Thursday, 4 November 2010

Grange 4ths versus Waverley 4ths ... 2nd November 2010.

A tough, close match saw Grange 4ths victorous by 16 points to 11 at the Waverley courts.

First up was Brian Sloan at no5 in his first match this year for the 4ths. It didn't start too well with Neil Kempsell putting him convincingly to the sword in the first game. The second game was a much closer affair with Brian just managing to nudge Neil out in a long game. After that, Brian must've managed to nick the sword between games as he comfortably closed the match out with only two further points going Neil's way. A 3-1 win for Brian.

At the unaccustomed height of No1 was your's truly (Mark Dutton) against Colin Cruikshank. A pretty poor start from me saw Colin take the first game easily and while the second was a little closer Colin managed to quickly peg back my 4-0 start to take the game again going away. Colin's command of the front of the court being the key factor. The third game was also going very badly for me at 2-7 down and a pretty big thrashing was on the cards. Somehow I managed to get a grip and clawed back to a 10-9 win in that game with a few very nervous match point saves along the way. The fourth game was a very different story though and a 9-0 win was the result achieved primarily through the medium of a ridiculous barrage of corkscrew serves, straight-at-the-body serves, straight down the middle serves…all the usual nonsense. The fifth game proved to be the talking point of the night. I'd started that the way of the previous game and had established a 5-1 lead. I'd certainly been somewhat vocal during the match (especially with some "self-encouragement" in the first two games) and in the later games had discussed a few points with the referees (…in a reasonable fashion, I felt). Colin had expressed some displeasure at the distractions from the actual matter of playing squash and two queried decisions in a row at 5-1 proved to be the final straw for Colin and he announced to the umpire that he was conceding the match and walked off. As Colin's unable to put his side of the case in this blog I won’t take advantage by putting mine and will just leave it at that. 3-2 win for Mark.

Next up was Will Henderson against Peter Cochrane at No2. Will started well and managed to nick the first game when it looked to be going away. A similarly close second game went against him. At that point it was clear that both players were struggling with the on-court heat and the heaters were switched off. Two further relatively mixed games followed with plenty of good rallies being interspersed with some unforced errors that disappointed both players. Peter managed to retain the better control and an out the winner. 1-3 loss for Will.

At No5 Neil Love managed a good start to share the first two games with Chris Jeffrey. The next two games were very hard fought with the only visible difference perhaps being the slightly better shot placement by Chris that on a number of occasions saw Neil fall just agonisingly short of reaching them for a return. The final game was a very close affair with Chris almost throwing it away by tinning an easy match point and Neil then very nearly stealing it, but Chris grabbed the serve back and a woop of delight as he picked up the final point showed how hard he felt the match had been. A 1-3 loss for Neil.

Last up was Andy Whitelaw at No 4 against John Allan. (Note to Andy….remember next time that Waverley starts at 6pm …not 7pm. Another note to Andy…check that your racket has all of its strings before you leave home). This turned out to be the best match Andy's played for the the team this year and he was in good control throughout. Some crisp hitting and good running saw him take the first two games using Neil Love's borrowed racket. Neil was up on the balcony fretting that he hadn't put it onto "record" mode before he handed it over as Andy was doing some good stuff with it. A period of resistance from John in the third game gave us all a momentary scare that we might see the match result go west, but Andy quickly regained control and closed it out for a 3-0 win. Mark Dutton

No comments: