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Match Report 2nd February 2022 v S.S.R.C. (home) – West Squash Division 1

Who’d have thought trying to get a squash team out in Glasgow when the re-arranged “Old Firm” match was on would be a good idea? So, we were massively stretched this week with six players missing from the 1st and 2nd teams alone!

S.S.R.C. were our opponents tonight and they had a full-strength team out (obviously not a Teddy bear or Celt among them!). First on was Ollie (who was desperate to watch the match) against Joe Ewan at No.3. – Ollie was getting his excuses in early with chat of a side-strain, which was causing definite internal bleeding and scarring!! Then he goes on court and win’s the first game! (no more sympathy!). His opponent, Joe, upped the physical pressure in the 2nd game and stormed it 11-3. Ollie’s side must really have been hurting as he said he would probably have to retire if it didn’t get much better – and unfortunately that’s what happened in the 3rd game – so Joe took the tie 3-1 by retirement.

At the same time as this match was going on, one of our 1st team debutants, Peter (Meulemans) was up against an on-form Jesse Mills at No.4. The match seemed very close 10-12 8-11 in the first two games, but Jesse took them both. Could Peter convert his chances to get a massive 1st team point? Well, a great performance in the 3rd game meant he did exactly that. However, Jesse shut the door in the 4th and won the match 3-1 – great team point though!

Our second debutante took to the court at No.5 as Jenn Saldana (normally a 3rd team stalwart) took on Brian Robertson. No surprises here as Brian was too experienced, but Jenn got better and better as the match went on 4-11 6-11 7-11 (maybe if it were the best of 9 she’d have sneaked the 5th!).

I was both looking forward to… and not looking forward to my match at No.1 v Ali Prott. I suspected that if he decided to play with all guns blazing, I’d probably only get a point or two in total! However, he didn’t do that, but instead ran me around until I sounded like a smoker with emphysema. Great fun and I definitely got one point on my own (an amazing backhand drop!). 3-0 to Ali and I look forward to following his squash career.

Last on was Cammy (Colquhoun) v Dan Wearing at No.2. I though Cammy could chase everything down and maybe sneak a game or two against Dan, however, he wasn’t at his meanest today and Dan played very controlled squash to win 3-0 (although at 9-3 up in the 3rd Dan was relieved to get over the line 12-10!).

So into the ‘Back Bar’ for pasta bake and garlic bread and the second half of the Old Firm match. Much like the squash, the locals didn’t look too happy with the score-line (although I think our fight was better!)


Match Report 26th January 2022 v Scoutstoun (away) – West Squash Division 1

Seems like we’re “Back 2 Squash” every other month at the moment, but last night saw us back to West League squash and not a ‘garden party’ in sight as we visited Scotstoun!

Ollie was complaining that he would be rubbish tonight as he’s just got the booster jab and his arm was really sore. He couldn’t lift it very high without extreme pain, so the whole team were very concerned, right up to the point we asked why (as a right hander) he didn’t get the shot in his left arm? Apparently, he did…so no further sympathy was forthcoming.

I’ve never played on the Scotstoun courts, so was looking forward to it (and apparently they are getting new courts in the not-too-distant future as well). It was great to see five ‘ex-David Lloyd West End’ players there, it was like old times (and most of them won their matches!).

First on tonight were the No.4s & 5s – and Scotstoun had young Robyn McAlpine at No.5 v Ollie (Millen) and at No.4 we had Hamish (Buchannan) v James Crowhurst. Ollie was well out of sorts, but take nothing away from Robyn, she played really well and did exactly what she needed to win all three games. Meanwhile Hamish and James (having had a massive 2-3 in the first-half) were inevitably going to have a hum-dinger! And so it proved, as it went to the fifth and both opponents were looking like they had ‘wander’d mony a weary fit’. However, Hamish got revenge tonight and just held on to win the last game 11-9. He’ll be able to celebrate his 18th birthday in style with that win in the bank – so the team are looking forward to getting our invites to the party soon (must have got lost in the post!).

Next on at No.1 was Chris (Murphy) v John Meehan and there was no massive surprise to see that an athlete playing full-time got the better of Chris. There were, however, some great rallies and quality squash to watch from both players, but there was only going to be one winner here (3-0 to John).

