Match Reports DLWE 2013/14

  1. October 3, 2013 at 1:01 am

    Wednesday 25th September 2013 – 1st Team
    So another new season begins and a tough start for us, as one of the newly promoted teams, to face up against Newlands’ second team. But then that’s what Division 1 squash is all about, so we’ll just have to get used to it.

    First on tonight for us was Sean (Norris) against James Singh at No:3 – now I’ve seen Sean play better than this, but to be fair I’m not sure it would have made much difference tonight. James moved beautifully around the court, despite a (slightly) injured knee and he was always in charge of this match. This was a typical first game of the season match from Sean and I’m sure he will tighten up and get quicker. So 3-0 to Newlands and we were still looking for our first point of the season.

    Next on at number 4 was David (Craig) against Stewart Brunton. Now this game had a 5 setter written all over it, as it was the battle of the chasers. David got off to a flyer which is very unusual for him and he won not only the first game, but to our amazement the second game as well, with some great deceptive shots to the front (yup that’s right, “to the front”!). However Stuart was obviously only just getting going, as in the third he played a much better length and forced Big Dave take on shots that were just too risky. Stewart won the third and fourth game by stopping David dominating the front of the court. And so inevitably to the fifth game! I had gone on court by this time so I didn’t see the decider, but Stuart kept the momentum up and won the match 3 games to 2. Still a good two points on the board for our team.

    Jason (Grinton) was on at the same time at number 5 against Mark Reid and unfortunately Mark had Jason’s number! He moved him well and Jason was always struggling despite his trade mark clean hitting. Jason played well, but just lacked the experience to beat Mark in the crucial points.

    I went on next against Mic Cockburn at number 2. Now Mic is newly married so hasn’t had much time for squash recently (one way or another that’ll change soon!) but he arrived looking very well turned out in his newly ironed 2012 Olympic top. Now I’m not sure if this was a bit of an ironic statement as our sport has just been out manoeuvred again by the Olympic committee from entering the 2020 games.
    I reckon it’s all very well re-instating wrestling, but I’d like someone from the Olympic movement not to ask squash to bid again. Instead they should prepare a presentation as to why squash ISN’T in the Olympics! Instead we once again find ourselves in the most ridiculous situation of not having this superb sport in the biggest (multi-sport) games on the planet. And this situation makes the Olympic Federation look ridiculous in my eyes!

    Anyway back to the beautiful game (squash, not my game!). I won the first game easily enough and it was at this point that Mic realised he had the wrong contact lenses in the wrong eyes! After a quick change he was a completely different player as he started lamping the ball in the old Mic Cockburn style. Games 2 and 3 were incredibly close and Mic had game balls in both, but I managed to clear the head and slow the game down just at the right time. So I pinched victory from the jaws of defeat in both games and took the tie 3-0 (just as well Mic had a bad back or I may have been struggling).

    Last on at No:1 was our new (re)signing Doug Macmillan and he went on against Mark Ford. Now this was always going to be a real tester at the best of times for Doug, but with a slight ankle injury things were looking even tougher. Mark has a fantastic defensive game and it’s very hard to build any sort of run of points against him. The quality of squash was good to watch from both sides, but the pressure Mark piled on meant that Doug was often struggling to find the winning shot. If I had to make any criticism I’d say Doug needs to hit a better width, as Mark used this against him to hit some devastating drops from all over the court. However it was great to watch two quick, athletic players test each other. Mark had too much experience for Doug today, but I’m sure Doug will have earmark Mark on his list of marks for future seasons.

    So a 4-1 defeat, but a great first Wednesday non-the-less as we had some good scran and a couple of pints in the bar afterwards with the Newlands guys (and an impressive 9 players stayed for the banter!). Sean’s finding it hard to call me ‘fat’ these days as I’ve lost over 2 stone, but inevitably he will need a few more weeks before he starts giving a Doug a really hard time, so until then I suppose I’ll just have to take it!

  2. October 3, 2013 at 1:01 am

    Wednesday 25th September 2013 – 2nd Team
    So I missed a couple of the games last night and Kenny kindly volunteered to type up a report on the first two matches to build up the tension and I will be followed by Part 2 shortly:
    “As I entered Parkland’s Country Club and wandered through the “bowels” of the Club looking for the Squash section to play Giffnocks fifth team, in what was the 1st game of the Season for the 2nds, my fears started to surface….Am I fit enough? Have I put in the training over the summer? Will I remember the basics of whats been drummed into me by Jason? Will I stay injury free? Have I got enough KT Tape in my bag?….All these questions where about to be answered over the next 2 hours…Realising that I must have walked over 200 yards from my car to the viewing gallery, I was pleased to know that at least the “warm up” was complete and all I have to now is play. At the gallery I was greeted by the Giffnock number 5 who with pen in hand, was about to mark the 1st game of the night, asking where everyone else was, he told me “its only you and I at present” and I thought I was late….
    As I peered over the balcony in what can only be described as a “black hole” the Colonel was finishing his warm up against a chap who from my vantage point, had a passing resemblance to Arthur Scargill and fittingly enough also wore some sort of head device….not a “headlight” although given how dark these courts were I wouldn’t have blamed him…asking the Marker when the lights come on, he said they are on…These Courts must be the only “White Walled Courts” that need to played with a White Ball…I wouldn’t say these courts were dark but Stephen Hawkings was in the corner rewriting the “Big Bang” theory…anyway enough of this preamble and on to what actually happened.
    Now it has to be said that the Colonel hasn’t been seen much around the D.L.squash section of late, indeed when I last spoke to him he was still a Corporal however, all I can say is that a Squash Player appears to have entered his body..playing some great legnths and deft drops the Colonel was soon 1 up, and moving Scargill around with same aggression of the Yorkshire Police breaking a Miners picket line….wearing his best Rupert the Bear shorts and some dodgy holiday t shirt the Colonel was soon wrapping this one up in jig time. Jim Kerr 0 (“Dont you forget about me” dont worry we wont) The Colonel 3.
    Next up was Neil Ross. Now Neil by his own admission is “Playing Pish” and going through what can only be described as a “crisis of confidence” so getting off to a good start was imperative, and that’s exactly what he did. winning the 1st game convincingly. Neil continued to play with purpose and poise and was soon up 2-0 The wobble manifested it self in the 3rd game with Neil losing it narrowly to Stewart however, with some wise words from his team mates like “sort it out” Neil then went back on court and closed the last game out in style. Stewart Hamilton 1 Neil 3. Well done Neil you can build on this performance, going forward. PS I love the “Fame Adademy” look so 70s.”
    ….so 2-0 up so far. All we need is one more match to do what we struggled so much to do last season…stay tuned for part 2!
    …so after a short intermission, onto part 2 of the match report:
    As with 2 in the bag JT was up next and he was up against it with a very tricky badminton player and a woeful marker(me!). He was against, the difficult to read, Paul Geri. I had played him last year and knew this one would be a toughie! Right from the word go Paul was playing the most obscure flicky shots and John was struggling to force him to play “real” squash. A body check about 5 points in almost floored JT and to be honest was a bit OTT(suddenly wished i hadn’t volunteered to mark this one). After that incident John never really got a look in this game and a few poor drops, but John’s standard, left him one game down(15-6). A bit of novice advice from me for John to cutout the drops and keep him at the back and we were onto the 2nd game…much better from JT and he should have had this one wrapped up but unfortunately took his foot off the gas and ended up just being caught(15-13).
    Onto the third game and the marker really came into his own in this one….had a few howling decisions which included not only some incorrect calls(hindsight’s a wonderful thing!) and a score mixed up…unfortunately all of this and a few wayward serves from John let to the final game going to Paul as well(15-12). Disappointing especially since John is a much better player.
    I missed most of Kenny and Derek Hanlan’s game thru marking JT’s game i’m afraid (maybe Kenny should have covered that one in his match report too) but from what i did see he was continuing to play well, as he seems to have been the last few months. I did notice that the lights on their court went out mid rally but, as Kenny mentioned, the courts were so dark anyway that they just carried on Kenny got off to a flier in the first and was never in any danger, closing out the first 7-15 but he did take his eye off the prize in the 2nd game….maybe his KT tape needed reapplied…and Derek pinched it 15-13. After that though he “screwed the nut” and with a few of those “piper, papper, crombie” shouts(i know that is wrong but what the hell is it and what does it mean!) he won the next two (8-15, 5-15) in true style and took the match 1-3 and the tie with it…
    So just me to cover and there was plenty of shouting from my court and it was all me! I felt i was moving well but as usual the shots just weren’t there. Ali Martin, my opponent, had the better of the 1st game and when he was 13-11 up i feared the worst. However i did what i usually don;t do and slowed down and kept it to the back – managed to get a run of 4 points and i’d literally stolen the first game. Loads more shouting in the 2nd but in all honesty i was happier with the way i played and won the 2nd comfortably (7-15). After this Ali’s head went down and in the 3rd i was 8-14 up…took my foot off the gas and nearly paid for it but won 13-15. 3-0 win and a great win for DLWE 2(5-15). Fingers crossed we keep this up…
    MOTM to Graham for getting us off to a flyer and having a more convincing 3-0 win than myself. Paul G probably their MOTM but still think John T will get him in the return leg.
    Myself, Neil and Kenny went back to Giffnock for Lasagne and bread. Jim Kerr was quite persistent in trying to get us to come back and tried his best to convince JT to come back but even an explanation that it was only 5 minutes in that direction was met by a response of “I’m still not coming back” with a cheeky smile – hahaha, love it.
    To be fair, the scran was actually superb, i have to say…and that is not just coz we are comparing it to DLWE!
    Great win guys….let’s keep it up DLWE2.
    Summary of Scores:
    1.) Paul Geri vs John Turner : 15/6, 15/13, 15/12 – 3-0 Loss
    2.) Ali Martin vs Kevin Cameron : 13/15, 7/15, 13/15 : 0-3 Win
    3.) Derek Hanlan vs Kenny Lumsden : 7/15, 15/13, 8/15, 5/15 : 1-3 Win
    4.) Jim Kerr vs Graham Sanders : 8/15, 12/15, 8/15 : 0-3 Win
    5.) Stewart Hamilton vs Neil Ross : 11/15, 6/15, 17/15, 11/15 : 1-3 Win
    MOTM – Graham Sanders & Paul Geri
    DLWE2 Win 5-15.

  3. October 3, 2013 at 1:01 am

    Wednesday 25th September 2013 – 3rd Team
    On the road out from Aberdeen yesterday (always the best way to approach Aberdeen) I turned my attention to the new season .
    Would it be great , would it be Happy , Que Sera Sera
    The mighty Whitecraigs 2nd team awaited our timorous Thirds but with David Maz as Captain indomitable ,I expected rousing speeches, wise words and gritty responses.
    We lost 18-3
    On my late appearance at 7.10 due to dawdling in the Apache country of South Glasgow ie Giffnock , Zahir was already on his second game . I saw most of this game which was tight and really could have gone either way.
    I then had to go to play my game but the scores at 8-15 12-15 12- 15 reflect a close game.
    Due to my appearance on the glass court where I think they send all the bad boys at Whitecraigs I also did not see David Wilson’s match. From speaking to David Maz again ,after initial lack of sharpness David improved and could and probably should have won the third(4 game balls)
    Scores 4-15 10-15 16-18 .It should be noted his opponent Cameron was made MOM
    In the glass oven I meanwhile continued the happy practice of hitting serves out . I am becoming the Doug Sander’s of Squash Yips – 4 in one game was my worst
    Both Sandro and David Maz said you can’t win doing that(And yes dear readers they subsequently did the same in their matches)
    Even allowing for this it proved a close game and I probably with momentum should have won but unfortunately played my worse in the 5th
    Scores 13-15 15-13 8-15 15-4 8-15
    Sandro was next, who indicated as I was the reporter I should say something complimentary about him . Showing great maturity with an easy manner young Sandro played some good squash against an experienced opponent. All games were close and his handsome visage had the local girls watch with rapt attention(None present). Sandro played well and was given MOM 8-15 15-12 8-15 9-15
    Last up was the Captain ,David . The scores usually do not lie but in this case possibly David had chances but was let down by some loose shots(I know cat etc) including aforementioned serves out. He was not helped by marker ie me giving a dodgy let to opponent. If had I had a life(Rather than concentrate on sexy accountancy) 1 would have gone to a referees course like some ! 9-15 9-15 7-15
    Lasagne and beer afterwards went down well and we all sang Que Sera Sera

  4. October 3, 2013 at 1:02 am

    Wednesday 25th September 2013 – 4th Team
    so we started new season. 4th team sharp as the knife, fast as a wind and so on. We hosted 3rd team of Whitecraigs LT&SC and we were focused like never before. Concentration was never disrupted by the girls going back and forth from yoga! We even decided to stick to court No. 3 as the only interesting bit there is gas meter.
    We were early, we were warmed up. We were there. We got pumped (this phrase I have learned from many previous match reports). We tried hard but we were trashed. Our morale gone with the wind and then suddenly I saw what it’s all about. This is not about winning or losing because we are losing. It is about having great time. In our team there were great fighters and I saw in their eyes sadness of being beaten badly. If you are in the 4th team you need to have high hopes for winning and thick skin (or better hard ass) to accept loss. Enjoy time spent on court playing players you may never meet again, what may be good overall
    I saw Fraser’s look when I started talking about different clubs and the food there – I knew I had disappointed him.
    Always looking for brighter side, as we were told new regulations for this season says the winner team is responsible to put the score into the system. We don’t need to bother with this crap.
    Good night all – rise and rise again until lambs become lions
    PS – 15-2 we lost

  5. October 10, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Wednesday 2nd October 2013 – 1st Team
    Well it was tough playing Newlands 2 last week, so it was going to be even tougher playing their 1st time this week. Still we did have out new team shirts sponsored by ‘Paul Hannah Solicitors’ so we looked the part.
    Newlands needed help this season with so many teams in the 1st division so they called on the Equalizer – Angus Woodward. Angus went on first tonight against Sean Norris at number 4 and he is making a comeback after sometime (who know’s where he’s been? Maybe working for the Company?!?!?) and so was keen to prove he still could provide his services as a trouble-shooter. This would be a good test for Sean and we would see if he could start making some in-roads back into division 1 squash. I thought Angus played well and largely controlled the game, Sean lacked his normal sharpness and maybe needs to get a few more games under his belt. Angus hit a much better length and Sean was often left floundering at the back, he was also a bit one paced which played into his opponents hands. So a good 3-0 win for The Equalizer.
    Next on at number 1 was Doug Macmillan against Peter O’Hara. Now Peter is a real handful and plays the game like no other person you’ll see. The main thing you’ll have to contend with is the ferocious pace, then there are the excellent angles (where he appears to be able to hit nics at will), after that you have to contend with a very deceptive from court game including drives that look like drops and vice versa. And all that doesn’t even include the bizarre drive boast he seems to play with amazing accuracy and amazing speed.
    For a first attempt at playing Mr O’Harrow (!) it was a great learning curve for Doug; he was a bit bamboozled after the 1st game, but then he seemed to get to grips much better with a lot of Peter’s shots. That’s not to say that he won any games, but the competition was more even. Doug was his usual lightning-self to the front and he chased like a cat on a hot tin roof, but this result was only ever going to one way and Peter won 3 love.
    Next up making his debut this season was Richard Cantlay against The Sweeney at number 3 (Paul Sweeney that is!). And what a start from Captain Cantlay he was out of the blocks like Jack Regan’s V6 Ford Granada and was 2 love up before we knew it. Now would Richard keep the foot on the gas and convert this match 3 love?
    Of course not! This had 5 sets written all over it. And as Sean observed “Why win in 3 when you can stretch it out to 5?” until Doug asked him how his game went! Paul began to make a great comeback and didn’t let Richard dominate the front of the court as much in the 3rd and 4th. And Richard got tired.
    I was as well starting this report in the 5th game which would have made it much shorter but ho-hum! The 5th saw a an increasingly tired Richard chase a more and more dominant Paul, until the wheels eventually came off. Nevertheless Richard put in a good shift and the two points he got are not to be sniffed at, in fact their like gold dust for us at the moment.
    David Craig went on at number 5 and I went on at number 2 at the same time, so I didn’t see David’s match. I was playing Paul Bell from Cumbria, so I assumed that after getting well and truly thrashed I would see the end of David’s 5 setter, as David only ever plays 5 setters! So I was amazed to see David watching my game so soon; there’s no way he had won that quickly so I feared the worst.
    I had a great old run against Paul, which is not to say that I was ever in any danger of winning many points (let alone any games) however I thought I played quite well. I was moving quickly (for me) and hitting some really good lengths. However after the first few points of hard toil and lung busting stretching, I was puffing and panting whereas Paul was doing that bouncy/stretchy movement between points that shows that you’re just shaking off the cobwebs and warming up! It was going to be a tough night on court!
    Paul only turned up with 1 racket and after breaking the strings I thought he was going to have the cheek to ask me for a spare racket and then thrash me with it. Unfortunately he moved onto Paul Sweeny’s Harrow Vapor and the only consolation was that he was thrashing me with a decent racket!
    I hit some shots that I would expect to normally be winners, however they often came back with interest and it was only a matter of time before the mistake was made by me.
    Paul moved effortlessly around the court and like all good players he volleys high up the court, which have me floundering time after time. I don’t really think that Paul ever got out of second gear and he was even happy to hand me a point when he hit a perfectly legal shot. I wasn’t sure why I got that particular point, but he must have felt sorry for me after I’ve just done about 10 call sprints and he hit a winner off the frame!
    As our sponsor commented after the game “You know you’re in trouble when the other guy is always smiling throughout the match!”
    So it was upstairs for pizza and Erdinger and I’d have to give their MOTM to either their No.5 who demolished David Craig 3-0, or their No.4 who played a great game after a long lay-off, or their No.3 who came back from 2-0 down, or their No.2 who beat me without trying having just driven 5 hours from Birmingham, or their no.1 who made squash look easy. Tough choice!
    Still at least we’ve got Newlands 1 and 2 out of the way. Just Newlands 3, 4 and 5 left to play!!

  6. October 10, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Wednesday 2nd October 2013 – 2nd Team
    SSRC3 are strong candidates to win this division this year even though they are newly promoted – but then again we should be right up there too, so big match tonight. My turn to drive this week, So an opportunity for Neil to get a few beers and since he was first up there was the potential for sampling the vast array of beverages that SSRC had to offer especially with a long night on the cards (3 homes teams playing at SSRC between 4 courts).
    Neil was playing David Tennent and given his impressive win last week and his current form he was in with a great chance. The 1st game was close enough but Neil’s temper got the better of him and he missed out (15/10) but mostly due to unforced errors. It wasn’t till the 2nd game that we seen the infamous racquet throw…but this time it nearly ended up out of court and marginally missed us spectators on the balcony…quite entertaining and followed but a quick apology. Unfortunately he let that 2nd game get away(15/5) and but the time he really got into the game in the 3rd it was all a bit too late(15/12). A good effort and a sign that we were up against a tough side who are on a 22 match unbeaten run.
    Whilst watching Neil on court, Sara was upset to hear that her opponent at No.1 had not showed yet – however she was glad to hear that the person she heard that from (me) was misinformed and quickly went from “gutted” to “ecstatic” when she realised she was on next. Sara was looking sharp on court and after the first few rallies against here opponent(George Allan) it as clear that this was going to be a great match to watch. George can really hit the ball but Sara was more than equal to him and was retrieving everything on the SSRC boiler room…first blood to Sara(13/15)…edge of the seat stuff. I was so jealous of Neil able to kick back with a beer and enjoy(draft pint to start with i think…)
    2nd game Sara stepped it up even more and won this one even more convincingly(10/15) – although still not seen a drop shot as yet. Onto the 3rd and it was a beauty….George was pulling out all the stops to try to hold on to this tie and with game points for him and match points for Sara the 3rd game could truly go either way. It had to go to 18/20 before Sara managed to close the match out and with a performance like that was a clear WOTM match performance.
    Graham timed his arrival perfectly and was up next against Nick Allan, who had earlier been commenting to me on the improvement in Neil’s game since last season…that was before he nearly got hit on the balcony with a harrow mind you! I went to get changed at this stage so missed the first game which Graham
    narrowly lost 15/10. In the 2nd it didn’t seem like Nick had that much that Graham couldn’t handle but just didn’t seem to be chasing down shots they way he usually does and Nick was that bit more clinical and wasn’t really in danger(15/6). Onto the 3rd and Nick just had too much of the momentum at this point and took the match with a 15/10 win.
    Kenny was up against Maggie Farrell at No.3 and this was another cracker. Nothing between the two in the first and it went to 16/14 in the end with some great shots from both but in the end the game was pipped by Maggie. In the 2nd Maggie had the better of the exchanges although to be fair Kenny wasn’t doing much wrong so was pretty unlucky to be go 2-0 down (15/11)
    The 3rd game had plenty of questions from both Maggie and Kenny to the marker but Kenny didn’t let it affect his game too much and managed to claw one back(10/15). Onto the 4th and Kenny was moving maggie around the court well to level it up (12/15).
    A great final game, and with match points for both on multiple occasions there was quite a crowd! Collisions, Arguments with marker & many opportunities to close the match out and we were at 16-16. 17-16 to Kenny, 17-17 all, 18-17 to Maggie…..finally Maggie closed out the match at 19-17….great game and WOTM to Maggie. Fantastic effort by Kenny and some valuable points.
    It was after 10pm and it was finally my turn to go on court(god knows how many beers Neil was on by this point but pretty sure it was an IPA). Thankfully the injury(Tendinitis) that had had meant i was a 50/50 the day before had subsided and in the warm-up i felt pretty sharp, unfortunately though i was up against a triathlete – Tom Dunn!
    The 1st game I’m not sure i could have played much better but even still i found by self 1-0 down(15/13). Frustration started to get the better of me in the second and with some shouting, hitting racquet off the wall and a final kick of the wall…i found myself masking the fact that i’d actually hurt my foot quite badly…thankfully the adrenaline got me thru to the end of the match but could barely put weight on it this morn! In any case Tom had sussed me in this game and realised that i was overrunning everything and had the engine to more than match me(15/9).
    A bit of advice from Kenny to step forward and i got off to a great start in the third but soon my impatience and over-running got the better of me and despite my very best efforts and couple of decent drops i lost the match(15/12).
    So disappointing 15-5 loss but i don’t think we will get a much better team than that this year and frustratingly we could have maybe nicked the win – looking forward to return leg of this one.
    It was Pies and beans afterwards with the usual awesome selection of beer. Unfortunately there were no beans left when i went for my pie at 11pm but the bottle of St Mungo’s washed it down nicely.
    Great effort guys, but we can’t win them all…..i guess.
    Summary of Scores:
    No.1) George Allan vs. Sara McDonald : 13/15, 10/15, 18/20 : 0-3 Win
    No.2) Tom Dunn vs. Kevin Cameron : 15/13, 15/9, 15/12 : 3-0 Loss
    No.3) Maggie Farrell vs. Kenny Lumsden : 16/14, 15/11, 10/15, 12/15, 19/17 : 3-2 Loss
    No.4) Nick Allan vs. Graham Sanders : 15/10, 15/6, 15/10 : 3-0 Loss
    No.5) David Tennent vs. Neil Ross : 15/10, 15/5, 15/12 : 3-0 Loss
    Overall 15-5 Loss
    WOTM – Sara & Maggie

  7. October 10, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Wednesday 2nd October 2013 – 3rd Team
    Morning Has Broken
    The Thirds were at home sweet home last night against the quaintly sounding Craighelen 2nds (Apparently amalgamation of Locations Helensburgh and Craig …)
    Was it the start of a new dawn for the Thirds ie winning a match or were we will still mired in the lower reaches of the league… to skip the report result at end.
    On turning up I have never seen so many players or should I say participants milling around like gaggling geese . The fourths were also exhibiting their skills and as they were keener than the thirds initially two courts went to them.
    First up for us was our No 1 and Captain ,Alastair Baird against Graham Beveridge. I was marking this game and recognised that Beveridge’s all round the world have a special aptitude for Squash so I could see Alastair was up against it. The game proved to be in my non knowledgeable opinion good quality with both players giving their all. All games were close and Alastair after losing narrowly the first two ,won the third and looked to be up for the comeback .Alas it was not to be as a couple of loose shots cost Alastair and he lost the fourth and Match. Scores 1-3 (13/15 10/15 15/13 10/15)
    Meanwhile Piotr had got court 2 off the fourths and played a guy called Jocky (Sadly not the now deceased Mr Jocky Wilson with the double vodkas) . I had played Piotr on Sunday in a mini league game and had asked him what he was doing on Sunday afternoon. He informed me in perfect English he was going to speak to the squirrels. Now I knew he was not from these shores but I thought surely there must some people in Glasgow worth speaking too ,rather than the local wildlife . He ultimately explained he was going with his little boy to the park. Anyway I digress, Piotr and his squirrels proved too good for Jocky . Scores 3-0 (15/12 15/12 15/6)
    I meanwhile was playing a Drew Atkinson . Ultimately won fairly comfortably although first game was close .. first serve out as usual . Uncle Bill who was watching was impressed with my use of the angles at the front ,don’t think Jason would be .
    Scores 3-0 (15/13 15/3 15/6)
    David Wilson was next on playing Lee. I only saw bits of this game but certainly the game I saw ‘could have gone either way and the boy Lee was over the moon’ . All three games were close and David probably should have closed out at least one.
    Scores 0-3 (12/15 14/16 11/15)
    The Decider, the callow youth Sandro against the muscle packed Chris Moses. Sandro comes from a long line of Mazzucco squash players Ben … and Ben so has the pedigree but did he have the fight. Both players hurtled round the court with the marker poor Graham Beveridge having to give key decisions . It went inevitably to the fifth and with our Captain Alastair barely able to watch, the tension rose as Sandro leading 13-7 found himself at 14-14 . A huge call for a stroke for Chris was not given and on the let Sandro won the point and then the next.
    Jubilation and Celebration Scores 3-2 (9/15 15/11 15/9 9/15 16/14)
    Overall Score 13 – 8
    Pasta bake as usual afterwards , can I have pie beans and chips for a change roll on Hamilton
    The thirds now approach mid table obscurity or Morning has broken …

  8. October 24, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Wednesday 9th October 2013 – 1st Team
    Another tough night in the West 1st Division, as DLWE (sponsored by Paul Hannah Solicitors) lined up against Western 1.
    The number 3s played early and I missed this one, but apparently Captain Cantlay had another hum-dinger. He played Andy Phillips at number 3 and just like last week was 2 love up and just like last week got reeled in and eventually lost 3-2. In an inspiring speech Richard declared “It’s easy to get 2 points in this position” and that’s what he expected from the rest of the lads! I’d like to thank Andy for giving him a two game start. The cheque’s in the post Andy!
    Sean was on next against a brand new player from Singapore called Earnest. He looked a bit handy to say the least. He’s got a strange game with loads of lobs and drops and he’s also really quick to the front. Sean played into his hands to a certain extent giving him easy volleys, but I think Earnest is going to be a real handful against many players. So 3 love to Western.
    Big David Craig went on next against Peter Robson at number 5. David is a different player this season as he is actually warming up before the match and this is proving massively effective as he’s now winning early games. He took the match to Peter and played really well to go 2 love up. But there’s always something to improve on in sport and now Dave needs to be able to finish a match. He started to tire in the third and Paul started to play better and this carried on all the way to the 5th game when a shattered David finally lost to an ever improving Paul. However both players put a good shift in and will sleep well tonight (in fact Paul had a quick kip behind the courts later on, while watching the No.1s!).
    As that game was finishing I went on at number 2 against Peter Halliday. Now I knew in my heart of hearts that Peter was too good for me these days, judging by some of his results, however I went on fully expecting to compete and who knows maybe even sneak a game or two. But the reality was I was somewhat off the pace and Peter was just too quick for me (note to self “must get quicker”). I tried changing tactics a number of times, but nothing really seemed to work. I felt a bit frustrated with the whole match as I thought I should have been able to compete better, but it’s a tough league and number 2 will provide a lot of ups and downs for me I guess this year. So 3-0 down.
    And talking of which, last on was Doug Macmillan at number 1 against Steven Halliday. Now Steve is a very experienced player at number 1 and I didn’t expect Doug to win this one (and he didn’t!). Steve hit’s a great length and volleys across his opponent really well, so you’re always turning and confused when playing him and tonight was no different. Doug came off after each game very frustrated as he just couldn’t get into the game (I know exactly how he felt tonight). Steve controlled the match and Doug just wasn’t straight enough or deep enough against a player of this quality. It was a tough one to take for Doug, but Steve is an excellent player so he shouldn’t be too disappointed with the result. So another 3 love to Western and 5 nil in the match (although we did get 4 points via Richard and Dave).
    Doug disappeared for a training session in punishment for how badly he thought he played, whilst I consoled myself with a pint!
    Earnest was amazed by how windy it is in Glasgow compared to Singapore, but the rest of us just looked confused when he said that (just wait for the winter big man).
    David was just basking in the glow of getting the team 2 points when his opponent Paul started telling us about the 4 day bender he’d just been on. Which included a stag weekend and the works away day/booze up!
    Still you’ve always got to take some positive from these matches and Doug was very pleased with how neat his handwriting was on the marking sheets for David’s match – so it wasn’t all doom and gloom!

  9. October 24, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Wednesday 9th October 2013 – 2nd Team
    After last week’s disappointing defeat to SSRC I was feeling confident that we could get back to winning ways this week, and after hearing of the late addition of JT to the starting line-up hopes were high.
    When I arrived I was surprised to see that we had wrestled court 1 from the DLWE1 team but I’ll bet it was most likely the age old saga of the single glass wall being too off putting for the pros of the 1st division. In any case Al Baird was on against David Lang and seemed to be having a close one in the first game. Didn’t seem to be much between the two but Al found himself, perhaps unfairly, 0-2 games down (12/15 & 13/15). A bit of a pep talk before the third game from myself & Kenny which involved…”Do you feel f***ed? Aye! Well he is more f***ed!” and Al was right back in the next game and managed to pull one back (15/10). This one could really have went either way, but it just tipped in favour of David and he took the last (10/15) but a valuable point from Al and on another day could have been all 3.
    Colonel was up next against Craig Wright and with the way Graham has been playing recently and seeing the first few exchanges I was fairly confident we would pick up full points here….so off to get changed I went. When I came back Graham had indeed won the first game and was well into doubling the game tally. Some messy stuff from time to time which at one point nearly saw Graham take a squash ball off the head, after Craig had turned the wrong way from the back of the court and played it over Graham which drew a sigh from the crowd (guess you could call it that). Graham kept his cool though and although this one was very tight he edged it 17/15. Onto the last and Graham built up an impressive lead and eventually closed out the match (15/10) – a great 3-0 Win.
    Kenny’s opponent was running late so I went on next at No. 2 against Neil Richardson. I think that’s me had a lefty every game this season! A close opening game, but Neil peaked at the right time and took it 13/15. This is where my frustration started and I let it get the better of me as the match progressed. I was even shouting when I was winning points – don’t ask, I’m an angry elf! I got it together enough in the 2nd and took some advice to start serving form the other side which made the difference (15/11). Before I went on for the 3rd game I met Kenny after his 1st game and he told me that my shouting was putting him off on Court 1…but it was working for me at this stage and I took the next 15/9. Felt at the start of the 4th game I had this one wrapped up (school boy error) and even when I had 4 match points I was so wound up that I couldn’t convert them and I lost out (17/19)! Arrrgggghh. Onto the final game and thankfully I calmed a bit and could see that Neil was starting to flag a bit so just stayed patient and was never in danger – lesson learnt (15/7) and the match.
    My next door neighbor, who was complaining about the noise, was off to a flyer and he (Kenny) found himself comfortably two games up (15/11, 15/8) before he let Craig Wright back into the game with a blistering 3rd game (18/20). I never caught the 4th but sounded like another close one (14/16) and Kenny found himself in the same predicament as myself, facing a 5th game to close out his tieand the match overall. Kenny got it together and from what I could tell had complete control of the final game (15/11) and as a result brought home the bacon.
    John was on last at No:1 against the best that Bowfield has to offer, Blair Maguire, on court 3. I missed the first game but John won the first 15/10, but dipped in the 2nd(8/15). A few tough but correct calls by Graham (as marker) I thought – that got overruled by both players, but it is a different perspective when you are on court I guess. Was getting late so the court lights turning off on court 2 mid rally cost John a point due to catching his eye, but going into the 3rd he got his focus back and although Blair was retrieving well John stuck to the game plan and took the 3rd 15/10. Into the 4th (at 21:45) and we were approached by the bar staff to tell us that we had to order our drink now – aye ok! So I took the order for the round for the team and interrupted the John and Blair to ask them what they wanted…pint of vodka was the response from John! Blair won the 4th comfortably (6/15) and a quick word with John that although the match was won we needed this point!
    Maybe that wasn’t the best shout from me as when I came back after placing drinks order John was 1-8 down! But once he seen that pint of Vodka sitting there waiting for him that was all the inspiration he needed and he started a superb come back and actually won the final game of the night 15/12 – Superb effort…oh and it was only water, sorry John.
    So the first team must have eaten some of our food as when we arrived there was little left of the burnt pasta bake. Most of us got some but John T after his great effort never got any! A quick complaint and there was a massive plate of sandwiches made available, which JT had none of, but the rest of us certainly did J
    Over food and drink it was decided that David Long and I were MOTM but I think anyone in our team could have got with such a good win, 16-9.
    Free week next week so let’s enjoy sitting 4th in the table for a wee while.
    Summary of Scores
    1.) John Turner vs. Blair Michie :15/10, 8/15, 15/10, 6/15, 15/12 : Won 3-2
    2.) Kevin Cameron vs. Neil Richardson : 13/15, 15/11, 15/9, 17/19, 15/7 : Won 3-2
    3.) Kenneth Lumsden vs. Craig Wright : 15/11, 15/8, 18/20, 14/16, 15/11 : Won 3-2
    4.) Graham Sanders vs. Brad Maguire : 15/10, 17/15, 15/10 : Won 3-0
    5.) Alastair Baird vs. David Lang :12/15, 13/15, 15/10, 10/15 : Loss 1-3
    Overall 16-9 Win
    MOTM – Kevin Cameron & David Lang.

