Previous Match Reports 2011/12

  1. October 7, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Wednesday 28th September 2011 – 1st Team
    Well Western 1 away for your first match of the season is never easy especially when they’ve strengthened their team with a new 1, 2 and 3 and I get to play Bert (aka R.J.Mitchell) at No.4

    First up was me against Bert. Dave Mathie turned up to mark and I said “You’re brave!” which turned out to be prophetic!
    * Bert came out flying and took the 1st 8-11 with some good sharp cross courts and trade mark volleys.
    * I then decided to play more cross courts myself – hard and low – and won a physically tough 2nd 11-2.
    * Bert started anticipating my now over used cross-courts and took the 3rd 8-11 by volleying them all short.
    * I then straightened up and chose my time to go across the court more carefully to win the 4th 11-4
    * And so to the 5th – Both Bert and I were really testing the marker at this stage and a whole host of decisions were coming back at us (I thought it was a “Glasgow Conspiracy” and got a warning for my troubles!). I went into a 7-2 lead but Bert dragged the game back. Momentum was on Bert’s side, but I had the points in the bank and you could maybe say that we had taken “Parallel Lines” up to 10-10! Anyway I got the lucky last point to secure the win and I was delighted to get a very tough first match under my belt.

    Next up was Dougie Kempsell at No.2 against new signing Peter Halliday. The best word I can use to describe Dougie’s performance in this game is ‘bulldozing’! Peter was up against a man who got everything back and was moving well to boot. Peter started to go for more risky shots, which Dougie would either get back or they would tin. The whole match was exemplified by Peter hitting a wonderful backhand return of serve about 0.5mm above the tin, with so much slice it’s already been nic-named Mothers Pride, and Dougie even got this back and won the point. Good 3-0 win for Dougie (and he’s passed his driving test as well – all the best people pass on the 5th attempt Dougie!).

    Sean (Norris) was keeping the troops amused with his age-old jokes (Lyall Patterson will no doubt be amused to hear that he’s still the butt of many of them! As am I!). But it was now time to let his squash do the joking! He was up against a man he’s never beaten in Kevin Lawlor. Kev (Moran) was on at the same time so I didn’t see a lot of Sean’s game, but when I heard he was 2-1 down I thought I’d better investigate. Unfortunately I was too enthralled with the game at No.1 and by the time I got there it was 2-2. Well I’m not sure what all the fuss was about as Sean won the 5th quite easily in the end. I saw him chasing down some of Kevin’s best shots again and again and this took him to a 3-2 win (I’d say MOTM to Sean for a great effort against a player he’d never previously beaten).

    As I say I was watching the No.1 match (Kevin Moran v new signing Greg Lobban) and what a wonderful match this was. Kev was strong, fit and fast last year now he’s stronger fitter and faster with his trade mark trickery all over the court. Greg is a real talent (in the style of Jocky Tait I’d say for those of you as old as me) and can hold the ball very well, hit a good length and seems to find the nic at will. Greg came out all guns blazing and won the 1st 5-11 with some great shot making – Kev was over-hitting his length a touch and this was the difference in that game. Determination took over Kev’s game in the 2nd and he wouldn’t let Greg get another dangerous lead. Kev was really quick to everything and this was becoming a very physical encounter. Greg saw his chance at 12-12 and went on to have a game ball; but Kev wrestled the game back at this crucial stage to sneak it 15-13. The rest of the match was just as good as spectacle, but there was an air on inevitability as Kev kept a very high pace and tempo and Greg was always playing catch up at 2-6 down in the 3rd and 1-6 in the 4th. So a really great match to watch and Kev pulled through a potential upset, winning 3-1 (their MOTM to Greg for pushing Kev so hard).

    Last on was our new signing Ewen Urquhart against their 3rd new signing Peter Robson. Peter confessed to not having played much in the summer and Ewen confessed to training regularly every morning! I was thoroughly impressed with Ewen’s game; he’s very quick and his game is solid and the only question was whether he was able to hand Peter an ‘American doughnut’ during the 3-0 win. He wasn’t, but it was an emphatic win and I look forward to seeing more of his game as the season progresses.

    So an great 5-0 win for us and an excellent Chinese meal to round the evening off – hospitality from the Western lads was top-notch (god I love squash!).

  2. October 7, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Wednesday 28th September 2011 – 2nd Team
    This first match of the season saw DLR2 up against a Strathclyde Uni team (not one student among them). Despite a number of call-offs with a range of lame excuses we still managed to field a strong team with an eclectic mix of youth and experience!

    First up was James B aainst Tom Bowman and this turned out to be a real battle, James taking the 1st game 15-13, only to be robbed of a crucial point at 13 all in the 2nd and losing that one 14-16. The 3rd was equally close with Tom taking it 15-13. So, going into the 4th with everything to play for James dug deep and won the 4th 15-9 to level the match. By now the game seemed to be going in slow motion (Matrix style) however both players were tiring and James managed to capitalise on this and crossed the line 3-2 victor, well done!

    Meanwhile Jason was on court 1 playing against an imposing John McIntrye, glad I wasn’t scoring this one as it turned out to be a tricky one with lots of contact and lets/ strokes being awarded, Paulo did well to keep himself together for this one. Jason played well and stuck to his task, good to see him toughening up against this type of player, and came out with a comfortable 3-0 victory at position1 (not sure how long we’ll be able to keep him in the 2nd team, think Sean’s days are numbered!!).

    Next up was Paulo, playing at 3 against Alistair Hamilton and this proved to be a very close one (think all the free lessons Paulo’s had playing in Div 1are starting to pay off!!) He took this match in 3, but 2 of these wen’t to 14 all, testing out the new scoring system, great result.

    Andy was on at the same time against a tricky left hander and there was a bit of a miss match in styles here, Andy with his high floaters and the other guy with a very low flat ball. Despite a valiant effort he went down in 3 straight, think he was preserving some energy for the Edinburgh 10K this weekend!!

    So, I was last up against Colin Clark and at the start of the match we were 2-1 up as Paulo hadn’t finished so there was still everything to play for. Got off to a good start and was 8-0 up in the first before the other guy started playing. Took the first 2 games fairly easily and was feeling good going into the 3rd, getting confirmation that Paulo had won, securing the points. Think this caused a mental breakdown as I immediately went 6-0 down in the 3rd and struggled to get back into this one. Managed to finally pull things together at 13-13 and took the last 2 points for victory.

    So, well done to the team, 15-5 victory to the Lloyds.

    Cheers Brian

  3. October 7, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Wednesday 28th September 2011 – 3rd Team
    The third team was at home to Wanders 2 last night and got their league campaign off to a winning start. We had a bit of a makeshift team with Robert away and Andy and James called up to the second team.

    First up on court was JP at number 3 making his team debut. He was playing John McTernian, who struggled to get to grip with JPs unique squash style, and he thought JP was playing mind games with him, as he stopped to tie his laces every two shots.JP used his overhead cross court drop shot to good effect and won the game comfortably 3-0.

    Next up was Craig at 5 playing Fergus Keith. Again a convincing 3-0 win, with Craig in complete control of the match. After Craig it was my turn to maintain the winning momentum. The first game was an easy win, but then my opponent Peter Wynne started to play really well and won the second game too easily. The third game was tight and far too long as I fell victim to the new win by two clear points rule. At 14-14 to conserve energy I would normally have called one. As this option was not available I eventually won the game 18-16. The fourth game was won a lot easier and this gave me a 3-1 result, and the team a 3-0 lead.

    Paul S was next up at 3 and quickly raced to 2-0 lead. His opponent Jim Smith was getting frustrated and tested the build quality of his racquet on many occasions. In the third and fourth games Jim’s superior fitness paid off, and he leveled the match 2-2. It was all down to the decider, and Jim kept his momentum going to win the match 3-2.

    Last up on court playing at number 1 was Paul R. He was playing against Craig Jones who played well and won the first two games. Paul started moving his opponent around and won the next two to level the match. By now everyone was getting hungry and we wanted a quick win in the fifth, however Paul and Craig decided to trade points. The game went to14-14 with both players looking to win the next point and serve for the match.. At 20-20 I looked at the score sheet and was horrified that I was running out of boxes, so I was relieved when the game was won 22-20, but unfortunately not by Paul.

    Overall a good 3-2 win to get the season off to a good start.

    John

  4. October 14, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Wednesday 5th October 2011 – 1st Team
    It was a much more straightforward game for us this week as Newlands 2 came visiting.

    Newlands have changed their team order policy this season and are playing a straight 1-10 in ability order instead of splitting their strength across the two teams in Division 1. As a result their 2nd team was weaker than it has been in previous years and we’re a wee bit stronger.

    First on at No.4 was Sean (Norris) against Peter Cumine. Peter’s game has really come on in the past couple of seasons (must be his trade mark training regime of staying up all night lifting weights with his squash playing arm at Newlands bar……….and various other bars!), but then so has Sean’s. This must also have been the lightest match up ever in the history of West Div 1 squash, as the two of them probably didn’t break 10 stone (between them…..wet through). But not even Peter’s retrieving was going to be enough to make a dent in the more steely Sean as he won the encounter 3-0.

    I was on next against John Bannister (at No.3) and the knock-up seemed to go on for a mile, but was over in just under 4 mins (3.59.4 to be precise!). I think John had an knee injury, although he wasn’t going to admit to it, but all the twisting and turning was taking its toll and it was just one step too high for the Bannister to climb as I won the tie 3-0 (there was only one contentious decision where I got a ‘let’ and John was convinced there was no way I could have played his flat nic shot that clung to the side wall after it bounced and was still spinning like a top after the 4th bounce – but I reckon I could!)

    Next on at No.5 was Michael Currie making his season’s debut. He looked like he was approaching peak physical fitness…………one of these years (I understand that I’m on dodgy ground here!) as he lined up against David Simpson. David (with his trademark white golf glove) was amazed that Michael was playing below Sean, much to our amusement and Sean’s disgust. The game itself was the tightest of the evening and although Michael won it 3-0 there were some good hard rallies. It was good to see Mic up to his usual “through the legs” shots, although the second time he tried it he hit himself with the ball (funny). We didn’t see the trademark shot after that!

    Dougie (Kempsell) and Kev (Moran) went on last. Dougie was playing Stuart Brunton at No.2 and was far from amused when Sean started cheering for Stuart (you should have see the look!). Doug is off to Malmo, Sweden this weekend with other Scottish team mates to play the Nordic Junior Open (a European Super Series Event) so good luck to him and all the Scottish players. Well back to the Wednesday match and again a comfortable 3-0 win for Dougie. Stuart made a good fist of it in the 1st game, but after that Dougie was even more dominant.

    Kev played Victoria Bell at No.1 and it was a long trip for Victoria from Carlisle to have to match up against the PSA ranked World No.196 and in truth Kev was just too strong and quick for Victoria winning the tie 3-0, but I’m not so sure I’d have fancied my chance of winning a match against her.

    Sean then challenged Kev to a friendly (!) game after with a 9-0 start to Sean (up to 11). Kev seemed to be worried that this was too much, but for the life of me I couldn’t think why and so suggested at least a 10-0 start. In the end it was a 9-0 start and the match was 3-2, but that was only because Kev gave Sean 11-0 in two of the games! (otherwise Sean’s match was pointless!!!!)

    Mic finished the evening off with the biggest topping on a baked potato I’d ever seen – surely Guinness should have been called.

  5. October 14, 2011 at 10:46 am

    Wednesday 5th October 2011 – 2nd Team
    Belated one from the 2nds as I’ve been busy, nothing to do with the fact I got pumped!!

    We were away to Strathgryffe, who are still smarting from the recent defection of Robert Caldwell who has decided to play for Lloyds this year! Anyway, we were expecting a tough match and certainly a long one as we only had the one court.
    First up was Paulo who played at 4 due to his recent mini league performances (don’t mention last month, it’s a sore point!) Anyway, after a slow start, where he dropped the first game, Paulo took on board the wise words from the rest of the team and this started to bear fruit. He took the 2nd game and was in the driving seat from then on, although I did have to ask him to make more of an effort at one stage, when he asked for a let after what was a half hearted attempt to get to the ball! Despite his protests he came through a worthy winner 3-1.
    Next up was Robert, who had just been in Jordan (not the model!) and was clearly still in holiday mode. He was up against a young lad, Struan Grant, and was in for a tough game as he was running for every ball. The games were close and I think this one went all the way, however Roberts guile shone through in the end with his lob serves and deadly drops and he took it in 5. Well done!
    Enter Gordon, at 3, and after missing week 1 due to sustaining several broken ribs in a friendly against Robert Caldwell, he was out to maximise his time on court! Despite making every effort to keep the rallys alive, Gordon took this one comfortably in 3, which must be a record for him!! The highlight in this match was that Paulo was marking and at one stage Gordon asked for a let, to which Paulo replied….. I’ll give you a let on this occasion but I need to see more of an effort!! Classic line from Paulo!
    Colin was in number 2 slot, playing against a guy with cartoons tatood on each leg, Woody woodpecker! This was a demonstration of power from each player and Colin was the agressor throughout and despite a blip in the middle, he took it comfortably in 4. Who’s laughing now Woody!!
    I was last up and was playing an old adversary and ex Lloyd player, David Archibald. I clearly misjudged this one as he’s improved since we last played and this turned out to be a whuppin (at my expense!) He seemed to get everything back and I’m sure they turned up the heaters at the back just to make sure I was well done, which I certainly was by the end. Managed to pull one back but went down 3-1. I’m sure it will be a different story at Lloyds on a cooler court!
    Final score was 15-7, which probably puts us top after 2 weeks, well done guys. Next week is at home to Newlands then the following week is a break.

  6. October 27, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Wednesday 12th October 2011 – 1st Team
    Interesting one tonight against Glasgow University (away). The Uni team have lost the services of a few good players, but then again they’ve promoted some good players as well.

    First up at No.4 was self proclaimed MOTM* Sean (Norris) who played Mhairi Charlton and when I arrived it appeared that he was having a tough time of it. Sean had won the first two by getting to 7-7 and then powering on….

    To see David Lloyd Renfrew match reports click here

    To see David Lloyd West End match reports click here from there to win both games, however in the 3rd Mhairi had other ideas. She stayed with Sean at the crucial times and then at 9-7 she wouldn’t surrender this momentum and took the game 8-11. Sean had his fishing racket out for most of the 3rd and 4th games, but the marker (Ollie) was having none of it as he let Sean down gently time after time. The 4th game went much the same way as the previous one with the scores being tied at 7-7 and Mhairi not wanting to give an inch. She was testing Sean right from every serve and he had to really dig and concentrate to get to 10-8 game ball up. At this point Sean played the best I’d seen during the match and it was just in time. He was on the end of a long rally, but managed to turn defeat into victory and won the last points to claim the match 3-1. However MOTM* to Mhairi for me for some great squash from the serve, to the length, to the shots, she’s the real deal.

    I went on next against Blair Paton, remembering that the Uni courts were idiosyncratic from my last encounter at the Morrison Building. The ball pings off the front wall when you hit it hard and low and this appears to get the best results. I say appears, but if I’d persevered with this strategy I would have undoubtedly got chopped. Blair is a great exponent of thrashing the ball hard and low, especially cross-court from his forehand (on the left) to mine and so I had to change, and fast. So I started to throw the ball up higher and look for a length this way. Well this worked a treat and (with cut on the serve) Blair was finding it difficult to cope with this. The rest of the 1st game and the 2nd game went by with me in the lead. Then Blair caught on! This made the 3rd a great battle; Blair was always in the lead, right up to 10-9. I was lucky at this point and managed to sneak the next two points to get ‘game ball’ and after another last ditch effort from Blair I eventually scrapped home 13-11.

    Kev (Moran) was on the other court at the same time against Liam Dickson at No.1 and he seemed to be really enjoying the idiosyncratic courts. I missed a lot of his game, but the pace Kev could generate off the front walls was appealing to his pressure game. Mix his tricky short game in and it wasn’t long before he was 2-0 up. I had to ref Dougie’s match at this point, but soon I saw Kev again and he’d won the 3rd as well. A real tough one for Liam and I can’t see him losing too much sleep because of a loss to someone of Kev’s standard.

    Dougie (Kempsell) was on at the same time against David Lyons at No.2 and he was his usual clinical self. I love watching Dougie’s games as he puts in solid performance after solid performance and this was no exception as he was soon into his stride, winning the 1st game 11-5. The 2nd was identical (apart from David graciously playing a ‘let’ on a ball that was probably out) and apart from a couple of fabulous flat nics from Dave, which broke things up a bit, the result was inevitable and inevitably Dougie won 3-0.

