summer 2010

Home vs West Herts

The first match of the season was at home to West Herts IV.
Ian was first on court at #5. His opponent was a solid, decent player, but Ian was too good. He played nice simple squash - playing it tight and deep then dropping. Even though his captain was happily awarding bullshit strokes to his opponent, Ian won comfortably 9-2, 9-4, 9-0
Vernon played at #3 at the same time. His opponent was one of those guys who looks very good in the warmup. He could hit it hard and accurate, but Vernon had too much game for him. Once Vernon started moving him round the court, there was only one winner: Vernon 9-5, 9-6, 9-4.
I played next at #2. My opponent looked OK, but just couldn't really get any points.  For a while most rallies ended with him swearing - his best line was "Fucking walls!" Adam won 9-4, 9-3, 9-4.
Hernan played at #1 at the same time. Despite Hernan being concerned that the games were to 9 rather than to 11, he beat his opponent comfortably 9-7, 9-2, 9-3.
Tomas was on last at #4 against a pretty good player. Tomas had him beaten, but was too nice. He didn't want to send our visitors home with nothing at all, so he lost the second game. But he came back to win 9-6, 9-10, 9-3, 9-1.


Away Paddington III

Paul Howard: The match kicked off with Paul playing a experienced (left handed) campaigner who had a pretty good game and an excellent topspin drop shot.  Paul took some time to get into the game and lost the first game pretty easily.  He fought back in two very good games to go 2 nil up.  In the 4th the excellent play deserted him and the match went to a decider.  Sadly things got worse rather they got better and Paul lost pretty easily in the 5th.

Girts: Playing at number 2, Girts came up against arguably the best player on their team and probably the classiest player of the 10 playing and was punished for every loose shot and put up a valiant effort but despite playing his heart out, he went down 3-0.

Hernan: Playing at number 1, Hernan's match was probably the most miss-matched of the 5 and it would probably have been better if their number 2 played at number 1.  In a very one sided match, Hernan won 3-0

Kevin Jackson: Probably the closest of the 5 matches was played out at number 4 with Kevin playing another lefty.  Starting very slowly, Kevin was 8-1 down in the first and did well to fight back to 8-7 before losing the first.  Buoyed by his comeback in the first in a tough second game won it after a series of brtual rallies for both players.  Taking the advantage gained in the 2nd, he played tight squash in the 3rd and won pretty comfortably.  The game switched in the 4th and Kevin lost the game comfortably.  Drawing on all his experience against a fitter and younger player, Kevin got off to a good start and didn’t let the lead go and won the 5th in the end pretty comfortably

Martin Jones: In the decider, Martin played an old foe from his days and the now demolished Lambs Club.  Starting slowly, he went a game down.  He fought well in the 2nd and 3rd, but in the end lost the match and with that result our team the tie.


Away vs Oakleigh Park

Last night we won an exciting match against Oakleigh Park II.
Daniel played first at number 1. His opponent was a good player, but Daniel had him under pressure from the start. On a cold and very slow court Daniel's serves and deep, tight drives won a lot of points. He went 2-0 up, narrowly lost the third then closed the game out 3-1
Kevin was on the other court, playing at 4. It was a hard hitting, high tempo game and Kevin soon had the edge. He won the first two games. In the third both players were tired - Kevin should have won the game but put several drops into the tin to give his opponent a hope. Kevin bounced back to win the 4th game. 3-1
Paul played 5th against a tidy player, but he didn't have the skills to compete with Paul. It was a good game, with one 8-8, but in the end Paul won 3-0.
I played 2nd against a guy who was getting on a bit, but could still move fast. I won the first 2 quite easily, but then the game turned around. He seemed to read all my shots and I lost the next two games. I was 5-8 down in the last, facing match point. After a decent rally he went for his favourite backhand drop ... and tinned it. Looking at the spectators I realized that I had to win this match - I just couldn't have coped with the grief Kevin would have given me if I lost. I softened my opponent up with some long hard rallies, then went straight through the win 10-8.
I didn't see Vernon's match at number 3. His opponent was a cold court, serve and drop merchant and he closed the game down quite quickly. Vernon had lost 1-3 before he had really got going.

A new team has joined our league. (I found out last night!) We are playing them, LA Fitness Northwood, next wednesday at 7:30. I'll be in touch about the team. Since it is a long way away we will try to sort out some kind of car pool.