  10. October 24, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Wednesday 9th October 2013 – 3rd Team
    ‘Darkness creeps across the Land the stench of death is near at hand’
    Arriving late at Bowfield far from the city lights I looked forward to the impending contest.
    Having never played at Bowfield I was not aware the courts were Grade 2 Listed and had been installed initially for real tennis and used by the Stuart Monarchs.
    As a few of our team, Mr Mazzucco comes to mind had played in that initial tournament, they were able to advice me of the peculiarities of the courts.
    Both courts were available and both David and Piotrek were in action.
    I flitted back and forth to observe.
    David at 3 was playing a guy called Ronnie. From what I saw he always looked in command so I am surprised the scores were close (I missed the fourth game). He just seemed to have more nous and after last week when he was unlucky
    had a deserved win 3-1 Scores 15/11 10/15 15/7 17/15
    Piotrek at 5, wearing a rather fetching (If I can say garish) two piece number that showed of his curves ,was playing Blair the grown up son of their number one. Despite having a home marker in David Maz, Blair was up against it.
    Piotrek looked pleadingly at a stone faced David at times but no mater Blair was nae mair . A win 3-0 Scores 17/15 16/14 15/7
    Me at 4 had a chance to wrap things up. I was playing Gill and inspired by the first two matches promptly played a stinker. I did have chances but Gill realising I liked to hit back to her mid court easily put my cross shots away.
    After losing the second I got advice from David , don’t hit hard , placement make her run etc . Did I listen ,no I promptly lost 8 points in a row . Still no serve outs ! A loss 0-3 Scores 9/15 12/15 5/15
    That left the Mazzucco boys to take home the bacon . Both went on the court at the same time.
    I watched mainly Sandro’s game because he mirrors my game ! all power with finesse. Sandro ,while never totally in command won his first two 15/11 18/16 and meanwhile David also won first two 15/11 15/12. I was looking forward to my pint.
    As an aside Piorek who was marking David took great delight in giving a point to his opponent Brian, touché as the say in Warsaw.
    The Mazzucco twins then suddenly decided they wanted to give the squash public a treat by making a game of it and both promptly lost the next two games. The deciders , to win the match we needed one win , were to say the least exciting … I could
    crush a grape ! Both went into significant leads and suddenly we had in both courts both Mazzucco’s winning 14-11 ,then incredibly in both games it was 14-14 , my ticker couldn’t take it . Both then had match points against them, David succumbed 16/14
    and on all went on our young hero Sandro. Point followed point, David who was marking gave a fair let to Sandro even his opponent Russell agreed .Then as Bonnie Tyler went looking for a hero he arrived and Sandro won 19/17. A great match.
    David lost 2-3 Scores 15/11 15/12 10/15 11/15 14/16
    Sandro won 3-2 Scores 15/11 18/16 8/15 6/15 19/17
    Overall won 14-9
    In the Country House atmosphere of the bar we looked forward to a menu which seemed to show Haggis . Pasta Bake it was but chat was good and Sandro had his third MOTM ,maybe now two squash players in Mazzucco household !

  11. October 24, 2013 at 1:31 pm

    Wednesday 9th October 2013 – 4th Team
    Week three saw the first away match of the season for the fourth team, against SSRC’s fifth team in Maryhill (or ‘North Kelvinside’ as I preferred to call it when I lived in the area several years ago.)
    I was first on, at number four, against Andy Nelson. Before the match, Jason had sent us all a good luck text which included the advice to ‘get the ball into the back corners.’ If only I hadn’t waited until after my match to check my phone! As it was, I spent the first two games putting the ball anywhere other than the back corners and I was quickly 2-0 down. I started to get my game together in the third and at 7-7 I dared to dream that a Lazarus-style comeback might be possible. Needless to say, it was all downhill from there and I ended up losing 15-4 15-3 15-7. At least I’ll be relatively fresh for Thursday night training!
    Andy McKellar, playing at number five against Blake Sims (from Australia), was on court at the same time as me, so I didn’t see any of this match. From what Andy told me, it was a similar sort of match to mine and he lost 15-6 15-4 15-5. Later in the evening, Blake explained that he couldn’t mark any matches because our scorecards are much more complicated than the ones they use down under. I was tempted to ask him if this also explained the Australian cricket team’s recent Ashes defeat, but I thought better of it!
    After this Luke Steven, playing at number three against Scott Mowatt and Raymond Gauhl, playing at number one against Donald McKinnon, were on simultaneously but I managed to catch a fair chunk of both matches.
    Luke, making his team debut, played very well and produced some excellent squash at times. However, he was eventually undone by the far more experienced Scott, 15-8 15-7 15-7. The good news for Luke is that, unlike the rest of us, he has plenty of time on his side in which to become a superb squash player!
    Raymond also played well and fought valiantly throughout his match. The second game, in particular, was very close and Raymond can consider himself unlucky not to have won it. However, Donald was just a little too good in the end and won the match 15-7 15-12 15-10.
    There was a bit of a lull at this point, due to the fact that Mark Sherrit, SSRC’s number two, had yet to arrive. When he eventually did turn up, Mark Steven, our number two, probably wished he hadn’t. Our Mark actually played pretty well at times, especially during the second and third games, but SSRC Mark was on fire. He played with power, precision and great mastery of the angles, winning 15-2 15-6 15-7. I think Raymond spoke for us all when he said that, if this is SSRC’s fifth team, he will be unavailable for selection if we ever play their fourth team!
    Now it was time for food and we were served an excellent pasta bolognaise with garlic bread. Raymond pounced on the garlic bread with the kind of speed that hadn’t been in evidence at any point during his match. Nevertheless, he was deservedly awarded the man of the match award by our opponents. Despite his tardiness, we gave our award to Mark Sherrit.
    So a rather humbling experience for the fourth team this week but we’re all fairly new to team squash and we’re determined to get better. We’ll be back after the bye week, ready to fight hard for our first win of the season!

  12. November 4, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Wednesday 23rd October 2013 – 1st Team
    Well this match against Glasgow University was always going to be a real 6 pointer! And it was away as well which means we had to play on those really strange courts. But what do you know the courts have been refurbished so all my excuses were out of the window!
    I was on first this week against a fit looking bloke from Hong Kong called Alfa Au (where do teams pick up these guys from, out of nowhere?). He was wearing bright orange shoes and a luminous yellow top so I thought “If you’ve got the bottle to wear that you must be a decent player!” and as our number 5 said ‘He has the best knock up I’ve ever seen!’. But I know I can be quite a handful to play against if you’ve never seen my game before (don’t laugh that’s very rude!!).
    I was able to move Alfa well, especially to the front and this gave me the advantage in the 1st game as all my drops were tight. So first blood to me but I felt far from confident as Alfa looked like a really dangerous player. The second was even tougher and I had to move much quicker has Alfa was reading my drops now. But hang on! He was now wearing red shoes!?! Maybe he had some traffic light system going on? I managed to sneak the second game, but needed to concentrate hard to do it.
    I was now fully expecting Alfa to be wearing green shoes in the third game; maybe it was a distraction tactic! The third was another tough game and once again I really needed to focus. Alfa didn’t speak much English, but when he tinned an easy drop at 8-6 up he certainly knew that s**t was the correct thing to say! Fortunately I managed to shore things up just at the right moment to sneak back into the game and then win the match 3-0. I was delighted with this win as I think Alfa will be a real handful when he gets a bit fitter (especially if he works my game out! Stop laughing!!)
    Next on was our number 5 Jason (Grinton) against Oli Blackmore. A bit of a tough one to say the very least at number 5 and I wasn’t expecting too many points here. But what do you know Jason only went and won the first game! So was he really in it or would Oli react and up his own game? Unfortunately for us it was the latter; Oli came storming back and really put the pressure on. So as the pace got higher and the rallies got stretched Jason tired and Oli was able to make a great comeback to win the match 3-1 (great point for us though!)
    Next on was David (Craig) at No.4 v Mhairi Charlton. The last time these two played Dave came off second best, so it was looking good for the university. However Dave really dug in the first game and ran Mhairi very close, unfortunately Mhairi was catching him out a bit too often and the 1st game was hers. David tried to wear her down in the 2nd and it was close, but unfortunately for us Mhairi, once again, was too precise with her shot making and David couldn’t keep the rallies going long enough to play into his style of attritional squash. The 3rd saw David get off to a terrible start and Mhairi was never going to let a lead like that go, so she finished him off 3-0 and it was well deserved.
    Next up in the battle for Ireland was Sean (Norris) against Paul Donnelly. This was the best I’ve seen Sean play this season as he was really scrapping for everything and up to 7-7 in the 1st game he was right in it, however Paul manage to sneak the 1st. Sean put in an even better effort in the second game and he had Paul playing much more negatively, as he was generally in a points lead and was able to generate pressure. This match style suited Sean’s game much better than Paul’s and he got to go ‘game ball’ first and was able to eventually convert this to 1-1. Game on!
    The next two were also very hard fought but Paul was able to tire Sean with a very nice two wall boast and some good shot play. And this was the difference; in fact one rally saw Paul play this boast three times on the trot and each time Sean made a massive effort to get the ball, so after that he was spent for the rest of the game. So a good effort from Paul but a good comeback from Sean and it looks like he’s finally got the bit between his teeth. By the way I’ve finally realised why Sean asks for crazy lets and strokes! He’s trying to get his breath back – and there was me thinking he was clueless all this time (and during the 5 ridiculous decisions he asked for tonight!!!).
    Last up at No.1 was Dougie Macmillan v Liam Dickson. I’d heard that Liam was playing very well so although I didn’t expect Dougie to win I thought this would be a really good tussle – and in the main it was. Both players made a lot of mistakes in the 1st game; Liam on the volley and Doug on the boast, but as the match progressed Liam started to tighten his shots up and become more confident in his shot making. Dougie was excellent when he hit the ball to a length, but the opportunities he went for we’re more than often covered by Liam. This meant that the shot he had to retrieve, made things very difficult for him – as Liam hit amazingly short or fantastically long.
    Dougie looked like he’d been plugged in at the neck when he came back on court, but I soon realised it was actually just a hickey! I say ‘just’, but fair play to Doug!!
    I was very keen to see Liam tested physically and for Dougie to really work every rally. However often Doug would play 90% of the rally really well, but for one reason or another Liam would usually finish things off. Liam won the first two games and I think Doug felt he was out of it by the 3rd (I didn’t).
    At the start of the 3rd Sean arrived on the balcony and shouted down “Come on!” to Dougie and “Don’t lose to an old man!!” for which he got some appropriate sign language back from Liam! Liam put the pressure on Doug in the 3rd game and ended up winning it reasonably comfortably; I can’t help but think that Doug isn’t too far away from really taking the match to Liam – if he can just lengthen the rallies and use his physical fitness.
    So a 4-1 loss against the University and there was nothing else for it but to go to Ashton Lane for a couple of beers. The University 2nd team arrived to tell us all about the match against our 3rd team. It seems that the Uni have the bragging rights today, but as Arnie once said “We’ll be back!”
    Great that Subway are open so late don’t you think!

  13. November 4, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Wednesday 23rd October 2013 – 2nd Team
    DLWE2 vs. Whitecraigs RFC3 Match Report
    I was a tad worried going into this one with memories of playing the Whitecriags RFC 2nd team last season and coming up against the teens! Thankfully they have all progressed up to the 1st team now.
    When i arrived around 19:30 Al Baird was on one court, with a very determined look on his face and Dave Maz was on the other court strolling about (yes, his matched had started).
    I watched a bit of both.
    Dave, at No.5, was up against Malcolm Cameron (nice last name). Malcolm had plenty of energy but lacked the consistency in his shots – Dave was the opposite and that made the difference. To be fair to Dave he was carrying an injury but although the first couple of games were close Dave’s experience showed and he took both of them 15/13. After that poor Malcolm’s head went own and Dave won that last game comfortably 15/6. Excellent 3-0 win and getting us off to a flyer, superb Dave.
    Al on the next court was looking even more impressive and i was delighted to see how in control he was against his opponent Gordon Leggate. He took the first 15/4, the second 15/6 and the Bairdhound was on absolute fire, taking the third 15/5. I never asked for man of the match at the end but Al gets it hands down.
    3rd team really showing the 2nd team regulars how it is done – i was loving it!
    At this point i was thinking that since i was here and we now had two courts free i could get my game out the way, but Crawford their captain informed me(at 19:55) that their no.1 would not be arriving until after 9pm – FFS!!!!
    So with 2 empty courts myself and Dave Maz contemplated whether our No. 2, Dave Ritchie, would serve up a repeat of last year’s comedy moment of training up at Whitecraigs LTC rather than RFC…
    As we placed bets, the Colonel stepped in, ready to rock.
    Straight onto court, Al clambered up the rickety marker’s chair and took a gulp we settled in to see if he could continue his impressive form tonight. He did! And against a very decent opponent, in Colin Hammel, he never looked in much danger winning 10, 5 & 11. Another 3-0! I was starting to feel nervous about letting the side down – they ay that No. 1 against any team is tough right? right?!
    Anyway, so happy to see another 3 points and quality stuff Graham.
    Just then, Dave Ritchie walks in….He may not have been fully fit but he got the right club. You would never have been able to tell that Dave wasn’t fully fit with the way he started, and although up against a squash veteran in Crawford Steven, who had some nifty shots, Dave was looking sharp. He took the first two 15/10 and comfortably won the third 15/7.
    Ok so delighted as I was with our 12-0 start – and i really was – i was now left with two empty courts and a 40 minute wait to see if i would either let the side down or give us a historic granny!
    I had a quick warm-up with Al, but i wasn’t hitting the ball well so decided to just go to the bar and watch the man utd game with everyone else (who were all showered and ready to eat by this point!)
    Dave R even had time to go to his car, get his iPad and start showing the rest of the team pictures of otters that he had taken up at Tarbert. That was certainly a new one for Wednesday night Squash, but i have to say they were pretty impressive and one of them had an uncanny resemblance to Dave Maz on the T:

    So I had a few pints whilst i waited and Alan Sinclair finally turned up…………. poor guy was just off a flight from London to be fair to him – we ain’t the only ones that struggle to get a team out – that is commitment.
    He seemed really fired up and although i thought i might have the fitness on him he hit the ball as sweet as a nut and as a result although i was 13-10 up in the first he managed to concentrate at the right time and stole the first from me 15/13! Raging is an under statement, not only was I behind i’d managed to lose us the first point of the night whilst being last on court.
    I tried to calm down and did much better than i usually do, so maybe i’m actually maturing (who knows) and in the 2nd game i felt much more in control and comfortably pegged it back taking it 15/7. 3rd game even more calm and took it 15/6. I was run-in well and i think it was impacting his confidence, but he also seemed to be pulling up with an injury from time to time. In the 4th i was well ahead (about 10 or 11 to 1 i think) and he decided he couldn’t go on so i got it 15/1. Personally not happy to be only on in team dropping a point but what about an 18-1 win!!!!!!!!!! so proud of the team
    By the time i had got showered the food was already on the table, and was externally good. Garlic bread and Lasagne….why is every club so much better than ours when it comes to scran…and a wee Peroni.
    I predict that if we keep putting in performances like this this season then we will go up in 2nd place…time will tell.
    Summary of Scores
    No.1 ) Alan Sinclair vs. Kevin Cameron : 15/3, 7/15, 6/15, 1/15 : Won 3-1
    No.2 ) Crawford Steven vs. Dave Ritchie : 10/15, 10/15, 7/15 : Won 3-0
    No.3) Colin Hammil vs. Graham Sanders : 10/15, 5/15, 11/15 : Won 3-0
    No.4) Gordon Leggate vs. Alastair Baird : 4/15, 6/15, 5/15 : Won 3-0
    No.5) Malcolm Cameron vs. David Mazzucco : 13/15, 13/15, 6/15 : Won 3-0
    Overall 18-1 Win
    MOTM : Al Baird & Alan Sinclair

  14. November 4, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Wednesday 23rd October 2013 – 3rd Team
    “The tide is high but I am holding on
    I am going to be your number 1”
    For aficionados’ of the 80’s and boys with high hormones Debbie Harry was all the rage .
    I for one in my student flat mused that if only she would fly over the Atlantic to Edinburgh and meet me ,
    (preferably she would buy the drinks), and hey presto I would then bowl her over with my Scottish charm.
    As life now tells you not all expectations are realised .
    On the basis of naive optimism I looked forward to our match with Glasgow Uni seconds. Surely a bunch of
    just out of nappy students would not halt our progress to promotion.
    On arrival I found the fourths also at home playing Strathclyde Uni.
    The brain power assembled was formidable but fortunately myself and Raymond from the fourths were also present.
    Iain Irvine appeared first and I marked him at number 3 against an action boy called James. I have not played Iain before but at training he
    has all the shots and if a manual is written by Jason on correct stance etc Iain would be your man ,I would be the contrast. Saying that
    in the match James basically would not let Iain settle and took the first two 15/9 15/10. Iain responded and in a tense third, won I thought
    a deserved game 15/13 . We had a least one student angry as an expletive was launched at the end of the game so well done Iain.
    In the fourth a roused James would again go back to running everything down and won the game and match .
    Scores- Lost 1-3 – 9/15 10/15 15/13 5/15
    Piotr and Fraser then went on adjacent courts at the same time.
    For Fraser at five he was up against a slip of a girl with long limbs by the name of Rebecca. I saw most of one game and thought
    Rebecca used her reach well to nullify Fraser’s bustling style. Even this early in the season you can see improvements in peoples games and Fraser
    fits this category as he gets used to team squash. Scores – Lost 0-3 – 4/15 8/15 5/15
    I saw little of Piotr’s game as I was on court by then . All games based on the scores were fairly tight but as Piotr commented ,younger fitter legs.
    I think we might have a chance when they have had a couple of months of boozing behind them at the student refectory !
    Scores -Lost 0-3 – 9/15 7/15 10/15
    I was playing at no 2 against a first year fresher Neil who was debuting . Lambs to the slaughter etc ….if only
    I should have guessed by the English county squash tee shirt he was wearing . I was able to get him running around for first two games, but again not
    helped by serving out at times, and Neil proved too strong. Disappointed in the third as I gave away cheap points Scores Lost 0-3 -8/15 7/15 2/15
    Last on court playing No 1 was Paul against a post graduate student from Japan nicknamed Nobby. I saw the whole of this game and it was a good game to
    watch. Nobby (Would you have that nickname in the Rugby Club ?) while quick, also had a languid style round court and used all corners for unusual drops etc.
    Our Paul stuck in and also used lobs and length to good effect. Each game contained long rallies and swings in fortune. Paul did comment after winning the fourth
    dripping with sweat “Jason don’t ask me again” but he will be back . Paul tired in the fifth and lost the match but a great effort and given MOTM.
    Scores Lost 2-3 – 11/15 15/13 7/15 15/13 4/15
    Pasta bake as usual and the students competed to see who could get the most free beers in one hour. Paul found out his opponent was studying Law so I think
    that made him feel better losing to a fellow Shark. Chat ensued until kicked out at 10 for the students to go back and study
    Overall Loss 3-18
    The Tide is High but we are holding on

  15. November 4, 2013 at 9:45 am

    Wednesday 23rd October 2013 – 4th Team
    A bottom of the table clash for the 4th team this week, against Strathclyde University’s 3rd team. Both teams were still looking for their first victory of the season and we were hopeful, if not exactly optimistic, of recording a ‘W’. We should have known better! It wasn’t all bad, though. The highlights of the evening included a good win for Mark Steven, a nice pair of legs and the single most amusing moment of the season so far, courtesy of Andy McKellar and a clock. More on that later…
    First up were Mark and Luke Steven. Steven Senior was playing at number one against Chris Taylor, while Steven Junior was playing at number three against James Thowless. I think it’s fair to say that Steven Junior had a pretty tough time of it against a very good player. He fought hard throughout but was never able to play his best squash and ended up losing 15-2 15-3 15-5. At least Steven Junior wasn’t responsible for our worst performance of the night. That was provided by our hapless number four (whoever he is!)
    Meanwhile, Steven Senior was faring much better. He took a while to get going and lost the first game but then came roaring back to win the next two. At this point, he confided in me that he was flagging a little. ‘Just one more game’, I told him, and off he went to finish off his opponent. I have to admit that I missed most of the final game as I had become distracted by proceedings on the next court. Fraser Thomson was playing for the 3rd team against a very attractive girl from Glasgow University. Her legs were as long as Fraser’s were hairy. For more on this, see Iain Beveridge’s excellent third team report! I managed to return my attention to court one just in time to see Steven Senior secure victory, 10-15 15-11 15-11 15-11.
    Next up was our aforementioned hapless number four (i.e. me). I played to approximately 1% of the level I should have, so I’m going to dedicate approximately 1% of this report to my match. I was awful and I lost. 15-4 15-8 15-5. Nevertheless, my opponent, Scott Lorimer deserves credit for playing well and taking advantage of my ineptitude.
    After taking a break to give myself a stern talking to, I returned to find our number two, Raymond Gauhl, behind in his match against Calvin Whyman. Raymond gave it everything he had but couldn’t prevent Calvin from winning, 15-9 15-6 15-8.
    Last up was Andy McKellar, playing at number five, against Malcolm Jardine. Andy lost the first two games, 15-8 15-4, although they were closer than the scoreline suggests. However the highlight of the match was undoubtedly the moment when Andy hit a shot which flew out the back of the court, hit the clock on the wall and left the component parts strewn all over the floor. After the laughter had died down I impressed myself, and our opponents, by successfully reassembling the clock and hanging it back on the wall, still in full working order. When I returned my attention to the match, I found that Andy was making a real fight of it. In the end, he lost the third game 15-12 but he could just as easily have won it. So, a 3-0 defeat for Andy and a 16-3 defeat for the team. At least it was better than our 18-0 loss at SSRC last time out!
    After the match, we shared some pasta bake and pints of Heineken with our opponents. Fraser certainly seemed to enjoy the pasta as he got stuck into mine as soon as he had finished his own. I had to try quite hard to convince the students that Information & Library Studies (which I studied at Strathclyde) was a real course but they seemed like a really nice bunch and we’re looking forward to seeing them again at the return fixture next year. Fraser has encouraged them to drink as much as possible during their remaining time at uni. Possibly not the most responsible piece of advice but probably our only hope of beating them!

  16. November 7, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Wednesday 30th October 2013 – 1st Team
    Sorry this report is late but I was away on business then had the RASTA racketball tournament to organise (and play) on Saturday – all that and the Squash on telly to watch, so it’s all been a bit hectic. Anyway last Wednesday saw us match up against Western 2, who are just one place below us in the 1st Division. In fact they (and we) are the division’s strongest teams as we’re holding the rest up!
    I arranged a 6.30pm start for me at No: 2 and also for the number 5s, so I was amused, but not surprised, to see that the first pairing to arrive at 6.45pm were the number 4s! Typical!
    We did start early though and I played David Kelly first up. Dave is looking like he used to 15 years ago, ‘lean and mean’ and moving around the court really well. Fortunately for me I’m also moving a bit better these days (at 2.5 stone lighter) and I was able to keep him chasing and won quite a few rallies……………….
    To read more click on ‘read more’ below – or click here. – To see the other DLWE Reports Click here
    ………………….with my short boasts and by the time Dave had got to grips with this tactic I was one game up. In the 2nd game Dave had to move up the court to cover my boast, so I was able to hit him to the back with more success. The match was physically quite a tough game and many of the rallies were very tiring, but I tended to be in control of most of them and so won the match 3-0.
    The number 5s were on next and we had Sara McDonald against Tony Gibson. This was a very interesting game to watch as Sara’s classic squash style was matched against Tony’s badminton game. Sara won the first with great lengths to the back, but Tony came steaming back with a much better pace to upset Sara’s rhythm. And this continued throughout the match as the game ebbed and flowed until inevitably we got to the 5th game.
    David Craig was also on at the same time at No: 4 against Steve (my name is) Luker. Steve won a very close first game 11-13, but Dave made a great comeback in the 2nd and 3rd games with dominant performances by using his pace and retrieving to keep him in every rally. And these days he’s also added some very effective short volleys and drops to his game, which has made him a very much more dangerous opponent and he was 2-1 up.
    As I watched both David and Sara at the same time on adjoining courts, I was amused to hear Sara’s score being called 10-9 match ball at the exact time that Dave’s score was called 10-5 match ball. Both Sara and David converted both match points at exactly the same time and both doors were also opened for the players to come off court at exactly the same time. Amazing? Or was it inevitable that it would happen at some point? Whatever the mathematical or philosophical answer is, it’s probably a bit too complex for a match report! Great wins for both DLWE players though.
    I marked the next one, which was Sean Norris against Borja Alcalde at number 3. Now Borja comes out as “War Horse” on my voice recognition ‘thingy’ and that’s not too bad a description of this Spanish gladiator! And with Sean’s game to play against, it made for a very interesting match-up.
    Sean was suffering from a bit of a bad back, but you wouldn’t know it as he was scrambling around the court at his usual pace and he managed to win the first 2 games, but “War Horse” was not to be beaten so easily and he had a great charging performance in the third – winning that one 11-7. And the fourth was the closest of them all, but at 13-13 Sean just managed to get his nose ahead and with his own blinkers on he brought the match home 15-13!
    Last up were the No:1s – Doug Macmillan against Graham Dunes. Now on paper Doug (who comes out as “Dog” on my voice recognition doofer) should probably have stormed this one, but in reality Graham was a very tricky opponent.
    It often amuses me that when you have a close match, but such a large age difference, the younger player thinks he can bring out all the shots against the more experienced guy. This happened quite a lot during this match and Graham punished Doug every time, with some fabulous short play and really good length to back this up. The net result of this tends to be the younger guy getting very frustrated and it was no different during this encounter. Doug thought he was playing badly, but in fact it was often because of the shots he was given to chase.
    Having said all that “Dog” chased well and won the first 15-13 and the third, so was 2-1 up. The fourth was again a tough affair at 9-9, but Doug managed to sneak home the advantage and win the match 3-1.
    In retrospect it was great to see the old guard playing so well and I would certainly give man of the match to Graham (and probably W.O.T.M. to Sara for our team – although David C and Sean N were also excellent).
    So our first 18 points as we retired to the bar for an early finish and some good chat with the Western lads before I had to dash off for a late night drive to Sheffield for an 11am appointment the next day and then onto Wales. Now that’s team commitment!

  17. November 7, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Wednesday 30th October 2013 – 2nd Team
    Kenny couldn’t make last week’s match but he sent me a text last week saying great win and that next week would be the big one against Newlands, and he was right. This week would give us a real indication of whether we were contenders for promotion or not.
    The colonel was on court 1 against Andrew Doherty when I arrived. Unfortunately, he was 2 games down. I watched the 3rd, but i have to say I never seen much from Andrew that Graham couldn’t handle. In saying that, Graham wasn’t quite showing the composure he has in the last few weeks and with Andrew having the momentum it made it that bit easier for him to edge the final game 11-15 and win 0-3. Tough ask against a good team but a good effort nonetheless.
    Dave was up next against Jr. Parkins (Richard) but unfortunately I’m afraid I never caught any of this game as i was heading go onto court 2 fir my match. NOt sure what happened but was hopeful Dave would grab us some points in this one. Close first game(13) but Richard got the better of the encounter. 2nd was a bit more on sided(6) but thankfully Dave found his form in the 3rd and got close enough to edge it 16-14. the 4th was just as close but disappointingly it was Andrew that got the better of this one(15-13) and took the match 1-3.
    Just next door i was having my own tussle next door. I was up against a real nice guy in Stephen Hart, an ex St Aloysius player i was told….one of many that night! During the warm-up Stephen looked decent on the back-hand, but when he switched to the forehand i seen why he was playing at no.2….hit the ball sweet as a nut.
    First could have went either way but i had a hard day at work and quite honestly couldn’t be ar$ed. As a result, no surprise I lost the first 9-15. A moment of clarity before the 2nd game and i came out fighting and found myself 11-0 up!!!! Not sure i’ve been in that position before…if i’d been in the first division i’d have my first granny. Sadly/Thankfully, i am not and Stephen pegged back few points but at that point i was too far a ahead(15/6). Jase gave me a bit of advice to keep him in the corners and to watch, as he would come out fighting….he did and the next two games were extremely close both going to 15-13/13-15 and we were on to the 5th game decider. I notice at this point Stephen had changed his t-shirt so I thought that he must be pretty knackered if he had sweated out a t-shirt…hence I ran about even more and bounced on the spot whilst waiting for him to serve to see if that might discourage him…I think it worked as I felt in contour of the decider and won it 15/6. A good work out an glad to get us a win.
    Kenny in the meantime, was up against his mate on Court 1, Another St Als Veteran and father of Dave’s opponent (I assume!), Graham. You’d maybe think that because you are playing against a lifelong friend it would be a nice enjoyable match but then again maybe that would make it an even more feisty affair….it was the latter. A difficult one to mark so full marks go to Dave for taking on this one.
    I never seen the first 3 games but they all seemed extremely close with Kenny just edging it (14/16, 15/13, 15/12).
    After I got a round from the bar I sat between court 1(Kenny’s Match) & 2(JT’s warm-up) with my bottle of Morretti to hopefully watch us win these two and take the match. Both matches were great to watch. Kenny’s for the passion and John’s for the energy. Kenny had a crucial point at one stage when the ball from John’s court came into his just as he was about smash it into the Nick///withe that or the tin I think the celius spa heard all about that one as Kenny looked around for someone to blame
    Unfortunately Kenny was losing grasp of this one and Graham, although not keen for any rallies beyond 4 hits was finding success with killing the ball early in the point. Graham managed to take the last two 7-15.
    John wasn’t having much more success next door against Linda Duncan. The first game made for some unbelievably long rallies but Linda’s agility was the difference and John was trying his best to kill the point but just making too many mistakes. The 2nd was less of a contest and Linda really started to take control…she took it to 8 and the last game John’s head went down(3). A clear (wo)man of the match, although it seems they actually gave it to Graham on the website! and to me from our side…no complaints about that one
    Quite an early finish in the end but a disappointing 6-17 loss…..but on the plus side it could easily have been a win so i’m still hopeful we can push for promo!
    I temporarily lost 2 phones at the court – i’m not that popular it’s just work keeping tabs on me! Thankfully one of the Newlands guys picked them up…good on you Andy.
    Another bland pasta bake form DLWE again but the chat was anything but…Kenny reminisced with Parky (Graham) with such lines as ” You know whose funeral i was at last week?” & “Guess who else is dead!”. The chat got bette thankfully and was good night but disappointing result – guess we can’t win every week though.
    BTW Dave I owe you £7.50 in change.
    Summary of Scores
    1.) John Turner vs. Lindan Duncan : 11/15, 8/15, 3/15 : Loss 0-3
    2.) Kevin Cameron vs. Stephen Hart : 9/15, 15/6, 15/13, 13/15, 15/6 : Win 3-2
    3.) Dave Ritchie vs. Richard Parkins : 13/15, 6/15, 16/14, 13/15 : Loss 1-3
    4.) Graham Sanders vs. Andrew Doherty : 9/15, 8/15, 11/15 : Loss 0-3
    5.) Kenny Lumsden vs. Graham Parkins : 14/16, 15/13, 15/12, 7/15, 7/15 : Loss 2-3
    Overall 6-17 Loss
    MOTM – Kevin Cameron & Graham Parkins

  18. November 7, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Wednesday 30th October 2013 – 3rd Team
    It felt like the beginning of an episode of Knight Rider as Iain pulled up in his BMW. The only thing missing was the red flashing lights at the front of the car and in the end……….a DL victory.
    David Lloyd 3rd V travelled to Ayr on Wednesday night to take on Citadel. The road was long and winding, especially if you went via Greenock.
    Ayr were beaming with experience and gave a warm welcome to Iain, Alistair, Sandro and myself (Fraser). Missing was Peter who preferred to take the long winding road. He arrived at the end of the session to play Ivan, a tattooed gentleman from middle England. Peter was unable to force his way into the match. Although running Ivan close in the 3rd game, Ivan took victory 3-0.
    Seeds 5 and 2 respectively took to the courts first. My opponent, a staunch Ayr United fan, was an advocate for Total Squash and dowsed any attempt at challenging for victory, 3-0. The golden boy of Glasgow Academy and DL squash, Sandro, was up against a chap who seemed to pop up everywhere on the court without moving much. Although taking his opponent close, Citadel put another 3-0 victory in the bank. However, Sandro’s endeavours were enough to take man of the match on the night.
    Alistair took to the court and showed some great exchanges with his opponent who had allegedly played on the pro tour the previous season. Neutral spectators would never have known as Alistair took his opponent, Robert, to the wire in every game but Citadel again took another 3-0 victory.
    Iain B was up against George. A gentleman who has perhaps seen every squash court in Scotland. For all the fantastic shots Iain played, George had an answer for each one and again Citadel took the honours making it a clean sweep of victories on the night.
    The team were surprisingly in good spirits after the match but only until the soup and sandwiches were served. For as well as Citadel played, the food did not reflect their sterling performance. So DL set off into the Knight in Kit the car and will be hoping to improve in their next fixture.

