The Central Masters tournament was held at the Bridge of Allan Sports Club on 4/5 February 2017.

There were a healthy total of 79 competitors who took part in two Ladies’ events and eight Mens’ events.

The main sponsor for the tournament was SKN Electrical Services Limited and other sponsors were Belhaven and Pauline Douglas, who sponsored the Ladies events.

Walter McAllister, Steve Ingram, David Massey and the Bridge of Allan club members managed a very well organised tournament. They all worked hard to make all competitors welcome and provided an excellent catering service thoughout the tournament. At the prize giving Angus Woodward, on behalf of the competitors, thanked the sponsors and Walter, Steve, David and the Bridge of Allan members for all their hard work in successfully managing the tournament.

Thanks are also due to SSRL (Allan McKay and Lisa McKenna) and Sportyhq for managing the entry and supporting the Bridge of Allan members in running the tournament. Mike Halpin and Neil Beveridge supported the committee by providing refereeing services throughout the tournament.

Ladies O40

The competition was played as a round robin and everyone was looking forward to the opportunity to play some excellent squash over the weekend. However, despite being absolutely determined to play, Sue Strachan took good advice and withdrew due to illness, leaving three competitors in the draw.

Sabine Mackenzie and Ashley Mears played Saturday morning in a competitive match with some long rallies and great retrieving of the ball but in the end Sabine was the stronger player winning 3 – 0.  It was great to welcome Ailsa Polworth from Inverness to the Central Masters Squash Championships for the first time.  Ailsa and Ashley were well matched with some strong hitting but once Ashley found her drop shots, the game changed and she proved to be too good for Ailsa winning the match 3 – 1. Due to injury, Ailsa was not able to play against Sabine so Pauline Douglas, O55 champion, stepped back on court against Sabine for a bounce game.  The two ladies played some excellent high quality squash focusing on targets and keeping the ball in play and Pauline, despite losing in the end proved that she is a super fit lady. Sabine was the overall winner of the O35 Ladies Championships.

To end a big thank you from all the Masters Ladies to Bridge of Allan Sports Club and in particular Steve, Walter, Sharon and assistants Louise and Will for managing another superb  event and providing a great venue, good food and drink and all delivered in good spirits and a bit of fun.

Ladies O55

There were five competitors and the competition was played as a round robin. Pauline Douglas a past world masters champion was over from South Africa and proved to be the class act in this competition not dropping a single game! No jet lag from South Africa and too much variety of shots for the rest of the girls! The pick of the other games was between the local girls Bernie Beattie and Maureen Carroll. After a great start by Bernie with her winning cross-country drops Maureen fought back to level the score at 2-2 with some strong play. The result was in doubt right up to the last shot but Bernie pulled through 10-8! This placed Bernie 3rd and Maureen 4th. Christina Graham came second and Norma Marshall although not winning any games picked up the most points off Pauline with her delicate drops. A very enjoyable competition made even more so by the great support from the gallery.


Peter O’Hara and Michael Black were the only competitors and the final was played on Saturday.

In a fast and furious encounter Peter O’Hara of Newlands just had too much fire power for Michael Black from Aberdeen.  O’Hara won 3 games to love and made Mike Black work incredibly hard for little return.

Peter was razor sharp and although made to work for his victory was always in control peppering the encounter with his trade mark crashing nicks and deft touches.  Mike did well however and should be pleased with his efforts against the ex-full Scottish international.

Masters Tournament Points

Pos. Name Pts Pld
1 Peter O’Hara 1380 5
2 Neil Steedman 795 4
3 Richard MacBride 660 4
4 Graham Lind 640 5
5 Peter Buchan 625 3
6 Michael Martin 480 2
7 Billy Scott 275 2
8 Chris Gray 270 1
9 Blair McKenzie 265 2
10 Andrew McBean 240 1


There were six competitors and the competition was played as two round robins, followed by cross ties and final.

Box 1 – Peter O’Hara, Barry Masson and Douglas Currie

Peter O’Hara played very well to win both his round robin matches 3/0 and won the group. In the other match between Barry and Douglas, both players had opportunities to win the well contested first game before Barry won 10/8 and then closed out the next two games and finished second in Box 1.

