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)

Friday, 13 February 2009

Grange 3 vs Dunbar 2 Thursday 12th Feb 2008.

Just a short blog this week as the 20-0 scoreline says pretty much all that's needed. Everybody played very well on the night in the arctic conditions that prevail inside the St George's courts and comfortably accounted for their opposite numbers.

At no 5 our debutante Richard van Lienden had a slowish start against A. Murphy but was well on top by the end of the first game and gave away very few points in the second and third. 3-0.

At no 4 Mark Dutton likewise had a hard fought first game against N. Black but some good drops and length were sufficient to dominate the next two games. 3-0.

At no 3 Pete Cockburn was untroubled in dispatching R Baty 3-0.

At No 2 Christy Looby gave away only one point in the first two games against D. Wiessengerber and ran to 8-0 up in the third before his conscience got the better of him and he eased off the gas to save his opponents blushes. Nice guys very nearly finished last in the sense that Mr Wiessengerber chose that moment to reel off a series of excellent winners combined with some pretty ropey ones and suddenly Chrisy found himself 8-9 down. A couple of nervous handouts followed with Christy finally managing to save his own blushes. 3-0

Patrick Langley ran into the sternest opposition of the night at No 1 against the rapidly improving Graham Jones. He took a very tight first game 10-9 and followed that up by increasing dominance of the next two to run out 3-0.

A great result for us in our mission to claim second spot.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Seconds @ Edin Uni Studs II (Wed, Feb 11,'09)

Everyone was fighting hard for it. Best efforts by kerr hall and pfab – they all made a good dent into class players. Dougie played a gazelle – far too fast! Ali in his own words could have done better. 8 points is a decent haul against the table-topping students though.

Kerr 1-3
Hall 2-3
Pfab 2-3
Gordon 1-3
Brown 0-3

Overall 8-20, not a bad points haul

Firsts home v Watsons 3 (Wed, Feb 11,'09)

Braving snow and ice the match kicked off with a full compliment from both Grange and Watsons making it to the starters line at at 7 where upon Messers(sic) Stokes and Forest kicked off proceedings on court 2. Stokesy drove, ducked, dived his way to taking the first two in good style. There was a wobble in the third before Stokesy dug deep and took the 4th for a 3-1 win.
(Congrats Alan, with this appearance he reminded us it has been 27 years playing first team squash. We didn't bother disabusing him of this notion ;-)

Brian, fresh from some big wins on the mini league circuit, had the wind in his sails and made short work of Gordon Fruish coming out 3-0 on top. Chris managed to bend his knees just enough to win the 4th string encounter with Ed Murray 3-0 before Ian took to the court and gave a convincing performance to over come Ally Carruth 3-0.

The real action of the night came with Alan taking on Mike Sinclair with his "ping-pong dropshots". It was a hard hitting affair and Mike twice took the lead with some tight shots and knicked drops. Both players looked like they were getting near the wall but......... at 6-1 down in the 4th, Alan summoned up a last push, took the fourth and ran off with the 5th to complete a fantastic 3-2 comeback victory.
1. Allan Hamer bt Mike Sinclair 1-9 9-2 3-9 9-6 9-0
2. Ian Green bt Ally Carruth 9-0 9-2 9-7
3. Brian Buchanan bt Gordon Fruish 9-1 9-1 9-0
4. Chris Mair bt Ed Murray 9-0 9-7 9-0
5. Alan Stokes bt Andrew Forrest 9-2 9-7 5-9 9-4

So 20-5 the final result and the grangers rock on. Bring on Waverley (report: CM)
I would like to remind Richie Mac that the pizza servings were truly slab-sized as usual at Portgower, eliciting green-eyed comparisons with the Myreside servings from the Watsons contingent. OK, so I just made that part up (CL) ;-)

Oldies home v Tyne crinklies (Mon Feb 9,'09)

Ian Green beat Dave Jubb 3-0: 9-1 9-5 9-7
Brian Buchanan lost to Alan Russell 2-3: 9-5 6-9 9-0 1-9 9-0
Alasdair Gordon lost to Nigel Pearman 2-3: 6-9 9-6 9-7 3-9 7-9
Dougie Brown beat Graham Morrison 3-2: 9-5 9-1 9-10 7-9 9-6
Alan Stokes beat Stuart Falconer 3-0: 9-6 9-3 9-7

Friday, 6 February 2009

Thirds @ Inveresk (Thurs, Feb 5,'09)

For the top of the table clash, we turned out with our strongest possible team... but so did Inveresk. Christy at #4 was first on against Harold Nesse and just lost the set first game, down hill from there feeding Harold's reverse angles with cross-courts through the T; 0-3.

