reports winter 2013


14th March
Home Sobell 1 vs Ealing Lost 2-3

Sobell 1 once again went down against a strong Ealing outfit losing out narrowly  3-2 on Wednesday

The pick of the bunch was Hanro's epic match which went one way then the other, but he finally lost out in the ffth 15-9.
Chey had a good win @ 5 winning in straight 3 games.  Hernan breeze through in 4 games winning 3-1 after a little stumble in the second game.  Once again Jack found life tough @ no 2 even though I believe he could have taken his opponent out after taking the third game, but finally going down 3-1.  Not much to say about game playing @3.  Apart from taking the second game quite comfortably which I thought was the turning point, my opponent had other idea's and he took the next two games.   Back to the drawing board for me in which I've ran out of.

12th March  
Home Sobell 1 vs Coolhurst  Lost 1-4

Home to Coolhurst 3
I was at 5 again and played quite well this week, losing 1-3 to a good player.

Gavin played 4 and had won his game before I'd even finished, so I can't comment on that one.

Jack played two against a technically accomplished young player. Jack lost the first, but won the second, but his opponent took the next two to win 3-1.

Hanro's opponent was young, talented and a bit unorthodox. Hanro took a good lead in the first, but then lost that game and the next one. Hanro got his groove back to win the third quite nicely, but his opponent won the 4th game and the match.

Hernan, playing 2 against his other club, was playing a very tall, fit player who had both touch and power. I thought he was just going to be too good, but Hernan wasn't so defeatist. Hernan, lost the 1st, won the 2nd, lost the 3rd, but won the 4th. It was high quality, mostly error free squash. Great pickup followed great shot, followed great pickup etc. They play several monster rallies. By the fifth everyone, including the second team and their opponents, was watching the game. Hernan took a bit of a lead, but was reeled back in and in the end his opponent won it. It was very fine match and a great physical performance by both players
5th March  
Away Sobell 1 vs West Herts Lost 2-3

Away at West Herts:
Jack played 1 and Hernan 2. They both played well but got beaten by excellent opponents.

Gavin, at 3, was playing a really solid hard to beat player. Like Gavin, there wasn't anything particularly flashy about his game - he just moved well, chose good shots and hit them accurately. It was a mighty battle and when it got to the fifth game, it was about who was willing to push themselves hardest for the win. It was Gavin.

Cheyne, at 4, played a bigger guy with great shots and squashcraft. He has beaten me and other Sobell players with ease in the past. Cheyne's speed and good shots really upset his game and he didn't like being moved off the tee. Cheyne won the first two games, surprisingly easily, but then the guy remembered his game and took it back to 2-2. Cheyne upped his game once more, to take the game in the 5th.

I was playing at 5 against an opponent with great attacking shots, but who tinned the ball too often. (A bit like a worse version of Tim.) I won the 1st, but let him back into the second. He found his shots and confidence and blew me away in the next two games. I fought hard to win the fourth, but lost the 5th. A bad loss against someone I should have beaten.

6th March
AwaySobell II vs Finsbury Leisure  Won 3-2

It was a top of the table clash at Finsbury Leisure last night and the captain rolled out the big guns to play the only team ahead of Sobell in the Middlesex Division 5.

Up first was yours truly playing at 2.  Tim and I had agreed to swap as we had both played their number 2.  But I had lost 3-2 to him, but probably should have beaten him whereas Tim went down 3-1, the thinking being, even if we lost at 2, we should be nailed on at 3.

In the end their number 1 was out, so I ended up playing their number 3.  In the warm up, I noticed he had the fatal flaw in his game of letting the ball drop on his backhand, so I pretty much played all of the game playing simple squash hitting tight shots to his backhand and avoiding his forehand.  The tactic worked and frustrated my oponent and was 2 up in no time.  In the third, I got a bit over confident and started to hit the ball hard which my opened loved, but in the 4th, I went back to basics and won pretty easily.

Tom playing at the same time as me at 5.  I didn't see much of the first 3 games, but by that time the he was 2-1 up and pretty comfortable and he closed the game out in 4.

After me was Ben Pritchard was playing at 4 a solid, but ultimately limited opponent.  Ben played very solid and risk free squash and despite a few of the referees calls obviously frustrating him Ben went 2 up and it looked like it would be the first 3 nil of the night, however, his opponent managed to dig in and get the 4th.  Ben didn't give him much of a chance in the 4th though and we were 3 up and looking good on the night.

After Tom was Tim, who had waited to play on Tom's court as he didn't want to play on the court that Ben and I had played on.  The only thing I can say about Tim's match is that normally when he plays badly, I like to 'have a pop', last night was so bad, I can't even bring myself to.  Tim went down in 3-0 to Finsbury's #4.

Finally was Rohan up against Finsbury.  Before the game I gave Rohan the tactics to beat this guy, he is very fit and very quick, but his backhand is much weaker than the rest of his game, so the strategy is to keep it tight on his backhand and wait for mistakes.  Unfortunately, Rohan got into a very entertaining battle against him and battled hard and won the first game.  However, when you are playing a guy who is already super fit and in the middle of training for the London marathon, a battle is always going to have one outcome and despite almost nicking the 3rd, Rohan went down in 4.