Away LA Fitness Norwood

We had a quite straghtforward 5-0 win last night at LA Fitness Northwood.
Hernan beat his guy 9-0 in the first, toyed with him in the second, then crushed him in the third 3-0.
Daniel initially looked to have a tight game game on his hands, but then he showed his class to win 3-0.
I hurt my back assembling a BBQ*** that morning. Despite strict instructions from my  wife, I played and despite a bit of pain and immobility won 3-0.
Kevin cruised through his first game and then let the guy win the second (yes, really). He came back to win the last two comfotably 3-1.
Tomas lost the first game against a lefthander. Despite refusing to change his game at all (i.e. continuing to serve from the right), he won 3-1.

Another good win.

We started this team as an experiement to see what team squash was like. I think it is very fun and, even better, we are generally playing well. It's now time for some targets. Let's win this league, or at least come second and qualify for promotion. That will affect where we get placed for the winter leagues.

We have played 5 out of the 7 teams and only lost twice. Let's make sure that we win our last two games, then in the second half of the season we need to keep up our performance and get good teams and good performances in against the two teams who have beaten us - Paddington and Coolhurst.


Away vs BA

I've been a bit slow posting this report - mainly becuase I lost stupidly.

It was a warm night, but the walls of the courts had a lot of grip, so loose shots came out massively and the speeding ball could still die in the corner.

Petr went on first. I didn't see much of the game, since I was playing, but the opponent was very handy and Petr wasn't really able to get into the game (0-3)
I was playing this old guy, who wasn't actually very good, but was tight and effective. I lost the first, won the second, then lost the third. I went 8-0 up in the fourth. My first thought was "9-0. he probably won't even come out for the fifth". But it wasn't 9-0 it was still 8-0. Then he started coming back, at first I was relaxed - "Let the old bastard tire himself out even more'. Then around 5-8, I got a bit worried. By 8-8 I was angry and confused. I ended up losing 8-10. Very poor. (1-3)
Tomas played very neatly to win  3-0.
Daniel played a very talented, but error prone guy. It was a hard, high tempo game, with almost every rally coming down to Daniel's opponent going for a wonderful kill shot. 45% of the time, it was an unplayable winner, 55% it went out. Daniel did the maths, kept his head and worked hard to win 3-1.
Paul played last, won the first 2 comfortably, but then was pegged by by a skillful lefthander. They were both knackered, when it got to around 6-6 in the fifth. Paul had a match point, but couldn't convert and in the end lost 9-10. 2-3


Away vs West Herts

An unfortunate night.

I'm still injured, although I feel OK today. I was playing a very neat and, of course, fast 18 year old. I acheived my objective of not losing any games 9-0, but to be honest it wasn't a close match. 3-9, 1-9, 2-9
In the other game, Tomas got hit in the face at 0-1, badly splitting his lip. So we went to A&E to get it stitched. They did a very good job making him look pretty again, but he's going to be hurting this morning.
I didn't see any other games, Paul played well, but lost 1-3. Petr, as always, put everything in to his match, but narrowly lost 2-3. Vernon played well to save the team's honour 3-1.

We've had a couple of bad results, but we can still win the league or at least get promoted. Next Wednesday Paddington at home, then the next Thursday Coolhurst away - both must win games.

Get well soon Tomas.


Away vs Coolhurst

First time I do this so please bear with me. 
The game had it all, included a hero.  Very close result but it the end the all too repeated 3-2 down, no shame as it was hard fought.  In chronological order
1- Adam vs Cypriot guy.
Adam was clearly suffering from lack of matches due to his injury and came down 2-0 against a feisty opponent with a couple of killer shots.  Then a shout came from the gallery (kevin) about Adam choosing to stay at number 3, this completely galvanised Adam that started serving so well and playing brilliantly.  Adam, pure guts managed to turn around the game and went to (I think) 7-4 in the fifth, so close but yet so far.  Cypriot guy was fit and managed to just stay in the game and somehow sneaked the game out of Adam.  Heartbreaking, both of them left the show court to a standing ovation from everyone.  Adam showed his metal and was the hero of the night with no reward. 
2- Petr vs hard hitting a-bit-too wide guy
Didnt see much of it but in the part I did Petr seemed to clinically disposed of a hard hitting guy by even outhitting him, i.e. beat the guy in all aspects.  Well done Petr.  Match levelled at this point
3- Daniel vs traitor opponent (aka Murray)
Probably unfair definition since he lives and plays up-here.  In any case once a sobell-saturday guy always a sobell guy.  Daniel, due to recent injury, struggled with game plan and touch.  Didnt get much opportunity to get started and went quickly down 2-0.  Hard fought back to take a game but it was not to be.  3-1 down, match 2-1
4-  Kevin vs girl
Pivotal game, do or die for us.  Didnt see much of it either but the little I saw it seemed to me that Kevin was been completely outplayed by a classy and tidy opponent that happened to be a girl.  Maybe someone else saw the game and wants to add.  I think the score was 3-0.  Match 3-1
5- Dead rubber: Hernan vs hit as hard as you can opponent.
Started very slow probably due to lack of games on the last two weeks (excuses excuses).  Nothing working much so went back to the old I-will-make-you-pay-for-every-single-shot trick.  Lost the first in the tie-break, won the second in another tie-break after squandering a very handsome advantage.  That was key as the opponent lost heart and took the other 2 relatively easy. In any case, dead rubber we lost 3-2, but the match was tantalisingly close well done to everyone.

