The South of Scotland Masters tournament was held at Dumfries Squash and Racketball Club on 19/20 November 2016.

There were a total of 55 competitors who took part in two Ladies’ events and eight Men’s events. The tournament was sponsored by Annandale Insurance Brokers.

Sue Strachan and the Dumfries Squash Club committee managed a very well organised tournament. They all worked hard to make all competitors welcome and provided an excellent catering service throughout the tournament. At the prize giving the competitors thanked Sue and the committee for all their hard work in the organisation and the draws.

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

Ladies O35

There were three competitors and the competition was played as a round robin. Selina Sinclair, fresh from her excellent performances in the World Masters O35s, was clearly the better player against Sue Strachan who competed bravely but was outclassed 3-0. Selina then took on Krissy Burkin from Durham and Cleveland and England. Selina kept Krissy at bay despite some strong hitting from Krissy and Selina’s great movement and all round court game just proved to be too good and she won again 3-0 taking her first Masters title. Krissy then took on Sue and her strong and precise game proved too much for the older player who could just not get into the game and Krissy took it 3-0.

Ladies O55

There were five competitors and the competition was played as a round robin. Christina Graham lost to Faith Sinclair who controlled the game. Christina then went on to beat Bernie Beattie, a relative newcomer to the Masters circuit and was too fast and too precise winning 3-0. New bride Norma Marshall battled valiantly but was beaten by all 3 other women.

Bernie then upset the draw by narrowly clinching a 3-2 win against Faith Sinclair so that the final placings depended on countback. Local Dumfries SRC World Masters O65s runner up Faith Sinclair clinched the title to make it a family double, with Christina coming second having beaten Bernie in the head to head.


The Whippersnappers (O35’s) of the Scottish Squash Masters series gathered at Dumfries for round 4.  With a core of participants now established, and a pooled format with 5 players, there was a chance for some early season results to be avenged. Or not…

Round 1

Lind / MacBride and Steedman / O’Hara were the round 1 match ups with the fresh legs providing for some excellent encounters. Lind and MacBride battled hard and shared the first 2 games with Richard pulling away in games 3 and 4 to wrap things up. On the adjacent court an upset was on the cards with Steedman snatching a game ball in the first. O’Hara’s trade mark nicks were finding tins but he managed to deny Steedman what would have been a memorable game to win the first. The second was just as tight but went the same way. O’Hara found his stride in the third and wrapped things up to finish off a gallant Steedman effort.

Round 2

Round 2 saw childhood friends Steedman and Lind do battle and Frank Ellis joining the fray against MacBride. Steedman and Lind played some old school battle squash with Steedman taking a tight first 10-8. Lind countered to take the second but fell away in the third and fourth losing out 3-1.  MacBride took the initiative against Ellis taking the first game but regrettably an old injury flared up for Frank meaning he had to withdraw from the tournament early in the second.

Round 3

With Ellis withdrawn, the sole match from round three was awarded to O’Hara.  O’Hara then kindly accepted Lind’s request to play their Sunday morning game early and the 2 took to the court immediately after O Hara’s O40s match against Angus Woodward!  Unfortunately for Lind, this did not seem to have a detrimental affect on O’Hara’s squash and an easy victory was registered for the man from Newlands.

Round 4

MacBride and Steedman did battle at midday on Sunday. Saturday’s matches seemed to have more of an affect on Steedman than his opponent and MacBride seized the initiative to ruthlessly dispatch Steedman in 3, thus setting up a mouthwatering, winner takes all clash, against O’Hara.

Round 5

The final round of the afternoon provided for a fitting end to the South of Scotland O35s competition with the 2 undefeated combatants pitted against each other.  Unfortunately for MacBride, O’Hara hit top form in the final round and just had too much, finishing off the tournament with a powerful 3-0 victory.


  1. Peter O’Hara; 2. Richard MacBride; 3. Neil Steedman; 4. Graham Lind; 5. Frank Ellis

The weekend was a great success and a big thanks to all at Dumfries SC for the hospitality and to the tournament organisers for such a well run event. No more Masters events this year but all to play for in the second half of the season!


