Scotland off to flawless start at the WSF World Team’s Championship 2023

Scotland’s World Team’s Championship campaign got off to a perfect start with a win over a strong Canada team.

With today’s match the country’s first at a World Team’s Championship since 2019,  the Scots were keen to avoid an upset against a tricky opponent.

With the build-up over, all that was left was for the first ball to be served and for a feast of top class squash to be enjoyed.

Alan Clyne v Liam Marrison

First on court for Scotland was the legendary Alan Clyne, taking on a player 14 years his junior, world-ranked 138th Liam Marrison.

Having recently retired from professional squash, the 37 year-old answered the call from his country and stepped on court for his eight consecutive World Team’s Championship.

Scotland’s longest serving squash star was able to use all his experience to triumph in a closely fought first game, with opponent Marrison taking the game to 9-9 before losing 11-9.

The second game was attritional, with both players battling for every point, as keen to win them as they were not to lose them.

Clyne regularly showed his class throughout, particularly with a range of drop shots which left his opponent no chance of retrieval, and saw him pull away to win 11-7.

That class shone through once again in the third game as Alan raced ahead, in a game which displayed high intensity, high quality squash.

Between them the players covered every inch of the court, the Scot dropped, lobbed and did everything he could to see off his spirited opponent 11-5 in the final game.

Delight, then, for Scotland and for the ironman Alan Clyne who picked up where he left off in his return to top level squash.

Greg Lobban v David Baillargeon

The battle of the top ranked players got off to an ideal start for Scotland, as Greg Lobban set the tone for this match early.

The world number 23 was clinical in the first game, beating his opponent in six minutes, losing just three points along the way.

The second game was closer fought at the beginning, with the left right hand combination making for some exciting points and showcasing equally high quality squash.

Lobban ultimately pulled away to win it 11-4.

The final game, finished with an unreachable drop shot from Greg, which was typical of the Inverness squash star’s high level of play throughout.

This match was a testament to Greg’s incredible level of fitness, as he covered the court with ease and rarely looked troubled against an opponent ranked in the world top 40.

If this was a sign of things to come from the country’s top ranked male, then the Scottish fans tuning in over the course of the week are sure to be in for a treat.

Rory Stewart v Salah Eltorgman

With Scotland’s win secured, all eyes turned to Rory Stewart taking on world number 77 Salah Eltorgman, with all important group points up for grabs.

Rory showed determination to reach every ball, and that grit combined with skilful shot-selection proved challenging for his younger opponent.

Ultimately, Rory’s quality – including a seemingly infinite range of deft drop shots and cleverly disguised boasts – were enough to see off his opponent.

Stewart looked untroubled for much of the match, as he appeared to grow stronger throughout the match which was clinched 11-7, 11,5, 11-3.

Job done and job done convincingly by Scotland, in what was as strong an opening day as the team could have asked for.

What they said

Greg Lobban said: “I’m very happy with the team’s performance today, a 3-0 win over Canada is a great result, especially without dropping a game.

“I’m really pleased with how I played personally and also Rory and Alan’s performances, I think we set out a bit of a marker today and hopefully we can carry that momentum into tomorrow.

“We’ve got Samoa in our final group game and hopefully we can finish positively and keep that momentum going in the last 16.”

Paul Bell, Scottish Squash Elite Performance Coach said: “There were three really good performances from the boys today.

“This was a potential banana skin against a good team, so I’m really pleased to get the event going with a really positive performance from everyone.

“We’re hoping to top the group and go through to the last 16 as the group winners.”

What’s next?

Next up Scotland take on Samoa in their second and final group stage match.

The match gets underway tomorrow at 5am (Scotland time) and will be streamed for free on, the official streaming platform of the World Squash Federation.

Fans can also watch action from the Mercury Arena on the Olympic Channel, and on SQUASHTV (subscription required).