O.M.D.G. – Sandy McCluskey or Andy Niven

I was on next and there was a bit of chat beforehand about how Sandy (Niven) has been looking forward to this one. Excellent!! It wasn’t long into the first game that I remembered the game plan and managed to win the first, before Sandy turned things around to level things up 1-1. The rest of the match (minus ‘match- ball’) I was in control, but at 10-5 up Sandy suddenly turned the turbo boost on! The next few minutes made me very nervous as he made his way back to 10-10 and then had a game-ball of his own, but with a bit of luck I managed to sneak over the line for a 3-1 victory. Someone mentioned that Sandy could do with a haircut, but I reckon he looks a bit like that bloke in O.M.D. from the 80s!

So the match was tied at 2-2 and the No.2s went on last with Cammy (Colquhoun) v Finlay McGhee. At 1-1 I went for a shower and told the team that I’d be back for the 5th game (and guess what!). And so to the 5th with the whole evening’s match points at 11-8 to Scotstoun! Both players were chasing for all they were worth with the sweat dripping off them. A titanic battle with Fin using his short cross-court kill to great effect and Cammy was retrieving like a border collie, however, I think the main difference tonight was the court and Fin knew how to play it just a bit better than Cammy and he brought the match home 11-5 for a 3-2 win.

Well, you can’t win them all (15-8 loss) so as the traditional Scottish Burns Supper fare was served up (a ruby & pizza!) the guys loaded their plates and tucked in.

We were soon back on the expressway making our way back to Whitecraigs for a consolation beer in the newly re-opened “Back 2 the Back-Bar”. The chat on the way home was “restaurants to take your girlfriend to” and ‘Bread Meats Bread’ was the favourite with the very similarly-titled ‘Burger Meats Bun’ a close second, if it hadn’t shut 3 years ago!


Match Report 24th November v The Rugby Club

November 25, 2021 Leave a comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

November 11, 2021 Leave a comment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Match Report 20th Oct 2021 Whitecraigs LT&SC away v Dumfries (Div 1. West of Scotland Squash)

It was the dreaded Dumfries away trip last night, but I’m not sure why everyone complains about it (and tries to get out of it by going to the footie) coz it’s actually good fun, all travelling together and the banter in the car. Last night the M74 was shut for quite a serious accident, but the diversion only caused us a 20-minute delay, despite the fact that there were hundreds of blue flashing lights on the motorway, so I hope everyone was OK.

When we arrived the at Nunholm Squash & Cricket Club, you wouldn’t know that world gas prices were skyrocketing, as the courts were more like saunas! Ollie (Millen) and Keith (Gristwood) went on first at No.4 & 5 respectively – Ollie had something to prove this week, but when he was 1-0 down to ‘Cumbrian Joe’ (where did you come from, where did you go?) it didn’t look like he was going to do it. But Chris went down to talk to him in-between games and the main advice was “don’t serve out 5 times per game”! Whatever else he said must have worked because at 2-2 it looked like we were in with a good chance. When Ollie came off, he looked like he’d been sitting in the sauna for an hour, but he also had a big (gormless) grin on his face and his Harrow racket was intact, so I knew it had gone well and we’d have to put up with his chat all the way home!! A great 3-2 win to kick things off for the team. Keith on the other court won the first, with incredible drops from all over the court and his opponent Mike ‘Service’ was looking bamboozled. But after that, Mike moved well up the court to cover all the shots. Did this deter Keith? Absolutely not! So we were treated to either a stunning drop winner from Keith or (more often) Mike getting the ball back. Unfortunately, Keith couldn’t find enough winners and normal ‘Service’ was resumed and Mike took the match 3-1.

I went on next against Callum (Neil) and it was immediately obvious that he was carrying an injury and struggled to get to the front. So being the nice guy I am, I just had a length game against him and we had a great run and a 3-2 ………… well that’s what would have happened if I was a nice guy! But I’m not so I played lots of drops and won 3-0! (Mind you, if I had played a length game, I would probably have lost – judging by Callum’s bullet forehands and great slow length on the backhand).

