reports winter 2015

1st Apr Away

Sobell I vs Paddington

Report comes to you from courtside via email...

Nadeem Chughtai  -  Tue, 5 Apr 2016, 20.51

I went on at 3 first and went 2-0 down. Came back and won 3-2.
Brendon is now 2-2. 10-8 up

Nadeem Chughtai  -  Tue, 5 Apr 2016, 20.56

Brendon won 3-2

Nadeem Chughtai  -  Tue, 5 Apr 2016, 21:15

Christian on at 5 is 1-1
Kevin at 4 - just started 

Nadeem Chughtai  -  Tue, 5 Apr 2016, 21:28 

Christian is 2-1 up
Kevin 1-0 down 

Nadeem Chughtai  -  Tue, 5 Apr, 2016 at 21:54, 
Christian lost 3-2
Kevin lost 3-0

Rohan Plunkett  -  Tue, 5 Apr, 2016 21:55

Is it all down to the last match?

Nadeem Chughtai  -  Tue, 5 Apr 2016, 21:56

All down to captain Jack against Frank

Rohan Plunkett  -  Tue, 5 Apr, 2016, 21:57

Come on Jack! We want to beat you guys next season ;-)

Rohan Plunkett  -  Tue, 5 Apr 2016, 21:59 

We need a 3-0 from Jack otherwise we'll get knocked down from fourth to fifth.

Nadeem Chughtai  -  
Tue, Apr 2016, 22:24

Jack lost 3-1

Nadeem Chughtai  -  Tue, 5 Apr 2016, 22:50 

Jack won 3-1

Adam O'Brien  -  Tue, 5 Apr 2016, 23:38

So,  did we win? 

Nadeem Chughtai  -  
Tue, 5 Apr 2016, 23:40

Yes. We won 3-2. We live to fight another season, I believe.

Hernan Zuniga  -  Wed, 6 Apr 2016 09.16

Brendon predicted 16-8 and we apparently did 16 - 9 (if I know how scores go), more importantly, looking at the table we needed 15 points to finish 6th ahead of west herts. So it seems that mission accomplished, well done guys.

On the minus we seem to have finish 10 points below the so-called "2nd" team, perhaps we should swap the team names? 

Kevin Jackson  -  Wed, 6 Apr 2016 12.39

 I got off a 13 hour flight at 5am that morning after a 3 week holiday and had gone to work that day, turning up was a miracle.


Some good points on team squash.  I know we will only have a single team in the summer and will almost certainly only have one in the winter.  The second team have been a solid group for the last couple of years, it will be up to them to work out if they want to keep the group together.  Ultimately, if there are members of the first team who want to play regular team squash and cant get games at Sobell, other squash clubs are out there.


Finally Brendon, thanks very much for playing this season, your matches v Brondesbury at home were worth it for entertainment value by themselves.


1st Apr Away

Sobell I vs Brondesbury

Sobell 1's troubled season continued this week with a chastening 5-0 defeat to away to top of the table Brondesbury.

Unfortunately due to illness, absence and injury, we were a man down (despite a "motivational" email from Brendon).  Therefore up first was our new number 5: "walkover".  While the first team has been keen to give Walkover a few games this season to show his ability, he again failed to register a single point (thereby disproving the theory that, given the quality of Sobell 1's play in some of the games this season, they would do better by not turning up!)

Up at no.4 was Hernan playing a runner with a few tricky shots at the front.  Hernan started brilliantly, grinding down his opponent to win the first two games.  Unfortunately Hernan then hit a wall (both physically and literally) as his opponent tightened up his shots, went for more winners and ran Hernan into the ground, the Brondesbury no.4 running out a 3-2 winner.

On at the same time was Nadeem at no.3 playing one of the best 3s in the division who has only lost once all season. Playing on an extremely lively court, all three games were much more competitive than the scoreline suggested and there were some excellent long rallies. Unfortunately Nadeem's opponent made very few errors and hit a number of good winners won 3-0.

I played at no.2 against a player who could really run and had a lot of good shots.  I won the first two relatively comfortably and then had a very tight third (with both players giving the marker a very hard time). Unfortunately, despite the Caymanian temperatures on the court, a combination of injury and my opponent upping his game led to him winning out 3-2.

