Saturday, 30 January 2010

mighty Thirds home v Royal Bank (Thurs 28 Jan '10)

Captain Cockburn had the heating on early and Rob Pfab went on the cold court with Eric Donohoe. Rob was back from 3weeks surfing in Morocco but adapted o the ice box and went thru Eric in 3. Stokesy was up againt a very strong #3 in Lewy Parkinson, the gloves came off in the secon and in the third he got his nose ahead only to be pipped at the post: 0-3.

Christy had the upper hand over Richard Maspero 3-0. Mark D was his usual entertaining self, the dive was re-introduced after a long abscence (the balcony agreed that the dive was slower than a slow walk). The corkscrew serves ended when his opponent Neil Palepa(sp?) manage to get a stroke without playing a ball. To cap it all, Mark managed to hit himself in the nose with his own shot at point blank range from the wall. After all that, a 3-0 win.

Finally Peter Cockburn went on with Mark Adderley and soaked up everything thrown at him to take it 3-0. Overall 4-1, 17-5.

Talk back at Grange was of bankers bonuses and how 8 people could eat pizza for 10 without appearing gluttonous ;-)

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Grange 4 vs Dean 2 - Wed January 27th 2010

The division's two newly created teams faced each other for the second time this season and despite the Dean team's valiant efforts the Grange 4 steamroller carried on with the third 20 pointer in a row.

Opening the night was Ian Forbes against Alan Jamieson at No 4. The first game began with a close tussle looking in prospect but as the game progressed Ian asserted his dominance and took it well. He moved away even further in the next two games and didn't give much away at all with a good solid 3-0 win.

Avoiding a repeat of last week's "geographical embarrassment" Dean Woods arrived on time and went on at No 5 against Luke Williams. He did his darnedest to live up to his reputation as a perennial first game loser but just did enough to snatch it 9-8 at the death. He stepped up a gear and took better control in the next two games and his tight play forced a few too many errors out of Luke for him to really threaten. A comfortable 3-0 in the end.

At No2 Andy Whitelaw had a long five setter against Ian Walford. On the colder of the two courts very few balls threatened to hit the glass wall at the back and each rally really ended up boiling down to whoever could contrive to get the drop shot in first. In the event it was Andy with the greater percentage and a 3-2 win to show for it.

At No 3 was Mark Dutton up against Fraser Maxwell. Once again Mark's "mixed" serving strategy payed dividends with quite a lot of points won relatively cheaply either directly off the serve or by pouncing on poor returns. This time that was backed up by some very tight switch backhand drops to the forehand corner that had Fraser regularly wrong-footed and a little frustrated. Fraser picked up his game very well in the third and cut off a lot and pushed Mark around the court and had he managed to snatch that game it could have been an interesting remainder of the match. As it was Mark tightened up his squash and reasserted dominance to take the game for a 3-0 win.

The most entertaining match of the night was Dougie Brown's against the tall Ross Anderson (well…about a foot and half taller than Dougie, anyway) at No 1. It was a see-saw battle throughout with Dougie having long periods where he'd play some brilliant forehand drops and tricksy switch backhand drops and likewise Ross giving Dougie a hard time by running everything down and being particularly effective in turning some of Dougie's attempted lobs into tightly dropped shots into either corner. Doug lost the first game and took the second where his touch for the drops and boasts was at its best. That touch deserted him a little in the third which he lost closely and he chose to move to a much more precentage based length game which proved to be the right decision as he took the fourth in another close tussle but then ran out a very easy winner in the fifth as though all the previous struggles had been an entirely different match. The champagne moment of the night came in the second game where Ross had barely managed to retrieve a Dougie drop and had finished up laying flat on his back at the front of the court with the ball bobbing out to Dougie standing in the T poised for a winner. Dougie, being the gentleman he is, of course refrained from playing the shot and the stroke was duly awarded. The challenge then came from Ross who claimed on a technicality that it couldn't have been a stroke since Dougie could actually play a shot to any part of the front wall and it was only the tin that his prostrate form was preventing Dougie from hitting. To referee Forbes' credit, he was unswayed by that eloquently argued case and the stroke stood.