    Last on was Michael (Currie) against Ollie Blackmore at No.5. I joined this match at the end of the 2nd with Michael 1-0 up and 9-7 in the 2nd game. Mic seemed to be holding Ollie at arm’s length despite it being so close in points and sure enough he took the 2nd game 11-9. The 3rd saw a good fight back from Ollie and he was applying the pressure at 8-8 and 10-10. As usual Mic seems unable to resist any opportunity to play the shot through his legs. This week we had a boast, a drop and then he hit his own leg on the third attempt (funny!) and after the fourth time of doing it Ollie responded by shaking an imaginary can of Coke** towards Mic! Not sure why he wanted Mic to get him a Coke**??? The game progressed to 11-11 and at this point Mic played a couple of great holding shots; making Ollie come forward and then putting the ball to the back. This did the trick and Michael took the match 13-11.

    I’d been coaching at another club earlier in the day and had left all my clothes at that club, so when I’d showered I discovered that I had nothing to change into (much to everyone’s amusement, especially Sean and Michael). So I borrowed a t-shirt of Michael (worryingly it fitted!) and then I had to go all the way back to Whitecraigs to get my gear (donkey!). Ho-hum! I met up with the teams in Ashton Lane for a pint in the Grosvenor Cafe (used to be the ‘Loft’) and some good banter with the Uni teams. Mic and I also visited the Ashoka on the way out of The Lane – no wonder we’re such athletes!!

    Another good Wednesday squash night oot!

    *Not sure who our MOTM was, but it definitely wasn’t Sean!

    **other brands of soft drink are also available

  7. October 27, 2011 at 11:11 am

    Wednesday 12th October 2011 – 2nd Team
    Sorry, late one from me again, think I’ll need to delegate more in future!

    2nds were up against Newlands 4 and there were the matches that we were losing at the start of last season so we needed a strong performance.

    With all 3 courts in action it was difficult to follow all the games with Andy, Robert and Jason all on at the same time. I was following Jason’s game, a good game to watch and even Sean could have umpired this one as there were no lets and very few strokes! Jason was focussed from start to finish and a clinical performance saw him take the match 3-0 playing in No1 position, well done.

    Robert was up against Graham Parkins and this one was a bit closer with them sharing the first 2 games and Gordon’s refereeing skills were being brought into question on a couple of occasions. (Think we’ll need to send him back to the John Findlay school of refereeing for some retraining!!) Anyway, the rest of the match were Roberts way and he took it 3-1.
    Andy was on against Amanda Nicol and he started well as Amanda struggled to cope with his wizzardry and guile. He took the first game but youth finally got the better of Andy and Amanda took the next 3 to win 3-1.

    Gordon and I went on at the same time with the match in the balance and things weren’t looking too good as we both lost the first game. I also lost the 2nd game and was struggling to get a good length with my newly strung racket. Change of tactics needed and so got out my old faithful and the comeback was on. I took the next game and also the 4th, meanwhile, next door Gordon was also at 2-2, so a real nailbitter for the last. If you’ve ever heard of synchronised swimming, then this was the squash equivalent as our scores were matching on both courts all the way through and we ever finished the matches at exactly the same time and with exactly the same score (15-13) But who won……….. as if it was ever in question, both games went to Lloyds, overall a 4-1 victory to extend our lead at the top of the league (I think) Well done everyone, off next week and the Giffnock 3 on the 26th which will be a tough game away.

    Cheers

    Brian

  8. November 3, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Wednesday 26th October 2011 – 1st Team
    My prediction before the match was that we’d get max 3 points against Giffnock this week – so I should really be happy with our 5 point haul. I’m not! However there were two wonderful performances by the team.

    First wonderful performance was Jason (Lang) and at 15 he’s the youth policy of the club. He was playing his first ever Division 1 match against Mikey Rodgerson at No.5 and what a tough debut. Mikey’s experience meant he took control of the first two games, leading 5-1 in both and then going on to win both 11-5, but what a turnaround in the 3rd game. Jason took the significant 5-1 lead this time and powered on from there, romping home 2-11. It’s dangerous to give someone of Jason’s ability confidence and so Mikey was now in a real battle. A tough start to the 4th saw the scores tied at 5-5, the game ebbed and flowed all the way to a tie break at 10-10. Jason was now playing a better length and he forced a game ball at 10-11; then all you need is a bit of luck and with ‘stroke’ on game point (by Stu G – their marker) it was 2-2. The 5th game was a complete u-turn in Mikey’s concentration levels; he dominated the early exchanges and although Jason fought hard and played well Mikey won the game 11-5 and the match 3-2. A fabulous match and I couldn’t see how Jason wouldn’t get MOTM for those two team points……but……………

    I was on next at No.2 against Iain Tennant and it would be fair to say I gave 100% in my match – 20% in the 1st game – 50% in the 2nd and 30% in the 3rd! Not that it would have made a button of difference either way as Iain was far too good and thrashed me 3-0 (he forces you back with a great length and then has a wonderful touch to the front which left me floundering time after time). Iain did however have a great sweat…………. after his trip to the sauna straight after the game! I got a bit of a dressing down from a crowd member for not digging hard enough and he had a point, but sometimes you have to fight the battles you have a chance in!

    Michael (Currie) was on at the same time as me so I didn’t see his match, but his opponent Stuart George (Giffnock Club Champ 2011) appears to have been well in control of this encounter as he won 3-0. Real tough one for Michael this week and Giffnock will easily be in the top 3 come the end of the season with depth like Stuart at No.4

    Sean went on next at No.3 against Owen (Hadden) and this looked like another pumpin’ was on the cards, but full credit to Sean he was giving it everything in the 1st game and was 7-6 up with some great retrieving and good short shots. Unfortunately (for us) Owen then went on a 5 point run to take the momentum back and win the game 11-7. In-between games Sean said “I’ve got him really trying.” To which the reply came back “Aye – trying not to laugh.” After this Owen got into his stride and was sending the ball all over the place, with his trademark tennis volleys and very quick speed of thought to comfortably win the next two games. Owen would be a handful at No.1 or 2 and Sean was playing up a place tonight so the result was no surprise.

    And so to the match of the night at No.1 as Dougie (Kempsell) took on Giffnock’s Chris Fergusson. I managed to side step the marking duties in this one (thank god!) as I persuaded Iain Tennent to take the clipboard. The opening exchanges were cautious and both players were settling in, but Chris was picking up the points at this stage. He was up 4-1 and 8-4, but at this point in the match we saw a dramatic turn-around. Dougie started playing a much better and harder length and he mixed this up with some great drop shots from the back left. This took him on an 11 point run which not only got him the 1st game 11-8, but also up 4-0 in the 2nd. This, however inspired Chris to a comeback of his own and at 8-8 it was anyone’s game. Chris used his experience at this point and kept control (and Dougie helped with a serve-return into the tin) and suddenly the match was 1-1.
    The 3rd was definitely a game of two halves – Chris dominated the first part of the game as he opened up with lots of attacking shots (6-2) and in the second half Dougie got his game back on track by retrieving and dropping well (there were quite a few interference ‘lets’ in the 2nd and 3rd games especially, but as soon as Dougie stopped asking for ‘lets’ and played on he got much more return for his efforts). Dougie got the game back to 10-10 and with a final massive effort he crossed the finish line. It should have been easier from now as Chris looked really tired, but Dougie had never beaten Chris so this could have proved a big psychological distraction, but not a bit of it as he re-doubled his efforts and physically dominated the game to win 11-5 and take the match 3-1. I think this marks a significant milestone in Dougie’s game and I was delighted to witness it (MOTM to both Dougie and Jason L for me).

    So the Giffnock lads took the honours 16-5 and so to the bar to listen to all of Sean’s old gags!

  9. November 3, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Wednesday 26th October 2011 – 2nd Team
    2nd team were up against Giffnock 3 and we know this would be a tough game as they have a strong pool of players and are unbeaten so far.

    It wasn’t a great start to the night as everyone from Lloyds except Robert C was late and Robert is a stickler for punctuality! Anyway, after the dressing down we got down to business and Robert was first up, at 4, making his debut for David Lloyd. First game was a tight one and Robert made the better start, going 8-2 up and things were looking good, however, his opponent then got a run of about 12 straight pints and took the first game. The second game was a bit more evenly matched but went Giffnocks way. The 3rd game went right down to the wire and it looked like Robert was going to take it into a 4th as they got to 14-14 but it wasn’t to be and Robert wen’t down 3-0, good effort though and a good game to watch.

    Next up was Gordon, playing at 2 and this had 5 setter written all over it!! First game was very close and Gordon just lost out after getting to 14 all. He made a good comeback in the 2nd game although there was some evidence of ‘rally after needless rally’ as Gordon tired to keep the rallies going rather than kill them off early. He then lost the 3rd game but his opponent was starting to tire and no wonder, so we had confidence that Gordon would take the 4th, which he did. On to the final game and it could have gone either way, but unfortunately it didn’t go our way and a fist pump with a shout of ‘come-on’ just rubbed salt into the wounds.

    Now to the main event, Paolo, playing at 5 against a very unorthodox player with the most bizzare backhand serve I’ve ever seen. I was scoring this one so was expecting some challenge from Paolo and wasn’t disappointed!! Paolo got off to a flyer, like a greyhound out of the traps, and before you could blink he was 2 games ahead. Someone said that he’d heard that it was sausage hotpot for dinner, his favourite, and that was why he was in a rush. Anyway, these rumours were crushed as he was pegged back in the next 2 games to make it 2-2. He did query a couple of dodgy calls along the way, however I wasn’t convinced that he’d made sufficient effort to play the ball, something that I was sure would come back to haunt me later! The 5th game was tight and had both teams on valium as the momentum swung way then the other, but finally and on a dodgy call it went to Giffnock, good effort though and this was an entertaining game to watch (and to ref)

    So, the match was won by Giffnock but there were still points to be had and with Colin dropping to 3 this week I was sure we’d get maximum points from this game. Clearly his mind was still on other things, like soft furnishings, sofa’s etc as he was constantly checking his blackberry for work messages as it gets closer to his hotel grand opening! The lack of match practice was taking it’s toll as he went down in the first, a game that he’d probably win 9 times out of 10 and a similar picture in the 2nd game. The game was fairly even but Colin was just missing his normal sharpness and this made the real difference as he also lost the 3rd game for a 3-0 defeat! The sooner this hotel opens the better!

    I was up last and by this time it was after 10pm so was anticipating a very late night. Not so ……………… in fact I bearly broke sweat, taking the match in 3 straight games. My opponent did however concede the match about 5 mins into the first game as he pulled something in his back, I’m not proud, I’ll take the points and day! Didn’t want to leave it too late in getting to the bar anyway as Paolo was in there getting stuck into the sausage casserole!

    Overall score was 15-7 to Giffnock, I’m sure we’ll pump them 2nd half!!

    Brian

  10. November 10, 2011 at 3:37 pm

    Wednesday 2nd November 2011 – 1st Team
    Last week’s home match had me thinking that an away trip to top of the table Strathgryffe could be a tough one, and as I arrived at Strathgryffe I was still wondering the same thing. In fact I was wondering this right up until I realised that none of my team mates were there and I’d gone to the wrong place! So 15 mins later I was at David Lloyd wondering if home advantage could be telling in tonight’s match?!?!

    Sean arranged an early start this week and was on (and off again) against Lee Fraser before I’d even arrived. Sean’s in danger of being the most improved player of the season at this rate, (please don’t tell him I said that!) as he racked up another impressive win against a very good player in Lee. He did have some help from our resident 1st team tactician (Ray) who told him to keep Lee off the ‘T’ and apparently this worked a treat as he won 3-1. All the games were tight at 11-9 8-11 11-9 11-7 but in the ones Sean won he built a good lead (9-4 8-4 & 9-6) and then held his nerve.

    Dougie went on next at No.2 against Chris ‘the Pirate’ Patrick. Dougie won 3-0, but all 3 games were even up to 4-4 and then Dougie got a good run of points to take all three games away from Chris to win 11-8 11-8 11-4. Chris looked like he’d walked the plank as he came off the court drenched and Dougie didn’t have feather out of place.

    Kev (Moran) was on at the same time at No.1 against Martin (Woods) and it looked like things were a bit too jovial at the start, which I thought may play into Martin’s hands. I was right as Martin took a 7-3 lead in the 1st game, but then I was wrong as Kev seemed to be able to win the points just when he needed to, to go into a 10-9 lead (then give one away to make it 10-10). He obviously had it all under (relative) control though, to win the 1st 12-10. I went on court next, so missed a lot of the rest, but the outcome was 3-0 and the last two were 11-6 11-9 so a good win for Kev who’s never beaten Martin 3-0 in a West League match (to my knowledge).

    I was on against James Dare and with a previous hum-dinger I’d had against him on these courts, I was hoping for a good performance tonight. Ray (our tactician) was also looking for a performance from me after last week’s head shaking one. It all went very well and I think I frustrated James a bit as he wasn’t his usual self. I was giving it 100% (!) concentration all the way through the match; it ended up a comfortable win to me, in old money it would have been 9-1 9-2 9-0!

    Last up was Michael (Currie) against Gary McIlree at No.5. Michael started brightly enough going 6-2 up, but then Garry got the next nine points in a row to turn the tide and win 11-6. The 2nd game saw the opposite happen with a 5-2 lead for Gary turned round to a 9-11 win for Mic. Then Gary put together another nine point run, but in a game of two halves Michael came back to 7-9, before Gary held on to win 11-8. At this point I told Sean to go and have a word with Mic about tactics, so he went over and said to Mic “They’re little white sweets that make your breath minty.” I rolled my eyes and said “That’s Tic-Tacs ya numpty!” Any way it was no wonder Mic lost after that! Garry controlled the last game to win it 11-6 and the match 3-1.

    So a 16-4 win for the team and some good chat after about all things squash! I wonder where the match is next week – bound to be away this time!

  11. November 10, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Wednesday 2nd November 2011 – 2nd Team
    The 2nds were at Parklands this week against a team with a combined age of 350 so on paper you’d think we should walk it. However they also have 350 years of experience as well so there were no guarantees. First out of the blocks was Roberto, hoping to break his duck, following a tough match last week. This was a pressure game in Roberts mind even before a ball was struck as a 2nd defeat may have seen him demoted to the ladies team for next week. Anyway, this was a tight game throughout and the first 2 games were shared, but Robert was starting to show some of the touch and determination that had sealed his big money transfer from Strathgryffe. When the next 2 games were also shared we realised we were in for a long night as we only had one court and Gordon was still to play! The 5th game was a tight affair but Robert kept focussed and managed to grind out a victory and get the monkey off his back in the process. A well deserved 3-2 win

    Next up was Jason playing at 1 (actually it was 2 really as they switched team order) against John Pinkerton, a veteran to the game. This was an exhibition from Jason on how to win a match (shame Gordon wasn’t watching) as he took John apart, winning in 3, despite a wobble in the 3rd game, when Jas had a slight lapse in concentration and let John in with a chance. 3-0 win, well done.

    Colin was on next at 4 and we were worried in case Gok turned up again this week, with his mind on soft furnishings and grand openings! Not the case, Colin was on form and in a hurry and took this fairly easily in 3, well done.

    I was up next playing their real No1, Jim Orr, and was expecting a tough match based on experience from previous years. Fortunately, Jim’s a year older and I’m a stone lighter so the combination of the 2 worked in my favour. I took the first 2 games with relative ease although I did have to put in a fair bit of running to keep in some of the rallies. Jason was scoring this match and I thought he did a sterling job, however Jim did question a number of the calls, again and again and again. The 3rd game ended on a stroke (to me) which Jim questioned, again and again, but Jason stood his ground and I won the match 3-0.

    Last up was Gordon and we all got our cocoa out and settled down for what we thought would be a very long 5 setter. Not the case, however he gave me the ammo to write about the rally after needless rally, unfortunately, he was at the losing end of most of them and crashed out with a 3-1 defeat. Don’t think his kind was on the job this week though!
    Overall a 16-5 win (I think) and off to the bar for a good spread and more questions from Jim about Jason’s calls!

