reports summer 2016

24th August. Home

Sobell I vs Finchley Manor

A brief match report, from our game last night against the overall league winners, Finchley Manor.

Tim played first at number 3. I didn't see the game, but heard the shouting from the next court. It was apparently a close fought, up-and-down game, but Tim won 3-2.
I played a decent player. but one I thought I could beat. I played OK, but lacked patience on a very hot night. The games were close, but I lost them all.
Ben played a very good number 1 and fought hard to keep the first game close. But his opponent was too good and Ben couldn't keep it up, losing the last two games by a bigger margin.
Paul played a old, rather big guy at 4 who didn't look like he would last long, but who kept on running. Paul lost the first, but won the second and both players had game points in the third. Paul took his, at the second or third attempt to go 2-1 up. The guy still didn't stop running, but Paul stayed cool to close out the match.
Stuart was up against an unorthodox, but effective player. Both players were fit and fast, so it was a hard game, but Stuart kept doing the simple stuff well to win 3-0.

We are still at the bottom of the table I think, but we go out with a bang, beating the champions.

12th July. Away

Sobell I vs Westway Sports

Nadeem at #2 was first on and started well against a player who was very similar to him, there lots of long attritional rallies that would have had Barry purring, for the guys watching the match, we just wanted either of them to discover a drop shot so that we would make the restaurant before it closed!  After a great start, Nadeem went down in 3 or 4 (not sure if it was 3-0/3-1) - (it was 3-1 : ed).


I was on at at in #3 against the guy who beat Jack 3-2 in the home fixture.  I lost in 3, but feel a little disappointed, as I don’t think my opponent was that good and a well-structured game and a little fitness could have frustrated him and maybe got a better result.

Adam was the only winner on the night at #3, winning in the 5th against a player who had a similar game, but a who wasn’t quite the best sportsman.  Another good result and his increased fitness is showing in performances on the court.


Christian followed Nadeem on at #4, given his opponent looked slightly older and sluggish.  However, it was a bad day at the office for Christian, compounded by him playing a lot of balls to the back of the court which probably suited his opponent more that drop shots.


Last on was Matt at #5.  Matt wasn’t as match sharp as usual, but was up against a pretty tidy number 5 and lost in 3.



6th July. Away

Sobell I vs Finchley Manor

Really well done everyone last night, a well deserved victory over Finsbury leisure. the whole team played very well and it was good fun to watch on the sidelines.

We won 3-2 in the end. It came down to the last match, a midnight special (which didn't get started until 21:45) from Christian who dispatched the last remains of Finsbury with ease :) 

The highlight of the evening for me though was Christian and his opponent attempting to throw their rackets up into the netting to retrieve the stuck ball, I thought they were reenacting a benny hill sketch! Made even funnier in contrast to the sharp quality squash Christian played.

So our next match is away against Finchley Manor next Wednesday (6th July). Whoever volunteers for this one should get to sample the legendary thai curry they cook up after the match!


15th June. Away

Sobell I vs Cumberland

Nadeem went on first, at number 3, against a very tidy opponent. Nadeem played well and pushed his opponent hard, but went down in the end.

I played at 5 and won against an opponent with some shots and fitness, but not too many killer touches.
Richard, playing at 4, was up against a big guy with some great shots. Richard played well, moved the guy around the court and neutralised the threat. The game started tight, but Richard ended up dominant.
Rohan, at number 2, played his natural fast, unpredictable and attacking game. He was making most of the errors as he lost the first game. But his opponent couldn't handle Rohan in the second. The third was tight and went to 14-14 with some killer rallies. Rohan narrowly lost it and didn't quite have the energy left for a come back.
Jack's opponent at number 1 was very good - he could run, hit accurately to length and attack well. Jack played very well to keep it close for the the first two games, but his opponent took them both. Jack started to run out of answers in the final game.

Everyone played well and it was a good friendly match, if a narrow loss.

(The bits I didn't see I made up, apologies for any mistakes.)


31st May. Away

Sobell I vs Coolhurst

After getting a lesson playing mobile, tight squash from Nadeem, I thought I would go and cheer myself up and watch the summer team play in the local derby away at Coolhurst.


