Monday, 30 July 2012

World Master's (July 2012)

Well what a week and what an experience. On Saturday 21st July nearly 800 competitors gathered in the beautiful main hall at Birmingham University to take part in the opening ceremony of the
On Sunday evening  Birmingham University's  Elgar Music Hall  was set up with the spectacular  'surround' glass backed  court to enjoy an exhibition match between World ranked no 1 James Willstrop and the young Indian World ranked No 25 (Saurav Ghosal)-
James wins the match  3-0 after a tight first game. Seeing The World no1 in the flesh, I was not the only one who was of the opinion that physically he does not appear to be a great athlete. In reading his recently published book
"A Shot and a Ghost" Willstrop more or less says the same about himself and the toll his severe  fitness training has taken on his "large frame"  over the years. You would never know this when you seeing him playing 'live!!!'
Back to lesser mortals, my first game was against a seeded player from Oxford England, Robert Warner at the famous Edgebaston Priory Squash and Tennis Club.I lost the first game and then had 5 game balls to make it one game all. Sadly could not convert and found myself 2-0 nil down. Took the third game and was back in with a great chance of taking out a seed. Unfortunately playing squash in temperatures in the very high 70's did not help me in my attempt to take the match any further-eventually losing the 2nd round match 1-3.
My opponent went on to be knocked out by Pierre Roodt from South Africa -- the eventual winner of my age  related section.
I entered The Main Plate competition were I managed to win four matches, before losing in the semi-finals. On the way to the semi finals I played an Englishman, a Frenchman, a 'Finlandian' and two Germans.
The squash was relatively easy compared to interpreting who had actually won the serve prior to the start of the game!!!

To sum up it was an amazing   to take part in a truly 'Global' squash experience. Many of the winners of the 'younger' age groups are ex professionals such as Derek Ryan, Craig Van der Wath and Nick Taylor and it was a 'bonus' to watch them all playing on the show court. The fitness levels of all the age related groups  is very high and quite inspirational!
In watching the winners of the O55's and O60's there is no doubt I would have to raise my fitness levels another 25% +. Oh dear it's an eye opener when you leave behind the comfort zone of your 'local' courts!

Towards the end of the week I found myself being interviewed by the Tournament's media man about the benefits of 'Eastern' style exercise systems [such as Tai chi] as a way of preventing injury in squash and sport in general. I guess there interest was as a result of the 2014 World Masters taking place in Hong Kong. The first squash court I ever stepped on in 1980 was next door  to  the Europe's first "China Town" situated in Liverpool city centre. Funny old game! (Report: Mike Hall)

Friday, 27 July 2012

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Racketballers home v Hatton (Tue Jul 24)

Ali Ross turned up on time so he went on at #5 v Ian Evans. Ali promptly went 4-11 down before engaging his racketball game to win 15-11. They shared the next 4 games, Ali running out the fifth convincingly 15-6.
John Matthew was late so he got #4 Ian C for his troubles: 10-15 4-15 7-15.
   Jordan is back in training but up against #3 Malcolm Mitchell: 4-15 8-15 7-15. Andrew Beames had a return match against Nick Tinning, having defeated all 6 Hatton players single-handedly at Fortress Hatton. Here he went down 8-15 12-15 11-15. Christy faced Dannyand went down 6-15 11-15 10-15.
Highlight of the night was Dave Grieve's chicken curry served on a bed of rice. Nobody had room for seconds.
   Talk turned to the RASTA series with the next round at Dalgety Bay and David & Christy chasing for honours or humiliation. More anon.

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Monday, 9 July 2012

Racketballers at Colinton (Mon, Jul 9)

Colinton too had suffered from the floods with Court 1 taking in water from the Merchiston flood plai... er, grounds. Courts 3-6 were fine.
First up was Nick "did I get in your way" Lyth v Ian Marshall at #6. Nick was in perpetual motion again and took the first game 15-5. Ian started playing his shots and edged the second 15-13. Nick was losing control of his ball placement (ooh er) and getting in the way of Ian's shot so he got a warning and then a stroke awarded against him. This bucked him up and he ran out the next 2 games 15-7 15-10.
Didn't see Ally Ross (pictured, Ali trying to get his elbows to touch..  fail!) take on Sandy Williamson at #5, the scoresheet says 15-4 15-7 15-8 to Sandy. John Matthew took on Captain George Purves at #4 and lost out 9-15 10-15 3-15, didn't see it but it must have been due to the non-certified ball ;-).
Andrew Beames back at his former hunting ground at #3, faced John Stohlner on a 3rd court, luckily enough because we'd still be there if they had waited for their turn on either of 2 match courts. Needless to say it went to the 5th games where John pushed on to take the plaudits.
Christy faced Dave Cook ~(pictured) at #2. Both tried to knock down the walls and take turns hitting winners, Christy just managed to get a lead at the business end of each game 15-11, 15-12 and the third 14-8 whereon he started messing and just took it 17-16.
Gorzer faced Richard "corset" McBride and had a slow start but half way through the first game started to win rallies but Richard was making him run for every point he got. Toward the end of each game, the work done would take its toll and Richard would get a run of points. 7-15 7-15 9-15.
Pie and beans with salad and some chat about when Jonah Barrington played an exhibition at Colinton. Followed by seconds. (Loob)

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Squash Calendar for 2012-13

Click on the arrow to scroll the month or week, Click on the item to get more detail. (Sorry, if you are using MS Internet Exploder 8 or earlier, it won't work. MSIE 9, Chrome or Firefox are your friends)

Bookmark it - we will keep updating it with mini-league dates, competitions, etc.
This calendar also works on mobile devices so you can browse it anywhere.

Well chosen, Bill. (Loob)

Monday, 2 July 2012

Racketball home v Linlithgow (Tue, Jun

Big Derek Addison was first up against Bill. Playing really steady racketball, the big man narrowly lost the first 13-15 but levelled with a 15-12 in the second. Bill battled thru to take the next two 15-10 and the match.
   Ali Ross was ouclassed for the first two against Keith Barrett but took the third to extra points, unlucky to lose out 16-17. John Matthew against Matt was 14-17, 11-15, 6-15. Jordan Fleming was a bit rusty with recent illness, up against a very tough competitor in Paddy Duffy 8-15, 8-15, 3-15.
   Christy went 2-0 against Mark Cormack (pic of Mark getting 3rd prize at Whitecraigs) 15-8 15-10 with all the shots coming off. After that Mark started getting more balls back and Christy's shots went off a bit so it went away 12-15 13-15 -empty-tank-  7-15.

   Gorzer against John Stephen was 5-15 6-15 10-15.
(Congrats to John Stephen pictured on winning Div 1 in the inauguaral Racketball Around Scotland at Whitecraigs LTSC at the weekend (Results Premier, Div 1, Div 2)  the next date is Sat, July 28 in Dalgety Bay.
   Tea was served by Ali Ross, a pasta bake complemented by dessert of strawberry & cream meringues courtesy of the FNZ barbeque held in the pavilion. (Loob)