reports summer 2015


10th june

Hazlewood vs Sobell I -  Lost  2-3

 Sobell 1 put out arguably its best team since the team was reformed 3 or 4 years ago.  Hazelwood also put out a strong team


First on was Brendan at 3.  When he turned up he looked unwell and looked even worse after the warm up.  Trying to recover from being sick and having the flu was too much for him and the game was over very quickly in 3.


On at the same time was Antonio playing the guy that had pushed Hein very hard  in the winter season.  Judging by the results, his opponent is probably the second best guy in the league and was a very good player, he was fit, retrieved well and had a good range of shots.  It was an interesting match in that in each game, he took a big lead and Antonio dragged him back and either won or narrowly lost.  You could see the pressure Antonio was putting him under as by the end of each game he was dishing out abuse to the marker that Brendan would be proud of.  He took Antonio to 5, in what was a very good game of squash.


After Brendan, our regular number 1 was on playing at 4.  Jack turned up fully expecting to win very easily and I think that was re-enforced when he saw his opponent, let's call him "the Big Guy"/ "Hazelwood Adam".  The game started and it quickly became clear that the big guy didn’t turn up to make up the numbers and pretty soon Jack was swearing at himself.  The pattern of the game was pretty similar, a few lengths would be exchanged and the Jack would open up the court and Hazelwood Adam would kill the ball.  The second game was even worse and Jack won only 6 points playing shots that would have had Barry shaking his head with disgust (I really am holding back here J).  Having had enough, Brendan went down to speak to him in the third, with the razor sharp insight that if you actually played more than 2 lengths before playing a rubbish drop shot, he would win the game easily. So it proved, following the advice he won the third game quite easily and you would have expected him to go on to win the match.  However, Jack had other ideas and decided to go back to playing the squash of the first two games and Hazelwood Adam won in 4.  The Big Guy tried to suppress his grin when drinking his post-game beer, but failed to do so. Trying to describe the performance in one word would be hard, but if I was to choose one it would be….



v.choked, chok·ing, chokes

To fail to perform effectively because of nervous agitation or tension, especially in an athletic contest: choked by missing an easy putt on the final hole.


I was on after Antonio playing at 5.  Having had a tough match 2 weeks ago and seeing Jack get beaten, I was determined to make sure I could rinse him in the match report by winning my match J.  However, I was a bit worried to see the guy that had played Antonio last summer at 1 playing at 5.  He was young and to coin that phrase "won the warm up", my approach was very straightforward.  Keep it tight, make as few mistakes as possible.  Once the game started, I analysed his game and he was basically a clone of Richard Bowman, he doesn’t volley well on his backhand, had a strong forehand and makes silly mistakes (sorry Richard), so my strategy was simple, Barry lengths (if you don’t know what they are ask Barry), wait for mistakes and target the backhand.  There were a couple of tight games, but I won it in 3 with enough in the tank to have taken out "The big Guy" if Jack hadn’t turned up (sorry, can't resist J).


Final game and decider was what I thought would be a really good match to watch.  Tawanda who has the scalps of Tomas, Glen, Ben, myself oh and Jack on his CV, is uber fit and very much a counter attacker.  Nic, is a more proactive player, but like Tawanda is fit,  fast and waits to capitalise on his opponents mistakes.  Each game was full of great rallies, good retrieval and nice shots.  Nic won the first game quite comfortably, but the game got much tighter in the second as Tawanda got to grips with his game.  Towanda won the second and the "decider" was the 3rd, it was a brutal game with both players having game balls, Nic tinning a straight drive that would have won the game, but Towanda won it.  When the game finished a seriously tired Nic was on his back in the middle of the court, tired and feeling the effects of a cold that had laid Brendan low.  The marker asked him if he was going to play on and he said yes, pushed as hard as he could but went down 15/12 in the fourth.


So despite putting out a very strong team, we still managed to end up losing 3-2 on the night, but  overall some very good games squash and Hazelwood are a great bunch and the post-match meal  was very good. However, certain players will need to up their game if we are going to win enough points before our number 2/3 head to the Caribbean, so we can put enough points on the board in the first half of the season to ensure a mid-table finish.