  19. November 7, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Wednesday 30th October 2013 – 4th Team
    As Victor Meldrew once said, ‘Just when you think things can only get better, they get worse!’ The 4th team has become accustomed to experiencing the mental pain of defeat but our latest opponents, Allander’s 2nd team, seemed intent on inflicting physical pain as well.
    I arrived a few minutes late to find my opponent, Gordon Gray, waiting for me on court. It seems they’re quite rigid at the Allander about playing matches in reverse order. As a librarian, I’m all for a bit of pedantry but this seemed a bit silly. Anyway, after a rather rushed warm up, we got underway. Not surprisingly, I started the first game poorly. I then had a bit of a dip in the middle of the game, before tailing off at the end and losing it 15-6. After another slow start in the second game, I began to play a bit better but eventually found myself 14-9 behind. This is where things got interesting. On game ball, I found myself hopelessly out of position and in the way of my opponent’s shot. As I began to turn, fully expecting to hear the words ‘stroke to Gordon’, I was astonished to see him hit the ball straight at me, despite having an age in which to stop. It hit me flush on the side of the neck. Needless to say, I was pretty annoyed about this. My mood improved only slightly when I was awarded the stroke. This only delayed the end of the game by one point and I was now 2-0 down. I struggled to maintain my equilibrium throughout the third game and it passed in a frustration-filled blur. I lost it 15-4. Gordon spend the rest of the evening following me around and spraying my neck with some sort of cooling spray but never at any time did he utter the word ‘sorry’.
    I headed up to the viewing area, still fired up and desperate to see my teammates mount a comeback. However I was greeted by the news that Andy McKellar had also suffered a heavy defeat. I saw Andy’s opponent, Sajjad Chaudry, hitting later in the evening. He hits the ball incredibly hard and it’s no surprise that Andy took a while to adjust to this. He improved as the match went on but lost 15-3 15-3 15-7.
    Next up was Luke Steven, at number three, against Donny Kneale. Luke is improving all the time and this was his best performance of the season so far. He got better and better as the match went on. In the end he lost 15-8 15-11 16-14 but, if he had managed to edge that third game, it would have been no surprise at all if he had gone on to win the match.
    Raymond Gauhl, at number two, was up next against Ken Findlay. Raymond had complained to me about his lack of coverage in last week’s match report, so I promised to pay special attention to his match this week. After watching him lose the first game 15-3, I was starting to regret this. However, to be fair to Raymond, he played much better in the next two games. He lost the second 15-10 but, at 7-7 in the third, I was sure he could still win. He just needed some well-chosen words of encouragement. With hindsight, my shout of ‘Come on Raymond, you just need another 38 points to win this’, may have seemed more sarcastic than motivational! It certainly didn’t have the desired effect and Raymond, despite a great effort, succumbed 15-10.
    So now we were 4-0 down but I was confident that our number one, Mark Steven, could save us from a whitewash. He lost the first game against Kevin Reilly 15-11 but fought back to sneak the second, 16-14. Mark had come from 1-0 down to win 3-1 last week and I was confident he would do so again. Sadly, it wasn’t to be. Kevin wasn’t exactly a great mover, but he was clever and Mark never quite got to grips with his game. Despite his best efforts, he lost the next two games 15-8 15-9.
    I went straight home after the match for fear that any more time would result in an overdose of cooling spray! The rest of the guys headed for hospitality.
    Next up is Glasgow University’s third team, so I’m hoping my fellow fourth-teamers were paying plenty of attention to Nick Matthew et al over the weekend and have picked up enough tips to secure our first victory of the season.

  20. November 15, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Wednesday 6th November 2013 – 1st Team
    It looked like it was going to be a tough match last night against SSRC away and as I searched for my “Paul Hannah Solicitors” sponsored team top, I found it festering in the washing pile I thought this was a bad omen.
    As I arrived at SSRC I noticed immediately a brand new carpet throughout the lounge, which is a light brown/creamy colour, so I gave my shoes a good wipe as I didn’t want to be the first to make a mark, but you’ll never guess who threw their drink over it later!
    Sean Norris was on first against Chris Holt at No.4. Chris is No.1 in the over 50’s Masters age category so this was going to be a tough match for Sean. Like us, SSRC also had newly sponsored t-shirts (although not by Paul Hannah Solicitors!!) and after they had some team photos – which Sean somehow managed to get in (?) – we were off.
    It was interesting to see 2 teams playing in all white shirts – old school! Sean was playing well again this week and he was using a great 2 wall boast to the front, but Chris was also playing well and was looking quick about the court and was also hitting straight particularly well. After the first 3 points Sean had asked for a couple of ‘fisher-lets’ and was given them, so I thought we may be in for a long night. However the games were all tight and although Sean was in them all Chris had just that little extra at the business end of the game and so we were 3-0 down.
    I went on next against a young guy from Crieff called Rory Stewart who is ranked 2nd highest junior in Scotland (click here to see the Matrix). Well Rory was probably wondering why he bothered coming all the way from Crieff as the game was over too soon for my liking. I have to say that I think Rory is a real talent as he is not only quick, but has a tonne of shots and reads the game really well. Well he read my game really well and all my shots were dispatched easily. I tried to straighten up as the match went on, but even thought I had more success doing this, it was only a matter of time before Rory won the match. So we were now 6-0 down and needing to win all the other 3 ties.
    Next on was David Craig v someone from SSRC. Eventually David McCormick was told that he was No.5 this week and he seemed genuinely surprised that he wasn’t in the 2nd team (he also must have forgotten which team he was playing for after the match as he watched the 2nd team match and had dinner with them as well!).
    I can’t really remember who won what game, but for the sake of a quicker report let’s just start at the 5th game shall we! So 2-2 (surprise) and both David’s continued to play their own idiosyncratic games in the decider. Our Dave with his cheetah-like retrieving and his hankering to:
    1. Try and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in the early stages of a match
    2. Try and snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in the latter stages
    And their Dave with his left handed ability to hit a 200mph ball back at you at 400mph! The 5th was a great game that went to a tie break and our Dave eventually managed to:
    1. Serve to the (lefties) backhand for the first time in the match – at match ball!
    2. Control the ball to a good length just at the right time, to force a couple of errors and win the match.
    So I saw the Big Man a few minutes later with a massive grin on his face and his usual mantra of “Why win in 3 when you can string it out to 5!”
    Next on at No.3 was our hapless Captain (I can say this as he never reads these!) Richard Cantlay against Brian Robertson (over 45’s No4). I didn’t expect us to win this one and we didn’t! But I also didn’t expect Richard to play so well – up to 9 points in every game. He was hitting a really hard shot to a good length and Brian was floundering and making lots of errors. Unfortunately Brian seemed to dig well at about 9-9 and Rich seemed to tie up a little. So this was the difference in all 3 games and we lost, but if Captain Cantlay get a few more games under his belt he could be a handful on a Wednesday night.
    Last on was Dougie Macmillan at No:1 (ranked 3 on the Junior Matrix) against another of SSRC’s new signings in Jamie Henderson (ranked 3 on the Senior Matrix and originally from Thurso). This was going to be a tough one for Dougie – and so it proved! Jamie moves himself and the ball really well so it didn’t surprise me to see his ranking or his results this year (click here to see them). It was the middle of the 2nd game when I arrived back from the shower and Doug was on the end of a few big rallies; although he was still his normal lightning quick self to the front. It did, however, amuse me to see a rally with about 7 back-wall boasts, as Doug got more and more tired! A good fighting performance from Doug, but was always looking like 3-0 to Jamie.
    So off to the bar to sample some of the now infamous SSRC “Beers by George” – that’s George Allan not ASDA. As I took a careful look through the selection and spent ages carefully choosing the right one Captain Cantlay marched over had a good look at all the great beers before ignoring them in favour of the traditional can of Tennents. Mind you it was better than Sean who went for a orange juice and then didn’t even drink it; instead he just spilled it all over the new carpet!

  21. November 15, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Wednesday 6th November 2013 – 2nd Team
    An evening off from Duracell (Kev C) whose artistic battery is running low!

    4th string
    1st on was Me at No 4 v Michael Gallaher. All my matches so far this season have been 3-0, sometimes the humper (preferred) sometimes the humpee (recalling nightmares from boarding schooldays). Tonight’s game was so close, you couldn’t see any daylight between the adversaries, darker than a cow’s guts as they say on Exmoor.
    21-19 first game (never had a game that long), 17-15, 15 – 17, 15-12, with me prevailing 3 – 1. Well marked by K Lumsden, who is a good marker as it happens.

    1st string
    At same time Jason Grinton was on at No 1 versus Colin Stewart. Didn’t see it to be honest but Jason, too, accomplished a 3-1 victory, with a bit more ease, and more class no doubt. 15-12; 11-15; 15-10; 16-14. Things looking good!

    5th string
    Many thanks indeed to Neil Ross for helping out while stiil carrying injury. Negative mindset didn’t stop him running round lots, but lost 1st game convincingly. Things improved though, and Neil got beter and better and nearly won the 3rd game. His opponent Peter Russell was tiring, and had he nicked the 3rd game, I am pretty sure he would have won the next 2. Not to be though – result 4-15; 7-15; 14-16.

    3rd string
    Kenny Lumsden was up against 13 year old Jack Smillie, from the Martin Woods boot-camp, and only been playing WoS matches for a year or so. Very good he was with drops and ground stokes, and movement. Kenny did well to focus and take it to what looks like a 5 setter from the scribbles on the scroresheet. In the end Jack secured victory, but a good game.
    9-15; 15-9; 5-15; 15-5; 15-11.

    2nd string
    Finally Duracell on at No 2 in the decider, the way he likes it. Against Andrew Stark. Watching Duracell play squash reminds me of what Rod Stewart said about being at the birth of your child. “it’s like Scotland scoring a goal – you never get used to it. Each time we observe with some amusement the opposition experiencing for the first time Kevin’s game. Squash’s answer to the neutron in a hadron collider at CERN deep below the French Swiss border. Duracell on Court 1 is as close as any of us will get to understanding the Big Bang theory. The Pocket Firework on amphetamines. Andrew had to keep his focus and edged it 3-1, his languid style belying the fact that he was knackered and the 5th game was Duracell’s if he had managed to take it that far.
    15-7; 8-15; 9-15; 13-15.

    So the mathematicians will work out that this adds up to a 9 – 14 defeat. Not bad, but very close to an outright victory.

    Nite Nite.

  22. November 15, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Wednesday 6th November 2013 – 3rd Team
    Sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti….
    .. I bless the rains down in Africa

    Toto Africa 1982

    Yes there is an African theme for the Third report.

    We have four Scottish Wildebeests and one Polish Bison (No where near Africa !) in the frame

    On the 80s and 90s many families used to sit down to watch the nature Programmes hosted by Sir David Attenborough.

    Among many interesting facts learned were basic sex educations, always embarrassing with Mum and Dad present, and the law of the Jungle .

    So it was last night in our game against SSRC 4TH team (eh? Ed!)

    First up was our Bison Piotr against a Zebra called Mark. Now Piotr totally controlled this and won comfortably. I did not see much in the way
    of athleticism round the court, but Piotr had all the shots. The only negative was after the second game he said to David and I “Fitness” and then promptly raised his top
    to reveal a tummy that obviously was used to a high daily input. David and I made mental notes to avoid seconds at the meal.

    Scores Won 3-0 15/8 15/13 15/9

    Next up was the first of the Wildebeest. me against a young Hyena called Josh . I had beaten Josh 3-2 last year playing against Glasgow Uni so felt fairly confident.
    However like the stupid older Wildebeest who charges the Hyena with no thought I persisted in the first two games with the tactic of having none . When I sussed out to keep to the backhand and long, got back in to the game and should have taken to a fifth.

    Scores Lost 1-3 9/15 9/15 15/5 13/15

    Playing at three was our young startled Wildebeest Sandro who came up against the old gnarled predator in Roddy . I never saw this game but the Hyena knew how to torment the young pup with lobs , lets and claims for strokes. It was all too much for our previous 4 in a row MOTM and he was by all accounts savaged.

    Score Lost 0-3 7/15 7/15 13/15

    I then watched the leader of our Herd David playing at number 2 against Nirhil . David being a very old Wildebeest has a multitude of ailments and so it proved . David in the first game pulled his Calf and though he gamely fought on, he too was pulled down and had to retire.

    Scores Lost 0-3 11/15 1/15 Retired injured

    Last up at number I was Alastair against Nick . Now I marked this game and the first was littered with mistakes and Alastair had slightly more so lost. In the second like a Wildebeest constantly charging a rock to no effect Alastair failed to adapt tactics and Nick with the long reach steadily wore him down . By the third panting and on all knees he was mercifully dispatched. I have seen Alastair play a lot better.

    Scores Lost 0-3 11/15 6/15 10/15

    Overall loss 4-15

    MOTM Piotr (Not Sandro !)

    Pasta bake as usual , chat about old days when Lions roamed, our Bison put enough salt on his Pasta that your average West of Scotland male would have been appalled, it was that much! After the watering hole we departed back to the Serengeti

  23. November 15, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Wednesday 6th November 2013 – 4th Team
    A new-look 4th team headed to Glasgow University this week to take on their 3rd team. Fraser Thomson returned to bolster the ranks after two weeks in the exalted company of the 3rd team and our new secret weapon, Donald Price, made his team squash debut. Andy McKellar returned to the subs bench, meaning that the clocks of the west of Scotland were safe for another week! Meanwhile, Luke Steven kindly enabled me to cling on to the number five spot by choosing to go skiing. Apparently there are more girls at skiing (note to self no.1 – take up skiing!) As it turned out, there were plenty of girls in evidence at squash too, both in the opposing team and throughout the gym in which the courts were located. Fraser could barely contain himself! I worried that his mind might not entirely be on the match but my fears were to prove unfounded.
    By the time I arrived, the number threes were already underway. Raymond Gauhl was up against Mike Green, who was wearing a rather fetching Croatia football top. Raymond can never decide how much coverage he wants in the match report and this week he instructed me to keep it brief! So all I’ll say is that Raymond put in his usual battling performance, despite various niggling injuries, before going down 15-8 15-7 15-7.
    Next up were the number fours. Donald Price took on Beth Cowen. Having seen Donald play on Monday nights, I fully expected him to win this one. He got off to a flying start and won the first game 15-8. At this point, a few debut nerves seemed to creep in and his level slipped a little. Beth took advantage by wining the second game 15-11 and taking a big lead in the third. But Donald played his best squash when it mattered most and dug in to win 15-13. The unforced errors crept into Donald’s game again in the fourth and Beth took this one 15-11. I still didn’t feel the result was in doubt, though, and Donald proved me right. He played a great final game and won it comfortably, 15-8. With a bit more match experience under his belt, Donald will be winning this sort of match 3-0.
    Next up was me, at number five, against Angus Clemence. The first game felt like a match in itself. We both passed up game points before I eventually edged it 19-17. Unfortunately, I had expended so much energy in this game that I had very little left for the second and Angus raced into a huge lead before clinching it 15-8 (Note to self no.2 – get fitter!) I was ready to go again at the start of the third, though, and managed to sneak through another very tight game, 15-13. However, disaster struck at the start of the fourth when I twisted my ankle on the very first point and could barely move for most of the game. As a result, Angus dominated the game in much the same fashion he had the second, winning it 15-6 (note to self no.3 – try to win an even-numbered game at some point this season!)
    Luckily, the pain in my ankle had subsided by the start of the decider and I was able to compete properly. It was a real see-saw affair. Several times I eked out a small advantage before being pegged back by Angus each time. Eventually, I took a decisive 14-12 lead and, too exhausted to feel any nerves, finished Angus off with my first match point. It was a sweet, sweet feeling, not to mention a huge relief, to secure my first ever win!
    So now we led 2-1 and Fraser Thomson, playing at number two against Louisa Etherson, had the chance to clinch our first victory of the season. Could he do it? Of course he could! But only if he could forget about the girls in the gym!
    Fraser was clearly the better player but he took a while to get going. The first game was very tight and was enlivened by a moment of controversy when Raymond, who was marking, had to stop play in order to ask the players what the score was! Louisa seemed to cope better with the delay and edged the game 15-13. Fraser regrouped magnificently, though, telling himself that he simply wasn’t going to lose. He stormed through the next three games, 15-9, 15-10, 15-7 and, for the first time this season, the 4th team knew victory!
    Now it was up to Mark Steven, our trusty number one, to put the icing on the cake. Unfortunately Mark was coming off a long, hard day at work, putting people to sleep. He looked like he could do with a bit of a nap himself. To make matters worse, he was up against the very impressive Sagar Jadeja. Having said that, Mark could have won the first game. Unfortunately, some poor shot selection at vital times let Sagar off the hook and he edged it 19-17. Quite understandably, Mark had nothing left to give and Sagar, playing excellently, sealed the second and third games, 15-8 15-5.
    At this point, the students actually thought they had won the match, as they led 11-9 in games won. They were most disappointed when we explained that the three bonus points gave us a 12-11 victory. Confusion over, we headed off to the Grosvenor for Pizza, chips and, in Fraser’s case, an admirably huge plate of salad.
    So a genuinely new experience for this season’s 4th team and, for the first time ever, I have the honour of entering the scores on the West Squash website. When Winston Churchill said ‘History is written by the victors’, I’m sure this is exactly what he had in mind!

  24. November 21, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Wednesday 13th November 2013 – 1st Team
    When I looked at this fixture couldn’t see a win for us. If we played a blinder maybe a 2 3 results could be on the cards along with some valuable points.
    The normal Wednesday squash situation happened again this week with Strathgryffe having numbers 1 and 4 available and we had numbers 2, 3 and 5 ready to go! Any statisticians out there? What’s the percentage chance of a correst pairing turning up first to a squash match? Answers on a postcard please!). So the first pairing who were ready to go were the number 1s and so Douglas Macmillan took to the court first against Martin Woods.
    The was a classic coach v up and coming player scenario and both men new each others game to a certain extent. However the coach I want taking things lightly and wanted to make sure that he controlled the game, which to a large extent he did.
    Martin was generally a few points ahead which gave him a good buffer zone and on top of that he moved the ball and his opponent about well so Dougie was doing most of the chasing. The tactic for Doug had to be to run Martin into the ground, but unfortunately he just couldn’t achieve this and lost the game 3-0. A good fighting performance though and Doug should have Martin in his sight for the future.
    Next on court was Sara McDonald against Struan Grant at No.5. Struan is huge these days and now looks like the honey monster with loud shorts being his trade mark! Sara was looking the total opposite of Struan and also great in her new all-black kit (no Haka though!). This one was all about Sara’s control against Struan’s retrieving and hard hitting and I’m glad to say that style won with sara taking all 3 games (despite a close 3rd).
    David Craig was on the other court now against Lee Fraser. Now I’ve had some close ones with Lee over the years, so I didn’t think David would win this one, but hold on he won the first game! Could there be an upset on the cards? Would Lee buckle under the pressure?? Would Dave be victorious???? No! Lee started to take control and won the next three! A good point for Dave though.
    I went on next against Jason Lang and I don’t know what they put in the water in Strathgryffe, but he’s massive these days as well (although it would be fair to say in a ‘slightly’ different way the Honey/Beer Monster!). I didn’t rate my chances too highly tonight judging by Jason’s results recently, but I knew that to have a hope of winning I needed to take my chances – and I did just that although to do it I also made a lot of errors Fortunately for me Jason did as well; that is up until I got to 9 or 10 when he stopped making any errors and completely shut up shop. This resulted in some additional squash and lung busting rallies, but I managed to sneak across the finishing line (with not too much to spare). I’m not sure I’ll beat him much longer, so I was delighted to take this one.
    Rich Cantlay was on last against James dare and having played Richard at the weekend I thought he would have a good chance against james, but it wasn’t to be. James dominated the match and although Richard had some good phases, James was always looking like the victor.
    So a loss, but 8 points none the less in our fight for survival.
    Good banter with the Strathgryffe guys and Doug asked me to get my report in earlier from now on, as he had no idea how he played until he read the report!

  25. November 21, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Wednesday 13th November 2013 – 2nd Team
    A tough day at work meant that my expectation of arriving early at Western never went to plan, and as a result I was met with an extremely frosty reception from my fellow no.3 who had been waiting for 45 mins fro my arrival. At least i would get my game out the way nice any early though which is far from the norm where western is concerned.
    I was up against Allan Mowat…i thin i had played him last season at some point but couldn’t remember the result. After the “vow of silence” warm-up that we had I think Allan was starting to forgive my tardiness just as we commenced the match. The opener was a close affair but for the first time i actually started to enjoy the warmth of the western courts and felt pretty full of beans, even though i had stupidly zapped a lot of energy with a lunchtime run earlier. I was lucky to just edge the first though with 16/14 win which help me settle into the match. Could have been quite different if he took that first game. Thankfully however I felt i got my length better going into the 2nd and i managed to get a bit, although not much, more stance in the next by taking it 15/12. I got a telling off towards the end of this game for “shouting” too much…since when was it against the rules to shout during a match? I wasn’t happy with the marker’s comments, to say the least!
    Anyways, Going into the 3rd (with my lips sealed) I really got going and was 11-0 up before i knew it. Surely i couldn’t lose from here right? Nah i never, although I did lose 4 points but wrapped up the opening match with a 15-4 win. Delighted with that start and hopeful we could get a good result in a tough away fixture.
    I was on taxi duty tonight so i could tell Neil was keen to get his game out the way so he could get tore into some IPAs…and it seemed he was gasping for a pint with the rate he was running about court in his 1st game against Nigel Taylor, ayr No.5. Nigel was a very good player but to be honest Neil was matching him all over the court. The only edge Nigel seemed to have over Neil was patience. A few too many mistakes seen Neil lose the first 15/9 but he was far from out of this match. I took the feedback on board and came back stronger int he second, although Nigel managed to up his game too….15/11 this time. Neil stuck in there though but unfortunately never got the breaks that Nigel got and lost the last 15/11 again. I feel that was a really harsh result as Neil was playing very nice stuff and deserved at least a game or two. Great effort Neil.
    Whilst Neil had the toughest dilemma of the night on his hands (choosing which IPA he would drink first!) Kenny had finally woken from his afternoon nap (Yup, he really did have a siesta) and had arrived just in time to go on court at No.4 against, the unorthodox, Brian Dunn. As Kenny wen ton court I did wan him that he was an awkward character, and for the sake of Jason’s blog i’ll skip over what Kenny’s response was…
    Thankfully Jason volunteered to mark this one as it was always gonna be a tough one to mark. I went for a beer and when i arrived Jason was laying down the law…knew it would be a mare! Kenny started brilliantly though and Brian was absolutely nowhere, 15/5 to Kenny, boom! the 2nd didn’t quite for the same way and in fact was the opposite with Brian’s kamikaze style proving too much to handle for Kenny’s temperament, 7/15. With a couple more collisions int he 3rd though it was anyones game and at 14-14 this could be a real tipping point for the overall match. Unfortunately though Brian somehow managed to find a couple of tight shots form the back of the court to take the 3rd 16/14 and with that he had the momentum and ended up taking the 4th 15/10. 3-1 to Brian. Unlikely Kenny.
    Next up was Grandpa Turner, sporting a woolly cardigan during his warm-up against Ewan Maclean. Ewan looked a today player during the warmup and with John looking like he would be more comfortable in front a log fire this one wasn’t looking too good….tactics maybe? Surely not! Surely yes! John took the first 15/6 and looked superb….a bit of advice after the first from me(what do i know) was met with a comment of, he is much better than me, just wait till he gets started. John was right though, in the 2nd Ewan looked much sharper but our own size 0 woolly mammoth had him matched and John edged the 2nd 15/13. The 3rd was another close one but Ewan’s head went down slightly and John took a very impressive 3-0 win(15/10 in the 3rd) and a fantastic performance to match. Great job John.
    Last up, in the decider, was Jason against Danny Norris. I marked this one…for no other reason than it is the only place on that bloody court that you can actually see the match properly! In the warm-up they both looked sharp and I could tell already this was gonna be a great match. As the 1st game started It was clear that the courts suited Jason and that although Danny was a superb retriever Jason was in control of most of the rallies. The first was fairly close but Jason controlled it enough to see Danny off with a 15/12 opener. In the 2nd Jason stepped it up a gear and it was a joy to watch him slam Danny in the 2nd 15/6. Danny was a really nice guy and he tried his heart out in the 3rd but just couldn’t match the class of Jason and lost the final game 11/15. Superb 3-0 Win for Jason and although JT was unbelievable as well, it was agreed that Jason was a worthy MOTM. MOTM to Nigel for Western.
    No prizes for guessing the after match scran – Chinese takeaway….although no sign of the infamous duck and plum for a change. I have to say top marks to Western for the food as it was great, although hardly the food of athletes – We all stayed apart from Kenny who refused to eat such fatty food, but to be fair to him, he was right with his parting comment:
    “You don’t put diesel in a Ferrari 😉 ”
    Great win guys….another great step towards promotion!
    Summary of Scores
    1.) Danny Norris vs. Jason Grinton : 12/15, 6/15, 11/15 : 0-3 Win
    2.) Ewan Maclean vs. John Turner : 6/15, 13/15, 10-15 : 0-3 Win
    3.) Allan Mowat vs. Kevin Cameron : 14/16, 12/15, 4/15 : 0-3 Win
    4.) Brian Dunn vs. Kenny Lumsden : 5/15, 15/7, 16/14, 15/10 : 3-1 Loss
    5.) Nigel Taylor vs. Neil Ross : 15/9, 15/11, 15/11 : 3-0 Loss
    Overall 13-6 Win
    MOTM – Jason Grinton & Nigel Taylor

  26. November 21, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Wednesday 13th November 2013 – 3rd Team
    Wonderwall – Oasis
    In the mid nineties as Brit Pop swept the land ,the chat was were you an Oasis or a Blur fan or for those stuck in the 80’s did you give a …
    Rivalries are particularly good in sport we have for instance Barcelona – Real Madrid or the Glasgow Derby – Thistle against Queens Park.
    In Western Squash leagues the saliva spittle’s out at the thought of DLWE vs DLRenfrew or maybe that’s the pint after
    So it was when the thirds played our deadly rivals DL Renfrew 2’s on Wed
    I turned up to find Sandro on court at three playing Paul McConnell. The first game was tight and probably Sandro should have clinched it.
    However I think John was a bit more streetwise and won it 16-14 . Thereafter Sandro went into a bit a tailspin and the Red Baron finished him off.
    The previous three in a row MOTM’s a distant memory
    Scores Loss 0-3 14-16 10-15 7-15
    On at the same time was our Polish Bison Piotr who is now rapidly picking up Sandro’s baton against Matthew Norris . In the first game with Piotr winning and serving at 6 -4 I nipped out
    for a pint in Paisley and on my return the score had moved to 6-5 . Piotr always looked in control and although I missed the last game a well deserved second in a row MOTM.
    Scores Won 3-1 15-9 15-9 7-15 15-11
    I went on court at roughly the same time as Alastair who was playing 2 against a Stuart Ward so did not see much of the game . I saw Stuart win fairly comfortably the first game 15-6 so feared the worst.
    While playing in the adjacent court I heard Stuart employ language a Liverpool Docker would have blanched at . I surmised either Alastair had won a game, Alastair had hit him , Alastair had dropped his shorts
    or he was injured. Sadly it was the later and he retired hurt . Alastair did say later he was beginning to turn the screw so no doubt…we would have won anyway
    Scores Won 3-1 6-15 retired injured
    I therefore playing at 4 had the chance to tie the match up ,without relying on the Colonel . I had been on such a losing streak of four losses in a row that I was beginning to think I played
    for our first team. I would have said fourths but they won last week. Obviously fired up in the Derby atmosphere I raced into a lead of 2-0 the taste of victory was close . Paul Scarff my opponent
    was vulnerable like most good players in the backhand (Include myself) so that was where to hit. However even with Captain (I don’t want to be Captain) Bairds advice I kept on doing the wrong things
    and went into a Sandro spin . Transfer to first team required for serial loser
    Scores Loss 2-3 15-13 15-12 8-15 9-15 7-15
    That left our dear Colonel facing Paul Rogan at 1 to clinch the victory. Sadly it was not to be, Graham played well and in the second game had 4 yes 4 game points but could not convert. This proved crucial as at 1-1
    he would have been in the match .
    Scores Loss 0- 3 11-15 14-16 11-15
    Overall Loss 8-18
    Our rivals may have a better lounge a better bar a better team a better facility but what have the David Lloyd done for us – Pasta Bake
    Scampi and chips went down well and we will beat them on our turf …. come on Thistle

  27. November 21, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Wednesday 13th November 2013 – 4th Team
    After last week’s historic victory, it was back to earth with a bump for the 4th team in our home match against Scotstoun. There was one change from the team which beat Glasgow University’s 3rd team, Steven junior (Luke) returning from the pistes of Bearsden to replace Donald Pirie at number four (apologies to Donald for getting his surname wrong in last week’s report!) The week off didn’t seem to do Steven junior any harm. Indeed it’s only thanks to him that we avoided our second 18-0 humiliation of the season.
    I arrived to find Luke already well into the first game of his match against the bearded Stewart Henderson. Stewart seemed to have the game under control but Luke fought back well before losing it narrowly, 16-14. The second game was equally close, Luke edging this one 15-13. There clearly wasn’t much between the players but I felt that Luke was gaining momentum and would now push on towards victory.
    Simultaneously, next door, Fraser Thomson was on court against Graeme Gemmell. He was faring rather less well than Luke. The first game was a respectable 15-10 but Graeme really stamped his authority on the match in the second game, taking it 15-4. Fraser put up a good fight in the third but Graeme hung on and won the game 15-11. Fraser was certainly up against a tough opponent but he didn’t play his best. I suspect he won’t regain top form until he stops pining for the long-legged girl, from Glasgow Uni’s 2nd team, who beat him several weeks ago. They were undoubtedly great legs but Fraser needs to move on!
    I was quite looking forward to watching the rest of Steven junior’s match but now there was a spare court and it was time for me to play my own match, against Alasdair Smith. Before I left the club on Wednesday night, Jason warned me not to ‘sugar-coat’ my report on my own match. So I’d better be completely honest about the causes of my defeat. The truth is, I was doomed from the moment my desk-mate at work, a very nice girl called Laura, offered to bake me a cheesecake – but only If I won my match! This caused me to be struck down, quite suddenly, with a rare but debilitating psychological condition known as ‘Cheesecake Pressure.’ Symptoms of Cheesecake Pressure include lethargy, inability to hit the ball into the back corners of the court and difficulty getting anywhere near the ‘T’. Most sufferers are able to lead a normal life but, in severe cases, the condition can cause great distress on Wednesday evenings between the months of September and March. I had an especially bad case of Cheesecake Pressure on Wednesday night and tamely gave away the first two games.
    At this point, Jason arrived on the scene and managed to shame me into playing properly. There were times during the third game when a squash-like substance was clearly evident in my performance! But it was too little, too late and I eventually succumbed 15-7 15-9 15-13.
    I came off court to discover that Steven junior was still battling away next door. In my absence he had won the third game 17-15 but lost the fourth 15-6 and now he was on the verge of defeat in the fifth. He wasn’t able to turn it around and so lost the decider 15-7. It was a tough loss for Luke to have to deal with but at least it gave us two valuable points in our fight to scrape ourselves off the bottom of Division 6. (Stat of the week no.1 – Luke now an 0-1 record against opponents with beards!)
    Next up was Raymond Gauhl. Would I be able to report on a Raymond win for the first time? The answer was yes! And no! Unfortunately for us, the victorious Raymond was Raymond Brown of Scotstoun, who beat our Raymond 15-11 15-6 15-12. (Stat of the week no.2 – this is the most times I’ve ever used the name ‘Raymond’ in one paragraph!)
    Rounding off the evening was Steven senior (Mark) against Paul Wynne. The peril of playing at number one is that you tend to come up against some rather good opponents and this is what happened to Mark again on Wednesday. The result never really looked in doubt and Paul won 15-5 15-8 15-9.
    The 1st team was also playing at home so we took the opportunity to watch some proper squash. For copyright reasons, I can’t describe any of the action but I’m sure you all know where you can read about it!
    After the match, we enjoyed some good chat with the Scotstoun guys over the traditional DL West End pasta bake (Stat of the week no.3 – The 4th team in now 0-4 in matches at which pasta was served and 1-1 in matches where the post match food was pizza). So the key to an upturn in fortunes is clear – less pasta and more pizza. And definitely more cheesecake!