Cammy (Colquhoun) at No.3 and Chris (Murphy) at No.1 went on last and Cammy was back to his old tricks of stringing his match out to 5 games! To be fair his opponent Robin ‘the Riddler’ Ridley did make him hit lots of errors (including more shots into the sauna roof than I think I’ve ever seen!). However, the bottom line was that Cammy could cover 99% of anything Rob hit and so just needed to keep the rallies going, against a guy two and a half times his age! Eventually Cammy got the message ….. and got Robin tired, to bring home the 3-2 win (Ollie was watching and hoping Robin would take the fifth game so he could take-the-piss all the way home!).

Chris, on the other hand, was ruthless against Chris McCutcheon and it was obvious early on, that this would be one way traffic. Ollie told Chris off, for showboating in the third, but if you’ve got it…flaunt it, I say (I would……. if I had it!). Good to have Chris back in the team (he even stayed awake the whole way home! That’s a first!!)

So pizza and chips for dinner (even a veggie one for me and Mike) and the Dumfries lads were great hosts. Back up the, now opened, M74 and home just in time for the club closing! So no pint of Erdinger at Whitecraigs, to celebrate the 16-7 team win! Must get the bar opened longer on a Wednesday night – it’s a Wednesday tradition – everyone knows Wednesday is squash night in the West don’t they?!?!?


Vapor Weight 140g
2019 Spark

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Match Report 6th Oct 2021 Whitecraigs LT&SC v Hamilton (Div 1. West of Scotland squash)

West of Scotland Squash Leagues are Back!!!!! 2021 has given us some
competitive squash at last – and thank **** for that!

So last night was the first match of seasons starting in this new decade!
And Hamilton came along to Whitecraigs LT&SC to kick things off.

An early start meant Ollie (Millen) was probably the first West Squash
player to hit a ball in anger, in the new season, as he took on Norman
(Patterson) at No.4. Hamish turned up unnaturally early (for him) so he marked.
Ollie won the 1st game and everything was going well for us! Just then Kenny
(Boyle) arrived, so we left to nab Court 1 and really cash in on the early
start.

We played the No.1 string match and I (Jason Broadberry) lost the 1st game
9-11, but surprisingly felt I was in the match against the whippet that is
Kenny!! Anyway we came off court after the 1st to see Norman looking jubilant –
and claiming he’d won! Well, that must have been the quickest 1-3 ever I
thought, but apparently it was the quickest 2-3 ever!! (2 was also the amount of
rackets broken apparently!)

Ho-hum! I’d leveled things up at 1-1 in my match, but it would be safe to
say that Kenny’s squash looked under-cooked (or should I say under Boyled!),
but he stepped it up in the 3rd to win 4-11 then lost concentration to lose the
4th ……… and so to the 5th!! When I got back on court Kenny had quite
obviously changed the ‘double yellow-dot’ for a ‘blue-dot’ and it was so hot I
could hardly touch it. I hit a drop shot that flew into the nick at the back of
the court and I knew I may be in trouble. In the markers chair, David “the
Pink Panther” Macaleese tried to hurry me along in case the ball made it
down to 99 degrees and I had any chance of playing anything in front of the
short line, but unfortunately all my drops were gone and Kenny could easily
pick up anything I could hit and so he ran out a 2-3 winner. So 0-2 down in the
match and no justice! Or was there?

Young Hamish (Buchannan) went on next at No.3 and was up against David
Heffernan. Hamish took the 1st game, but was lucky and I knew David would go
into overdrive in the 2nd (which he did) and leveled things up. However the 3rd
and 4th games saw Hamish really get into his stride and he ran everything down
and his shot selection was much better. David just didn’t know where he was
going to get his winners and I thought it was not only a great match
performance, but also great maturity from Hamish.

John-Boy (Howie) took on Dave ‘The Pink Panther’ (Macaleese) at No.5 next
and it was a dominant performance from John. It would be fair to say that
Maccer didn’t really get into his stride last night and made a few
uncharacteristic mistakes, but John was always going to be a tough nut to crack
and his experience gave him a 3-0 victory (having said that there must have
been over a 120 years of experience on that particular court! At least!).