    Brian

  12. November 10, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Wednesday 2nd November 2011 – 3rd Team
    A strong looking third team including Paolo were facing the unknown quantity of the Glasgow Uni students in the West End. They turned out to be 4 strapping lads and a girl. Oh dear, who was going to risk embarrassment this week? Fortunately our losing to girls specialist, John wasn’t playing but Andy has had recent experience. The students must have been bemused by us, a bit like playing their grandparents.
    James was on first at 3 and his opponent Paul looked worryingly good in the warm up. Sure enough, he blew James away in the first game. James got into the second a bit more but still went down. The third saw Paul really get into his stride and no matter what James tried, Paul had the answer. He was just too good and he closed out the match for a 3-0 lead. If this match was any indication, we were in for a hiding.
    Paul had drawn the short straw having to play Katy at 5. He started well and easily took the first game. My confidence in squaring the match quickly sank as Katy started to find her rhythm and was making a contest of it. Paul weathered the storm and took the game to lead 2-0. It all started to go wrong in the third as Katy started making better shot decisions and Paul was struggling. At 12-6 down, Paul could see the headlines looming and managed to pull himself together for a final push. He stormed back and was relieved to take the game 15-13 to square the match.
    The last 3 students standing were all giants in comparison to us and looked in great shape. And so it was to prove. Andy was up next at 4 against Robin. The first few rallies were punishing and Robin was in the ascendancy. He got a decent lead and looked set to win the first game. However, Andy was moving like a 15 year old and was keeping himself in the rallies and when he got the chance, was hitting drops into the nicks on both sides of the court. He worked his way back into the game with well judged lobs and disguised drops and took the first game. There was no way he could keep up that pace. In the second, Andy continued to work hard and rally after rally followed. He was able to anticipate a lot of Robin’s shots and sent him scampering all round the court. Robin was chasing everything down but Andy continued to pick him off with killer shots. Andy took the second game. There was no way he could keep up that pace. In the third, Robin was finding that power and athleticism wasn’t getting him anywhere. He had been playing into Andy’s hands. He tried dropping a few balls and it did the trick. Andy started being caught at the back of the court and Robin was back in the match. After a few long rallies, Robin was back in normal mode and he forgot to keep the ball short. Andy had the much greater accuracy and once again was dictating the play. He kept up his work rate and held his concentration to see out the game for a great 3-0 victory. And he was hardly out of breath. What an athlete!!
    I was hoping that Paulo could do the business at No.2 to take the pressure off me. It didn’t look promising. He was playing Adrian, another very tall and mobile chap. Adrian was well in control in the first game as Paulo struggled to get any rhythm going. At 8-14, Paolo dug in and got a couple of points which renewed his confidence and determination. He got back to 14-14 and continued by taking the next 2 points for 8 in a row for an unlikely win. The second saw him brought back to earth as Adrian got back on level terms. In the third Paolo giving as good as he got and with Adrian looking less and less confident, he was definitely in with a shout. With the rallies fast and furious and Adrian seemingly able reach every ball, it was exciting for the spectators. Paulo was able to hit enough quality winners to take the game to edge ahead. In the fourth, by the number of lets he was giving away, Adrian might have been tiring and Paolo kept the pressure on all the way through. It got to match point for Paolo and he was correctly awarded a stroke much to Adrian’s annoyance and frustration. It was an unsatisfactory ending to what had been a good match and a great performance from Paulo. If anyone ever deserved a sausage casserole it was him. He looked like he would have had to be carried to it after all that effort.
    So with the match won, it was left to me to try to get a few more points. I was on against Lewis, the tallest member of the team. Being from Holland, that wasn’t surprising as the Dutch are officially the tallest people on Earth. I wonder why as they have no hills to see over. Anyway, he was tall even by Dutch standards. In the warm up, I thought I was in with a chance. Lewis explained later that in Holland, players are not technical, they are physical. He described himself as a retriever. I was soon to see what he meant. After the first few rallies, my lungs were bursting. I was trying not to let it show. Everywhere I hit the ball, a long arm would reach it and send it back. I wasn’t keeping the ball tight enough and wasn’t confident of hitting winners at the front. I lost the first game. I gained in confidence in the next but Lewis continued to keep the ball in play and I found myself 2 down. A change of shirt was supposed to give me a boost and to help dry my sweaty palm. I was trailing in the third before I finally got my drops working and for the first time, there was the prospect of taking a game. I got ahead briefly but Lewis came back and at 12-13 down, I was determined to make a fight of it. I had him chasing all over the court and he was desperately getting the ball back. I hit what I was sure was a winner but somehow he got a touch on it and the ball spun up in the air. It was a million to one chance of it even hitting the front wall, but it did and came down so awkwardly that I could only play a weak shot which he killed. It was a killer. Predictably, I lost the next point to give Lewis a well deserved victory. At least it spared me the inevitable exhaustion any more games would have inflicted.
    So a 12-7 victory to us.
    Robert

  13. November 17, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Wednesday 9th November 2011 – 1st Team
    So it was a much strengthened Hamilton that we lined up against this week and we were without our regular No.5

    The match had started early and when I got there Sean (Norris) was up 2-0 v Colin McMullan at No.4 and Brian (Cadenhead) was doing battle with Colin McGeady at No.5 and was 2-0 down.

    Sean was in the middle of real tough one against a very good player in Colin winning the first two games 11-9 13-11, but Colin must have stepped it up a lot in the 3rd as he went through Sean like a hot knife through a jacket potato 1-11. The 4th saw a great come back from Sean and he was up 8-6, but once again Colin was just able to change up a gear at this point and took the next 5 points and the game 11-8. It would have been a fantastic effort for Sean to beat someone of Colin’s standard, but it wasn’t to be as in a hard fought 5th game, experience took Colin across the line 11-6 and a 3-2 win to get MOTM.

    Meanwhile Brian C had just handed Colin a doughnut in the 3rd game as he swept through him like a hot knife through water 11-0, but Colin was back on form for the 4th game and was always in control to take it 11-6 and win the tie 3-1. So we needed 3 wins for the bonus points!

    Dougie (Kempsell) went on next at No.2 v Kenny Boyle and the first was a bit of a close one, all square at 8-8, but Kenny just got his nose in front at the crucial time to take the 1st 11-8. This must have shook Dougie up a bit as he came out firing and really put Kenny on the back foot with his speed and determination (which is saying something when you take into account that Kenny is no slouch!). The next two games were tough, but never in doubt as Dougie won both 11-6 11-4 and in the 4th Dougie was like a hot knife through a whippet as he won 11-3.

    Kev (Moran) v Andrew McBean was never going to be a popular one to mark, but Colin McG took the mantel and was soon in the thick of a 12-14 win in the 1st game to Andy (despite Kevin thinking he’d won it with a flat nic when the score was 12-11). Kev was suffering a bit from not much sleep, but refused to let the team down (even though the though crossing his mind earlier on!). Well you wouldn’t know too much was wrong in the 2nd as Kev evened things up 11-6. Then in the 3rd he had to really dig-in at 9-5 down to make an fantastically unlikely comeback to win 13-11. The 4th was much more straight forward as Kev won 11-3 like a hot knife through a Bean-burger to take the match 3-1.

    Oooooh the match was still live and all down to the last tie. Well that hasn’t happened in a while so I was delighted to win the 1st game 11-4 (I couldn’t believe some of the drops I was hitting – not sure where they came from). However they then eluded me as Colin (Towers) played much better and really made me work. It seemed like I had to win every rally 2 or 3 times, but was still in it at 7-7. Colin then stepped things up and went through the last few points like a hot knife through lard to win it 7-11. The third game was going to be crucial; could I keep Colin off the ‘T’ and volley better? The answer was yes and I took a tough game 11-9. The 4th proved to be a little easier for me as I got a match winning 6-0 lead – from then on I only had to hang on and close things out, which I managed to do 11-6.

    So a good win for the team and when we discussed MOTM Sean suggested it should be him to which Brian replied “You can be MOTM for Hamilton!”. Difficult one though and if you look at who did more than you would expect then Sean was in with a shout for the honour.

  14. November 17, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Wednesday 9th November 2011 – 2nd Team
    Last night the seconds were at home to Ayr Citadel 2. With Brian on first team duty and Jason missing, Paolo and I stepped up to fill the bottom 2 places. Gordon and Paulo went on first at 1 and 5 respectively. Gordon and I only had 1 racquet between us so I thought I’d better mark his game so I could wait and get the use of it when he had finished. Paulo was up against David Bradford on the other court. Gordon’s opponent was Robert Sommerville and this looked like being a tough one for Gordon. Robert took the first game fairly comfortably. Gordon was letting every ball go by him and was playing everything to the back of the court. It wasn’t putting Robert under any pressure. My advice at the break was to play the ball early and play some shots to the front. The second game followed the same pattern with Gordon seemingly ignoring my advice. He lost that one too. Better news was that Paolo was 2-1 up in his match.
    I stressed to Gordon that he had to put some variety into his game, play the odd drop and boast and keep him guessing. It paid dividends right away. What a difference. With a bit of delay and disguise, Gordon was picking off Robert at the front. He pulled one game back then another and Gordon had his trade mark 5 setter. On the other court, Paulo had sealed a 3-1 win. Gordon couldn’t impose himself as much as in the previous 2 games and it was a close affair getting to 8-8 but then he edged ahead to 10-8. That was to be as close as he got to the winning post as Robert reeled off the next 7 points to win 15-10 and get his team back into the match.
    Colin was already on at 2 against Iain McGill when I took over the sweaty racquet on court 2. I was playing Ivan Lockhart and the first game couldn’t have been any closer. The lead passed back and forth until we got to 14-14. It was the same from then on as each of us had 2 game balls but it was me who got that 2 point gap to win 19-17. The second was much like the first until I got a couple of runs of points to take it 15-10. By this time, Colin had won his match 3-0 so I could secure the 3 point bonus if I could take one more game. The third was nothing like as competitive as the others as I raced to a 7-0 lead before finally taking it 15-7.
    So we were 14-4 up with only Robert Caldwell to come at 3 against Mike George. Robert had taken the first game and was about to win the second when I arrived from my match. As the third progressed, it was looking like another 3-0 to give Robert victory on his home debut. Mike was playing some killer shots to the front but was also tinning some drops when he had Robert on toast. However, it was Mike who finished stronger to take the third 15-13. In the fourth, Mike was making less mistakes and was getting into a rhythm consistently winning points off Robert’s serve and from his own clever disguise at the front. Robert was finding it hard to get a length to get the ball behind Mike. It was very tight but Mike squared the match by taking it 15-12.
    In the final game, Robert was determined to chase down Mike’s shots and to get the ball to a better length himself. He got himself in front but Mike had gained in confidence and was going for winners which were now mostly coming off. A killer run of 5 points gave him the advantage but Robert refused to give up. It could have gone either way but Mike took it 15-13 earning himself man of the match.
    It may only have been 3-2 but it was an excellent 16 points to 7 victory.
    Robert

  15. November 17, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Wednesday 9th November 2011 – 3rd Team
    Sorry for the late reporting but I have either become a lot busier at work, or a lot more diligent?

    Last week the 3rd team made our way to the wilds of Newton Mearns to face the intrepid Giffnock, (at Parklands), and before the game had begun we were already smarting from loss of the top four players from the previous week. 

    Despite this initial set back we mostly arrived early, very jovial and full of hope for a potential sneak victory; however, if last year’s performance at Parklands was anything to go by, it wasn’t going to be straight forward.

    I went on first at 2 against David Henderson. The warm up went well and I felt I had a decent feel for the court and my opponent. I raced into the lead and never seemed to be overly troubled by anything that David had to throw at me, despite some good long rallies, and before I knew it I had won the first game 15-9. I thought this was going to be a straightforward pasting of my opponent and came buoyantly back onto court for the next game only to get mugged 15-10 before I knew what was happening. From then on in it there were another 2 games that violently swung back and forth until the match was tied 2-2. As we started the last game I gave a cross court return to his serve and was confused to see him struggle to get it out of the back right hand side with what looked like his back hand; Doh!!!! He was a left hander and I hadn’t even noticed. He had seemed so comfortable retrieving from both sides during rallies that I hadn’t noticed this before. I got the serve and decided to try a different serves to his back hand. It worked and I had a point. So now every time I had a chance I started the serve to his back hand and then tried to rally down the right hand wall. It worked and I won the game 15-10. 3-2 overall and MoTM for our team

    On at the same time was Eric the Sharkey in his poisoned chalice match against a preyoung lad, (Patrick O’Sullivan). Eric fought well and played some good squash and his match was almost a mirror image of mine, including the scores; however, despite 2 match points, Eric’s bottle crashed and the young lad won his debut match 3-2 and MoTM for Parklands. He went on to celebrate with some warm milk and a well earned Farley’s Rusk.

    Next on was Jim Kerr against John McConnell; the two big hitters of the night, each shot was harder and faster than the last. We were all lulled into a false sense of security as John ran away with the first set of exchanges and never looked overly troubled in his 15-10 win of the first game. Jim, it seemed, was not going to give him it easily and started to push John around the court more in the next game and despite some good play from John, clinched the game 15-10. This was the scene for the rest of the match and despite Johns best endeavours, he lost 3-1 overall.

    We were know 2-1 down with Paul Scarf and Paul Rogan both having to win to save our night.

    They were both on at the same time and I flitted between the two.

    Paul R was playing his usual hard and fast game and running far more than should be legal and his opponent was calling for all sorts of bizarre lets and strokes; however despite all this effort he lost the first game 15-10.

    Paul S seemed a bit out of sorts in the first and got mauled 15-3. This was not looking good for the team.

    Sensing that we had to do something drastic to save the night, Paul R decided to resort to drastic measuresand, under our noses, crippled his opponent by stabbing him in the toe with his hidden Assegai, (it’s the only explanation I have for the sudden injury); despite valiantly playing on, Pauls opponent was now no longer able to keep up with him and despite Paul’s best efforts to tin all his drops at the front, the final score was never in doubt. 3-1 to Paul.

    2-2 overall and 10-9 at the moment to Parklands; could Paul stage a recovery and win the day which should already have been ours Eric?????

    NO – despite a valiant come back and some good squash Derek Hanlan (Paul Scraf’s opponent) was just too much for him. 3-2 loss and 15-9 on points. There was some good food, and chat afterwards, mostly centring around the “meat” v “no meat” debate. John McConnell presented his usual argument of, “Everything in the world is rubbish and I don’t eat beef and don’t mix the crème fresh in with the curry because I don’t like it”, shortly followed by, “We don’t complain enough in this country”. Probably true John but it’s good to know you’re doing an excellent job making up for the rest of us! 

    Better luck next week lads.

  16. November 24, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Wednesday 16th November 2011 – 1st Team
    Away to Whitecraigs Rugby Club this week, but a home tie for me!

    An early start saw Brian (Cadenhead) once again step up to the 1st team to replace Michael Currie. But Brian had a real tough one against up and coming junior James Wilson – James played really well and caught Brian on more than one occasion in the 1st game with excellent forehands to a great length. He got to an unassailable 9-5 lead in this game and wasn’t assailed to win 11-5 (even though both players and the marker weren’t sure if it was to 11 or 15!). In the 2nd game James volleyed well and didn’t make many mistakes and soon the second game saw the same unassailable 9-5 lead and Brian’s ship had once again sailed. The 3rd saw Brian fight back well at the start of the game, but everything was coming back and with his dander up James was home and dry to win 3-0.

    Next up was Sean (Norris) against Colin Hutton at No.4. These two players had had a couple of close 3-2ers in their previous encounters and so I was wondering if the Sean’s improvement over the past year would translate into a better win. He started well enough and although the rallies were hard Sean looked like he was just ahead and this translated into an 11-8 win. In the 2nd Colin took the lead and looked like he was poised to even things up. And poised he was until at 8-5 up he made a load of unforced errors to hand the game to Sean 11-8 again. The 3rd was even tighter and went to a tie break; now I’m sure you’ve all heard the expression “Play to the whistle” well Sean hasn’t! At game ball he stopped playing and said he thought I’d called “Stop!” (he probably thought this because of his dodgy pick up and potential ‘double-hit’ boast! Both of which I wasn’t 100% sure about). However I hadn’t said anything so Colin won the game 12-10….. justice! The 4th saw Sean tighten up considerably and he was always in control to win the match 3-1.

    I went on next against my old sparring partner & mate Matt Anderson (who also put a quality roof on my house last year!). Now I was under a bit of extra pressure to perform this week as DL West End were playing on the next court and the sister-in-law and misses were also there, so I didn’t want to look like a chump! I went on with 100% focus and this paid off very nicely as I won the 1st game (after one decision a member of the gallery was heard to say “That’s Jason marking the match now.” in this……spies everywhere!). The second followed a similar pattern as the 1st and soon I was 2-0 up. Matt fought right back in the 3rd and I couldn’t shake him. I had a couple of chances to really turn the screws, but Matt retrieved well and I chopped a drop into the tin. However when matt had game ball he made an uncharacteristic error and I got a life line. I managed not to be a chump again and just sneaked over the line to win 3-0.

    Dougie (Kempsell) went on next at No.2 against Nairn McMaster. Nairn looks like a great player who doesn’t play enough! Unfortunately for him Dougie is a great player who play’s far too much for my liking (and Nairns). The result was never really in doubt as Dougie was just too strong and too quick; a punch of the glass showed Nairn’s frustration as he seemed disappointed with the way he played, but I don’t think he should lose too much sleep over this one.

    Last on was Kev (Moran) v Dougie Emery at No.1 and (as per the last game) this was always going to be a thankless task for Dougie. Having said that Kev like to play his shots and Dougie likes to get everything back, so I wasn’t surprised to see Dougie digging like a mole on acid and Kev trying his full range of shots. Good fun to watch and I thought Dougie played very well, but 3-0 to Kev none-the-less.