  28. November 29, 2013 at 1:25 am

    Wednesday 20th November 2013 – 1st Team
    Playing at Newlands this season is almost like a home tie with all those teams in one Division! And not just in Division 1, as tonight we had 6 Newlands teams (numbers 2,3,4,5,7 & 8) all playing at home on 5 courts (one off which was also being used for a spin class) so with 0.8 courts per team it was looking like it could be a long night!
    Sean (Norris) was on first at No. 5 against David Fallis and with the length of the rallies they were having, we expected this to go on for hours. However at the business end of each game David was in charge and he took all three of them. Good fighting performance from Sean and with a back problem as well, but David was just too difficult to put away.
    I was on next and this tie was probably one of the few matches I thought I’d have a good chance of winning at No.2 (v Brendan Forrister). However after a massive 1st rally I was thinking the opposite and things didn’t get any better as Brendan wrestled the 1st game away from me.
    A few magic words from Sean, of all people, in-between games and the plan was becoming clearer. Brendan in the meantime was getting his own magic words from Mark Ford from the 2nd team on another court (I used to like Mark!). So I had to step up the court and become a bit more aggressive with my volleying and also take some chances. The problem with taking chances is that you miss some as well, and this can lead to frustration. However while the plan was working, I was “happy” to take a few hits. And the plan seemed to work in the main, although not without quite a few close ones with Brendan digging and digging; especially in the 3rd game for example when I was 8-4 up, then moments later 9-8 down! But I did manage to take control and by the end of the 4th game I dominated the court well to win 3-1.
    So another massive improvement in Brendan’s game and it was a real pleasure to play someone as determined, yet fair, and we both were happy to play ‘lets’ when there was a disagreement. It’s what Wednesday squash should be all about.
    Next up were the No.1s; Doug Macmillan for us against Christian Donelan. Another over 35 for Doug to contend with this week and a very tricky player. It’s the first real time I’ve seen Christian play and I was suitably impressed! He’s got a great serve (and return) and fabulous short game and a very dangerous backhand volley and forehand kill (which is pretty much every shot covered!). It took Doug a few points to work out what he was likely to have to chase, but when he did, he played really well.
    The 1st was close, but Christian edged it 11-9 and the 2nd was closer, but Doug took this one 13-15 in an epic tie-break; where I reluctantly had to give a ‘stroke’ to Doug at game ball – I was enjoying watching the game.
    Doug was doing a lot of chasing and this was evening things up fitness wise, but make no mistake this was very close to going to 5 and then maybe Doug would have been able to use his fitness to an even greater effect. Unfortunately Christian won the next two 11-8 11-9 (with another reluctant ‘stroke’ on match ball).
    Next on court was Captain Cantlay v David Morrison. This was a great game with David taking the 1st with some good hard hitting and then Richard really winding up the power to not only compete, but to take the game head on. And the main difference in the power fest was that Richard hit straighter and so managed to get the ball behind David and then dominate the rally better. With this new tactic there was no stopping Rich and he won the next 3 to pick up his first win of the season. Great effort from the big man.
    So 2-2 and all to play for (I’ve missed saying that!).
    Next on at No.4 was David (Craig) v Alan Susskind for the big 6 pointer! Now this was a tough one for Dave as Alan was playing really well. The first was tight at 11-9 to Alan and the rallies were all close, but Alan dominated the 2nd to go 2-0 up.
    See if you can picture this one. At one point in the 3rd Dave drove across court (from almost touching distance from the front wall) and Alan returned with a quick boast that went the wrong side of his opponent (who was also now facing down the court!). So as the ball skimmed Dave’s shins he had to do a quick turn to play a winning drop. I’ve never seen that and the crowd found it amazing and funny all at the same time! The rest of the 3rd game was the closest of all, with a tie-break the only thing to separate the two gladiators, but unfortunately for us it was 12-10 to Newlands and so also the match.
    Alan was really in form tonight and I know Dave was disappointed with the way he played, but sometimes the other guy deserves credit for his performance and quite often making his opponent feel like he played worse than he did.
    Never mind, a good fun game and a great atmosphere at Newlands and they’ve got also Erdinger! Which I inspired Christian to sample when he saw me marking with a pint!

  29. November 29, 2013 at 1:25 am

    Wednesday 20th November 2013 – 2nd Team
    On a cold windy November night and with the Boxercise having a night off, Squash was the main activity of the evening. The 2nd Team had out what was considered to be their strongest team of the Season to date so, anything else other than a resounding win against Townend 3 would’ve been hard to explain away.
    1st on court and once again on “creche duty” was Kenny Lumsden. playing the cherub faced baby assassin who calls himself Robbie Findlay. After a wobble in the 1st game and perhaps still having thoughts of his drive up the M6, Kenny found his Squash legs and brain (yes there is one there after all) and ran out a comfortable winner 3-0
    Kevin was at this time warming up on court 2, his opponent John Crawford was at the other end of the age scale and was so old that he called Kenny “son” that’s old….with a game that consisted of Drop Lob Drop Lob the ball was turning into a ball-bearing and wasn’t so much bouncing in between shots as rolling along the floor. Kevin found John’s game not only confusing, but at times excruciating, John on the other hand found Kevin’s game too much for him and Kevin soon came to terms with having to treat John as a roundabout as he scampered round him to retrieve the many drop shots that came his way. A win for Kevin 3-0
    Making a welcome return to 2nd team duty was Dave Ritchie. Dave looking resplendent in Yellow top and with matching Ron Hill shorts, was playing Graham (creepy) Crawley. Now while Dave was rekindling the 70′s with his choice of attire,Graham looked like an extra from the “Scheme” what with the cut away shorts tattoos, ginger hair and stubble and just to compound things he was also a “lefty” they really should have their own courts Lefties….anyway I digress, Dave played like a man possessed and showed the rest of us just what we had been missing to date. Good length and nice ball striking was the order of the day and although Creepy managed to win the 2nd game Dave held it altogether and won 3-1. Dave then virtually ran off court to the bar, and returned in an instant with a large glass of red that’s what I call classy. I was about to ask Dave if anyone had brought along the Petite Fours when all of a sudden Dave handed the glass of wine to his opponent Graham, apologising that the only wine we have at the David Lloyd was a Rioja and that Buckfast was in short supply in the West End, to which Graham replied “nae bother big man, this ill dae fine” Surprisingly later on Graham turned out to be quite the wine buff as he regaled us with the virtues of his recent Tesco £35 bottle of wine….I obviously got him wrong.
    So far so good.
    John Turner looking all buff and polished (new haircut) took to the court wearing his lucky Grimbsy fisherman’s jumper and quickly won the warm up. As he made his way back on court to start the game he was heard to say just has he opened the door “tonight Matthew I’m going to be a Squash Player” oh dear we said prophetic words perhaps. Like Michelle McManus trying to impersonate Celline Dion, John never really hit the heights that he managed the week before however, he was trying his damnest….the weirdest moment of the night came just as John had won the third game to stand at 2-1 in his favour, the crowd were confused to see both players warmly shaking hands and congratulating each other on what had been a splendid match…you should have seen the look on their faces when the Marker (Jason Grinton) informed them that the game was not finished and its only 2-1…..comedy gold….This seemed to galvanize Brian from Townend and before we knew it, this was heading into a fifth and final game….by this time John had discarded the lucky fisherman’s jumper onto the floor in a crumpled heap, not to dissimilar to how John looked funnily enough, and with the rest of the team trying their hardest to motivate John, he was complaining of fatigue,yes those N.H.S. execs must put in a full day after all. We mustered John for the final countdown and he crossed the finishing line 15-7 in the 5th.
    Next up was the one class act we in the 2nd Team can rely on…Jason (whey aye man) Grinton. Jason was playing #1 against Robin Smith who bore uncanny likeness to David Craig only he was better looking…funnily enough like David he also drank coffee before his match. He could have injected crack cocaine for all the good it did him. This was a Masterclass in how to win with consummate ease with a sprinkling of arrogance to boot. 15-12 15-7 15-4 so with the points wrapped up we headed for the lounge bar to sample some David Lloyd hostility, they never disappoint. Yes you’ve guessed it Pasta Bake, it had has much taste as Lady Gaga has dress sense. Still the banter from the Townend boys was worthwhile, especially when Jason asked them if any of them lived near or knew anyone who came from the “Scheme” in Kilmarnock. Ah the Diplomatic Core missed a trick in not employing Jason.
    David Lloyd West End 2, 18 The Schemey Townend 3

  30. November 29, 2013 at 1:26 am

    Wednesday 20th November 2013 – 3rd Team
    ‘Are we human or are we dancer
    My sign is vital my hands are cold
    And I’m on my knees looking for the answer ‘
    The Killers
    Usually my musical quotes have little or no relevance to our Squash but I think the above fairly expresses the state of the third team at the moment.
    From mid table obscurity we are heading south on our knees
    Last night we played Western 6th’s who came out shooting for us.
    I arrived as usual 10 mins late to find Sandro at three already on court limbering up to play Neil Craig. I only saw bits of the game, as I was marking Alastair but it seemed close with the youthful running Sandro coming up against the sage like Neil. For readers who feel teenage kicks were a distant memory the good news is sagacity triumphed.
    Scores lost 2-3 9-15 15-11 10-15 15-10 7-15
    I marked Alastair playing at two against Brian Dunn. The first game went to Alastair 15-6 in a breeze and I could not see how he would perturbed for the remainder of the match.
    Alastair indicated to me it could be a false dawn and indeed Brian started to play a bit. As a result the games got tighter and tighter. Alastair took the second lost the third and then sneaked
    the fourth to clinch victory. Overall I thought Alastair played well and a valuable three points.
    Scores won 3-1 15-6 15-13 10-15 15-12
    Next up was David Wilson playing at five. David has been away for a few weeks so was a bit ring rusty and was definitely not helped by playing a young Michael Ward who was full of lucazade and could not stop running. It was pointed out later the strength of their team this week was such that the previous week Michael had played at one.
    Anyway Michael proved too strong, albeit I thought David had chances to win a game in the second and possibly the third.
    Scores lost 0-3 7-15 12-15 10-15
    On with my game against Alison Hamilton at No 4. This ended up quite a match I was staring down my 6th loss in a row, yes six, so could I answer the challenge maybe aye maybe no.
    I lost the first two games, but after good advice from Alastair and having a loan of Kev Cameron’s Duracell battery began to wear Alison down and took the next two. The final game was close but no cigar and the winless run continues.
    Scores lost 2-3 11-15 8-15 15-5 15-11 14-16
    Graham played at one against Alan Mowat. I saw as little of this game as the UK Growth for the last five years a big fat zero. All I can report is that Graham said he played okay and had chances but didn’t convert and the scores bear out the close match.
    Scores Lost 1-3 9-15 16-14 13-15 11-15
    Overall Loss 8-16
    Pasta Bake was well appreciated by ….no one
    Chat was good and while we might be on our knees the sign is still vital

  31. November 29, 2013 at 1:26 am

    Wednesday 20th November 2013 – 4th Team
    It was always going to be a tough match for the 4th team this week, against Giffnock 6 at Scotstoun. Giffnock were flying high and looking good for promotion, while we were firmly rooted to the bottom of the table. So we were huge underdogs, to say the least.
    However the team was boosted by the return of our captain, Piotr Prosowski, who had spent all but the first match of the season with the 3rd team. Could Piotr inspire us to the greatest upset since Jozef Pilsudski led his Polish forces to victory over the Red Army in the ‘Miracle on the Vistula’ in 1920? Well, no, he couldn’t but the result did turn out to be marginally less bad than it might have been.
    Giffnock’s team comprised an interesting mixture of veterans, young juniors and even younger juniors. I was up first, at number five, against Joseph O’Sullivan. I don’t know how old he was but he must have still been at school because he spent the rest of the evening engrossed in his homework.
    Joe took advantage of my traditionally slow start to win the first game 15-8 and then won a close second game 15-13. Before long, it was match ball to Joe at 14-13 in the third. So, another predictable 3-0 defeat for me? Absolutely not! This was the new, improved Robert, with a first win of the season under his belt and recently cured of Cheesecake Pressure. (If you’re wondering, the cure for Cheesecake Pressure is to eat a vast amount of cheesecake!)
    I wasn’t ready to give up so I saved the first match ball and then another one before winning the third game 18-16. Joe was shocked! So was I! I then proceeded to win the fourth game 15-12. Joe was astonished! But not as astonished as I was! Were we on the verge of the ‘Miracle of Scotstoun’? Sadly not. I managed to keep up with Joe until halfway through the decider, when exhaustion caught up with me and he eased away to a 15-8 win. It was heartbreaking to lose after coming all the way back but I felt proud to have made a match of it.
    Raymond Gauhl had started his match, against Steve West, at the same time as mine so I didn’t see any of it. When I came off court I asked him how it had gone. I can’t remember his exact words but, when I tell you he lost 15-6 15-1 15-3, you can probably imagine his description!
    My match had lasted so long that I had also missed the first three games of Mark Steven’s match against Daniel O’Sullivan, the younger brother of my opponent. Despite appearing to be not long out of primary school, Daniel was clearly more talented than his brother. What he lacked in power, he made up for in skill. At first I thought Mark wasn’t trying very hard, for fear of looking like a bully against such a small child. But perhaps he was just bamboozled by Daniel’s play. Daniel certainly had Mark tied in knots at times with his shots to the back of the court. Having said that, Mark came close to victory. He led 2-1 and then had what looked to be a decisive lead in the fifth game before Daniel fought back brilliantly to win the match, 15-5 12-15 11-15 15-8 15-12.
    Fraser Thomson had taken to the court after the end of my match. He was up against Albeer Mehmood, another very talented youngster. I had expected to turn my attention to this match after the end of Mark’s. Unfortunately Albeer dismantled Fraser so comprehensively that there wasn’t much left to see. The score was 15-5 15-7 15-4.
    Last up was Piotr, at number one, against a wily old character called Colin Hambridge. The match was marked by Mark (why aren’t all squash matches marked by someone named Mark?)
    This was by far the most bad-tempered match of the season so far. Both players spent almost as much time outside the court, arguing with Mark, than they did on the court playing squash! Colin had game balls in the first game but Piotr played some superb squash to save them before going on to win the game 16-14. Unfortunately this was as good as it got for Piotr. Colin took control of the match and won the next three games 15-6 15-6 15-12.
    There was no hospitality this week as it was past our opponents’ bedtime. So we all headed straight home after a comprehensive 18-5 defeat. This was actually our third best result of the season, which probably tells you all you need to know about our performances so far. But there’s always next week!

  32. December 7, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Wednesday 27th November 2013 – 1st Team
    The big games just keep coming and coming for us, another 6 pointer last night against Giffnock 2. Could this be our chance?
    Sara once again helped out the first team and she was on first at number 5 (looking fabulous in the all-black outfit that is fast becoming her signature!) against Patrick O’Sullivan; now if you look up some of the Patrick’s results this season you, like me, will probably be very impressed (he’s only lost one match – against his own 1st team, which is a great record for any junior to admire in Div 1 – in fact for any player at all!) so Sara was really up against it and so it proved. It was a good tough game however and Sara had Patrick moving up and down the court, but Patrick was more than happy to do the running and always had plenty in the tank. It was difficult to put the ball away against him this was ultimately the difference, as he won 3-0.
    Next on was David Craig against another youngster in Stuart Pitt. I could basically right the same again for this one, as the Giffnock youngster just kept getting everything back. Dave was playing well enough, but when the rallies are never ending you try a bit too hard to end them yourself and this where the mistakes come creeping in. I though Big Dave played well, but sometimes you’re just got to hand it to your opponent and Stuart was very good tonight.
    I went on next at number 2 against Mike Rogerson with whom I’ve had a few tussles over the years. Mike has a new shiny racket that he used to good effect to tonk the ball down the backhand side and he certainly had me on the run there. I felt a bit strange on court and wasn’t really timing the ball well so I was always a bit weary of going for my shots as I kept missing them when I did. Fortunately I generally managed to keep a good lead in the games and won the first two reasonably comfortably. Mikey really turned the screw in the 3rd, but I had just enough to wrestle back the initiative and win the match 3-0. The fight back for this match was on!
    Captain Cantlay sauntered into the club late and was on next at number 3 against Captain Gary Blanchflower. Now Richard was just back from Aberdeen, so I put his poor performance in the 1st game down to the long 2.5 hour long drive – Gary was dominant.
    The second wasn’t much better, but Rich did manage to stay in touch and sneaked an unlikely victory (12-10) in this one, as Garry lost concentration at the crucial moment, but what could Richard really do after sitting in a car for all that time? Gary regained control and won the 3rd easily and although I was frustrated with what I was watching, I do remember doing these long drives myself and they’re a bit of a killer.
    The one thing that changed after that was that Richard got angry with his own performance and after chucking his racket to the floor and slamming the door (is squash the only sport you can slam a door on the field of play?) he turned up to the 4th game a different player. Thank god he managed to play himself into form after that Aberdeen trip as this match was crucial – probably to our whole season! Richard steamrollered the 4th game and took this momentum into the 5th ad won this as well. What a comeback!! – I was delighted at the effort this must have taken……… great performance I thought…………. right up until Richard told me he just remembered that he actually got the train from Aberdeen to Glasgow!
    So it was 2-2 in the match and we were in the box-seat as Dougie Macmillan took on James Singh at Number 1. The excitement was palpable.
    After a short intermission James eventually turned up at 9.20pm (?!?!) and it was game on. Doug won the 1st easily and it looked like the favourite was going to storm it, but hold on James took the 2nd and the 4th (and not only that, but he only narrowly lost the 3rd on a tie break, 10-12).
    At one point Doug lost a particular rally and pointed around the court shouting “pish, pish, s****, pish” – and I thought that summed up his first 4 games quite well! So it was 2-2 and now and James was playing really well, so it was anyone’s game.
    With only a few points played I could no longer watch from the balcony, so instead I left and listened to the 5th from outside the door downstairs – and I didn’t like what I was hearing either. As James got to match ball and I was really going through the emotional wringer; Doug made a mini-comeback, but eventually lost on a ‘stroke’ and so James took the match for Giffnock 2 and a thoroughly deserved MOTM as well.
    It was a disappointing result, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles and sometimes you’re the pigeon and sometimes you’re the statue!

  33. December 7, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Wednesday 27th November 2013 – 2nd Team
    Its been all of 2 weeks since we last played against a Newlands Team, so the movie “Groundhog Day” came to mind.
    (standby for more movie cliches)
    1st up was KL playing against Kerri Nicol.
    Now Kerri bore a striking resemblance to Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, what with her youthful looks and her pony tailed hair and by contrast Kenny in the 1st 2 games played like the Tin Man only not so mobile.In no time at all Kerri was well on her way up the Yellow Brick Rd. and in a 2 game lead; 15-12 17-15. In steps Nic Coleman with a few words of wisdom and encouragement for the Tin Man, and I quote verbatim, “you re playing s—-e and for Gods sake play better length” it was though I had changed characters and all of a sudden I was the Cowardly Lion who had found his courage. Before you could say Wicked Witch of the East I was all square at 2-2. This could not have been any closer, and fortunately I won the final game 17-15. To close for comfort
    A win 3-2.
    Meanwhile in Court 2 Jason Grinton was playing Emilio Fazzi at 1. This was “Back to the Future” squash with Emilio not only looking like Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) but playing Squash not seen since Jonah Barrington was a boy..drops flicks drops flicks “Squash Jim but not as we know it” however, Jason worked him out and prevailed 15-12 10-15 15-5 15-3
    A win 3-1
    Next on was Nic Coleman playing Newlands John Hazelett. This I believe, was Nic’s 1st Team game of the season and quite a match it was. Finding himself 2 down to John in no time,Nic summoned up all his resource’s to get back level at 2 all…then things went a bit haywire…with Nic all over John like a Ralph Slater salesman John all of a sudden developed a knee complaint and asked for a time out (3 minutes allowed) that did the trick, John won the final game.
    A loss 2-3
    This was nail biting but worry ye not as we still had Dave Ritchie and John Turner to come and big things were expected from both of them.
    Dave Ritchie now took centre stage and before you could say “Dave’s playing well” he popped his Hammy and had to retire.
    Oh dear this was not looking good. What would the Angry Elf ( Kevin) say if we cant win without him?
    A loss 0-3
    Its now down to John Turner to save the day.
    Like all Hollywood lead men, John is unassuming and hides his determination under a cloak (thick wooly jumper) of mysteriousness.
    John went on to Court 2 like Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry muttering under his breath ” do you feel lucky punk”
    Guess what he didn’t, wielding his Harrow racquet like a 45 Magnum (gun, not ice cream) Clint disposed of David Simpson in double quick time.
    A win 3-0
    So there you have it a Win for 2nds 14-9

  34. December 7, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Wednesday 27th November 2013 – 3rd Team
    “I’m on my way from Misery to Happiness Today
    Ah Ha Ah Ha “
    The Proclaimers
    I have waited some time to use these Lyrics but the day has dawned.
    Jason using all the cunning a man of his advanced age has, managed to get two new additions into the third team last night
    namely Simon and Steve. Could these youngsters (relative to Bruce Forsyth) make a difference …read on
    I arrived fresh from a trip to the granite city to find Sandro on court playing at 4 against John McTeirnan . I had missed the first game which Sandro had
    narrowly won but witnessed Sandro dominating the second and third to win convincingly. He was not put off by what I thought were unlikely calls for lets by John.
    MOTM seemed assured but it was decided Sandro had enough plaudits to date.
    Won 3-0 16-14 15-8 15-8
    I was on next at 5 against Peter Wynne. After a recent lesson from Jason I felt confident. I had discovered all that was wrong was my choice of Sport !
    I then proceeded in the first game to play my worst game of the season , first serve ten foot out etc. However I then sorted myself out and despite almost throwing
    away a 13-7 lead in the third won the match and on the way from…
    Won 3-1 12-15 15-9 18-16 15-11
    Meanwhile on court 2 Alastair at 3 was up against Tom Clark. I did not see any of this game bar the last couple of points. However Ian Irving and Bill Kennedy watching
    informed me how difficult Tom was to play against ,all drops and short game. Tom obviously realising the strength of his opponent had invested in a 2.99 that’s right
    2.99 racket he had picked up in a charity shop. This thrift was too much for Alastair who usually spends that much on his half pint or a first date and he lost to the
    Lost 1-3 15-5 14-16 12-15 13-15
    Simon at 2 then had the chance to clinch the match against Mike Dewar. Simon being new to the team did not realise it is a requirement to play badly in your first match
    and instead proceeded to, while not completely dominate ,at least always keep ahead of Mike. I marked this game and was ably assisted by Mike who called out for lets
    strokes and a babycham . His calling did not put of Simon ,albeit there were a few collisions mid court and in an entertaining game Simon clinched the bonus. As a result
    he got MOTM, well done to the beginner
    Won 3-0 15-10 15-11 15-10
    Steve our other debutant played at 1 against Craig Jones . This was the first time I had seen Steve in action and he had a classic game ,all back with length and know when to drop.
    Craig’s game was hit it hard and then harder so it was a good contrast. Steve later confessed he had to pick up his daughter at 10 so he was a man with a mission and although scores were tight
    I always felt he had a bit more.
    Won 3-0 15-10 15-12 16-14
    It was just as well Steve won in 3 as we had the bar manager come up to us in the courts and say it was last orders. The good thing was he came up to tell us the bad thing was it was 9.35.
    Maybe he was conscious schoolboy Sandro had a curfew or me my much needed beauty sleep but it did seem sharp.
    Chat was good at meal . Pasta Bake not so good. Alastair a bit down in the dumps over loss but
    “ My heart was broken My heart was broken
    You saw it You claimed it
    You touched it you saved it “
    Sunshine on Leith
    Overall Win 16-4

  35. December 7, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Wednesday 27th November 2013 – 4th Team
    Here follows the match report for;
    Strathclyde vs Thorn Park 4 27/11/2013.
    An evening cloaked in mystery, the bandits’ hideout cunningly camouflaged by poor street lighting and the only tree lined square the wrong side of Queen street station.
    Our five man team dribbled in one by one and were systematically slaughtered by a volley of high caliber rifle shots. Numbers 4 and 5 down and bleeding in short order. Luke and Donald put up a brave fight but not a bullet missed!
    I stepped out at number 3, Piotr at 4. I seemingly anticipated the early kill and tried my best to steal the initiative from my unlikely baby-faced assassin by donning my homemade concrete boots. Movement last admired when Ann Widdecombe graced Strictly Come dancing! Deservedly silenced and now swimming with the fishes! 9-0 down, maybe our own dancing bear could stir up a hornets nest and pull it out the bag…Sadly no. He was toyed with and dispatched with laconic ease. 12-0!
    We had taken a pounding, and their last man was buzzing about like a shark in a chum trail, blood in the water we looked to unleash our secret weapon.
    Confession time, we had been missing our player 1 thinking he hadn’t made it. Reassuringly the Strathclyde boys were happy to introduce David to the rest of us. A Truly secret weapon but the ultimate humiliation, and probably didn’t send David out feeling the support of his team behind him…oops, sorry. Sadly we were outgunned again, though a better fist of it. An uphill battle but final result 15-0.
    Never mind team T-shirts, bulletproof vests for the home leg next year and maybe, maybe we will get a set!
    Mark Steven

  36. December 12, 2013 at 8:11 am

    Wednesday 4th December 2013 – 1st Team
    Well Hamilton are in 3rd place in Division 1 so I was wondering where the points were going to come from this week.
    An early start saw Sara and I go on first and I didn’t see much of Sara’s match (v Colin McGeady at No.5), apart from one enormous rally where both players were getting everything back and playing great squash (the mis-match in the physical size of both players was amusing to see and if we took a photo of them I’m not sure they’d get both in the same shot!). However Colin won the tie 3-0 and seemed to be in control with his great reach and pace on the ball. Sara was disappointed at her own performance but everyone else felt the opposite and was quite impressed with her tenacity and court speed!!
    I was on at the same time as Sara and was fully expecting to be out-run at number two by Kenny Boyle and in the opening exchanges I was. However as the match unfolded I managed to sneak a few cheap points and a few great length shots and then, what do you know, I sneaked the 1st game! Kenny turned the power on in the 2nd and won easily, but I was now more confident (we even got a marker at this point! Not that we used him much; we just made our own decisions and completely ignored Doug, much to his amusement. In fact when Kenny asked for a let in the 3rd Doug just said ‘Well what do you guys think?’).
    However I soon found myself in the 5th game (I won the 3rd and Kenny the 4th). I say ‘soon’ but it was now about an hour later! The strings had gone in my Harrow Fury and Dread Vapor – so I was onto my Vibe (I must get 2 rackets that are the same – you’d think I, of all people, would have two rackets the same. It must be like when you’re a chef, but you never cook at home!). Anyway the 5th was another epic and at 8-8 Kenny and I were still going at it ‘hammer and tongs’. Unfortunately he had the hammer and I had the tongs so Kenny ended up winning 3-2. #guttedbutalsohappytogetto5
    Next on was David Craig against Allan McKay and Big Davie had another great game this week, but unfortunately had nothing to show for it at the end. He was playing some great length drives at times and really had Allan moving, but Allan was no slouch himself and there were some brilliant physical rallies with both players throwing themselves about the court. Allan won the match 3-0 but I think Dave’s game is really coming on with performances like that.
    Captain Cantlay was on next against Colin Towers at number 3 and I can either give you the long version or the short version of this one!
    Long Version – A great start from the captain this week and he took a 2-0 lead and I thought this could be a crushing win for Rich. But the 3rd saw Colin come back and dig in (and Richard took the foot slightly off the gas) so games 3 and 4 to Colin with a determined look on his face. Now Colin likes his squash rackets like he likes his guitars……………. ‘classic’ so I wasn’t surprised to see him still wielding his 1980s Prince racket. But maybe he should have switched to the Les Paul guitar in the 5th because Richard managed to wake up and get himself going again. The 5th was a great fight and Rich sneaked home to win 3-2.
    Short Version – Surprise surprise this went to 5. Richard was 2-0 up and woke up just in time to win the last!
    Last up was Doug Macmillan at number 1 and I didn’t see this as I was marking and then showering. I hear it was a good hard match though against Andy McBean, but I was told that when the marker started changing his decisions from ‘let’ to ‘no let’ because of the constant barrage from Andy the match was all but over. Doug did however get a game and must have played well to do so, but I think he was disappointed not to be able to get a 2nd game.
    So a good hard contest and could have been 3-2 in this penultimate Christmas match, but in the end 6 points to the tally. Veggie pasta for dinner and 3 platefuls for me! What an athlete!

  37. December 12, 2013 at 8:11 am

    Wednesday 4th December 2013 – 2nd Team
    I felt a sense of additional pressure this week turning up at Strathclyde University to take on the best that Wanderers had to offer, especially after the mighty impressive win against Newlands 6 last week, which I wasn’t able to make.
    After I made it past the many fresh faced students into the squash gallery (that what you call it?) I seen that Steve Elms was warming up at at No.3 against Tom Bowman…I was immediately told that there was another court available by the only other opposition that was their, David Heffernan, and as luck would have it he was playing No.1 as well – result! Off i went to get changed…
    I missed all of Steve’s match but heard from the rest of our team, who arrived soon after, that it was an impressive display by Steve. The first was a close was one that Tom edged 16-14 but after that Steve turned the screw and dominated the next three(11, 12, 8) to get us off to a flier in this tough fixture. Steve made comments of how much he enjoyed the court and even mentioned that Court 3 at DLWE last week was really warm too – You feeling ok Steve? 😉
    Meanwhile i was on the adjacent court warming up against David Heffernan at No.1. Playing the best player of the club was making me a tad uneasy and i wasn’t surprised to find myself 0-6 down in the first game. However, even although he hit the ball really well and had brat control of the T I definitely felt in the game. As my confidence grew, as did my points tally. I managed to stay in enough points long enough for him to take on too many difficult drops and i edged the first game 12-15! Delighted!
    However going into the 2nd game, i once again found myself down, this time 0-8! His serve was very good but as soon as i started edging forward and volleying i once again mounted a come back. This time though I couldn’t get close enough and found myself 8-14 down. I decided just to relax and stoop swearing, after the marker(JT) warned me to watch my language 😉 and i suddenly found myself serving at 13-14! Frustratingly i never managed to get that last point to level the scores and David took it 13-15. The third was similar but David edged it once again 15-13. I felt like i could get back into the match though and at this stage i think fitness was the difference and i took the final two games 15-4 & 15-5. Really happy with that result and leaves u needing one more win to seal the tie.
    Was great to see Paul Hannah back this week and he was on next at No.4 against Vic Halec. I caught a bit of this match after i got changed and from what i could see Paul was never in any danger. He took the first 12-15 but Vic edged his way back into the second by reversing the score. After that though Paul never looked in danger and sealed the tie by taking the next two (4, 11)…Superb!
    Then we had JT on at No. 2 against Mohamed Sharif & next door Graham on at No. 5 against David McPherson. I stood between the two courts and tried to catch as much as i could of both.
    Fair play to JT for getting out his sick bed to help the team. Unfortunately for him he was up against a very stylish Lefty, who had the speed and agility to match the style. The first two game John dug in but clearly under the weather he was unable to stay on in the rallies long enough to out last Mo and found himself two games down(8, 6). Before he went on court for the 3rd game Steve went down to give him a few words of wisdom and it instantly made a difference. Mo was clearly having to run himself into the ground for each point and John really made him work. nay other day this would have been the turning point but John just never had enough to close it out and although he managed 12 points Mo finally close out the match and took MOTM align with it.
    Next door Graham was having an extremely tight match and with slightly better length he would most likely have edged the first, however unfortunately found himself 1-0 down(15-13). the 2nd was even closer but the David was that bit more persistent and gave up nothing, he edged it 16-14. Extremely unfair to be 2-0 down as there was nothing in it but Graham’s head went down at this point and the last went to David(8).
    So in the end a great win, and could have been an even greater one had we all been fully fit and a touch more luck.
    Myself, Steve & Paul went back to “the arc” which brought back memories of skiving for me from days at Uni. We got a heart attack platter of chicken wings, nachos, chips and pizzas, washed down with some peronis and good chat from the wanderers team(ex St. Als mostly from the tales that were being told).
    We are just 2 points behind 3rd place so let’s get a good win next week and finish the year in a podium position!!!!
    Summary of Scores
    No.1) David Heffernan vs. Kevin Cameron : 12-15, 15-13, 15-13, 5-15, 4-15 : Win 2-3
    No.2) Mohamed Sharif vs. John Turner : 15-8, 15-6, 15-12 : Loss 3-0
    No.3) Tom Bowman vs. Steve Elms : 16-14, 11-15, 12-15, 8-15 : Win 1-3
    No.4) Vic Halec vs. Paul Hannah : 12-15, 15-12, 4-15, 11.15 : Win 1-3
    No.5) David McPherson : 15-13, 16-14, 15-8 : Loss 3-0
    Overall 12-10 Win
    MOTM – Kevin Cameron & Mo Sharif

  38. December 12, 2013 at 8:11 am

    Wednesday 4th December 2013 – 3rd Team
    “I need a hero – I’m holding out for a hero ‘til the end of the night
    He’s got to be strong and he’s got to be fast and he’s gotta be fresh from the fight “
    Bonnie Tyler
    The third team were facing a vital relegation match on Wednesday night and were looking for a hero.
    Did they find one and are you aroused ……to read on
    After Jason’s bad news feed that we were losing Captain Pugwash Alastair Baird to the seconds I arrived
    at about 7pm fearing the worst. My trepidation was not helped that Fraser Thomson had already turned up ,played at 4 been beaten 3-0
    and sent hame tae think again (He had to meet a Joiner). I did not see any of his match but the omens were not good.
    Loss 0- 3 6-15 3-15 4-15
    We were down to me having to play 1 (A Titanic situation deckchairs etc) when in walked Alastair to reveal John Turner had recovered.
    A sight for sore eyes ,was Alastair the hero above….no . He played a decent game against Steven Archibald and took the first game.
    Thereafter he had a stinker of a second, rallied a bit, but always chasing
    Loss 1-3 15-10 3-15 8-15 9-15
    Up next was David Wilson playing at five due to Alastair appearing and Fraser already played. David looked out for his opponent and
    initially could not spot him. This was due mainly to looking at eye level. His opponent John Meehan turned out to be 11 (12 his birthday was
    yesterday) and looked his age if not younger. Now Alastair pointed out this was a no-win situation but David gamely took on the task. I was
    marking, expecting an easy ride. John immediately proved to be the best 11 year old in Houston and ran David around . The first two games
    went John’s way and we were staring as a team at a crushing loss.
    John for all his skill on court was not the most polite of players ie leaving the ball for David to retrieve etc and while David would not say
    anything I think this roused him. He then proceeded to dominate and ultimately won 3-2 . John queried a few of my calls and had a bit of an early adolescent sulk. However, John overall could be pleased with his play and will be beating our Jason in a couple of years.
    Won 3-2 8-15 10-15 15-10 15-10 15-7
    I was on next at two against Craig McSporran. My lessons with Jason (very good, inexpensive and informative – … maybe get discount!) are I think beginning to pay off and I played a much longer game on Wed albeit some moments of madness. Even beginning to swing properly!
    Anyway I won not exactly easily but I think always ahead.
    Won 3- 1 15-10 15-12 12-15 15-12
    Was I or David the hero no … he had to be strong and he had to be fast… yes it was Piotr . Playing at three, Piotr was playing Graeme Harris who
    Alastair (Alastair has been playing leagues since the coronation of George V ) said was pretty useful so expectations were low. Our Polish hero
    however played well especially on the backhand and gradually throttled the fight out of Graeme in tense and close games.
    Even when he faced game balls against himself in the first two games he rose to the occasion superbly . Well done Piotr- who needs Batman?!
    Won 3-0 17-15 16-14 15-13
    Overall Win 13 – 9
    Almost as good as the result was the food, athletes like Alastair, Piotr and I got stuck in to the pizza and pakora!
    Great game, on to Tropical Hamilton next week.

