Friday, 18 December 2009

Artemis tournament

The entry form for the £10,000 2010 Artemis Open at Edin Sports Club on Wed Jul 28-Sun Jul 31 is available to download through the Grange Squash Club website so click here ;-). The event is open to all levels and graded events will be monrad which gaurantees a good number of games.

The Open usually attracts a high standard with Peter Barker ( world no.9 ) and Vicky Botwright winning last years event

So there is some great squash to watch as well!! Closing date is Jan 8.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Results of 3rd Winter Minileague

This was another busy league, though activity levels were a bit down on the previous league - quite a few injuries and a few people citing work pressures as a reason for not playing their games. Still 181 games were played - the second highest in recent times.

The results of the league are here ..... 2009 Winter League 3

Well done to leagues 6, 7, 11 and 12 for all playing maximum games. The most competitive of these was definitely League 11, where everyone won 2 or more games. Alastair Ross won with 30 points and Ross McLennan was unlucky to come last with a very creditable 20 points!

Unbeaten players winning 4 or more games were Richard Van Lienden, new member Gordon Sloan, Stewart Robertson and young Joe Holborn, obviously too good for league 18!

Now that we have had 3 leagues, those in the running for Minileaguer of the Year are starting to become clear. All the contenders have played 100% of their games (there are 32 of those!) so going on total points score the top 3 are:

Richard Nisbet ... 93 points
Alastair Ross .... 90 points
Ian Fraser ....... 90 points

There are another 7 players who have scored 80 points or more, so lots of close competition. To have a chance of winning the overall prize, you will have to keep playing all your games! I am also looking for other justifications to award prizes - perhaps most improved player, or a category for new members - you'll just have to wait and see!

For the 4th league, we again have 109 players and a total of 18 leagues.

For those interested, here is the full set of new leagues ..... 2009 Winter League 4

I look forward to another busy and competitive league - there is an extra week this time to give you a chance to work off that Christmas pudding!

Enjoy your games

Dougie Brown

One is an international recording artist , the other a squash sensation...

They share the same taste in dodgy shirts...

... but are we talking about Mika or Ian Green ?

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Thirds @ Edin Sports Club 5's(Thurs, Nov 10,'09)

Seed 5 - Mark Dutton v Jimmy (James Gill)
Mark played in the most entertaining match and despite dropping a game (and bringing shame on the whole team - see other results below), came through 3-1 in the end. Against a hard hitting opponent, Mark was able to use his superior skill, the corkscrew serve working its magic. There was even a mid-rally dive for old times sake. The highlight though had to be the end of the second game for Mark to go 2-0 up. On one of the rare occasions Mark mis-hit the ball, he effectively pinned himself to the side wall in trying to avoid it coming back and hitting him. Had his opponent stepped across, a stroke to him would have surely been awarded, but all of this happened too quickly for him to react. Oh how Christy and I laughed.

Seed 4 - Christy Looby v Nicky (Nick Waterman)
Unfortunately I did not see any of this match (being played at the same time as mine), but it was over relatively quickly. Christy was hitting the ball very cleanly in the warm-up (a point made by ESC's no.1) against his (much) younger opponent and no doubt took advantage of the fact that boasts seemed to come off the front wall at quite acute angles…? (or did I imagine this?). Ed: Yes you imagined this ;-) However it was expensive night for Christy, first he broke the match ball, then he broke a string and finally he broke his spare racket at 7-8 down in the third. Which was motivation to win the third quickly, before he broke something on a borrowed racket in a fourth or fifth ;-)

Seed 3 - Dougie Brown v Callum MacKenzie
Dougie was a level above his opponent in this match, winning comfortably in three - 3-0. This was evidenced when I only caught half of the first game, told Dougie what he might think about doing differently and was kindly told to go away.

Seed 2 - Patrick Langley v Tony (Tony Newell)
After a nervous start, Patrick won two relatively close games before winning a quick third to take the match 3-0.

Seed 1 - Pete Cockburn v Tony Newell
This is as well as I have seen Pete play all season, looking comfortable at all times. His opponent had speed and fitness on his side, but to no avail - Pete coming through 3-0.

The food afterwards - pasta bolognaise and salad, was terrific as ever at the Sports Club, whilst talk centered around Tiger Woods and how we would have done things differently in his position (so to speak).

Another great win for the Grange thirds 5-0 in matches, 20-1 in points - one more win this season for an unbeaten first half! Man of the match?? - Mark Dutton for sheer entertainment value alone. Match report: Patrick

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Fours home v Tyne 2's (Wed, Dec 9,'09)

Another good night's work from the revolving door Grange IV. Yet another changed team saw the IV's win at home to a competitive Tyne team 17-10.
Neil Love at #5 opened the night's matches with a relatively straightforward 3-0 defeat of South African Glenn. He was clearly in the mood to finish proceedings early to psyche himself up for his referee marker's test from Ron Pearman.
If ever their was a match not to mark it was Alan Stokes' #1 string game against Donald Smith. Needing only 6 right decisions out of 10 to satisfy the test he had reached the target within a game and half. Not only did Neil pass the test with flying colours (20 contentious calls) he also gave way to Raymond Jefferies who also passed in an often fractious match which Stokesey came through in 5.
On the other court Ian Forbes #2 had a competitive game against Raymond which whilst closely fought saw the Tyne man win in 4.
Pete Young played Chris at #3 and whilst they shared the opening games, Chris' cleaner hitting , particularly on the backhand saw him win through in 4.
This left Will Henderson at #4 to play Ian Dixon in the decider. Will was always on top and played good safe squash to win in 3.
The winning streak continues and hopefully we can see through to the end of the year in good form. A final league match on Friday 18th will inevitably be difficult to find 5 willing players but let' hope we can keep the run going.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Grange 3 @ Heriot Watt 2 Wednesday 02.12.09

With Grange suffering a few call offs this week and the students fielding a full team, this looked like it might be a tough one.

Neil Love stepped in at the last minute - it was a closely matched game, but not reflected in the final scoreline 0-3.
Ian Forbes and Richard Gordon played impressive squash on the glass court, both men forcing the other to retrieve from all corners. Ian remained ahead throughout, but a diagonal sprint and glancing collision spelled the end of fluid court coverage for Richard. Ian took it 3-1.
Alan Stokes played a David and Goliath match against Henry at 3. Another tight one, but Alan being David won 3-0.
Dougie was next in the fish tank and exhibited text book accuracy. Colin Gray fought hard, but had no answer in the end. Dougie winning 3-1.
Al's game was transformed by a new racquet (Titan GTi highly recommended) leading to a 3-0 win against Michael Ross to give an overall result of 4-1 and 17-5.

There was a good buzz with 2 student teams playing. We also had a special appearance from John Graham. Burgers in the union were just the ticket, but for the first time in 30 years, Stokesy passed on the hospitality and slipped away early. There are rumours of a woman - a possible explanation for the 2 losses before tonight...?

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Fours home v David Lloyd 2 (wed, Dec 2,'09)

An excellent night's competitive squash against David Lloyd 2's in Corstorphine.
Pete Young elevated to the lofty height of #1 seed struggled against the hard hitting and accurate Colin McCartney who with a house move pending and angry wife at home was in hurry to finish matters off. Pete gained the upperhand initially but Colin found his length to see him off in 3.

Meanwhile at #5 late stand in Bill had a nightmare start against Gillian Graham going 2 games down. He then managed to slow things down and get good length to put the David Lloyd #4 at the back of the court. A good tight third game went to Bill and then he eased home in 5.
Will Henderson came on at #2 feeling pretty ill and despite some excellent lobs and dropshots, lost the first game convincingly to Bob Clark. Will then changed tactics, playing harder and longer and triumphed in 4.

On the other court, Rocco played a marathon game against David Lloyd ladies player Elaine Inglis. A very see saw game resulted in the first four games shared before Rocco took hold of the fifth. He looked to winning this easily before Elaine got a second wind to take the game to 10. Rocco dug in and triumphed in the fisth 10-8.

Finally, new boy Richard played an excellent game against David Lloyd captain Andy Gabe. They played some amazing rallies and having such similar styles meant for a closely fought game with Richard winning in 4.

Overall, an excellent night for a scratch 4th team winning 17-11. Great resolve and effort particularly as we were 5-0 down before sniffing our first game. (Report P. Young)

Result 17-11 to Grange

Monday, 30 November 2009

Firsts home v Dalgety Bay (Wed, 25 Nov,'09)

GRG1 were up against league topping Dalgety Bay 1. With the Fifers battling traffic across the bridge the matches went on as the opposition filed in.

First two matches on were Brian Buchanan against Richard Northin at 3 and Chris Mair against Neil Bennett at 2. Brian and Chris were trading blows in all the games to about 4 all but with relentless efficiency the fife men would come strong and pull away to take the game. Net result - two 3-0 losses for the grangers.

Robin Steel then took on Mike Sutherland at 5. Over 3 close games the Steel man hammered out some driving bullets but Mike had just a boast and drop too many in the end and came out 3-0 winner.

Al Hamer was next up against Allan Tasker at 1 and really came out of the blocks flying. Al took an 8-3 lead in the first game before tasker hauled him back to close out 10-8. Again in the second al put the pedal to the metal and was covering the court well but ultimately the game slipped 9-6. With the legs a little less willing in the third Tasker went on to take a 3-0 win in the end.