It’s also worth making note of the unusual scene of the bicycle convoy that made its way from St Georges to the Grange club afterwards. Usually it's only Dean but on the night three intrepid cyclists ventured out into the cold with their blinking lights for the pleasant downhill trip through the backstreets of Ravelston and Stockbridge.

The match result of 20 points to 4 is another big one for the 4th team and sets us up nicely for the match next week against the strong Waverley side. At this stage of the season that's looking like the match most likely to have a bearing on the division title.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Grange 4 vs Colinton Castle 6 (a.ka. C-Rooks 3) - Friday 22nd January 2010

The night started very well in that we didn't have to wait for a snow-plough to get up Katesmill Lane this time as we did a few weeks earlier. The ease of access still didn't help Dean Wood though who wandered around the streets of darkest Colinton for quite some time before stumbling across the courts by accident and fronting up 45 minutes late, having given already Christy and his captain mild heart palpitations.

The real business of the night started with Mark Dutton at No 2 against Bill Brown. Relishing a warm court after weeks of iceboxes, Mark came out of the blocks quickly and never looked back. Tricksy serving and decent dropping and volleying proved too much for his opponent who did manage to put the pressure back on from time to time but never really threatened to take the match. 3-0

Gordon Sloan in his second outing for the team at No 5 dropped only a few points per game against Fraser Steven. Unfortunately, this author didn’t see any of that game as he was playing his own at that time, but the scoresheet makes telling enough reading. 3-0

Ian Forbes at No 3 had a somewhat tougher match at No3 against Chris Green but was ultimately in control of every game and good length and width saw him run out 3-0.
Dean Wood made his now seemingly customary slow start, losing the first game at No 4 against Dave Cook. He now claims that all scoresheets used for his matches should just be pre-printed with a 3-9 loss in his first game just to save all that hanging about. The real Dean emerged in game 2 and as the match went he increased his dominance in each game to run out the winner. 3-1.

Christy's match at No1 was against the hard-hitting policeman Mike Brown. The first game was very hard fought with Christy taking advantage right at the end of a lapse in concentration by Bill following a minor refereeing dispute. The next two games were similarly hard and fast encounters but Christy was in good control and pushed Mike around the court to go away with match.

A very good 20-1 win. Can't ask for more than that….other than p'raps an improvement in Dean's navigation skills……

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Two away at home v Edinburgh Sports 3's (Fri, Jan 22,'10)

The 2s were away at home on Friday night. With ESC courts being double booked because of the masters we busted the locks of the St Georges courts and got on with it!

As usual there was a chill in the air as the first 2 matches got under way. Tony Gribben went on against Kirsty Craig who despite her young age had plenty experience. Both were playing some tight shots with the first 4 games being shared. They battled on in the 5th neck and neck until Kirsty got to 7-5 lead with bags of support from her team mates. The grange man sucked it up though and battled on to take it 9-7 and the match. Great result.

On the other court our resident squash technician Mike Hall was waging war with Helen Macfie. The court was freezing with neither player willing to put any heat into things as the lobs died deep and the drops rolled out the knicks. Helen took the first in tight rallyless affair. Mike kept his focus and kept the shots tight and made some excellent pick ups at the front to turn things his way taking it 3-1

Pete Cockburn went on at 5 against South African Des Creasey. Sneaking onto the warmer of the 2 courts he kicked things off clinching a tight 1st game 9-7. The 2nd game was much the same with some awkward cross courts and corkscrew serves coming from Des helping him to get it 9-6. Pete fired into top gear in the 3rd taking it 9-0 only to let Des back in the fourth to level it. Pete screwed the nut in the 5th to take it 9-3 as Des ran out of puff. 3-2 to Pete.

Next door on the frozen court things needed heating up! Enter Robin Steel and fellow SLASHER Andrew Snowden. Bit of history going on here from robin’s days down at ESC as both went on court and proceeded to try and out do each other in the battering department. The ball was soon bouncing big and both guys were chasing everything in some relentless rallying. The big granger more than matched Andrew’s power and was reaching everything to help him secure it 3-1.