At the same time as my game, Brendon was playing at no.1 against a strong player.  Brendon had been showing everyone a picture of himself and Ramy Ashour prior to the game and it seems the Brendon was channelling Ramy's performance in the British open final by giving up the first two games 15-2, 15-7 without much of a fight.  Brendon then upped his game in the third, taking it 16-14 before battling to 12-12 in the fourth.  At this stage Brendon asked himself WWJD ("what would Jack do?") and served out.  His opponent pushed hard and won 15-12 winning 3-1 overall.

All of this means Sobell is in a dogfight in its last game of the season to avoid relegation. On Tuesday we play Paddington away and need 15 points to finish ahead of West Herts and stay up, the team for that match will be:

1. Brendon
2. Jack
3. Nadeem
4. Kevin
5. Christian

I hope everyone is training hard! 


30th Mar Away

Sobell II vs BA


Really well done last night guys, we won 3-2 in the end but in both the matches we lost we got 2 games. 
Although it pains me deeply to give Tim any credit even he didn't completely mess it up this time! ;) 
It doesn't pain me at all to thank Richard and Peter for playing really well though both winning 3-0. 

It wasn't really Ben's night going down 3-2 to a player he would normally mash, and Rohan did really well against a very good number 1.

Our next match is another home game against Uxbridge next Wednesday (16th) who the first team were playing last night I think.
I might be out of action for a couple of weeks with my leg (I'll ask the physio today). I'll still come down again to boo Tim some more.


First up on the winter leagues swan song was my good self playing at number 2

I played a very mobile individual who played a good line and length game, i did see a chink in the armour as he had a bit of a predictable game. My opponent took the first, then i slowed the pace and took the second, he went on to take the third game.
I got to 12-11 up in the forth however he was a little to fit and quick for me and he went on to win the game 3-1.

Richard Bangay stepped in to the breach at 5 on his comeback trail, it was good to see him back however after just 2 points it was a go back trail and he had to retire, he did however win those 2 points

Next on was Tim at 3, who played rotund chap who moved smoothly around the court if not that quickly, his opponent had good variation and played line and length well, in fact again smoothly. Unfortunately he beat him 3-0

Next up was Matt at 4, his opponent was an older gent who wasn't that mobile, but could and did hit tight lines and had a decent drop shots.
He frustrated Matt for 2 games just about taking them, it looked like all was lost but Matt fought back to 2-2, however retrieving the drops shot took it's toll and Matt went down 3-2

Next on was Rohan at 1 with a chance to save our blushes, he played a tall, strong seasoned campaigner with a tidy technique.

In the first Rohan went behind but fought back well to win the first, from there he never looked like loosing, his opponent pushed Rohan hard but his variation and deception in attack and defense was too much for a really good opponent. Rohan won 3-0. I must say it was really quality performance from our number 1. He really came good for team.

It was the end of a reasonable campaign, we haven't troubled those leading div 4 however we did loose Richard ahead of the season.

The standard of the team is steadily improving and with the likes of Stuart Murty and Matt Cartwright coming in to sure up the rear guard the future is bright, especially when Mr Bangay is back firing on all cylinders.

A big thanks to Richard and Tim for running the team so well for the seconds. Great job!!


16th Mar Home

Sobell 1 vs Paddington

Here is a brief summary of our last 5 matches:


After results like that, we found ourselves below even the Sobell second team, deep in the relegation zone. We had three matches to go and needed 40 points, out of the 60 available, to stay up. Our first match was last night against Paddington, at the Sobell.

Our first win of the day came at 3pm, when their number 5 realized he was too terrified of Christian to even turn up. He must have seen his jump volley drops (or his marking.)

Nadeem went on first at number 4 against a solid, seasoned player. Nadeem just had too much game for him. Nadeem dropped, lobbed, boasted and drove his opponent round the court and took a quick 2-0 lead. I tried my best to put Nadeem off, by stressing how he needed to win 3-0, in my 'coaching tips', but Nadeem is too strong to let me mess with his head and came from behind to win 20-18.

Brendon played as well as always at number 1, winning in 3 and even having time for a little showboating.

Kevin played a very tidy opponent at number 3. As is traditional, Kevin took the hard route and battled hard to win in 5.

I went 2-0 up surprisingly easily against a tall fit number 2. I had a bit of an I-can't-believe-I'm-actually-going-to-win wobble and went behind in the third, before coming back to win 21-19.

Sobell 1 20 points, Paddington 2 points.