Box 2 – Roddy Campbell, Scott Hay and James Spiers

Roddy Campbell played good all round squash and won both round robin matches 3/0 and topped the group. The match for second place was between Scott and James Spiers – James controlled the first game 9/4 but Scott fought back and levelled the match by winning the second game 9/3. In a very tight third game James nicked it 10/8 and closed the match out when winning the fourth game 9/5 and finished second in the group.

In the cross ties on Sunday Peter O’Hara was too strong for a plucky James Spiers and won by 3/0. In the other match between Roddy Campbell and Barry Masson, both players had chances to win the first game before closed the game out 9/7. Roddy continued his good form and won the next two games 9/1, 9/2 to reach the final.

In the final, which was enjoyed by a large appreciative gallery, Peter took the ball early, and hitting the ball very hard whereas Roddy kept the ball in the court and tried to slow the game down with lobs and drops. Peter proved to be too strong for Roddy and won the match 3/0 and successfully retained the O40 title.

In the play off for third place James Spiers beat Barry Masson by 3/1.

Masters Tournament Points

Pos. Name Pts Pld
1 Peter O’Hara 1060 5
2 Scott Hay 455 5
3 Peter Buchan 360 1
4 Douglas Emery 290 1
5= Angus Woodward 275 2
5= Barry Masson 275 2
7 Roddy Campbell 270 1
8 John Kynoch 245 1


There were nine competitors and the competition was played as a knockout. In the only first round tie local player Martin Jack player was too strong for David Massey and comfortably won 3/0.

In the first quarter final local player Martin had come through the first round strongly and there were rumours that this could be an interesting match. The first game opened with a string of fiercely contested rallies and the honours were even up to 4-4 before Angus managed to pull away and take the game 9-4. By the second game, Angus had the measure of Martin’s hard hitting game and raced through it 9-0. The 3rd game was more like the first, with the first few points exchanged, before Angus pulled away to close out a 3-0 win.

The second quarter final was between John Kynoch and home favourite Andy Meldrum. Andy started strongly and won the first 9/3 but John fought back to win the next two games 9/6, 9/4. In the fourth game both players had opportunities and John had a match ball before Andy took his chance to win the game 10/9. The fifth game was fiercely contested before Andy took control and won the game 9/5.

Brain Robertson stepped down to the O45s and met Dave Lindsay in the third semi final. This match was full of long rallies but Brian was always in control and won 3/0.

In the last quarter final second seed Mark James played Andy McCulley. Mark was quick out the blocks and won the first game 9/1. Andy recovered and the next two games were very competitive with Andy winning both 9/7, 10/8. In the fourth Andy continued his good form and won 9/3 and progressed to the semi final.

In the first semi-final on Sunday morning home favourite Andy seemed to be suffering from a tough 5 game match on Saturday and Angus quickly took the 1st game 9-0. However, the rest of the match was a much closer affair as Andy woke up and started to play more freely. The 2nd was filled with lots of long rallies and great retrieving from both players, before Angus eventually prevailed 9-6. In the 3rd it was Angus who started to look tired as Andy had him running all over the court to take a 7-5 lead. After several exchanges with the referee, frustration seemed to be getting the better of Angus but he managed to compose himself and take the game 9-7. The 3-0 score line does not do Andy justice as this was a hard fought match that could easily have gone the full distance.

In the other semi-final Brian Robertson played Andy McCulley. Brian controlled the match taking the first game 9/1. The second game was much more competitive but Brian won 9/6 and closed the match out by winning the third game 9/4 to reach the final.

The final was a battle of the age groups, with Brian dropping down from the 050s to try his luck against the youngsters. These two players have similar styles and with the courts playing hot and fast, there was no shortage of lung-busting rallies. Every point was hard fought but it was Angus’s slightly quicker pace and power which helped him take the first 9-2. It was a reversal in the 2nd as Brian’s sustained accuracy and persistent retrieving got the better of Angus 9-5. Brian looked the fitter player in the 3rd as the endless string of long rallies seemed to be taking their toll on Angus and Brian had the upper hand in the early exchanges. An injury time out gave Angus a brief chance to recover and as play resumed, he started to go for his shots a bit more and it paid off with a string of delicate drop shots helping him take the game 9-4. There was no slacking of the pace at the start of the 4th and the early points were shared as both players battled to gain the upper hand – a burst ball at 3-3 allowed both players a  chance to catch their breath but it was Angus who seemed to gain most from the faster, new ball. As the match neared the hour mark, every point continued to be hard fought but a series of blistering drives and deft touches saw Angus take the game 9-3 and close out the match 3-1.  Congratulations to both players for a match played in the best of spirits and worthy of any final.