So it was all down to the No.2s as Cammy (Colquhoun) took on Keith (Martin)
and I know what you’re thinking, this has got 5 games written all over it! But
no! Cammy took a 2-0 lead with some unbelievable retrieving (and an amazing
backhand drop to win the 2nd).

I know what you’re thinking, this has definitely got 5 games written all
over it! But again NO!! Cammy screwed the nut and won this big 6 pointer to
bring home the match 3-0 for the team!!

I know what you’re thinking, “You’re lying Jase! Cammy never won 3-0
surely?? Surely he just strung it out to the 5th??” – But really Scouts’
Honour ……. he did it in 3! …………………….. I know!

So we all retired for burgers & chips (the food of athletes) at the
famous back bar …… well at least it wasn’t pizza! Ollie had pint of Joker
(fill in your own punchline!) and Cammy took home the M.O.T.M. for my vote and
it would have to be Norman for Hamilton (although secretly I think I played
pretty well! As did Hamish……. and John).

A great 16-7 victory to kick things off and looking forward to Dumfries next
……….. Away! I hope they’re doing match dinners!


2019 Vapor

Optical Express D.L.W.E. v Giffnock 2 (home) 22nd Nov. 2017

November 24, 2017 Leave a comment

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Brand new floor! 🙂

Giffnock 2 at home and when I looked at the 2 teams’ line ups and the fact we had 2 players missing, I thought here we go again!! ….. O ye, of little faith!

First up was Joe McDonald for us at No.5 in the early kick off, against Garry Blanchflower. Great start from Joe 1-0 up; as Garry came off after the 1st he said “There will be a point where the back stops aching, but I’m also just starting to get tired. That’s when I’ll peak!”. Well that must have been the 4th game then, as Garry evened things up for the 2nd time at 2-2. And so to the 5th! This was the proverbial 5 set thriller and Joe managed to hang on at the end to sneak the 5th game 13-11 (MOTM Joe? Well maybe!)

Next up was Paul Treon for us against Daniel O’Sullivan. Paul romped the first 2 games and Daniel really battled for the next 2 winning both on tie breaks! And so to the 5th! Another 5 set thriller! Paul went 9-1 up, then Daniel came back to 10-7. Things were getting very tense! Fortunately Paul sneaked the last point and took the match 3-2 (Paul could easily be MOTM for us!)

So one more tie to win the match!

Me v Stu Pitt next at No.2 – well the win wouldn’t be coming from this one then, would it? Hold on I found myself 2-0 up with some sharp shootin’ just when I needed it! I thought I’d need to stay positive – keep going for it! No? well I got chopped in the 3rd game! Huuuuummmmmm! The 4th game was even all the way. It was 3-3 then 10-10 then 13-13 and even 16-16. I was trying to stay positive, (at 17-17) but kept hitting the tin at the wrong time, so time to ‘power it’ about a bit – 18-17 up! so a last gasp effort and my 5th match ball, and I hit a cracker to sneak home! Best win of he season for me – MOTM? Maybe?

Next up was Colin Clark (DLWE) v Mark Coyle (Giffnock). Colin was close in the first 2 games, narrowly losing the 2nd 12-14. Then the marker changed and I offered to do the “last one” to which Col said “Thanks for the vote of confidence!” So maybe it was my fault he lost the 3rd. Tough opponent in Mark Coyle though.

Last up was Craig-Valente Wallace for us v James ‘run Forres’ Singh!  This was a similar to the last match, with a close tie-breaker, in the first, then James had too much in the legs for Craig and so won 3-0 (although I suspect Craig may have strained something! Mind you I suspect Sut may have strained something in my match as well!).

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Baked potatoes and fillings of beans, cheese & tuna for tea. None of the youngsters ate the potato skin! Who does that?

And not only that, but James was telling me how he doesn’t get tired for 50 mins on court! Wow! I’m sure he means 5 mins – must have misheard him!

Good 12-11 win (thank god for the bonus points!) Read more…

Optical Express D.L.W.E. v Newlands 2 (away) 15th Nov. 2017

November 16, 2017 Leave a comment

Optical Express DLWE v Newlands 2 – Away Match Report 15th November 2017
Everyday, it’s a getting closer
Goin’ faster than a roller coaster
Love like yours will surely come my way
A-hey, a-hey-hey

Buddy Holly

The DLWE love of squash is definitely a roller coaster! One day the teams are safe in their respective divisions the next we have water leaks invading our courts, players moving even to outer Houston and the fourths team becoming Whitecraigs LT&SC 4.