Step one of the Great Escape successfully completed. We have next week off, then play Brondesbury away on Wednesday 30 March , then away at Paddington on Tuesday 5th April. We still need 20 more points, so we need good teams, particularly on 5 April. 


9th Mar. Home

Sobell II vs Britannia

we won 3-2 in the end but in both the matches we lost we got 2 games. 

Although it pains me deeply to give Tim any credit even he didn't completely mess it up this time! ;) 

It doesn't pain me at all to thank Richard and Peter for playing really well though both winning 3-0. 

It wasn't really Ben's night going down 3-2 to a player he would normally mash, and Rohan did really well against a very good number 1.

Our next match is another home game against Uxbridge next Wednesday (16th) who the first team were playing last night I think.

I might be out of action for a couple of weeks with my leg (I'll ask the physio today). I'll still come down again to boo Tim some more.


1st Feb Home

Sobell 1 vs West Herts

The Sobell first team entertained West Herts on a rescheduled game that was due to take place before Xmas. 

First on court were the number 1's and 2's, Jack at one and yours truly at 2.


First up was yours looking for my first win at this season.  I started very strongly, with my opponent happy to play down my forehand and I managed to get the better of the exchanges and won the first game quite easily.  I started the second very slowly (mental error easing off) and was 6 points down before I put any points on the board.  I recovered to level the points 13 all, but list the next two points easily for my opponent to level the match.  The third and the fourth were both tight games and I played well in both, controlling rallies and playing well.  Unfortunately, team squash isn't just about line and length (not when you're playing 2) and not being able to put the ball away as well as mu opponent being very mobile and chasing down everything meant he came out on top.


Playing at the same time as me was Jack on the other court at 1.  He was playing a guy who played very controlled squash, he knew how to float it, keep it out of the opponents arc and was always on the tee after playing his shot.  The match started exactly the same as mine.  When I came out at 1-1, it was 1-1 in his game.  When I came out losing 2-1, Jack was also losing 2-1. The difference was that instead of losing in 4, Jack levelled it at 2-2.  The last games was a very cagey affair, with both players slowing the game down and not making any mistakes.  Jack was 13-12 up and looking like he was going to close it out, only to lose the next 2 points and go match point down.  He saved the points and then went on to close it out to get a very good win against a very solid number 1.


Next up after me was Paul Howard stepping in late playing at 5 against the guy that Richard Bowman beat in a previous match.   After a really good training session on Saturday I was hoping that Paul would be able to translate that to the match, but a combination of unforced errors and his opponent having some really good shots meant that Paul went down in 3.


Christian Dillon making his first team squash appearance followed Jack at 4.  After getting beaten 3 nil on the weekend by him, I had high hopes that he would do well.  This was a game of anti-squash where both players seemed more intent in playing drop shots than lengths.  After watching the first few points, it was not hard to see why, as both Christian and his opponent were brilliant and putting the ball away at the front of the court.  The key difference between the players was that Christian was just as adept at retrieving good shots as playing them, whereas his opponent as just good at playing them.  Christian on the first game pretty easily and ran away with the second and was leading 14-8, before he had a wobble and lost the next 6 points on the trot and it looked like he was going to lose the second, but he got back on top, won that game and the next to win in 3.


So with the match all square, it was Adam up at 3 playing for the decider against a guy he has played a couple of times before.  Both players are very similar, technically excellent, experienced and battle hardened with one achilles heel - the turning circle of a tanker, well I think that's being harsh on tankers :-).  Of course that's not factually correct, this is now Adam 2.0, way more mobile and quick than the player of 18 months ago.  The match started with Adam winning the first reasonably comfortably.  In the second, his opponent started very strongly and was in pole position to level the match.... until he threw away a 5 point lead trying to win the points quickly and Adam closed the gap in points and then closed out the second game to go two up.  In the third, Adam's opponent seemed intent on not making the same mistakes as in the second and closed out the third.  Adam regrouped in the 4th and in the big points didn't make mistakes and closed the game to win the match and ensure Sobell I got the victory.


20th Jan Away

Sobell 1 vs BA

The Sobell first team rocked up in Hounslow for the return versus the BA team who they had beaten 3-2 in the home leg.


First up was yours truly at 2 in a return match against a guy I had lost to 3-1 in the home match.  The pattern of the game was exactly the same as the first, my opponent winning a lot of points off my serve and us being pretty even in points in the game.  After losing the first 2, I changed my strategy and started to hit it has hard as I could, which worked well for a game and then my opponent got the hang of those serves and I went down in 4, again, not the best I have ever played.