Hopefully, the result is good enough for us to go top of the table, but Sobell 2 will have to have a perfect record between now and the end of the season if we are going to go up...


 18th February
Away Sobell 1 vs BA Won 3-2
After a heavy defeat against Cottons, it was important to bounce back with a win - Gavin kicked us at 3 off against a wily veteran.  I was running late so didn't see very much of this game, from what I did see the vet couldn't run too much but was able to put it away if it came to him.  After being blown away in the first game, Gavin's class told and he took the next three 15-9 15-10 15-8.   1-0 to Sobell.

Glen was on court at 2 at the same time as Gavin - I didn't see very much of this game because, despite watching it, there wasn't much to see! After sharing the spoils in the first two games, Glen's opponent pulled up with an injury.  Glen decided to show no mercy and tormented his opponent with boasts and lobs to get him turning and it wasn't much of a surprise when Glen's opponent gave up the ghost in game three - forfeiting the last two games and putting Sobell 2-0 up.

I was up next at 1 against a player I had lost to 3-0 in the home game, so I knew I was in for a tough time.  What followed was not a pretty sight.  I have never seen someone hit the ball that hard and that accurately.  Even when I managed to play a good shot he was on top of it to kill it or slam it into the nick so that I could only walk over and pick the ball up to hand it back to him...and that was just the warm up!  Game one was a massacre, with my opponent barely having to move off the T during the first 8 points (all of which he won).  I managed to get a bit of composure as he eased off and put together a few points losing the first 15-7.  The second felt much closer with some long rallies up and down the wall, but ultimately he was too good and won 15-8.  In the last game he cranked the power back up and won comfortably.  All in all a good experience against possibly the best player in the division (Hanro should take that as a challenge to beat him next season!) - 2-1 Sobell.

I got off court to find that Cheyne (playing at 5) was 1-1 in a game that looked to be the 'battle of the boasts' both players seemed to have forgotten that the ball was allowed to hit the front wall without hitting the side wall.  That said, it was a really entertaining game, with some exciting and close rallies.  Cheyne had adopted the innovative tactic of trying to dazzle his opponent with a shiny bronze racket!  It seemed to work.  Having come back from 1-0 down, Cheyne went 2-1 up (in spite of some dodgy calls from the marker!).  It looked like Cheyne was going to bring it home for Sobell but his opponent had other ideas.  Cheyne's opponent took a finely balanced fourth game 15-12.  The last game saw some really good squash being played as both players got tired - ultimately the BA player had a little too much for Cheyne and won out 15-10 to make the match score 2-2.

On last at four was Tim against a guy who had broken down on the road on the way there.  From looking at his attire you could be forgiven for thinking that he was on his way to the beach - from looking at him warming up you could be forgiven for thinking he had never played before! Once the game got going you could see why he was playing at four - he was so awkward, every shot was a drop into the front corner or a boast.  Tim just needed to play a good length and keep it tight.  Unfortunately he decided to try and match his opponent drop-for-drop and boast-for boast, losing the first game 15-10.  In between games Gavin gave some stern advice (including some language we know Hanro doesn't approve of!) telling Tim to hit to the back because every time he did, he won the point.  Tim decided to go it his own way though and proceeded to go 13-5 down - thankfully this just made him even more determined, his length improved and he managed to come back to win 16-14.  More of the same advice followed from Gavin between, more of the same squash followed from Tim and he found himself 13-8 down again.  This time Gavin could take no more but at that point Tim decided enough was enough and started hitting a good length and moving his opponent around - as a result he won the next seven points to take the game 15-13.  The last game was a formality, Tim wrapping it up 15-9 and ensuring a 3-2 win for Sobell.

After a good win and a good meal, we all got to experience some death-defying driving from Glen to get Gavin and I back in time for the last tube!  Let's hope for another good result against Ealing on Wednesday.


23rd January

Away Sobell 1 vs Coolhurst IV Lost 1-4


After a fantastic win against league leaders Hammersmith the previous week, Sobell 1 went down to second in the league Coolhurst iv in a disappointing match. Absent was our henchman at no.1, Hanro. Present but unfortunately not playing was captain fantastic, Glen, to watch us go down in style.
Jack was 2-0 up and looking like he was going to take his first scalp playing at no.1, however, his opponent had other plans and managed to claw his way back and take the game 3-2
Hernan, went 2-0 down then took the 3rd and hopes were high that he'd take the next 2 games. Unfortunately, he couldn't manage it 
Gavin and I went down in 3. No excuses there and we were even playing on the lovely glass back court!. Need to pull our fingers out.
Adam saved the day and some pride with some wonderful squash. Tight rallies and nervy points, a nice 3-1 win.
Anyway, onwards and upwards. All teams are allowed an off day (look at Arsenal) we just need to make sure we're back to our best this week! 

... Bring it on!!!!!