The only constants are West Squash Pizzas for dinner and me losing at no.2 (I know my job in the team!).

After a loss last week against Newlands 1, spirits were low facing the noisy neighbours Newlands 2.

I played Fraser McCann at No.2 and the result was an inevitable defeat – you could have eaten a Tunnock’s tea cake in the amount of time I was on court. Afterwards myself and Graham Parkins discussed whether there should be some handicap system? “Maybe weights around the youngsters ankles?” suggested Parky, “Or a point for every year younger these whipper-snappers are?” I proposed (this would would mean I’d start 2 and a half games up and so would only lose 2-3; Parky would have started 5 games up!).

Loss 0-3

Andrew at 3 was up against Lee Chambers, Andrew played pretty well. Lost the first two took the third and was nip and tuck in the fourth . Shots as always technically good and signs of improved bouncebackability.

Loss 1-3

Paul Treon, at 4, was on same time against Andy Morris. I was finished so quick I marked this match. Paul played pretty well; lost the first two took the third and fourth. It was nip and tuck in the fifth. Shots, as always, technically good but a few too many mistakes.

Loss 2-3

Dave Craig at 5 was up against Dave Fallis, only saw bits and Dave not quite at best and did not get going. Early days and more training to come

Loss 0-3

Last up was Craig Valente Wallace at 1. Craig was the success last week with a battling 2-3 loss against Newlands 1 and hopes were high.

The first two games were tight but his opponent Mark Ford nicked them. The fightback started and Craig took the next comfortably. I helpfully informed him to keep on playing how he had played in the third. I could not see him losing ….. Yes, he lost in the 4th. Still good effort

Loss 1-3

Overall loss 4-18

The only success i had this week was advising Kieran O’Neil in-between games! I helped bring the ship home for Newlands 13th team!! 🙂

Food was an excellent veggie pizza and chips (and an Erdie)

 

A- Hey, a–hey-hey

Love like yours will surely come our way

 

 

(© Iain Beveridge – thanks for all your great reports Iain – RIP)

Read more…

Optical Express D.L.W.E. v Western 1 (away) 1st Nov. 2017

D1B39DA0-4E82-4153-8D79-EBC16F13039C Western 1 away and a tough match against a strong side this season.

Andrew Glen went on first at No.4 and played Richard King. Andrew had been away the British Junior Championships (B.J.C.) over the weekend and had 6 grueling matches, so he was probably a bit jaded going into this match. However, he played well and was up against a very experienced opponent in Richard. Andrew got the 2nd game with some much straighter length, but after that Richard took control and showed all his experience to win 3-1 (Andrew did great at the B.J.C. in Manchester, by the way, and finished well above his seeding – click here to see his results).

The match of the night was on next as Paul Treon took on Ben Ramasubbu. Paul has been away for two weeks and has got a new baby, so training hasn’t been right at the top of his priorities recently, which is probably why he went 2-0 down! Still he was just getting his eye in, as it transpires, because he came to life in the 3rd and 4th with some great squash. And so to the 5th! This was also a tight one, but Ben had just enough left to sneak the match. Quote of the night from Michael Jackson (shamone!) when he arrived to watch his previous team mates and shouted, “Come on Nornern Ireland” to his 2 fellow countrymen! Also M.O.T.M. to both men for the entertainment, in the 5-game roller-coaster ride!

I was on and off quicker than you could say Jack Robinson (whatever that phrase means!). Anyway, the phrase was about right for this match and afterwards Finlay said, about my opponent Steve Halliday, “I’ve never seen anyone hit as many nics in one match before!” (I’m not sure if I should be consoled by that or not!). Having said that Steve is playing particularly well at the moment and he’s even played at No.1 for the team, for one of the games this season.