Last up was Rich against Ian Paltiel. After loosing the first and as the crowds have come to expect the grange man dug deep and took the second before the depth and precision of Ian's shot took their toll and he came out the 3-1 winner. So, some good games, but ultimately 20-3 against - the final score.

Overall 0-5, 3-18. (Report: C Mair)

Friday, 27 November 2009

Thirds "home" v Dean1 (Thurs, Nov 26,'09)

Second placed The Dean Club came to fortress St George's to see if they could knock us off our pedestal. Ross of Dean kindly supplied marking sheets at St George's as our stash had disappeared.

First up at #4 was a Marco's Old Boys reunion as Grange's Andy Whitelaw took on David Thompson. Andy caught a few Z's for the first game but somehow came alive to chase back to 8-8 and straight on to 10. Crucial, as David won the next one and was playing well. Andy became a bit hampered in his movement with a niggle. After another exchange of games, Andy managed to keep his creaking body from falling apart and stumbled over the finishing line 3-2.

At #2, Dougie Brown was blasted out of it in the first by Casey Hurren. For the next 3, Dougie pushed the ball to the glass and stopped Casey hitting out, closing out 3-1.
At #5 Christy Looby got enough errors off Ross Anderson's racket to take the first two. Credit the Dean man, he used his reach and big forehand to get back on even terms. Somehow he returned to the original gameplan of a few tins, serve outs and strokes to let Christy push on for the fifth 3-2.

There was a good #1 match on one court but everyone crowded to see the drama of #3 Stokes v James Birkhead. This was disputed, not just with the players but with the ref too. Some excellent retrieving from James and Alan pulling the strings, it went to 2-2 and included a lengthy discussion of the "turning" call. In the decider, Stokesy off to a flyer to get a decisive (or so we thought) 7-4 lead, but James had the stronger finish: 2-3.

Meanwhile another Marco's Old Boys reunion, Patrick Langley was playing out of his skin at #1 against Nick Wood. Nick is the type of guy that makes my back ache just thinking about him and all those clinging drops and volleys you have to dig up off of him. Patrick lapped them up, sweeping them wide to the glass or angling an exquisite counter-drops. At two down, Nick raced to an 8-1 lead in the third and a few people jumped into the showers to be back for the fourth... but Patrick had other ideas & survived numerous game-balls and clawed his way back to complete the clean-out. Man of the Match stuff, Patrick.

Overall, 4-1 and 19-10, this was one that could have gone the other way. Keeps us at the top, almost 20 points ahead of the next team, away to bottom club Heriot Watt 2 next Wed. The Dean ran up a record tab in the bar and mused about how much more they were paying for their pizzas and whether Stokesy should be "harried" or "consulted" about the history of the turning rule ;-) (Loob)

Friday, 20 November 2009

Grange 3 v Waverley 3 Thurs 19.11.09

Grange 3 continued on their winning streak tonight.

5. Christy played Donald Shearer, who had a remarkable talent for reading the Looby game and multiplicity of angles. Better than I could from the balcony anyway. Reading it wasn't enough though, he still had to get there, which eventually wore him down. 3-0 to Christy.

4. Andy Whitelaw played Richard Nettleton, dropped the first game, but came through 3-1 in convincing style.

3. Stokesy v the young David Munro was hard fought in all departments. 6 referees were required to complete the match. Al took first stint before having to play his own game and 4 others declined to take over before Richard Nettleton stepped forward to take the flak! The squash itself was exemplary though, with Alan taking the first 2, working David to all corners and near matching the youngster for court coverage and pace. David made a strong comeback in the 3rd and 4th and took the 5th 9-5. A point dropped, 2-3 to Grange. (Perhaps Alan could invite his students for a practical demonstration of the rules next week...?!)

2. Al got a class opponent in Damien Noade who played a great rallying game. Long evenly matched games slipped Al's way, 3-0.

1. Patrick was all guns blazing against Scott Gibson. The moustache also in good Village People form, showing healthy growth since Tuesday. 3-0.

Alan Ramsay also made an appearance as injured Waverley team mate.

Overall 4-1, 19-4 on points, which keeps us top of the table.

Man of the match without a doubt goes to Rocco. Non playing on this occasion, but he dished up the best Pizzas in town (he has the newspaper cutting to prove it, if you don't take our word for it). Conversation ranged widely from self dissolving contact lenses (no need to take them out and have similar effect to beer goggles) to BSCs (don't ask) and nipple tassels. Any threats to re-seat us outside, far side of the street, we took to be in gest.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Fours home v Watsons 4's(Wed, Nov 18,'09)

The 4's won 4-1 tonight with Mark going down at #1 in 3, Peter Young at #2 winning in 3, Will Henderson in 3, Mike Douglas in 5 and Rocco in 4. Team score 15-6.
The bill was a little more expensive than anticipated £62 vs £56 as budgeted for. Food however was great.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Dunbar's report on their visit to Grange 2's (Tue, Nov 17,'09)

There is an expression in Sport, a rather crude one, which applies when any Team suffers a particularly bad loss. It refers to the losers as having “had their a**** felt”. Well the Dunbar Team will have had some trouble sitting down at the breakfast table this morning, having taken a right good spanking at table topping Grange last night.

Read on only if you have a robust constitution……..

Richard Baty v Patrick Langley.
The strength of the Grange Team was evident by Patrick’s position at No.5. Patrick had beaten Dunbar ’s No.1 in a Tournament in January of this year, and if anything had improved since then. Richard was making his 2009/10 season debut and is struggling with a niggling injury which didn’t help. It also couldn’t have helped to see an opponent sporting a Moustache that was apparently being grown for Children in Need, and scared the living daylights out of those on the balcony never mind having to share the court with him! Richard was always up against it here and never stopped working, but a hard hitting, fast running, great retrieving, bad assed mustachioed opponent is tricky for anyone. 3-9, 0-9, 1-9 and Dunbar are one down in quick time….

Graeme Jones v Pete Cockburn
Two fit players and a hot court can mean only one thing – running – and lots of it! Graeme of course is very good at this, and competed really well in this match against an opponent of similar age but much more experience. The first game in particular was close, and notable for some fantastic retrieving. Not many shots were dying to a length and so the rallies were loooong. A couple of errors at seven all proved critical though, and Graeme was one down. Pete began to find some nicks in game 2 which quickly ran away from Graeme, but game three saw a return to the long rallies, back corner boasts, and ‘last man standing’ type squash. Pete took it in the end, but Graeme is visibly improving each week, both in shot selection and execution, and probably deserved a game in this match. 7-9, 2-9, 5-9.

Alistair Nichol v Robert Pfab
Regular readers of these match reports will recognize something of a consistency in the description of Alistair’s encounters, but this week you’re all in for a shock! Drop shots – no no no, don’t be ridiculous – if you go and see the latest Blockbuster, ‘2012’ at the Cinema you’ll witness a plot line more plausible than that. No, in this match we saw the normally mild mannered A.N. turn the air blue with a ball chucking, racket throwing outburst that J P McEnroe himself would have been proud of. The flash point came at the end of Game 2. Robert had sneaked a very close first game, and had game ball at 8-5 in the second. A boast to the front by Robert was chased heroically by Alistair, who got to the ball and played a counter drop which was only just up. What he didn’t see was Robert flying back up to the front wall to a position right behind Alistair – who hadn’t cleared the ball at all. Alistair wasn’t looking behind him and just collected the ball and prepared to serve at 5-8, only to hear the marker call “stroke – game to Robert 9-5”.

What ensued will not be forgotten in a hurry by all those present. First the ball was dispatched somewhere down Raeburn Place, then the language that would have made Gordon Ramsay blush, finally followed by his Wilson Hammer 140 flying in a perfect arc towards the front wall. Alistair looked at me up on the balcony and asked “was it a stroke Dave?” I don’t think he liked my answer, and he then proceeded to lose game three in ONE HAND – ‘THE GOLDEN GRANNY’ as it’s called. Will he return is the question we’re all now wondering as the normally loquacious Alistair denied us all his usual post match banter, jumped in his car, and sped off home to Berwick. Watch this space…….7-9, 5-9, 0-9.

Evan Green v Tony Gribben.
I had played Tony before and was familiar with his low hard hitting game – a tactic that means you need to be well up the court to avoid spending the evening lurching forward to dig out all those shots. Evan was well prepared as a result, but that doesn’t mean it’s any easier! Tony is the last guy you want top play if you have a slightly dodgy back, and Evan was certainly feeling sore after the match having spent 30 minutes stretching forward every almost every single shot to retrieve those short hard drives. As with Graeme’s match, this was a very competitive game, and Evan had leads in all three games, particularly 2&3, being I think 4-0 and 5-0 ahead in each. Tony managed to weather those storms though and was not to be denied, just proving the slightly more consistent player. Again Evan deserved a game but it wasn’t to be, 7-9, 8-10,6-9 and Dunbar were still without a game, and staring down the barrel of the dreaded 18-0 humping!