23rd January

Away Sobell 1 vs Paddington Won 5-0


  1. Hanro

  2. Jack

  3. Glen

  4. Nadeem

  5. Gavin

The evening started with our fearless leader Glen giving Nadeem and I a ride to the venue. I was riding shotgun while Nadeem got the baby seat all to himself. This obviously cramped his style and his a-game suffered most of the night.

Our team decided that the first person to lose would prepare the match report and when our team wins 5-0 then the nr uno will have the honours. I shall not leave you in suspense...

First up was yours truly against their possible nr 1 or 2, a fellow saffa named Ed. Two saffas? - We all knew that dirty tactics, deceit and corruption would be at hand. The first game started really well and I soon had a 10-2 lead. I relaxed as per usual, but still took the first game sweetly with some cunning shots. 

The 2nd game my opponent settled in and put up slightly more resistance. I felt that he was giving a good fight but this resulted in him shoving me in the point, as well as not clearing the ball. My marker did not agree with me and i lost all these controversial points where I stopped play. I still managed to take the game with ease but got slightly annoyed with this in the 3rd. If anyone knows the proper etiquette for when you are pushed in the rally then please notify me. 

Frustrated, I relied on the ancient strategy of hitting the ball low and hard. Usually this is a rubbish idea when you are angry but the gods favored me. Fortunately these shots ended in the back corners and I wrapped up the match 3 - 0. 

Enough with the whining! 

When I left the court i was just in time to compare notes with Gavin. Gavin is a talented player with a lot of heart but possibly a lack of match experience. Tonight's game was just what the doc ordered to get his confidence back up. Gavin had to work hard to stay in control of the match. He went 2 - 1 up and while dominating the 4th and what looked to be the final game he stretched his opponent (that extra mile) and he tapped out with injury. 2 - 0 to sobell.

Nadeem and our fearless Captain were up next. In my next match report I vow to attach a schematic which clearly identifies the front and the back walls. This information will be particularly useful to Glen who continuously got this mixed up. Costing a game. He compensated with excellent running and tenacious fighting spirit to take a convincing 3 -1 match. Leading from the front! Yeah captain. I was promised a discount on my subs if I write something positive for him ;-)

Nadeem should probably study the same schematic about the court. He aimed to hit as many balls as possible over the T area and was completely unaware that this was a less than excellent idea. Showing a lot of heart Nadeem ran like a madman compensating for the loose balls. This was insufficient to win the first 2 games but it did result in tiring his opponent. 

I gave Nadeem an excellent pep talk after going 2 - 0 down. To this he nodded, agreed and then flatly ignored it. Good Lad.. I'm not sure what he heard but he did manage to change his game and get the balls into the back corners. I compared noted with the referee Ed (my opponent) who also gave their player other crap advise. In the meantime Jack went on court. Nadeem survived a heart stopping 3rd game. At the same time Jack was busy dominating all over on the other court. 

I decided to have another talk with Nadeem since he clearly ignored my tips and still won the 3rd. Lucky for us he decided to do the same in the 4th game. Nadeem was playing well again. I was getting worried that his opponent was having a rest. I knew that the 5th was going to be epic. I was captivated with this evenly matched game and I found myself often cheering both sides as they hit winners only to retrieve them at the last second. 

Jack was not having any problems in his game. He built up an easy lead which soon lead to a convincing victory. I did not follow the game closely but was very impressed with his play. He won 3 - 1 (same as in the 1st half of the season).

Back to Nadeem who was giving the audience great value for money. There is no other way to say this: Nadeem was losing the 5th. 12 - 10 down Nadeem was under pressure and being stretched in the rally. His opponent played a great shot and the gallery (and marker) all thought that Nadeem was not going to be able to retrieve the shot. Gavin immediately blurted out the code word YES! in the middle of the rally and Nadeem stopped pretending the marker called it.................. let ball.

This seemed to be the turning point as Nadeem did not only recover but progressed to 2 match balls. He fucked up both of them.

Then in the tie break it was his turn to defend match ball, possibly twice before finally wrapping it up. An excellent comeback from Nadeem to clinch a convincing 5 - 0 victory over paddington.

Our host was truly excellent and we enjoyed a good meal and a laugh together.

Hope to see you all next week for the home game against league leaders Hammersmith. I know Will and I have some unfinished business ;-)


11th December

Away Sobell I vs Cumberland   Won 3-2

I played first at number 5 against a guy with some good attacking shots. I lost the spin and the first point, but then I got serve and won 9 consecutive points off lob serves. After that | won the first game quite comfortably and he went off for some intensive psychotherapy. It generally worked and he got to grips with my serve. The game was close, we got to 14-14, then 15-15 then ...18-18 then a won a couple of point to go 2-0 up. He came back fired up the the third and took a lead, I dragged it back to 14-14, but he won 16-14. The fourth game, no big surprise also went to 14-14 and kept going and going with game point following match point. At one point I hit a lovely boast to win the match only for it to tickle the tin on the way down. I don't really remember the details of the rest - I imagine the squash was quite scrappy, but I won in the end 21-19.

