The Tayside and Fife Masters tournament – the first of the 2017/18 season was held at the Bells Sport Centre, Perth on 16/17 September 2017.
There were a healthy total of 77 competitors who took part in one Ladies’ event and eight Mens’ events.
Grant McGovern and Jennifer McArtney and the Tayside and Fife committee managed a very well organised tournament. They all worked hard to make all competitors welcome. At the prize giving all the competitors thanked Jennifer and Grant for all their hard work in the organisation and the draws.
Thanks are also due to SSRA (Allan McKay, Garry McKay and Ross Cairns) and Sportyhq for managing the entry and supporting the Tayside and Fife committee in running the tournament. Mike Halpin supported the committee by providing refereeing services throughout the tournament.
There were 7 competitors and the competition was played as a knock out.
Ultrafit newcomer Jane Davey from Inverness, gave everyone a good workout. Maureen Carroll, Dunblane, was the only one to beat her in 4 sets. Jane played consistently well to win the Plate competition, beating Jennifer McArtney in the final.
Fiona Morrison, Aberdeen, played exceptionally well to beat Jennifer McArtney in 5 tight sets. She beat Bernie Beattie in the semi and in the closely fought final she pushed eventual winner, Julia Horsburgh to 5 sets.
Julia had previously beaten Helen Cordiner, Aberdeen, in the first round and Maureen Carroll in the semi-final, winning both matches in tight 3 set matches.
All the ladies were of a similar standard and some close matches were had by all and it was a really enjoyable tournament.
There were only two competitors, Bernie Beattie and Maureen Carroll, who decided that, this early on in the season, 3 matches in one day was too much as they both played and enjoyed the O50’s competition. This match was not played.
There were three competitors and the competition was to be played as a round robin. Peter O’Hara withdrew through illness on the day. In a tight competitive match Mike Martin beat Billy Scott 3-2 despite being 2-0 down.
There were six competitors and the competition was to be played as two round robins. Peter O’Hara’s withdrawal meant this was re-arranged into one round robin of 5. The round robin was reduced to 4 players when James Spiers withdrew.
The round robin matches were all very competitive and entertaining matches.
Scott Hay was the winner with three wins, Barry Masson was runner-up with two wins, and Grant McGovern was in third place with one win and then David Simpson.
There were five competitors and the competition was played as a round robin. In a closely fought competition the winner was Peter Buchan, runner up Douglas Emery (on count back from Chris Turlik and John Kynoch) and then Andy McCulley.
The results can be seen in the table below:
On early Saturday morning, the first match of the round robin saw John Kynoch from Inverness play a local person in Chris Turlick in probably the best match of the round robin age group. As this was Chris’ first time out in the Masters Event not much was known of him but he hits a very good ball when given time as all his opponents found out. The first four games were all nip and tuck with both players taking advantage of lapses in concentration at the end of the games to make it 2 all. The 5th and final game was another nip and tuck until 7-7. John then managed to hit some deep straight drives which Chris could only boast or hit off the back wall in return. John took full advantage and played nice drops each time to win it 11-7. His expression at the end of the game was more of why couldn’t he do that earlier.
At around the same time Peter Buchan took on Andrew McCulley. Andrew played very well and was taking the game to Peter by taking the ball early and when in front hitting the ball low and hard. This surprised Peter and any lack of concentration allowed Andy to keep in the games. In the 3rd game, Andy kept up the pressure and deservedly took the game to make it 2-1. In the 4th, Peter made sure there was no lapse in concentration to ensure a 3-1 victory.
In the afternoon, Douglas Emery joined the competition and played his 1st match against Peter. Both were the two top seeds so it was expected to be a tough match and so it turned out to be. The first two games saw Peter take advantage of playing on the court earlier in the day by finding his drives going better into the back corners than Douglas and then taking the next shot early and dropping it – winning a lot of points. In the 3rd and 4th games Douglas managed to keep in the rallies, hitting better drives and continually put pressure on Peter. The 3rd game went his way but unfortunately Peter got the better of the next 2 points at 9-9 in the 4th to win the game 11-9 and match 3-1.
The next match was Andy against John. Following on from his five game match in the morning, John made no slip ups and was out of the blocks very quickly. This allowed him to be 2 games up before Andy had really got going. However, in the 3rd game Andy came back and playing the same attacking game as his match against Peter took the 3rd 11-8. In a nip and touch 4th game, Andy couldn’t quite keep up the pace and lost 11-9 and thus the match 3-1 for the second time in the day. However, he knew that his game approach this season (and with PAR 11 scoring) was making a difference.
In the final game of the day, Douglas played Chris in what turned out to be a shock result. Chris surprised Douglas with the quality of his shots and won the first game 11-8. In a titanic 2nd game, which neither player was able to win 2/3 points in the row, Chris eventually won it 21-19. The 3rd games saw Douglas get a good head start and Chris take a breather to win it 11-3. The 4th game Douglas allowed Chris to build a lead and couldn’t quite claw it back to lose 11-7 and the match 3-1.
