Monday, 28 February 2011

Mini-league 5 results record(Feb 28,'11)

We have a handful of dropouts this time and, unusually, no new players. So down to 19 leagues this time, with the bottom two having 5 players each. Hopefully there will be no disappointments this time re promotions and a few of you will have gone up 2 leagues. Drag your cursor in the frame below to see your results. Click on this Link for an archive of this month's mini-league

The last league was fantastically well supported, with 235 games played across the 20 leagues, a new record by miles. I like to think this was due to competition for the Minileaguer of the Year prizes, which will be decided on the basis of the first 5 leagues and announced on Finals Night for the club tournament. Its going to be a difficult decision with so many players playing all their games. (D. Brown, Mini-League Sec)

Grange 3 v ESC4 24th Feb

ESC4 have struggled to turn out their regular players all through the season and have sunk to 9th place, but tonight they found a stellar side for Grange 3! Will they gain 27 points on Grange in the remaining 3 matches to evade relegation though?? (a tall order, I think...)

Allan Wallace took our only win against Kirsty Craig with characteristic speediness and retrieving 3-0.
Jonathan lost out to Helen McFie and her text book drop shots in 5.
Stephen Eyles played Mark Hallam (known to Matrix as Mary, and appearing as Mark for the first time in several years) - a tough opponent, giving us no change.
Will Henderson had JJ on the run at 2-0, but not for the first time against Grange, JJ came back to win 3-2.
Al came up against star player Leszek - rebuilt and back into action, he closed out the night for ESC in decisive form .
Helen and Mark ate pizza for 5 back at the Grange.

Still to play we have:

David Lloyd Leith 1 - 9th place
Dalgety Bay 3 - 4th place
Dean 1 - 5th place

Home Team: Grange 3
Away Team: Edinburgh Sports Club 4
1Alasdair Gordon007
Leszek Stelmachowski1327
2Will Henderson0228
Jonathan Tait1342
3Steve Eyles0016
Mary Hallam1327
4Jonathan Frame0229
Helen Macfie1336
5Allan Wallace1327
Kirsty Craig0011


TeamRound 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Bonus
Waverley 2 Comp Points14171318141515518171618121513



Linlithgow 2 Comp Points1713131515915156181514151811



Abercorn 1 Comp Points15914151415941812615181816



Dalgety Bay 3 Comp Points61516168416715150161697



Dean 1 Comp Points16998181816121536231613



Tyne 1 Comp Points55151881451626181521416



Grange 3 Comp Points1671041315171561646887



Hatton Comp Points97631011108189165957



Edinburgh Sports Club 4 Comp Points9149324985618918815



David Lloyd 1 Comp Points71886615143958617




Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Fours home v Bank of Scotland(22/2/11)

A good tussle against the top team. Dougie Brown against #5 Alan Cochrane was a cracker with both players having dominant periods. Dougie dominated the one that mattered, the fifth, building up an 8-1 lead and managed to close out a few points later.

Didn't see Andy Whitelaw's game at #4, see what you can glean from the score below.
Gavin Fulton at #3 had the measure of Robin Nisbet but he was suffering from tin-itis tonight from the few rallies I saw and that was the difference in the end.
Christy Looby at #2 sank without trace, again, against Rob Norris.

So there we were, 9:10 with no time-wasting & just the #1's to play for the bonus points. Plenty of time, you'd have thought. Gavin Walker v Ralph, unbelievable retrieving, excellent shot making interspersed with terrible tins, 2-2 we played up to 9:55 and had to conced the fifth due to lack of time. Everyone showered back at Grange where we had just 6 people for 4 pizzas, first time ever there were leftoverS for my lunch today. Overall 12-17 against the top team in the division.
Man of the Match must go to Gavin and Ralph for being so sporting about how it finished up. (Report: Loob)

Teams:Grange 4 vs Bank of Scotland


1Gary Walker0230

Ralph Bain1337
2Christy Looby0012

Rob Norris1327
3Gavin Fulton0230

Robin Nisbet1334
4Andrew Whitelaw1328

Bob Porch0121
5Dougie Brown1332

Alan Cochrane0231

Competition Points10


Sunday, 20 February 2011

Grange 5 home vs Watsonians 4(17/2/11)

Strength in Depth

At the start of tonight’s game, the Barbarians were lying sixth in the table, albeit with a game in hand. Watsonians were just below us. After a couple of call-offs, tonight’s team was Dave Grieve, myself, Pete Roberts, Richard Nisbet and Dean Wood – a testimony to the strength in depth in our Barbarians.

First up was Dean against a late Watsonians replacement who was playing his first competitive match for 2 years. Dean, of course, was professional throughout and was quickly off to play a mini-league game with a 9-1, 9-0, 9-2 win under his belt.