Glen played at the same time against a guy who use to play at the Sobell - he has got a lot better since he left though. He gave Glen a very hard time, he was fit fast and good. Glen went down 3-0
Hanro played at #1 against a great player. It looked like a very tight match - each game started very hard and generally got to about 7-7. At that point in each game Hanro showed his class. He was moving really well, every shot put pressure on his opponent and Hanro made very few mistakes. That is really hard to live with and in each game Hanro pulled away to comfortably win 3-0 in the end.

Nadeem played at 4 against a good player. Nadeem played his trademark smooth squash - elegant movement, good shot selection, few mistakes. He won the first two games quite comfortably and was up in the third. Suddenly his opponent stepped up a gear or two. He came back hard and Nadeem had to play well to take the game. A good win that guy would have been very dangerous if he had won the third.

Jack played last against a really good player. Jack fought well but in the end his opponent was too good, Jack lost 3-0.

At the end of the first half of the season we are out of the relegation zone - even arguably mid table.


3rd December

Away Sobell I vs Coolhurst   Lost 0-5

I played first at number 5. Before the game my opponent said he played regularly with Eva (who used to play for the Sobell team before defecting.) I told him to ask her to come down to Sobell on a Saturday and promised that we wouldn't give her too much shit. I had my fingers crossed when making the promise.

Back to the game. We had just finished warming up when the Coolhurst captain told us we were playing up to 11. I thought we were supposed to play to 15, but he said that the home team captain could choose. (I emailed the MSRA guy about this btw.) This surprise scoring change got to my head and I lost the first quite easily, but won the next two narrowly. Unfortunately I then lost the next two narrowly.

Gavin (#4) played a really good player, but won the first two games. However, his opponent raised his game and took the next 3.

Jack played at number one against a really excellent player, one of the best in the league in my opinion. He just put Jack under remorseless pressure. Jack lost the first and to be honest I saw this as a three-nil. But you should never underestimate Jack. He pulled a game back, but this just encouraged his opponent to play even better and Jack went down 3-1.

Glen played 3 against a very aggressive player with some very fine kill shots. They traded games with Glen playing well and moving freely after his injury. It got to 2-2, but playing to 11 didn't give Glen enough time to make his opponent sweat enough and he too lost 2-3.

Hernan played a hard, fast game at number 2 against a good opponent. At 1-1 Hernan looked like he had a decent chance, but he hit a wall fitness wise in the third and couldn't keep the pace up. Hernan rallied in the 4th game, but narrowly lost it.

It could be described as a 5-0 pasting, but I prefer to think of it as us gaining 8 points.


27th November

Home Sobell I vs West Herts  Lost 2-3     Sobell II vs Finsbury   Lost 1-4

Once again Sobell 1 lost another close encounter against West Herts, with only one toddler in the starting line up. 
On first was Adam playing @ no 3.  This match went one way then the other. With both players going for their shots every given opportunity, it was anyone's match.  Adam lost the first game then came back to take the next 2 games.  Adam needed to win the fourth game to take the match otherwise the fifth (from what I witness) was going to be tough.  With both players battling it out in the fifth and going for their shots, Adam finally lost it 15/9.  1 up West Herts.
Nelson Mandela's protégé Hanro, was on crt next playing @ no 1 against an aggressive opponent who looked like he had just got out of the wrong side of the bed and was looking for someone to take it out of.  Hanro was the last person to pick on when it comes to a game of Squash. The West Herts player who is a very good vet and been around the block a few times, only wish he had stayed home in bed cuddling up with his wife and then after that running around  the block a few more times.
Hanro took the first game 15/10 but then his opponent came back in the second and took it 15/11.  The West Herts player used all his experience to ruffle  up Hanro but he gave back as good as he got and he took the third 15/10.  The West Herts player went all out in the fourth with a hope of it going to a fifth game.  The only hope he had was, no hope or Bob Hope because Hanro took the Fifth 15/11.  West Herts 1 Sobell 1.
Jack had the privilege of playing the toddler @ no 2 who he had lost to the last time out in the summer.  This was going to be a long long shift for Jack hence why a good night sleep was crucial. 
Jack kept the toddler quiet in the first game and he took it 15/12.  The toddler started to cry for mummy and daddy  the next 3 games in which he took and with it a good night sleep with his dummy in his mouth.  Sobell 1 West Herts 2.
Cheyne @ 4 was playing someone who has got an eye for fashion.  If anyone needs any advice on dress sense, don't look any further than Cheyne opponent!  His shorts tells the whole story, but can he play.
Cheyne lost the first game then came back to win the second game.  With his opponent controlling the game from the T, there was no way he was interested in running around on the crt. So it turn out to be because Cheyne lost the next 2 games.  Sobell 1 West Herts 3.
I didn't see much of Nadeem  match, but that one went one way then the other, in the end Nadeem took it 3/2.
Final score:  Sobell  2 West Herts 3.
So that's the fourth 3-2 match that Sobell 1 has been in with 3 going against which tells me we are a match for anyone in this division.
Next up is that local derby against Coolhurst.