Masters Tournament Points

Pos. Name Pts Pld
1 Angus Woodward 1290 5
2 Peter Buchan 900 3
3 Douglas Emery 885 4
4 John Kynoch 605 5
5 Paul Jenkins 580 3
6 David Lindsay 495 6
7 Frank Ellis 375 1
8 Andrew McCulley 330 3
9 Brian Robertson 300 1
10 Mark James 275 4


There were 9 players in the O50s event, sufficient for a straight knockout competition.

There was only one first round tie which meant an early start on Saturday for Stuart Mitchell and Ash McClenaghan. Stuart raced into a two game lead before Ash mounted a fight back in the third, but his efforts were in vain as Stuart squeezed home 10-9 in that game to progress to the quarter finals where he would play Jim Wells.

In the first of the quarter finals, Russell Hunter got off to a quick start by winning the first two games 9-4 9-1 against Mike Robinson, but as Mike settled, he succeeded in winning the third before Russell just edged a tight fourth game 9-7 to win the match by 3 games to 1.

Local boy Martin Sanchez looked very solid in a 3-1 win over Chris Holt, managing to maintain his form after Chris had levelled at 1-1.

Elsewhere, there were more straightforward wins for the in-form Ronnie Carter who dispatched Danny Russell 3-0 in convincing fashion and for Jim Wells, who always looked as if he was doing just enough in his 3-0 win over Stuart Mitchell.

And so it was that the top four seeds took their places in the semi-finals to be played on Sunday morning, with Ronnie Carter up against his old club mate Russell Hunter, while Martin Sanchez would play Jim Wells.

In the Ronnie v Russell match, it was Ronnie who managed to gain control to come away with a 3-1 victory. In the other semi, Martin won two very tight games 10-8 10-9 to take a 2-0 lead and then powered through the third game 9-0 against an out of sorts Jim Wells for a straight games win.

In Sunday afternoon’s final, Ronnie made an impressive start in taking the first two games 9-6 9-3 and looked to be in control, but with Martin opting to play more drop shots, the next two games went his way by 9-0 and 9-5. In the fifth game decider, Ronnie looked to have regained control of the match when leading 6-3, but with errors creeping in to Ronnie’s game, Martin took full advantage to complete an impressive comeback 9-7 and win the match by the closest of margins.

Chris Holt defeated Mike Robinson by 3 games to 1 to win the final of the plate competition.

Masters Tournament Points

Pos. Name Pts Pld
1 Brian Robertson 1320 6
2 Ronnie Carter 840 5
3 Chris Holt 825 4
4 Mike Robinson 600 4
5 Rod Robinson 590 3
6 Thomas Adams 475 4
7 Frank Ellis 455 1
8 James Wells 430 3
9 Martin Sanchez 360 1


There were 11 competitors and the competition was played as a knock out. Three first round matches were played, the pick of these being John Rae, playing 2 age groups down, against Keith Gristwood, John winning 3-1 in a close match bar the last game.  Dave McAleese eased past Ricky Easton who was slightly hindered by a sore back 3-1, and Rolf Hansen despatched Lance Marshall 3-0.

Two of the quarters gave comfortable wins for Chris Holt over John Rae, and Keith Murray over Dave McAleese. The other two both went to five.  Norman Patterson and Allan Law had a close tussle, short rallies, the occasional dead nick serve by Norman, Allan’s trademark reverse boasts, but once Norman cut back on mistakes, he emerged on top 9-7 in the fifth.  Rolf and Graham McAinsh also had a close match, Rolf saving match point in the fourth before winning the fifth 9-6.