The No. 1 match was Mike Perring Vs JJ Tait with JJ looking to get the first ESC points on the board. The first game went to Mike as he fought back to steal it from under JJ’s nose 10-8. The second game was just as tight as JJ slotted away some excellent drops from the back to counter Mikes usual sleek touches at the front. Mike was leading until JJ went on the charge to get to game ball. JJ was fired up as Mike seemed to look out of things. Some more tight shots to the front along with some sweeping cross court backhands from Mike meant the ESC man chasing nothing as Mike fought back again to edge it 10-8. The third game started off tight again with it taking an age to get to 4-4. JJ was sitting at 5-4 for a while until Mike decided to finish things off by charging on a 5 point run seeing off JJ with confident dropping and some excellent cross court driving. A tight match with Mike taking it 3-0.
Overall, I make it 20-10 to Grange.
Back down the hill to ESC for masses of lasagne and a few beers. In my opinion the best scran in squash town! (Report: Cockburn, Eastern brother)

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Grange 3 @ Dalgety Bay 3 Monday 19th Jan

Following last weeks Grange 4 v Dalgety Bay 4 victory, the pressure was on for Grange 3 v Dalgety Bay 3. We reckoned this might be tough...

5. Andy lost to Colin Boswell. A hard match against Colin, whose fitness knows no bounds, and who was their first half no.2. 0-3.
4. Dougie was technically in command against Scott Boswell, but Scott had amazing speed and tenacity that clinched the first games 9-7 and 10-8. Dougie took the 3rd, but Scott closed out with an energetic burst in the 4th. 3-1.
3. Stokesy took the first match for Grange against the colourful Willie Schultz. 3-1.
2. Al beat Neil Shepherd 3-0, leaving the team's undefeated record and chance of 2009/10 division 4 victory in the capable hands of Patrick....
1. Alan Jones is never an easy customer and tonight was no exception. He was playing well, cutting off anything but clingers and sending our man to all corners, not to mention the offputting ref appeals and general disruptive banter. Patrick answered with a solid performance, gave us a scare when he dropped a game, but pulled through with a convincing 3-1 win.

Overall, 3-2 and 15-10. Curry and ale at the Hillend Tavern rounded the evening off nicely, then we climbed into Dougie's Volvo, suitably pleased with ourselves, for the flight back to Edinburgh.

Grange 4 v Dalgety Bay 4 13.01.10

All the Grange men won:

5. Richard beat Pete Jones 3-0
4. Gordon beat Graham Small 3-2
3. Will Henderson beat Dave Brown 3-0
2. Dean beat Scott Drummond 3-1
1. Andy beat Graham Kirk 3-1

An impressive result against 3rd place Dalgety Bay.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

Grange 3 v Colinton 4 Thurs 14th Jan

5. Mark played every conceivable angle, and took full advantage of cold courts against Mike 3-0.
4. Dougie and Bob were neck and neck for the main, both playing good length and accuracy in the cold, but Dougie pulled through in each game, 3-0.
3. Stokesy played John who carried a sledging injury, but triumphed nonetheless 1-3.
2. Al faced a barrage of drops from Jamie, but got the measure of them and 3-0.
1. Patrick and Stuart had a long match, Patrick finishing 9-7 in the 5th, just hanging on to his 100% record.

It was stiff opposition from Colinton tonight, so a good result. 18 - 5, and off to the Grange for Pizza.

Clash of the Titans: Over 50's cup

An excellent night's squash for the decent audience who came to see team player Andy Whitelaw play club stalwart Harvey Frew.

With a 9 point handicap, Andy had it all to do just to reach parity in the best of 5 American score final. In a tight first game, serves were swapped with regularity with Harvey playing some neat lobs and good dropshots to both corners. Andy kept Harvey at the back with some classic squash which saw him edging the first 15-14.