Up first at was Richard playing at number 3.  Rather that describe his opponent, I thought I would take a picture of him instead.  However, the picture that I really wish I took was of Rohan, Jack and Adam grinning with relief that they weren't playing Mr 14 and a half (the half if REALLY important at 14).  As you would expect of a kid playing at number 3, the  kid had game. His length was at times brutal and when he had chances he had the severity and variation in his front court game to finish points off.  Unfortunately, he was also assisted by Richard, who rather than keeping it tight and waiting for his chances, played his risk shots in high risk situations, which the kid just mopped up.  In the third game, he changed his tactics (following some insightful advice from Jack to hit it past the service box) and started playing the ball tight down the backhand and waiting for his chances and he started to win points and took the game.  In the 4th game it was a game of forehand v backhand, with Richard winning the rallies on the backhand and his opponent winning them on the forehand, unfortunately Richard didn’t win enough points and went down in 4.  I will definitely be avoiding Coolhurst in the home match!  For Richard, a few sessions on court with Barry may be needed, as talented a player that he is, unfortunately, he won't win matches at this level or even box 1 of the leagues until he starts playing more structured, tight, disciplined squash and waiting for his chances.  There is no shame losing to the kid, but you really want him to have to work harder for the win that he did.


Peter Baynton was up at the same time as Richard at #5, playing Pambos, someone who I know very well after having had some battles with him in the past and losing every time.  Like Richard, Peter is another very good squash player, very good technique, mobile,  but like Richard (and you can probably add Nadeem to the list) one of the players who should be putting pressure on the established box 1 players.  After losing to him in a  friendly with him a few weeks back, he commented that he always seems to win in friendlies and but not the league matches.  I explained to him that he played the same squash regardless of the opponent and didn’t think about how to beat the player.  So if he is playing an older, slower opponent like me, then he needs to get me running and keep attacking.  Sadly my advice worked very well and he beat me in my league match, but my loss was Sobell's gain as he brought the same game to play Pambos.  Pambos is no mug, having been a Sobell regular in the 90's before moving to Coolhurst via Finsbury just before the millennium.  However, Peter didn’t give Pambos anytime to settle in points and constantly kept the pressure up, even when the shot selection could have been better and he gave Pambos a chance, he was too tired to take advantage.  Peter did let Pambos get a game, but it was a great performance and a great win and his grin was almost as big as when he beat me <angry face>.  A very strong performance from Peter well done and hopefully he can stay aggressive and proactive and not revert back to reactive squash.


After Richard on the show court was Jack at number one playing a very good number 1.  The game was very strange in that it was a story of mistakes, Jack won the first game though his opponent making mistakes, the second game was a very tight affair where Jack saved 3 game balls and made a mistake instead of taking the chance to go 2 up.  The final two games were more about Jack playing in a similar way to Richard before him on the same court, playing high risk shots from weak positions, which resulted in him either losing the points or doing a number of court sprints trying to retrieve the situation.  So Jack went down in 4.  Perhaps one of the things he needs to work on coach Brendan is shot selection (or maybe just tighten up more) as like Richard, he should be making his opponents win points rather than gifting them on a plate.


Relegated to number 4 behind "I wish I didn't put myself at 3 and get my a$$ whipped by a 14 year old", err, I mean Richard J was Adam at number 4 against a typical Coolhurst team player.  Fit, reaches well to play shots, a good all round game and solid mentally.  The game started very competitively with Adam putting in all the effort his new mobility has given him played very well and managed to nick the first in a very tight game.  The second was a brutal affair, his opponent, while not as technically strong as him was quick and patient and played very well get to get game balls against Adam.  Adam hung in there and got back level at 10 all and in another brutal exchange managed to force his opponent to play a boast from the back of the court to give Adam an easy chance to go ahead...which Adam then tinned and went on to lose the game.  At the end of the game,  I went to speak to him to offer him some encouragement, but privately I was thinking it would be a miracle if Adam could get another game, much less win the match given how physical the first two games had been for him and he looked dead on his feet.  Adam on the other hand had other ideas and got that serve working which we all know and hate and pretty much won every point that he served to his opponents back hand and won the 3rd quickly 11-3.  His opponent regrouped in the 4th and started work hard, but again, a combination of great serving, hard work and great shots got Adam the win and probably one of his best team performances.  Well done Adam, as a reward, next time you get to lose to the 14 1/2 year old :-)


So the final match of the night, with the matches all square at 2-2 was Rohan, making a rear appearance at 2.  He was up against a guy who thought he would be playing at 3, so I was confident that the second team number 1 (or should we now say the first team number 1 given the winter league results) would give us a real chance at getting the win.  Unfortunately, Rohan had not been on the court much recently, so was very rusty and his opponent was extremely strong.  He had all of Rohan's class at the front of the court and plenty more at the back.  Rohan went down in three and played another game or two after the match was over to actually get a run around as the match.


So the team went down 3-2, but well done to  Peter and Adam for some great results and must do better on the report cards for Jack and Richard.)


25th May. Home

Sobell I vs Westway

Really good start to the summer season with a 4-1 victory over Westway. The match that we lost was a 5 setter as well so we only dropped 1 point from a maximum of 20! Thanks to everyone involved (apart from Tim obviously!) :)

Our next match is an away one although not that far, its against our local rivals Coolhurst next Tuesday (31st May)

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