David Legge v Nicolas Valuev – sorry I mean Robin Steel.
My opponent really was unfairly tall - probably the tallest bloke I’ve played at around 6’5”. He also hit the ball unfairly hard, was unfairly young, and added to very warm court conditions, meant that there were precious few balls he couldn’t get back. Game 1 was long and extremely hard. The decisive point was when I served at 7-7 and Robin left the ball, thinking it was down. The serve was called ‘good’ and that made it 8-7. it helped me sneak the game 10-8 to wild cheers from the balcony (not true) and Dunbar were at least on the score sheet! That was to be all I got unfortunately. The next three games were competitive, but increasingly ‘let ridden’ as we both tired a little – me more than him to be fair – and interference became a problem. Two tall players don’t make it easy of course, and we must have been a referees nightmare (in fact we were – or at least I was - sorry Robert!) The difference possibly came down to Robin’s superior retrieving and fitness as the next three games slipped away, to end a miserable night for Dunbar . 10-8, 7-9, 6-9, 5-9. (Report: David Legge of Dunbar, thanks)

Monday, 16 November 2009

Grange Open 2009 sponsored by Titan (Nov 15,'09)

The fourth running of the best wee tournament in Stockbridge came with a record entry of 41 including, impressively, 7 women. Dean Squash club to the rescue! What sporting neighbours we have. Click here for scores/results.
The ladies commenced battle mid-week with 16 year old Catherine de Kieviet our youngest competitor overall taking on two-time champ Elaine Inglis. Despite her attraction for the tin, Elaine managed to avoid diving into the plate.
Newcomer Danielle Fulton caused a stir by taking out ex-finalist Brydie MacLearnon 3-0. She then made life difficult for Moira Atkinson in the semi-final, taking her to five games before finally succumbing. Elaine had a giggly semi with Senga MacFie but it was like tilting at windmills with the much-capped Senga dominant. Grange woman Donna Cruickshank had to use her years of experience to beat Catherine in the plate final. Click on pics to enlarge.

The final saw Senga also dominate her clubmate Moira to take her debut Grange Open(GO) title.

The D-for-Dirt-trackers grade featured 10 players, none of whom would be out of place in previous years GO's C -grades. 19yo Sean Robinson proved to be no respecter of age nor reputation, by dumping out the #1 seed Dougie, almost 3 times his age. Patrick Langley showed similar disdain for rank, beating his captain & #2 seed Al Gordon. Stokesy beat Sean to avenge Dougie's defeat in their semi.

In the final, Patrick was clinical in his hitting and retrieving to take the D title. Deansters Ross Anderson & James Birkhead are contesting the plate midweek when James' posterior has recovered from Sunday's charity bike ride.

The C was dominated by the duo of Edin Uni Studs, Henry Pearce & Mahmoud Boaz El Saoud. Mahmoud had a titanic struggle with Roger Moore & then Eric Donohoe to get to the final while Henry cut loose, chopping down Robin Steel as #1 seed and then Chris Weare. Robin rescued his seeding somewhat by taking the plate from Graham Morrison while Henry had the upper-hand against a passionate Mahmoud in the final.

In the B, PKN Wilson was rolling back the years for the plate against Craig Pounder but the Dalgety Bay lefthander proved too strong to take the plate. Mike Perring lost out to fellow Granger Allan Hamer in the B final proper.

Some classic duels in the top Grade. Grant Gray was brought comedy to sufferance, telling Peter O'Hara to "F off, Peter" as he had him floundering around in the front court only to float the ball back to make him run an extra mile or 2 rather than slot it away. Colin Grant contested well with Richard McBride before being consigned to the plate where he played out a well-disputed match with Grant Gray. Colin Grant won the entertaining plate final.

Richard McBride showed good angles, counters and kills all weekend, none more so than when getting a win against one raider from the West, Iain Logan in one semi-final. John Grindley wasn't short for fitness in the other semi against O'Hara but the magician from Newlands could make the ball disappear at will with an array of shots. In the final, McBride was up for it against O'Hara and hit plenty of winners on service return but getting a point was hard work. Work he was willing to do, he was 2 games down and worked himself to a winning position in the third at 8-6 but Peter screwed the nut down and got back to parity and won the match in straight games, his second consecutive GO.

Great competition played in a very sporting spirit, thanks to all competitors. My thanks to lunch helpers Caroline Burns, Karen, Fiona McLaren and Bill Marshall. Ross Anderson & Al Gordon for running the Dean matches and Mike Perring and Chris Mair for the Grange matches. Dave Ferguson for arranging a referee for one court throughout, as ref assessor. Most of all, for sponsoring the Open and logistical help. It couldn't happen without you guys. See you all next year. (Loob)

O'Brien Bucket 2009

With 20 entrants and all the rounds played off on time, the O'Brien Bucket 2009 was as well contested as ever. Des O'Brien himself would have been proud.

As is usual these days, Wednesday's semi-finals were witnessed by a few observers in the balcony. Mike Douglas saw ex bucket holder David Grieve to the fifth game and with both men at the pin of their collars, Mike made it thru. Brian Sloan also had a marathon before coming thru against Peter Roberts.
So on Friday as the baying crowd turned up on the balcony, it was "Contender ready, Gladiator ReadddDDAAAYY" as they played off scratch. Brian got off to a blistering start running down everything to go 6-0 up. Mike soon learnt not go short so often and stopped haemorraging points but by then he'd lost the first 9-15.
It took him a little longer to adapt to playing a left-hander. He took the second 15-12. Brian was no longer getting the clean winners he had in the first. By now Brian was taking tennis-length gaps before serving but once he was advised to speed up from the official, he started serving on the call of the score. The faster tempo suited Mike more and he took the 3rd 15-13.
One rally saw a dive from Brian leaving him prostrate whereon Mike did the sporting thing and dumped a sitter in the tin. The next dive saw Brian lying helpless and legs flailing like an upside-down beetle, this time Mike understandably played the ball safely up to the wall for a presumed winner.. only to his horror to see Brian rise Lazarus-like and slash it away for his own winner. Cue guffaws from the balcony as Mike holds his head in both hands.

However it was to no avail as Mike kept his nose in front though Brian brought it back to 12-12 before tinning and losing 12-15.

So Mike adds his name on the Bucket, having previously won the O-40s cup. He received a Titan TT racket worth £75 for his cup, er Bucket run while Brian was able to treat his partner to a bottle of wine (it's in the post, honest).
Well done, guys, good show. Next up, the Inaugural Over-50's Quaich.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

Results of the 2nd Winter League

This was another record-breaking league. The total number of players was up by 21 to 109, as a number of late starters and new members joined in from October. The number of games played jumped up to 207, 28 higher than our previous record. Incredibly, 90 out of a possible 96 games were played in the first 6 leagues, showing the intense competition to get a place in one of the teams.

The results of the league are here ..... 2009 Winter League 2

There are many, many contenders for Minileaguer of the year so far - too many to mention. Keep playing as many games as you can and you could be in with a shout of the main prize (a Titan racket!) or one of the extra prizes we are introducing this year. More details and standings to date next time round.

For the 3rd league, we still have 109 players and a total of 18 leagues.

For those interested, here is the full set of new leagues ..... 2009 Winter League 3

I look forward to another busy and competitive league - get your games in early to avoid disappointment with court bookings (and remember there is always St Georges if you are stuck)

Enjoy your games

Dougie Brown

Friday, 13 November 2009

Firsts @ Waverley (Wed, Nov 11,'09)

And so the fun bus took to the streets and headed over to the south side for an encounter with old div 2 rivals Waverley. Cold as it was outside Ferguson and Co were having none of it inside and the courts were healthy warm and bouncing big.
First up was Robin Steel against Mike Reid. Robin slammed the ball around from the off and stormed to a 2 nil lead but inch by inch Mike hauled him back and eventually overcame Robin to sneak a 3-2 victory. Mike Perring was up against Rob Speight as the number 4s clashed. Mike played a steady game and was able to take a 3-1 victory to level the match early on.
Chris Mair and Niven Simpson took to the court in the 3rd string match. Things were tight at one all until Chris tried to mix it up with some alleged drop volleys only to give away an easy 3rd and bow out 3-1 down. Our Guyanan national Rich picked up the baton and took on Dougie Kempsell at 2. A couple of winning games were meted out by Dougie in quick succession before Rich dug in and got the 3rd but Dougie's touch prevailed to take him home the 3-1 winner.
Will Kerr and Chris Ferguson rounded proceedings off with some fast and furious hitting. Will had some nice touches especially in the second but ultimately couldn't stop the bookies favourite taking it 3-0.

Pints and pizza afterwards were all good banter but in the words of MPs blog from last week............... perhaps another opportunity missed. 18-9 against. The final score. (Report: Chris M)

Thirds home v Bank of Scotland (Thurs, Nov 12,'09)

In St George's, Mark Dutton broke strings that he wasn't happy with anyhow early on. With a borrowed racket he was much happier and had the usual corkscrew and corkbreak serves to discomfit John Burnett 3-0.
Christy swished his way past Phil Brown in 3. Ian Forbes didn't have one of his better performances in his own estimation but still beat Bruce Melvin 3-1. Patrick saw off Robin Nisbet, also in straight games.

Stokesy and Rob Norris played out the match of the night, a contest to see who could keep their trackie bottoms on the longest. In the end it was a draw as they both decided their muscles were warm enough after the fourth game! An exhibition in ball placement by Alan versus a demonstration of telecopic arm retrieving by Rob with Alan just shading it and the Man of the Match award. 3-2.

Thanks to Andy Whitelaw for support, checking out his team for next week onwards after a good spell with the dirt-trackers aka Grange 4. Back at fortress Grange with just two bank men showing for the hospitality, there was enough pizza for an army. Talk turned to the refereeing assessment at the Grange Open this weekend with 2 bank men down for trial by squash player.

