into the final game, Gordon had just taken the previous game and was now looking favourite to grind ot a victory……… but no, he seemed to lose focus and lost a run of points to go 8-2 down, which then became 14-7. Could Gordon do the unthinkable and pull it off………. no! Had a good try, getting back to 14-12 before finally tinning it, the pendulum had swung back in favour of SSRC, now just 1 point behind us at 8-7. Up came Steven to seal the victory we needed and keep the promotion chances alive. His opponent David McCormick obviously hadn’t read this script and took the first 2 games, 15-10 and 15-5. Our dreams were shattered, but wait, the tide was turning in the 3rd game and Steven pulled off some fantastic shots to take the game and leave David reeling. Colin and I had also spotted a weakness in Davids game, a chink in his armour, he couldn’t play a drop shot. He did make up for that by blasting everything back twice as hard as Steven though! Unfortunately Steven couldn’t continue his run of form and lost in the 4th 15-10. Final score was 13-9 to SSRC, now 10 points clear of us with 2 games to play. We can still do it with a strong home win against them and Western 4.

    Cheers,
    Brian

  46. March 17, 2011 at 9:17 am

    Wednesday 9th March – 3rd Team
    Last night the thirds were at Strathclyde Uni who still harboured hopes of pipping us for 3rd place. Paul and James were on first hoping to get us off to a perfect start. Paul looked to be well in control in his match but James was finding the going a bit tougher. Both of them managed to take 2-0 leads though. Being generally younger (by about 40 years), the students were zipping around the court at amazing speeds but skill and experience usually come to the fore and James was first to show this as he saw out his match 3-0. Paul was following his example and got to 14-7 match ball in the third. Then inexplicably he let it slip to lose the game. However, he made amends in the fourth to claim a 3-1 victory.
    Billy went on next to try to secure the bonus points. His opponent, Lewis was very mobile and was even diving full length attempting to retrieve shots. Billy, no slouch himself, was always in control of the match and ran out a 3-0 winner to get us to 12-1. At the same time, Stuart was on the other court and had already lost the first game by the time I went on against another Speedy Gonzalez, Callum. The first game was close but I came out on top. The second game was even closer but this time Callum took it. In the third, Callum was winning the long rallies and appeared to be getting the upper hand. I was determined to make a fight of it and eventually got to 14-13 but was frustrated when Callum’s shot off the frame hit the front wall 12 feet up and spun down for a winner. I chose to set to 3 and took the game 17-15.
    I could see Stuart on the balcony and from the thumbs down signs I gathered he had lost. 3-1 to the student. This made me more determined to win my match and although it was very close again, I edged the fourth for a 3-1 victory and a 16-5 win overall. 2 matches to go and promotion now almost a certainty.
    Robert

  47. September 30, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Wednesday 23rd March – 3rd Team
    Good morning everyone; today will be the last of the 3rd team reports for the season and I am sorry that they have been a little sporadic over the last few months but I will ensure next seasons are always posted, one way or another.

    Last night saw us play our snowed off replay match with Strathclyde University at home; we went into the match requiring only 4 points to ensure a third place and hopefully automatic promotion back to 5th division but it was never going to be an easy match for us against the young fit students.

    First on for us was our resident 3rd team physician, James, hoping to stabilise our condition and put the first suture in to close the 4 point gap we required for promotion. Despite a long day of travelling from Vienna, James shot into a 4-0 lead, constantly confusing the young lad with his disguise boasts and floating straight lobs. The youngster, Matt Baird, came back strong and, by running endlessly, forced James into a nip and tuck game all the way to the 13-13. James however forced the scalpel home and drew first blood 1-0. For the next game James decided to re-enact a song by a by a band of the same name and sat down to let Matt destroy him 15-4. Unbeknown to the rest of us, this was just a cunning plan by James to give him a little bed rest. Third game saw James race into a 7-1 lead, everyone thought James’s cunning plan had worked but no, what was this, young Matt hadn’t read the script and was staging a comeback to take it to 10-7. James dug in deep and closed the bleeding wound to win 15-13. The fourth went much the way of the third and despite a match point, James flat lined at 17-14 to make it 2-2 in games. Despite desperate attempts to revive James during the break, his 4 in the morning partying with the Vienna boys choir, on his trip, had left him with nothing in the tank and the lead balloon sank 15-4. 3-2 to Strathclyde, some great rallies but more importantly 2 points out of 4 required. The away MOTM for Matt for his shear determination and fitness.

    On at the same time as James was Paul Rogan against Frazer Ley at 3. Unfortunately I didn’t see any of this match; despite James starting his game first, he finished well after Paul. Looking at the points, both players seemed to be playing hot and cold, like the flu, and with that ailment came the runs of points on both sides. Final score 3-2 to Paul; but more importantly this was 5-5 in matches and promotion secure. MOTM to Paul for securing his difficult win

    After Pauls match, John McConnell took to the court at 5 against Lewis Cameron; despite winging about the ball being “too hot and bouncy”, which is what happens when you have a few rallies in a match John, the match was never really in doubt; although there was a 12-14 wobble in the 3rd, which John dug in to bring home 17-14. Loads of winging and arrogance from John but good play and a good score; which I am sure we will hear about for some time.

    I was on at the same time as John, playing Callum Middleton at 4. This was a tough match with no shot ever being considered dead by either of us. This was made slightly more difficult by the fact that I was choking on my drops and my drives were not as tight as they could be. I won’t bore you with the details, other than it was 3-1 to me in the end; however on another night in another court, the score could easily have been reversed.

    With my game, the match and promotion secure, it was now down to Andy to increase our point’s difference on the leader board.

    Andy was playing at 1 against Finlay McGee.