The semis drew Chris against Norman, and Keith against Rolf.  Chris was somewhat erratic, Norman taking full advantage and levelling at 1-1 with a serve dead into the corner nick.  Chris sneaked the 3rd 10-9, only for Norman to level again.  In the 5th, Chris started to regain some accuracy and with a few mistakes by Norman, closed out the match 9-2.  The other semi was more one-sided score wise, apart from a fight back in the 3rd by Rolf but it was not quite enough, allowing Keith to win 3-0.

So to the final, a rematch of the semi at the Grange; Keith had played fewer games, Chris having had another game in the 50s. The first game was close but Chris won it 9-6.  After that, Chris’ previous exertions started to tell and Keith quickly took a 2-1 lead.  Early in the 4th, there was a collision with Chris’ shoulder taking the brunt. Unfortunately he was forced to retire, leaving Keith the winner although this was the likely outcome anyway.

Not all the first time losers entered the plate, but Allan Law emerged the winner.

Masters Tournament Points

Pos. Name Pts
1 Chris Holt 1380
2 Keith Murray 935
3 Allan Law 880
4 Graham Mcainsh 830
5 Norman Paterson 780
6 David McAleese 715
7 Richard Easton 595
8 Rolf Hansen 560
9 Keith Gristwood 495
10 Robin Ridley 300


There were nine competitors and the competition was played as a knock out.

Last 16 – John Black and Charlie Patrick will have played dozens of times in the past. This time Charlie prevailed with his court coverage giving him the edge.

Last 8 – Paul Harris disposed of Charlie Patrick 3-0 but the other ties were more competitive. John Rae was made to work extremely hard for his 9/3, 10/9, 10/8 win over Bryan Jackson. Number 3 seed John Charles had a hard fought 3-1 win over Alan Murray. The remaining tie saw Eric Donohoe win a see-saw encounter with Dick Bird 3-2.


Rae v Charles – Charles shocked Rae with a rapid first game before Rae worked his way back to win the next 3 narrowly. Would John’s efforts take its toll in the final later that afternoon?

Harris v Donohoe – Paul never let Eric get into the match and won it comfortably.

Final – Rae v Harris. This had the promise of a very close encounter, but Paul’s accuracy and shot selection gave him the advantage for most of the match. Despite John’s best efforts and dogged retrieving he could muster no more than 4 points a game and Paul ran out 3-0 winner and won the O60s title.

Masters Tournament Points

Pos. Name Pts Pld
1 John Rae 1170 6
2 Paul Harris 1005 6
3 Jim Dougal 885 4
4 Bryan Jackson 675 6
5 John Charles 655 6
6 Eric Donohoe 650 5
7= John Black 360 5
7= Robin Ridley 360 1
9 Dick Bird 325 3
10 Peter Shivas 300 1


There were nine competitors and the competition was played as a knock out.

John Rae was playing in the O55 and O60 events and Jim Dougal was on holiday – this therefore provided the other O65 players the opportunity to compete for valuable Masters Tournament Points.

There was only one first round tie between Warren Cameron and Phil Leek. This was a very competitive match. Warren won the first game 9/5 but Phil fought back well to win the next two games 9/4, 9/6. Phil continued his good form and when he led 6/0 in the fourth game, he was the clear favourite to reach the quarter final. However Warren had other ideas – he cut out the errors and clawed back to win the fourth game 9/7 and won the fifth game 9/4.

In the first quarter final Ian Ross played Warren Cameron. Warren continued his good form from the latter stages of his first round tie – from 1/7 down in the first game he played some excellent drop shots to get back and win the first game 9/7. The next three games were tight but Ian’s speed around the court ensured that he won the match to progress to the semi-final.

In the second quarter final Alex Allan played local member and Tournament Organiser, Walter McAllister. Both players had opportunities to win the first game before Alex won 10/9 – he played well and won the next two games and progressed to the semi-final.

In the third quarter final Alex Sinclair played Emilio Fazzi. Alex, recovering from injury, won the first game but Emilio fought back and won the next three games.

In the fourth quarter final local member John Boswell played Dave Sturman. The unorthodox John surprised Dave and he won the first game 9/7. The second game was very competitive but Dave won 9/6 and his superior match play ensured that he progressed to the semi-final.

