Thursday, 21 April 2011

Racketballers at Linlithgow (Wed Apr 20)

Grange Racketball team to it's debut in West Lothian against a crack outfit who've been playing this league for 2 years already.
Mark ferried Dean to Linlithgow by way of the Froth Bridge(sic) while Christy, Andy Whitelaw & Ally Ross picked up Jordan at Linlithgow station.
First up was Dean Wood at #4 against Captain Keith Barrett. Some comic moments, with Dean frequently taking advantage of the second serve facility of racketball. Learning the game as he went along, Dean started to construct winning rallies, especially conter-attacking drops whenever Keith went short. The ball and racket befuddled Dean (and the rest of us, it should be said) enough times for Keith to keep ahead for a 3-0 home win.
Ally Ross at #6 said he kept hitting the ceiling (with the ball, I presume). This would be ok in the american version of the game but here, it helped him to a 0-3 loss. Jordan Fleming at #5 put up a good fight with stoical John. Canadian Jordan claimed enough lets off the turning rule to irk John and he also played some good angles to irk the scoreboard but it still ended 0-3. Mark at #3 and Andy at #2 had to re-familiarise themselves with racketball during their 0-3 losses. Mark managed to get a dive in there too. Christy at #1 had to re-familiarise himself with the tin while dragging his hulking carnivorous carcase around court during his 0-3 loss. Overall a 0-18 loss so onwards and upwards from here.

Now to the interesting bit: The catering was awesome - Linlithgow pushed the boat out with wholemeal bread, meatballs and pasta (pasta only for veggie Dean. Jordan - "Ff you're a veggie, how come you're fat". Dean - "Same ways as you're American" ;-) Seconds were enjoyed by Andy, Mark and, er, everyone else really.
Next match is home v Colinton on Thurs, May 3. Please fill in your availability by clicking on the spreadsheet

Monday, 18 April 2011

Ian Sinclair R.I.P.

See Death Notice in The Scotsman.
The squash club will be making a contribution to a cancer charity and dedicating The Over-50 Cup to Ian, a lifelong member at Grange who played with distinction on squash teams up to 2004. A gentleman who will be remembered by all who knew him.(C.L.)

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Club Championships

About 16 people turned up for the semi-finals of the club championships. For the finals on Fri April 2, we ran out of room on the balcony as 50 came to see the drama unfold.

Back: Brian Buchanan(Mens R-up), Pete Young(Handicap R-up), Stephen Archibald(MLOTY winner), Dougie Brown(Mens plate), Roger Hamilton(Handicap Winner), Dave Jone(MLOTY R-up), Jules Lutte(MLOTY R-up), Dawn MacBrayne(Ladies plate R-up)
Front: Allan Hamer(Mens champ), Catherine John(Ladies R-up), Donna Cruickshank(Ladies champ), Jo Petty(Ladies plate), Christy Looby(Plate R-up)

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Grange Ladies season review

Grange Ladies teams celebrate a great 2010-11 season :
  • First team stays up in Div 1 (something the men have yet to do;-)
  • Second team makes it's debut in Div 3.

Back: Jennie Guise, Donna Cruickshank(club champ), Catherine John, Jo Petty, Claire Corbett, Caroline Burns(Ladies II capt), Rhona Kay
Front: Dawn Macbrayne, Fiona McLaren, Karen Kennedy(Ladies capt), Julia Lutte
Missing: Lottie Fulton, Anna Gaskell, Jo Cowie, Carole Morris

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Barbarian BMI Cup (Sat, Apr 3,'11)