A well earned 90 second break saw the handicap increase to 11 and Harvey played some great winners to take the game to love.
Game 3 with the prospect of two more two more to come saw both players swap services with quick rallies and good kills. Andy edged the game 15-11.

Tiredness really crept in in game 4 which Harvey had to win to stay in the tournament. Some typical Harvey lobs to the backhand making full use of the high ceiling saw him take the game with the first of what must be a club record 16 game points!

Both players were really knackered by now and had to dig deep in the decider. With the support of an increasingly vociferous gallery saw some great (and sometimes desperate rallies). Harvey took the match to the brink of victory before Andy valiantly fought back 2-13 to 10-13. With American scoring Harvey needed to produce some specials and this he duly did to close out 15-10 winner and our first over 50's champion of the 21st century.
A great game of contrasting styles, sportingly played (no let calls) and plenty of entertainment for the gallery. Well done to both players and thanks to all those who entered the competition.
Pete Young - Competitions Secretary

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Grange II home v Linlithgow II – 12/01/10

First game back after Xmas saw the 2’s take on Linlithgow 2’s down at the Grange. First on court to shake of the rust was the No. 5 match of Pete Cockburn Vs “Auld” Dougie Raeburn (his description, not mine!!). Dougie was giving away a few years to the grange man but what he had in age he also had in experience and shots!! Pete took an early 7-2 lead only to be brought back 8-8 by some good running from Dougie along with some nice lengths. After calling for 2 Pete got back the handout and back in the match taking the first 10-8. After tightening up the length and some nice volleying (honestly!) he took the next two games went 9-2, 9-2 for a 3-0 win in a game that saw lots of running from both players in a well contested match.

Mike Hall took to court one in the No. 4 match against Linlithgow’s Mark Pilcher. Having not seen this one I can only guess that Mike’s intensity and possibly even precision was too much for Mark with Mike making quick work of things 9-1, 9-3, 9-2. 3-0 to the Grange.

The No.1 match of Robin Steel Vs Linlithgow’s Gordon Henderson went on after this. Robin who was sporting some interesting legwear!! took an early lead with some good touches at the front along with the usual ferocious power. However, he was soon pegged back by Gordon who definitely had on his running shoes to take the first all the way to 9-9. Robin came through taking the first 10-9 followed by the next equally tight game 9-6. Looking to close out in three Robin felt it was time for a breather and let the next go 1-9 but soon sorted it though by tightening up and romping home 9-2 in the fourth.

The No.3 Match saw Tony Gribben going head to head with Ian Bannister. A slow start saw Tony lose the first 9-4 as Ian mixed up the pace with some tight driving and dropping. Tony tightened things up in his usual style playing some tricky lengths and drops to edge the second 9-7 and then the third 9-5 in a similar fashion. Thinking Tony was on top of things I went out to sort out some tasty treats from Franco’s only to return to find Tony on the end of a 2-3 defeat with Ian taking the last two 9-5 and 9-3. A tight game with some excellent shot making from both players.

The last match of the night saw a Grange debut for Clive Allison up against Linlithgow’s Ashley Mears. The latest signing to the Grange was up against stiff opposition who was running down everything and fighting hard with her own dropping and tight driving. Clive fought hard to take the first 9-5 and the second 9-7 coming from 5-7 behind in a game that could have gone either way. Clive tightened thing up in the third with some excellent driving and very tight volleying to put the game out of reach. 9-2 to Clive in the 3rd. Should be noted that Clive made his debut in a fetching red Grange T-shirt. Obliviously meaning business then!! (Sounds like it was 19-6 0verall)

Upstairs we were back on the Franco’s. Bit of haggling was required to get the usual price. Good news we are still enjoying the best pizza deal in town!! Some good banter and a surprising amount of fresh orange and lemonade being consumed. See how long that resolution lasts!! (Report: Cockburnator, eastern sibling)

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Grange 3 v Inveresk 17.12.09

Thanks to Alan Stokes for this overdue match report:
Censored, due to the author writing this at the bar on Fri and being out of his skull with de drink, te hee.
Grange 3 v Inveresk
Was it a bird, was it a plane was it a pride of lions? No it was the Thirds playing without their clothes on (woops Freudian slip) out of their skins.. Who did not get a game, although he was very chirpy ( not through sex allegedly, he has not heard this word for quite a while- It must have been drugs.- guess who..? AW
The Irishman went on court and should as usual have been in Amsterdam, what do they have in Amsterdam? Yes you got it – windmills!! Woops, sorry he was not there; he was only there for the Pizza. Always comes for the Pizza and to get away from the kids.