There were three competitors and the competition was played as a round robin.

Peter O’Hara and Scott Hay were first into action on Saturday and despite a spirited display from Scott, like many others before him, he was unable to find a way through Peter’s renowned pace and accuracy – a comfortable 3-0 win for Peter.

Next up was Angus Woodward v. Peter – Angus took a slightly more attacking game to Peter and fared slightly better. There were some great rallies and the players exchanged several nicks to entertain the gallery, but the end result was the same 9-5, 9-1, 9-5 and another 3-0 win for Peter.

That was enough for Peter to wrap up the O40s title, with Scott and Angus left to battle it out for runner up/wooden spoon honours on Sunday morning. Angus was the quicker off the mark and after several hand-in/hand-out exchanges, ran away with the first game 9-0. The rest of the match was a different story and the next two games could have gone either way. Some excellent retrieving from both players made for several lung-busting rallies but it was Angus who managed to do just enough to take them both 9-5, 9-7. In a match lasting over 50 minutes, the 3-0 scoreline does not do Scott’s efforts justice.

Final positions: 1. Peter O’Hara 2. Angus Woodward 3. Scott Hay


There were four competitors and the competition was played as a round robin.

First match on court was Angus Woodward v David Lindsey with Angus coming out of the blocks fast to take the first game 9-3. The 2nd game was heading the same way as Angus took an 8-2 lead but Dave was having none of it. A combination of hard hitting and some deft touches drew things level at 8-all and Angus had to work extremely hard to hang on and take the game 10-8. The 3rd followed a similar pattern to the first as Angus took the game 9-1 for a hard fought 3-0 win.

Next up was Paul Jenkins v Andy McCulley– two contrasting players with Paul’s subtle touches countering Andy’s hard hitting and the first two games were shared. The early part of the 3rd followed a similar pattern before Paul edged ahead, taking the game 9-3 for a 2-1 lead. Unfortunately, Andy was plagued by the reoccurrence of an old hamstring injury and could not continue in the 4th, conceding the match – this was a real shame as it was shaping up to be a great battle.

Last match of the first day was Paul v Angus. Paul got off to a flyer, putting away everything Angus had to throw at him and took the first game 9-2 in no time at all. Angus started going for his shots a bit more in the 2nd and managed to level the score at 1-1. The 3rd was the turning point with neither player giving an inch until Angus managed to nose his way in front to take an 8-5 lead but it was not over yet. Paul’s fighting spirit and some incredibly tight drop shots helped him claw it back to 8-all. Angus looked tired at this point but just managed to hang on and take the game 10-8. A few errors crept into Paul’s game in the 4th and Angus was able to take advantage, winning the game 9-1 and closing out the match 3-1.

With Andy’s withdrawal through injury, the only remaining match on Sunday was Paul v David. This was a match that seemed to only have one player playing at a time, with the scores oscillating in groups of 5 points over the piece. Whilst Dave should have won the first game, somehow Paul got the advantage. Games two and three were similar but with Dave using his aggression, obtained from a difference of opinion with the Referee, coming out on top. The fourth was the defining game and lady luck was clearly in Paul’s camp as he scrambled to take it. The fifth was another tea-total affair with mistakes from both players adding to the pressure of the occasion before Paul staggered over the line. In summary a good Sunday morning scrap.

Final Positions: 1. Angus Woodward 2. Paul Jenkins  3. David Lindsay  4. Andy McCulley (Rtd)


Not for the first time this Masters season, there was a late change to the Over 50s draw as Tom Adams succumbed to illness. It remained a knock-out competition involving 7 players, with Russell Hunter gaining a walkover but losing out on a Saturday match.


The opening match was between Brian Robertson and Ronnie Carter. Brian succeeded in preventing Ronnie playing to his strengths and at the same time kept the scoreboard ticking over, winning in straight games.

It was a similar story in the match between Tony Hetherington and Jimmy Wells, with Tony dictating play. Try as he might, Jimmy was unable to change the course of the match – impressive 3-0 win for Tony.