    So a good victory for the team and good scran at the bar with WC Rugby lads (a great bunch of lads) and a nice pint!

  17. November 24, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Wednesday 16th November 2011 – 2nd Team
    Last night, the seconds had the daunting task of facing league leaders Wishaw at home. We could have done with having our strongest team but with Jason Lang already missing, it got worse as we lost Brian to the first team. So we had the same team as last week and we were hoping for a similar result.
    Paulo and I were first on at 5 and 4 against Paul Eley and Bobby Cameron respectively. To win this match, we really had to win these 2. It didn’t start well. I lost the first 2 games fairly tamely. Paolo was also 2 down but his games were much closer, only going down 15-17 in the second. Encouraged by coach Ray on the balcony, I fared much better in the third and put our first point on the board. The bad news was that Paolo had lost out 14-16 in the third. I was determined to try to square the match and it was looking good for a while but Bobby was even more determined and a string of points at the end brought him the victory.
    So we were already 6-1 down when I went to have a look at Robert C against Norman Paterson at 3. Robert had just lost the second game to go 2 down but he was by no means out of it. He got a lead in the third and held it all the way through to reduce the deficit. We were still alive. The recovery was short lived as Norman got himself back on track and ran out a 3-1 winner.
    With the match now lost, it was up to Colin and Gordon to try and put a few points on the board. Colin was up against Martin Bradshaw at 2 and this looked to be a difficult one for him. And so it proved as Martin took the first 2 games. I don’t know why but Martin was all at sea in the third and Colin took it surprisingly easily. The pattern of the previous 2 matches wasn’t repeated as Colin also took the fourth game although not quite so easily. The man of the match award would surely be Colin’s if he could pull this off. Martin realised that not only points but pride was at stake and he started the fifth looking much more focused. He never let Colin get a grip on the game and despite a late lapse, took the game 15-10.
    Gordon was on last at 1 against late arrival, Peter Shivas. We had heard that Peter had not been firing on all cylinders so Maybe Gordon was in with a chance. In the first game, Gordon, again with a borrowed racquet, this time Paolo’s, was playing well and moving Peter all over the court. He had abandoned the rally after needless rally strategy and was actually asking questions of his opponent. It paid dividends and he took the first game 15-12. It was the reverse in the second as Peter took control and won it 15-8. In the third, Gordon stormed ahead only for Peter to win 7 points in a row to regain the lead. Gordon, realising that whoever took this game would have the advantage of momentum, pushed himself a little harder and found himself at 14-12 game ball. Peter wasn’t finished though and he got back to 14-14. Good work by Gordon earned him another game ball. In the next rally, with Peter in the front of the court moving forward, Gordon found the perfect length into the back corner. Peter saw Gordon between him and the ball and in desperation and forlorn hope, asked for a let. Gordon was already walking off court when the marker Bobby agreed to the let. It was an act of extreme generosity and Gordon was not alone in his incredulity. It had to be accepted though and the great escape was complete when Peter took the next 3 points. Peter carried the momentum into the fourth and won it fairly comfortably for a clean sweep to the visitors.
    So it was an 18-5 victory for Wishaw and it was off to the restaurant for our baked potatoes. Not surprisingly, Peter’s let was the hot topic but it was all pretty jovial. If the match had been tied at 2 games each, it might have been different.
    Robert

  18. December 1, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Wednesday 23rd November 2011 – 1st Team
    When I looked at the table earlier I thought that SSRC at home would be one of the easier matches. WRONG!

    I was on first at No.3 and having just spent £350 on a new clutch I wasn’t in the best of moods, and when Dave Ward was hitting the ball then running to the other side of the court to volley away my cross-court (am I that predictable? Really??), I was getting even more irate. Fortunately our resident squash guru Ray was there to put me right and soon enough I was playing straight and covering my drops to win the 2nd game. In the 3rd I got myself in better positions to volley short and although Dave kept the pressure up I was able to convince myself for the first time that I was in control. Dave seemed to lose a bit of belief at this point and so I just kept turning the screw and eventually won 3-1 (6-11 11-9 11-4 11-6).

    I marked Kev (Moran’s) 1st string match after mine and he dominated the 1st game 11-3 against Chris Holt. Chris seemed to think that if he took a handicap of +3 points for every decade older he was compared to his opponent then he’d really even things up; until I pointed out that he’d start on +21 against Kev which was a bit unfair! (He’d also start on +9 against me as well!!). Chris got into the 2nd game much better and got 6 points in this one with some great retrieving and a bit of help from the marker:

    Chris – “Let please?”
    Me – “Oh go on then, why not.”
    Kev – “Why’s that a let?”
    Me – “Because Chris is a nice bloke and I like him.”
    Kev – “So nothing to do with the rules then?”
    Me – “Absolutely nothing.”
    Kev – “OK then.”

    The 3rd saw Kev play one rally like this: Kev serve – return backhand boast – feign drive then f/h drop – f/h cross-court clunk – full length lunge to play a b/h cross-court lob(!) – straight f/h drive – up from lunge to f/h cross court volley (!!) – b/h drop – ghost drive>ghost drop>b/h cross court drive (!!!) – Chris looking confused.
    By my calculations Kev had 8 swings of the ball to Chris’s 4 – classic! Kev won the 3rd 11-4.

    Jason (Lang) was on at No.5 at the same time as Kev and me, so I missed a lot of his match against David McCormick. He’d won the 1st game 11-2 and lost the 2nd 8-11. I did see the 3rd and he seemed in control of much of it to win it 11-7. I thought that if he kept the pressure on at this point and tightened up on the length he would win the 4th, but Dave must have really dug in as he won it 11-5, and so to the 5th and to win the match for the team! No pressure!! Both players were working hard and the rallies were long. Jason got an excellent 5-2 lead and then the rest of the game was spent trading points 1 to Jase & 1 to Dave, so the match ended up 11-8 to Jase and a 3-2 win.

    Dougie (Kempsell) was on at No.2 against Brian Robertson and won the 1st game easily 11-2 and from then on it looked like he was trying too hard to be correct. Don’t get me wrong he was in some great technical positions but it was all a bit too obvious and Brian was getting into the games. The 2nd game saw Dougie 4-9 down and he thought this was the time to go back to his ‘A’ game, which he did and won the next 7 points to win 11-9. Then again in the 3rd he was always behind, but again at 9-10 down he reverted to his normal style and sneaked home 12-10

    So Sean (Norris) was on last and up against Paul Ferguson and this turned out to be a real tussle at No.4. Sean won the 1st (11-9) and Paul the 2nd (6-11). Paul was catching Sean with his backhand boasting (which looked like a drive) and his forehand cross-court which he played very late, but Sean was beginning to get used to watching for these shots more closely as he won the 3rd 11-6. The 4th was a hard physical battle at the start of the game and Sean lost it! Paul went on to win this game easily 5-11 so we were again down to the wire. The growing crowd were at least one deep for the last game! And Paul took all 6 of the first 6 points; surely there was no coming back from that! WRONG! Suddenly Sean sprung into life and started clawing back the lead point by point. At 8-8 the crowd had swelled to one deep and were in good voice and it was Sean who brought home the game 11-8 and the match 3-2. Great match and a great effort from Sean – if he could hit the ball to a length he’d be dangerous!

    MOTM for me was Jason (Lang) another great step up to the 1st Division and a never say die attitude.

    Meal of the match was Dougie for his Jacket potato with a filling of chips (East coast meets West)

    Quote of the night (QOTN) from Sean when referring to all the Jason’s in the team – We’ll call Jason Lang “Little Jase” and we’ll call you “Fat Jase”………….how rude!

    • CaL
      December 1, 2011 at 2:49 pm

      You’ve heard of Fat Larry’s Band, now DLR promotions bring you The Fat Jase Team.

      Jacket potato filled with chips is just “West coast lite”. Deep fry it, that’d be “pure West coast”.
      Or sprinkle some coriander and balsamic on it, then it is “East coast meets West”.

  19. December 1, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    Wednesday 23rd November 2011 – 2nd Team
    At 5, Paolo looked to be on a comeback from 2 down and we were already counting our chickens when he played for a stroke but without any real effort. He got a let instead and didn’t win another point from 12-9 up to lose the match 3-1. (A tough lesson learned for Paulo this week so I’ll leave it at that and not mention his tantrum which almost led to a 3 match ban!)

    At 4, Robert was looking for redemption after last weeks game, and up against Emelio I was sure he would find it, and some. This ended up a real tussle and Emelio looked dead on his feet between points, walking in slow motion, only to spring into life, running like a gazelle during the rallies. Despite a 5 setter that went all the way Robert came out 2nd best.

    At 3, Colin was up against a terrier with a forehand kill shot that Gordon can only dream of. Unfortunately for the terrier, he was up against a springbok and despite a close fought match the springbok brought home the bacon, 3-2 win for Colin. MOTM for me.

    On at 2, Gordon had some old scores to settle against the man with the glove! Confident of a victory he stormed to a 2-0 deficit, all part of the master plan for a 5 setter as per every other week. Blaming his tools (or rather Paolo’s tools) which Gordon thought would be more suited to catching baggie minnows at Barshaw Park, he had a change of equipment, now borrowing one of Colin’s bats. Things did look promising for a nanosecond as Gordon took the 3rd, however the script had already been written and it said 3-1 to ‘glove-man’. Gordon showed some real restraint in this match, returning Colin’s bat in one piece.

    I had already played and don’t want to go over old ground in my head, needless to say I got pumped rotten by a youngster who I had beaten last year, old age here I come!

    Overall score was 17-8, but we should do better 2nd half!

  20. December 15, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Wednesday 30th November 2011 – 1st Team
    Although our opponents, Western 1, are 7th in the table at the moment, with their strength in depth anything could happen. The team got another early start tonight and No.5 and 4 were on at 6.15pm.

    The first two on court were Sean (Norris) and Jason (Lang) at 4 & 5 respectively, both before I got there. Sean played Dave Kelly and had a bit of a battle. From what I hear Sean and Dave were going by the old adage “Why win in 3 when you can string it out to 5 games!” The crux of the game seems to have been the 4th. Sean was 2-1 up and had three match balls! But DK must have put every last bit of effort into not only saving these points, but to go on and win the 4th game 16-14. I say he must have put every last bit of effort as he got pumped 11-4 in the 5th! But if you’re going to lose you should do it in 5, so good effort from the big man (and MOTM to Sean).

    Jason was up against a West Squash legend in John Morris and I wouldn’t be surprised to see John being promoted up the teams soon. The first game was tight at 11-9, but Jason admitted to losing his confidence (and his length) after that and the next two games also slipped out of his reach 11-1 11-9, no problem losing to John and I’m not sure I would have liked to play him myself.

    Dougie (Kempsell) took to the court against Logie at No.2. This game had ‘high pace’ written all over it and it didn’t disappoint. This match was basically a game of court sprints with the ball being speeded to the back with tight low drives and then fizzed to the front with low two-wall boasts (and the odd drop – and they were!). Well it was a good match to watch and Dougie looked in control of much of it as Logington tired. But not before he made a major challenge in the 2nd at 9-9, however Dougie even wrestled this game back to win it and although Logie gave it everything in the 3rd he was spent by this time; so 3-0 to Dougie and a good performance.

    I went on next against Graham Dunns at No.3 (some of you may have noticed that this was for the match!). Dunsey, or the Grinch as he’s known to his team mates, was playing better than he has for a while as he’s been (relatively) injury free. This was going to be a tough one! The first three rallies were crash, bang, wallop and it didn’t take me long to realise that this was never going to last. So I took the pace right off the ball and went for accuracy instead. This turned out to be the way ahead and I took the 1st game 11-6. At 4-0 down in the 2nd game I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to change the plan already and luckily at this point I went on a 9 point run to secure the game, despite a comeback from Graham (11-8). The 3rd saw Dunsey get into his stride and volley much better. I was cross-courting too much and Graham was taking full advantage. It was close, but I lost it 11-9. In the 4th I got a good 9-5 lead and Dunsey was questioning a few decisions; despite having the old fishing-racket out for the odd stroke himself! (Funnily enough I recall playing Dunsey in a National League match when I first arrived up here. I remember thinking that some of the decisions were on the harsh side – mind you it was 1989 and I was a soft southerner then! Whereas now I’m a kilt wearing, whiskey drinking soft southerner. A bit of a Ronnie Corbett digression there; anyway back to the match). I was 9-5 up and the Grinch was on the charge as he pulled back two match balls to make it 10-9. At this point I edged forward in the f/h box to receive serve (as he’d been serving very well) – this was really just to put him off a bit, but as the ball came towards me I was just far enough up the court to have a go at it, but the only shot on was a short cross-court. I was both committed to the shot and worried about it at the same time so I gave it a thwack and what do you know it went into the nic and I won the game 3-1 (and the team got the match bonus points!) – classic – that shot is definitely the future! (Along with Greggs macaroni pies).

    Last up was Kev (Moran) against Steven Halliday at No.1 and Kev was playing slightly differently in the 1st game. He seemed to be trying to just move Steven round the court and manoeuvre him out of position. This was going OK in the main and if Kev didn’t get the shot quite right he was so quick to cover that Steven had to win every rally 3 times to get the point. However Steven went 8-6 up (must have hit 24 winnrs!) I was wondering how Kev was going to come back against someone with Steve’s racket skills, but comeback he did and showed great poise in doing it to win 11-9. The 2nd game saw Kev start to generate much more pace on the ball and this made a massive difference to the plan. He was in control of much of the 2nd game and making Steven wonder again what he had to do to play a winner as Kev took it 11-6; the 3rd was not much different as Kev took a 9-2 lead and won the match 11-5. Beating Steve Halliday 3-0 is no mean feat and although Kev didn’t think it went to plan I thought it was a good performance.

    A Chinese and a Deuchars with the guys after and tales of an “interesting” nights squash for the other Western 1st Division team!?!?!?!

    QOTM (Quote of the Match) – The Grinch (aka Dunsey) to Dougie K “There’s some strange decisions coming down from you marker, don’t get me wrong I’m not going to be waiting outside later, but never-the-less???”

  21. December 15, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    Wednesday 30th November 2011 – 2nd Team
    Last night the seconds were at home to Hamilton 2 and this looked to be a tough one as Hamilton have been doing well. Having lost Jason to the firsts, there was more bad news with the late withdrawal of Gordon. He was apparently injured during a protest march during the strike. Initial reports of a gunshot wound were unfounded after Jeremy Clarkson was shown to be in London at the time. Andy Jackson was drafted in as a replacement.

    It turned out that Hamilton had also been hit by withdrawals and 3 of the players who turned out for their thirds against us recently had been called up. Andy was bemused to find that he was playing the same opponent from that occasion, Dean Coleman. At least he was getting the chance to reverse the 3-1 scoreline. My opponent from that night, Neil Cameron was also there but he was matched this time with Robert Caldwell. I had to face the wily Tom Kane. It’s not too often I get to play someone older than me (well apart from Andy every week – oh and Robert C too. OK I’m talking rubbish).

    Andy and I were on first at 4 and 5. With my new racquets fresh out their wrapping, I was hoping that my game would be transformed to new heights. The first game went well and I took it 15-10. Great racquet! The second was going well until Tom took 9 points in a row giving him a lead I couldn’t claw back. This racquet’s crap! Tom was into his rhythm now and he was picking me off in the third with his disguised volleys to the front. He went 7-3 up before I eclipsed his efforts in the last game by taking the next 12 points. This racquet’s brilliant! The fourth saw me extend my points sequence to 16 by taking a 4-0 lead. Surely Tom’s spirit was broken. Inevitably he got back into the game but I looked to have it in the bag when serving at 13-9 and sent the ball to the back with Tom well out of position. Incredibly, he not only reached it but played a winner. Galvanised by that, he raced to 14-13 game ball. I could see the match slipping away. Fortunately, I got the next point followed by 2 more to give me a 3-1 victory. What a great racquet!!

    On the other court, Andy had failed to improve on his previous result and despite having a good lead in the second, was just pipped and went down 3-0.

    I then marked the match between Robert C and Neil Cameron. This was a very tight contest with the points being very evenly shared. Robert took the first game but Neil came back winning the next 2. Robert showed his battling qualities and determination by squaring the match. By this time, Colin had taken his match 3-0 against Jonathan Naylor at 2 although the scores showed that it was a close affair. So Robert could give us victory overall if he could claim the fifth game. It was Neil though who finished the stronger to take it and to set up the decider at number 1.