    The first game was a see saw of points with Andy forcing home a 15-12 well fought game. Unfortunately for Andy, Finlay was just using the first game as a stretching exercise for the rest of the match and he came back on a determined and very flexible young lad. Despite some very good squash by Andy, the youngster was just to fast, fit, flexible and in a previous life must have been a miner the way he kept digging the balls out the back corners for winning shots. Andy could find no way of finishing Finlay off, so it ended 3-1 to Finlay.

    Despite the last game downer, this left DL 3 with a very respectable 15-9 win, with the bottom 3 brining home the bacon for a change.

    Thanks to all the players who have supported the team for the year and bring on next year in the 5th division.

  48. September 30, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Wednesday 16th March – 1st Team
    If you don’t live and learn then what’s the point eh? So on Tuesday night I though let’s go easy on the wine (Tuesday’s my one day off by the way, my weekend) as Western 2 was the penultimate match of the season and the match result could be tight.

    An early kick off had been arranged and Michael Currie was going to be first on at No.5 against Bert Mitchell. Doug also arrived early and as his opposite number (Gordon Fawkes) was also there so we were two matches up and running. I marked Dougie and so (as normal) completely missed Michael’s game – however it didn’t surprise me to hear tales of between the legs shots and 2 stroke rallies. It did however surprise me to see the game over so early. Bert won 11-6 11-7 11-9 in double quick time and the chat after was that Michael just went for a bit too much, too quickly.

    On court 3 Dougie was making heavy weather of his encounter against Gordon. Needless boasts at the wrong time combined with poor length meant that he was a bit all over the place – Gordon was hitting and moving well enough, although some poor dropping limited his effectiveness at the back of the court. Dougie took a scrappy 1st game 11-7 and then had to recover a game ball in the 2nd to win 12-10. He made Gordon work much harder in the 3rd and won more easily 11-9 (it would have been 11-8 but refused to take a stroke and Gordon tried to hit the tin to show good sport-ing-ness but instead slapped the ball into the nic!)

    I went on next against Matt Mackie at No.3 and I was expecting a real tough one as we’d had a right ding-dong in the first half. I was up for it and ready to fly out of the traps like a greyhound! I have to say I was very pleased with my performance and I dominated the first two games 11-5 11-4. Unfortunately at 4-2 in the 3rd Matt pulled up lame (knee problems) and had to concede, but a good win for me non the less.

    Kev took to the court against Colin Fawkes at No.1 and I missed most of this one as I was chatting to Bert, or should I say R.J.Mitchel, about his new novel (in all good book shops from the 28th – and some rubbish ones to) called “Parallel Lines” I think. When we joined the match it was already in the 3rd and Kev was 11-3 11-1 up and cruising. Dave (the marker) had written out 5 sets of the players names on the score sheet, which I thought was a bit optimistic as Kev romped home 11-3.

    Sean was good enough to turn up at this point (!) to play Karen (Pink) Lawrie – Dougie seemed keen to mark this one can’t imagine why! The match itself was a bad day at the office for Karen who got chopped in quick time. Sean won 11-5 11-7 11-3 and was never in danger (the team were amazed however that Sean didn’t lose the first 2 games anyway!).

    Sitting in the bar after Dave Mathie (the ref) had bought his black Labrador, Buffy, into the club and Matt asked him if having a guide dog present hampered his refereeing at all?!?!?!??! Quality, I just about got a stitch laughing at that one!

  49. September 30, 2011 at 9:24 am

    Wednesday 16th March – 2nd Team
    Last night the seconds were at home to Western 4 in what should have been the last match of the season had it not been for December’s ice and snow. We were looking to pick up maximum points to close the gap on SSRC ahead of us and to keep ahead of Whitecraigs RFC who were 2 points behind with a game in hand. Coincidentally and conveniently, they were playing each other last night. With SSRC to come at home in the last game, we still had a slim chance of 3rd place.
    I was first on at 5 against Alan Mowat. I got off to a great start winning the first 8 points before taking the first game 15-3. The second was a closer affair with Alan managing to get into his stride but I took it 15-11. The third was a very scrappy affair and I looked to be home and dry before Alan stormed back to take it 15-13. I made no mistake in the fourth by taking it 15-9 for a 3-1 victory.
    Gordon was on the other court at number 2 against Euan Faulds. This was shaping up to be a typical Gordon encounter. The games were close and Gordon was 2-1 down going into the fourth. The odds were on 5 sets and Gordon losing the last 17-16. He stuck to the script by winning the fourth but completely avoided the dramatic finish by winning the decider 15-10. So far so good.
    Jason was next at 4 against Brian Dunn. He took the first 2 games 15-6 15-6 but faced stiffer resistance in the third. It got to 14-14 but Jason nicked it 17-15 to take us into a 12-3 lead.
    Colin was on at the same time at 3 against Duncan Park. Duncan hit the ball at about 200mph and it was flying about the court like a superball. Colin coped with it well in the first game taking it 15-12. In the second however, Duncan took the first 7 points and Colin never managed to make any impact and went down 15-4. Colin re-assessed his strategy and was able to dominate from then on and as Duncan tired, he took the next 2 games 15-7 15-4.
    So we were 15-4 up when Steven went on to try for a maximum. He was playing Chris Tames who had suffered heart palpitations the previous week and the medical advice was to ensure that he didn’t exert himself. Not the best preparation for a match at 1 against Steven. At least medical help was handy should the need arise. Steven was never in any danger and he cruised through the match without having to apply any advanced life saving techniques in which he excels. 3-0 gave us a good 18-4 win. We await the other results to see if our outstanding match with SSRC will still be meaningful.
    Robert
    Robert W

  1. January 7, 2010 at 1:11 am
  2. January 14, 2010 at 9:26 am
  3. January 21, 2010 at 1:26 am
  4. January 2, 2011 at 5:18 pm

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