  39. December 12, 2013 at 8:11 am

    Wednesday 4th December 2013 – 4th Team
    After last week’s fiasco at Strathclyde University, where the 4th team suffered a beating so savage it would have shamed even the England cricket team, drastic action was required. David Wilson and Piotr Prowoski were ruthlessly axed (i.e. promoted back to the 3rd team) and replaced by Raymond Gauhl and me. Just a week earlier, Raymond and I had been thrown onto the scrapheap of squash. But now Jason had no option but to retrieve us from under a pile of broken old rackets, dust us off and place us back in the team. It felt good to be back. Steven senior and junior retained their places and the team was completed by David Moulsdale, who was making his team squash debut.
    This week we were at home to Newlands 8, a team so young that their one veteran player, Colin McIntyre, was older than the rest of the team combined! Having suffered at the hands of an equally young Giffnock 6 team a few weeks ago, we suspected a repeat may be in store.
    Steven junior was first up, at number four, against Cameron Moss. Luke came from behind to win the first game 17-15 but let a lead slip in the second and lost it 15-13. I didn’t see any more of this match because I was on court myself but it seems that Luke’s failure to take a 2-0 lead was costly. He lost the next two games 15-12 15-3 and the match 3-1.
    Meanwhile, I was playing at number four against Jack Morris. Jack completely dominated the early stages of the match. He opened up a 14-4 lead and only a late run of points from me made the final score a more respectable 15-9. Fortunately for me, the 1st team’s Sara McDonald had been watching and was kind enough to offer me some much needed advice before the start of the second game. The last time a 1st team player (some guy called Jason, who fancied himself as a coach) gave me some mid-match advice, I lost 3-0. But this time it was different.
    Although I fell behind early in the second game, I still felt confident that I could turn the match around. And that’s exactly what happened. Unusually for me, I was able to hit the ball consistently into the back corners and Jack struggled to cope with this. I won the second game 15-11, the third 15-6 and opened up a 10-5 lead in the fourth. I was completely in control. But the squash gods weren’t going to allow me to win this easily. I was suddenly struck with self doubt and, before I knew it, it was 10-10. The match was back in the balance. I was tiring and didn’t fancy my chances in a fifth game. So I pulled myself together and dragged myself over the line, 15-13. It was only my second ever win and definitely my best performance so far in my brief squash career. Never mind that my opponent was a small child!
    I came off court to discover Raymond on the verge of defeat against the aforementioned Colin McIntyre. The final score in this one was 15-7 15-3 15-11.
    At this point I decided to pop back to the changing room for a few minutes to reflect on my hard-fought victory. I may have slightly overdone the reflection because, when I returned to the squash courts, I discovered that I’d missed David Moulsdale’s debut in it’s entirety. My teammates informed me that, although David lost 3-1, he had played well against his talented young opponent, Fraser McCann. The score was 15-4 15-8 7-15 15-4. So, a valuable point from David on his debut and hopefully the first of many.
    Last up was Mark Steven, at number one, against Fergus Andrew. Fergus was decked out in full Scotland kit which, not surprisingly, filled Mark with a terrible sense of foreboding. Fergus certainly lived up to his outfit as he really gave poor Mark the runaround. All credit to Mark for fighting hard throughout but the result was never in doubt. Fergus was superb and won’t be playing division six squash for long. He won 15-6 15-1 15-9.
    This was the last match of the year for the 4th team and we head into the winter break second bottom of the table. So Christmas is cancelled for us and I expect to see the whole team at the club, first thing in the morning of the 25th, practising hard for our trip to Whitecraigs on January 8th!

  40. January 9, 2014 at 9:33 am

    Wednesday 11th December 2013 – 1st Team
    With injuries and players missing there was no real chance of any points tonight against the league leaders who have only dropped 12 points in total so far this season. So no pressure!
    Sean (Norris) was back in the team this week at number 4 v Owen Hadden and was chopped 3-0. It was funny to see him play down the lefties forehand side though and I especially liked his slow high shots down the middle! It was also amusing to see Sean arguing with the umpire for quite a while about whether a ball was out or not and just as the marker was about to give him the benefit of the doubt he said “Actually I couldn’t really see it; I was just trying to get my breath back.”
    Just then I got a text from my nephew Matthew with the following gag: An Asian boy was talking to his father and said “Father I want to be an actor.” and the dad replied “No son, it’s pronounced Doctor!”
    I went on next and was also got chopped 3-0 at number 2 v Doctor Iain Tennent. I decided to play only shots and lob serves tonight and I think this confused Iain……………. for about a minute. Fortunately in that minute I’d got to 5-0 so at least the granny was off. I did the same in the second and ended up with 9 points this time! No dice in the 3rd though.
    After my match was over I saw a 2nd team member coming out of a spin class and asked him why he wasn’t at Broomhill. Apparently I hadn’t confirmed at 4pm that we still needed him from my 12pm text. But fair play he did rush over to Broomhill to join in and save my blushes (hope he won after all that). He was filling in for an injury and work ravaged second team that meant we were down to the bones this week. We even lost someone to the football, so a tough night for him as well! But the team were only 2 points off a promotion spot going into the match tonight.
    Dougie (Macmillan) played Kev Moran at number 1 and was chopped 3-0. He did play well in the 1st two games though and kept Kev honest (7-11 8-11). But his opponent was too deceptive and Dougie just ran out of steam in the end.
    On my way to the shower I noticed a guy trying to open the combination padlock on his locker and when I came out of the shower he was still at it. I asked if he was having a problem and he said that his wife had changed the combination to the anniversary date of when they met and he couldn’t remember it! “I think she did it to spite me!” he said. This is actually a true(ish) story and we had to get the bolt-cutters out to help open the locker (I thought of asking for another locker to be opened for me with the bolt cutters, but apparently you have to prove the locker is yours first!)
    Sara (not amused at having to mark the number 1s first game, until I took over) McDonald was on next v Naill Morris at number 5 and although was beaten 3-0 she did get the 2nd highest tally of points on the night and played well. Great retrieving and spirit again – and good to see the lucky all-black kit back this week.
    David (Craig) was on last at number 3 against Stuart George and the whole team gathered to see if there was still a team point up for grabs. At 8-11 4-11 it didn’t look like it, but then Big Davie really got into his stride and at 12-11 had his first game-ball, but couldn’t quite take it (by this time he’d already secured the team MOTM award for getting the most individual points on the night!) Then at 15-14 he only went and got a second game-ball! There was an epic rally for the Big Man to take the glory, but unfortunately Stuart wrestled the game back time and again and eventually brought home the bacon 16-18.
    So as we finished at about 8.30 half the team headed for the Jacuzzi and the other half to the bar, before Veggie pasta for dinner and a chat about our chances of staying in Division 1……!??!! I think we’ll be second bottom when all the results are in, so it’s going to be a bit of a challenge – although with one Newlands side being demoted as well, we only need to move up 1 place. Can we do it in 2014??

  41. January 9, 2014 at 9:34 am

    Wednesday 11th December 2013 – 2nd Team

  42. January 9, 2014 at 9:34 am

    Wednesday 11th December 2013 – 3rd Team

  43. January 9, 2014 at 9:34 am

    Wednesday 11th December 2013 – 4th Team
    After last week’s fiasco at Strathclyde University, where the 4th team suffered a beating so savage it would have shamed even the England cricket team, drastic action was required. David Wilson and Piotr Prowoski were ruthlessly axed (i.e. promoted back to the 3rd team) and replaced by Raymond Gauhl and me. Just a week earlier, Raymond and I had been thrown onto the scrapheap of squash. But now Jason had no option but to retrieve us from under a pile of broken old rackets, dust us off and place us back in the team. It felt good to be back. Steven senior and junior retained their places and the team was completed by David Moulsdale, who was making his team squash debut.
    This week we were at home to Newlands 8, a team so young that their one veteran player, Colin McIntyre, was older than the rest of the team combined! Having suffered at the hands of an equally young Giffnock 6 team a few weeks ago, we suspected a repeat may be in store.
    Steven junior was first up, at number four, against Cameron Moss. Luke came from behind to win the first game 17-15 but let a lead slip in the second and lost it 15-13. I didn’t see any more of this match because I was on court myself but it seems that Luke’s failure to take a 2-0 lead was costly. He lost the next two games 15-12 15-3 and the match 3-1.
    Meanwhile, I was playing at number four against Jack Morris. Jack completely dominated the early stages of the match. He opened up a 14-4 lead and only a late run of points from me made the final score a more respectable 15-9. Fortunately for me, the 1st team’s Sara McDonald had been watching and was kind enough to offer me some much needed advice before the start of the second game. The last time a 1st team player (some guy called Jason, who fancied himself as a coach) gave me some mid-match advice, I lost 3-0. But this time it was different.
    Although I fell behind early in the second game, I still felt confident that I could turn the match around. And that’s exactly what happened. Unusually for me, I was able to hit the ball consistently into the back corners and Jack struggled to cope with this. I won the second game 15-11, the third 15-6 and opened up a 10-5 lead in the fourth. I was completely in control. But the squash gods weren’t going to allow me to win this easily. I was suddenly struck with self doubt and, before I knew it, it was 10-10. The match was back in the balance. I was tiring and didn’t fancy my chances in a fifth game. So I pulled myself together and dragged myself over the line, 15-13. It was only my second ever win and definitely my best performance so far in my brief squash career. Never mind that my opponent was a small child!
    I came off court to discover Raymond on the verge of defeat against the aforementioned Colin McIntyre. The final score in this one was 15-7 15-3 15-11.
    At this point I decided to pop back to the changing room for a few minutes to reflect on my hard-fought victory. I may have slightly overdone the reflection because, when I returned to the squash courts, I discovered that I’d missed David Moulsdale’s debut in it’s entirety. My teammates informed me that, although David lost 3-1, he had played well against his talented young opponent, Fraser McCann. The score was 15-4 15-8 7-15 15-4. So, a valuable point from David on his debut and hopefully the first of many.
    Last up was Mark Steven, at number one, against Fergus Andrew. Fergus was decked out in full Scotland kit which, not surprisingly, filled Mark with a terrible sense of foreboding. Fergus certainly lived up to his outfit as he really gave poor Mark the runaround. All credit to Mark for fighting hard throughout but the result was never in doubt. Fergus was superb and won’t be playing division six squash for long. He won 15-6 15-1 15-9.
    This was the last match of the year for the 4th team and we head into the winter break second bottom of the table. So Christmas is cancelled for us and I expect to see the whole team at the club, first thing in the morning of the 25th, practising hard for our trip to Whitecraigs on January 8th!

  44. January 16, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Wednesday 8th January 2014 – 1st Team
    2014 eh! I wonder what the year will have in store for us? Well there’s the Commonwealth Games squash tournament (nice of them to go to all that trouble just for squash!?!?) and then there is that big team tournament in September, what’s it called again – oh yes the Euro Club Championships. And don’t forget the big vote that will decide our very future……. will squash get into the 2024 Olympics?
    Anyway enough of the big questions – Wednesday West Squash is back! Ya dancer! And as ever we all turn up, having eaten and drunk too much over the festive period, dreading playing the first match and getting thrashed. That is until we realise that our opponent is thinking exactly the same thing!
    Having said that a very thin and fit looking James Singh wished me a Happy New Year and it didn’t look like he’d enjoyed Christmas & New Year as much as me! I did win the 1st game though and quite comfortably as well – James was going for a winner very early in every rally and once I’d been beaten about half a dozen times I started to get wise to it! So when I got to the 1st attacking shot I forced a load of errors and eventually took the game.
    The 2nd was much the same, but James played better and got a good lead, in fact he got to game ball first. A bit of digging was required and I managed to do exactly that and I won the tie break. The 3rd was exactly the same and once again I managed to pull back another game ball to nick the tie-break and the match 3-0, but I was fortunate and it could have been very different.
    Next on was Sean (Norris) against Pete Cumnie. Pete’s standard is really coming on and he destroyed Sean in the 1st game; but Sean showed good signs of getting back into the match in the 2nd, despite losing this one as well. However the 3rd saw a total transformation in Sean as he dominated this game by digging like cwazy. This made Pete play much more negatively and Sean mopped up the rallies and won the game with some good squash. The 4th was a hell of a battle and the rallies were physically very tough; at 10-10 it was all about who had the most left in the tank and unfortunately (for us) Pete had one more turbo-boost to take the last two points and win the match 3-1.
    I was chatting to one of the players about an injury he sustained over the weekend and he told me that he was in a lot of pain, right up to the moment he took 2 Paracetamol and 5 cans of Stella, then amazingly he felt much better!
    Big Rich went on next, despite missing his train and not bringing any shorts to play in (so Dave leant him a pair and he was off and running). They obviously brought him luck in the 1st game as he took a storming lead against Mic Cockburn. However Mic then tightened up considerably to win the 2nd. There was an innocuous looking rally in the 3rd, which ended in Rich losing it tamely – so I assumed it was not a very important point, but then both players came off the court and it transpired it happened at 10-9 game ball to Mic (so probably the most important point of the game and maybe even the match!). I was trying to work out what to say to Rich when John Singh walked by and nonchalantly said ‘his problem is he’s too nice on court; does he think he’s playing a friendly?’ and I have to say that did sum things up quite well!
    Rich went on in the 3rd with his ‘determined head’ on, but it was a bit too late now. It was a tough game, but Mic had the momentum and was much more confident – so 3-1 to Mic, but I have to say Rich did well to get a team point in the 1st game.
    Dave (Craig) took to the court next against Stuart Brunton and it looked like Dave had forgotten how to play team squash in the first 2 games. Stu dominated and anything short & loose, or mid court was dispatched. “So don’t play short & loose or mid court I ventured!” What a difference in the 3rd! I think Dave would have beaten anyone in this game, his length was incredible, he moved Stuart about beautifully and won easily. The only question was could he keep this going. The 4th game was good, but not at the same dizzy heights as the 3rd for Dave and so Stu won, what in the end was a tough last game, to win the match 3-1.
    Last on was Doug (Macmillan) v Mark Ford. Mark was up 10-1 in the first and we thought this was a bad start for Doug (which it was) until we remembered that it was 11-1 in the last fixture so maybe just a standard start! But Doug got a flurry of points, before the guillotine was brought down on the 1st game – so really an improvement!
    Dave C went on to an empty court and sat right in the middle of the court and started stretching. I shouted over “That’s the closest you got to the ‘T’ all night big man!’. But it was nice of Dave to set me up with this sort of quality material!
    Mark went on to dominate the first string match and looked impressive doing it! His trademark wonderful reading of the game and great movement was, as ever, a joy to watch. However Doug did put in a good shift and as I said he did better (points wise) than their last encounter – so an improvement!
    And a 1 point improvement for the team as well, as we finished 6-15.
    There’s nothing like a nice hot shower after the match and that’s exactly what we got……… nothing like a nice hot shower! Still pizza, chips and Erdinger for dinner and we were all pretty happy with that.

  45. January 16, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Wednesday 8th January 2014 – 2nd Team
    After a long and sober Festive Season the athletes of the 2nd Team got back to doing what they do best…moaning about cold courts and pasta bake at the DL. Tonight we started the long trek home with the reverse fixtures from the 1st half of the season. Giffnock, who we royally pumped in the opening game of the season,were our opponents at the DL tonight. Steve Elms was 1st on against Jim Kerr in what was an absorbing match Steve came away with a 3-1 win against an opponent who had a kick like a mule,and I mean that quite literally. Squash is not supposed to be this physical….Steve’s opponent bumped,barged and smashed into not only Steve,but also the glass wall on court 1….my eyes might have played tricks on me however, I’m sure we could now play doubles on court 1 as I’m sure the wall has moved….to compound the problem he gave Steve a dead leg to boot (sic) so no Steve for next week….next on was Kenny playing at 4 against another of the Giffnock wall smashers,yes he also banged about the court like a petulant teenager who just lost his car keys…(sorry Doug) 2 skint knees later Stewart hobbled off the court without winning a played 2 won 2
    Dave Ritchie DL’s answer to Marcus Welby was by this time wielding his squash racket like a scalpel cutting into his opponent game in no time at all and coming through with a 3-0 win. So points secured.
    Angry Elf was next on, reveling in the new dimensions of court 1… You don’t want to be playing Kevin on any court never mind one that has all of a sudden become that little bit larger….Kevin was in 1st gear with everything falling into place until he got 2 warnings for abuse.1 for language and 1 for racket abuse,that seemed to light the blue touch paper….self abuse could have been the next warning if Kevin didn’t start playing a touch better,and that he did….winning 1 game 15-1. Kevin won 3-0
    Ben starring at number 1 played Paul Geri. Paul had beaten John Turner in the 1st half so retribution was hopefully going to be exacted by the young forensic student Ben. Like the opening scene in Silent Witness Benzo performed an autopsy on what was Paul’s squash game…..skinning him layer by layer Paul didn’t know if it was New Year or New York come the end of the match…a joy to behold,Paul really should have filled out another visitors form to get back into the club such was the pasting hammered out by Ben, still he did get to see most of court 1 come the end…
    1.) Ben Maz vs. Paul Geri : 15/7, 15/5, 15/9 : Won 3-0
    2.) Kev Cameron vs. Derek Hanlan : 15/4, 15/1, 15/6 : Won 3-0
    3.) Dave Ritchie vs. David Henderson : 15/9, 15/7, 15/8 : Won 3-0
    4.) Kenny Lumsden vs. Stewart Hamilton : 15/8, 15/9, 15/4 : Won 3-0
    5.) Steve Elms vs. Jim Kerr : 15/8, 9/15, 15/7, 15/4 : Won 3-1
    Overall 18-1 Win
    MOTM – Ben & Paul
    PS – Via Kev C
    Forgot about quite of the night from Kenny, went along the lines of:
    Kenny: Your a p1sh captain Kev, you turned up late, etc…
    Kev: I delegate to you guys to be here for me, that’s the sign of a good captain.
    Kenny: there’s no “I” in team Kev
    Kev: there is an “I” in captain though
    Kenny: there’s an “I” in prick! 🙂

  46. January 16, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Wednesday 8th January 2014 – 3rd Team
    Very good. Sadly I saw little of tonight’s match, even my own game was a blur, so this will be disappointingly short.
    At No 5 was I think Sandro who lost 3-0. At No 4 his Dad who showed him how to secure some purchase for the team, by losing only 3-1. Alastair Baird went down 3-0 at No 3. Their opponents were possibly Ian Colquohon, David Claxton and ???
    At No 2 Neil Ross lost the first game against Fred Laing, but kept his calm and cool. Is this the new Rossy Boy? Indeed, he won the next few games for a 3-1 win! Well done.
    Finally , on at No 1 was Me against young Cameron Colquohon, who won 3-0. But there were lots of long rallies, and I didn’t feel too bad after 4 weeks off; just that I didn’t win many of them.
    Overall result lost 16 – 4. We would have had a closer match with the crowd that came to play our 2nd team. Well fed after.
    Nite nite.

  47. January 16, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Wednesday 8th January 2014 – 4th Team
    “Those were the happiest days of my life
    Now we’re back on the train
    Oh back on the chain gang “
    Chrissie Hynde : The Pretenders
    So it was that after much drinking eating and…… drinking some more ,DLWE were back on the Jason chain gang
    The gang were in one of the States in the deepest South- Whitecraigs
    I arrived late as usual to find Raymond Gaul had already played. Raymond playing at 4 had played a young guy called
    Oliver Millen. Raymond said to me he was way too good, so good in fact by the end of the night Raymond was telling
    all who would listen he was a future Scottish or World Champion (I forgot which ,but you get the drift) . Anyway
    I don’t know whether to write well played or get the finger out.
    Scores Lost 0-3 2-15 10-15 5-15
    I also only saw the last game of Robert McNicol’s match at 5 . He was playing David Osterberg and from what I saw of that game
    it was a close game. Both players tended to get in each other’s space ,a bit like the dance floor at a Cleopatra Night Club Nurses night and Robert
    later correctly said to me he should have claimed more lets etc. He ultimately lost that game but considering he lost the second game
    15 – 1 (Not the worst on the night see later) a great comeback in the third so overall getting better
    Scores Lost 1-3 9-15 1-15 15-13 9-15
    David Wilson our Captain had also turned up and went on court at the same time as myself played at 1 against Ian McFarlane.
    I never saw one point of this game but Ian or Mickey as he is called said David came well back into it and the scores reflect this.
    Having played Ian before he is no shrinking violet so David unlucky to silence him.
    Scores Lost 2-3 9-15 16-18 15-7 15-11 13-15
    I meanwhile was on at 2 against Robert Brodie . As Robert said we both played similar games hit long and don’t drop ever.
    As a result all games close but again no cigar … pull the finger out
    Scores Lost 0-3 13-15 13-15 12-15
    Last up was Piotr playing at 3 . He played Naushad Ali and I had the joy of scoring the match . The first two games were shared with both
    making mistakes which also translated to the marker who got mixed up between left and right . Then Piotr must have smelt the Pizza because he
    proceeded to lose 22 points in a row surely a club record . Grannies of the world unite it will now be called the Pole is on . Anyway Piotr then
    forgot about the food and unbelievably took the fourth game. That stretched the law of Physics and he then lost the fifth. Good game to score
    and I do love Piotr’s pleading for lets/Points.
    Scores Lost 2-3 15-12 10-15 0-15 15-11 11-15
    Overall Loss 18-5
    Enjoyed quick Pizza and Chips after. Whitecraigs nice bunch of guys and wish them well in the search for promotion . Ourselves back on the chain gang.

  48. January 23, 2014 at 1:46 am

    Wednesday 15th January 2014 – 1st Team
    Newlands again this week and this time the Newlands Foreign Legion 1st team came calling! And we were looking to do better than 18-2 result from the 1st half.
    At No.5 Sara (McDonald) way was on first against Malky Watt (we’d strengthened the team this week by dropping Richard!). Malky was playing as well as ever and getting everything back (as ever) so this was always going to be a tough one for Sara. Malky took the 1st game, but then Sara got a really good lead in the 2nd game and managed to hold on to win this one. However after this Malky ramped the pace & pressure up and won the next 2 to win 3-1 (but already we’d done got a massive 1 point on the board!). So what could the rest of the team do to build on that; was the question? Well nothing – was the answer!
    Dave (Craig) went on at the same time against Angus Woodward at No.4 and I didn’t see this one as I was marking, but it seems that the big man was given a torrid time of it by Angus who dominated the game from the start. I saw the last game and it was evident that Big Dave just wasn’t able to get into his rhythm and so lost the 3rd and the match.
    Doug (Macmillan) was on against Scotland’s No.2 Greg Lobban. Well if the rest of us was up against it, it was x10 for Dougie against the Harrow man who is No.82 in the World Rankings by the way! The crowd were loving it however and Doug was practicing his court sprints for most of the match. And to be fair he acquitted himself well and gave a good show, but inevitably he Greg gave him the run around and then finished him off. So another 3-0.
    I went on next against Paul Bell (up from Cumbria) and after the comprehensive chopping I got in the 1st half of the season I was reasonably sure that my standard hadn’t improved enough in the past 3 months to overturn this. But enough of the defeatist attitude! I had a great run last time and was looking for the same again.
    If I put too much pace on the ball at first and Paul wasn’t even troubled with even my best shots, so I needed to slow it down a bit just to be able to stay in the rallies. However my main problems were:
    1) Too much pace was not troubling Paul at all
    2) Anything short was pounced on and put away
    3) Anything across court and a telescopic arm came out and volleyed me away
    Even the slower pace was eventually pounced on. So while I was trying all sorts of things, the match was slipping away and I was 2 and a half 0 down. Just then Paul decided he was going to play a few shots off anything; at this point I did have a bit of success as I got in front of him and volleyed short (which gave crowd the impression that I was in the match! Which I wasn’t!! But it did look good!!!). Eventually match ball came and despite saving a few, the inevitable happened and it was 3-0 to Paul.
    Last up was Sean (Norris) against Vicky Bell (also up from Cumbria with her brother Paul). Sean looked like he was in this in the 1st and I think he may have even had a game ball (to get out much needed 2nd point!). But Vicky won that and then started to dominate the match. Sean was flinging himself round and generally making a nuisance of himself, but no dice here either and we lost 3-0.
    So a 18-1 loss and thank god Sara was playing for the team point! There was a mountain of veggie pasta for dinner when Doug managed to embarrass himself and go the brightest red I’ve ever seen. After the Bell’s had left to make the trip back to Cumbria, he was slagging Sean for losing to Vicky (not realising that Greg’s girlfriend and World Ranked No.99 – Taylor Flavell – was sitting right next to him!) – donkey!

  49. January 23, 2014 at 1:47 am

    Wednesday 15th January 2014 – 2nd Team
    Apologies it took so long to get this report out, had a mental week.
    A superb result last week with maximum points but this week could be a different story since we were up against the league leaders, SSRC 3.
    The plan was to start early with myself at No.1 against an old team mate from Uddingston, and more recently, work colleague – Steve Carlin. Unfortunately i got stuck on a call at work so the early start never started till 7pm.
    I knew myself that i was really on my game this week and although I had plenty of energy Steven was just too consistent for me. On another day I may well have competed and certainly should have got a game at least but unfortunately i went down 0-3 (11, 9, 9). I didn’t feel quite as bad when i found out that he is No.1 in terms of rankings across our league for the year but a poor start to our night:
    Great to have Nic back in the teams and he went on court the same time as me at No.5 against David Tennent (Who?!?!). I think it is fair to say that he never got off to a great start either and before he knew it we was somehow 0-2 down (12 & 10). Nic however got his act together and although i never seen it he got stuck in and managed to wrestle back the next two to level the scores at 2-2 (9 & 8). Into the decider and with the momentum in his favour he completed a monumental comeback to win 3-2…and man of the match to go with it.
    So with Nic leading the way we had some scores on the doors, could we gather some momentum and cause an upset? Let’s see…
    Next up was Dave against George Allan, at No. 3 and i had the pleasure of marking this one. The opening game was extremely close and Dave was not just moving well against a top opponent but was getting good length and playing some smart stuff. Unfortunately though George just edged the first game(13) however the second game was just as tight and Dave managed to level the scores, just(16-14). That game must have taken a lot out of George as the next game was all Dave’s(15/6). George battled back and took the 4th(12), setting up a decider in the 5th of this tight contest. Fitness was the difference in the final game and to my absolute delight, Dave was the one that prevailed(12). A superb win and arguably a MOTM performance.
    At the same time, Kenny was on against Nick Allan, at No. 4 and Kenny must have been in frightening form as when i had finished marking Dave’s game he was 2-0 up(10 & 12) and was neck and neck in the third. I caught the end of this one and he edged the third 17-15 which was followed by a loud celebration which included a fist pump. He was even happier when he found out that he just won us the match! Unbelievable result! A superb win and arguably a MOTM performance.
    Finally JT was up against Maggie Farrell at No. 2 and I made sure i reminded him that we needed all the points we could so although we had already won, 3 points was a must. The first was a tight one as both players tried to find their feet but thankfully John took it 15/13. After that Maggie was making a few unforced errors and John was doing the sensible thing of staying in the rallies – that tactic worked and he cruised through the next two to land us the result of the season, easily(11 & 8). A superb win and arguably a MOTM performance.
    Overall 15-7 win – Yaaaassss!!!!!!!!!!! The captain in me couldn’t be happier 😉 the player obviously disappointed to let the side down….will bounce back i’m sure.
    They SSRC team are a great bunch of guys (Yup i am only saying that as i know they ready Jason’s blog 😉 ), and was a good laugh afterwards. It turns out our pasta bake is infamous and as a result Steven decided he wasn’t even gonna try it and would get a chippy on way home – a great shout since it was absolutely dire!
    Turns out their match reports are a lot more close to the bone than ours so we’ll need to step it up – Maggie gave us an insight into some of the comments that have appeared in the unedited version, but not really for this forum 😉
    Bowfield next week so let’s keep this winning streak going – Goooooooo Team!
    Summary of Scores
    1.) Kevin Cameron vs. Steven Carlin : 11/15, 9/15, 9/15 : Loss 0-3
    2.) John Turner vs. Maggie Farrell : 15/13, 15/11, 15/8 : Win 3-0
    3.) Dave Ritchie vs. George Allan : 13/15, 16/14, 15/6, 12/15, 15/12 : Win 3-2
    4.) Kenny Lumsden vs. Nick Allan : 15/10, 15/12, 17/15 : Win 3-0
    5.) Nic Coleman vs. David Tennent : 12/15, 10/15, 15/9, 15/8, 15/12 : Win 3-2
    Overall 15-7 Win
    MOTM – Nic Coleman & Steven Carlin

  50. January 23, 2014 at 1:47 am

    Wednesday 15th January 2014 – 3rd Team
    A journey to Craighelen and surely the coldest courts in the West of Scotland.
    On at No.4 was Dave Mazzucco against Tam Milne. In addition to marking this match I also took note of how many times the ball hit the back wall. With Dave dominating the match and cutting off most things and Tam unable to maintain any rallies the ball got colder and colder and Dave ran out a comfortable 3-0 winner – the ball got to the back wall twice in all 3 games.
    Also on at the same time was Dave Wilson at No.5 against South African FC Du-Toit. I didn’t see much of this as I was marking the other match but Dave was up against it against a mobile left handed opponent who was definitely out of position in their team. Dave’s lack of match practice caught up with him and although the games were close Dave lost all 3.
    Sandro and myself on next.
    I managed to win fairly comfortably with the only real danger a truly awful marking decision by Neil when I had game ball in the second. My opponent hit the ball straight back to himself on the T with me standing ready behind him and Neil awarded a let. After looking up in disbelief (I may have said something who knows) Neil then changed his mind and said it was a stoke. I didn’t feel the change of decision on such a vital point was fair (daft) and we played a let and the game got to 14-14. I managed to prevail with 2 nice lobs which landed like a stone on the cold courts.
    I didn’t see Sandro’s match but, as usual he made every effort to make things difficult in a desperate attempt to secure another MOTM nomination. Sandro won 3-1 with game scores in the 3rd of 23-25 and 4th on 14-16 demonstrating the lengths Sandro goes to. In the 3rd he served out on game ball (despite my detailed and extensive team talk when we discussed this very issue) and apparently in the 4th game when he was 14-10 up he hit 4 easy balls into the tin with his opponent ready to shake his hand on every occasion. Anyway good win and match secured.
    Last on was Neil against Chris Moses. Unfortunately Neil tweaked his back in the first couple of rallies. He ran out winner in a close first game but his mobility was compromised and he was obviously thinking of quitting bearing in mind he was due to go skiing next week. However after a few well-chosen words of encouragement from marker Dave Mazz (“Man up Neil”) he bravely continued. Without his injury he probably would have won but struggling with movement he went down 3-1.
    Anyway a good 13-7 win against a team at the other end of the table (near the top) to us. It has to be said they were struck with late call ups to their first team.
    Sandro’s efforts were successful and he was awarded MOTM – what is the point of winning 3-0 I ask?