In the semi-finals on Sunday morning Ian Ross played Alex Allan and Emilio Fazzi played Dave Sturman. Alex Allan was still recovering from a recent injury and Ian took advantage of this and won comfortably 3/0 to reach the final.

In the other semi-final Dave Sturman proved too strong for Emilio Fazzi. The first two games were close but Dave won both games and then comfortable won the third game as Emilio tired and made too many mistakes.

In the final Dave started the stronger and won the first game 9/6. However Ian fought back well and dominated the match – he won the next three games 9/5, 9/4, 9/1 and retained the O65 title. This is a favourite venue and competition for Ian as he has won the O65 title for the last five years!

Walter McAllister beat Alex Sinclair in the final of the Plate tournament.

Masters Tournament Points

Pos. Name Pts Pld
1 John Rae 1755 10
2 Jim Dougal 1450 5
3 Ian Ross 1273 7
4 Dave Sturman 1110 7
5 Alex Allan 555 4
6 Phil Leek 525 7
7 Emilio Fazzi 485 4
8 Alex Sinclair 465 4
9 Walter McAllister 395 6
10 Warren Cameron 300 3


A good entry of ten players, which included a first appearance this season, by Vinnie Taylor, from Canada, and also appearances of Roy Gordon and Dave Brown, who both have been recovering from injuries, since their participation in the Tayside & Fife Masters Event in Dundee in September 2016. In the top half of the draw, the first round match, between Ian Nicholson and Roy Gordon, fortunes fluctuated dramatically with Roy 2-1, 6/1 up in the fourth – only to lose that lead, and a further 5/2 lead in the fifth, to let Ian progress to the quarter-finals. In the quarter finals, in the afternoon, Ian found it tough to get going, against Ken Reid, who had not played in morning, and so he lost 0-3.

In the other quarter final, in the top half, Vinnie Taylor, lost the first game against Alfie Thomson, but out-did Alfie with the exchange of high lobs and tight service returns, at which both players excel, to win 3-1 and so progressed to meet Ken Reid in the semi-final. After winning a very tight first game 9/7 in the semi-final, Ken quickly won the next two, against Vinnie, to progress to the final. In the bottom half of the draw, Chris Jeffrey registered a very emphatic 3-0 win over Andy Duff, to progress to a quarter final match with Bernard Starkey. The quarter final between Bernard and Chris was certainly the match of the day, with Bernard taking the first two games (9/6 10/8) only for Chris to fight back taking the next two, however, from 2/2 in the fifth, Chris found it difficult to keep going, and Bernard completed a 3-2 win.

In the other quarter final Tom Kane had a rapid 3-0 win over Dave Brown, who found it hard to get going after being out of match squash for quite a few months, and is still having problems with a shoulder injury.

In the semi-final, Bernard and Tom shared the first two games, but in an exhausting third game, with some excellent squash from both players, Bernard proved the stronger, and took it 9/6, and he continued in the same manner to take the fourth 9/3, and thus progress to the final. This makes the score one match each between these two evenly matched contestants, with Bernard looking strong and back to peak form.

It has to be said that Tom was giving at least 8 years to his opponent.

In the final Ken took the first game 9/4, but then Bernard really tightened up his game, making few mistakes and hitting, challenging, deep drives and lobs, which were very effective, and, despite Ken taking an early 5-2 lead in the fourth, Bernard finished with a comfortable 3-1, to take the title. It looks as if there are possibly 7 players chasing the 6 spots, in the Over 70s team, for the Home Internationals in Cardiff on 21/22 April 2017, so all to play for at Aberdeen and the Nationals in Glasgow.

Masters Tournament Points

Pos. Name Pts Pld
1 Bernard Starkey 1085 5
2 Ken Reid 975 8
3 Tom Kane 865 4
4 Alfie Thomson 700 4
5 Ian Nicholson 385 5
6 Roy Gordon 270 2
7 Chris Jeffrey 220 2
8 David Brown 180 2
9 Vincent Taylor 165 1
10 Andy Duff 140 2


Dates for your Diary

Grampian Masters – Aberdeen Squash and Racketball Club – 25/26 February 2017

Masters Nationals – Scottish Squash Rackets Club – 11/12 March 2017

For details of 2017 Masters Tournaments see SRRL website