On the other court, Richard was having a tough game. In the first he went 5-2 down before coming back one point at a time as his opponent served 7 times at 5 points without scoring. But Richard’s perseverance endured and he won 9-6. In the second he raced off to a 7-1 lead before his opponent began to find range. As Richard tightened up, so the rallys got longer and longer and at 8-3 he lost 4 game points as the score moved on to 8-7. But he held his nerve to take it 9-7. The third followed a similar pattern with Richard moving to 6-2 up before being pegged back to 7-7. But some great retrieving saw him win out 9-7 for an excellent 3-0 win. 2-0 to Grange.

Next up was Peter Roberts in just his second competitive match. The steely look on his face said that last week’s hiccup was not going to be repeated. In the first game 8 serves were exchanged before the first point was on the board and the game ebbed and flowed back and forth to 6-6. At this point Pete continued his phenomenal running and closed it out 9-6. His superior fitness was beginning to tell now and roars of ‘how did you get that?’ and ‘not again’ told the story as he closed the match out 9-1, 9-3 for his first competitive victory. A great confidence booster. 3-0 Grange.

I was next on court in what turned out to be the match of the evening – but for the wrong reasons. In the changing room before hand I had been chatting to Peter from Watsonians and we’d been saying how it is good to get a good run about and not take it too seriously, after all it is the 5th Division. The first game was even to 2-2 when a run of points took me to 8-2 before closing out 9-4. That was fine, except for the constant whining and moaning from my opponent who challenged every point and the complained to the ref if he didn’t get the call. The same continued into the next game. At 5-4 up, he got a run to be 8-4 up when more poor behaviour led me to ask him ‘Do you want to play properly? Or do you just want to ‘leave’ off now?’. He just looked at me, but said nothing. Anyway, I managed to save the game point (again, more whinging) and recovered to 8-8 when he called ‘set 1’. I couldn’t close it out, neither could he, nor me, nor him before I eventually won (deservedly I thought) 9-8. Not much more to say from here except that his game improved, his behaviour didn’t and I began to tire and the next three were lost 5-9, 7-9, 2-9.

Dave meanwhile had had a tough match at number 1. A game against a strong opponent was made harder by a lack of match fitness following a bout of flu. The first were lost 3-9, 1-9 before a great recovery saw Dave take the third 10-8. But he couldn’t hold on and lost the third 5-9.

So, all-in-all a good 17-6 victory. Dinner was Franco’s finest and some good, if rather embarrassed, banter. That win takes the Barbarians up to second in the table. Next games are top of the table clashes with Edinburgh Sports Club and David Lloyd 2. (Report: Mike D)

Friday, 18 February 2011

Caption competition...

Slow week on the squash front with mid-term break meaning hardly any team matches...

Captions can be entered by clicking on the comments and signing your name in the "Name/URL" radio button on it.

Prize for the best comment, something from the Titan Sports range.

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Grange 5 @ Colinton Castle 5(9/2/11)


As you have probably guessed, this week’s match was another case of the inexperienced Barbarians snatching defeat from the jaws of victory against one of the division’s top sides.

The week started off with the traditional three things going wrong. Firstly Neil Love extended his stay in Barcelona (again) and was subbed by Dean. Then sicknote Grieve got a sniffle and Stephen Davey stepped in for his third outing of the year. That meant everyone moving up a place and so we took to court with me, Pete Roberts (our Babas virgin of the evening), Richard Nisbet, Stephen Davey and Dean Wood. Oh, and the third thing? After picking Dean up en route, we were bemused to see an octogenarian turn right at Chesser and come straight at us down the wrong side of the road. A few seconds more and we’d have started 6-0 down! How we laughed...

First up was Dean who was clearly in the mood to make up for his shocking performances in the mini-leagues which has seen him drop to unheard of depths. He was in control from start to finish as he allowed his opponent just 10 points on his way to a 3-0 win. Good start.

Following a plea from the hosts, I was next on at number 1 – don’t laugh. It started off pretty well with some reasonable play and I was soon 2-0 up. But my opponent was beginning to find his range and everything was dying on the back wall. But some major scurrying around saw me edge ahead in the third and I was soon serving for the match at 8-7 up. A poor backhand from my opponent clipped the corner and the ball came back by his leg. I called the stroke and turned to shake hands only to hear a ‘Let Ball’ from the balcony. I enquired politely what planet he was from, but was reassured that he was from earth, wasn’t joking and hadn’t fallen asleep at the vital moment. Dean was trying to help by nodding from the balcony – but he’s a rubbish liar, I could tell from his face! At this point, I should have let it go, but instead I let my game go and lost the third before being totally outplayed to lose 3-2.

