reports winter 2016

5th Apr - Home
Sobell vs Westway

This was the final game of the winter season. With only pride at stake we endeavored to make it a winning end to the season.

First up was yours truly at number 5. During the warm up i could see i was going to have my work cut out keeping up with my opponent. I'm sure i was giving him 20 years and he was striking the ball sweetly and looked technical very tidy. As we went into the game that slick game seemed to falter. On the night i played a tight disciplined game (most unlike me). I was soon 2 up and was as usual waiting for the wheels to fall off as i could feel i was containing my opponent, who clearly had some good squash in him. However in the last game i held my game together and brought home the bacon. Score 3-0 and a good start to proceedings.

Next up was Jack at number 1. His opponent was a very quick and super fit individual with the poorest length game i've seen at the number 1 position. His game instead was based around variation and chasing the ball down. Making Jack play one more shot, then one more shot, sapping the energy from Jack. Jack perhaps got pulled to often into the hard hitting, cross court, half court game and began slowly to run out of juice. In the end going down 3-0.

Next up was Richard Bangay at number 2. His opponent had a tidy game, however it was clear from early on that Richard was quicker and fitter than his opponent. He set about running his opponent out, which he did very nicely winning 3-1.

Next on was Adam at number 3: His opponent was again very fit, which seemed to be the theme from our opponents. Although his opponent had no strong parts to his game, he had no particular weak parts either. Adam was trailing 1-0 and looked possibly out of sorts. however came back well in the second winning it 20-18. 

His opponent won the next and Adam was down 1-2. What was clear was his opponent was being slowly run out of gas as Adam really got his drop game going, meaning his opponent had to run hard to retrieve such tight drops. Adam won the 4th easily and i was hoping that the last would be a walk in the park however, it wasn't the case. Adam trailed 14-12 and was starring down the barrel of defect.

He rescued the points back make it 14-14. Game point came and went for both players and with Adam 20-19 up his opponent buckled and tinned it. Adam won 3-2 and that as they say is the ball game.

Kevin went on at 4 playing a similar player to Jack. He played a controlled lengths game winning the first two games and then got sucked in to the half court smash game. This led to his opponent coming back to 2-2. All to play for, however Kev was tired. His opponent had covered an incredible amount of distance retrieving, retrieving and retrieving and just wanted to drop the ball at any given time. Unfortunately Kev ran out of steam and lost the last losing 3-2.

Still it was a 3-2 win on the night.

That's it for the winter season, we as a team have got some ground to make up but, we will get there and be ready for the summer campaign.

Big shout out to our Richard for organizing all things team, including sorting out the team Tee shirts, the courts, the meals (these things don't just happen). Great job Richard.

27th Feb- Away
Sobell vs Cottons

First up was Rohan at 1 who played the cotton coach and trainer. While the trainer wasn't particularly tall he carried no extra weight and bounced around on the ball of his toes. His movement was very silky and light. His shots were badminton esq with lots of variation. All that put together made it a tricky night for our number one. While Rohan played some tidy boasts and drops, his opponent glided in and retrieved them with time to spare. His opponent had a nice drop and a tidy line and length meaning he could put pressure on our man from the front of court. Rohan played well on the night however his opponent really was out of our league and could be playing number one at a much higher level. It was still a treat to watch. Rohan lost in 3

Next on was Richard Bangay at 2. Straight away it was clear that Richard had more athleticism and speed than his opponent, however his opponent played a good line and length in a slightly warmer environment than we are perhaps used to at this time of year. Richard toiled through the game, however ultimately a slighter tighter line and length was the difference in this hard fought game. Richard lost 3-1

Following on was myself at 5. I played a young fit individual with some nice shots in his armoury, i could see he wasn't the quickest individual. I took the 1st game utilising some tight drop shots that my opponent didn't seem to keen to come in and retrieve. In the second my opponent stepped it up and began to move around the court quicker realising that he had to get in and get at least some of the drops shots. He won that game.