    Brian was playing Neil’s brother Stuart. The first game was very competitive and Brian took it 15-12. Stuart took the second 15-9 and it looked like this was going to be a marathon and a worthy finale. In the third, Stuart appeared to be growing in confidence and Brian was finding it hard to make any impression. Stuart stormed to a 15-3 win. There didn’t seem much hope of a fightback as Stuart was playing some excellent shots both front and back. A late flurry of points at the end of the fourth couldn’t prevent Brian going down 15-9 for a 1-3 loss.

    The final score of 13-9 to Hamilton reflected what a tight match it had been.

    Robert

  22. January 13, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Wednesday 14th December 2011 – 1st Team
    Well I was thinking if we play really well and everything goes our way we could get a 3-2 out of this! However we didn’t take into account the Newlands Foreign Legion that travelled up to bolster the ranks. I said to the Newlands team manager and head honcho “Were you a bit worried about us Alan?”

    First up was Kev (Moran) against Peter O’Harrow (!) Was this going to be the year that Kev would make deeper inroads into Peter’s game? Unfortunately not, as Peter won the match 3-0 with some tight play to the back and the trade mark rocket to the front. I arrived at the end of the 2nd game and I thought that Kev let Peter dictate the pace a bit too much giving him a little too much to hit especially at the front of the court. Still all good experience and many have visited Newlands and come off second best to Mr O’Hara.

    Ewen Urquhart went on next against Paul Bell from Carlisle at No.3 (yup, that’s right Paul Bell at No.3!) and he never really got into his stride. Paul was a little too experienced and Ewen was soon 2-0 down. Paul had an altercation with the marker in the 3rd game as he was expecting the call to be “Stroke to Newlands!” and was amazed when he didn’t get it. So in pique he started battering the ball as hard as possible; well like an alarm clock this woke Ewen up and he responded by also walloping everything at 200mph; suddenly the game came to life and Ewen was staging a comeback. Unfortunately it was a little too late and Paul’s lead meant that he was able to get the last couple of points needed, leving Ewen high and dry; and I was left wondering if the clobberfest had started in the 1st game, would it have been a tighter game and how would Paul have responded??

    Next up was me against Mark Ford at No.4 (I know – I wonder when the last time Mark played at No.4!). Anyway no surprises to hear that I got chopped 3-0 although I played quite well at times. I thought my length shots were working well and I volleyed well to boot. But when Mark realised that he’d have to get out of 3rd gear, he did and 7-7 became 11-7 in the 1st – I didn’t even get a sniff at the ball in the 2nd as Mark was almost trying at times and consistently sent me the wrong way – then in the 3rd he once again forgot that I could still hit the odd good shot and I almost sneaked a game, but it wasn’t to be and all I was left with was a strained Achilles on the down side and two pints of Erdinger on the up side!

    Next on was new Harrow signing Dougie (Kempsell) against England U19 No.4 Tom Ford all the way from Gloucester. Dougie had played Tom last year and been beaten 3-0 (in a Scotland v England Test Match) so it was going to take a gargantuan effort to turn that around; and a gargantuan effort is exactly what we got……………… from both players. Dougie took a very physical, tight 1st game, but Tom came back and took an exhausting 2nd and a lung-busting 3rd. Dougie won the 4th more easily and both players looked very tired going into the 5th, but none-the-less the match continued with its high quality shots and high octane speed.
    Dougie was going cross-court from the front left too often for my liking (I know I’m a fine one to talk) and then having to do a lot of chasing to make up for losing the ‘T’. It was becoming a match about who could chase to the end and unfortunately although both players gave 100% it was Tom who prevailed and closed out the match 3-2.

    Last up was Sean (Norris) against Malky Watt at No.5 (!). Bit of a tough one for Sean and 3-0 was tempered by the fact that he played well in the 1st to get 9 (ish) points, but it was always going to be a tall order to get a game, and a tall anything is not Sean’s strongest suit! Good effort though and anyway we discovered that (according to AP) Newlands weren’t really playing us tonight – they were competing against Giffnock! Ho hum.

    I know it’s a bit vain to laugh at your own jokes and quote yourself, but then again I am vain, so with that in mind QOTN (quote of the night) was either:

    No.1 from Tom Ford “The reason I took so long to get ready after every match is because I have to stretch and also have a couple of rehydrating drinks otherwise I suffer the next day.”
    Reply from me “That’s very interesting as I also have to have a couple if rehydrating pints after my match!”

    Or

    No.2 from Alan (Newlands) Pearson “I remember once when we were celebrating a great victory we all went into that student Club in town, what’s it called? Oh yes Bamboo – and they let an old fart like me in, I couldn’t believe it.”
    Reply also from me “The only reason they let you in Bamboo Alan, is because you look like a Panda.”

  23. January 13, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Wednesday 14th December 2011 – 2nd Team
    Belated and short this week as I’ve had Xmas night out and 2 day hangover following that to contend with!

    We were up gainst SSRC2 and were expecting a tough match as they are currently up in 2nd place. A late addition to the team gave us an early boost as we got Jason back to play at 1. Maybe this would be our night after all.

    First up was Robert C, on at 5 against a young girl, Zoe Neilson, was this to be Robert’s chance to shine before the end of the year? Well it didn’t look likely as despite and new found ability to run, following his visit to the chiropracter last week, he found himself 2 games down. I left at this point to get changed, thinking I would be on very soon, however on my return it was 14-14 in the 3rd and Robert was fighting for survival. He took the 3rd game 17-15 and hope was restored, but unfortunately he’d put everything into that game and despite a close 4th, he went down 3-1.
    Both Gordon and I went on at the same time and I didn’t see much of his game, but by all accounts it was a close one and with a kill shot in his armoury this could have been a different result. Lost 3-1 and obviously losing his edge as he’d normally manage to drag it out to a 5 setter.
    I was playing at 3 this week, thinking it was time that Colin stepped up to 2 (he did pump me in the mini league this month) I was up against David Irvine, who reminded me a bit of a Jack Russell terrier. This was a tough match, both the pace and the temprement of the game. Play was a bit loose at times and we were getting in each others way and mid way through the 2nd game David snapped, saying I was pushing him and he wasn’t having it. A bit of niggle continued throughout the match, along with a few dubious calls on both sides. However, I managed to hold it together for a 3-1 victory and a blackened toenail to boot!
    Colin was on at 2 when I came off and was one down and he seemed a bit off the pace this week. He never quite got into his stride this week and lost 3-0 to Billy Larbert, a game that on another night he could have won. He got more fired up in the bar after the game than during it, as Henry commented on his lacklustre performance. Thing the Xmas break will do us some good!
    Final game, Jason was up against Joe Healy and this game was under control right from the start, Jason was too quick and played some great disguise shots, sending Joe in the wrong direction many times throughout the match. 3-0 to Jason, well done.

    Overall, a respectable 8-13, should see us finish the first half in about 7th place.

    Brian

  24. January 19, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Wednesday 11th January 2012 – 1st Team
    Happy New Year! Well it’s good to be back after the holidays, but having eaten too much andput on about a stone I thought I was in for a thrashing against a tough Western side, but of course you always forget that it’s not just your team that hasn’t played much and has eaten all the mince pies! Anyway I was inspired to greatness by watching the Squash on TV this weekend (What a fantastic match; amazing shots and wonderful movement, which doesn’t resemble my game in any way!)

    I was on first at No.3 against the legend who is Kevin Lawlor. Beating Kevin for the first time is still one of my best ever matches (back in the day!) and so a healthy amount of respect is due every time you play him.

    The first was a tight one at 5-5 and any time Kevin had a volley he comfortably tucked me away, fortunately I realised this quickly and managed to keep it away from him with some good straight hitting to the back and then following up on the volley/drop to win the first game 11-6. The second game went all my way and Kevin never really got into his stride (11-4). But then there was a change of fortunes and suddenly the old K.L. was back on the court. He put me away on the volley and if I was able to scrape anything back I was sent the wrong way at the front with some brilliant holds. To be honest I wasn’t sure where the ball was going for most of this game and was gubbed 2-11. So it was time to realise that if I didn’t chase much better, hit straighter and volley I was likely to get thrashed again.

    I got my between game instructions from Guru Ray and also got my feet moving much better. And on top of this got a good run of early points to go 8-2 up, which as it transpired was good enough to take me over the line 11-6 and take the match 3-1. Relief!

    Next up was Sean (Norris) against Steve Luker at No.4 and I missed the first two games as I was on court, but Sean was up 11-8 11-6. Steve took the 3rd game 7-11 with some good retrieving and when Sean questioned why a shot wasn’t a stroke (which it quite obviously wasn’t) the only reply was, “Because that’s the rules Sean!” Normal service was resumed in the 4th as Sean got back to winning ways to take the match 11-7. (MOTM to Steve)

    Jason Lang was on next against Paul Whitley at No.5 and was looking for his 2nd win for the team. He had a very shaky start and Paul raced to a 3 points to nil lead with Jason hitting quite wayward. However as soon as he got into his stride he started to get the ball much tighter and drop well to take the 1st game 11-5 and in the 2nd game Jason took full control and won 11-3. So Paul was going to have to find a different way if he was to get anything out of the game, and what a difference! Suddenly Paul turned into the lob/drop specialist. He was floating the ball about like a balloon and the lack of pace completely confused Jason, who gave away about three strokes in a row and was now scrapping for his life. Paul got a 9-5 lead; Jason pegged him bak to 9-9; then it was neck-and-neck all the way to 13-13 with Paul getting 2 game balls and Jason getting his own match ball. Fortunately Jason managed to stumble across the finishing line 15-13 and looked mighty relieved to do so (Paul left the court muttering that the ball had hit Jason on the way to the front wall and he seemed a bit aggrieved, but I certainly saw no change in the flight, Jason felt nothing and Paul’s team mate didn’t see anything either, but Paul felt it was the turning point none-the-less!). MOTM to Jase for a good win.

    Kev (Moran) took to the court at No.1 next against Peter Halliday, with Peter saying that he wasn’t looking forward to it.
    “Don’t worry,” I said “just run round at top speed for an hour and hit lots of nics!”
    “Five minutes if I’m lucky!” was the reply.
    I didn’t see much of this match as I was marking, but Peter seemed to be in the rallies especially in the 1st and 3rd games and had a lot to hit (and chase!), but Kev’s speed around the court stopped him getting many points. Kev won comfortably 11-6 11-3 11-5.

    Last on was the brand new (as of Monday!) 2012 Scottish Junior Open Under 19 Runner-up Dougie (Kempsell) against Jamie Henderson, who also played the tournament and finished in 10th place – click see
    http://www.scottishsquash.org.uk/images/stories/Events/Scottish_Junior_Open/2012/Draws/BU19.pdf
    Dougie was out of the blocks like a whippet with his new Harrow Power Spark racket and raced to an 11-2 win in the 1st game. The 2nd saw Jamie get right back into it with some powerful hitting to go 6-4 up, but Dougie was soon flying again and took the 2nd 11-6. The pace was very high and both under 19s were flying about the court; it reminded me of when I was under 19…..last millennium…..with a single yellow dot………….. and a wooden racket!!

    Anyway back to the future and the 3rd game saw Dougie take a 7-2 lead before Jamie had even woken up and it seemed that there was no coming back from that. Jamie did come back however to 7 (to Dougie’s 10 points), but it wasn’t enough and Dougie finished it off to win 11-7

    So a good 18-2 win and we retired to the bar to listen to Sean’s New Year jokes, which resembled the Old Years ones………………… and the year before that!

  25. January 19, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    Wednesday 11th January 2012 – 2nd Team
    Last night the second team were at Strathclyde Uni. With Jason on first team duty and Colin also missing, we were dealt another blow with the late withdrawal of Henry. So it was Brian, Gordon, Robert, me and Paolo who headed for the big smoke.

    Robert and I went on first at 3 and 4. I was playing Alasdair Hamilton and although it was a close contest, I went down 3-0. In the fast, warm court, there was nowhere I could get the ball to die and the long rallies weren’t doing me any favours. When the ball was loose, Alasdair was able to make more winners than I could manage. Robert was playing John McIntyre and when I joined it, Robert had lost the third game but was 2-1 up. The fourth game was close but John pinched it to level at 2-2. Robert, who had been rather ragged in the fourth game, got himself together at the start of the fifth in an effort to thwart John’s comeback. He got an early lead and despite John getting back into it, was able to get to the finishing post first.

    By this time, Gordon was well into his match with Colin Clarke at 2. He had lost the first but had just taken the second. Still without a racquet, he had borrowed mine and was making good use of it. The court and Colin’s style suited Gordon and there were plenty of rallies for him to indulge in. But this wasn’t the rally after needless rally of old. Gordon was playing the ball to a good length, throwing in some boasts and drops at the right time. He won the third but we knew that it was destined to go to 5. Sure enough, Colin squared the match, setting up a decider. In the fifth, Gordon was playing well but decided it was still a bit risky to let it get to the usual 14-14. He kept up his good work and established a lead which he comfortably held to take the match 3-2. So we were 2-1 up but 7-6 down in games. Being the opposite of organised, Gordon had to borrow shampoo as well as pants and socks. He said the important thing was that he had his own moisturiser.

    On the other court, Brian was having his work cut out coping with Joe McDonald in the top tie. He was 2 down by the time Paolo went on at 5 against Mo Shahid. So it was looking like this would be the decider. It was clear from the start that this was going to be a very tight match. Paolo was giving as good as he got but lost the first game 15-12. It was nip and tuck in the second but Paolo edged it 15-13. It was the same story and the same score in the third as Paolo got 2-1 in front. The fourth was just as competitive and Mo fought back to take it 15-13.

    As the fifth started, it was confirmed that Brian had lost 3-0 so it was all down to this last game. Unfortunately, due to the time, everyone headed off to Home in Albion St to ensure that food would be available leaving me marking the match and the staff trying to clear everyone out of the building. It was strange that there was nobody there to see the deciding game. The momentum looked like being with Mo but the effort of winning the fourth seemed to take its toll and he started making errors. Paolo took full advantage and maintained his impressive performance to romp home 15-5. So we had won 3-2 but it was one of these rare occasions where the points score was 12-12 so both teams could be reasonably happy.

    Robert

  26. January 29, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    Wednesday 18th January 2012 – 1st Team
    Newlands tonight and the bad news was that we were without Kev at No.1, but the good news was that it wasn’t Newlands 1st team!

    So first on was our new No.5 Colin (Richards) v Gary Nicholson and what a start Colin made after initially going 1-4 down! A great come back saw Colin lengthen the rallies and play some great stuff to get to game ball. But Gary wasn’t beaten and he took the game into a tie break at 10-10. However Colin was having none of it and he finished Gary off to win the next two points and take the game 12-10.
    Gary obviously wasn’t happy with this and he didn’t take a break instead preferring to knock up with himself for 90 seconds. The 2nd was level pegging all the way to 5-5 with both players making some great shots and mistakes in equal measure, but Gary went on a game winning 7 point run to take the 2nd game 11-5. Once again he stayed on the court knocking up with himself and at 7-2 up in the 3rd this was looking like the difference! Colin made a valiant come back but was up against it and lost the game 11-7. Again no between-game rest for Gary and another great lead was taken at 5-0. Colin made another come back to 6-8, but again it was just too much to ask as Gary won the 4th game 11-6 and the match 3-1. MOTM to Gary, for turning this tie around.

    Dougie Kempsel was on next at No.1 against a much improved James Singh (judging by recent results!), but Dougie had been warned. Still it didn’t stop James playing some excellent stuff at the start of the first to get to 4-4. He volleyed well and played some great drops making Dougie dig deep. But dig he did and despite a good effort from James, Doug took the 1st game 11-8. James kept the pressure up in the 2nd and was in it at 5-6, but again Dougie kept the pace up and it was soon 11-6 and 2-0 up. Doug was looking fresh and fit and James was looking like he’s already put a shift in! Not sure what happened in the 3rd as I went on court, but Doug handed James a doughnut to complete another solid performance and win the match 3-0.

    I was on against Stewart ‘the dog’ Brunton, and I was hoping to get a match that didn’t involve a lot of running! I’d treated myself to a new racket (Harrow Fury) and what a difference it made to my game, the balance felt great and the Ashaway strings were cutting like Frankie Boyle’s tongue. Well Stewart wasn’t on form, but I played some precision stuff (even if I do say so myself!) to keep him under pressure and so was delighted with a 3-0 win. MOTM…. me – I was bloody great!!

    Sean ‘trawler man’ Norris was on the next court (Sean has begun taking fishing to a whole new level) against Pete Cumine at No.3. I missed most of the 1st game as I was on court, but Sean won 11-9 and Pete was annoyed to have hit the tin twice just at 9-9. The 2nd game saw Sean take control of the match and keep himself in a dominant position throughout the game. Again Pete hit a couple into the tin at the sharp end of the game, but even so Sean deserved that one. The 3rd was a different matter though and it was nip-and-tuck all the way 4-5 & 8-7 to Sean, but Pete took it to a tie break and got the first game point 11-10. Pete was far from happy at a call he got at 12-12 and as he remonstrated with the marker probably lost a bit of focus (and breath). Sean went on to take the game 16-14 and the match 3-0.