Next up were Richard Nisbet and our virginal Pete Roberts. Richard played some excellent squash and was soon 2-0 up. The balance shifted in the third and some excellent retrieving was just too much; 2-1. But Richard, our top ranked Barbarian, showed more of that control as he kept his opponent at bay for a 3-1 victory. 2-1 to grange (and yes it would have been 3 if I hadn’t blown it).

Meanwhile, Pete Roberts was finding the matches a different proposition from the mini-leagues. He struggled to get to grips with the occasion and took just 6 points as he lost 3-0. Too aggressive? Too passive? The look on his face said ‘Don’t ask’. I am sure he’ll be back to usual form in his next match. 2-2.

So it was left to Stephen Davey to win the evening. The first few games swung back and forth as first Stephen then his opponent got the upper hand. It was 2-2. A true Barbarians game, matches 2-2, games 2-2, what glorious defeat could we muster tonight? The fifth was tight until 4-4 when his opponent got a grip and led 8-4. But Stephen wasn’t going to lie down and with some excellent (and often outrageous) retrieving, pulled the match back to 8-7. Some long rallies ensued as Stephen saved match point, only to be thwarted in his attempt to force a tie break. Eventually, it proved a point too far and Stephen lost 9-7. 3-2 to Colinton. Man of the match to Stephen, a good effort against a tough opponent.

So, overall a 15-12 game to Colinton and another missed opportunity. As Richard (quite rightly) referred to my horrendous loss and impact on the game, I chose not to mention his loss from a similar position against David Lloyd. Instead, we agreed that as he won, and I scored 4 points (ref) the cause of the nights defeat was actually sicknote Grieve. Sorted.

Food for the night was a bowl of chilli and pitta bread. Or as our vegetarian Dean called it, pitta bread. Just as well we found a chippie on the way home.

And that’s the answer to Robin’s question from the match against Colinton Castle 6! (Report: Mike D)

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Firsts v Seconds (Wed, Feb 9,'11)

This was the big one, the 2nd versus 1st team aka the plucky underdogs against the prima donnas.

First up were Robin and underdog Ian with Robin looking to make amends for losing his tie against the 2nd team earlier in the season. Probably worth mentioning again just in case anyone missed it first time around. Did not see all of this but can say that despite a tentative start, Ian dug in from 2-0 down in games to win the third and fourth games and send it to a fifth. In fact Ian was up 7-2 in this final game before Robin came back to win it. First blood to the 1st team but not before a scare and being made to work for it.

Next the 4th string match between Ian(Green) and myself(Patrick). At 9-0 and and an unassailable position 8-0 up in the second game I unfortunately suffered a metaphorical nosebleed. At the same time Ian awoke from his slumber, with his first point being met with a derisory "the granny is off" heckle from his own teammate. From there Ian started hitting to length, controlled the T and took the second and third games. I just edged the fourth. The fifth and final game was one way traffic after the running I was made to do in earlier games and the 1st team were now 2-0 up in ties.

The 3rd string match between Rich (van Helsing) and Pete(Cockburnator) was excellent, with both guys playing to a high standard. The first two games were split before the third game went to 8-8 after a couple of volley nicks from the 2nd teamer. Pete then had game point at 9-8 but could not take it, before Rich won the game to go 2-1 up. In the end Richard's usual tenacity and workrate won through earning a 3-1 win and effectively sealing the match.

A rematch of their meeting in the first half of the season Will (The Kurgan) and Mike(Hall) squared off at no.2. (The battle of the baldies). In an attempt to reverse his fortunes, Mike again tried his best to look as much like Will as he could in the hope that it confused the marker. Unfortunately the slight difference in height and his "Doc from Back to the Future" hairstyle must have been enough of a difference to prevent this from happening. Did not see much of this tie, but Mike was first out of gate winning the first two games, before Will started moving better to take the last three and win 3-2. Another 3-2 win for the 1st team.

At no.1, Rob had by far the hardest assignment of the night against Allan. And so it was, despite Rob improving as the match went on, Allan was in rampaging form and took the match 3-0 at the cost of a few points.

So in summary, despite some rousing emails dissing the 1st team before the match, the 2nd team were beaten handily but not after a hard-earned but modest points haul. (Report: Patrick) (Nicknames: Christy)

Brilliant Marcos pizzas after - what else!