I didn't see who Richard Bowman's  game at 5, so I will give him the benefit of the doubt, but knowing who played for Finsbury at 4, it really should have been a 3-0 win.

I also didn't see the Richard Bangay game, but it was against the guy who he beat comfortably the last time Finsbury played here. At the end of the evening, he had a best of 3 friendly which I won in a tight game the third, so how he lost against this guy is totally beyond me.  His 'explanation' was that he wasn't playing well, but with his talent and mobility that is a game he should win every day of the week and twice on Sundays.

Rohan was on at the same time as me,  he lost at 3-1, but he was playing a talented player who had a bit too much on the night.

I was playing at number 3, not really a lot to say about my game other than other than in my efforts to give myself a run around, I let my opponent get two game balls in the second game, but I stepped up and got the job done 3-0.

Finally up was Tim playing at number 2.  Playing the same guy that I lost 3-2 in the last home fixture we played.  Before going on, I explained to Tim that he is fast mobile player and the way to beat him was to keep it tight down the backhand and waiting for mistakes.  Knowing Tim, I fully expected him not to be patient, but to go for his shots and lose 3-0.  I was absolutely correct except that Tim actually got a game and lost 3-1.  As you know from my last report, there is some debate about who should play at one, but with a performance like that, Rohan is safe for a long, long time and I think I have a great shot at playing at 2 next week.

So in the end a very disappointing loss to Finsbury and which we should have won comfortably and a bit of a reality check this week.  Roll on next week.


21st November

Away Sobell I vs Ealing  lost 1-4 

Just a brief summary on the match between Sobell 1 & Ealing 1.
Sobell 1 fielded a mixture of first & second team players, fringe & up and coming players and a combination of internal div 1 & 2 players. I leave you lot to work that one out.
Jack playing @ 1 went down 3-1.  Not a bad result considering he is getting use to the fast lane playing @ no1.
Adam playing @ 2 went down 3-1.  Good result considering he was playing @ no5 last week.  I think he needs to sort out that parrot.
Cheyne playing @ 3 won 3-1.  Great result.  Shame about his internal league results which he admits to.
Kevin playing @ 4 went down 3-1.  so so result.  Tim was crying out to Kevin to play Barry squash.  It worked in the third game after going 2 games down, but lost his way in the fourth game.
Tim playing @ no5 went down 3-2.  Not a good result.  Tim's only excuse was that the temperature of the crt did not suit his game. 
So there you have it, a 4-1 victory to Ealing.  Next up are those toddlers from West Herts @ home next Wednesday.  it's going to be a long long night so I suggest everyone gets a good night sleep. 
I'm through for the next couple of weeks with my groin, and hopefully Hanro should be back.  With a combination of around 12 players who are keen to play team squash I'm still trying to work out my strongest 5.  We all except that Hanro is the right man to play at no1, but from 2 downwards there is not a lot in it.  My only suggestion is, who ever goes down in a match drops out and the next in line steps up to the plate.  So starting from Ealing, Jack, Adam, Kevin & Tim are all out and subject to availability Cheyne  would be playing @ 1!   Sorry guys it's only a joke but something I might have to take on board especially if you've got players like Kevin & Tim banging on the door with force. 


13th November

Home Sobell I vs BA  lost 1-4  Sobell II vs Old Actonians  won 5-0

A very short match report on this match.  Vital stats: 5-0 win and not a game dropped.  I saw 3 out of 5 games, plus a short amount of Tim on court so will comment where I can.

 Playing:  GS, RB, RB (Bangay), KJ, TD.  Home at Sobell.

Myself, 3 games against an opponent who, whilst tidy up along the back wall with some tight play, wasn’t liking anything being dropped short and didn’t really have the fitness or movement for a 5 game match. 

Next up was Richard Bangay.  His opponent was very keen, and put in a lot of running to be fair to him.  He managed to save the best to last, and I was wondering whether this would go into a 4th but the quality shone through.  Throughout, a decent length and an executed straight drop on the backhand side seemed to do the job nicely.

One of the matches I didn’t see was Richard Bowman playing at 4.  His comments were that the opponent wasn’t giving him a lot of trouble, and that was that.

The other match not seen was Tim at number 1.  I caught the last point, with some enthusiastic hitting from the back from the opposition, but Tim seemed to be nicely rooted to the T which is how I’m assuming most of the match went.

Kevin was last on at 2, with an opponent who was playing better squash than the final score might have suggested.  There was some nice tight length hitting from both players, with the opposition having some results with a tight forehand down to Kevin’s leftie backhand side.  However, you sensed Kevin was always in control of this one, with his opponent giving him too much space to play in the mid-court. 

The start of the league season vs Brentford was a pretty tough ride for Sobell II, however the opposition since hasn’t seemed to have done much which is a shame.  Still, onwards.

Final thoughts being they had some nice team shirts, maybe Sobell II should get some?  Food was a pleasure as usual, decent fish cakes.