At the end of the first day saw some tired bodies go back to rest and come back the next day to do it all again.
Sunday Lunchtime (a much more pleasant time to play squash) saw John play Douglas. After not winning any matches yesterday Douglas was determined to make a change and he did. Being less passive, he hit good lengths to the back of the court before volleying and taking the time away from John. John struggled with this and could not seem to change the pattern of play. He lost comfortable 3-0 and Douglas was back.
Next up, Chris played Andy in a very competitive match. Chris buoyed from his experiences and results the day before continued his good form. Andy, fresh from a good rest took a very close 1st game 13-11. However, this took a lot out of Andy and Chris started to move him around the court much more. Although Andy tried to keep up the pace of the game, he couldn’t manage it which allowed Chris always to be ahead to take the next 3 games and thus the match 3-1.
After a while Peter then played Chris, who was starting to feel tired from his 3 previous matches. This helped Peter and he made sure that his games with Chris were long and he had to move a fair distance. The first two games were longish but this all helped Peter. In the 3rd game, Chris was struggling with any length and Peter took it comfortable and the match 3-0.
The penultimate game saw Douglas against Andy. Douglas was always on top in this match, not allowing Andy in front of him for the most of the match. This meant Andy was chasing a lot of squash balls for not much joy. Douglas won the match 3-0 but Andy can be very happy with his performances and the way he played over the weekend.
The final game saw John play Peter. John was so much better than his earlier game against Douglas. In the first game, he came out of the block flying playing direct, low hard squash and then dropping it short when in front. He was always ahead in points and finished off the last point in style – a framed drop shot which had some backspin! This seemed to wake up Peter and he managed to compete in the 2nd game to make it 1-1. In a very close 3rd game that was nip and tuck, Peter edged it 15-13. The 4th and final game saw Peter well on top and not giving anything easy for John to take the match 3-1.
When the draw was published, there were 11 entrants for the first Over 50s Masters event of the season, but by the time the competition began, this had reduced to 9 with the withdrawal of Archie Magillivray and Russell Hunter.
With Danny Russell getting a bye to the quarter finals due to Archie’s withdrawal, the number of morning matches was reduced to two. In the first, Alan Nichol needed to come from 2-0 down to win against Stuart Mitchell and his reward was a semi-final berth on Sunday and the rest of the day off, a consequence of Russell’s withdrawal. In the other match, Martin Sanchez, who made the Scotland team in the age group last season but didn’t get a seeding here, was a more comfortable 3-0 winner against James McDougall.
Saturday afternoon brought quarter-final matches between Mark James and Danny Russell, Colin McMullan and Les Harkness and Martin Sanchez against Brian Robertson. The closest encounter of the round was between Colin and Les, which went the distance, with fortunes fluctuating, but it was Les who prevailed 3-2. Meanwhile, top seed Mark had a straight games win against Danny and Brian got the better of Martin with a 3-1 win, with a close third game being key to determining the outcome.
Another day, another round of matches…
Sunday’s semi-final line-up was Mark James against Les Harkness and Alan Nicol against Brian Robertson. Les struck first to go a game up against Mark and kept the pressure on by winning a close second game before Mark struck back in the third. However, Les kept his form to win the fourth and make it to the final.
In the other semi, Brian didn’t allow Alan to settle and was a comfortable 3-0 winner.
Brian got off to a flying start in the final to go one game up and when he won a closer second game, the match looked like it might be over quite quickly. However, Les had other ideas and turned things around in the third, playing the court conditions well with accurate serving and clinical finishing. Continuing in the same vein in the fourth, Les levelled the match at 2-2 to take it to a decider. A keenly fought fifth game was close on the scoreboard until 8-8, but it was Les who played the last points better to win a compelling contest.
The plate final was an all Townend affair, with Stuart Mitchell the victor in another five set match against Danny Russell.
A good opening tournament of the season… prepare to do it all again in Aberdeen in a few weeks time!
There were 8 competitors and the competition was played as a knock out.
The top four seeds won their matches and all progressed to the semi finals. Robin Ridley, Neil Rayner and Roddy Robinson had 3-0 wins against Norrie McGlinchey, Rolf Hansen and Lance Marshall.
The other match between John Rae and Norrie Paterson was a very competitive match. In a nip and tuck first game both players had chances to win the first game but John held his nerve to win 15-13 and take a 1-0 lead. Norrie fought back well and comfortably won the second game 15-8. The third and fourth games were could have gone either way – however John won both 15-13 and 16-14 and won the match 3-1 and progressed to the semi final.
In the first semi final Robin played Neil – the first two games were very competitive but Robin won both 15-13, 15-13 and with his superior fitness and racket skills won the third game 15-6 and the match 3-0 and progressed to the final.
In the other semi final Roddy played John – John started well and won the first game, but Roddy fought back to win the second game and level the match at 1-1. Roddy continued his good form and won the next two games and progress to the final.
In the final Robin played Roddy – Robin started strongly and won the first two games. In the third game Roddy fought back well and to win the game 17-15. In the fourth game Robin demonstrated his strong all round game and won 15-8 and deservedly won the O55 title.