5-0, the thirds train trundles on with a 20-4 score which doesn't reflect on how competitive the tie was. Report: Loob

Grange 4 home v Waverley 4 (Wed Nov 11,'09)

This was the first defeat (but a narrow one) for the Grange 4th team. Two Grange players (myself included) were 2-0 up but lost 3-2. A win in either game would have converted a narrow loss into another healthy win.

5th string - Mike Douglas v Heather Spens
This was always going to be a tough game but Mike deserved his 2-0 lead. The game swung either way with good squash from both players. In the 3rd game Mike had a match point to win 3-0 but Heather refused to give up and won the 3rd and then the 4th game. Mike went 7-2 up in the 5th but Heather came back again and won it 9-7. Mike can feel very unlucky even though Heather played some good tight squash and refused to give up.
3-2 to Waverley

4th string - Will Henderson v Neil Kempsell
Will was up against an experienced player who could hit some excellent drop shots and hard driving winners when given the chance. However Will had the speed and fitness advantage and also had enough shot control to keep the advantage throughout most of the game. A good win against an experienced player.
3-2 to The Grange

3rd string - Neil Love v John Allan
I didn't see much of this game as I was marking another game. However Neil said that he used his favorite tactic to good advantage i.e. boast the ball. If that works boast it again. Rinse and repeat until your opponent loses the will to live. However there was more to Neil's game than just boasting and he won both of the last 2 games convincingly 9-0. Another good win for the Grange man.
3-2 to The Grange

2nd string - Dean Wood v John Usher
Dean said before the match that he had not been feeling 100% fit. So it was just his luck to come up against an extremely quick and fit opponent. Dean could match his opponent's shots but his opponent's fitness was a huge obstacle. He reached any shot that was not an outright winner and looked like he could do it all night. The 3rd game went to 10-8 so Dean was unlucky not to pick up a game at least.
3-0 to Waverley
1st string Andy Whitelaw v Peter Cochrane
With the overall result being decided on this match things were looking OK for the Grange as Andy went 2-0 up. However as tiredness set in Andy's shots became looser and the number of unforced errors increased. Peter kept his game together well and pressed home his advantage to deservedly take the match 3-2.
3-2 to Waverly

The overall match result was only 16-12 to so this was a narrow defeat and certainly not a major set back for the 4th team.

Food - Franco's Pizzas (were you expecting anything else?) Report: Andy

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Grange 2 v Mammas 1 Tues 10.11.09

Good matches against the Mammas team.

5. Al was in the comfort zone with Brian, 3-0.

4. Pete Cockburn had his work cut out with John Rae who has a sixth sense giving him superb anticipation. Pete was undeterred though and came though 3-1. Chris Mair was being assessed as level 3 referee, but this gentlemanly affair produced only 2 out of the 10 decisions he needed.

3. Chris moved onto Dougie's game against Stewart, but such tight shot making and graceful clearance of the ball gave no decisions after the first game! In the end Dougie won 3-1 with only 2 decisions in total, but Chris had given up and gone next door after the first game...

2. Lets, strokes and appeals abounded and Chris was done in no time, quickly followed by Robin Steel! Mike Hall and Scott's high paced game was close on points but Mike held control throughout to win 3-0.

1. Tony played Roger Moore. Roger did everything right and with forward T position was able to pick up Tony's low shots that are deadly to the rest of us. I shan't let Tony forget losing the second from 8-4 up. A good match to watch. Roger won 3-0.

Overall a solid 4-1 win, 17-7 on points. Pizzas are probably not the best choice when Mammas visit, but we had them all the same. Much of the bar chat centred around experiences of Jim Dougal, and how best to deal with unusual players. John Rae proved to be a font of experience in this regard, and shared with us the safest place to be on court with the Looby windmill (under his armpit apparently).

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Firsts home v Edin Sports Club (Wed Nov 4,'09)

Mike Perring went on early at 5 against J.J Tait who was a last minute replacement and looked like he needed to be elsewhere in a hurry as Mike won comfortably in 3.

Will Kerr went on at 3 and had a titanic battle with John Hibbert. Will was moving really well around the court and playing some really tight squash but was matched point for point by John who covered every inch of court 2 several times over as it went to five. The younger legs of Will saw him pull away for a hard fought and impressive victory.

Allan Hamer had his hands full at 2 as it looked as if he had met his match in terms of fitness with Rab Mcgill. The former grange club champ played error free squash forcing The current champ into some uncharacteristic mistakes. Al wasn't helped by the fact he'd been floating somewhere in the north sea and not played any squash for a few weeks. Rab won 3-0 but on another day I think the result could have been different.

Ian Green drew the short straw having to play Simon Boughton at 1 and realistically never stood a chance. Ian put in a good show though and made the Sports Club star man break a sweat and racked up a few points in the process but the result was never in doubt as Ian went down fighting 0-3

With the tie in the balance Richard VL was up against Barry Masson at 4 and this one could have gone either way. Barry won the first without too much trouble but Richard got into the match in the second but was pipped 10-8. However Barry looked as if his lungs were about to explode and Richard took full advantage in the third winning it in double quick time. It looked like Barry was on his last legs and the energiser bunny style of the Van Man was going to triumph but a second wind meant Barry clawed his way back into the fourth and sneaked it - 1-3.

Overall 9-16 which isn't a bad result but could be seen as a missed opportunity to register a first win. (Report: Mike P)

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Squash Matrix

Click here to see the new Squash Matrix, and rankings of Grange 1 v Waverley 1 for this weeks fixture.

I'm not going to publish the Grange team here, but Squash Matrix says we could take this at 3, 4 and 5...

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Dean's version of Events 03.11.09

Thanks to Ron and Ross Anderson for their report.

Dean lost 4-17 last night, but put in great performances when missing 4
players from our usual team and taking on probably the best side in
division 5. (Al's italics) Not much wrong on the night that a few Sunday sessions won't
sort out.

5. Andy vs. Will Henderson

Saw just the last 2 rallies, thought that they were rallying fairly
evenly. The scores show that Andy must have had the worst of it, though.

Perhaps at this level Andy needs to be able to straighten the ball
slightly more, and push his opponent into the back corners when he gets
a chance. That will come, though. 0-3.

4. Derek vs. Pete Young

The usual sublime squash that we have come to expect from Pete, where he

makes a mockery of opponents' superior speed and fitness with
well-chosen,. well-executed strokes. Derek fought very well in the first

game (which I refereed); but I was still most impressed that he managed
to take a game subsequently, as Pete has run a few of us all over the
court in the past few years. A very good point for the team. 1-3.

3. Ronnie vs. Neil Love

Ronnie played the most controlled squash of anyone in the Dean team,
despite a late call-up and being dropped in at #3 instead of #5. Neil
was very comfortable attacking anything that was short in the court,
even fairly tight balls, and played a lot of outright winner. Ronnie was

getting his measure as the match progressed, and putting a bit more pace

on the ball to force his opponent to take it deeper in the court. The
fitness advantage and modified tactics saw Ronnie's score ramping up 1,
3, 5 - but he ran out of games before he could get to 9. 0-3.

2. Mark vs. Andy Whitelaw

Andy's drops were even more accurate than those we usually see from
Nick, as long as he had time to play them. Mark shook him a bit with
some powerful, tight driving; but the most controlled squash we saw from

the Grange side all night proved just too tough a task. The driving game

on the backhand side from Mark was very similar to the game that Craig
often plays: just needs a little more consistency, and a couple of
attacking options so that his opponent doesn't have the luxury of
sitting deep in the court. Managed to take it to a tie-breaker in one
game, I seem to remember. 0-3.

1. Craig vs. Mark Dutton

A determined performances from Craig, and an almost as determined
performance from Mark. Think it was finally won with a tie-breaker in
the 5th game. As usual with Craig, some superb tight drives on the
forehand, and some slightly slower but equally accurate drives on the
backhand. Fitness may have been an advantage, with Mark not chasing some

drops towards eh end that weren't exactly outright winners. The
corkscrew serves from Mark probably tipped the balance: they are not yet

"bankers" for him, to put it mildly. Great resolve from Craig to avoid
the 5-0 defeat.

Overall I think we can be pretty pleased not just with taking that many
points against far more experienced team players, but also with the
quality of the squash our team played. Stuck to the basics well under
pressure, and never gave up. (Report: Ron Todd, thanks)

Grange 4ths vs Dean 2nds. 3rd November 2009.

The growing strength in depth of the Grange club was very evident last night when a 4th team that had three withdrawals on the day before the match was able to call on further players at short notice and still defeat a capable Dean 2nd side by 19 points to 4 in their inaugural meeting (inaugural meaning that neither Dean nor Grange have had that many teams before….).

First up at No 5 was Will Henderson against team squash debutante Andrew Johnston. Will played a very strong match all the way through and was always in control against Andrew who played very well in patches but looked to have a few first match nerves to deal with. Might have to watch those foot faults though….a couple of them involved neither foot within six inches of the box. 9-2, 9-1, 9-2.

At No 3 Neil Love took on Ronnie Hynds and likewise was in control for the majority of the game, particularly at the front of the court. Ronnie began to ramp up some serious resistance in the 3rd game but Neil went up a step in response and closed it out. 9-1, 9-3, 9-5.