Dougie at #1 was up against it in Adam Lord, Adam was cleaning everything for the loss of just 3 points in the first two but Dougie contested the third to set-point but was unlucky not to sneak it; 0-3.

Michael Scott took John Brown to 5 at #2 but also fell to lack of length feeding his man's reverse angles; 2-3. Pete Cockburn at #5 v Willie Wood, Willie played some slide-rule drops and boasts to take a game but Peter had too much movement and closed out convincingly 3-1.

The finale was #3 Patrick v Samantha Fearnley, some terrific hitting from both players, Patrick got absolutely everything back including stuff he had no right to, a good comeback in the first game from him saw Sam having to throw in some errors which made the difference throughout; 3-0.

Overall, 10-15 so not too much damage done, Dunbar at home on Thurs with the crunch match being at Waverley4 on Mon, Feb 23.

Plenty of banter in the bar after, even with 2 Inveresk players having to leave they had the other squad players in support and second servings of chilli in tortilla wraps hit the spot.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

First's home v Watsonians 2 (Tue, Feb 4,'09)

Grange 1 continued their '09 winning run with a hard fought 15-11 win over Watsons 2.

Building on last weeks sensational overhead shot-making, Will set the early pace with a blistering 3-0 win over John Walbaum. Brian's deft touch eventually overcame the ever-fit Chris Weare in a tense 5th for a crucial 3-2 win.

Mike put all the pace into the 4th string game but ultimately succumbed 1-3 to some fantastic touches from Peter Wilson. Chris and Mike Robson had a hard hitting encounter with Chris managing to squeak past 3-1 while Ian lost 0-3 to Colin Grant in the first string encounter.

A couple of cold ones, some pizza and Ian serving formal notice of his intention to captain the '09/10 side rounded off the evenings entertainment. All in, a tough gig ...........but the fun bus rolls on. (report: CM)

Monday, 2 February 2009

Grange 3 vs Tyne 2 29/02/2008

Another maximum pointer v Tyne 2 sees Grange 3 keep clear blue water between ourselves and Edinburgh Sports and also helps us maintain contact with leaders Inveresk, setting up a great showdown for next weeks top of the table clash. We anticipate that the majority of the world's sporting press will be wanting to attend that one.

The overall result was 20-5. Some good squash played by all but the courts at St George's school are particularly cold and most everybody had at least some periods of difficulty coping with the squash difficulties that presented.

Mike Scott made his third team debut with a solid 3-1 win at No1 over David Ireson. He ran a little hot and cold, but quite a bit more of the former than the latter and ran out a comfortable winner.

At No 4, Pete Cockburn found a tough opponent in Donald Smith who pushed him all the way in each of the three games, taking him to long games in the first two. The third was an equally tight tussle but Pete managed to close it out without (quite) having to go to ten points again.

At no 3 Christy Looby had a comfortable run out against R Jeffries. Brief periods of resistance by his opponent were soon snuffed out and 3-0 was the inevitable result.

At no 2 Patrick Langley was up against S Falconer in the toughest battle of the night. The games swung both ways and it was never clear who would triumph until the fifth game when Patrick pulled away. 3-2.

At No 5 Mark Dutton had a good game against J Ireson and there was never tool much risk to the 3-0 ultimate scoreline. The never-serve-the-same-twice-in-a-row tactic proved his opponent's chief undoing. Having said that, the attempted corkscrew that took a dead nick high up in the front wall corner to travel straight back down the backhand wall at some considerable velocity did cause some amusement to the folks on the balcony.

The off-court events were of the usual Keystone Cops variety with Captain Dutton having driven all the way to the Grange club having entirely forgotten that only two minutes earlier he'd offered a lift to Michael and Patrick. Having finally got the pair to the club via a return journey to the school, Michael announces that he's left his racquet there and Pete C has to take him all the way back.....

Sunday, 1 February 2009

3rds "home" v Tyne (Thurs, Jan 31)

Peter Cockburn at #4 won 3-0. Christy beat Raymond Jeffries 3-0. Mark at #5 won 3-0 against Jerry Ireson with not an orthodox serve in sight. Never before have I seen
someone serve with a clinging drive down their own wall

Next on was Michael Scott against #1 David Ireson, a classic battle of the speed merchant versus the shotmaker. Once Michael stopped paddling it, the result was never in doubt; 3-1.

Last on was #2 Patrick Langley who proceeded to entertain us with a five setter which he duly won.

Overall 20-5 if I remember correctly. Puts us in good position for the trip to Irveresk in their Castle which we have to win if we are to make inroads into their table-top perch. (CL - apologies for any errors)
Food report: sumptuous pizza feast which satiated even the vegetarians among us