I added some variation in to my next game and had my opponent running around. I managed to win that game. My opponent came straight back in the next game and from 12-12 took that game. I was puffing a bit after that and feared the worst. The last game was the two fatigued player trying run the other out. At 12-14 i was done for, however fought back to win 17-15. I won 3-2

Next on was Adam at 3. His opponent was a tall, rangy and mobile individual. His game was to drive the ball hard and low and volley drop any thing even remotely loose. The was a very effective game plan. With his long arms and rapid response it was difficult for Adam to get any type of foothold in the game and he went down quickly in 3. His opponent noted that he has two squash lessons a week and has done for quite some time. He would have looked out of place at 1.

Last on was Kevin at 4. His opponent was a steady fit individual, while he had no particular super powers his steady game meant you needed to be mobile and play tight squash for a sustained period. Unfortunately Kev didn't!! He played well in spells however his drop shot wasn't working for him and he could have hit the ball tighter. This allowed his opponent to grind him down with the line and length. He clearly ran out of steam at the end and lost in 3.

I think it was yazoo that theorised that the only way is up!!!!....  baby.

20th Feb- Home
Sobell vs Brentford Fountain

Another game bites the dust!!

Rohan was on first at number 1. He started off well with his technical game and made the openings required to win points, however too often his kill shots failed him and allowed his opponent in. He went down in three. 

Luke went off next at number 4, his opponent played a similar game to Luke with lots a long rallies. Luke played well, however his opponent was slightly tighter down the wall and that was enough to overcome Lukes efforts. He lost 3-1.

I was off next at 5, my opponent had badminton type touches and struck the ball hard. He didn't play many line and length shots preferring to hit the ball hard cross courts or drop where possible. He was clearly carrying a few pounds and that made him slow to the front, even so i made hard work of it winning 3-2 with the help of a hundred drop shots.

Adam went on next at 3. His opponent was quick and accurate down the wall. He played with an even pace and waited for any mistakes, he did a decent drop when allowed to use it. Although Adam had the game to beat him his opponents relentless game wore him down and he lost in 3.

Richard was last out playing at 2, his opponent was a tall skinny individual and looked useful. The rallies went on forever with both moving very well around the court. Drop shots and kill shots came and went with the rally still going. Eventually Richard began to run out of steam a little at the end of games and his opponent took the last points in each game. He went down in 3.

We march on to our next game against Cottons next week

I think it was an 80s pop band that sang things can only get better, never a truer statement sang.
9th Feb- Away
Sobell vs West Herts

Rohan was on first at one, and won the first game in no time playing his volleys and boasts that had his opponent confused.  His opponent started to read them better in the second and although he won the game, he put a lot of work in his legs and was looking very tired.  He took the third game off to recover and came back strong in the 4th game, but his opponent wore him down, took the 4th and then the 5th.


Richard at 4 was playing at the same time as Rohan and wasn’t the most technical, but was very fast and fit.  Now if you ever play someone like that, the trick is to keep the ball tight and let then run around being fast and fit until they aren’t fast and fit anymore and then win the game.  Unfortunately, Richard didn’t do that, he decided to join his opponent in a game of fast and fit and while Richard's fast…he isn't very fit.  Still what followed was a very entertaining game with lots of good squash played, but Richard lost in the 5th.


I was up next, playing at 3, with a single mission…. Avoid humiliation, especially after watching my opponent warm up.   After losing the first game not too badly but making some silly mistakes, Rohan came down and gave some really good advice, keep it tight and don’t make any mistakes, so I went back to Barry squash and actually had a couple of game balls, but didn’t close them out and went down in 3.


The captain was up at 2 playing a guy who I had played in the home fixture the last winter cycle, who was very solid and very fit, I think I lost in 4 to him.  So I had high hopes that he would do well given he has the legs and superior squash.  Unfortunately, shot selection and silly mistakes continue to affect his game and he lost in 3.


It was a shame we couldn’t get a full team out to play, please try and help the captain out by making yourselves available to play – after putting out two teams less than 12 months ago, we surely should be able to get 5 out for a match. 


