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)