I went for a shower and missed the start of the No.1s, as Craig VW played Peter Halliday. By the time I started watching, the game was full of collisions, contended refereeing decisions and on court discussions. It was difficult to be sure which way to call any decision as one third of the crowd thought one thing, one third thought something else and the rest thought they should just get on with it (I thought they may have to settle it by “2 falls or a submission!” 😊 ). Having said that it was a physically hard battle and Craig managed to win the match 3-2 (the discussions continued off court!). Quite apt that this match was between Halloween and the fireworks!

Last on was Finlay McGhee v Liam Dickson. A real tough one for Finlay as Liam is very good and would play much higher up many teams. However, it was a pleasure to mark as both men hardly asked for anything. Liam was just too good tonight and won 3-0

And so to the bar! Finlay managed to eat his own weight in pasta after the match and it was Minestrone for the two Veggies. As the chat returned to the No.1s match! Time for a sharp exit!

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Optical Express D.L.W.E. v Strathgryffe (home) 25th Oct. 2017

6FB3FA77-8326-4112-9AA3-573B60AFC983Flooded courts at DLWE meant that we had to move one of our club’s home games to an away fixture. Fortunately Strathclyde Uni were able to accommodate our 2nd team, so the 1st team kicked off early against Strathgryffe 1.

First on were the No.5’s – with Joe McDonald being drafted into the the 1st team to face Chris ‘The Pirate’ Patrick. Chris was busy telling us all his sea shanties about his bad back, his bad ankle and his bad hairdo (!) etc! – however he was as sharp as ever with his trademark volleying and his telescopic reach. Having said that he also showed his trademark ability to switch off at any time and lose multiple points in a row. Fortunately for him he was well in control of this match as Joe looked a little out of sorts. So a 3-0 win for The Pirate. Arrrrrrrrgh!

That match finished about 6.30pm – I went on next about 7.20pm! Mind you I made up lost time very quickly by putting in a terrible performance against John Meehan. 3-0 again and I’m beginning to get vertigo, as No.2 is a bit too high for me! (the sooner Andrew beat’s me the better!). John was clinical though and played well.

Next up was David Craig (nic-named ‘the big hansom’ by a former captain) for us against James ‘Saint-Tropez Tan’ Dare in the battle for “No.4’s most striking!” This was an excellent match and we soon secured the first DLWE team point of the night (about time too!). However James really got into his stride after that and took the next 2 reasonably easily. Big Davie put in a massive push in the 4th and it looked like James was tiring at 6-9 down; a 5th game decider surely beckoned? But from nowhere James won the next 5 points on the trot, to take the match and the most striking player! 🙂

Andrew Glen was on next and was promoted to No.3 this week and was up against Ruadhri McDougall. Both lads (and John Meehan) are off to the 2017 British Junior Championships from Thursday in Manchester, so good luck to them. However back to the mighty West Leagues and it was good to see the youngsters battling it out. At the end of the day Ruadhri had just a little too much composure for Andrew and despite all the games being very close it was just a few mistakes, at the wrong time, which proved to be the difference between them.

Last on were the No.1s as Craig Valente-Wallace took on our previous No.2 team mate, Jason Lang. I personally blame Jason for my elevated position this season and all the losses……and my lack of fitness…..and well everything else as well!! Seriously though, it’s good to see Jase competing at No.1 and this clash was particularly interesting as both ex-team mates had a point to prove (also good to see both using the Harrow Vapor Racket! 🙂 ).

This was a match of 2 halves (well, technically five fifths, but you’ll get the picture soon enough!). Jason dominated the first 2 games (7 & 7), but did a fair amount of work to get them. Craig got the 3rd easily, then it all got interesting. There were some massive rallies in the 4th and Craig managed to get Jase on the end of quite a few of them. Both men were beginning to look like a burst-baw, but at 7-7 it was the actual baw that burst, giving the players a quick breather. After the new knock-up, Craig kept the pressure on and, 45/50 mins into the match, the 4th game was won. And so to the 5th!

Craig’s fitness shone through in the 5th as he secured the winning point 11-6, but what a fight both men put up; it was a great match to watch. M.O.T.M. to both guys I’d say – click here to see the last point. 

Good luck to all the juniors going to the 2017 British Junior Champs in Manchester – look forward to hearing about the weekend’s results.

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