Colin McMullen and Danny Russell completed the first round of matches. As the match progressed, it was apparent that Colin’s mind was on other matters as Danny won a close first game 10-8 and backed it up by winning the next two games by a clear margin for the third 3-0 win of the day.

Tony and Danny played their semi-final match later on Saturday, with Tony an emphatic 3-0 winner.


Making his first Masters appearance of the season, Russell Hunter entered the competition at the semi-final stage with a match against Brian. Despite battling hard, Russell was at a bit of a disadvantage having needed keyhole surgery earlier this year, and it was Brian who took the honours with another 3-0 win.

So, the final was between Brian and Tony, meeting for the first time. The first two games followed a similar pattern, close up to around 6 points all and then Tony playing the big points well to win each game.  Brian got back into the match by winning the third and took the match to a decider by closing out a tight fourth game.  With Brian 2-0 up in the final game, a short interruption for a blood injury allowed Tony to gather himself for a final push, forging ahead 7-2 when play resumed.  Again Brian fought back to 7-7.  With the match in the balance, Brian tinned a drop shot and Tony took full advantage winning the next two points for the tournament win.


There were 10 competitors and the competition was played as a knock out.

There were two first round ties. Ricky Easton comfortably beat Lance Marshall 3/0. In the other tie, Robin Ridley (back on the Masters circuit after a lengthy injury) played Alan Susskind. Robin showed all his skills and beat Alan 3/0 and qualified for the quarter finals.

The four seeds entered the competition at this stage but only two made the semi-final.

David McAleese (1st seed) played Keith Murray, an Anglo Scot who plays in Lancashire. David won the first game 9/5, but thereafter Keith took control of the match and won the next three games and proceeded to the semi final.

Rolf Hanson (4th seed) was in excellent form and comfortably beat Ricky Easton 3/0. Alan Law (3rd seed) played Robin Ridley and in a competitive match which entertained the gallery, Robin won 3/0 and proceeded to the semi-final. In the final quarter final Norman Paterson (2nd seed) played Keith Gristwood. Keith won the first game 9/5, but Norman fought back well and won all three competitive games to reach the semi-final.

In the first semi-final Keith Murray played Rolf Hansen. The first two games were very competitive with Rolf hitting the ball hard to a length and Keith floating the ball around the court. Keith won the first game 9/7 and Rolf fought back to win the second game 9/7. Keith won the third game 9/4 and either player could have won the fourth game before Keith closed the match out by winning fourth game 10/8 and qualifying for the final.

In the second semi-final Robin Ridley played Norman Paterson. Robin had clearly recovered form his injury and taking the ball early and mixing drives with some deceptive boasts. Norman fought hard but Robin closed the match out in three games to reach the final.

In the final Robin continued his good form and won the first game 9/1 and he was leading in the second game before Keith clawed his way back into the game and nicked the second game 10/9 – this proved to be the turning point in the match as Keith then took control won the next two games and the O55 title.


There were seven competitors and the competition was played as two round robins on Saturday followed by semi-finals and final on Sunday.

The three players in Pool 1 were John Rae (1st seed), Bryan Jackson (4th seed) and Lance Marshall. John comfortably won both games 3/0 and in the other game Bryan beat Lance 3/0. John and Brian qualified for the semi-finals.

The four players in Pool 2 were John Charles (2nd seed), Jim Dougal (3rd seed), Colin Shields from Durham and John Black. The Pool matches were played on Saturday.

Jim Dougal topped the Pool with three wins. In the first match on Saturday morning, Jim played John Charles in a five game thriller. John won the first game 10/9, but Jim won the next two games 9/4 and 10/8. John won the fourth game 9/6 to set up a fifth game decider. The final game was very close and both players had chances before Jim closed the match out and won the game 10/8. Jim comfortably beat Colin 3/0 and he beat John by 3/1 in a very close match.