After a year of breaking the mould, doing away with tradition and basically bringing everyone down to our level, the Barbarians celebrated the end of their inaugural year with a jolly good knees up at the Grange.
To show our dedication, we thought it only fitting to play a little squash beforehand. So a tournament was held to uncover the Barbarian of the Year 2011 – sponsored by Avista (thanks Neil).
Now at last year’s Squash Dinner, (see you all on Friday), a group were lamenting the rise of the youngsters and their running shoes. I distinctly remember discussing with ... someone... that I always thought the Krypton Factor was unfair. I remember George Burns explaining the rules and the old people getting a head start in the obstacle course - which I can see is fair. But I don’t remember the young people getting a head start in the general knowledge. That’s not fair! They weren’t even born when question’s event took place (Please read twice to fully understand Quizmaster Harvey!). The discussion then moved on to our handicapped competitions where handicaps are decided on mini-league positions. But that disguises the fact that some of us are a little more disadvantaged than others – for example, some of us are carrying a little more weight than others. And some are just plain old – Stokesy never actually played for the Barbarians, but more of that later.It was then that a brainwave formed. The BMI Cup. The handicap competition that created an egalitarian level playing field for all.
The evening started in the traditional Grange manner with no-one arriving on time. That was to prove our downfall. Eventually, with 6 players we decided to have just one group instead of two groups. Of course,when we ended up with 9 players it meant we had to play 8 matches each – not such a good idea.
Our evening’s participants consisted of myself, Dave Grieve, Richard Nisbet, Brian Sloan, Jordan Fleming, Bill Marshall, Matt Pearson, John Loftus and Pete Young.
First up was registration. While the first of us hit the scales at around 100Kg, Matt was reluctant to stand on the scales (presumably in case it didn’t register anything). When a number of 65 came up he asked if that was good. “Of course it is” we cooed “Well done” whilst wondering where the other one third of him was. A quick height measure led to a BMI score which was adjusted for age and a range of +4 (Bill Marshall) to -3 (Matt Pearson) was established.
Our scoring clearly worked well with 20 games ending with more than 12 points for the loser.
During the match, we tested the Barbarians knowledge of the season with a Quiz of the Year. Needless to say no-one got more than 6/10. But we did manage to establish that we missed out on promotion by just 15 points, Richard Nisbet was our highest ranked player at the end of the year, we’d used 20 different players during the season and that it was Dean Wood who asked his opponent “How much of the f***ing court do you want?”.
Some of the tournament highlights include
• Matt (at -3 for size and age) got his comeuppance and won just one game.
• Jordan was unable to complete his games – not due to injury, but because his girlfriend arrived and said he had to play with her instead
• John Loftus does indeed run 27 miles in every game
• Dave Grieve can’t win all his matches when he can’t bring on his Victor Meldrew
• Why can Mike (me) win mini-leagues 3-2 but always loses matches 3-2?

But the highlight of the tournament was the match between Richard and Brian. Richard won 15-1 which sounds pretty one-sided. Until you realise it was American scoring. And Brian started 1-0 up. Yes that’s right. In true Babas fashion, Brian lost 15 points in a row.
The last match, by coincidence was between Peter Young and me (Mike). Pete had won all but two games, but had scored 14 in each of his losses. I had won all games to date. We took to court knowing that the winner would be Barbarian of the Year. The balcony was heaving – sorry – I meant drinking pints of heavy.
Stokesy, ever able to smell free beer, agreed to referee. I got off to a great start to lead 11-9, but Pete started to get his eye in and the game was won by Pete 15-12 to see him crowned Avista Barbarian of the Year 2011. We retired to the bar to toast our sponsor and spend the £80 left over from subs (great idea that £7 per game). We awarded prizes, answered the quiz then retired to Francos to put some full-price money in his till. Unfortunately, Stokesy (being honourable Barbarian for the evening (first time I’ve heard honourable and Stokesy used in the same sentence)) still managed to lower the tone by slugging the grappa.
A great night to end a great season. If we do have a sixth team next season it has to be Barbarians 1 and 2.
Thanks to everyone for a memorable season and a great night out.
Here’s to 2012.

p.s. I didn’t find out until Wednesday that they’d bribed Stokesy to make sure I didn’t win. Wouldn’t have made any difference tho !