Wednesday, 16 March 2016

4th's home v Kirkcaldy (Tue, Mar 15)

The denouement of the season came with the long-awaited return visit of Kirkcaldy. Unfortunately despite being the only team to beat them legally after a great night out in Fife before Xmas, they were unbeaten since then (as were we) so the gap was insurmountable (26 points).
    Still we wanted to copper-fasten our promotion position. Christy hacked his way to a 3-0 over #5 Andy Cant with nary a let being called. Iain Gallacher was 2-0 down against Rab Lawson at #2 and not seeing the front court boasts at all, even the ones above the service line! Somehow he brought it back and took the fifth. Chapeau!
   Richard Nisbet lost out to James Stirratt 1-3 in a curates egg performance- good in parts but mostly mince :) (To be fair, Richard has played well all season). Will Henderson bt Jim Taylor at #5 3-0 with the lob serve and counter-drop proving the difference. To give us the tie and the bonus points.
  Finally Jamie Helme at #3 v Alex Allan lost 0-3 this time. Everyone incl the away team stayed to watch the women's #1 tie in the national league between Mhairi Charlton of Western LTC & Claire Gadsby.
        After pizza, we were treated to pavlova & trifle courtesy of the Grange Cricket Society dinner having a surplus.

Well done Kirkcaldy on the overall Div 5 win, very consistent.
Well done the 4's, great team spirit and after 3 years of earning promotion but being thwarted by the demotion of the 3's, we finally get our just reward, Div.4 squash next year.

Thanks especially to Neil Love for captaining, emailing, etc,  mostly non-playing, as he came to ref on most home matches and contributed on court when we needed him most. And brought choccy bars to supplement the pizza.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Staggered home v Watsons 3's in The Knockout Cup

Our guest reporter today is David Hutton, captain of the opposition

Match 1 (the 3s) David Hutton vs Georgia Jennings
After a lot of thrashing, some good rallies, plenty of good weight on the court, some interesting chat from Christy (marking) and a little bit of difficulty from me in judging the pace, it was 2-0 to G. Time to knuckle down and work out the pace. Duly done and more of the above and it was 2-2. I think we got to 13-13 and she got a stroke (really Christy, another one?). Any normal chat would have been, “handout, 14-13, matchball”. Not from our friend Christy. 13 all he said. No Christy, G and I said, its 14-13 to G. Cue some maniacal giggles (Christy). 14 all match ball. No Christy, its 14-13, match ball to G… you can see how this one ends. On a stroke to G. 3-2 to the bad girls.

Match 2 (the 5s)  Tommo vs Rocco
This is the oldest continually running fixture in squash, believed to date back to the early squash courts of the Colosseum in Rome. I didn’t see this (see above) but caught up with Tommo in between a couple of the games. It went, 0-1, 1-1 and then we lost touch. I could hear him (he was next door) and it sounded good. Was it a victory roar? No, 3-1 to the bad guys (but squash’s magnificent history was a winner…).

Match 3
Barrie vs a really tall guy (L=Laszlo)
I saw the end of a very close first game and was astounded by the L of a reach (get it?). Barrie was playing his usual tough guy squash with a fantastic number of recoveries and an array of shots but this wasn’t phasing the big guy. 1-0 to them. I then went and marked Chris’ game. Tommo reported that Barrie was playing very well (fantastic number of recoveries and an array of shots) but the big guy was reaching everything. I consensus was that 3-0 to them didn’t do our Barrie justice…

Match 4 (the 2's) Chris Green vs Jamie Helme
A welcome return to the fold from our man Green. Looked great in the warm up and carried it into game 1. Hard hitting, court covering, occasional lobbing, nice dropping and controlling, There was nothing Green about this dude. 1-0 to Chris. Game 2 followed the same pattern. 2-0. Game 3 was chugging along the same way until Chris called one of his own shots down and it was over to Jamie serving. I think this was at about 12-7 to Chris. The next few points were a display of utmost sportsmanship by Chris (some would say lack of concentration/boredom) and it got a bit close. Nothing to worry about though, normal service resumed and it ended 3-0. Not content with that, Chris and Jamie played on for a few games. Not content with that, Chris got one of the Grange’s youngsters on for some routines. Latest reports are that he’s getting some breakfast, then having a game with the cleaner and should at work just after lunchtime (or the best of 9, whichever is later…)

Match 5 (the 1's) Andrew vs Richard
This game was worth the wait and worth its weight in gold (or at least squash balls). Close first game in which the upper hand was back and forward like one of those cats in the Chinese restaurants (I know that’s up and down but whatever…). 1-0 to them. More of the same in game 2 with some great weight from both and at least 3 shots plucked from the air that had Barrie and me talking about “Jedi sh1t”. 1-1. When I say this was a blur, that is meant in as good as possible way. Somehow it was 2-2 already. Great squash, huffing and puffing, good weight and plenty of Jedi sh1t. The last game followed the same pattern. Very close, tense and a joy to watch. In the end it was all about weight (and that Jedi stuff). Andrew forced him back. He boasted and forced himself forward, Andrew forced him back, he boasted and git forward, Andrew knocked it past him… 3 or 4 rallies like this and Richard was bust (as was Andrew to be fair…). 3-2

Alas, we’re (Watsons) out.

On their show courts Grange 1 were hosting ESC 1. I was told that ESC were 4 points ahead of Grange at the top of division 1 and this was a crunch match (obviously). I poo pooed this as I was sure that our boys must be top. Maybe they were playing for second place? 

Some of their squash – quite good (Grange won so they must be second to our boys? Ra ra Ritchie’s team)

Food – pizza and very good. 2 pepperoni, 1 chicken and mushroom and 1 vegetarian

Chat – very good, its hard to believe that I used to think some of these guys were nutters

Christy – a stalwart of east coast squash
Good luck to the Staggered crew in the following rounds
(Thanks David, a top night's squash and Staggered move to the next round v Khaledo's Dragons(ESC) in the cup. -Christy, non-playing Captain)

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Winter minileague #5, 2015

Here are the results of Winter minileague #5.
Click in the frame and scroll down for your league or click here for a full screen view.

The 4's home v Waverley 3's on Tue night

Fantastic atmosphere & buzz on the balcony as our National League team also hosted Newlands in a terrific exhibition of tight hitting and full-stretch retrievals.

Waverley 3's came a calling, and were duly sent home to think again. But they gave us a good scrap.
1. Andy Whitelaw 0 v John Usher 3 (9:15, 10:15, 3:15)
2. Ant Fitzgerald 3 v Peter Cochrane 2 (15:11, 15:9, 8:15, 8:15, 15:13)
3. Iain Gallacher 3 v Heather Spens 2 (15:12, 15:17, 5:15, 15:12, 15:11)
4. Richard Nisbet 3 v Dave Fergusson 0 (15:10, 15:13, 15:12)    
5. Jamie Helme 3 v Gary Loake 0 (15:12, 15:11, 15:4)

"Bit ropey from the boys at the top of the order but Jamie and I kept them right".

Overall 15:7 win for the Grange. So we gained 8 points on them to maintain 2nd place & keep them in 3rd and cement our promotion entitlement. They are still in line for promo but will be a bit more nervous in the title run-in.
Next week at Watsons on Tue & if we don't drop points there, the final match the following week against Kirkcaldy could leave us with a mathematical chance of the outright win. A helluva party either way. "Also £75 still in the kitty so no cars for the last game of the season!!!!!"

Chat over pizza's was Neil P's romantic engagement trip to "Paree" plus the promotion race in Div 5 and the demotion battle in Div.4.
 (Report: Richard N)