Colin won his other two matches – he beat John Black 3/0 and in the decider for the second qualifying spot, Colin beat John Charles 3/1 in a very tight match. In the final match of the Pool, John Charles beat John Black 3/0.

Jim and Colin qualified for the semi-final from Pool 2.

The semi-finals were played on Sunday morning. In the first semi-final John Rae played Colin Shields. John started very strongly and won the first two games 9/5, 9/5 and appeared to be coasting to a comfortable win. However Colin had other ideas and fought back strongly to win the third and fourth games 9/6, 9/3. The final game was very competitive but John kept his composure and won the final game 9/3 and proceeded to the final.

In the other semi-final more five game drama in the Jim Dougal / Bryan Jackson match. Jim won the first and third games 10/8 and 9/5 and Bryan took the match to five games by winning the second and fourth games 9/5 and 9/3. In the final game Jim showed his experience and won 9/3 and qualified for his second final.

In the double header O60/O65 final a fresh John Rae (only one five game O60 semi-final) beat a tired Jim Dougal who had ‘nothing left in the tank’ (after two hard five game semi-finals) comfortably by 3/0 and win both the O60/O65 titles.

In the 3/4 play off Colin Shields comfortably beat Bryan Jackson 3/0 in an entertaining match – a very good weekend for the player from Durham.


The competition was reduced to seven players when Emilio Fazzi withdrew with a recurring leg strain. As a result Jim Dougal did not have a game on Saturday so he managed to get a late entry to the O60 competition.

In the Saturday morning matches all three seeded players safely made progress to the semi finals. John Rae and Ian Ross comfortably beat Walter McAllister and Jim Webster 3-0. In the other match Dave Sturman won a competitive close match against Alex Allan by 3-0.

In the first semi-final was rescheduled to late on Saturday afternoon and John Rae played Dave Sturman. The first two games were very close with John winning the first game 9/5 and Dave fighting back well to win the second game 10/8. However despite having already played three matches (one O65 and two O60) John superior fitness prevailed and he won the third and fourth games 9/0 and 9/4 to reach the final.

The other semi-final was played on Sunday morning between Jim Dougal and Ian Ross. Jim started very well and easily won the first game 9/1. He continued his good form and was leading 7/3 in the second game before Ian fought back and won the second game 10/8. Jim took the third game 9/3 and Ian again fought back to win the fourth game 9/7. In the final game Jim showed his class and played excellent squash to win the fifth game 9/2 and proceed to the final.

In the double header O60/O65 final a fresh John Rae (only one five game O60 semi-final) beat a tired Jim Dougal who had ‘nothing left in the tank’ (after two hard five game semi-finals) comfortably by 3/0 and win both the O60/O65 titles.

There were only two competitors in the O65 plate and Walter McAllister beat Jim Webster 3/1 in an entertaining final.


There were four competitors, Tom Kane, Ken Reid, Alfie Thomson and Chris Jeffrey.

It was good to see Chris at last back on court after a shoulder injury which had put him out of action since February. The competition was played as a round robin, and on the Saturday morning, after a very close first game between Ken and Alfie, which went 9/7 to Ken, Ken won 3-1.

The other morning match, between Tom and Chris was the match of the day, with Chris storming away with the first two games, only for Tom to recover to take the next three games, very convincingly, with a mixture of excellent drops and lobs.

In the afternoon, Ken beat Chris 3-0, with the hard match that Chris had in the morning, clearly taking its toll. Tom and Alfie had a really close match, with very few rallies exceeding three shots due to both players going all out for immediate drop shot winners, however Tom proved the more proficient in this area, and recorded a 3-0 win. On the Sunday morning, there was just one match, because Chris had to call off his game with Alfie, because of a car problem prevented him travelling. Tom beat Ken 3-0, duly giving him a lesson in how to take off any pace put on the ball, and with intelligent placing, make your opponent work hard.

The final placings were : Tom, Ken, Alfie, Chris.

Dates for your Diary

East of Scotland Masters at Grange Sports Club – 21/22 January 2017

Central Masters at Bridge of Allan Squash Club – 4/5 February 2017

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

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