8th November

Away Sobell I vs Cottons  won 3-2  Sobell II vs LA Fitness Norwood  won 4-1

Hanro played first against a tall, fit, talented opponent at number 1. It was a good quality, fast paced match and Hanro narrowly won the first two games. The third was closer with Hanro starting to feel the pressure. It got to 14-14, then Hanro missed a match point, then his opponent got and lost 2 game points. Hanro got another match point, but the Cottons number 1 wasn't giving up. He worked Hanro into a corner leaving himself the whole court ...

... then hit it into the tin. 3-0 Hanro. A very good win. 

I played down at lowly number five, but my opponent was strong player with a nice range of shots. He looked worryingly good during the warm up. I kept it tight and kept the pressure on and he started to make mistakes. I trailed all through the first game, but nicked it in the end, Then narrowly won the second. I won the first 6 points of the third and it was all over really. 3-0.

Nadeem played at 4 against a left hander with an odd 1 and a half handed backhand. He generally played one handed, but when he needed more power he pushed through with his right arm and really smacked the ball. Nadeem just played good all-round squash. (I'm not sure I'm looking forward to our league game!) Nadeem won the first, lost the second but took the last two to win 3-1.

Glen was delighted to find out he was playing Selina again. It was a long hard game, with extended rallies and lots of lets. Glen won one game, Selina won one, Seline went 2-1 up, but Glen pulled it back to 2-2. Both players were exhausted, but still running hard. Selina got the breaks in the fifth and won in the end. 2-3

Jack was playing another weirdo left-hander. His action looked all wrong, but the ball flew off the racquet fast and accurate. He was a very good player and Jack had a hard game on his hands. Jack lost the first, but fought back to win the second. Unfortunately his opponent just played better and better and won the last 2. 1-3.

We played 5 tight, high-quality games of squash, we won, and then we had a nice curry. A good night.

Last Wednesday the team made one of the furthest away trips of the season to L A Fitness Northwood, an old squash club that has been taken over by the LA Fitness Group, but still has a decent squash community.


As  Vince and Richard were there first, Vince playing at 5 started against a guy who Tim knew from his early days playing squash in Nairobi, when he was a top, top player.  Fortunately for Vince, those days are a long time behind him now and despite dropping a game, Vince won comfortably 3-1.


Next up was El Capitano playing at 4.  I caught the end of the match and can only agree with his view that he shouldn’t have dropped a game against an opponent who had a decent level and a sneaky drop shot that caught him out a few times, but at the level Richard is playing at, he should be putting opponents like that away 3-0.


I was up next at 3 playing a guy that during the warm up I was pretty sure would be a straightforward match for me.  I started well, but dropped the 2nd and by the end of the 3rd was struggling and it was only because he didn’t have a drop shot that I was still in the game.  In the 4th just wacked the life out of the ball to get the job done.


Tim was on at the same time as me at 2 and won comfortably 3-1, but again shouldn't have dropped a game.


The entertainment was saved for the last match of the night, with Rohan playing at 1 against who I described as a mixture of Adam and Me – he had Adam's shots and my ability to find different ways of resting between points J.  Rohan could run around the court about 10 times faster than his opponent, and caught him out multiple times with his deceptive boasts and trickle boasts as anyone who's played him before can probably sympathise with. The match itself was a bit of a crazy one, Rohan started so well that we thought Rohan was going to walk it 3-0.  However after going 1 up, his opponent won the next two games.  Rohan then won the fourth game really easily (15-3).  In the 5th, his opponent raced to 11-1 lead and seemed to have the match won, but then Rohan came back to draw 13-13, but watching the game I was certain his opponent was resting and would go all out for the points and that sadly turned out to be the case and he won the next 2 points to take the game and the match.

So a 4-1 victory for the team, and with that we've jumped to the top of the division :) Possibly only temporarily as British airways have a game in hand over but still a really good effort after our shaky start to the season.

The best entertainment of the night was saved for the post match meal when we all sat down to reflect on the evenings squash.  To give some context, bar Vince who is just happy to play team matches to get out of being at home changing nappies, pretty much everyone else thinks they should be playing in a different position in the team.

Captain who plays at 4 thinks he should play at 3.  Myself at 3 thinks I should play at 1 and Tim at 2 thinks he should play at 1.  So with a not so great night at the office for him, I sensed blood and 'suggested' to Rohan's victor that had I been playing at 1, the result would have been much different as I wouldn’t let him 'do a number on me', for some reason Rohan didn’t take that too well and took even less well Tim's suggestion that had he come back to 13-13, from 11-1 down, he would not lose the match.  I say he took it less well, but I am only basing that suggestion by the steam coming from his nostrils and red beams of light coming from his eyes…

Let's see who drops games / loses this week, no pressure guys J


29th October

Away Sobell II vs Harrow  won 5-0

Probably the easiest match report anyone will ever have to write for a Sobell match with every match finishing 3-0 and no one bar Rohan being remotely tested.