Away vs Hazlewood

We played Hazlewood last night and won 5-0.
I played against a guy who wasn't brilliant, but had great touch. Once I had been persuaded (by Tomas) to stop feeding lob serves for him to kill drop, I was OK. 9-7, 9-7. 9-3
Petr played at the same time, but the score tells a clear picture: domination, with a period of weakness / sympathy. 9-0, 9-6, 9-0
Ian had a tricky game on a very hot court. His opponent could hit the ball well, but he hit every single shot as hard as possible. Ian had too much game for that and won 9-0, 5-9, 9-6, 9-0.
Gavin was playing your classic mouthy big man, great touch, poor mobility, long 'debates' with the marker when tired. Gavin was playing and dropping very well and simply wore his opponent down. 9-1, 9-4, 7-9, 9-2.
Vernon's opponent was running late and going to arrive in 15 minutes. We were promised that at 8:30, then again at 9, then again at 9:15. At 9:30 we called the walk-over and we were about to eat when he arrived at 10.

I've attached the latest league table, we are fourth, but with enough games in hand to finish second. BA are currently in 2nd place ... and we are playing them next week. If we can win that game we have a good chance to end up second. (No pressure).


Home vs Oakleigh Park

A good result last night: 5-0.
To be honest we all had the beating of our opponents, but we refused to do it the easy way. We all won the first, got lazy or stupid to lose the second, then pulled it round. All four games 3-1 and one walk-over.

Home vs Paddington

We played Paddington last night, who were a very strong team. We narrowly lost 2-3, in a good, tight match.

First off Tomas at #4. His opponent was a strong player and very professional about calling strokes (which we all should be). Any time Tomas hit anything lose his opponent dived at the ball shouting let and very often got a stroke. Tomas looked quite pissed off (mainly at me, marking) but he held it togther, kept things tight and won 3-1.

On the other court Petr was playing #3. I didn't see the game, but the scoresheet tells the story really. Petr got to match point at 8-2 in the fourth before his opponent put in an amazing comeback. Petr faces some tough calls and quality defensive play from his opponent, but couldn't finish it and lost 10-9 in the fifth.

I was playing (out of my depth) at #1, against a classy opponent. He had a very effective tactic - he didn't hit a single great shot the whole match, he just hit every single stroke 1% better than mine. I was forced to chase harder and harder and to try to play winners in unsuitable positions. I go down, quite comfortably in three.

Vernon has had a rough deal lately with not getting good games and tonight, at #2, he had to play a hard-hitting angry dwarf. (Well maybe he wasn't that short, but he was definitely grumpy.) The guy hit the ball hard and tight, moved well and bitched endlessly about the calls. Veron kept his cool and fought hard, but after a long match with lots of lets, lost. Once again Vernon, we appreciate you taking one for the team.

Kevin last on at #5, had a tough match against a leftie Saffer with a nice style and an annoying top spin drop. Kevin lost the first but won the second and third, to set up a big showdown in the fourth. Kevin was tired and clearly hurting, while his opponent still looked tidy, like an older Roger Federer. But force of will counts more than fancy tennis shots. Kevin hit the ball hard, ran fast and shouted loud. It was clear this was the decider, Kevin wasn't holding anything back. Then Kevin pulled away, he even hit some classy shots at 7-3 and 8-3 to win a great match.

I've attached the latest league table. Our two points from last night are not yet shown. We are currently 3rd and need 5 points to make second and get promoted.  Our last game next Tuesday against LA Fitness is a must win game. They are bottom of the table, but the LA Fitness captain said that he should be able to get a good team out

Make a free website with Yola