    Anyone seen Grumpy Old Men on the telly? Well John Singh was a prime candidate for a role on the show tonight. He was not happy about anything at all, anywhere, at any point. Mind you he was getting frustrated with hitting a few tins (I’m being nice here, it was actually a few floors!). He played Jason Lang at No.4 and Jason was doing his best to stay out of the way of his wrath. Jason was able to hit a better length than John and this was the main difference as he took the 1st game 11-8 and the 2nd 11-7. John had a real tantrum in the 3rd as he got more frustrated with his game and I was wondering if Super Nanny would have put him on the naughty step if she were there! Anyway Jason managed to let John implode and he took the last game 11-7 and the match 3-0 (John soon cheered up after the game as was on good form in the bar).

    So a good 16-3 win without our No.1 and the best I can come up with for Quote Of The Night was from Gary when he said “A couple of drinks at lunch time really seemed to help my game!” (I paraphrase!)

  27. January 29, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    not at all biased Jason. you WERE great. There’s always a first time for everything
    eh?!

  28. January 29, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    Wednesday 18th January 2012 – 2nd Team
    The second team was at home against Strathgryffe 3 last night. With Jason now seemingly on permanent first team duty and Brian skiing in France, we were still hoping to be strong enough to overcome our Houston visitors. Paolo was about to go on at 5 when we were surprised by Henry’s unexpected arrival claiming to be our fifth man. When Gordon arrived to make up the 5, we deduced that Colin must have dropped out. We found out later that he had been called up due to Kevin’s absence from the first team.

    As the only team at home, we took the opportunity of using 3 courts to put on 5th, 4th and 1st string matches. It was Henry v Ian Connell, Paolo v Peter Russell and Gordon v Andrew Stark. Henry got us off to a great start with a fairly straightforward 3-0 victory. Paolo seemed to be asleep at the start of his match and he snored his way through a 15-3 loss. He didn’t seem worried and was confident he was about to turn it around. And he was right. He took the next 3 games to put us 6-1 ahead.

    At long last, Gordon turned up with his own racquet. You could see the pride in his face as he unwrapped his brand new Tecnifibre Dynergy 125, the choice of the discerning squash player. He seemed to be keeping up the trend as he got to 14-10 in his first game. However, Andrew took the next 6 points to take the game. The second game wasn’t as close and Andrew took it 15-10. So if Gordon was to win, as the football pundits would say in all seriousness, he would have to come from behind. It looked as though he would be struggling to get his usual 5 setter in. At this point, I had to go and play Mike Gallagher at no 3. At the same time, Robert Caldwell went on at 2 against George Allen. Surely one of us would deliver the coup de grace to secure the bonus points.

    Robert and I both won the first game so it was looking good. Gordon had also pulled a game back. It was me who let the side down by letting Mike take the second game. The others each took their tally to two. It was Robert who got over the line first to give us an unassailable 15-4 lead. I took the third game against Mike but Gordon lost his 5 setter to Andrew. With the match won, I was only playing for the extra point and, of course, pride. Mike squared the match at 2-2 but I managed to keep my nose in front in the decider for a 3-2 victory.

    So overall a 17-6 win and a very early finish. A good night was rounded off with some spaghetti Bolognese and some banter.

    Robert

  29. February 2, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Wednesday 25th January 2012 – 1st Team
    The University this week at home so we were expecting a strong performance as the Uni are struggling in the league at the moment.

    First on was our new regular No.5 Jason (Lang) and he was up against Ollie Blackmore. Jason was into his stride from the word go this week and was playing a good length mixed in with some positive stuff to the front (or occasionally crazy stuff to the front as us old-boys would have it!) to win 11-6 and much the same in the 2nd to also win 11-5. However Ollie staged a good come-back in the 3rd as Jason’s positive shots to the front became positive shots into the tin once too often for my liking (crazy I say!) to lose this one 9-11. However he managed to screw-the-nut for the 4th and round off another good performance (11-5) to take the match 3-1 and another MOTM for me.

    I was on second and for the second week in a row I managed to dominate the game. I was playing Blair Paton at No.3 and all my shots were coming off and Blair wasn’t really able to get me off the ‘T’. Blair confessed to being a bit out of shape (you can’t say the same about me however because ‘round’ is a shape!) and I’m glad as if I’d have had to chase his booming forehands all over the place he may have seen just how out of shape I was!

    Next on was Sean (Norris) against Mairi (?) Charlton at No.4. Sean had a tough one against Mari (??) last half winning 3-1 and I don’t think he was relishing another tough encounter. And this was evident as Marry (???) took the 1st game 11-7 with some great retrieving and excellent length. Sean wasn’t quite as focused as I’ve seen him recently and so he needed to really get his ‘match-head’ on if he was going to make any inroads into this tie. Fortunately he did exactly that and really dominated the next two winning 11-3 11-4.
    But Ma(dbuth)arry (????) was far from finished and another great retrieving game saw her tie things up (11-9) at 2-2. And so to the 5th. It couldn’t have been tighter all the way to 6-6 and this was when Sean found a few reserves (or lucky shots off the frame and a bit of ass out-blocking!) to nick the game 11-7 and the match 3-2. WOTM was again Mhairi for me for another gritty performance (mind you who else could have got WOTM???? Sean maybe?).

    Next on was Dougie (Kempsell) against Dave Lyons. Dougie is getting stronger and stronger each week and he’d win a lot of matches at No.1 so Dave was always going to struggle here. The match was 3-0 to Dougie and he almost handed Dave a ‘haggis’ (normally a doughnut, but changed for Burns Night only!) in the second 11-4 11-1 11-4. I advised Dave to play more rolling-nics in the 3rd game and he initially took my advice to go 2-1 up, but unbelievably he completely ignored my advice for the rest of the match! Crazy-cat!

    Kev (Moran) was on next against Liam Dickson at No.1. One of our club members said “Isn’t Liam the one who was eating chips in-between games last time he was here playing Kev?” and he’s was correct it was Liam last season – gotta be famous for something! Liam played really well and it was very interesting to see two players with similar games fighting it out. Things were really tight in the 1st and 3rd games especially, at 9-8 and 7-7 respectively, but cometh the hour and all that (!) and Kev managed to sneak these 2 games (and win the 2nd more easily) 11-9 11-3 11-7, but not without a bit of a fight and a few quizical looks at the ref!

    So some good points for the team here and we retired to the bar for a Burns supper, but unfortunately it was just tatties and not a haggis in sight!

  30. February 9, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Wednesday 1st February 2012 – 1st Team
    It was anyone’s game tonight against Giffnock!

    First on at No.5 was Jason (Lang) against the Mugger (Graham McAinsh). A real tough ask of the youngster here, but Jase caught Graham cold and won the 1st game 11-6. However a bit of complacency set in at this point and I think he didn’t realise that the Mugger was only just warming the joints up, so the was duly mugged in the 2nd and the 3rd games. Graham looked like he was cruising to victory at this point and Jason was wondering what had gone wrong. But of course nothing had, the momentum had just shifted; and it needed shifting back, and fast! Graham played well to get to match ball in the 4th and it looked like ‘lights out’ for Jase, but he wasn’t done just yet! A 10-6 deficit became a 10-10 tie break and each player had chances to win, but with the away crowd cheering him on, Jase crossed the finish line just in time. And so to the 5th – Jason played really well in this one and was always ahead, Graham was what I can only describe as like the wheels on a bicycle (two tyred! Yeah I know) and Jason took full advantage to storm home to a thrilling 3-2 victory (he also upped his win stats to 60% and his thoroughly deserved MOTM awards!)

    Could this be the break we needed to beat the No.2 side in the Division?

    Next on was Sean with the nigh-on impossible task of beating Stuart (Boy) George. Everyone had told me how much Stu had improved, but this is the first time I’d seen him in full flow. He stuck Sean’s first serve in the nic and then cruised around the court for the rest of the game, winning easily. Sean needed to focus more on his own game and that’s what he did in the 2nd and 3rd games and he played much better. However it’s fair to say that Stuart was not at full throttle and he did what he had to do to win the match 3-0.

    I was on next against Owen Hadden and after getting crunched in our last encounter I was expecting much the same tonight and I wasn’t disappointed (apart from the fact that I was!). Owen minced me in the 1st game, made me look stupid in the 2nd and if it wasn’t for the fact that he must have got a bit bored he would have done much the same in the 3rd. As it happened I got a thoroughly undeserved few points to spare my blushes, but it was a humping none the less. Having said that Owen looked very sharp and missed nothing (and there were no doughnuts on show!).

    Next on at No.2 was Dougie (Kempsell) v Doctor Tennant – no not that one. This was a great match-up with Dougie playing powerful pressure squash and doing plenty of chasing to boot; Iain was moving the ball with a great fluidity, dropping with precision and both players were volleying well. I can’t remember who won which games, but the pattern for the first 4 games were much the same i.e. Dougie needed to keep the tempo high early on to make the later stages of the game more successful. He managed to do this in two of the 4 games, but not in the other two. And so to the 5th! Iain got a great lead and played the game really well to do so. Dougie was giving 100%, but just wasn’t getting the breaks he needed. At about 9-4 Iain’s lead was looking unstoppable and not only was it looking that way it was, but Dougie still didn’t make it easy and Iain had to fight for every half point. However his dander was up now and he crossed the finishing line with a dead weight shot to the back to win 3-2. It was a great game to watch. Dougie was really giving it everything he had at every moment with great pace, whereas Iain’s speed was deceptive…..he’s slower than he looked! Only kidding – in fact I can’t believe Iain didn’t get MOTM, but………………

    Last on were the No.1 strings with Kev (Moran) playing Chris Ferguson. Both men were desperate to win and you could see the pain on their faces if they lost any rally. Chris’s face was the most contorted as Kev won the 1st game 11-4 with all the focus of a Ford Focus dealer focusing on selling all the Focus’s on his car lot!* (*the format of this gag was nicked from Blackadder!). Chris looked even more annoyed after the 2nd as Kev kept up the pressure. It’s fair to say that (up to this point) this is the best I’ve ever seen Kev play. His long game was fast and straighter than ever, his shots were tighter than ever and his determination (and focus) were excellent – also his speed was even quicker than I’d imagined it could be and he really showed me that developing this game could make his squash career move a good few steps forward. He looked set to win the 3rd game and even had a couple of match balls. But talking of determination Chris wasn’t for giving up. He wrestled back the 3rd game on the tie break and then seemed to really get into his stride. His shots to the front backhand were unbelievably tight, again and again, and his movement and retrieving were dogged and improving by the rally. Chris got a good lead in the 4th and Kev knew there was no coming back so he threw the end of the game and prepared himself for the 5th. There were some great exchanges at the start of the game with both players moving well, however Chris was inching ahead rally by rally and you could see the confidence course through his game. Chris stuck to his plans, Kev looked increasingly frustrated and the match slipped away from us 3-2 (MOTM has to be to Chris for the great comeback).

    So with all those 3-2 matches things could have easily gone our way, but unfortunately they didn’t and we ended up losing 7-17. Chilli for dinner, so no veggie food for me: I therefore had to take matters into my own hands at this point and steal all the nan! I left soon after and what do you know there was a curry and a beer in the fridge waiting for me at home. Thanks the wife!

  31. February 9, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    Wednesday 1st February 2012 – 2nd Team
    Short and sweet this week as I’m off to London tomorrow, so here goes…….

    Well what can I say, a limp wristed performance all round this week, on paper I think we should have taken them at home but we got pumped…… no, rodgered is probably more accurate and Paolo probably edged man of the match, but only because he umpired 2 matches!

    Don’t want to single anyone out as we were all equally bad this week and the resulting 5-18 defeat is likely to push us down a notch in the rankings. Think we’ll need to claim Jason back for a couple of matches, or maybe get Mike Currie out of the care home for a game or two! If things don’t improve I’m going to have to call on the Rangers fitness coaches, they’re likely to be looking for work soon anyway! I’d call on their psychologists as well but they’re likely to be overworked soon!

    Anyway, next week we’re up against Parklands at home, surely we’ll do better then!

    Brian

  32. February 16, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Wednesday 8th February 2012 – 1st Team
    Tonight’s match had three coaches, the under 19s National Champion and the guy who just took a game off world No.2 James Wilstrop at the British Nationals …………… and a pirate – as the mighty Lloyds matched up against ‘The Gryffe’!

    First on was Jason (Lang) v Garry McIlree at No.5. This was a tight match that went one way then the other. Jason took a tight 1st game, Garry a good 2nd, tie breaks in the 3rd and 4th went both ways – and so to the 5th!
    Jason had been going for a lot of shots all match (missing a few too many for my liking). The 5th saw him go for less, but he was finding it tough to finish the rally as Garry was able to dig the ball back time after time. At 8-2 Garry forced Jason back to his short game which gives both fabulous shots and tins in equal measures. The score quickly became an unassailable lead of 10-4 and the last rights were read Jase was piped 3-2. He’ll play better than this no doubt, but a good performance from Garry certainly put him in line for MOTM.

    Next up were the No.1s Kev (Moran) v Martin Woods. This has been a tough match in all but the last outing and with Kev just back from Manchester (from the British Nationals) it was interesting to see how he would react after a tough Tournament. Well the answer was positive as he won the tie, but Martin pushed him all the way. The 1st looked comfortable for Kev as Martin made quite a few uncharacteristic mistakes (must have been the video he set up making him nervous!?). But the camera shyness didn’t last long as Kev got involved in a bit of banter with the ref at the wrong time, causing a loss of both concentration and the 2nd game. Leaving the court Kev made a mistimed comment that saw a change of ref for the 3rd and a pirate (with his timbers shivered) demanding to know if he was being called a cheat – he wasn’t). Kev was soon back on track winning the 3rd, but Martin evened things up with a good fighting performance in the 4th. I missed the last one, but Kev won 5 points on the trot at 7-7 to win the match 3-2.

    I was on next against Ross (Red) Lawrie at No.3 and although I’d had the better of our close encounters of the 3rd line(up), they were always tight and the 1st game was no different at 10-10. I knew this was the time to baton down the hatches, cut a good serve or two in and hit the back of the court. I managed to do this and 11-13 was the result (Sean was on hand to give some good advice about keeping it off Ross’s volley). The match carried on in much the same way in the 2nd and 3rd, but I managed not to leave it too late in these games and 8-8 became 11-8 in both. I was very pleased with the way I played; the strings on my Fury racket were still ‘cutting-up’ the ball ……………………….. like a ned in a XR3i.

    Sean (Norris) was on next against Lee Frazer. Sean had won the last match 3-1 and he set straight to work chasing down everything Lee had to throw at him to take the 1st 11-6. Unfortunately in the 2nd he wasn’t tight enough and Lee just ran him into every corner…….. lots of times. But the battle started again in the 3rd and at 7-7 it was anyone’s, unfortunately anyone was Lee! But I thought Lee may tire and Sean may edge his way back into the match and I was absolutely right as Sean went 3-O up! Then Lee got back into his stride and took the game 11-5 and the match 3-1.

    So at 2-2 in the match who was gonna take the 5th rubber and the bonus points?

    Chris ‘the pirate’ Patrick lined up against Dougie ‘Harrow’ Kempsell. The pirate was expecting to lose and at (pieces of) 8-3 down he was doing just that. Dougie took the 1st comfortably and was 7-1 up in the 2nd before Chris decided to fling himself about a bit. He took the next 4 points (lost 1) and then another 5 in a row which gave him confidence to close the game out 11-9. So 2-2 in matches and 1-1 in the final one, what a great finish! Chris went 3-1 up in the 3rd game; could he pull of a magnificent win? Could he overturn the under 19 National Champ?? Could he produce a miracle??? No!
    Dougie went on a match winning run just at the right time to take the next eighteen points to Chris’s one and eventually sailed home to win the match in style.

    A feast of soup, sandwiches, pizza & Houston Ale for dinner was scoffed back by me and a very interesting conversation started when we all had a massive debate about things you shouldn’t do on the day of a match. Needless to say anyone who’s dad may or may not have been there was very embarrassed (vague enough? Probably just as well!)

    Good chat with the Gryffe lads and the pirate challenged me to a squash duel at high noon on Friday.