Richard, playing at 4 went to up against a very average opponent who put up a challenge before retiring hurt in the 3rd.

I was on at the same time against a player with some nice shots, but without the mobility to get to the front of the court, so I managed to win very easily without much effort.

Next up was Tim who played what looked like a slightly younger version of Barry, who played lots of nice drops and trickle boasts, so I guess nothing like a younger version of Barry, again Tim wasn’t pushed and ran out a 3-0 winner.

David Butter was on at the same time as Tim and beat a very average opponent. 

Finally, Rohan was on at 1 against a very quick but limited player and he put him away very quickly.

Hopefully, we will get promoted soon as I reckon bar our first match, you would need to get to number 3 or even 4 before I think we would lose against any of our opponents recently….



22nd October

Away Sobell II vs Finsbury Outplay  won 5-0
Sobell 2 vs. Finsbury Outplay
Line-up (in order on court) GS, KJ, RB, RP, TD
Not to be confused with the team the Sobell 2 played in the summer league, this match was one of Sobell’s most uneven matchups.  Our matches against outplay in the summer produced a reasonably competitive affair; however I think this was a second tier team.  This will be a short match report.
Stats: 5-0 win and not a game dropped.
Courts:  Awful.  For anyone thinking about organising matches/friendlies at Finsbury Leisure Centre (just off Old Street), don’t bother.  Dark courts (RBs front wall on court 1 was in darkness from where I was standing), humidity levels that were through the roof, and court floors that were warping and breaking up.
I have no real comments to add from my game, uneventful best describes it. 
Kevin played some comedy squash against an opponent willing to put the legwork in for the first game. 
Richards match was one I didn’t see.  Again, it sounded uneventful.
Rohan had a reasonably close first game against a player who was very quick around the court and knew what to do with a squash racket.  Lots of mid court hitting in the first meant the score went to first to two clean with our man edging it.  Second and third games saw Finsbury tiring, and some attacking boasts on anything midcourt from our man meant for some quick final games.
Tim closed out in 3 quick games
Food: ‘Spoons did what it does best; burger and a couple of pints went down nicely.  KJ missed out.


16th October

Home Sobell1 vs Paddington  won 5-0   Sobell II vs Walthamstow  won 4-1

just a brief report on the match between Sobell 1 and Paddington last night. When I say brief, I don't mean Marks and Spencer's brief.
I was down on court first playing @ number 2.  I won the first 2 games then my foot of the pedal and lost the third. I got back to normal business in the fourth and took it 15 - 10.  1 up Sobell.
Nadeem was on court the at the same time as me playing @ number 5.  Nadeem started to throw abuse @ himself after loosing the first game.  The marker Hanro decided to deduct a point from Nadeem for his foul mouth conduct, so he started the second game 1-0 down.  It would have been interested If Nadeem had lost the second game?  Possibly game, set & match?  Nadeem took the next 3 games and in the process kept his mouth to himself and all the points. 2 up Sobell.

I have to say Hanro is taking no prisoners. That can only be good for the Sobell.
Next up was Nelson Mandela's protégé Hanro playing at 1 to steal all the points for the Sobell, and to keep his win record intact.  Unfortunately his knock up was  longer than the match itself and he won in straight 3.  Victory for Sobell.  
Jack playing @ 4 won in straight 3 & Hernan also won in 3 sets against Mr Paddington James Doolan. 
So a 5 - 0 victory for Sobell, and thanks again to Mike Campbell for donating those winning balls on our first home match of the winter season. I don't know what you put in them but it seems to work. Well appreciated.
Next up are those boys from West London Chelsea.  Oops sorry Hammersmith at their place.


Just a brief report on the match between Sobell II and Walthamstow last night. When I say brief, I don't Legal Brief.  For those of you who don’t know what that means: 


A brief (Old French from Latin "brevis", short) is a written legal document used in various legal adversarial systems that is presented to a court arguing why one party to a particular case should prevail.


Anyway, back to the squash.


First up was el Captaino plunged to the depths of 5 because as the famous advert would say, Carling doesn’t do Sobell second teams, but if they did… anyway, Richard was playing someone who was at least a level below him and didn’t have an awful lot to do to get the job done 3-0.


On at the same time was Rohan playing at one in what would turn out to be the only blemish on an otherwise perfect night for both Sobell teams.  Playing a wily old player who wasn’t much different in terms of game, but who was miles apart in making mistakes, Rohan went down 3-0.


On at the same time as yours truly was a debut for Ben Pritchard playing at 4.  I didn’t see the match, but after consulting his opponent, it sounds it was very similar to when I last played Ben i.e. Ben played a game of fetch and his opponents job was to fetch!  Ben dropped a game but got the job done in 4.


I was on at 3 and with Coach Barry watching there was no chance that I was going to be able to get away with playing silly shots as I knew what the training session on Friday would be like if I did.  So I started out playing very sensibly and won the first 2 games quite easily against a guy who in the warm I noted had a very good forehand, but a slightly strange weaker double handed backhand.   I lost the 3rd playing slightly more laid back, but one hard look from Coach Barry and that was all it took for me to get my act together and win in 4.