Match Result

Teams:Grange 1 vs Grange 2

PosPlayerRubbersGamesPoints PlayerRubbersGamesPoints
1Allan Hamer1327Robert Pfab005
2Will Kerr1336Mike Hall0227
3Richard Van Lienden1334Pete Cockburn0124
4Ian Green1335Patrick Langley0234
5Robin Steel1335Ian Forbes0238
Competition Points187

Fours home v Dunbar (Tue, Feb 8,'11)

Dunbar are riding high in ESSA Div 4 and grannied us 20-0 at their place so this was going to be a tough assignment.
At #5, Super-sub Richard "Roonaaaaay" Nisbet got off to a flying star against Michael Baty to deservedly go 2 up. Michael cut out the loose shots and while Richard introduced a few, Michael deservedly got the next 2. Richard took on board the advice to play the back of the court a bit more and the fifth went to 8-8, unfortunately Mike shaded it: 2-3.
I didn't see super-super-sub #4 Mike Douglas v James Cunningham but the word on the balcony was that James retrieved a lot of Mike's "winners" and Mike did well to salvage 1 game out of it: 1-3.
Man of the Match Gavin Fulton went on at #3 looking for his first win against Alistair Nicol. And boy did he get it, superb retrieving and overall play, 3-0.
I didn't see Andy Whitelaw against #2 Allan Ramsay but Andy got a game out of it, 1-3. Christy aginst David Legge was an embarrassment, dragging a guy all the way from Dunbar without him ever having to break sweat: 0-3.
To my surprise, the majority of home and away players opted for pizza and David Legge regaled us with tales of the Pro's from the Artemis.

Division:4 Round:14 Date: 8/2/2011 Teams:Grange 4 vs Dunbar 1


1Christy Looby004

David Legge1327
2Andrew Whitelaw0119

Allan Ramsay1331
3Gavin Fulton1327

Alistair Nichol0013
4Mike Douglas0125

James Cunningham1330
5Richard Nisbet0231

Michael Baty1334

Competition Points7


Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Over-40's handicap final (Fri, Feb 4,'11)

Christy Looby succeeded in securing more silverware for the Looby trophy cabinet in Friday night's Over 40s Final. In a closely fought contest played in good spirit, he edged out Steve Eyles 3-1 to take the honours.

Both players netted off their handicaps to make it a nil nil start. If this was to be a long match they could both do without starting in negative territory. the first game saw lots of tooing and froing as each player tested each other out until the score reached 10 all. Christy then put his foot down to to edge out 15-11.

Set 2 saw Steve starting with a 2 point advantage and he managed to maintain his nose in front throughout. No one dominated and there were enough winning rallies from each payer to take the set to 12-10 before Steve close out 15-12.

With parity of handicaps restored in set 3, Christy came out of traps quicker which saw him establish a lead of 12-8 with a more attacking game. Steve retrieved well but Christy was too good to see him take a 2:1 lead with a 15-10 set win.

Set 4 proved to be the last, but also the most keenly fought as both players began to tire. Despite this, the level of squash remained good with some great rallies. As normal, Christy was attacking with his usual burst of unconventional shot making and indecipherable chat between points. Steve had a chance to take the fourth with two set points. A contentious let call spurred Christy on and he brought the score back to 14 all before finishing the match off 16-14.

Well played both players and thanks to Titan and the squash section for the prizes. Thanks also to Mike Slack (or was it Ali) for sparklingly clean and shiny trophy. (Report & Photo: Pete Young)

Ladies firsts home to Waverley(Mon, Feb 9,'11)

Match Result: A good win 16-10 overall against a strong Waverley outfit.
Player of the Match goes to Donna who just shaded it over Heather Spens.
This keep us mid-table in DIVISION 1 half-way through the league, with the bottom team liable for demotion.

Teams:Grange 1 vs Waverley 1


1Donna Cruickshank1333

Heather Spens0230
2Lottie Fulton1327

Yvonne Ferguson0012
3Julia Lutte0226

Jo Watts1334
4Catherine John1327

Mary Murray0012
5Karen Kennedy0011

Gillian Munro1327

Competition Points14


Teams Ladder

TeamRound 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Bonus
Watsonians 1 Comp Points8151812



C.L.A.S.S. 88 Comp Points181797



Edinburgh Sports Club 1 Comp Points12151215



Grange 1 Comp Points2681814



Waverley 1 Comp Points146438



David Lloyd Comp Points83121




Competition points system used: 1 points per game, 3 points for win

Friday, 4 February 2011

Grange 3 v Linlithgow 2, 3rd Feb 2011

We were a slightly despondent Grange side after a rampaging visit from Linlithgow 2 last night. Gordon and Alan won at 4 and 5 against Drew and Charlie. Al lost in 5 to Jack, in an hour and a half - sadly this was the clincher that could have reversed the final result. At 1 and 2, the two Craig's were lightning fast and deadly accurate, leaving little chance for our big guns Pete and Ian to make their marks.
We're home to Tyne next week and due a win.
Home Team: Grange 3Away Team: Linlithgow 2
1Pete Cockburn0010Craig Mitchell1327
2Ian Forbes0016Craig Morrison1328
3Alasdair Gordon0230Jack Purdie1331
4Alan Stokes1342Charlie Patrick0223
5Gordon Sloan1331Drew Purdie0122