  33. February 16, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Wednesday 8th February 2012 – 2nd Team
    Last night the second team were at home to Parklands hoping to get back into winning ways. With Robert Caldwell and Paolo missing, Henry and I stepped up to fill the void. Gordon was first on at 3 against Graham Widdowson. A very lethargic display by Gordon handed the first game to Graham. He promised to improve in the second but lost that even more easily. He was just making it too easy for Graham with a very one dimensional performance. Surely he would make a fight of it in the third. It didn’t look like it as Graham went 13-5 up but Gordon at last got himself together and took the next 6 points before Graham got to match ball at 14-11. Once again Gordon hauled it back to 14-14 to give himself a chance. It was not to be as Graham took the next 2 points for victory. Gordon hastily left the building not even pausing to leave a contribution to the food fund.
    I was on next at 5 against Peter Miles on the kiddies’ blue court. I managed to secure a fairly straightforward 3-0 victory to square the match. Then Colin had the misfortune to be drawn against veteran John Pinkerton at 2. John’s game just didn’t suit Colin’s and John ran out a 3-0 winner. I think Colin enjoyed the Rangers game on Sunday more than this. Not content just to have won, John continued to give Colin stick after the match even suggesting that the thieves who had broken into the club at the weekend had stolen Colin’s squash game. Very cruel.
    So we had to win the last 2 matches to snatch victory. Henry was first to try to keep the match alive playing Ian Paterson at 4. Having injured his good knee last week, we were worried there might be a reaction. Fortunately, he wasn’t hampered by it and he just had too much in his locker for Ian and ran out a comfortable 3-0 winner. So it was up to Brian to wipe the smile from John’s face by beating Jim Orr in the top match. And he was never really in trouble as he kept up the sequence of 3-0 results. A 12 -6 victory to us.
    Robert

  34. February 23, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Wednesday 15th February 2012 – 1st Team
    So it was all arranged to start early at 6.30pm for the No.3 & 4. The 2 DLR Jason’s were ready and raring to go. At 7pm Hamilton’s No.2 Kenny Boyle was the first to turn up and went straight on.

    I was told that Colin McMullan would play either our No.3 or 4 “whoever we wanted.” I thought this was a novel way of picking the order of your team. Anyway it was decided (by Hamilton) that Colin would play at No.3 this week and so that was v me. It was all going fine in the 1st (well for me anyway) as I won the game 11-4, but then it got a bit bad tempered. I thought Col had his fishing racket out on a number of occasions in the next two games and I wasn’t shy about making my views known to the umpire. I called a couple of the situations “laughable” which I’d like to apologise for not because they weren’t, but maybe I should grow up a bit! Anyway no doubt Colin thought I was impeding his swing too much (I know……Like I would!).
    Well the ball was incredibly bouncy and so I needed to get an entirely different length to normal, which was proving hard. Just as well I had a game of racquetball the other day against Dr Marshall (I know, going over to the Dark Side!) as I was more prepared for the ridiculous bounce. Colin took the 2nd game 12-10 and I was bloody annoyed at this point. I was also more determined and I managed to play straighter in the 3rd and won it 11-3. The 4th saw us both locked at 5-5, but just then I straightened up my shots again and came home 11-8 (I didn’t see Colin again).

    Dougie (Kempsell) was in a great tussle against Kenny Boyle at No.2. He was 2-1 up, but the ball was red hot and both players were at full tilt. I took over the marking at this point and put the kiss of death on Dougie who went from 8-3 to 9-8 and the rally that got them there was mind bogglingly fast. Both men were zipping about the court like Bolt and Powel. It was Usain insane!
    Fortunately Kenny was more knackered than Dougie and Doug took the next two points to win the match 9-11 11-8 11-4 11-8

    Fresh from his trip half way to Ayr by mistake (!) Gordon Smith went on next against Colin McGeady at No.5 and this was always going to be a difficult one for Gordon. He needed to get his length and width going and he did to a large extent, but Colin was just a bit too strong. Colin thought he’d have a go at the ref (me) but I soon told him that maybe he should just get on with it (ironic I know!). Col retorted with “I’m just appealing.” Well you can’t set me up with a line like that and not expect both barrels in return! I’ll let you fill in the punch line yourself!
    Anyway it was a good game with Colin winning 11-8 11-5 11-8 and Gordon left soon after, settling his tab by buying 2 pints of Stella (which no one drank) and a soft drink! Novel! Colin made an early exit as well.

    Kev was on the other court at the time against Andrew McBean. I didn’t see any of this but Kev won 11-8 11-2 11-8 whilst I was marking.

    Last up was Jason (Lang) v Colin Towers (who had gone to DLWE by mistake). Jase is fast becoming the 5 game specialist, however this time I wish he wasn’t. He dominated 2 and a half games with some great squash – he moved Colin around really well and was hitting his trademark ‘shots from all over the court’ with a lot of confidence. However just at 11-7 11-3 and 8-3 up in the 3rd he seemed to take his foot off the gas. I hoped he could still squeeze the 3 points he needed and 11-12 down I realised he’d now need more than 3! But Colin had turned the tide and he took the game 13-11.
    Colin was now confident and moving much better and when he went 8-4 up he didn’t make the same mistake of letting Jason back in. He won the game 11-5 and exactly the same thing happened in the 5th and the match swung to Colin 3-2 (11-6 in the last). My old man used to say to me “Win in 3 don’t lose in 5!” and now another Jason needs to learn that lesson.

    Colin also left early; now I don’t want to sound like an old ******d here, but isn’t the point of a Wednesday Team Match to have a hard squash match followed by a meal and drink with your opponents? Why do people not stay for this ritual? It’s beyond me. Any way Jase, Jase, Kev, Dougie, Kenny and Andy did stay and the chat was top notch, about:
    • Kev’s exploits at the British Nationals (his 3-1 match v Jamie Willstrop)
    • Squash on telly (the Shabana v Gaultier extravagancer on SKY recently)
    • Peter Nicol & Clynie (playing them 10+ years ago)
    • Peter Marshall (double handed technique) etc etc.

  35. February 23, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Wednesday 15th February 2012 – 2nd Team
    It was a trip to the seaside last night for the second team. With Gordon on first team duty and Brian and Henry away, I was still hopeful of getting the better of second bottom team Ayr although Robert C reckoned that 7 points or more would be a job well done and would keep us out of the relegation zone.
    Paul was first on at 5 against Neil Grant. He took the first game and was coasting in the second before Neil stormed back and looked like levelling it. Paul just nicked it though but it was a reminder that he would have to keep his concentration. I went off to get changed and when I came back, he had lost the third game. On the other court, Andy had lost the first game to Donald Morrison but was looking like taking the second at 14-12 up. As I watched, Donald hit 4 low straight drive winners in a row to snatch the game. Better news for Paul as he won the fourth to get our first victory.
    I then took to the court at 3 against Dave Pickard. I won the first game fairly comfortably. During this time, Andy had finished up by losing 3-0 and Robert was about to go on against Ian McGill at 2. My second game was a much closer affair but I took it 15-13. Normal service was resumed in the third and I ran out a 3-0 winner. So that made it 6-4 to us so far.
    I checked on Robert and he had won the first 2 games, smashing his 7 point target in the process, but was behind in the third. He got it back to 14-14 but Ian managed to pip him to keep his team’s hopes alive. I left them at this stage to mark Colin’s match. He was playing Stuart Mitchell in the top rubber. After an even start, Colin won 10 points in a row to take the first game 15-7. The second was closer but Colin won that too. So we were just 1 game off victory in both the top matches. Robert’s game went to a deciding set which Ian won so it was left to Colin to get us past the post. Things didn’t look so rosy in the third as Stuart dominated it to win easily. It was the same story in the fourth. Colin wasn’t able to make the winners he was playing in the first 2 games as Stuart was into his rhythm and was retrieving everything. It was all down to the fifth game of the fifth match. In an attempt to stem the tide, Colin changed to a newly fabulously restrung racquet and it immediately paid dividends. He was hitting the ball to a better length and seemed to have renewed vigour. The revival was short lived though as Stuart took a grip of the game and completed a memorable comeback. So we went down 13-10 but we could be satisfied with our points haul.
    Robert

  36. March 1, 2012 at 2:31 pm

    Wednesday 22nd February 2012 – 1stTeam
    Well Whitecraigs Rugby tonight and a match we really hoped to win, but they went away with the points.

    All three courts were in use, so I didn’t see all the matches. First on was Jason (Lang) v Matt Anderson at No.4. This is one I didn’t see, but Jason won the 1st game, before Matt came back strongly to win the next three. All the games were 8s and 9s so a tough match, but one up to WC.

    I was marking the No.5’s Gordon (Smith) v Archie Pollok. Now it’s fair to say that Gordon didn’t like Archie’s game; it was too short and clinical for Gordon, who was looking for a 45 minute run. Gordon was frustrated with the lack of rallies and whenever he played a lose shot he didn’t follow up, so Archie could play a winner without any pressure. Now don’t get me wrong there were flashes of great play from Gordon, a fabulous width & length on the backhand drive (at times) lovely cross-court volleys (on occasions) and the odd cross-court drive winner. However these were not joined-up enough and despite being 7-9 in the 1st and 5-0 in the 2nd Archie dominate the rest of the match (11-7 11-5 11-6). In the bar after Archie said as much, when he commented “I won the short game with my soft shots.” And Gordon replied

    “You also won the middle and the back games as well!”

    Kev (Moran) was also on the other court at the same time (so I didn’t see this one either) against the up and coming James Wilson, but it didn’t matter how up and coming he was tonight Kev was just too strong – although James did get 9 in the 2nd game – 11-4 11-9 11-4. This will be a good clash in the future no doubt.

    I was on next against Nairn McMaster. This was controversial, but I suppose it was the fact that both Nairn and I have similar games and were always destined to get in each other’s way; and in contrast to that the refs were very different sorts of players who maybe see things differently.

    Time after time I was getting bewildering (I use the word advisedly)’ no let’ decisions. In the end I thought just give up arguing and play. So I did and that was probably the worst decision I could have made. I know I have a bad reputation for arguing on court and I should really try and just get on with it, but every bad decision that went unchallenged the marker must have thought it was OK to give the same again.

    I said to Nairn that if the marker thinks I can’t get the ball I have to show more effort and this may involve a bit of pushing and I wanted to apologise in advance. So I made no further comments to the umpire, but when Nairn was directly between me and the ball I made 100% effort to show that my opponent ‘was the interference’ and I was going directly to the ball and would have got it. This involved a lot of pushing and shoving and it certainly must have showed the marker something as I started getting a few lets.

    Well inevitably Nairn had had enough of the pushing and at 4-3 he told me so in no uncertain terms. A point later I conceded the tie (and the match) as there is no way I wanted to carry on in this way if I was going to fall out with a decent guy like Nairn over a squash match when tempers were high. In retrospect I really feel I let the team down, but I’m also not sure what else I could have done (other than just lose every other point with a whimper –pride would not have let me do that).

    Dougie (Kempsell) was on last v Dougie Emery at No.2. I missed the first two games as I was on court, but (our) Dougie seems to have been in control of these at 11-4 11-2. However a good fighting performance from (their) Dougie gave him a game ball in the 3rd (with a rolling nic off a boast!) but he wasn’t able to convert this and (our) Dougie won the game 12-10 and the match 3-0.

    So an early night and hopefully no bad feelings as we all had a pint and some food in the bar after. Then off home to write this 2nd draft of the match report!

    Well as there was nothing too comical to report on tonight’s game here are some jokes!

    1) While attending a Marriage Weekend, Ken and his wife, Janet, listened to the instructor declare,
    ‘It is essential that husbands and wives know the things that are important to each other.’

    He then addressed the men:
    ‘Can you name and describe your wife’s favourite flower?’

    Ken leaned over, touched Janet’s arm gently, and whispered, ”It’s Homepride, isn’t it ?”

    And thus began Ken’s life of celibacy …………….

    2) A man was walking down the street when he was accosted by a particularly dirty and shabby-looking homeless man who asked him for a couple of dollars for dinner. The man took out his wallet, extracted ten dollars and asked, “If I give you this money, will you buy some beer with it instead of dinner?”
    “No, I had to stop drinking years ago,” the homeless man replied.
    “Will you use it to go fishing instead of buying food?” the man asked.
    “No, I don’t waste time fishing,” the homeless man said. “I need to spend all my time trying to stay alive.”
    “Will you spend this on green fees at a golf course instead of food?” the man asked.
    “Are you NUTS!” replied the homeless man. “I haven’t played golf in 20 years!”
    “Well,” said the man, “I’m not going to give you money. Instead, I’m going to take you home for a shower and a terrific dinner cooked by my wife.”
    The homeless man was astounded. “Won’t your wife be furious with you for doing that?
    The man replied, “That’s okay. It’s important for her to see what a man looks like after he has given up drinking, fishing and golf .”

  37. March 1, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Wednesday 22nd February 2012 – 2nd Team
    The seconds were at Wishaw last night and having suffered a 5-0 drubbing in the first half, we were not travelling with much optimism. On arrival, it seemed that the recent mild weather had been ignored by the person in charge of the heating controls as the viewing gallery was oppressively hot. Down on the courts, it wasn’t much better. Andy was on at 5 against Paul Eley at the same time I faced Bobby Cameron at 4. The hot court just didn’t suit my game and Bobby adapted much better to the conditions and I was always chasing this one. I went down 3-0. In contrast, the warm court would have suited Andy and I heard that he was making a comeback. As I went back up to the sauna to have a look, his match had finished and he had lost 3-1.
    We then had the daunting, if not impossible, task of winning the last 3 matches. First to try was Henry who was up against Norman Paterson. We had the unusual sight of Norman taking a carton of milk on court with him which he drank between games. He claimed that a study had proved that milk was the best thing you could put in your body after exercise, better than Lucozade Sport, even better than beer. Someone suggested it had been in the Woman’s Realm but it was more likely to have been Farmer’s Weekly. I don’t know what Norman puts in his body before games but it certainly does the business. Henry found himself in the same position as me as he never got to grips with the court or Norman’s game and lost 3-0.
    So with the match lost, Colin had only pride to play for against Martin Bradshaw at 2. Martin had edged the first match at Lloyds 3-2 so this might have been expected to be another close one. It didn’t look like it at first as Colin established a good lead but Martin stormed back and Colin was relieved to take it 15-13. The second one was tight but Martin took it to level at 1-1. Bobby was marking this one and you can’t have Bobby and Martin together without there being some discussion over the decisions. There wasn’t much in the way of controversial lets or strokes but a couple of decisions on balls out or down were to fuel much discussion later. The first one occurred when Colin called his own shot out but Bobby was sure that it had stayed in. At first he was going to call a let but after commending Colin on his honesty, gave the point to Martin. He also asked Colin not to call shots out but to leave that to him as referee. When Colin’s ball hit the tin later on, both players knew the ball was down but Bobby said he didn’t see it and much to Martin’s annoyance, asked them to play a let. Anyway, back to the action. Martin won the third game but Colin took the fourth to set up a decider. You couldn’t tell which way it was going to go until Colin won the last few points for an excellent victory.
    Brian looked to have his work cut out dealing with Peter Shivas at number 1. I didn’t see the first game but Peter won it comfortably. In the second, Brian did a fair impression of the Tasmanian Devil which, along with a lapse in concentration from Peter, gave Brian the game in a flash. Could Brian keep this up? The answer was no as Peter got his act together and set about giving Brian a squash lesson. Peter, in this mode is really a joy to watch as he seems to effortlessly play the right shots at the right time to the right length. Brian had no answer to it and the next 2 games slipped away. The final score was 17-5 which keeps Wishaw’s promotion push on track.
    So it was back to Wishaw golf club for some food and drink and to continue the marking debate. To be fair, there were other topics discussed too. There was Norman’s milk fetish which led on to the specific gravity of faeces. This scatological debate seemed to be a particular interest of Bobby who reckons the Germans have got it right by having viewing platforms built in to their toilets giving the option of a quick health check in a glance or allowing more detailed investigation if so inclined. West’s most badly behaved player (no prizes for guessing), veteran’s squash and Norman’s heart operation were next on the agenda with Brian making an ill-timed and hopefully misinformed remark about Norman’s genitalia just as the barmaid bent over to pick up some glasses. She made a hasty retreat but Henry’s face got even redder than it had been on the court earlier in the 100 degree heat. I don’t know if we’ll be allowed back.
    Robert W

  38. March 1, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    Wednesday 22nd February January 2012 – 1st Team
    Good win 15 7 for 1st team tonight against 3rd bottom Whitecraig Rugby. Should keep us in 3rd but with Giffnock closing in and playing Whitecraigs tennis tonight the gap may be reduced.

    In order, top down:

    At 1 Doug beat Colin 3 0 in a strangely niggly match from 2 nice guys . Sounds a little bit metrosexual that. Didnt see much of the game as I arrived late but looked like the “Hamburger” was in control. Both seemed to think the other was fishing etc but all in all a straightforward victory I think. And they had a make up cuddle afterwards.

    At 2, DC fresh from setting up his new David Craig Tiling facebook page (I hope its as good for checking out woman that fall into the absolute belter category as his own fb page is) had a great 3 1 win against Jim Cross. Always going to be a battle and DC played excellent in first 2. 3 and 4 were bit tighter but DC pulled through to win 19 17 in the 4th. Official man of the match.