Finally up was Tim playing at 2 against a very similar player to him in that they both went for their shots a lot hit the ball very hard.  You didn’t need to watch many points to see that the this game wasn't  going to last very long and whoever made less mistakes would win.  In the end, Tim made the fewest mistakes and won 3-0.

4th October

Away Sobell1 vs Hazlewood  lost 2-3   Away Sobell II vs Brentford  lost 2-3

Sobell 1 lost an hard fought battle against Hazelwood at their patch last Friday evening.
On first was Hanro making his debut playing at no 1 against a veteran who has been around the block a few times.  From what I witness in the first game there was only going to be one winner in favour to Hanro.  After a tricky first game in which Hanro took, he got the measure of his opponent and he won the next 2 games.  0/3 up, 1 up Sobell.
Up next was team captain playing at no 2 in a match which went one way then the other. The first game was a stroll in the park for my opponent in which I lost before it even got started 15/5. I decided to go for a stroll in the park the next 2 games  which I won.  I thought that was that going into the 4th game.  As you all know playing at this level it's never over till it's over.  My opponent decided enough of this stroll in the park and he took the 4th.  The 5th game was a tight affair and only a brave man would back the winner.  I eventually lost the 5th 15/13.  3/2 down,  1 march each.
Gavin was on crt next playing at no 3, and still a match or 2 short from his fitness level.  I didn't see much of his game but from what I gathered the fitness level did show in his match.  He went down in 3 straight sets.  3/0 down 2/1 Hazelwood.
Adam was  on crt next playing at no 5 to level things up. Well we all know what your going to get with Adam.  High lob serve and dropping the ball in every giving opportunity.  His opponent could not live with him as much as he tried bless him.  Adam won in 3 straight sets. 0/3 up, 2 match a piece.
Well Jack it's down you once again to take the glory playing at no 4.  Not much pressure!  This match was all about Jack's fancy footwork.  When I say footwork, I don't mean Jack gracing himself around the squash crt.  No this was the type of footwork that only the marker has control of.  If anyone wants to see an example of foot faults, then Jack is the man.  I think we need your help here M Campbell.
After taking first game, Jack was warned of his foot faults. Jack lost the 2nd game and he won the 3rd game with a couple foot faults along the way which was not crucial at the time.  Going into the 4th game the match was a tie at 14/14 with Jack serving.  Yes you've guess it, the marker calls foot fault with Jack going down 16/14 in the 4th.  In all my years that I have been playing team squash I have never seen or witness so many foot faults called in one match especially at 14/14. I think the home marker was bang out of order with a few chosen words from myself to let him know that. Even his opponent was surprise and his team mates,
All eyes from the crowd that was watching from the gallery,  were focusing on Jack's fancy footwork going into the final game.  While Jack was concentrating on his fancy footwork, his opponent was concentrating on winning the match.  Jack lost the 5th.
3/2 down, Hazelwood 3/2 winners.
They must have been that desperate to get of to a winning start.
As for Jack, He is starting his own academy just on footwork!


Being a man down for Sobells II’s  first league match meant we were always going to have to play catch up here – and the standard of the opposition made that so much the more difficult.
I arrived early, and got my game in with a 3-0 win over a leftie.  After some long rallies and some drops to test his fitness, by the third it became clear it wasn’t going to last much of a distance. 
For future reference for teams that visit Brentford in future, those courts are extremely quick.  All the matches I watched had something of a quick draw gunfight about them – very different to Sobell.  QUICK MOAN about the lighting on the second court.  You almost needed a torch to find your way about.
Next up was Matt at number 4 – this was the only match I didn’t see but notable for two reasons. Firstly, our man came from 2 down to take a 3-2 loss.  A good effort here, for two players who I’m told had quite similar styles.   Secondly, for his troubles he took a racket to the face.
Kevin was on next.  There will probably be his own separate match report to follow so I won’t go into too much detail, but in short summary his opponent had this covered with some good attacking length hitting and decent movement off the ball to have a 3-0 win.
There were some long rallies in the second where I thought Kevin might contain and level at 1-1, but it wasn’t to be.  The opposition was in a mood to attack anything remotely loose and closed it out.
Tim was last up, and was up against a bit of unit to be honest.  The guy was vast, and when he slapped his hand to wipe some sweat off the glass back wall I found myself wondering how strong that glass really was. 
This was a 3-1 loss, but was an entertaining view.  There were some big hits and some nice touches to the front from both players.  Tim worked his straight drops on the front and backhand sides well when the opportunity came, but the opposition (given his size) got down to the low balls well and countered with some force. The opposition was hitting some decent stuff on a hot court, and crosscourts with interest to the backhand side looked particularly hard to do anything with. 
At 2-1 down I thought if Tim could take it into the 5th he would have his win, but Brentford came back out with focus and played very well to get the 3-1.
I and Matt represented at the social afterwards.  The rest missed out, as the Thai food was delicious at the local Chiswick eatery.

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