At No 2 Andy Whitelaw ran out a 3-0 winner against Mark Macefield. Very tight and controlled squash from Andy saw him maintain his 100% record for the season so far. Mark took him to a tie-break in the second but Andy successfully defended that and resumed dominance in the third. 9-1, 10-8, 9-2.

At No 4 Pete Young took on Derek Mills after having come over direct from a 5 setter mini-league match. Pete has a good record against Dean sides and so it proved again with plenty of tricksy hobbit shots to keep Derek constantly on his toes and often on the back foot. Derek rose to the challenge with a convincing 9-3 defeat of Pete in the third but Pete turned on the heat in the 4th to run out a winner. 9-4, 9-2, 3-9, 9-0.

The main entertainment of the night (at least in sporting script and closeness of contest terms) was provided by the No 1s Mark Dutton and Craig Wallace. A perfectly executed corkscrew serve in the opening minute looked like it might set the scene for some fun … but some not so perfect ones in the rest of the match may better be left unreported. The first game was hard fought and went Mark's way 9-7 after Craig had led for much of it. A similar story in the second and third with the lead changing hands several times in each game with Craig taking both, primarily through some excellent drop shots to the backhand corner which Mark had little answer to. Mark changed tactics in the fourth game and managed to keep Craig away from the deadly front corner and in the back of the court for much of the game. The fifth game saw the lead change a number of times as well with Craig's dropshots coming to the fore once more. Mark began hanging back too much (some say through fading fitness…some say in resignation at his own disbelief that he kept feeding Craig's forehand drop) and that gave Craig enough chance to close it out 10-8 after a few exchanges of serve at 8-8. A good hard match that could have gone either way….and did. 9-7, 5-9, 7-9, 9-6, 8-10.

A great result at 19-4 to the Grange. Big top of the table match at Waverley next week….

Grange Open teams over 33 seasons: finishing positions

Grange 2 away to Watsonians 3 - 3 Nov 2009

Strongest team that we have come across so far, but a great win 17 - 10 (4 ties to 1).

Pete Cockburn had a very tight first game with Mike Callaghan, secured with some deft boasting, but then Mike's legs were gone and Pete raced away to a 3-0 win. Dougie caught Ed Murray just after a 2 week break in St Lucia and it showed - Ed was not getting to his drops. Dougie was sharp to go 2-0 up then Ed rallied to take the third. Dougie let 7-0 and then 8-3 slip to go 8-9 down in the fourth, before clinching it 10-9. (3-1)

Mike Hall had a titanic struggle with the legendary Jim Dougal with the umpire much troubled for decisions. 2-0 up before the Dougal rally, Mike held it together to make it in the fifth (3-2). Tony Gribben had some very long rallies with Ally Carruth, but the opponent was too strong on the night and despite a close third, Tony went down 0-3.

The number 1 match was a corker. Robin Steel took on the very useful Mike Sinclair and the audience marvelled at the incredible retrieving and skill by both players and levels of fitness the rest of us can only dream about! Robin eventually prevailed 9-7 in the fifth. Superb.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Grange 3 @ Royal Bank of Scotland 03.11.09

RBS started with 3 players tonight and finished with 2.

Ian Forbes and Christy were opponent-less but came down to support, referee and eat. They also played each other, refusing a referee but they report good clean squash and 3-1 to Ian.
Stokesy had a close run with Richard Maspero, 10-8 10-8 9-4.
All I saw of Patrick v Steven Hart was Steven flat out on the changing room floor. Patrick was 2-1 up, but Steven had retired with back trouble.
From 7-0 up, Al inexcusably lost 18 consecutive points. Eric repayed the mistake by calling set 1 in the 4th. The 5th went 9-7 to Al. Both were compared by Stokesy in the bar to the style of Rab McGill, if that helps you imagine it!

Overall 5-0 20 points to 5.

Chat in the bar strayed onto Real Tennis at the Grange and the forthcoming EGM. Richard and Eric rustled up pies and beans. We all retired on full stomachs, except Stokesy who threatened Patrick with a night on the tiles....

Let's hope RBS's injured players are back in action soon.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Grange 3 v Dalgety Bay 3 Thursday 29.10.09

Christy had a tough start with Graham Small, but pulled through with hard driving, and cracked the 4th 9-0 to win 3-1.
Stokesy was matched against young Scott Boswell. Scott was lightening fast and 3 decades his junior, but Alan had him tied in knots, 3-0.
Patrick beat Willie Schultz with characteristic hard graft, 3-1 .
Al and Colin Boswell were abandoned by some of their thirstier team mates, but didn't take as long as expected and appeared at the club before the pizzas, 3-1 to Al.
Pete Cockburn played Alan Jones at 1, who displayed great movement and volleys. Pete was close to taking the third, but Alan closed out 9-7. 0-3 to Grange.

We had Francos and Deuchars back at the ranch. Stokesy told of his fantasies of Patrick in nurses uniform and generally picked fights with our guests over court temperatures. Colin Boswell was noticeabley chilled after his match, but the St Georges courts seemed pretty lively to me.

Overall 4-1 and 18-8. A good result.

Grange 4ths vs Colinton Castle 6ths 28/10/2009

The 4ths continued their barnstorming start to the season with a 20-3 victory of Colinton Castle 6ths. Everybody was comfortably in control of their matches at all times and periodic patches of resistance put up by the opposition were quickly met and matched.

The night began with Pete Young being untroubled to rack up a 3-0 win at No 5 against Steve Ford.

Next up was Mark Dutton at No 2 against John Sumner. A sluggish start by Mark saw the first two games being shared 9-5 5-9 but he gained full control from that point to go away 9-1 9-1 for a 3-1 win.

Then came Dean Wood at No4 against Chris Green. The first two games were won with only a few points going west but the third was more of a contest but was closed out 9-5 for a 3-0 win.

Following the trend of the evening, Andy Whytelaw played comfortably within himself at No 3 to record a 3-0 win against Mark Fairbarn with only a handful of points conceded.

The battle of the No1s rounded off the evening with Ian Forbes also being comfortable in running out a 3-0 winner against Gordon Robertson (would've been a tiny bit more comfortable if he'd called for a few more lets…ie strokes).

We can't finish this report without mention of yet another champagne moment arising from Mark Dutton's vain and often humorous attempts to befuddle his opponents with "corkscrew serves". Few who saw it will forget the occasion two seasons ago when an attempted corkscrew serve befuddled his opponent just enough for Mark to cop the return straight in the back of the head. The say that history never repeats itself. They are of course wrong. It can't be denied that on this occasion, the opponent was well befuddled but the unfortunate result of that was that he twisted himself all over the place in following the ball completely round the walls and entirely forgot which direction he was facing by the team he'd finally located the ball……and launched a full-blooded drive from one service box across to the other which hit Mark right in the ear while he was still posed in post-corkscrew serve position waiting for the photographers. He will clearly never learn…..

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Seconds home v Edin Sports Club 4 (Tue, Oct 27,'09)

It was time for the long awaited grudge match between Grange 2 and Edinburgh Sports Club 4. ESC 4 thought they had seen the last of Grange 2 last season, where a close victory looked like it had ensured our relegation. Fortunately, the squash gods deemed us worthy, reorganised the league, and allowed Grange 2 to stay in league 3. The home tie was the perfect opportunity for revenge, and Grange 2 didn't miss our chance. Vocal supporters from both sides gave the match a great atmosphere, with Stokesy pacing up and down the balcony like a caged animal after his mini-league victory.

1. Robin Steel vs JJ Tait 3-2
Robin overcame a strong challenge from JJ to rack up a victory against his former club. After the first two games, the match was anybody's for the taking. JJ looked like he might have the edge after a tighter third game, but Robin closed him out in the final two.
0-9 9-1 5-9 9-3 9-2

2. Tony Gribben vs Leszek Stelmachowski 3-0
Tony's tricky squash may not be the most elegant to watch, but it was brutally effective against Leszek. Leszek never looked comfortable, as Tony kept the pressure up with shot after shot which never seemed to bounce more than an inch above the floorboards.
9-5 9-4 9-6

3. Mike Hall vs Shane Presley 3-0
Mike dictated the pace from the outset, punishing Shane for every little mistake. Shane wasn't able to find a chink in Mike's armour as Mike kept his foot on the gas, racing home to a confident victory.
9-3 9-0 9-1

4. Robert Pfab vs Rohan Singh 3-0
Robert piled on the pressure against Rohan, who didn't look happy in the first game. Rohan started to look more relaxed in the tight second game, but lost his focus in the third as Robert shut the door.
9-5 9-7 9-4

5. Dougie Brown vs Kirsty Craig 3-0
A good tactical game from Dougie kept Kirsty guessing and moving around the court. Dougie looked well in command as he eased his way to a solid win.
9-6 9-5 9-4

Grange 2 secured a massive 20-2 points victory, banishing the spectre of the end of last season. That's the maximum 40 points from two matches, keeping Grange 2 at the top of the league. Next week sees Grange 2 away to the ex-division 2 Watsonians 3. Let's keep the winning streak going! (A Pfab report)

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Grange 4 vs HWU4 21st October 2009

As Forrest Gump's mum so wisely pointed out, life is like a box of chocolates and you never know what you're going to get. So it is whenever faced with the first contest of the season against the new crop of this year's students.