    At 3 I won 3 0. Feeling sluggish with only playing wednesdays over the past month but happy enough to win tonight. My man of the match

    At 4 Ben had a good win 3 1 against the roaming scientist – or the sliver fox – which ever you prefer. at 2 1 up and 5 10 down in the 4th it looked like it could go the 5th but Ben dug in and delivered a good 3 1. Carrying a thigh strain so excellent win under the circumstances.

    At 5 the “Big Mac” lost 3 0. Not looking himself on the squash court right now and despite his good efforts never managed a game when at the start of the season just might have got a win. Wasnt helped by an outrageous stroke decision on 13-13 when it was a clear let. Hopefully next week he returns to his usual self.

    So 15 points to add to the tally. And next up Strathgryffe 2. At Ramboland. Unfortunately I am unavailable next week as away to Slovenia on serious business of the kilts and beers variety. However, Rob has arranged for Sara to step in at no 4. Therefore, step up for Ben and chance to grab the glory – can Daddy M remind him to do kicking at rugby next wed afternoon – he is always sluggish when he does contact rugby.

    Good luck guys – 15 points minimum

    New addition this week – the DC eating report: with 19 of the 20 players staying for food there wasnt much opportunity to really “let the big dog eat”. However, managed to secure himself a baked tattie the size of a 18 bowling bowl and good portion of chilli. Expertly demolished and managed to eat the lot without any chilli dribbles. Good effort, Never spoke until the plate was clean. Good solid performance. 7/10.

    Night night

  39. March 8, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Wednesday 29th February 2012 – 1st Team
    Back to normal tonight and a trip to deepest darkest Maryhill for a match against SSRC.

    Now the “West Senior Ranking & Junior B” Tournament had been held at the club over the weekend and had produced not only some very interesting results, but had also affected our team order. The event was won by Harrow’s Dougie Kempsell and not only did he beat Chris Fergusson in the final, but he also beat Kev (Moran) in the semi-final with the added spice of having the DLR West League No.1 spot up for grabs!

    So first on at No.2 was Kev against Dave Ward. This was a bit of fun with Dave playing the part of the pantomime dame and Kev was (I’m tempted to say one of the ugly sisters!) Peter Pan! Kev was flying about the court making the ball disappear all over the place and Dave was running about trying to keep up. There were comedy boos and laughter from the audience and Dave even insisted that Kev was given a conduct warning for “taking the piss” and the ref was happy to oblige the request. All a bit of a laugh and Kev won 3-0.

    Next up at No.5 was Jason (Lang) against Paul Fergusson and this was a strange one. Paul got a great start in the 1st game going 8-4 up and then (inexplicably) seemed to change personality. Now Jason played well after this slow start, but I can’t help but think that Paul let him in. Paul didn’t seem interested in the battle and let far too many rallies go without a fight. Jason came back to win the 1st game and then in the blink of an eye he went 8-0 up in the next. There was no coming back from that and although the 3rd was closer it wasn’t that close.

    Sean (Norris) and I went on next at the same time. I played Chris Holt at No.3 and after losing to him last time we played at SSRC, I was hoping for a better performance. Now if this was a boxing match there would have been a bit of a mismatch between a heavyweight v welterweight (which does bring me onto my theory that we should have weight divisions for squash – I reckon I’d unite the heavyweight belts, mind you now that McSherry has finished who else is there to play?!). Chris was his normal nippy self and so I needed a bit of guile to stand any chance of overturning the result. So a mid paced knock-up was transformed into a completely different style in the 1st game and I think I caught Chris on the hop and won the game 11-notverymuch. But a good come back in the 2nd saw us tied at 10-10………… and 11-11 12-12 & 13-13. What’s the luckiest shot at the most fortunate time you’ve ever played? Mine came last night at 14-13 up! I hit a backhand cross-court which transformed itself into a side-wall nic that bounced within centimetres of the front wall!! Needless to say Chris didn’t really have a chance of reading this one and I took the game and if that wasn’t a match-turning moment then I don’t know what was.
    The 3rd saw me tiring and I was only bolstered by my team shouting encouragement to me. I was 9-8 down and got trapped in the back left of the court. Chris flourished his racket behind himself as I attempted to clear and was relieved to get a let. Chris was very upset as he thought he’d done enough to get a stroke. Maybe a lucky call for me (as I’ve had these given both ways), but I pounced on the opportunity.
    Let 8-9: High cut serve followed by a quick backhand volley drop
    9-9: High serve, pushed Chris to the front and a short cross court volley winner
    10-9 game ball: Good serve and a good deep volley to win the match
    RELIEF

    I’d not seen hardly any of Sean’s game against Dave ………….. but I did notice that he was down in the 1st game and looking a bit under the cosh. So when I asked him how he was getting on in-between games I was surprised to hear he was 2-0 up. The match ended up 3-1 to Sean and he must have played well to get that result.

    Last up was our New No.1 Dougie (straight as a Harrow) Kempsell against Brian Robertson (they also played each other at No.2 last half). Dougie was always going to win this tie, but Brian played really well and made a good fight of it. The score was 3-0.

    So with 2 courts that was an early night. When I said I was a veggie the bloke making the food said “tough!” – well it’s not the first time and definitely won’t be the last, so as the others tucked into the chilli I tucked into the Guinness; then home for a 3 cheese stuffed crust pizza and Hawaii50 on telly! So bad it’s hilarious!

  40. March 8, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Wednesday 29th February 2012 – 2nd Team
    Last night the 2nds were up against Newlands 3 so were expecting a tough game and weren’t disappointed. We were initially hit with the news that Henry’s fanny strain was playing up again and he was out but fortunately Paul was ready to step in as an able replacement. He was up first and was against Emilio Fazzi, a seasoned competitor who had seen off Robert C in the first half, albeit a 3-2! Anyway Paul put up a good fight but went down in 3 straight but was certainly no pushover. We had all 3 courts as the 3rds had called off so at the same time as Paul was on, Robert W and Gordon were also limbering up. Robert was up agaist John Rae, another seasoned player, and for the first 2 games he just didn’t get going as John seemed to enjoy returning Roberts lob serves with interest, right into the back corners. The 3rd game was an improvement and this time Robert got into double figures and in fact he may have won this match if it was best of nine! So, 6-0 to Newlands and things were looking gloomy, even more so when Gordon took his place on court against the gloved crusader (David Simpson), hoping to even the score after a crushing defeat against David at their place. Well, this match was always going to 5 games and it turned into a real battle, going one way and then the other. David has a swing that is wider than Tiger Woods with a driver, and maybe even Jim Cowan’s, and I’m amazed there was no physical contact. Anyway, by the 5th game Gordon had worn his man down and he took it comfortably to get the first 3 points on the board. Could Colin follow suit? You bet….. he took the first 2 games and despite a wobble in the 3rd he ran out a 3-1 winner so it was left to me to bring home the bacon, against another teenager with attitude, Ross Andrew! This turned out to be a bit of a niggle match after Ross went one down and then started whinning to the ref about a great pick up I had at the front of the court, which he claimed was a scoop. I must commend the ref (Paul) who just stuck to his guns and told him to play on, as did I. The first 2 games were shared and the 3rd game was a real energy sapper for me and even though I took it I had very little left in the tank for the next 2 games and finally went down 3-2.
    So we lost 15-8 in the end but the points tally takes us closer to safety and we had some good chat afterwards (Gordon even stayed this week, and paid as well!)

    Brian

  41. March 23, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Wednesday 7th March 2012 – 1st Team
    I spoke to Logie (Iain Logan) earlier this week to organise things for tonight and happened to ask who I was playing. He said it would be Dave Kelly – and he’s been in training all week to play you, by running round large trees and roundabouts!………………………………………………….. Bloody cheek!

    Well it was a strange old match last night as a couple of the ties were quite one sided, the first being at No.5. The Western No.5 had told no one that he was away this week, but he must have been as he wasn’t there! So we won 3-0 – well played Jase (Lang).

    Sean and I went on at the same time again this week. DK and I had a good match at No.3 and the score line in the first two games doesn’t really belie the rallies we had (11-1 11-3). The 3rd was a different story though and as I found my concentration had completely deserted me and I was thinking about dinner, footie and beer when Dave went 9-4 up! The bottom line was that I was hitting too much cross-court and Dave was picking these off with his Inspector Gadget like reach. Fortunately I got back to the programme and not a second too late, as the game swung back to 10-10; and with the momentum with me, I was lucky to be able to finish things up 12-10.

    Sean (Norris) was on court when I was on so I didn’t see his game at No.4 against Andy Neeley, but looking at the score sheet he was only ever behind twice (and only for 1 point each time), so he must have dominated the match. Good result 11-4 11-4 11-6 (MOTM to Sean).

    Kev Moran and Logers were on next at No.2 and I joined this at 1-1 (11-4 9-11). Kev wasn’t moving particularly fast tonight and was playing lots of shots that Logie was happy to chase. Logie had a tactic of serving behind Kev’s body on the backhand side and Kev decided to slap a few returns into the nic with a bizarre swing that I’d never seen before (it looked very impressive so I must try it!). The 3rd game saw a very tight 11-13 to Logie and it was now obvious that something was wrong with Kev’s movement. Logie wrapped things up 2-11 to take the tie 3-1 (MOTM to Logington)

    Last up at No.1 was Dougie (Kempsell) v Steve Halliday. Steve didn’t say anything or complain, but he just didn’t look 100%. Don’t get me wrong he’d still have thrashed me, but he certainly wasn’t his normal shot-making, nippy self. He lost the 1st 11-3 and although things were considerably better in the 2nd he was still off the pace and lost it 11-7. The Western lads suggested to Steve (tongue in cheek) that if he played ‘eyes out’ and ‘thundered around the court’ this would be the answer! We’ll never know as Dougie wrapped things up 11-3 in the last for a 3-0 victory and a 16-3 win for the team.

    So we retired to the bar to discuss squash TV, Rangers & Greece (and whether we could do a swap!), my hair (!) and Jethro Bins standing on an inflatable Pilates ball on court and doing figure of eight volleys?!?!?! Apparently he holds the World Record for this – I wonder who he wrestled that title off?!?!? Then we listen to DK entertain the troops with his one liners for the rest of the night as the lads shovelled chilli back and even the veggie got something to eat!

    Well Logie, Owen (Hadden) and I are off to Belfast for a tour this weekend with a match against the Civil Service on Friday Night and a tournament at Ballyearl on Saturday. Not sure I’ve played this much competitive squash since the 90s! Maybe try and get a weekend match report out!

  42. March 23, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Wednesday 7th March 2012 – 2nd Team
    The seconds had a tough looking away match against league leaders Hamilton last night. The courts were extremely hot which was probably good news for Gordon but not so good for me.

    Henry went on at 5 against Jonathan Naylor at the same time as Gordon faced Neil Cameron at 3. Henry got the better start by taking the first game while Gordon lost his. The Hamilton guys both won the second game. Gordon won the third while Henry went 2-1 down. It was first blood to Hamilton as Neil won the fourth for a 3-1 victory. Henry had pulled it back to 2-2 as I went on against John Perella at 4.

    Left hander John looked pretty impressive in the warm up and I was hoping that it was going to be one of those rare occasions where the player can’t put it all together in the match. I was disappointed as he comfortably took the first game. The second was much closer and I got into double figures before he put me away for a 2-0 lead. The third was even closer but I was finding more and more winners and was getting him to work harder and he was making errors which were missing from the first 2 games. I won the third and carried my form into the fourth to win that too. The fifth was nip and tuck up to 8-8 and it was anybody’s game. I got to 10-8 and felt that perhaps I was going to complete a great comeback. John had other ideas though and he came back strongly. I couldn’t respond and after I played some tired shots, he took it 15-11.

    Henry had also lost the decider so the match had been lost with the score already 12-5.

    Colin was on next against Stuart Cameron. Nursing a sore shoulder, he appeared a little tentative as he lost the first game. He came back to win the second but Stuart was hitting a great length and with the ability to kill it at the front, he was making it very hard for Colin. The next 2 games went Stuart’s way and it was another 3-1 defeat for us.

    Brian was on last at 1 against old campaigner David McAleese. Brian made short work of David in the first game and it looked as though we could get a consolation victory. But David was just warming up and when he had got into his stride, he had turned the tables on Brian and had him doing the chasing. Unless David was going to tire, there seemed no way back for Brian. And David didn’t flag and he completed a 3-1 victory.

    Their 18-7 win kept Hamilton on track to win a very competitive 3rd Division.

    Robert W

  43. March 23, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Wednesday 14th March 2012 – altrenative match report!

    So with no match tonight this is the alternative Wednesday match report!

    It all started at Whitecraigs when I was coaching a young lad called Steven. He’s only about 9 but he’s pretty good and I got him running around like a good ‘un for an hour! He came off exhausted and happy. And his dad was very impressed with the improvement in his squash (I was equally impressed with the wad of 50s he paid me with). So a beer in the bar later and I was watching the Whitecraigs LT&SC 5 th team.

    Dick McClure was moving with grace and elegance around the court (apart from the grace and elegance part) and was playing a guy from Bowfield who had one of the best returns of serve I’d seen in ages. Anything that was remotely volleyable was being dispatched. He struggled a bit at the back of the court though, but Dick couldn’t put him there often enough to get the advantage and lost 3-1.

    Next up was another student of mine David B for Whitecraigs and he was on against Jonny Wright (Alan Wright’s son; Alan is ex-Kelburn and David Lloyd Renfrew and played Div. 1 squash). Jonny returned the serve just like his team mate and now I could see where it came from as Alan (Jonny’s dad) does exactly the same thing. I remember playing him at Kelburn (last millennium) and I served everything behind his back for the whole match (after he dispatched my first two serves, by standing so close to the side wall that he could volley anything, brilliantly!). He never changed his return position and so ended up playing some poor returns and gifting me the match!

    David played well and kept his concentration all the way through the match, which was very pleasing to see. He was getting his serve dispatched a bit too often and I suggested the same tactic that worked for me all those years ago or to hit the wall earlier. He won the 1 st easily but the next two were both very close. However Jonny was making a few mistakes at crucial times and also giving away too many strokes by hitting it back to himself so David took full advantage and won the tie 3-0. Good result – MOTM so far!

    I had to go at 1 match each, so didn’t find out how it finished. So next up was a pizza and some TV programme called Kidnap and Ransome. Hey! Isn’t that lead character Eddie Shoestring of off the 70s! Did you know that the TV show ‘Shoestring’ became ‘Bergerac’ (according to Wikipedia – which of course could mean anything!).

    Whilst watching the DLWE 1st team reports come in. Very funny!

  44. March 23, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Wednesday 14th March 2012 – 3rd Team
    The thirds were at Bowfield, a place I haven’t visited in many years. The last time I was there, the courts still smelled strongly of horses. The club has changed somewhat and the horses are long gone but the old Banbury courts still retain that strange defying the laws of Physics sound off the front wall which only gets to you once the ball has gone past you.
    I turned up before 7pm with a full stomach, expecting to be on last at 1 and having plenty of time to take my ibuprofen for my various ailments, mostly groin at the moment but found my opponent, Paul Martin already on court and needing to get away for child pick up duties. I took to the court fearing the worst but after a tentative warm up, I found myself uninhibited and raced into a 6-0 lead which margin I held to the end to win 15-9. It was even better in the second as I converted a 4-2 deficit into a 15-5 win. In the third, Paul started to get into his stride and, although it was close, I don’t think he was behind at all as he got to 14-12 game ball. With the match looking destined to go into an unwelcome 4th game, I managed to take the next 4 points to get the 3-0 win.
    On the other court, Eric (Sharkey) was up against Gill Downie at 5. I didn’t see any of this as it was all over when I came off but Eric lost 3-0. The closest he got was 12 in the third. John was then on at 3 against David Lang and Craig was on at 4 against Neil Richardson. I was marking John’s match so I didn’t see much of Craig’s but while John won the first game, Craig lost his. So I reckoned that the match would be all square leaving Andy to provide the finale and hopefully the bonus points. Craig was consistent in losing his 3 games but John lost his way in losing the second. I still had hopes of John winning his match but David got stronger and John couldn’t match him and went down 3-1.
    Already 12-4 down, Andy had the job of making the score more respectable against Brad Maguire at number 2. There was nothing between them in the first game. Andy had been penalised for a foot fault early on and he was being very careful not to incur the wrath of dominatrix Gill again. It went all the way to 14-14 and both players had points to win it but Andy took it 18-16 to put another point on the board. Andy never looked back from then on. He used all his guile and experience to continually catch Brad out with well placed drives and disguised drops. When Brad did get an opportunity, he often chose the wrong shot giving Andy the chance to get back into the rally which he almost invariably won. He ran out a 3-0 winner taking the final score to 7-12.
    Robert
    Robert W

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