The upside for us is that West Herts have implemented their own "Chicks on Fire" policy, so some decent post match nourishment was enjoyed with a great bunch of guys including West Herts very own version of Adam (classy player without the physique of a marathon runner) as we discussed amongst other things a certain other team captain trying to claim dodgy walkovers!


14th Dec - Away
Sobell vs Paddington

Jack played nicely and worked hard to win 3-0 at number 1. (I guess, I didn't see the match).
I played OK to win 3-1 at 3.
Peter faced the unique challenge of playing James Doolan and kept his cool to win 3-0 at 4.
Rohan was late to arrive and the opposition was muttering about taking a walk-over. In the end Rohan won the first game 15-3, then no-one showed up to mark the next game and the match was passively aggressively deemed a walk-over.
At dinner James regretfully told us that since the number 2 game was a walkover, the other games didn't count and they had won the match 4-1. I told him that I thought that was unfair and unacceptable, a view echoed by their number 2.
I don't know what score they will put in, but I'm not going to accept them trying to steal the match,.
We have the best legal representation, so I guess we take it all the way to the high court.
6th Dec - Away
Sobell vs Westway

We played Westway last night, unfortunately with only 4 players.It was a friendly and pleasant match, particularly compared to last week. But the courts were weird, made of hardboard and took som getting used to. 

Jon played at 3 and struggled in the first two games, due to the courts as much as his opponent. He played well to win the third, but narrowly lost the 4th to lose 1-3.

I played at number 2 against tall guy with great volleys. I won the first, but then he started attacking the front hard. I feel I should have done better, but I lost the next three games to also lose 1-3.

Tim played at 4 and blew his opponent away. All night the opposition kept asking 'shouldn't this Tim guy be played at #1?'

Richard played at 1. His opponent had the killer shots you expect of a number 1, but made a few errors. Richard played brilliantly to keep him under pressure, capitalize on the errors and win points with great shots of his own. Richard won the first two games and was looking in fine form. But his opponent was playing number 1 for a reason. He upped his game, cut out the errors and narrowly won the third, then won the fourth more comfortably. Richard worked hard and played well to take the fifth to 14-14, but lost in the end.  

These guys were all obsessed with a squash ranking site called Squash Levels. This is that site's view of the Sobell players:
30th Nov - Home
Sobell vs Cottons

#1 Peter won in 4 in a good match against a nice player, but he had too much speed and stamina for him

#2 Rohan lost against a guy who 2 years ago used to turn up on the Sunday sessions, since then has set up home on a squash court and is obviously improving

#3 Adam lost 18-16 in the 5th, in what turned out to be a very close decider

#4 Jon played well, but lost in 4

#5 I played badly, but still got the job done in 4


23rd Nov - Away
Brentford vs Sobell 

We narrowly lost out to Brentford Fountain 3-2 on Monday (No thanks to your captain you'res truly!)

The match came down to a really exciting game with Peter and their number 1. It was a really good game to watch and a lesson to some of us (me) to play a bit more sensibly!

17th Nov - Away
Coolhurst vs Sobell 

Rohan lost in 3 at #2 against a very fit guy who took advantage of Rohan not quite being at his best

Richard lost at 3, not sure of the score.  Richard still gifting too many easy points to his opponents to get anything at the moment

Adam won in 4 at #4, maybe should have won in 3 against an awkward guy who he was better than

I won in 3 at 5, which made a nice change from losing every week at 2 in the summer

Peter was last on and at 2-2 in the deciding game of the match ran out of steam and lost in the 5th, but played exceptionally well for someone who only picked up a squash racket 4 years ago.



9th Nov - Home

Sobell I vs West Herts

So our first match of the season was maybe one to forget. 

The centre had double booked the courts, so we couldn't get started until after 20:00, at which point a somewhat stressed team captain lost in 4 setting the scene for a 4-1 defeat. 

On a more positive note Adam played very well and won his match in 3, and it was nice to have Peter Wat playing for the team for the first time. 

Our next match is an away one against Coolhurst next Thursday (17th) I suggest we forget about the match last night and treat this one as the proper start to our season :)

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