Fortunately, it turned out that there weren't too many hard centres this time and Grange 4 ran out comfortable 17-4 winners to continue the very successful season so far.

First up was Mike Douglas at No 5 who was able to keep the lid on Scott Charles all the way through and was untroubled to close out 9-3, 9-4, 9-2.

Neil Love at No 4 looked to be in for a harder time against Mark Wallace taking the first in a hard fough 9-7 and then looking quite uncomfortable in a 2-9 second game. In the third and fourth he got his game together and began driving well and left his opponent behind to take the games 9-6, 9-6.

Dean Wood then took to the stage at no 3 and despatched Sean Thomson with some ease 9-1, 9-0, 9-1. Sean had won in previous weeks and was no slouch that the scoreline might have indicated and Dean did well to win so convingly.

Andy Whytelaw at No 2 ran out a convincing winner against Scott Wallace 9-2, 9-0, 9-3 to continue his faultless start to the season.

Sod's Law of course said that somewhere in the chocolate box there was going to be a hard centre and so it proved at no1 for your's truly Mark Dutton facing Michael Ross. Competitive games all round and Michael's greater control of the T allowing him to cut off enough balls to swing the day 6-9, 5-9, 6-9. (No chance of winning with your balls being cut off like that....).

All in all....a good night's work for the 4ths with the only complaints revolving around Neil Love's pathological dislike of pineapple on pizzas.....

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Fours at Dalgety Bay 4's (Mon, Oct 12, '09)

Results in reverse order:
5. Neil Love v ? Neil won 3-0 and was in command for most of the match. A
good game but Neil was just a bit quicker and sharper than his opponent.

4. James Davenport v ? James won 3-0. Another good game but James was again
sharper than his opponent and won the points that mattered.

3. Pete Young v ? Pete lost 3-0. I didn't see this game but apparently it
was a much tighter game than the score line would suggest. I think the
first game went to 10-9 or 10-8. I have been told that the other games were
also tight but the scores were not so close.

2. Dean Wood v ? Dean won 3-1. I didn't see this game but Dean seemed
shocked to have lost the first game and felt he was comfortable in the
other games that he won.

1. Andy Whitelaw v Scott ? I won 3-0. Not a convincing performance - some
good bits and some bad bits from both players but it was enough to get all
3 points for the Grange.

Overall 4-1, points 15-4 plus ref bonuses. Food - chilli con carne. (Report Andy W.)

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Grange 3 away v Colinton 4 / C-Rooks (Friday 16 Oct 2009)

Christy met Garth "the ringer" Wright at 5, and despite pre season training and tournament sharpening went 2-0 down in an awesome display of talent from Garth. Undettered, Christy tightened the length and went error free to salvage the 3rd and 4th, exposing Garth's expensive taste in racket treatment in the process. A long match ended 3-2 to Garth.

Meanwhile the rest of the crew were having an easier time. Having spent the whole while marking Christy, I didn't see these, but new recruit, Ian Forbes at 4 started well winning 3-1 against Bob Baikie. Red hot courts soon had Stokes up to match temperature and tracksuit off by the 2nd game - he beat Mike Halpin 3-0 at 3.

Al beat Stuart Keane 3-1, whose back trouble took the shine of the final game, but still a good match in the early part.

Garth made huge portions of fine chilli. As firey off court as on! Good chat in the Colinton bar. 19 - 7 overall. A great start and good to be back into the season.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Firsts home v Colinton I (Wed, Oct 14,'09)

The unmistakable sights of leaves on the tennis courts and A stokes' tracksuit back on the squash hall floor could only mean one thing........league time was back in town.
Colinton's first team hit squad made their way down to Grange for the opener only to be confronted with a boisterous home crowd and a grg1 team champing at the bit. First into the cage were 5th and 3rd string matches, Chris Mair taking on Sean Robinson and Will Kerr jousting with Richard Macbride. Will came out all guns blazing and took leads in both the first and second game before some fine touches from Richard put saw him pull away with both and the eventual winner 3-0. Sean was putting in some big hits on court 1 but some cheeky (if unintended) drops were enough to let chris take it 3-0.
Man of the match Ian Green took to the fray against Jonathan MacBride in the first string match. Ian stormed to a 2-0 lead with some deft touches at the front before being clawed back and ultimately over come 3-2 in a tense fifth. Richard took on Roddy Robinson at 4 with both payers intent on foot testing out every one of the new floor boards. It was nip and tuck through the second and third but Roddy did enough to get home 3-1. Brian B and John Grindlay rounded off proceedings with an assortment of smash and drop manoeuvres but John always seemed to have it covered and took it 3-0.
So...... a 17-8 loss but the fun bus is up and running and the engine knows what it needs to do. Next. (C Mair)

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Second team @ Linlithgow (Tue, Oct 14,'09)

Grange 2 have emerged victorious from their first match of the season away against Linlithgow 2. We took maximum points away from the match, securing a 20-4 points victory.

Mike Perring v Robert Purdie 9-4 9-1 9-3
Robin Steel v Ashley Mears 9-0 10-8 9-6
Robert Pfab v Iain Bannister 9-0 9-3 9-7
Dougie Brown v Drew Purdie 9-2 9-2 6-9 5-9 9-4
Pete Cockburn v Sean Graham 9-6 9-5 9-2

In the first match, Pete saw off a strong challenge from Sean Graham in the first two games. Sean was playing some lovely squash, but finally lost his concentration in the third set, going 8-0 down. Pete, playing solid & consistent squash, finished him off to get the 3-0 win.

Robin Steel made his first appearance for the Grange with a solid performance against Ashley Mears. Robin came out with all guns blazing, and ran away with the first game 9-0. Ashley changed her tactics for a nail biting second game, which she narrowly lost 10-8. Robin got back into his stride in the final set to win 3-0.

Robert got off to a great start against a slightly rusty Iain Bannister, sealing the first two 9-0 and 9-3. Iain started playing his own game in the third, but Robert stuck with it to clinch the set 9-7. A solid 3-0 victory.

Dougie's match against Drew Purdie ended up being the crowd pleaser. After easily sealing the first two games 9-2, 9-2, Dougie thought he was away. Drew changed his racket, and found a new lease of life in his legs, and fought back hard to take the third and fourth. Both men had clearly wanted an easier start to the season than this, but returned exhausted onto the court for the fifth. Dougie pulled himself together, fought hard in some epic rallies, and finally sealed the 3-2 win for Grange

Mike seemed to be hitting form with a strong win over Robert Purdie. Robert's game wasn't quite working, and Mike kept up the pressure with consistent squash throughout, letting Robert make all the mistakes. A solid result from Mike.

The evening was rounded off by beer, soup and apple crumble in the Linlithgow bar.

A fantastic start to the season by Grange 2! (Report: Robert Pfab)

Friday, 9 October 2009

Fourth team at Abercorn twos, Wed (Oct 7,'09)

The first ever Fourth Team from Grange has a successful debut outing, wa hey!

From what I heard, everyone had a fairly comfortable win except #1 Ian Forbes whose fitness saw him through in the end 3-1. At #3 there was the battle of the 2 Andys as Grange's Whitelaw took on Abercorn's Speight, 3-0 to the Grange man. Dean Wood at #4, Neil Love and young Colin Williamson at #2 all cleaned out in their matches.
Overall 5-0, 18-1
(plus 2 ref bonus points I assume). Food report: Pizza plus home baking (quiche & scones), plenty for all .

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Results of 1st Winter Minileague

What a fantastic response to the first league. The total number of players was 88, down a little from our peak of last year. But an amazing 179 games were played, an average of over 4 per player! This beats our previous record by 10 games.

The results of the league are here ..... 2009 Winter League 1

There were a lot of unbeaten players this month - Ian Green, Robin Steel, Patrick Langley, Andy Whitelaw, Peter Roberts, Robin Pollok, Stewart Robertson, Andrew Claymore, Nick Lyth, Struan Fairbairn, David Winning, Matt Pearson, a resurgent Richard Hungerford and Ian Fraser. Not sure what's behind this - a few people trying to make a point ahead of team selection? the benefit of playing over the summer? or perhaps the league order needs a bit of sorting out!

For the second league, we have an incredible net increase of 21 players and a total of 18 leagues. It has been tricky to slot in all these new players, so lets hope there are not too many mismatches!

For those interested, here is the full set of new leagues ..... 2009 Winter League 2

I look forward to another record league - get your games in early to avoid disappointment with court bookings (and remember there is always St Georges if you are stuck.