On at the same time was Richard playing at 5, as I was playing at the time, I didn’t see much but met him in between games where he had just loss the 3rd, but was still 2-1 up.  Unfortunately, 2 nil up was as good as it got and Richard lost 3-2.


On after me was Hernan playing at 4.  Hernan is obviously on court a lot less than he used to be and the rustiness told and he lost in 4.


Jack was on at 1 playing the regular number 1 who didn’t play in the away leg. From the warm you, you could see the guy had all the shots in the book.  Jack's best chance would probably have been to play attractional squash and try and wear him down (not that it would have changed the outcome), but he engaged in more exchanges at the front of the court against a guy who you couldn’t see where the shots were going in the gallery, much less on the court and he went down in 3.


Last up was Adam at 3 playing the guy who Brendan beat in the home match.  In the warm up, Jack and I both thought Adam would lose in 4 cos the guy had great shots.  However, Adam set out to prove both of us wrong and after 3 hard fought games where he did an awful lot of hard running as well as playing some fantastic squash was 2-1 up.  Unfortunately, the punishment of running so hard for those first three games took their toll and he lost the last 2 games to go down in 5.  Despite a loss, a really good performance against a quality player and real signs of improvement over where he was 6-12 months ago.


Division 4 proving to be no walk in the park as some of us (myself) suspected.


4th Nov Away

Sobell 1 vs Uxbridge

Hernan played a very good number 3 and went down in 3.

I became Lisa's next Sobell victim, started well (1 game up and 12-6 in the second) before going down in 4.

Richard had a very good game against a player who was very similar to him – he had match point in the 4th, but didn’t close it out and lost I the 5th.

Paul also had a very tight game, had a great chance 2-1 up 13-11 up in the 4th, but lost in a very tight 5th.

Brendan played a Duracell bunny and didn’t have the legs after playing the night before and lost in 3.


I will again postpone my squash retirement and play next Tuesday.


28th Oct Home

Sobell 1 vs BA

The first team played our first match last night. If anyone was hoping (or fearing) that division 4 might not be too much of a challenge, that misconception has been corrected now.

Kevin play first at number 2. He was a bit off form and his awkward and effective opponent was too strong for him.

Nadeem played at the same time against a older guy, who was slow, but had a lot of court-craft and great winners. Nadeem, started well then lost the second, but stepped up the intensity to win 3-1.

Brendan was playing another older, larger guy, but with even better shots at number 1. It was a very tactical game, but Brendan had the skill, smarts and the speed to win 3-1.

Paul played another experienced opponent. I didn't see this game, but Paul went down in 4.

I played the last and deciding game. I won the first game quite easily, but my opponent was just sizing me up. He won the next two, then I won the 4th. The final game was tight, but I took a narrow lead into the closing stages and help on the win despite injuring my knee.

This is going to be a exciting, tough league. If we play badly, we won't win many, but if we play consistently well we can win it.

We do, however, know there is at least one weak team in the division ;)

Sobell II vs Brondesbury

The second team also played, but given they have never written a match report, I will do one on their behalf.


Rohan was first on at 1.  During the warm up I asked Brendan and Adam who they thought would win.  Brendan thought Rohan, Adam and I thought the opponent.  Turned out Brendan was wrong and Rohan went down in 4.


Ben was next on at 2. I didn’t see much of the game as every time I took a look a look he was in 'animated' discussions with Rohan.  I think he lost in 4 (it may have been 3).  The team captain has denied the rumour that whoever loses first next week has to mark Ben's game.


After Richard Bangay wiping the floor with me on Monday, I was expecting big things from the captain at 4.  He lost the first 2 games quite easily and then came back to level it.  Then he lost the 5th.


After beating Richard Bowman pretty easily on Monday, I didn’t expect very much and he delivered in spades J.  I think he went down in 4.


Tim played at 3 against a guy who looked ok, but could retrieve everything and we all know what Tim's favourite player is J, Tim lost in 3.


So the second team started out with a 5-0 whooping and the first team started off with a solid win.


Jokes aside.  One thing I did notice was that for most of the games that were finely balanced, the deciding factor was that the opponents were more clinical at putting the ball away.  Something that I will be working on, might be worth spending a bit of time on when not playing.

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