  51. January 23, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Wednesday 15th January 2014 – 3rd Team
    It was 3rd bottom (Broomhill 3) v 2nd bottom (us) this week, so if we were going to achieve only our second win of the season, this was as good an opportunity as any. In the end we did win, although we were nearly thwarted by our opponents, who mysteriously chose to play their two weakest players at one and two.

    First up was Iain Beveridge, at number one, against Danny McFadden. The first game was fairly even but once Iain got a grip on the match he was never really troubled and he won comfortably, 15-11 15-7 15-7.

    Next up was Luke Steven, at number four, against Stuart Walker. Working on the assumption that a team’s number four tends to be less good than its number two, I was quietly confident that Luke would win this one. How naïve of me! Stuart may have been old enough to be Luke’s grandfather but he was still a very handy squash player. Luke made a good fight of it at times but Stuart had too much experience and won the match 15-10 15-5 15-9.

    The next match was the only really competitive clash of the night and turned out to be crucial to the overall result. Mark Steven, at number three, was up against Angus Thorburn and this one had ‘five-setter’ – written all over it from the start. Mark won the first game but Angus hit back to win the next two. It didn’t look good for Mark when Angus opened up an early lead in the fourth but Mark dug deep to win another close game and level the scores. The final game could have gone either way but Mark eventually got his nose in front and held on to win, 15-11 13-15 9-15 15-12 15-11. It was a great performance from Mark and a really enjoyable match to watch.

    Next up was me, at number five, against a man called Bob. Bob was initially reluctant to tell us his surname and would tell us only that it began with ‘W’. It was a heart-warming moment when, over the post-match food, Bob finally opened up to us and revealed that his surname was ‘Whitesmith’.

    My match against Bob was a strange one. Bob was much older, heavier and slower than me. He was also a much better squash player and completely outclassed me in the first game. I came off court to find my favourite Polish squash player waiting for me with some words of advice. ‘Have you noticed this guy can’t move?’ asked Piotr. ‘Um, er, well, actually I hadn’t’, I was ashamed to reply. ‘All you need to do is hit it away from him and you’ll win!’ said Piotr as I headed back onto court. I put my new tactic into practice straight away and began hitting drop shots at every opportunity. Piotr had been spot on – Bob just couldn’t reach any of them. All I had to do was keep this up for three games and the match would be mine. How could I possibly lose? Well, I’m pretty good at finding ways to lose and that’s exactly what I did! I built up a big lead in the second game and had four game balls at one stage before inexplicably letting them slip and losing the game 17-15. The third game followed a similar pattern. I built an early lead but couldn’t build on it, enabling Bob to fight back and finish off the match. The final score was 15-5 17-15 15-10.

    It was very frustrating to lose such a winnable match but at least I hadn’t cost the team victory. Piotr Prowoski was up next, at number two, against Steven Murphy and was all but certain to clinch the match for us. Steven and I had played an epic five-setter earlier in the season, so if I could nearly beat him, Piotr certainly could! The match turned out to be even more one-sided than I expected and Piotr cruised through it, winning 15-1 15-2 15-7.

    So the overall score was 12-8 to us and, although it doesn’t exactly send us shooting up the table, it was nice to feel like winners for a change!

    Post-match food was pasta bake, which made us all feel at home! It was actually very enjoyable, as was the chat with the Broomhill guys, comparing our various defeats throughout the season so far! We’ll look forward to seeing them again next season.

  52. January 30, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Wednesday 22nd January 2014 – 1st Team
    Western 1 tonight away and we got a massive 4 points last time so what could we do tonight?
    The team got a 6.15pm start so when I arrived we were off to a flyer. The No.4’s had already finished and the No.5’s were 2 games in. Unfortunately this was as far as the good news went because Dave (Craig) had lost 3-0 at No.4 and Sara (McDonald) was 2-0 down at No.5. Mind you Sara was playing Dunsy (Graham Dunns) and so this was no massive shock as the big Grinch (Dunsey not Sara!) was moving well and putting good pace and length on the ball. Sara played well in the 3rd game I thought; Sean & I shouted encouragement whenever we could, like “Come on Sara, you’ve got him beat!” and “He’s flagging Sara!” – unfortunately he wasn’t flagging enough and despite Sara trying, unwisely, to go right through him on a couple of occasions, on her way to the ball, all she got for her troubles was a couple of bruises! Good effort thought and Dunsey knew that if he let up for a moment he was in trouble.
    By the way how difficult is it to pronounce Sara??? Dave calls her “Sarah” and Sean calls her “Zara” despite me telling them every week! Must be an age thing on Sean’s part, not sure what Dave’s excuse is? By the way Dave didn’t want to talk about his 3-0 drubbing by Andy Philips, so I thought I’d bide my time and get the story later.
    Doug (Macmillan) went on next against Steven Halliday at No.1 and as he’d got chopped by Steve at the home fixture (2, 6 & 2) I wasn’t optimistic for his chances. As I went to watch the start of the game Dave (in his kit), Sean (not in his kit) and Sara (in her kit) all passed me on their way to the changing rooms – all claiming to be on their way to change. So I arrived at the court and as no one else was there I started marking duties. About three minutes later Dave (in his kit), Sean (not in his kit) and Sara (in her kit) all arrived back on the balcony to watch the match (I’d been stitched up like a kipper!).
    Back to the match and Doug played much better this time, all 3 games were much closer and he was right in the match at times. Don’t get me wrong Steve won 3-0 and the bottom line was that Steve’s length was better, but if Doug could just tighten up a bit there he’d be making a lot more in-roads.
    I went on next against Peter Halliday (I feel that I should explain at this point that I’m Jason Broadberry, because a few people have said to me recently:
    “Do you write that blog about DLWE matches?”
    To which I generally reply:
    “What the one on ‘Broadberry Sports’ with ‘Jason Broadberry’ prominently displayed on the home page? Yup, that’s me!”
    “OK smart arse, in that case it’s rubbish!”
    Anyway I was also chopped in the 1st half by Peter and it was no surprise to me that I couldn’t get near him in the 1st game. However the 2nd was a strange one, as Peter decided he was sufficiently good enough to play only shots and back this up with no running! Well I’ve got no delusions of grandeur, but I’m not that bad either. At 8-0 down Peter thought he’d better pull his finger out and try – and he very nearly managed it as well, but I used the lead to good effect and sneaked home.
    Now I can’t remember who won the 3rd and 4th but we got one each and so to the 5th! Now I was floating the ball around like an old b*****d and Peter was generally trying to keep the pace high, so the contrast in styles made the contest interesting all the way to 10-7 game ball to me! At this point the tide turned against me as:
    I missed a cross court nic attempt…. glory boy!
    Got a stroke given against me (debateable I thought, and so I did! Well it wasn’t really a debate, more a petulant rant!) – and thirdly
    Peter framed a winner (****)
    So going into the tie-break I was feeling a bit sorry for myself and that’s ultimately where I lost it. Still 3-2 wasn’t a terrible result (although it felt like it for about 30 minutes after! And comments like “You should have won that” and “If it makes you feel any better you were lucky to get those two ‘fault’ calls.” didn’t make me feel better! But Peter summed it up quite nicely when he said “I feel massively relieved and you must feel massively annoyed”
    The banter was flowing in the changing rooms when two guys were discussing their game and one said “Well I’m not making any excuses, but I did play golf already today” to which the reply came back “Are you any better at that game?” – that cheered me up! A bit!
    Last on was Sean (Norris) against Peter Robson at No.3. Sean was hitting a ridiculous width in the 1st, with the ball going outside the width of the service box! So he go chopped 11-2. I decided that I didn’t need to tell him to stop hitting the ball down the middle and this must just be a blip – it wasn’t. Everything came down the middle in the 2nd game as well and again it was 11-2. So I wearily trudged down the stairs to give him my thoughts “Aim for the side wall not the centre line you Muppet!” was the advice and do you know it made a 350% difference! Not enough to win the game, but he got a respectable 7 points this time.
    So 18-2! Doah! Well it was always going to be a tough one against the No.4 club in the division, but having played 2 of the top 4 clubs already, things can only get easier….. hopefully! Big clash against the Uni next week – let’s hope it’s exam time!
    Chinese for dinner and Deuchars as well – class! Then I nipped home and watched highlights of Shabana beat Matthew at the ToC squash.

  53. January 30, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Wednesday 22nd January 2014 – 2nd Team
    The 2nd were looking strong this week indeed Jase!
    So after our Max points week 1 of the year and beating the league leaders 2nd week, could we continue the form with this strong team to get into that 3rd place promotion spot (3 do get promoted right?)
    First to arrive (at the ar5e end of nowhere), and with a point to prove after last week, was myself. When I arrived my No. 2 equivalent was there too but he asked if we could delay the start of the match as he had just recently eaten a sandwich. I’m competitive as you know, but refusing was even too much for me….mainly as i didn’t want to be covered in a regurgitated sandwich half thru the first rally, i like to get a few points under my belt before experiencing that…
    My opponent, Blair Michie, was actually a really nice guy, and during the warm-up we chatted about training for marathons/half marathons – i could tell this was going to be the battle of the runners. The first game had little decent squash and as i struggled to get used to the massive yellow tin and noisy walls Blair struggled to get any decent length – I couldn’t seem to get any more than a point away from Blair until the end of the first game, but thankfully I did just enough(15-12).
    As I stepped off the court I could see Dave Ritchie running towards me with some purpose – “You do realise he is a lefty?” – Astonishingly I hadn’t even noticed and i’d been serving from the right every chance i got and battling with backhand drives which he was dealign with well. This was the turning point – i consistently served from backhand and cross courted onto his backhand wherever possible, so easy when you use your brain! 2nd game – 15-8. I did the same in the third although Blair battled well I was able to take that one too(15-10) – Wasn’t sure whether to be happy that the change of tactics worked or to feel stupid that i hadn’t even noticed him being a southpaw! Anyway glad to get back to winning ways. 3-0, good start for the Allstars.
    Thankfully we had two courts available, so Jason G was on the other side of the gallery, at No. 1 against a Scott Adomus, making his debut in West of Scotland Squash, but he clearly played in the past!
    I caught bit of the first game between my 1st and 2nd games and Jason was looking good against tricky opponent and even managed to win the first game(11-15). An injury free Jason, at this point would have easily kicked on to take the match 3-0 but unfortunately he really started to struggle and Scott started to play too much at the front of the court and took the next three (8, 11, 4) to level the scores. A valuable point Jason, putting us marginally ahead at this stage.
    Up next I marked the next game which seen Dave Ritchie up against Brian Wright at No. 3. Dave looked great in the warm-up and although his sky blue zipper never came off in the first game he never looked in danger when he took the first 15-11. Into the 2nd, zipper off now, Dave seemed to lose his mojo and Brian started to really get his eye in. Fair play to Brian, but i did notice that after any decent rallies he was blowing quite hard. Brian levelled the scores(10-15), but i quickly nipped down to tell him how much the long rallies were taking out of Brian and to encourage Dave to get the drives beyond the service box. Whether the advice was the difference or not, Dave turned it around, taking the net two comfortably 15-9 & 15-6. Awesome win! Well done Dave…he really is some battler in these Wednesday games.
    Meanwhile, in a court not so far away, Paul Hannah was on next at No.5 against David Lang – He had the Kev.i.n. comment in the first half of the season for those of you that actually read these reports 😉
    I caught a few glimpses of the first game between marking Dave’s games and it looked to be a real tussle. By the time I started watching it properly it was 2-1 in games to David with Paul taking game 1(13) but losing out on games 2(11) & 3(9). Quite honestly Paul looked knackered, but David looked worse. Paul managed to dig deep and chase down more than David setting up a decider(9). I nipped down to give Paul a bit of advice (feeling good about my last attempt at it with Dave) – “You might be f****ed Paul but he is more f****ed – Every time he boasts just straight drop it, as he never chases it”. I’m sure it could have been put better but he got the idea and what difference, he destroyed him in the 5th game (6) and took the points and the match – Superb Paul, and really appreciate you getting back involved with the teams, even better that you won us the tie!
    Finally up was JT at No. 3 against Brad Maguire who earlier in the night had tried to take the p!ss when I failed to get the numbering of our players right at the first attempt when asked. So watching this one from the gallery I was cheering every point John won, more loudly, than anyone else 😀
    John needing little encouragement in the first though as he destroyed Brad in the first 15-6. In the second he kept this going and although Brad got closer he still just had too much (15-10). In the 3rd however John switched off and Brad started to play some really nice shots, taking the game 15-9. I rushed down to give some advice, pretty good at this now, but hang on I wasn’t sure what to say this time…
    “Get a grip!”. That did it, 15-4 to John in the last and another stunning win for the AllStar DLWE2 (Overall 16-7 Win). MOTM to Scott Adomus for their only win and Paul Hannah for a superb 5 setter.
    The scran was good, curry, and a couple of beers to wash it down. We never chatted much to the Bowfield guys but had some good chat in our own group which involved the convoluted yet fascinating interview process you need to go through to join Glasgow Golf Club and the fact that since John’s headlamp went out on his car that he would send his PA and a few nurses to get it sorted in the morning – the nurses part may have been Jason getting carried away though 😉
    Finally, At the time of writing this report we are in 3rd place (Promotion Spot) but I predict that Strathgryffe will get the 10 points required against Giffnock tonight to leap frog us again, so with me and JT out next week (unless i can change my London flights) we really need everyone to make it along next week to keep this great run and promotion battle going:
    Summary of Scores
    1.) Scott Adomus vs. Jason Grinton : 11-15, 15-8, 15-11, 15-4 : Loss 3-1
    2.) Blair Mitchie vs. Kevin Cameron : 12-15, 8-15, 10-15 : Won 0-3
    3.) Brad Maguire vs. John Turner : 6-15, 10-15, 15-9, 4-15 : Won 1-3
    4.) Brian Wright vs. David Ritchie : 15-11, 10-15, 9-15, 6-15 : Won 1-3
    5.) David Lang vs. Paul Hannah : 13-15, 15-11, 15-9, 9-15, 6-15 : Won 2-3
    Overall 16-7 Win
    MOTM – Scott Adomus & Paul Hannah

  54. January 30, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Wednesday 22nd January 2014 – 3rd Team
    One man on a lonely platform
    One case sitting by his side
    Two eyes staring cold and silent
    Shows fear as he turns to hide
    Ah – ah , we fade to grey(fade to grey)
    Ah – ah , we fade to grey (fade to grey)
    The thirds were at sweet home Alabama last night and were up against Bowfield 2 in a crucial
    relegation threatened clash .
    We perhaps did not have the range of All Stars or should that be the Avengers assemble (I will let the readers
    decide who was the Hulk, Thor , Captain America , Mad Bastard ..okay I made that one up) of the second team but
    we had a pretty formidable outfit plus David Mazz .
    Captain Sanders had fired up the team with the e mail of Churchilian proportions that he wanted 18 points or else.
    So it was that I played first at 5 against Len Macdonald. Not wanting to face the ire of young Graham I proceeded to
    more or less demolish Len in three
    Scores won 3-0 15-3 15-6 15-5
    On at the same time was David playing at 4 against Gill Downie. Bowfield on seeing our line up would appear to have
    moved players around. Gill who was down I think at three obviously fancied David albeit in a squash sense and took him on.
    As both Sandro and I had been beaten by Gill previously and were eager for revenge David would be our stand in.
    I only saw one point in this match but suffice to say David was not a happy bunny and Gill ran out the victor. Graham who
    arrived mid coital gave David the look. David in return gave the look of a man on a lonely platform(see above).
    Scores loss 1-3 13-15 4-15 15-11 3-15
    I meanwhile was marking serial MOTM winner Sandro’s game against Lenny Wright at 3. Sandro loves to excite the crowd hence
    all the MOTM awards and comparisons with George Best are obvious . His dad being Bobby Charlton. Just when you thought
    George had beaten a player he tried to beat him again . So it is with Sandro he plays one point like our heroes in the first team the next point
    Raymond in the fourths would not be happy with. The match had plenty of drama ,with serving out at game ball from Sandro (One of my tactics !) to
    heads in hands from Mr Baird watching. David quite rightly kept on saying slow down, Sandro like sons all round the world ignored him.
    Sandro however always had more and won the game …did he get MOTM I don’t think so, I am more a Bobby Charlton sort of admirer
    Scores won 3-1 16-18 15-13 15-6 16-14
    Speaking about our Bobby we had another look a like e’ in Alastair at 2 against Ronnie Barron . As Jason said old Mans squash but if it works don’t change.
    Alastair played well and while his opponent stretched him never in real danger of losing the match and got the 3-0 win. My MOTM
    Scores won 3-0 15-11 15-13 15 -11
    The other contender for MOTM was Graham against Russell Forsyth at 1. To be honest both deserved it but I know Sandro will be annoyed if Alastair gets it.
    Graham played well and had Russell running round like Dill the dog in the herb garden (For older readers) . Russell certainly competed but Graham had too much
    and won 3-0
    Score won 3-0 15-6 15-7 15-13
    David was so cheesed off that to alleviate his spirits he challenged me to our league game. I therefore missed the pasta bake a sad loss.
    I then won narrowly 3-2 with both of us having match balls ….. David…. fade to grey
    Overall Win 16-4 MOTM Alastair Baird

  55. January 30, 2014 at 9:45 am

    Wednesday 22nd January 2014 – 4th Team
    After last week’s victory, normal service was resumed this week for the 4th team. We were at home to SSRC 5, who had beaten us 18-0 earlier in the season, so it was no surprise that we lost again. But at least this time we got some points on the board and put up a bit of a fight!
    Raymond Gauhl got us underway, at number four, against Andy Duff. I arrived slightly late to find Raymond already on the verge of defeat. Raymond assured me I hadn’t missed much and, considering the scoreline, he was probably right. Andy won the match 15-4 15-1 15-7.
    Next up was Luke Steven, at number three, against Mark Sherrit. Mark had beaten Luke’s Dad, Mark Steven, with ease earlier in the season so this looked like a really tough one for Steven junior. In the end he did lose, 15-11 15-13 15-10, but it was a much closer match than expected and Luke can take a lot of positives from his performances. In particular, a stirring comeback in the second game when he saved four game points before falling short on the last one. The low point of the match was when the world’s most inept marker (i.e. me) lost track of the score. Fortunately, a slightly exasperated Luke was on the ball enough to keep me right!
    Next up was me, at number five, against Andy Nelson. Andy had beaten me earlier in the season, in an embarrassingly one-sided match, so this was a good opportunity to ascertain how much I’d improved in the past three months. The bad news is that Andy once again won convincingly, 15-6 15-7 15-9. However, the good news is that it was much more of a contest this time. As the match went on, I realised more and more that I was capable of competing with Andy. I actually played some quite decent squash, by my own standards. Just not enough of it! I was quite angry with myself for not winning at least one game but, with hindsight, it was heartening to see how much had changed since October.
    While I was playing my match, Piotr Prowoski was also on court, playing at number one against Tariq Mehmood. I only saw the final game of this match but it had clearly been a hard-fought and fiery encounter throughout. I can’t remember who marked the match but I do know I didn’t envy them. In fact, I’ve come to realise that marking any match involving Piotr is an activity best avoided! Anyway, the good news is that Piotr prevailed in the end, winning 17-15 11-15 15-12 8-15 15-6. Another top performance from Piotr and three valuable points for the team!
    Last, but not least, was Mark Steven, playing at number two against Scott Mowat. Mark was suffering with a back injury and did well to turn up at all. So we were just hoping he’d get through the match in one piece, let alone win it!
    As expected, Mark struggled badly to begin with and lost two very one-sided games. But then something miraculous happened. He started moving more freely and his game was transformed. So much so that he won the next two games to level up at 2-2! Just when we thought an incredible win was on the cards, he started to struggle again. He was in obvious pain throughout the final game and Scott eased away to victory, winning the match 15-5 15-2 12-15 9-15 15-5. Mark may not have won but he did secure two hard-fought points for the team and he deserves a huge amount of credit for what must be the gutsiest performance of the season so far.
    Nobody could quite work out what the post-match food was, but it’s probably safe to assume that it had been a pasta bake at some point in its life. I actually quite liked it but I think I was in a minority of one. Prize for the least tactful question of the season so far goes to Scott Mowat of SSRC, who asked us with an entirely straight face, ‘Have you guys actually won any matches this season?’

  56. February 6, 2014 at 1:30 am

    Wednesday 29th January 2014 – 1st Team
    Well this was a real relegation clash last night and with an injury and a missing player I was pretty sure that if the University had a strong team then our goose was cooked (mind you our missing player was Richard so really we were stronger than usual!). The Uni however seemed to have even more missing players than us! So with just 8 points separating the teams, could this be a season changer?
    First on was Sara (McDonald) at No.5 v James McAllister. Sara was dominant this week and she controlled the match to the back of the court. James had trouble digging the ball out, with Sara’s trademark great length ™ so that’s where she put the ball every time. After winning the 1st game 11-5 one of the club members watching (Bob) turned to me and said:
    “Oh yes, I forgot that you 1st team players aren’t fit enough to play up to 15 points!”
    Sara’s rhythm wasn’t upset too much apart from getting clattered a couple of times and she ended up winning 3-0.
    Doug turned up at this point and didn’t bother with “hello”, he just turned to Big Davie Craig and said:
    “Wow! Dave what’s up? You don’t look like a tramp tonight, you’re actually looking quite good!”
    On at the same time as Sara, was Sean (Norris) against Nobby (as everyone calls him). I said to him after the match:
    “Why do they call you Nobby?” to which Nobby replied:
    “I don’t know.”
    “What’s your real name?”
    “Nobuhide Ostudo.”
    I was marking Sara’s game so only caught the 3rd game, but Sean was in charge of this match and he played well to move Nobby around and keep him at arm’s length. Nobby retrieved well, but that’s also Sean’s game and he did it better. So our second 3-0 of the night.
    Big Davie (Craig) went on next against Neil (McLean – I think) and on at the same time was the No.1 pairing of Doug (Macmillan) against Liam Dickson. Doug said I’m going to play ‘Jason squash’ tonight. When I quizzed him as to what that meant he said:
    “If I get chopped, I’m going to make it look like I played well.” !?!?!?!
    Back to the No.4 string match and Davie won the 1st game 11-6, but he never likes to play anything less than a 5 game thriller so I wasn’t surprised to see it 1-1 soon after.
    Doug, in the meantime, was soon 5-2 down in the 1st game but came back to win it 11-6. That’s strange, I thought, Liam looks a bit pale; great point for Doug though, especially as he lost the away fixture 3-0.
    On the other court Davie was now 2-1 up and cruising. His volleys and drops were moving Neil about well and he was now dominating the tie. Soon after he wrapped things up 3-1 and so the match and the bonus points were ours!
    Back with the No1s and Liam was trying to play lots of shots, but Doug was getting everything back and therefore forcing mistakes. Doug was now dominating the latter stages of every game and he eventually converted the 2nd and 3rd games to take the tie 3-0. Great result for him as well, even if Liam was below par.
    (Dave wasn’t happy with only 4 games so he challenged Sean to a hit straight after!).
    Last up was myself (Jason Broadberry) against Mhairi Charlton. I’d seen Mhairi beat our players before so I was going to take no prisoners (especially after Doug’s beetroot comments two weeks ago!). I won the game 3-0, but Mhairi was ahead at the start of every game. She volleyed well and picked up lots of stuff I didn’t expect. It was a good match but I won it reasonably comfortably in the end.
    So I couldn’t have predicted an 18-1 win! Ya dancer!
    I also couldn’t have predicted macaroni cheese for dinner (after veggie pasta every week since October!).
    But I could have predicted a bigger bar bill than normal with the students looking like they were getting ready to hit Ashton Lane!

  57. February 6, 2014 at 1:31 am

    Wednesday 29th January 2014 – 2nd Team
    Walkover v Whitecraigs RFC

  58. February 6, 2014 at 1:31 am

    Wednesday 29th January 2014 – 3rd Team
    “Holding back the years
    Chance for me to escape from all I’ve known
    Holding back the tears
    Cause nothing here has grown
    I’ve wasted all my tears
    Wasted all those years
    And nothing had the chance to be good
    Nothing ever could yeah”
    Simply Red
    The thirds were away last night and were up against some of the sharpest minds in Glasgow… no not the fourths but Glasgow Uni 2nd team.
    The Uni first team were also in action that night against our first team so it was a classic double header. Never having played at the Uni sports halls
    I turned up expecting spotty kids hanging around facilities slightly spartan. Instead I found myself transported to the 6th floor where I found
    various young ladies engaged in sweaty action … on the exercise machines. I did not see any guys there . Thinking I had won the Willy Wonka ticket I was
    slightly disappointed to find the rest of the team hanging around the squash courts.
    Realising the days of being a Lothario ( never had been)- were well in the past I concentrated on my game as I was on first at 5 against Mike an eager Medical student from Aberdeen
    I won the match reasonably easily and even had the satisfaction of Captain Baird saying you served well tonight.
    Scores won 3-0 15-10 15- 7 15- 6
    On the other court playing at 4 was that other ageing Lothario David Mazz – what a combination we would have been in Cleopatra’s in the mid 80’s …. yes the classic wingman or possibly wing less
    How did we ever get anyone to marry us ! Anyway I diverge ,David after playing the Colonel the previous night was a bit knackered even before the match (Twice a week is now too much surely!) so was not
    really up the five game marathon he participated in . However holding back the years he won the fifth over the young guy Sagar and showed age can beat youth sometimes …. Jason did the same in the first’s match
    Scores 3 -2 15-11 17-15 12-15 11- 15 15-12
    Piotr at 3 was on at the same time as David was reaching a climax…in his game so I only saw some of his match. He played the lovely Becky, her of the long legs that Robert in the fourths drooled over in the home match.
    Becky proving that the days of old fashioned sexism are dead and buried proceeded to play good squash and beat Piotr 3-0 . I saw most of the first game and Piotr played well and looked in command but it somehow slipped
    out of his hands like an England slip catcher. I missed the second which Becky won 21-19 but Piotr again was leading 14-10.
    Scores 0-3 10-15 19-21 7-15
    This left the stage for either Captain America..Alastair or the Boy wonder Sandro to tie up the match. Both are serial MOTM awardees so I had Dickens like Great Expectations …They both lost
    I marked Alastair at 1 against Tuukka from Finland . Alastair actually played well but had a flying Finn to contend with who was consistently good. A wee chance in the second came and went and our Captain went down
    with the ship.
    Scores 0-3 9-15 10-15 6-15
    That left boy wonder playing at 2 against I think Simon. As I was marking Alastair I did not see the first two games but Sandro’s dad never one to mince words said Sandro was sh.te so it was all set for the MOTM
    fight back . Sadly no from what I saw Sandro played pretty well in the third and at 13-13 was in it. I thought a bad stroke given against him decided it and he lost 15-13 . It meant for Sandro a silver lining as his Dad
    was made MOTM I am sure Sandro was well pleased…holding back the years
    Scores 0-3 8-15 8-15 13-15
    Food at the Grosvenor in the VIP room was good.. not so good for Piotr on his diet unable to have a slice of Pizza. Another nice touch was the Uni players bought their opponent a drink. As a result David and Alastair
    ,whose opponents were late began to look like men who had not seen a drink since the war started. I got the call that the dog needed walking and away I went , so no doubt avoided the arrival of their first team
    with first team tales of high jinks.
    Overall Loss 14-6 MOTM David Mazz

  59. February 6, 2014 at 1:31 am

    Wednesday 22nd January 2014 – 4th Team
    To follow

  60. February 13, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Wednesday 5th February 2014 – 1st Team
    The big relegation clashes just keep on coming and tonight I thought we had a good chance at home to Western 2, that was until I spoke to Big Davie on the way to the match and he told me we had no chance at home to them…… as it is an away match! (turn the car round!)
    When I arrived Big Dave (Craig) was making his way onto court against Derek Manson at No.3 (due to stuffing Sean in a mini-league last week). However this looked like a position too far as he got cuffed in the 1st game and well beaten in the 2nd. The main problem was that Derek was all over Dave’s cross courts and controlling the match. The 3rd was much the same and at 9-3 down it was surely only a matter of time for Dave. “A good one to win!” was the best we could think of to say as it became 10-5 match ball.
    But hang on Dave got the next point, and the next, and the next! And a few rallies later it was a tie break and then it was game to DLWE!
    “Yeah I realised if I hit it straighter I was winning the point.” says Dave between games! Understatement of the night I’d say. Too many cross courts and Dave lost 90% of the rallies, but mostly straight and he won 90% of the rallies! With this information in his armoury Dave won the 4th game easily and so the 5th!
    A much tougher game, but Dave was now physically in control as Derek tired. In the end Dave drove the points home from 0-2 and 10-5 down to win the tie! Amazing and I was pretty sure that secured him the MOTM award.
    Sean (Norris) went on next against John Millar at No.4 – this was comfortable for Sean this week and he dominated the tie with his quick movement to win 3-0. However at 9-0 in the 1st game it looked like ‘the granny’ was on, but Sean actually managed to hit the ceiling at one point, which is an impressive thing to do, especially as he did it from the back of the court! with the ball on the way to the front wall!!!
    After the match Richard commiserated with Sean and told him not to worry too much about it as it’s a tough league. Sean then proceeded to tell him the winning score and Richard just said:
    “Oh OK, well done. I didn’t see the game, I just assumed you’d lost again!” (you’ve got to be able to take the banter in this team!)
    Richard (ex-captain Cantlay) was on next at No.5 against Tony Gibson. The 1st was an easy win for Richard against the left hander and he looked like he was going to romp home.
    As I arrived at the balcony to watch the match, Sean (from Limerick) was chatting to Davie (from Glasgow) so I walked up to them both and said:
    An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman were watching Richard play squash and the Englishman said “Is this some kind of joke?”
    Meanwhile back on court, Tony made an amazing come-back to take the 2nd game, with some great play on his forehand side (the left that is) (coz he’s a left hander). I went to chat to Richard in between the games and said:
    “Ok first things first, I assume you know he’s a lefty?” Rich was wide-eyed; and with massive surprise on his face said:
    “Is he? I hadn’t noticed”
    Not that he used the new information for a while, but eventually when he pummelled the backhand side he secured the next two games, in a hard fought physical battle.
    I went on next against Paul Whiteley at No.2 and I needed ear-mufflers in the knock up as Paul hit more tins than a drummer in a baked bean tin making factory! But come the game he was much more accurate, having said that he did go for absolutely everything and so this meant that he did make quite a few mistakes, but he also hit some blinders. It was a good run, but I won 3-0.
    Our new captain, Doug (Macmillan) went on against Steve Luker whilst I was on court so I didn’t see the first two games. From the score sheet it looked like it was quite close up to about 5-5 and then Doug pulled away to win them both. The 3rd had an air of inevitably about it and although both players were moving around quickly Doug looked like he was in control as he won 3-0.
    The banter was in full flow in the changing room as Dave Kelly (DK) asked me if I used Maple Syrup on my hair to make it so high! While another conversation went on like this:
    “The floor on court 3 was like a skating rink” Doug
    “It was fine when I played it” Peter
    “That’s coz you don’t run fast enough to slide” Doug
    “I don’t need to run as fast as you, I rely on skill!” Peter
    Also I was chatting to Hamilton’s Colin McGeady (they were playing Western 1 on the other court with only 4 players?!?!?! Obviously couldn’t get a 2nd team out then??). Colin seems to be fast becoming the new Frank Sinatra of West Squash this season, as he had to retire for the 4th time! (Frank Sinatra is a bit like Robbie Williams for all you youngsters out there!)
    A Chinese meal for dinner and one player was talking about being NekNominated (NekNomination is a bit like a ‘boat race’ for you oldies out there!) and trying to top previous attempts. I hope he goes with his milk suggestion! Or maybe even this
    Steve Luker was talking about losing to Vicky Bell in the Newlands’ match, he said:
    “She’s terribly good isn’t she” I had to agree 100%, in fact when Sean played her, she was good and Sean was terrible!
    As Rich and I walked out of the Western clubhouse we saw the (old) plans for the extension to the building which will extend all the way out to the road. Rich looked at the plans and said:
    “Haven’t they done that yet?” to which I replied
    “Do you not think you would have noticed it on the way in, if there was a new 50 foot structure you had to pass to enter the club?” Dobber!
    All this and Colin Towers (from Hamilton) offered to play the Harp at our Charity Party on March 22nd (in support of the Food4Africa charity – the one that’s building a charity squash court – see