Enjoy your games

Dougie Brown

Friday, 2 October 2009

Pre-season challenge @ Dean (Thurs, Oct 1)

Thanks to The Dean Club for hosting the 4th annual challenge between neighbours. And thanks to James for playing twice (with a fag break in between), saving this old man's back and blushes, he hee.
#7 James Davenport bt Luke Williams 3-1 (2-9 9-2 9-5 9-1) Good front-court game from Luke but James established length in the second and never looked back. Good team debuts for both.
#6 James Davenport l Craig Wallace 1-3 (8-10 2-9 9-7 8-10) A sterner test this time for James against a seasoned campaigner, with both players and the balcony applauding lots of their opponents good shots.
#5 Mark Dutton l Ron Todd 0-3 (7-9 5-9 7-9) Ron was cutting in his volleys nicely while Mark was tinning his with a new racket. No evening would be complete without a few Dutton dives and Mark didn't disappoint.
#4 Ian Forbes bt Ross Anderson 3-1 (9-2 9-10 8-10 8-10) "You boast, I get, I boast, you get". An impressive first outing for Ian with Ross missing out in all 3 set games, that must be a record.
#3 Patrick Langley bt David Thompson 3-0 (9-2 9-7 9-8) A Marcos reunion here with the competitive edge you'd expect, none of this "good shot, sir" bonhomie. Patrick was put to the pin of his collar to close this one out.
#2 Peter Cockburn bt Casey Hurren 3-0 (9-5 9-5 9-2) Dougie told me that Peter was on fire for this one and that try as he might, Casey couldn't get him out of the comfort zone.
#1 Dougie Brown l Nick Wood 1-3 (9-6 7-9 5-9 5-9) Someone in the balcony said "Don't drop a dropper" but the question is, who is the better drop-shot? Answer: Nick, on the night. Good effort, some punishing rallies had both men gulping in air afterwards and appreciating the respite when the marker got the score mixed-up ;-)
Overall, if you count these things in a friendly, a win by 4-3 (14-11 in games) to The Grange Squash Club. Man of the match: impossible to pick anyone out, instead I pick myself out as "shirker of the match";)
Pizza and beers afterwards, The Dean were trying to lure us into divulging our spreadsheet secrets while we were trying to see who was keeping their powder dry for The Dean's second team. (Report: Loob)

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Which members play 3 times per week or more all year round?

I hereby award the prize for booking the most courts to Messr's P Langley and R. Pfab.
The last time this accolade was awarded (in 2005), Karl Richmond won it with ~250 bookings so Robert & Patrick have raised the bar even more this past season. Well done.

The reason Partick did't win outright (as the graph would appear to indicate) is that his cousin Russell also booked under Langley so their bookings can only be given as a total. Seeing as Russell was here until Mar, I've split the bookings ascribed to Patrick on a pro-rata basis and it is approximately the same level as Robert Pfab.

This is one reason we ask that all bookings are made under the "Initial.Surname/Initial.Opponent" format in the booking rules.

Please use this format when booking courts, especially if you have a namesake at the club, it may help you get the bragging rights, and it will help us to get more court facilities for you. (CL)

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Grange granpa's @ Watsons walking-aids (Tue, Apr 7,'09)

Top of the order batsman Brian Buchanan went to 5 with Jenko, Paul closing out 9-3 in the fifth. At the tail, Stokesy also went to five with Forrest but levelling it upby taking the fifth 9-7. Roger Moore officiated and it was like Ramsay's kitchen nightmares with plenty decisions disputed.

Oh well, not close and no cigar at the middle order. PKN Wilson gave Loobster a lesson in trickle boasting 3-0, Ali G also suffered a whitewash at the hands of masterchef Moore and Tony G couldn't shift Colin Grant off the T for their 3 games. Overall 4-1 to the Myreside masters.Back at the bar, the very football-knowledgeable barperson told us there should have been at least 6 goals in the Man U/Porto match but we saw the last 2 goals before abandoning for soup, sarnies and fruit.
The Myrerside Masters now go on to the Over-35 cup final with Edin Sports Club Elderlies, good luck with that! The team season finishes for the Grange apart from the much anticipated nite-out.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Mini-leagues Season '08-'09

The overall analysis of the min-leagues based on the first 5 leagues only:

The winner is Andrew Claymore who played 100% of possible games, scored 160 points and moved up 4 leagues (11 to 7). Second equal in points terms were Alastair Ross and Will Henderson, both on 153 points. Alastair played 100% of his games (max 25) and moved up 2 leagues (13 to 11). Will played 92% of his, but moved up 3 leagues (6 to 3).

Other stalwarts playing 100% of possible games and playing 23 or more (max was 25) were Jonathan Frame, David Thomas, Neil Love, Robin Pollok, Chris B and Chris Mair. There were many others not far behind and showing fantastic support for the leagues. (Dougie Brown)

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Club Championships (Fri, Mar 27,'09)

After 20 fans followed the pulsating semi-finals on Monday, a crowd of 40+ turned up on the balcony to see the champions crowned. Max MacKenzie played Alasdair McIntosh in the junior final. Karen Kennedy beat Sarah Robertson in the ladies plate while Jonathan Frame managed to win the plate 3-1 from Ian Forbes.
Ian Forbes was a busy boy because he later played & beat Peter Young in the handicap final. The ladies final saw a new (to us) star in the making as Donna Cruickshank played Fiona McLaren. This was a hard fought final with Fiona doing tremendous retrieving and some fantastic flurries at the front of the court. Donna's hitting saw her just about get a lead in the first 3 games and despite a concerted comeback from Fiona, Donna took it in straight games.

In the open final, a new name on the cup was guaranteed. Allan Hamer had put himself into the mincer to beat Brian Buchanan 3-1 on Monday while Ian Green woke up at 2-0 down to beat Chris Mair 10-9 in the fifth. So who recovered best and would turn up with their A game to put a new name on the cup?

The first game was a close fought marathon with some lung-bursting rallies interspersed with unforced errors seeing Allan shade it 9-7. Ian threw in a lot of errors in the second to lose that quickly 9-3. He had been geeing himself up without his play responding up to that point. Suddenly in the third, it was responding and the drops were clinging, the errors went away and he won it 9-6. You could sense those who had been there on Monday thinking "has the tide turned?". Allan got an early lead in the fourth but Ian upped the pace again and began to catch up. However he didn't maintain it and a few winners later from Allan, he had earned his first club championship.

A total 70 people competed in the club championships which is a fantastic turnout from the mini-leagues. Andrew Claymore was crowned "Mini-leaguer of the year". This and all the other prizes were presented in the bar after everyone had a feed of Jambalaya cooked by the excellent competitions organiser Peter Young.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Firsts @ Colinton Castle 2's (Fri, Mar 13,'09)

As the week and the season drew to a close, GRG1 took to the stage against the mighty colinton 2 up at the castle in a decider for 2nd spot in league 2. Colinton rained off the 5th string match in good time, leaving Mike Perring to come out the undisputed winner as beer taster in chief from up high on the balcony.
Chris Mair was up against stuart at 4 on a very bouncy court but managed to calm things down enough to come away the 3-1 victor. Ian Green was next up and took the second string game 3-0 before Brian Buchanan took on Hamish McLeod at 3. Brian fell to a 2-0 deficit but stepped up a gear in third and ran away with a 3-2 victory in the end.
Last match of the night was a much anticipated clash between Mark Lord and Alan Hamer. There were some epic rallies throughout the match with drives and deft touches being traded from all angles but ultimately Alan tired and Mark snitched it to come out the 3-1 winner. So the night and the season ended on a high with GRG1 doing enough to secure an 18-8 victory, second spot and to take their place in the top flight next year.............happy days. (CM)

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Grange 2 v Mammas 10.03.09

Our last match of the season, we went out on an high. Packed balconies and a big supporters turnout from Looby, Langley, Cockburn, Brown, Stokes and Mr and Mrs Hamer.

The scores were:

Will Kerr v Roger Moore 3-1
Mike Hall v Scott Carey 3-1
Robert Pfab v Stuart Williamson 3-1
Al Gordon v Lindsay Muir 3-1
Tony Gribben v John Rae 3-0

Stunning squash all round, with a decisive finish from Mike in the closing games.

5-0, 20-6 on points. So where do we stand? It's all down to the Sports Club now. Fingers crossed - watch this blog or keep an eye on

Good luck to Grange 1 on Friday for their 2nd place showdown with Colinton. Anyone wanting to see the team that has taken us to the dizzy heights of division 1, they're playing at Colinton Castle, Friday 13th at 7.00.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Grange 2 @ ESC4 (Friday 06.03.09)

A big match for the seconds. Kerr, Hall and Gribben all out of action. The Sports Club wouldn't postpone, so we turned out as best we could. Super subs Van Lienden and Langley made a good dent at 4 and 5 against Gordon Sloane and captain Les Wilson, 3-0 and 3-1. Van Lienden was looking particularly tenacious, and Langley very solid. At 3, Dougie had a tough time against the deceptive Shane Presley, losing out 7-9 in the 2nd and 3rd games, 0-3. Robert recovered a 0-2 position to 2-2 against JJ Tait at 2. Both men wearing attractive headscalfs, and spending much of their time in the corners - they could easily have been mistaken for the cleaning crew. Robert ran away to 7-1 in the fifth, Grange looked set for victory, but JJ pulled off a massive come back leaving us with 2-3. Al met the mighty Leszek Stelmachowski at 1. Al battled it out to go 2-1 up, but succumbed to attrition, and the end result 2-3. Overall 12-15. A huge effort was put in by Grange players, and whilst not a win, was under the circumstances a fair haul. JJ was in high spirits after his escapology, the pasta was excellent, and a good night was had by all. Next week we need max points....

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Firsts @ ESC3 (Wed, Feb 4,'09)

GRG1 lost 1-4(correction 2-3) and by 11-16. Ian Green won 3-1 against Barry, Brian Buchanan lost against Fraser 2-3, Chris Mair lost to Drew 0-3, Mike Perring won 3-1 against Ian Gray and Mike Hall lost 1-3 to Nicol. ESC looked to have a strong team out with two new faces at 1&2. A disappointing night but looking at the score board I don't think it will sink the ship.