Norrie Paterson comfortably beat Norrie McGlinchey and Lance Marshall 3-0 to win the Plate.
There were 13 competitors and the competition was played as a knock out.
First round: 3 of the 5 first round matches were 3-0 wins for the seeded player.
Debutant Philip Shore looked like he might get the better of the much more experienced Dick Bird, however Dick held his nerve and won 3-1. Eric Donohoe eventually survived William Jappy’s array of unlikely winners, 22-20 in the 4th but Eric was on court far longer than he had hoped.
Quarter finals: Top seeds Robin Ridley and John Rae disposed of their opponents in routine fashion. Keith Gristwood beat Eric Donohoe 3-1. Easily the longest quarter final was won by John Charles who beat Ernie Cowell 15-13 in the fifth in a match that was too close to call.
Semi finals: Ridley beat Charles for the loss of only 13 points. The other semi was delicately poised at 1-1, 14 all in the 3rd before John Rae (beginning to finally show the first signs of fatigue after hours on court) did just enough to win in 4 games.
Final: John Rae fought doggedly but was always behind in each game and Robin Ridley won 3-0 to justify his status as number 1 seed.
There were 11 competitors and the competition was played as a knock out.
In the three first round ties Jim Webster beat Phil Leek 3-2 in a closely contested match, Michael Mooney, a Welsh Masters International comfortably beat Alex Sinclair 3-0 and Walter McAllister beat Warren Cameron 3-0.
The top four seeds progressed safely to the semi finals.
Jim Dougal had a comfortable 3-0 win over Jim Webster. Alex Allan had a very good 3-1 win against Emilio Fazzi in a closely contested match. Dave Sturman played very well and had a great 3-0 against Mike Mooney. Ian Ross lost the first game to Walter McAllister but fought back to win the next three games and progress to the semi final.
Jim Dougal beat Alex Allan 3-0 – Jim’s racket skills and drop shots were too much for Alex. In the other semi final Ian Ross won the first game but Dave Sturman fought back strongly to win the next three games in a closely contested match to progress to the final.
The final was an excellent match between Jim Dougal and Dave Sturman. The first game was very close but after both players had game balls Jim won 16-14 and then won the second game 15-11. However Dave fought back strongly, serving well and playing good back hand winner, won the third and fourth games 16-14, 15-12 to level the match at 2-2. In the final game with Dave tiring, Jim closed the game out 15-10 and won the O65 title.
Alex Sinclair comfortably beat Phil Leek 3-0 in the final.
A good entry of 11 competitors and the competition was played as a knock out.
Competitors were made up of 7 existing pool of O70s players, with first appearances for Ian Ross, Robert Respringer, John Mortimer and George Stirrat making a healthy pool for the O70s.
In the first round
Chris Jeffrey came back from 0-2 to beat Andy Duff 3-2, while Ian Nicolson and George Stirrat had comfortable 3-0 wins over John Mortimer and Robert Respinger.
The number 1 and 4 seeds both had good 3-0 wins over Chris Jeffrey and Alfie Thomson.
It was not the case however for both the 2 and 3 seeds who were both beaten.
George Stirrat playing crisp, hard hitting precise squash beat Bernard Starkey 3-0 and Ian Nicolson continued his good first round form to beat Ken Reid 3-2 in a very hard fought match.
George Stirrat played Ian Nicolson and George won a competitive first game 16-14 – he then proceeded to win the next two games and reach the final.
Ian Ross was pushed hard by Tom Kane. Ian won the first two games but Tom fought back to win the third game before Ian closed out the fourth game and reached the final.
A new order for the O70 dawning?
The two best players over the weekend met in the final. George continued playing crisp, hard hitting precise squash and took a 2-0 lead. Ian fought back to win the third game. However George upped his game and comfortably won the fourth game and match and won his first O70 final.
Ian might rue in playing in both the O65 and O70 events as the effects of the extra play may have impacted on his game.
Ken Reid beat John Mortimer 3-0 in first round.
Ken Reid received walkover from Chris Jeffrey.
In a good match of contrasting styles, Bernard Starkey beat Alfie Thomson 3-1.
This had to be the ‘match of the day’ played on ‘outside’ Court 4 and only witnessed by the referee!
Bernard took a 2-0 lead, but Ken fought back to win the third game and in the fourth game Bernard led 14-7 but Ken then saved 7 match balls before winning the fourth game 16-14 and levelling the match. Ken then went on to win the final game and match 3-2.
Dates for your Diary
Grampian Masters – Aberdeen Squash and Racketball Club – 21/22 October 2017
West Masters – Dumfries Squash Club – 25/26 November 2017
East Masters – Edinburgh Sports Club – 20/21 January 2018
Central Regional Masters – Bridge of Allan Sports Club – 17/18 February 2018
Scottish National Masters – Inverness Squash Club – 10/11 March 2018
For details of all 2017/18 Masters Tournaments see SRRA website