  61. February 13, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Wednesday 5th February 2014 – 2nd Team
    After much coercion, I have been roped into the writing of this weeks match report. I hope that by submitting something of poor quality, like my marking, I will not be asked to perform the task again.
    So this week the greatly depleted second team was away to second placed Newlands umpteen (7 I think). After the long journey from deepest Shawlands I arrived nice and early to find that there’s some exercise class taking place on the luxurious court 5 (it had its own piano in the gallery – could have done with a bit of a tuning) After confirming my number for the evening, I got under way at 4 against a very nice chap called Andrew. I had a great warm up but sadly things went pretty much down hill for there. Awful first game full of mistakes, decent second game which I should have won (but obviously didn’t) then an even more awful third. So didn’t quite get us off to a flyer. Pumped 3-0
    Next up at 1 was Kev against Linda Duncan. Missed most of the first game but Kev scraped over the line to take it with some quite exceptional running. Not like him I know. Into the second and it was another very close affair. Kev took it 15-13 I think(minor details). Kevs choice language clearly rubbing of on Linda as she was uttering words I last heard in a truckers cafe – as those that know me, I am of course very well mannered at all times on court so not used to such vulgarity. Anyway, into the third and again it was very close. Some really outstanding stuff on display and again the same result. Kev victorious 3-0. Best match I’ve ever seen him play and think he agreed.
    So at least points on the board. Next up was Piotr against Graham Parkins. After a slow start (down 2-0 quite rapidly) some excellent advise was handed out by one of his comrades and he took the third game through a combination of quality serving and volleying. His opponent was tiring but alas, so was Piotr. Gave away quite a few strokes in the last game and lost 3-1. But a potentially invaluable point.
    Their umpteenth+1 team had finished their matches so Graham snuck on to their rather awful court 4 so that we could eat sooner. That’s all I was still there for! Didn’t see the game as I was cheering on Piotr. Graham said the he didn’t play well against Stephen Hart at 3 and was never really in it. Lost 3-0 and the match was gone.
    But every point counts so it was up to Kenny to get some back. Against Richard Parkins he got off to an awful start. He found himself 10-3 down and like all the ‘more experienced’ players was not impressed with the cold court we were on. (the youngsters – that’s me and Kev in case you were wondering – thought it was perfect. ) however he then went on an amazing run of points and took the first game 15 – something. Richard battled back to take the 2nd after some good early play by Kenny and then kept up the pressure to take the next two 15-something 15 -something (who needs those details – you just want to know what we ate). So another useful point for us.
    So overall a 15 (is that right?) 5 loss. Not bad for a depleted team.
    Into the bar and after a short wait while Graham P went to Pizza Hut we were served a meat feast, pepperoni and some thing with veggies on it that we steered well clear off. Oh – and chips. Lots of them! We then discussed the merits of walking dogs in queens park, house moves and the highlight being Kenny’s recollection of the days when he and Graham P were members at Haggs Castle golf club. They were met on one occasion by some local neds playing football on one of the fairways complete with Rottweiler. They of course asked the neds if they minded them playing through. On another occasion one player decided to take it out on one the neds with a 3 iron and retribution came in the form of a burnt out car appearing overnight on the eighteenth.
    So apart from a few moments of quality from Kev especially, the squash was pish but the banter excellent.
    Thankfully I’m unavailable next week as I will be slumming it in Vienna so a good chance for the team to get back to winning ways.
    Night night

  62. February 13, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Wednesday 5th February 2014 – ? Team
    will follow

  63. March 3, 2014 at 6:24 am

    Wednesday 12th February 2014 – 1st Team
    Schools’ week is always a tough time to get 4 teams out and with so many away we only had 4 players in the 4th team. That is until I bumped into a player I’d not seen in a year and a half and asked him if he fancied a game at No.5 for the 4th team! Some of you might remember ex-junior internationalist (and Scotland Masters’ player) Kevin Mackay; well his old mad (Angus) said he’d help us out, and as luck would have it he was just back on court today after a long injury. I think the fact that he was playing one of the Glasgow Uni girls helped!
    SSRC tonight and we had a torrid time of it in the 1st half against them, as we got only 3 points – so 3 to beat!
    First on was Sara (McDonald) at No.5 against Martin Sullivan. Tough one for Sara this week as everything she did Martin could match. Then when Sara left something short Martin crashed a good length to the back and Sara was struggling. She did counter with some good low cross-courts of her own and in the 2nd game especially she was in a good position but Martin wrestled this one back as well so a tough night for Sara. I got the traditional response when I said to her “Unlucky well played” when she came off court, which was “Pish!”
    I went on next against Brian Robertson at No.2 and shortly after Doug (Macmillan) went on the other court against Rory Stewart (who was obviously just passing through Glasgow on his way back to Crieff!).
    I was worried about playing Brian as he can be a very tricky opponent. He’s experienced and has a good engine on him. Fortunately for me the engine was a Vespa tonight as he was suffering from a cold so I managed to dominate proceedings. All the games were tough and I had to play well, but I managed to win all 3.
    I didn’t see much of the 1st string match as I was on court, but Dougie was up against it as Rory has recently beaten some good players includng Mark Ford in a 3-2 epic! Anyway Doug was 2-0 down and although the rallies were a good quality it didn’t look like both players were at it 100%. As I began to watch, Dougie wrestled the 3rd game back and we all thought it was a great result, but Dougie assures us it was a ‘sympathy game’. Mind you I played Rory in the first half and I wasn’t good enough to get a sympathy game! The match was soon 3-1 to Rory so Doug may have been right!
    Next on was Big Davie Craig (the cat in the hat – or more realistically the shady looking bloke who looks like he’s off to do a bit of B&E!). Dave was playing Dave Tolland at No.4. Both David’s had white tops, long dark shorts, blue shoes & black hair (although SSRC Dave had much longer locks). So it was “Dave the Hat” v “Dave the Hair”.
    ‘Dave the Hair’ won the first game by punishing all of ‘Dave the Hat’s’ short length or high drops. But D.T.Hat came storming back with a much better length, which he played at speed and with good pressure – and so took the 2nd game. Unfortunately our Dave couldn’t keep this going and their Dave took control of the match. He eventually took the last two games and it was all over, but with a bit more consistency our Dave (the hat) could really be in these sorts of games.
    Sean turned up about this time and went on last at No.3 against Chris Holt. Chris dominated the 1st game, as he dictated the pace, but Sean managed to quicken things up in the 2nd and he won this one with a great comeback. He also made a great fist of it in the 3rd as he continued to mix up the pace and he had his chances to take this one. Unfortunately Chris won the crucial points and took a 2-1 lead. I missed the last one, but Chris took it easily and so won 3-1 with a good experienced performance overall.
    After the game Sean said “You played well tonight Chris – you were too good for me” to which Chris replied “No I was rubbish tonight.” along with some other similar remarks about not playing much squash etc – you gotta be a good winner Chris.
    Hot dogs for dinner was a great change and Rory sat through the whole meal with his duffel coat buttoned up to his chin looking a bit like Paddington!! (youngsters may have to Google that! Just type in Marmalade sandwiches!!!)
    All that and our 4th team won 3-2 with Angus Mackay winning at No.5 – go on Big Man!

  64. March 3, 2014 at 6:25 am

    Wednesday 12th February 2014 – 2nd Team
    On a dark dank night in deepest Bridge of Weir, the 2nd Team were up against our closest rivals (Strathgryffe) for that coveted 3rd Promotion spot. Having been beaten by Newlands 7 last week this really was a must win.
    I arrived to see Jason Grinton playing at 1, already on Court and deep into the 2nd game. From what i witnessed Jason was hitting the ball well to length and staying in most of the rallies and I believe, was 9-0 up in the 1st game only to lose it 15-13 however, the 2nd game slipped from his grasp as well, and he lost it 15-6. Girding his loins like a young Geordie buck heading into the Big Market on a Friday night Jason summoned the energy to take the 3rd game 15-13 a great effort. This seemed to spur his opponent on and indeed Martin won the 4th game and took the match 3-1 Point of note… Jason’s opponent has played for Strathgryffe’s 2nd team for most of the season and when he has played for their 3rds, he’s undefeated.
    Meanwhile Graham Sanders playing at 4 was going head to head with Vic Louhglin in the other Court in what was a 5 game thriller. Graham lead 1-0 then was behind 2-1 only to square the match 2-2 The final game was a torrid affair with both men out on their feet like a couple of punch drunk fighters, and unfortunately Graham lost on a TKO losing the last game 15-9. Great effort by Graham and a big improvement from last week at Newlands.
    Bairdhound was on next, playing at 5 against Peter Russell who would give an aspirin a sore head, and seems to have a strange grasp of the rules…anyway on to the match…Alastair came out of the traps like a greyhound on speed and was turning back the years in the 1st couple of rallies, with some impressive pick ups however, could he keep it up? While he was in every game we lost this one 3-0.
    Next on was me, and this is where the headline becomes apt. not one of my better nights and I lost 3-0 playing at 3. So a quick update, we have gained 3 points so far , not what you would hope for giving we are promotional candidates.
    Dave Ritchie playing at 2 was on last against Andrew Stuart who beat the Angry Elf at the start of the season 3-1 so a tough ask for Dave. Playing some good straight and cross court lengths, Dave was quickly 2-1 up only to be pulled back by Andrew and taken into a 5th game..this 5th game was going to be tight and indeed both players rallied as though their lives depended on it. there was one very long rally at 12-10 that should Dave had won it, I believe he would have closed out the Match however, it was not to be… Dave lost the 5th 15-10.. Fantastic effort by Dave and his 2 portions of Pasta could not be more deserved…

  65. March 3, 2014 at 6:26 am

    Wednesday 12th February 2014 – 3rd Team
    This week the 4th team was at home to Glasgow University 3, the only team below us in the division. It’s been a long, hard season for the 4th team and I was really looking forward to a match which offered a realistic prospect of victory. So imagine my horror when the team list dropped in my inbox and I discovered I wasn’t in the team! Instead I’d been picked for the 3rd team, who were away to SSRC 4. I’d played for the 3rd team the previous week but I was confident that I’d done more than enough to secure my return to the 4th team. So why was I in the 3rd team again? Was this a sign that the end times were approaching? Or did it just mean that all the proper squash players at the club had better things to do?
    Most weeks this season, I’ve arrived a few minutes late to find Raymond Gauhl already on the verge of defeat. So it was a genuinely new experience for me to arrive in deepest, darkest ‘North Kelvinside’ to discover one of my teammates actually ahead in his match. The teammate in question was Sandro Mazzucco (henceforth to be referred to as ‘Mazzucco junior’).
    I went to get changed at this point, so I missed the rest of the match. However I do know that Mazzucco junior was superb. I know this because he told me himself. He beat Donald MacKinnon 15-11 15-12 15-4.
    Next up was me, at number five, against Roddy Grindlay. The least said about this match, the better. With parts of the country ravaged by floods, it was perhaps appropriate that I should spend the evening completely out of my depth. But it wasn’t much fun. I lost 15-5 15-3 15-4. What made it even more embarrassing was that, between games, Roddy kept apologising for the mismatch. Then, after the match was over, he offered to give me some coaching. I wasn’t entirely sure if he was being patronising or helpful but I took him up on the offer anyway. Two of the courts weren’t being used for the matches because of a heating problem, so we headed onto one of the ‘cold’ courts for an impromptu lesson.
    By the time my unexpected coaching session was over, Dave Mazzucco (or ‘Mazzucco senior’), playing at number three, was already well into his match against David Shanks. At this point I was still under the impression that Mazzucco junior would be writing this report, so I didn’t bother to watch the end of the match and went to get changed instead. Mazzucco senior lost 15-8 15-8 15-11. This is despite a blatant attempt at bribery, when he threatened to cancel the pocket money of the marker, Mazzucco junior, over a disputed let call. Clearly Mazzucco junior has been brought up too well to be susceptible to this kind of corruption.
    Next up was David Wilson, playing at number four, against Mark Sherrit. At this point, Mazzucco junior informed me that he had misgivings about writing the match report. He seemed genuinely horrified at the prospect, so I took pity on him and agreed to take it off his hands. Besides, unlike me, he’d already done his bit for the team.
    So now I had to pay more attention. Mark Sherrit is an old foe of the 4th team (as a member of SSRC’s 5th team) and I knew that David would need to play well to beat him. Mark won the first two games 15-13 15-6 and it was looking ominous for David. But he did well to turn things around and win the third game 15-12. David had come very close to winning from 2-0 down when the 4th team played Whitecraigs a few weeks ago, so I knew he was capable of the comeback. However it wasn’t to be this time. The fourth game could have gone either way but Mark edged it 15-11 to win the match 3-1.
    The final match was one of the most entertaining I’ve seen this season. Piotr Prowoski was playing at number two against Scott Mowatt. Scott is another player the 4th team have encountered twice this season already and, although he is good, I expected Piotr to beat him. Piotr won the first game 15-7 and seemed completely in control of the match. But he got off to a bad start in the second game and ended up losing it 15-10. The third game was pivotal to the match. Piotr opened up a huge lead before Scott somehow managed to fight back and level the scores. Just when all the momentum seemed to be with Scott, Piotr hit a return of serve that came off his racket frame and grazed the wall just above the tin, winning him the point. Moments later, instead of being 2-1 behind, Piotr was 2-1 ahead.
    Scott proceeded to win the 4th game 15-3 but, if he thought he was now in control of the match, he was mistaken. When he played for the 4th team against Whitecraigs a few weeks ago, Piotr lost one game 15-0 before coming back to win the next one. So I knew what he was up to! Sure enough, Piotr upped his game in the decider and, although it was nip and tuck all the way, Piotr did just enough to win the game 15-11 and secure a well-deserved 3-2 win.
    Post match food was a very tasty chicken in mushroom sauce, with potatoes and peas. The woman who served the food had to try very hard to persuade Piotr that chicken was allowable for someone on a no-carb diet. He relented, but only on the condition that there wasn’t a potato in the vicinity.
    So the final score was 14-7 to SSRC and the 3rd team is still second bottom of division 5. All of which means they need to find a decent number five ASAP or they’ll be joining the 4th team in division 6 next season!

  66. March 3, 2014 at 6:26 am

    Wednesday 12th February 2014 – 4th Team
    Home game against Glasgow University 3 who we last played in 06 November ’13 and came away with a narrow 12 -11 win. Both teams were a little different this time so Ian Monaghan was number 1 up against Mike Green who managed to slaughter me 3-0 in November. The first 2 games couldn’t separate the players, it began to turn in Ian’s favour after he took the 3rd 16-14. Mike was quick around the court and his height, his left hand approach and his remarkable ability to make shots off the back wall made Ian work very hard in the 4th to clinch the match.
    Cameron Gauhl made his team debut as our number 3. Cameron, strongly influenced by his father’s (me) weekly performance strolled onto the court and was thrashed 15-2 in the first game by Josh Donovan. Cameron looked like a beaten man and in need of some professional coaching and a large helping of self-belief. I couldn’t help with either, just as well because Cameron didn’t need help from someone who hasn’t won a game yet, never mind a match! My worst fear was that Cameron would be destroyed in his first match, give up squash and waste his entire life as a non-squash player. Well, blow me down with a feather. Cameron charged himself up of his own free will and accord, went back on court disguised as Nick Matthew and steam rolled to a 3-1 victory. Poor Josh looked stunned following his easy first game win. Well done Cameron, performance of the night.
    I got to play again despite my poor performances up until now and was up against Angus Clemente. Angus was beaten in 5 by Robert McNicol in our last match against Glasgow Uni. I gave it everything I had, wanting so much to win as I aspire to be like my son. However, Angus got me 15-13 in the 5th, so very close. I won my first 2 games though and I will treasure that until I finally win a match, and I will one day!
    Louisa Etherson and Harriet Dymond played 4th and 5th respectively against our Andy McKeller and Angus Mackay. Andy worked hard and scored well in each of the three games that I believe he allowed Louisa to win. Despite the suggestion that he could turn the match in his favour by playing long (and he won his points by doing just that) Andy was unable to sustain his attack long enough to reach 15 before Louisa..
    Angus played Harriet and came away with a convincing win. Experience on his side and lots of clever short boasts and drop shots more than compensated for his slow motion action replay style, and that was all that was needed to secure 3-0 victory.
    You can never predict the outcome when up against these student people. You expect that the late nights, long days in bed, the binge drinking, bad diet and the world owes me a living kind of attitude will always kick in. However, as a team we agreed to abstain from all this prior to the match and it worked in our favour. An overall win of 14-8. Well done everybody!

  67. March 3, 2014 at 6:44 am

    Wednesday 19th February 2014 – 1st Team

  68. March 3, 2014 at 6:46 am

    Wednesday 19th February 2014 – 2nd Team
    We had the pleasure of entertaining the Western folks this week and with the loss to Strathgryffe last week our promotion hopes were hanging by a thread, but who knows a good win tonight and other results going our way could start the ball rolling in our favour again.

    I arrived early (yes, for a change) and found Western No.2 (Ian Campbell) on court… Neil Craig, their No. 4, asked if I could maybe play at No.2 instead of No.1 as Ian needed to get away….i was happy to oblige, besides there is nothing in it between me and John anyway so thought it wouldn’t make much difference. “Besides” he said “Bert Mitchell is plain No.1 so will be a tough game”…who the hell was Bert Mitchell i wondered….wasn’t long before I did find out who he was – will come to that later!

    1st game, i felt like i was comfortably in control of most rallies but for some reason i couldn’t get any distance between myself and the pro tennis coach from western. I did edge it 16-14 but this was not going to be as one sided as i’d originally thought. Next game i screwed the nut and managed a comfortable 15-8 win, however had a disastrous 3rd game and Ian pulled one game back(11-15). By this point I was p!ssed off with the way i was playing and had already had neighbours on both sides of court 2 complaining about the noise! Onto the 4th and only after a few points I was surprised to hear Ian say that he was done – had no idea what he meant as he didn’t seem injured but as it turned out he had overstretched his calf and he knew himself that if he didn’t stop there and then it would be a lot worse – I could learn a thing or two from him! Anyway 3-1 win…good start.

    Nic was on the adjacent court at No.4 against Neil Craig …after ripping the pass out of me before hand saying that how come i bet you the last time we played but i’m at No. 4…a very good point, my answer is that was a long time ago and get committed to Wednesday nights 😉

    Anyway, he was a clear favour playing at 4 for us an he backed it up with a skelping 3-0 win….good work Nic! 2-0 in matches…good stuff.

    Dave R went on next and with jacket still on he went 1-0 up against Nigel Taylor and never looked like he broke sweat whilst winning 15-7. Nigel pushed Dave closer in the next two…jacket off…but Dave was just too strong(15-9, 15-10). Easy one to mark and the match sewn up…good days.

    Neil Ross on at No.5 next against Michael Ward and this was going to be the battle of the runners. Michael won the 1st heat comfortably 6-15, but a bit of advice to Neil between games mean that he was facing a game point in the 2nd! Unfortunately Michael flipped it on it’s head and stole it 16-14, which was immediately followed with verbal (self) abuse and a racket throw from Neil, understandable i’d say. By that point his head went down and Michael closed out the match in the 3rd. Unlucky Neil…bad times.

    Last up was JT, who wasn’t sounding great so he was happy go hear the match was tied up, but i reminded him we needed all the points we could get to have any chance of promo. He was up against the infamous Bert Mitchell, who is a class player and you could see that right from the off. He was coming back from a hip op though so not moving as well as he normally does i was told. John had to fight for everything and amazingly he took the first, which was unexpected yet completely deserved. Unfortunately Bert got into the swing of things and proved too good and took the next 3. great effort from John though and a cracking point.

    There was an incident during the match where John and Bert traded words on whether one of Bert’s shots was a double bounce but from outside the court we couldn’t here the details. It became apparent after the game that Bert hadn’t let it go and he felt like he had to make the point again to John after the game. I later asked John about it and was amazed when he told me what Bert had said on court….not for the match report.

    Anyway, that aside a good 13-7 win, but probably not good enough with Strathgryffe positing max points.

    Had to shoot off so missed the horrific pasta.

    Summary of Scores

    1 John Turner
    1 15-13 12-15 7-15 9-15 3 Bert Mitchell

    2 Kevin Cameron
    3 16-14 15-8 11-15 15-0 1 Ian Campbell

    3 David Ritchie
    3 15-7 15-9 15-10 0 Nigel Taylor

    4 Nic Coleman
    3 15-10 15-9 15-4 0 Neil Craig

    5 Neil Ross
    0 6-15 14-16 5-15 3 Michael Ward

    Team Pts 10 7 Team Pts
    Bonus Pts 3 0 Bonus Pts
    Total Pts 13 7 Total Pts

    MOTM – Dave Ritchie & Michael Ward

  69. March 3, 2014 at 6:46 am

    Wednesday 19th February 2014 – 3rd Team
    ‘All I know is that to me
    You look like you’re having fun
    Open up your lovin’ arms
    Watch out here I come

    You spin me right round, baby
    Right round like a record , baby
    Right round round round ‘

    Dead or Alive

    Last night for DLWE 3 was the home derby match against DLWE Renfrew . A full gate of 10 was expected and the saliva juices were running as much as a sixth year disco !

    I arrived late as usual to find the thirds having two courts with the seconds reduced to the show court. I am sure by the way the girls on the way to the fitness centre would rather see
    Messrs Mazzucco,Baird,Saunders and Beveridge ripple the muscles on court 1 but that is merely an observation.

    Anyway Sandro playing at 2 was on court 3 against John McConnel . When I started watching he was down 2-1 in games but from what I saw at the start of the fourth was playing well.
    I was then required to mark on court 2 so missed Sandro’s demise to a 3-1 loss. This is the season of awards Brits,Oscars,Olypmic Golds and Squash MOTM’S but alas Sandro is now not needing acceptance speeches.
    I am sure if he did he would thank first his Dad …

    Loss 1-3 12-15 13-15 15-13 13-15

    Next up on court 2 was David playing at 4 against Eric Sharkey . I was marking this and I thought both played pretty well . David has got over losing to me and after counselling is beginning to see a meaning to
    life. He always looked in control and while Eric spun round and round at times a bit of class told in the end. Maybe there is 4 squash players called Mazzucco

    Won 3-1 15-11 11-15 15-11 15-8

    Alastair playing at 3 was on at the same time as David against Paul Scarff on court 3. Now Alastair, after a suffering similar life event experience as David by losing to Sandro recently, obviously was using the
    same squash psychiatrist as he appeared to be pumped up. I hasten to add not the Ben Johnston pumping up or the Debbie does Dallas ! Anyway I digress but even although I only saw the tail end of the
    match our pumped up Bairdy won with a bit to spare. MOTM AWARD

    Won 3-0 15-7 15-8 15-13

    That left me playing at 5 against Zander to clinch the match or would we need the colonel . Now David informed me someone commentated on our match by saying “its squash Jim, but not as we know it “
    I would like to think it was the quality on show but … Both I and Zander were ticked off by the marker at the end of game 1 for spinning round round round etc with a trip to the Royal the likely scenario.
    Anyway after much spinning ,some words of advice from Baird and Mazzucco did the trick and while some shots still resembled Pete Burns lips I eventually won through

    Won 3-1 15-17 15-9 15-9 15-9

    Last up was the Colonel at 1 against Paul Rogan. Graham was strangely subdued the first couple of games albeit Paul was playing very well . However a bit of pump action aka Alastair did the trick and from my
    lowly knowledge also a bit better placement and the match became nip and tuck . Graham squeezed the third before losing narrowly the fourth . Could be a valuable point.

    Lost 1-3 7-15 5-15 18-16 11-15

    We are now right in a scrap for relegation Bowfield doomed but 2 out of even four teams to be decided. We have to play all the teams around us so squeaky bum time coming up.

    Pasta Bake

    Chat was good always good to beat your nearest and dearest

    Score 14-8 Win

    • March 3, 2014 at 12:12 pm

      As a post script to Iain’s excellent report, some points to note:

      Iain’s fluorescent outfit, was straight out of an 80’s disco video (Not Eric Prydyz as suggested by the Baird hound!) . I did not know you buy fluorescent yellow socks, or was maybe his outfit was hi-viz; warning others to take care when near him! The number of times his opponent turned and was trying to hit the ball they were lucky no one ended up at A&E for the evening!



  70. March 3, 2014 at 6:47 am

    Wednesday 19th February 2014 – 4th Team

  71. March 6, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Wednesday 26th February 2014 – 1st Team
    Sorry about last week’s lack of a report, but I left on a business trip after the match and only got home late Tuesday Night (I’ll try and do a retrospective one later on this week) but now back to last night’s match.

    We welcomed Newlands 3 to DLWE and first on was Richard (Cantlay) at No.4 against Brendan Forrester. I had a tough match v Brendan in the 1st half so I was wondering a) why he was playing at No.4 and b) how quickly he would chop Rich! Well after losing the 1st game Rich asked me for words of wisdom to help him win. “Get a time machine and practice a lot more 10 years ago!” was the crux of what I said, although I did sugar coat it a bit.

    Next up was Dave (Craig) against Andrew Morris. This was a good old ding-dong, but Dave needed to slow things down consistently if he wanted to make some real headway. Unfortunately that just isn’t his game, so although all the games were well fought and a good pace Dave lost all 3.

    Sara was desperate to get on and so when Alan Susskind arrived she said “I’ve never been so pleased to see someone I’ve never met!”.

    Well that was true right up until Alan made the cardinal ‘man’ mistake of essentially guessing her age by asking why she didn’t play Masters Tournament Squash?


    “Because I’m not old enough!” was the withering reply.

    Come on Alan the two things you should never say to a woman is first “So when’s the baby due?” and secondly any reference to age at all! Only if cornered you should do what I do and take 10 years off whatever you think……… and then another 10 years just to be on the safe side!

    So Sara was on against Alan next and she won the 1st game 12-10 (hell hath no fury like a woman scorned eh Alan!!). Any way this was a great team point for Sara and so maybe I can find a way of winding her up before every match. After this She must have calmed down and Alan must have got more into his stride as he won the next 3.

    I went on next against Dave Morrison at No.2. During the knock-up Dave’s backhand looked weak and I fancied my chances. When he knocked up on the forehand however he looked like a world beater – he absolutely leathers the ball! Well don’t put it on his forehand then I thought! And that was basically the plan. I overdid it in the 1st game and only just managed to sneak home, but after that things got easier and I dominated the 2nd and 3rd games (in fact I was 10-1 up in both!).

    On at the same time as me was Dougie (Macmillan) against Christian Donelan. Doug got beaten 3-1 by Christian in the 1st half so this was always going to be a tough one for him. In-between games I was delighted (and surprised) to see Doug dominating proceedings. When I came off after my match Doug was match ball up himself and was really making Christian work hard. Moments later he came off a 3-0 victor and this has to be Doug’s best win of the season I reckon.

    Veggie pasta again for dinner and we were left wondering how many points we’d need for survival.

    Andrew was lamenting the Man U manager situation and I tried to console him by offering him the words of comfort. I said that I liked David Moyes and I thought he was a good manager and easily good enough to keep them up!

  72. March 6, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Wednesday 26th February 2014 – 2nd Team
    I wasn’t looking forward to the long drive down to Dreghorn this week, but we were going down with a very strong team, so hopeful that if we posted a good result then SSRC could take down Strathgryffe for us to get us back in contention for promotion.
    However when I arrived at Townend out No.1 (Jason) & No.5 (Graham) were both a game due to Roger Dunlop & Donald Morrison, respectively. Even after watching both these matches after only 5 mins, I could tell them that Townend were a lot stronger than I gave them credit for initially. There were two reasons for this as it transpired:
    1.) Many of Ayr’s players had recently joined Townend this year
    2.) Townend were only further down the table due to a no show earlier in the season(18-0 defeat with another 18 point deduction for no show) – which we would hear from every single Townend member that came in the doors that night
    Jason was up against an extremely unorthodox player, in Roger, and although he started to get a grasp of his style towards the end he never managed to adjust in time and went down 0-3. Would be interesting to see them play a rematch.
    Graham fought hard against Donald and I believe has previously beat him in the past(according to Donald) but the home advantage was too much and he went down 0-3 too.
    Dave went on next against Robin Smith at No. 4 – who had played at No. 1 in the fixture earlier in the year, so I knew this would be a tough one too. It was and Dave never managed to handle Robin’s superb running and tenacity. 0-3 defeat and with it the match unfortunately.
    John, still suffering from the cold went on at No. 3 against Jamie Ramage and this one looked to be a real close one. it had to go to 19-17 in the first to split them but unfortunately for John it went to Jamie. Thankfully he edged the second(16-18) to post our first point of the night but after that Jamie kicked on and took the match 1-3.
    I went on last at No.2 against Stuart Mitchell and felt comfortable in front much of the first game and in fact took the first 11-15. Stuart was obviously just getting the measure of me in that game as he hammered me 15-7 in the 2nd and edged the next two(to 13) finishing us off and taking match 18-2.
    A hammering, promotion dead, so may as well just enjoy the rest of the season. Decent chat and grub as usual from the Townend lads.

  73. March 6, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Wednesday 26th February 2014 – 3rd Team
    “I was happy in the haze of a drunken hour
    But Heaven knows I’m miserable now
    I was looking for a job, and then I found a job
    And Heaven knows I’m miserable now “
    The Smiths
    Big relegation battle against Western on Wednesday night as both teams were level on points at third bottom equal.
    You can probably tell by the choice of song the result but read on to see who had daffodils like Morrissey sticking out their a..e at
    the end of the night
    I arrived at Western to see that Sandro was already on court playing at 1 against Alison Hamilton . Now the Western has many good things going for it
    especially the choice of food for the post match meal but viewing the actual squash games is not one of them . Apart from the marker all other viewers are
    peering through small and dirty windows. It reminds me of the Red Light District in Amsterdam or at least that is how Jason described it to me.
    Anyway observing was not easy but the jist of Sandro’s match was game points reached and lost in both the second and third games. As usual Sandro
    could dominate one point then play the next like a banjo and a cow ,where I was when I played one point then three points banjo and cow.
    Loss 0-3 11-15 15-17 14-16
    I was on next at 5. Another feature of the Western is the membership like to play into the wee sma hours so all our matches were on one court.
    Fortunately most games on Wednesday did not reach beyond three games so I got back in time for the end of Newsnight Scotland, always the best bit.
    I as mentioned played like the cow and the banjo. Not sure why, if I was Alastair I would say temperature of the court but no I was just crap.
    Always know when things are bad when suddenly my service goes and so it was. Later on I found out my opponent Ross was from Edinburgh.
    If only I had known it might have spurred me on against a denizen of the second city in Scotland.
    Loss 0-3 9-15 9-15 10-15
    At 4 we had the new main Mazzucco who was everything Sandro and I wasn’t ,a pumped up take no prisoners Aussie Cricketer competitor.
    I might have egged that a bit but you get the drift and as I was marking his game I got the ‘you can’t be serious’ views on my let calls.
    David played well and while his opponent Jenny fought hard our tiger or pussy cat fought harder and got some DLWE pride MOTM
    Won 3-2 15-13 13-15 15-11 12-15 15-13
    Piotr at 3 had a chance then to prolong the tension. He used all his cunning to keep the match going and his marker lost count of the lets .
    I thought overall Piotr who lost 3-0 deserved better . In all games he had chances but it was not to be. One point of note his opponent Gordon
    McKinnon had a fearsome forehand but not such a good backhand a common range you may say. What you would not normally see is
    a double handed overhead smash volley which Gordon used twice (Both to little effect). Feel the force Luke.
    Loss 0-3 13-15 12-15 10-15
    This left Mr Baird at 2 against Michael Ward. Alastair in the first two had his game face on ,not really a pretty sight which again brings you back
    to Jason peering through the windows in Amsterdam. In fact in the second he played the best squash I have seen from him. I remarked to David
    at the end of second a 14-6 might be recoverable so confident I was in Alastair. He then lost the next three.
    Loss 2-3 15-11 15-5 7-15 8-15 9-15
    We were all semi cheered up by the Chinese which was excellent but really we all felt as though we had daffodils sticking out our arses
    We’re miserable now
    Overall Loss 5-17

  74. March 6, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Wednesday 26th February 2014 – 4th Team

  75. March 12, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Wednesday 5th March 2014 – 1st Team
    Well with Hamilton and Giffnock 1 left to play this season, this was our absolute last chance to get some realistic points. And to give ourselves a sniff of staying up in Division 1, as we matched up against Giffnock 2 tonight.
    We’d narrowly lost to them in the 1st half and so it looked like a tough night ahead – tough but competitive!
    I was delayed as I witnessed a car accident on the way to the match and stopped to give my details, which was just as well as the couple who slammed their car into the other driver were not admitting to anything; that is until I parked up and arrived back on the scene to give a ‘stroke’ against them! And my number to Julie, who had been bumped and was outnumbered!
    So when I arrived Dougie (Macmillan) was already on against Mikey Rodgerson at No.1. In truth this was one way traffic, as Doug was just too fit and too mobile for Mikey. Mikey played well and ran hard, but when everything you do is coming back at you you’ve just got to enjoy the game.
    Next on was Sara (McDonald) at No.5 and myself (Jason Broadberry) at No.2. Sara played Mark Coyle and was in charge of the 1st game when I had to go on court myself. She won this one, but then Mark took the 2nd. It appears from the score card that the 3rd was a crucial game and unfortunately (for us) Mark won it 12-10, before finishing things off 3-1 (well Sara was winning when I was watching!). But I’d say MOTM to Mark for a good performance.
    I was on at the same time (ish) as Sara and I played Patrick O’Sullivan. I thought I may have to play him so I was determined not to assume I had a right to win, although I was probably the favourite. In truth my length & width was just a bit better than Patrick’s and so I was able to dictate the play and won 3-0. But Patrick is very nippy and will run all night if you let him – another youngster that will overtake me soon I fear!
    Next something strange happened. Squash was suspended for about 30 minutes! There was tumbleweed blowing across the court as the Giffnock No.3 & 5 were nowhere to be seen. One of them was on the phone and too busy to play – and the other hadn’t even arrived?!?!?!
    Eventually David (Craig) got an opponent in Nigel Anthony (who ironically works for the ‘Better Together’ campaign apparently, but obviously doesn’t apply this principle to his Wednesday team squash!) However he’s got some shots! After Dave snuck the first 2 games (12-10 & 13-11) I was pretty sure that he needed to keep lengthening the rallies and keep the ball as deep as possible, but knowing Dave as I do I said to the marker at the start of the 3rd game “This has got 5 games written all over it!” And guess what? It did!
    I went to mark on the other court at this point, but Nigel won the next two reasonably easily and so had enough left in the tank for the 5th. I was listening to the scores as I marked from the next court. 4-4 became 8-8 and 10-10, but Nigel just squeezed home in the tie-break 12-10 to take the points.
    So with all to play for Garry Blanchflower turned up in the nic of time (at about 9.30pm) to play at No.4 v Rich (Cantlay). And what a hum-dinger this was. Rich was 1-0 up, but then 2-1 down as Garry was volleying all his cross-courts for winner after winner. I mentioned this to Rich after the 3rd game and ventured that “Straight was great!”
    The first point of the 4th game Rich fired a cross-court onto Garry’s volley and it got dispatched…. again! But we had a ‘eureka moment’ as Rich looked at me through the glass as if to say “Maybe straight is the way forward!” And guess what? It was! 11-6 in the 4th and a much tighter 11-9 in the 5th won Richard the match and the 3 bonus points for the team (and MOTM for Rich).
    So will 15 points be enough to keep us up? Well if it isn’t you can’t say we didn’t give it everything tonight. A great performance by everyone in the team and so we retired to the bar for a choice of macaroni cheese or veggie pasta.
    Then Rich, Garry and I went on for a pint at the local (as we got kicked out of the club when it shut at 10.30 or something embarrassing like that !) and the chat turned to Tartan Army tours & Guinness squash tours to Belfast! Now they are the future!!