10th june

Finsbury Leisure vs Sobell II -  Lost  0-5

The second team played Finsbury Leisure on Wednesday please see brief report below:
First on was Robin at 4, this was a really close game with both players having a similar running game, both very fit and both playing good tight squash. The game was unbelievably long, a real battle of mind and fitness it went to 5 with Robin just missing out in the last and going down 3-2
I was on next at 3 playing a tall rangy player who played a tight game, again there were some really long rallies however I went down in 3 ultimately my opponent had too much for me. I nearly nicked the 3rd and possibly would have kicked on. I played well but was beaten
Next up was Tim at 1. The game had long rallies and there was some good squash played, however Tim went down in 3
Next on was Ajay at 5, there was some good squash played, however his opponent again had too much for him.
Last on was Nadeem at 2, this again was a very even game. Both players had a similar style and both were very quick and agile, making for a good contest. This game had both length and agility in abundance. Having led 2-1 Nadeem got pegged back and lost 3-2. This was the game of the night for me followed closely by Robin's game.
Although we all went down, the second team players have picked up the pace from last time we played Finsbury and overall it was a lot closer than the result


27 may

Sobell I vs Coolhurst  -  Won 4-1

 Sobell first team welcomed local rivals.  This is always a tough fixture in the winter, but in the summer the quality can be variable.  The Coolhurst team that turned up was good, not good enough for the first team, which won 4-1 on the night.


Hernan was first on at 4, I didn’t see the game and given the score was 15/6 15/8 15/5, I'm assuming that it was a straightforward win.


Antonio at 1 was playing a very fit young guy, who was nowhere near him and won in 4, I suspect he let the guy get a game just so he could prolong the game a little J


Robin stepped in at 5 for the first team and was playing a wily old player who made up for lack of legs with a lot of nous.  He didn’t start well and was 2 down very quickly and was looking like he was going down in 3, however, he got into the game and levelled  it, where you would expect him to go on and win the game.  Wily old  player had other ideas though and managed to win the final game and match.


I was on at the same time as Robin, expecting to turn up and cruise to an easy win playing at 3 (not the only one to make that mistake as you will see in another match report J ) and nothing in the warm up suggested otherwise.  However, what my opponent lacked in technique, he made up in running and a forehand volley kill.  I lost the first, almost lost the second, but got in done in 4, but it could have easily gone the other way.


Our new recruit Nicolas was last on at 2 and had way too much speed, skill and technique for his opponent and despatched him in 3.

21st may

Southgate vs Sobell I -  Won 5-0

Sobell I made the short trip north to play Southgate on Thursday and came away with what is hopefully the first of many 5-0 wins over our local rivals.

Mike was on first at 5, keeping up his record of being the only Sobell player to regularly arrive on time (sorry Mike!).  As a result of me being late, and Mike playing well, I didn't see too much of his game.  From what I did see he was having no problems and managed to dispatch the guy in 3.  1-0 to Sobell.

I went on second at 3, playing a guy who could hit the ball reasonably hard but not a lot else.  Having won the first game 15-3 and the second game 15-6, I lost a bit of concentration in the third, but managed to close it out 15-11.  2-0 to Sobell.

Our new recruit Nicholas was up next playing at 2 and playing textbook squash. His opponent moved nicely and could hit the ball hard but couldn't cope with Nicholas' running game and the length of the rallies took their toll.  After three hard games of Nicholas dragging his opponent to the backhand corner then dropping him short, there was only one result and Nicholas won 3-0 with plenty left in the tank.  3-0 to Sobell.

Kevin followed Nicholas at 4 and, following the work he had been putting in with Brendon appeared to want to practice his backhand (at the expense of winning the points).  The first two games were a struggle, despite the fact that Kev's opponent really wasn't in his league.  Kevin had gone on court when Antonio had been losing (more on which below) but when he heard that that game was still ongoing, Kevin decided to put his foot down so he could watch the end of Antonio's game and won the third 15-4.  Another 3-0 win and Sobell 4-0 up.

Saving the best until last, Antonio and his opponent served up a classic at 1.  Having had a hard 5-set game the night before, Antonio was looking for an easy night but his opponent had other ideas.  With a forehand that he hit even harder than Antonio, the Southgate no.1 played superbly to win the first 16-14.  Following some more fantastic long rallies (and some very loud arguments with the marker from Antonio) the Southgate no.1 won the second 15-13 and Antonio was on the ropes.  However, he dug deep extending the rallies and using his experience to come through in five.  A classic to round off the night and, even more importantly a 20-2 win for Sobell putting us top of the table.  Bring on Coolhurst at home next week!

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