PC you thought that poser was pretty old in his demeanour, in fact he was younger than you, but you still only managed to get a game of him! PC went down 3-1
Not used to the calamity of the 3rds, he offered in the showers afterwards, Patrick a large piece of advice, Christy who heard about this afterwards at the meal, stated that he is the only person to offer large pieces of advice to the younger members of the team- his court case is only pending, that means he has not been found guilty yet.. Moving on
Alistair looked as though he had young children and his mother in Law had taken them to the park- hence he was very tired when he arrived for the match, having taken advantage of the ‘free time’ with his wife!! Although he won 3-0
There was a particularly good looking guy perusing over the balcony and this put Patrick off his stroke, until he realised it was Stokesy. (his coach) Then he started to concentrate again and won 3-2
Stokesy went on court with a someone older than him and managed to win 3-1.

The 3rds won 18-8 and have an unbeaten record for the first half of the season. We look forward to the next half season for more social interaction in the showers and even more squash.

Pete Cockburn v Adam Lord 1-3
Patrick Langley v John Brown 3-2
Al Gordon v Hardold Nesse 3-0
Alan Stokes v Willie Wood 3-1
Andy Whitelaw - w/o
Overall 18-8

Friday, 8 January 2010

Grange 4ths vs CCSC5 7th Janauary 2010.

This re-scheduled match started in an interesting fashion with everybody's cars struggling up a snow-bound and un-gritted Katesmill Lane and slithering around the Colinton Castle carpark in a humorous and fortunately non-fatal manner. The spectacle of the muscular bulk of Andy Whitelaw trying vainly by himself to push your's truly's BMW backwards out of an ill-judged sloping parking space with wheels spinning ineffectually is one that I'll not forget for a while since the only thing I could see was the straining face just poking up over the bonnet…

The business end of proceedings started out with Mark Dutton at no 3 taking on Kevin Vincent in what has been universally described (particularly by the two participants) as the worst match of squash in the history of ..well…squash. Two comfortable (if clumsy) wins to Mark were then followed up by two equally comfortable and equally clumsy wins by Kevin. Mark took the final game and then the pain was finally over. 3-2.

Debutante Richard Nisbet's match was unfortunately unobserved by this author, but the scoresheet showed a very confident start to his team career with only a few points being conceded in each game against Sandy Williams. 3-0.

Pete Young took on Adrian Caxton at no 4. All of the games were close and in all the player who took command initially then went on to be overtaken. Pete came off second best on the night for 1-3.

Andy Whitelaw at No 2 had a tough match and for some periods both players showed some discomfort with the cold conditions in a match that didn't really flow as well as most. Some good play in amongst it all with Andy drawing away to win 3-1.

There's always someone who delays the beer and grub and in this case it was Christy at no 1, repeating his titanic struggle from the third team against the very capable Gareth Wright. Both players played particularly well and there was a lot of flowing play in the cold conditions that the rest of us couldn't manage. Christy looked to be heading for a quick shower initially as Gareth took command, but Christy came right back into it. Unfortunately history repeated itself with a close 5th game going to Gareth. 2-3.

Overall a 17-11 win and that's enough to edge us to the top of the table at the half way point.

Friday, 1 January 2010

The most visited squash club on the internet!

Thanks to Google, we know how many of you visit our website, what you look at when you are here, where you come from,.. what colour socks you wear (ok I made that bit up ;-).

1,016 Visits

368 Absolute Unique Visitors

1,341 Pageviews

00:00:39 Time on Site

Thank you for your interest in Grange Squash club over the season.