  76. March 12, 2014 at 2:35 pm

    Wednesday 5th March 2014 – 2nd Team
    It was always going to be a late one at Newlands tonight but not stepping onto to court till after 10pm for me was just ridiculous. I’d had a long day in work and it was that “Wednesday” of the year where I had to go and get my ashes, so was getting some funny looks (from the Townend team playing Newlands 7) and comments (mostly Nic).
    Strange order tonight and as Nic had to get away he played first at No. 3 against Diane Hazlett. A great match to watch – Diane got off to a flyer and Nic couldn’t adjust quickly enough in the first(15-10) but with a bit of advice from his team mates he started to get her moving a bit more in the 2nd and that made the difference as he levelled the scores(11-15). He now had the momentum and looked well in control (as in control as Mr. Coleman can look 😉 ) and took the 3rd, 5-15. Diane then came back into the match in the 4th and Nic must have switched off (15-9). So onto the decider (a 5 setter is exactly what you need in your first match at Newlands on one court!). A fantastic finale and great contest, could have went either ay and at 13-13 who would it be? Thankfully it was Nic (13-15). A great start.
    Next up on “our” court, I marked the battle of the John’s at No.2 – JT was up against Diane’s husband – John Hazlett. John had been complaining before he went on court that he had some soup before he arrived, but in the first game there was no sign of the soup effect as he sped off to a 9-15 win. Into the 2nd however the soup took it’s hold and John found himself facing a granny at about 11-0 down! Thankfully he kept the carrot & coriander down long enough to grab a few points to avoid the granny, but not to save the game (15-3). Into the third and non-soup John was serving well and kept the pressure on soupy John enough to take the 3rd 15-11. As we fed Soupy croutons between games to soak the problem up he was getting back to his best and narrowly took the 4th to take it to another 5 setter (15-17) but unfortunately it wasn’t to be soupy’s night and he went down in the 5th 15-6. a good effort though, but the overall scores were now level.
    Dave Ritchie was up next at No.4 against Roy Nicoll. I thought Dave would have too much for Roy in this one but Roy was playing some fantastic stuff and moving really well. 1st was a really great game and Dave edged up with some great chasing (14-16). In the 2nd Dave just wasn’t moving as fluidly and Roy took advantage of this controlling much of the play from the ‘T’, 15-11. With some advice and a quite word in his ear that this was a must win for our chances he came out fighting an took the third 10-15. Roy fought back however and forced this to yet another 5 setter (17-15, sigh). At this stage though fitness was the difference and Dave gave us an edge in the overall fixture by winning 6-15. MOTM and great win.
    At this stage we were past 10pm, and the 3 other Newlands teams had finished so I went on another court at No. 1 against Dave Simpson whilst Neil went on court against Brian Boland at No.5. I never caught any of Neil’s match but he fought well against a good player and although 2-0 down (15-13, 15-6) took the third (7-15) before narrowly losing the match in the 4th (15-12).
    I didn’t realise it at the time but it was now on me to win use the match. As I watched my opponent warm-up, Dave, warm-up I realised 3 things:
    1.) This guy was a runner (New York Marathon Zipper)
    2.) He absolutely hammered every shot
    3.) His backhand was so flat that it was a certainty I was gonna get hit with his follow through tonight
    I had my head straight in the first and tried to float as much as I could to the back and avoid getting into a power contest. I stuck to the plan and felt well in control most of the game to take it 9-15. Going into the 2nd I lost my head, got annoyed, threw the racquet (the usual!) lost 15-9. Into the third I took Dave’s follow-through square on my chest…surprise surprise, Got sucked into a power contest and lost 15-11. In to the 4th I got hit again on the arm, got annoyed and lost 15-12. So let the side down and lost us the match….gutted. MOTM to Dave.
    Great Armandos pizzas and chat from the Newlands mob. Had some good chat with Dave on Marathon, Triathlons, etc…much better than that Squash nonsense!
    Summary of Scores:
    1 Dave Simpson
    3 9-15 15-9 15-11 15-12 1 Kevin Cameron
    2 John Hazlett
    3 9-15 15-3 15-11 15-17 15-6 2 John Turner
    3 Diane Hazlett
    2 15-10 11-15 5-15 15-9 13-15 3 Nic Coleman
    4 Roy Nicoll
    2 14-16 15-11 10-15 17-15 6-15 3 David Ritchie
    5 Brian Boland
    3 15-13 15-6 7-15 15-12 1 Neil Ross

  77. March 12, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Wednesday 5th March 2014 – 3rd Team
    “I like to move it,move it
    I like to move it,move it
    I like to move it,move it
    You like to move it”
    Reel 2 Real
    Sandro at the match last week had aired his disapproval of the choice of songs .
    Too many from the days of leg warmers not enough “get with it”.
    In that spirit I consulted his Dad to ascertain his tastes. I was initially tempted to go for the music from the Little Mermaid but felt
    the relevance for Squash was limited so hence we have the Madagascar option ,Sandro enjoy.
    It was a vital game last Wednesday and for our hopes of survival to flicker on it was a must win.
    The Wanderers were very much ,on the Madagascar theme ,a pride of ancient lions prone to some inter communal bickering.
    Were we easy meat or did we stick in their craws ?
    First up was Piotr (No not a misprint he was actually first to turn up) playing at three. Peter was playing Jim Smith and it proved to be a fiery
    encounter. I saw most of the game and it see sawed back and forth. A few “home calls “ from the marker added to the spice. After hitting a flake in the wall
    that caused a deviation in the ball which Jim then played and put out, Piotr was then informed of local rule – always a let, our Pole was not happy.
    Anyway it made for good viewing and Piotr won in the end.
    Win 3-2 17-15 11-15 4-15 15-11 15-12
    While Piotr was having his tussles ,our current main Mazzucco David went on an adjoining court against Peter Wynne. I flitted back from Piotr’s match to watch the first game.
    I initially thought I was watching a beginners exhibition match as the standard was so poor but then realised it was actually David . Things must have improved as the game got
    tighter and David moved up a gear (Second I think). I did not see the end of the match but all games close and play had improved. A loss however
    Loss 2-3 17-15 12-15 10-15 15-11 12-15
    Next on was myself at 5 against Tom Clancy. Tom had all the shots but lacked any stamina. I had all the stamina but no shots. A good contrast and so it proved.
    Stamina told in the end and I won 3-2
    Won 3-2 7-15 15-12 16-18 15-11 15-8
    Sandro was on playing at 1 against John McTiernan at the same time so saw little of the match. Suffice to say our little Mermaid Moved it moved it and became the main Mazzucco again.
    I saw the last couple of points and witnessed John getting upset by the marking of his fellow player Jim ,again good entertainment who needs BBC 3 !
    Won 3-0 17-15 15-11 15-11
    Last up Mr Baird playing at 2 vs Mike Dewar. With every point vital this game was still important and both players gave their all. Again it was good TV and we were so engrossed in the match we were not
    missing our food and pints. Alastair again in good parts played well ,other parts not so good , let you judge which part of the body was good. He lost but the 2 games won could keep us up.
    Loss 2-3 11-15 15-11 8-15 15-12 6-15
    Overall Won 16-10
    Enjoyed the chat and beer afterwards . Piotr on his strict no carb diet was absent , either could not watch us eating the chips or was that because Scotland had turned over Poland .
    Anyway as recompense they made him MOTM
    Move it Move it to the end

  78. March 12, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    Wednesday 5th March 2014 – 4th Team
    This was the final home fixture of the season for the 4th team – at home to Strathclyde Uni’s 2nd team. We’d lost 18-0 to them first time round and had also been thrashed twice by their 3rd team, so at least we didn’t go into this match burdened with high expectations.
    Raymond and Cameron Gauhl took to the court first – Raymond at number three against Liam Harvey and Cameron at number four against Andy Green. I didn’t see much of Raymond’s match but it seems he had a pretty tough time of it against a very good opponent. Liam won the match comfortably, 15-5 15-4 15-5.
    So it was left to Cameron to uphold Gauhl family pride and he did a pretty good job of it. He had a great chance to win the first game but unfortunately let four game balls slip and lost it 16-14. But he didn’t let this get him down and he bounced back to win the second game by the same score. At this point I was called upon to mark another match so I didn’t see the rest of this one. Andy won the next two games 15-12 15-9 to clinch the match 3-1 but it was a great effort from Cameron to win a point for the team against one of the top teams in the division. Something none of the rest of us came close to doing!
    While Cameron was finishing his match, David Moulsdale got underway at number two against Matthew Baird. I was marking this one so, as is usual on these occasions, I just hoped to get through it without anyone noticing that I didn’t have the faintest idea what I was doing.
    This was a good match with some very long rallies and David played some very good squash but Matthew was just a little too good for him. At one point, Jason turned up to watch for a while. ‘Where’s David going wrong’, Jason asked me. ‘He’s not winning enough points’, I replied. I could tell that Jason was impressed with my ability to analyse a match. Matthew managed to stick to this clever tactic of winning more points throughout the match and won it 15-8 15-11 15-10.
    Next on court was me, at number five, against Kris Taylor. Kris was much better than me in most aspects of the game but I managed to hold my own in the first game, at times playing something that actually resembled squash. Kris still won it 15-10, though. The difference in quality was more apparent in the second and third games, Kris winning them 15-5 15-7.
    Last up was David Wilson, playing at number one against Alan Bloomer. Alan had come straight from playing hockey for Strathclyde Uni against Glasgow Uni. He’d even brought his stick with him. And he was still on a high because Strathclyde had won on penalties! It might have been fairer on David if Alan had used his hockey stick to play this match instead of his squash racket. David didn’t play that badly but Alan completely dominated and won 15-6 15-3 15-4.
    So the final score was 18-1 to the Uni. Well done to Cameron for helping us avoid the whitewash! In a shocking development on the food front, we had a choice of pasta – veggie pasta bake or macaroni cheese. Needless to say, the students got stuck into both. So apologies to the 1st team if there wasn’t enough left for them. It was the students’ fault, not ours!

  79. March 20, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    Wednesday 12th March 2014 – 1st Team
    Were we safe from relegation yet? Technically no, but probably yes. So a few points tonight would secure it for us and away to Hamilton was where we went to mine those few golden nuggets.
    Rich & Sean were missing from the team, so we strengthened the line up by adding Kev Cameron! And the debutante to Division 1 went on first at No.5 against Colin McGeady. This was interesting match to referee as Kev used his pace and Colin used his experience. The court was roasting and Kev ran about scraping everything back (just) making a real nuisance of himself, but Colin looked in control and took a good lead in the 1st game. Unassailable you might say, because it was! But only just, as he sneaked home on the tie break. Kev fought back well and took the 2nd by lengthening the rallies. In retrospect it’s easy to see that the 3rd was where the match was won, especially as it went to a tie break. Unfortunately for us Colin won it and then had the comfort of knowing he didn’t have to win the 4th (which he didn’t).
    And so to the 5th! Colin dominated the early stages of the last game with renewed concentration and determination and unfortunately Kev just couldn’t compete when he kept on the ‘T’ and kept Kev in the corners – so a good win for Colin, but also 2 vital team points from Kev.
    Both parties were gentlemen on court and it was a good match to ref and I’d probably give MOTM to both players.
    I missed the No.4s as they had played on the court next door and Jason (Grinton) secured another team point against Alan Mackay. And when you put this golden nugget together with Kev’s two nuggets, this was probably the point we could say the team was technically safe from relegation.
    Next up was David (Craig) against Colin Towers at No.3. Colin was winning the 3rd (it was 1-1 in the match. 11-9 11-13) when David pulled up lame. He struggled on and lost the game, but it was obvious that there was no point in continuing so he retired gracefully. It was a pity as the 1st two games were really tight.
    I was on next in the sauna against Kenny Boyle and it was all a bit too quick for me tonight. Doug said you need to play a bit straighter after the 1st game and after the 2nd he said “Just try anything!”
    So I did! And almost won the 3rd with only slow lobs, which Kenny seemed fond of tinning. But almost was as close as I got as I lost the tie break 13-11 and the match 3-0.
    Not being a great lover of schadenfreude I went for a shower as the No.1s went on and I’m glad I did as when I returned I heard the ref saying ”Come on guys, let’s just get on with the squash.”
    Just then I got a joke text from my nephew, so as the squash hadn’t broken out I left to have a look at it:
    Question “What sound does a sub-atomic duck make?”
    Answer “Quark.” (well he has been doing physics exams, so you’ll have to forgive him this one!)
    I didn’t see Doug after the match as he left not looking too happy, but he did get a team golden nugget (and deserved more by all accounts).
    Thanks to Kenny for specially organising the veggie pasta and a pint of Newky Brown helped wash it down well (I was surprised our resident Geordie – Jason G – left without a pint! Hasn’t the big man broken some sort of local Newcastle law by not having a bottle?)
    Last match is against Giffnock 1 so we can celebrate our survival properly next Wednesday and it should be a good atmosphere as Giffnock will be celebrating as well I hear.

  80. March 20, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Wednesday 12th March 2014 – 2nd Team
    to follow

  81. March 20, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Wednesday 12th March 2014 – 3rd Team

  82. March 20, 2014 at 1:35 pm

    Wednesday 12th March 2014 – 4th Team
    A tough season for the 4th team drew to a close with a visit to Newlands 8. Could we go out with a bang? Probably not!

    This week the team contained not just one but two father-son combos, namely Mark & Luke Steven and Raymond & Cameron Gauhl. I felt a bit like the odd one out, so I suggested to Mark and Raymond that one of them might like to adopt me. Neither of them seemed terribly keen on this idea but I’m sure I can win them over before the start of next season.

    Newlands had five teams playing at home, so we only had the use of one court. The key to avoiding a late night would be to either win or lose quickly. I’m pleased to say that we all managed this!

    I was first on court, at number five, against Jack Morris. I had beaten Jack 3-1 in the first half of the season but I wasn’t optimistic about repeating my victory. I had a bad cold and had tried to get out of playing but Jason claimed not to have received the email I sent him (obviously his inbox had collapsed under the weight of Ubuntu party emails). So I had no option but to down a bottle of Beechams All-in-One and get on with it.

    I started surprisingly well and build up a comfortable lead in the first game. Unfortunately the shock of being ahead caused me to have a bit of wobble and Jack was able to edge ahead. I felt a lot more comfortable now and was able to pull myself together enough to win the game 17-15. The second game was nip and tuck all the way but once again I managed to play the crucial points a little better and edged this one 16-14. I don’t think I could have coped with another close game but fortunately I didn’t have to. I got off to a good start in the third game and held on to win it 15-7.

    I headed up the stairs expecting to receive a hero’s welcome, so it was a bit disappointing to discover that the Stevens hadn’t even been watching. They were in the bar, watching Barcelona v Manchester City. Not the sort of support you expect from your prospective adoptive family! The Gauhls, on the other hand, had been watching and Raymond described my performance as ‘quite awesome’. Raymond certainly knows what awesome squash looks like because he’s seen plenty of it this season. Mostly from his opponents.

    Cameron Gauhl was next up, at number four. There was plenty of potential for confusion here because Cameron’s opponent was also called Cameron – Cameron Moss. I was half expecting David Cameron to turn up, accompanied by Cam Cameron, former head coach of the Miami Dolphins.

    The two Camerons appeared fairly evenly matched for most of the first game before Newlands Cameron pulled away to win it 15-9. In the second game, Newlands Cameron began to dominate. Our Cameron became increasingly frustrated and resorted to his default tactic of simply hitting the ball as hard as he could. Usually into the tin. He lost the game 15-3 and Raymond popped downstairs to give his son some much-needed tactical advice. ‘What did you say to him’, I asked Raymond upon his return. ‘I just gave him a slap!’ replied Raymond. Unfortunately this no-nonsense approach to parenting didn’t have the desired effect and Newlands Cameron won the third game 15-8 to secure a 3-0 victory.

    Next up, at number three, was Gauhl senior. Raymond asked me to mention that he played brilliantly and lost only narrowly to a clone of Rami Ashour. Unfortunately, this isn’t true. What actually happened was that Raymond lost 3-0 to Colin McIntyre, a man older than all his teammates combined. Like his son, Raymond gave as good as he got for most of the first game. But once Colin got into his stride he eased away to a comfortable 15-9 15-6 15-5 win.

    So the Gauhl family had been clinically dispatched and now it was the turn of the Stevens, who were both up against incredibly talented juniors. Luke was playing at number two against Fraser McCann. Fraser had the most nonchalant serve I’d ever seen. It was almost as if he was trying to start the points without anyone noticing. Most of the rest of his game seemed effortless as well and he raced through the first game 15-0. To his credit, Luke kept fighting and made the next two games a little more competitive. Nevertheless, Fraser won them 15-5 15-6 and secured another 3-0 win for Newlands.

    Rounding out the evening and the season for us was Mark Steven, playing at number one against Fergus Andrew. Mark had suffered a savage beating at the hands of young Fergus in the first half of the season and I could tell he wasn’t exactly relishing the prospect of a rematch. His worst fears were realised when Fergus, playing some exceptional squash, cruised through the first game 15-2. But, like his son, Mark was much more competitive in the next two games. Unfortunately, Fergus was able to up his game when it really mattered. He won the second game 15-9, the third 15-10 and the match 3-0.

    So that was that. A 15-3 defeat to round off the season. There’s no denying that we’ve done a lot of losing this season. We’ve lost to some very good opponents and some very average opponents. We’ve lost to OAPs and we’ve lost to primary school children. We’ve lost to beautiful young women and we’ve lost to men who resemble apes. But we’ve also felt the satisfaction of victory three times and we’ve avoided the ignominy of finishing bottom of division 6. That dubious honour fell to Glasgow University 3.

    Attention now turns to next season. A look at the top of the table tells us that we won’t be facing Whitecraigs 3, Strathclyde University 2 or Giffnock 6 @ Scotstoun, all of whom have been promoted to division 5. I don’t think we’ll miss Giffnock (losing to 11 year olds is never fun) but it’s a shame to see the Strathclyde guys go up. The post-match food at Bar Home was excellent! At least we still have Strathclyde 3 in the division.

    The only issue left to be resolved was who would be coming down from division 5. Bowfield 2 were obviously very keen to play us next season because they made sure of relegation with several weeks to spare. The other relegation places went right down to the wire but were eventually filled by Wanderers @ Strathclyde University 2 &, shockingly, David Lloyd West End 3! How did this happen? Well, it seems they suffered a heart-breaking defeat to Hamilton 4 in a make-or-break final match of the season.

    So disaster for the 3rd team but it does throw up the intriguing prospect of a DL West End derby match. Among the questions I’m sure we’re all asking ourselves – Who will win? Who will pay for the post –match food? Will there be enough pasta bake to go around? And will we need two match reports? Tune in next season to find out!

  83. November 27, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Wednesday 19th March 2014 – 1st Team
    You could cut the tension with a knife as we traveled to Giffnock to play the potential league champions last night. I say potential as they still needed 1 point to secure the title. Would they do it!?!?? Could we stop them?!?!?!
    We on the other hand were safe from relegation and only really turned up for the team photo and the celebration!
    David (Craig) was first on against Owen Hadden (who fancies himself……….now where was I? Oh yes fancies himself as Giffnock 1s MVP – having amassed 18 wins out of 18 this season). I can’t believe Dave lost the very first game to Owen and handed Giffnock the title; what an anti-climax!!! Congratulations Giffers.
    Anyway back to the match Dave was playing with a slight injury, but even a fully fit Dave would have struggled against Haddaway last night so the first 3 points were on the board.
    I was on next against Harrow’s Stuart George (!). Well I say Harrow’s Stuart George, but he’d broken the strings in both his J. Power Spark rackets so I had to loan him a racket (the new Stealth)! Well Stuart’s not stupid – he understands that you can’t go around thrashing the person who gives you a racket so we had a great game with two tie breaks in the 2nd and 3rd – I have to say I played brilliantly, but am under no illusions as to the pasting I could have got. I also hit a couple of sublime nics, one of which must have won shot of the night!! Great fun on court and exhausting work chasing the great length Stu hits.
    Next up was Rich (Cantlay) v Niall Morris. Now Niall also reckons he Giffnock’s MVP having won 16 out of 16, but also winning at every position in Division 1 (he also won another league title this week in Prague for the ‘Prague Bald Stars’ I think that’s what Naill said they were called! Strange name!). Anyway this was an interesting game. Naill won the 1st on a tie break but the 2nd was a pumpin’ – in fact it was 11-2; having said that both points Rich got were “taxis”!! Classic! In the 3rd game Rich got to 10-6 game ball and the team point was on. Surely Rich couldn’t get the team point tonight? Having said that Rich does fancy himself as DLWE’s MVP this year, presumably for all weeks he picks up 2 points whilst losing! Anyway Naill must have taken pity on Rich as he handed him the game 11-6. Golden team point secured!
    Well what a platform for Rich to start building on. He was cracking his forehands at the speed of sound (literally!) and he was lumbering about as well as I’ve ever seen. There was also the rally of the match in the 4th game that went on for ages. I almost ruined it after about 10 shots by calling one of Richard’s shots ‘out’, but both players ignored me and carried on. Chris Patrick (from Strathgryffe) said over my shoulder “Just let them play on ken. They seem to be enjoying themselves ken!” so I did and about 100 shots later Niall won the rally anyway. Well from all that you’d expect the score to be close wouldn’t you? But at 8-0 the Granny was well and truly on!! Could Niall had out a PAR doughnut?? 9-0. “Give us a point Rich!” – shouted the crowd…..10-0. Surely not on the last game of the season and Rich’s last match for the club! Surely not!?!?!?! Yup – GRANNY handed out!
    I went for a shower at this point and Doug (Macmillan) went on at No.1 v Iain Tennent. Doug has had a good 2nd half of the season with a good few wins at No.1 (which is a really tough position to play – thank god he did as otherwise I’d have had to do it).
    I said to Doug “If you run Iain’s shots down and get in about him I reckon you could have a good match tonight.” I thought ‘quick shower’ and I’ll probably see the 2nd game onward. Half way through my shower Iain came back in and started changing! Enough said!
    Iain was adamant that he was Giffnock’s MVP due to some of the 3-0 scalps he’s taken this year and winning 14 out of 16, but the lads were having none of that, as he’d lost twice – #plumdisaster!
    Last up was Sean (Norris) v Stuart Pitt at No.5. Sean was suffering from a bad back (again) but turned out for the craic anyway (he was never gonna be any use in the same week as St Patrick’s Day even with no injury!).
    Another highly entertaining match to watch, as Sean challenged every refereeing decision he could think of! And it was a good run as well and although Stuart won 3-0 Sean did get 8 points in every game and some of his shots were bordering on tight at times (which is a step up for him!). Sean joined in the MVP discussion, but Richard soon put him straight and introduced a LVP category especially for him!
    So we retired to the bar to celebrate properly. Stu G introduced me to a beer he said was “Better than Erdinger!?!” Well with a claim like that, I had to have a bottle or 3 of Weihenstephan! To go with my very crispy pizza!! Great night and fabulous chat with the Giffnock lads.
    By the way, when it comes to DLWE’s MVP I have to say that our team sponsor, Paul Hannah, has to get a mention as I’m sure we wouldn’t be building team squash at the club if it wasn’t for his help and support. Thanks Paul and all the best.
    Here’s to next season! (and before that the British Open & the Commonwealth Games! and the West ‘end of season night out’ on April 26th!)

  84. November 27, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Wednesday 19th March 2014 – 2nd Team
    Been a long season and disappointing not to jump straight back up to division 3 but we had a chance to finish the season on a high, with a win against Broomhill 2- as opposed to Newlands Jase 😉
    My turn to drive this week so picked Neil up at his new casa in Muirend and we managed to find his new quickest route to DLWE to make it there about 19:15.
    When we arrived Iain Irving was warming up on court 1 against Ali(son) Taylor. Ali played some really nice shots and she made Iain work really hard in the first but the old terrier was moving well and edged out the first 15-12. Onto the 2nd and Iain had the momentum, again some great rallies, but Iain was in control and got us off to a flying 3-0 start (15-9 times 2). Great Work Iain.
    Given the importance of the 3rd team match I found myself watching much of Dave Maz’s match between points of our 4th team game and Neil was the exact same….after his first game against Brian Cunningham he was more interested in how Dave’s match was going rather than take advice. In his 1st game however he was playing some superb stuff and even managed to keep the racket in his hand…would it last though? At 14-13 he had a game point and my money was on him, but Brian stuck in and before we knew it Brian stole it 14-16 and off the Ross racket flew!
    A bit of advice to think about his serve and keep on his own backhand which was much more consistent than Brian’s and he came out fighting again. Unfortunately Brian was also tightening his game though and Neil got more and more frustrated with himself. A great effort but afraid Neil dropped the next two (12 & 9) and the match 0-3. A great display though and technically Brain was their No.3 but played No.4 as out old pal Garry Dickson was running late. May have been a very different story for Neil of against Garry I feel.
    Garry showed up…as did Nic Coleman 😉
    Never any doubt that Nic would be strong playing at No.3 for us, and he does keep reminding me that we need to play our mini league. Will be this month Nic so we’ll see 😉
    I missed much of Nic’s match (as was marking Neil’s match) but from what i seen Nic was in control the whole match against Garry and ran out a comfortable 3-0 winner (4,10,7).
    Dave Ritchie was up next with a chance to close out the match against Phil McFadyen. I watched most of this one before I went to get changed and Dave looked like he was moving well, although Dave was clearly the fitter player, Phil was deceptive and it caught Dave out, with Phil returning everything and edging the 1st 14-16. Dave came out a different player in the 2nd though and was in complete control taking the game 15-8, leveling the games 1-1.
    This was turning into a real tussle in the 3rd as Phil threw everything at Dave and Dave almost had all the answers but not quite….13-15 to Phil. I then went to get changed and as I returned saw Dave reverse the score 15-13 to set-up for a grand finale. He looked pretty knackered though, but in saying that he still never left the court between games. I had to shout him off to offer him some Lucozade Caribbean burst, which i was hopping would make the difference win the 5th….and it did!
    Dave was in complete control, although it may have been fitness telling in Phil’s side. In any case a comfortable 15-6 for Dave, the match(3-2) & the tie.
    This now meant that the pressure was off me going into the last. Mixed emotions on that one, as I prefer it when the match has meaning 😉
    My opponent Graham Clark was a today player, although i was disappointed i wasn’t going to face MJ from DLWE, but he has worked his way up to the 1st team at Broomhill these days – not surprised to be honest, he’s playing some great stuff.
    I was feeling sharper than usual in the warm-up and managed to establish a comfortable lead in the 1st and although Graham was playing some great shots i was retrieving well and took the first (to 6). Going into the 2nd Graham got a decent lead and i almost let the game slip away from me, but managed to stop shouting at myself long enough to peg back a 3-8 deficit and turn it into a 15-9 win. After that i think Graham’s head went down and i took the 3rd by the same score.
    So, nice to finish the season on a high 15-5. Unlucky not to be promoted but a great effort all round from all that contributed to the 2nd this year – massive well done.
    So from the positive of the night to the negative – pasta bake. I’m delighted that we won’t have to suffer that any longer this season and although I did have a portion, myself and Neil decided that it wasn’t fitting for the last match of the season so we had a beer then headed back for last orders at Buddies BBQ Takeway for a Western burger (pic below from Neil just before he devoured) – MOTM to Neil for that shout!
    Well done to all the teams this season – Over and out!
    Regards Duracell, Angry Elf, etc…

  85. November 27, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Wednesday 19th March 2014 – 3rd Team
    Well fellows, the final thrash. It could have been a damp squib (or damp squid as Neil Gunn likes to call it), but thanks to injured players Tiler Craig and irish Sean performing in the 1sts, and also to Iain Irving for playing on the 2nds, we at least had an event, a full team Me, Sandro, B-Hound, The PoleDancer and Mazz Senior.
    On first (but not before I arrived at 7.30pm) The Bold Mazzucco – I fancied David to perform under the severest of pressure and deposit a win for the 3rds to lay down the challenge. It was a close contest against Derek Braidwood, but the Mazz edged the first game. Loss of concentration, or nervousness, meant that he lost the 2nd another close gamer. Several Hamlet moments, throwing away something like a 14 – 9 lead with cross court drops finding the tin, agonising to watch, Sandro quietly thinking “Come on Dad!”, he then suffered a fairly bad calf strain. Somehow though, partly by lapses from his opponent (whose son Gregor was by now shouting “Come on Dad!”), the Mazz hobbled to a noble and courageous 3-1 victory. Actually it wasn’t noble, but brave nonetheless.
    Next on was the PoleDancer, Piotr. Unimpressed that David Mazz “dropped a point already!” he emerged with the demeanour of an East European whose calm focus was going to deliver his share of the project without too much trouble. So he promptly lost the first game to an elderly Jim Moore. He equalled things up by winning the second game, but prolonged the ordeal un-necessarily from my marker’s position. He said to me this was tactics, he was deliberately tiring old Jim out …
    But in the 3rd game, it was Piotr that wasn’t getting out of the way, and gave me the Katowic stare on the various occasions I had to award a stroke to Jim. At first I thought the look meant “are you not going to be biased, given the importance” but as the game went on I am wondering if he actually thought they might not be the 100% strokes that they were.
    3rd game to Jim, but 4th and 5th games to Piotr to achieve a 3-2 victory, that was nowhere near as easy as he expected, but well done. The dream is still alive … or is it?
    At the same time Bairdhound was on Court 3 against Alastair Wilson. Saw none of the game but on 3 occasions Bairdster came off court with a hangdog expression, more pronounced as the match wore on. 3-0 loss, not Alastair’s best night, and the dream is over, unless various other games go bizarrely involving Glasgow Uni and Wanderers away to Citadel etc. Hamilton were safe though.
    Then at No 2, Sandro up against 76 year old Tom Kane (j Kirby warned him he would not want this opponent). A 59 year age gap. Didn’t see it as I too was on court, but Sandro did very well, but was edged out 3-2 defeat.
    So, tonight’s match still to play for, and it was me versus 25 year old Gregor Braidwood, who you can tell loves his squash. However, for a change I felt sharp, fit, and up for it, a far cry from some of the pesh lacklustre heartless campaigning earlier in the season. Perhaps it was because I had no caffeine Monday / Tuesday, but was surging with it yesterday. Perhaps it was the Transcendental Meditation I had to kickstart the day (free courses on the technique if interested – well beer and wines maybe). I went 2-0 up, but lost the next 3, all close tustles. Although there were lapses, I cannot remember playing better squash. From being somewhat fed up with the game, and in particularly Wednesdays, and the struggles to put out the best possible sides, maybe I might come back next year, if invited …
    Usual soggy shite for food, and the barman politely asked us all to leave the building at 10.30pm (I have an email from Willie saying last orders at 9.45, but the club actually closes at 11.00) – something must have changed?
    All in all, a good battle against nice people, you could tell it was important to Hamilton too, relief at every game won, to mover them towards safety. The scores are already on the website, as below. They got Mazz’ name wrong.
    And further below you can see the league tables, but without the final game included. Jason texted asking “are you definitely relegated?” Well I don’t need an abacus to answer that one.
    Adios from the colonel in a nice London café just off Oxford Street….
    Home Team w/o 1 2 3 4 5 w/o Away Team
    1 Graham Sanders
    2 15-13 15-8 11-15 13-15 10-15 3 Gregor Braidwood
    2 Sandro Mazzucco
    2 9-15 15-13 12-15 15-11 12-15 3 Tom Kane
    3 Alastair Baird
    0 13-15 11-15 7-15 3 Alastair Wilson
    4 Piort Prowoski
    3 12-15 15-9 15-9 12-15 16-14 2 Jim Moore
    5 David Moulsdale
    3 15-12 13-15 15-12 17-15 1 Derek Braidwood

  86. November 27, 2014 at 2:05 pm

    Wednesday 19th March 2014 – 4th Team
    No match

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