Last match against CC2 next friday with as strong a team as we've had out this half. Should be good for the points. (CM)

Friday, 6 March 2009

Thirds home v Waverley 3's (Thurs, Mar 5,'09)

Last match this season, we went out on a high.
1 Alan Stokes v Paul Tulloch 3-1
2 Mike Scott v Allan Baird 2-3 (threw a fetlock in the fifth and had to retire)
3 Pete Cockburn v Neil Aitken3-0
4 Christy Looby v John Allan 3-0
5 Mark Dutton v Richard Nettleton 3 - 0

Mark could do little wrong against Richard, with all the tricksy stuff coming off. Christy powered John off the court while Peter was 2-7 down in the third and closed it out without losing anymore points.
Mike Scott is heading back to Orkney, he won't be able to catch many sheep for a while after crocking himself again... taking nothng away from Alan Baird's win. Stokesy and Paul Tulloch had an interesting match, Alan's placement versus Paul's power with a lot of rallies getting bonus points for comic relief.

Overall result 19 - 5 including ref points............... roll on Div 4 next season. Mark counted that the team used 16 players all season, so well done to all our reserves and folk that didn't quite make it but pushed us pretty hard in the mini-leagues.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Results of the 5th Minileague

Another very busy league with 15 leagues and 94 players involved, and despite a number of injuries, a record equalling 169 games played! Well done to leagues 3 and 4 where all 15 games were played - demonstrating the competition for team places these days!

The results of the league are here ..... 2008 Winter League 5

Unbeaten players this month were Richard Van Lienden, Will Henderson, Mike Slack, Iain Macnab, Chris Braun, Alastair Ross, Mike Dougall and Tim Ferguson. There remains a strong core of players who are consistent in getting all their games played - out of those will shortly be selected a "Minileaguer of the Year" - watch this space!

For those interested, here is the full set of new leagues ..... 2008 Winter League 6

Enjoy this last winter league - there will be summer leagues starting after the court refurbishment - I am hoping for a repeat of the popular leagues last summer.

Enjoy your games

Dougie Brown

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Firsts @ Tyne (Wed, Feb 25,'09)

Wednesday saw the Grangers take to the road and head south (Ed: south? that knock-off GPS of yours is leading you astray, Chris) to Haddington for the second round against Tyne. The Tyne courts were looking trim and the ball was bouncing big.

Patrick Langley was first up at number 5 against Stuart Falconer. Stuart played some bewitching boasts but ultimately Patrick's steady head and big drives proved too much and Patrick came out on top 3-1. Next up and in the first string match Ian green had a nip and tuck game against Dave Jubb but managed to sneak in his customary blend of lunging drops and rolled backhands to pull away the 3-1 victor.

In the absence of Mike Perring, Will Kerr donned the now legendary number 4's "Bjorn Band" and proceeded to engage in a 5 set epic against Graham Morrison. Initially the play was all Will's way as he strode to a 2-0 lead but Graham dug deep and took a tight 3rd and 4th before Will resurrected his "A" game and took the 5th for a fine 3-2 victory.

Chris Mair was next on against Alan Russell. Some tight nicked drives were being played by both protagonists but under the watchful eye of Ian, Chris managed to steer home a 3-1 victory. Brian Buchanan and Dan McEwen wrapped up the evenings play with the youngster keeping a steady head against Brian's deft touches to take the 2nd string match for Tyne 3-1.

A banterful pie and pint followed at The Tynesider but 18-10 was the final score on the door as the troops slipped off into the Haddington ink and back to Edinburgh ………... things are looking promising for GRG1. (Report:CM)

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Grange 2's home v Waverley 2's (Tue, Feb 24,'09)

Just a quick placeholder. Dougie Brown beat Allan Baird, Robert Pfab beat Alan Ramsay, Ali G lost 1-3 to Mike Read but Tony Gribben brough home the bacon with an impressive 3-0 against young Noakes. Mike Hall lost out to Rob Speight playing some good stuff.
Overall 3-2, 15-8? Talk of the night was the dodgy ball the 6 players put up with.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Grange 3 v Waverley 4 - Monday 23rd Feb 2009

After weeks of humbling all comers, the Grange thirds were put firmly back in their place by a very good Waverley 4 side, to the tune of a 19-7 loss.

The evening started well enough with Mark Dutton at No5 taking on Scary Backhand Man (a.k.a John Usher). This was a very tough struggle for Mark against the only man to beat him in the season to date. An absorbing encounter saw the first four games shared but with John well on top in the fourth and the match seemingly going away. Mark found himself very quicky 2-7 down in the fifth but dug in to stop the rot and over a number of tense hand-out sequences managed to contrive a 9-7 victory. 3-2 match result.

Pete Cockburn made a good start at No4 against the young David Munro and just missed out on the first 8-10. After that though, his week-long cold/flu started to increasingly take its toll and David dominated more and more as Pete weakened and the 0-3 eventual loss was near enough inevitable.

At number 3 the ever-reliable Mike Scott turned out to be not quite so reliable on this one occasion. Mike wasn't particularly happy with his own match, but in fairness he did run into a Damien Noade who was having his own personal match-of-the-season. Mike never really got a foot in the door on the night and was under pressure from Damien at all times for a 0-3 loss.

A very similar story for our other Mr Reliable, Alan Stokes at No 2. On the day, Donald Shearer played some superb squash and Alan was only able to resist the onslaught for brief periods each game. 0-3 on the night.

The night finished up with Patrick Langley at No1 looking to restore some respectability to the scorecard against Allan Ramsay. It looked very much like that would be a formality after two quite comfortable games went Patrick's way and we were all planning an early tuck-in to the soup, pizzas and beer. Trouble is that Allan suddenly started to play squash....and Patrick kinda stopped. Allan took the third and then the fourth was a whitewash (not so much as hand-out) and at 2-8 down in the fifth Patrick was staring down the barrel of a defeat. Patrick, though, is made of sterner stuff than that and instead chose to interpret this position as the opportunity for a heroic comeback. He duly went on to win the eight rallies that he required to close out the match. Trouble was that Allan also won the other eight rallies that went in between those and after some ten minutes the score was still 2-8. The inevitable finally happened and Patrick was unable to save a ninth match point and a 2-3 loss was the result.

The 7-19 result (incl referee bonus points) was a fair reflection of the night and now leaves the Thirds pretty certain to finish in 3rd place behind Inveresk and Waverley 4.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Grange 3 v Dalgety Bay 3 ..Thurday 19th Feb 2009

Another great result for Grange 3, beating Dalgety Bay 3 by 20 points to 5.

In the opener at No 5 Jonathan Frame took on Sandy Lax and comfortably won the first. Jonathan went walkabout a bit in the second but resumed his composure and walked off with the next two being relatively untroubled on the way. 3-1

In the unaccustomed heady heights at No 3, Mark Dutton ran up against a very handy touch player in Graham Small. A hard fought first game went Mark's way 10-8 and he gradually overpowered Graham in the next two to win well, aided in particular by Graham's deep discomfort with the insane mixture of serves coming at him from all angles and all speeds.

At No 4, last week's new recruit Richard Van Lienden gave a near exact replica performance in coming out very slowly but then gradually getting on with it to win easily against the young and quite handy Steven Literacki. The first game was lost 8-10 with the tables being completely turned by the fourth game with a 9-0 finish. 3-1

At No2 Christy Looby was always well in control of the match against Paul Jukes winning the first two games with the loss of only two points. Paul changed racquets and squash brains for the third game and put Christy under a lot of pressure to take one back, but normality returned in the fourth. 3-1

To finish the night at No 1, Dougie Brown took on Ken Clements. Dougie was very much in control throughout and was untroubled to close it out 3-0.

Next week...the big one versus our Waverley competition for second place.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Firsts @ Waverley 1 (Wed, Feb 18,'09)

The firsts scored 7-18 against Waverley last night, points were Chris 1,Mike 3, Al 1. Chris Ferguson was spectacular! Allan hung in pretty well and put on a good show. (AG)

Seconds home v Abercorn I (wed, Feb 18,'09)

A good performance from all saw the seconds cruise to a much needed 18-5 victory against Abercorn. Will was on the rack against tough opposition from Bruce Russell. Bruce's deception had Will running like never before, and he easily took the first game, and then the second. Will dug deep in the third, to take it 9-7. The running had obviously taken its toll as Will finally succumbed in the fourth. 2-9, 5-9, 9-7, 2-9.
Mike put in a fine display against Ian Ross, and didn't give him a lookin. 9-2, 9-4, 9-3. Robert was on such good fighting form that his opponent was too scared to even show up. W/O

Alan was initially on the ropes against Steve Whitby, an unorthodox player who grabbed every chance to volley. Two games down, Alan stuck with it, competing fiercely to take the third and fourth. We were all set for a tense and nailbiting finish, but Steve caved in - Alan'scompetitive approach scored a decisive mental victory. 3-9, 5-9, 9-5,9-7, 9-0
Tony made a long-awaited return to the team after injury. There were glimpses of the old magic (beware mini-league 1) as he easily took thefirst two games from Bernard Starkey. A wobble in the third gave Bernard two game points at 9-9, but Tony kept with it to close out. 9-6, 9-2,10-9
Will Kerr 1-3 Mike Hall 3-0 Rob Pfab w/o Alan Stokes 3-2 Tony Gribben 3-0 Overall 18-5 (report: RP)