WEST OF SCOTLAND MASTERS – 12/13 DECEMBER 2015

The West of Scotland Masters tournament was held at Newlands Squash Club on 12/13 December 2015.

There were a total of 66 competitors who took part in eight mens’ events. Unfortunately there were insufficient entries to hold any ladies events.

Emilio Fazzi and the Newlands 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 all the competitors thanked Emilio and the committee for all their hard work.

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

Alex Sinclair and Ernie Cowell quickly assessed the South of Scotland results and updated the Masters Tournament Points. Alex emailed the updated points to his Masters’ distribution list of about 350 players who have participated on the Scottish Masters circuit over the previous 10 years’.

MO35

There were four competitors and the competition was played as a round robin with four matches on Saturday and two matches on Sunday.

In the Saturday morning matches Peter O’Hara and Andrew McBean won 3-0 against David Morrison and Michael Black respectively. Peter had a very convincing win against David whereas the game between Andrew and Michael was much more competitive and Andrew played well to win 3-0.

In the afternoon matches Andrew McBean convincingly beat David Morrison 3-0 and Peter O’Hara beat Michael Black 3-1. Michael started strongly and led 6-1, Peter fought back but Michael held on to win the first game 9-7. As expected Peter recovered and won the second game 9-1. The third game was very competitive but Peter won 9-6 and then won the fourth game 9-0. These results set up the final on Sunday between Peter O’Hara and Andrew Bean.

In the first match on Sunday Michael Black played well to beat David Morrison 3-0.

The final was the last match of the tournament and the spectators were entertained to a long 5 game match. Both players played well and the first two games were very competitive with long hard hitting rallies and Andrew won both games 9-7 to lead 2-0. Despite having won the O40s tournament earlier in the afternoon Peter fought back to win the third game 9-1. In a very tight fourth game Peter won 9-6 and took the match to a final game. Both players were now tiring but they continued to play to a high standard and entertained the gallery. Peter held his nerve to win the fifth game 9-6 and retained the O35 title.

Leading Masters Tournament Points

Pos. Name Pts Pld
1 Andrew McBean 785 3
2 Peter O’Hara 475 2
3 Peter Buchan 290 1
4 Mark James 245 1
5 Steven Howie 200 1
6 Michael Black 175 1


MO40

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

Three quarter final ties were played on Saturday and the three seeded players all played well and comfortably won 3-0 with Angus Woodward beating Douglas Emery, John Kynoch beating Ralph Laing and Peter Buchan beating Andrew MacMaster.

In the semi finals on Sunday morning Peter O’Hara played Angus Woodward and Peter Buchan played John Kynoch. Both Peters played well and won 3-0.

Peter O’Hara hit the ball hard, took the ball early and moved Angus all round the court. However Angus’ retrieving was exceptional and there were numerous very long rallies and although Peter won 9-7, 9-5, 9-6 Angus deserves great credit for his performance. In the other semi final Peter Buchan proved too strong against John Kynoch and won 9-2, 9-2, 9-5.

In the final Peter O’Hara was very focused and convincingly beat Peter Buchan to win the O40s title.

Douglas Emery beat Andrew MacMaster 3-0 in the final of the O40 Plate.

Leading Masters Tournament Points

Pos. Name Pts Pld
1 Peter Buchan 800 3
2 Peter O’Hara 600 2
3 Douglas Emery 465 3
4 Roddy Campbell 275 2
5 John Kynoch 255 2
6 Mark James 245 1
7 Angus Woodward 210 2


MO45

Here we go again as players travel from across Scotland to compete for more points to represent their country in the over 45 age group in the Scottish Masters tour. Entries continue to be down but five brave souls came to the fight in Newlands Tennis and Squash Club and they played in a round robin format over the weekend.

First to take to the court were John Kynoch and James Stewart for their first meeting on the tour. James took to the court with vigour only to meet the deadly triple boast of JK and being moved to all four corners of the court. John was needing to save energy as he was also playing in the over 40s this weekend. He won 3-0, giving up few points.

Next for James was David Massey and at times it looked like whilst James had control with David mixing it up to claw back some points it could be a match, it was not enough to stop James taking the match 3-0.

David Lindsay and Ralph Laing were next up with Ralph having his second match of the weekend as he also chose to play in the over 40s. Ralph tried to move forward to intercept the Lindsay power by putting in some drops that Lindsay was unfortunately able to drive to the back corners. Ralph struggled to recover the tight shots and lost 3-0.

After their last meeting in Dumfries, the David’s took to court but the last meeting was not to be repeated.  Massey was loose and Lindsay was tight in play and match was a clear 3-0 to Lindsay.

Ralph and John met for their second time with Ralph learning from their morning meeting in the 40s. Ralph tried to move John around more and could clearly be seen to be trying to think on court.  However the multi shot JK was no match for Ralph and the match ended 3-0 to JK to close out Saturday play.

Sunday started with Stewart meeting Lindsay but there was a nagging injury for Stewart that resulted in him pulling out of the competition to prevent further damage and the risk of long term injury.  This gave Lindsay and Laing wins of 3-0.

The final two matches of the weekend were between Massey and Laing and then Kynoch and Lindsay. First to play were Massey and Laing and with the courts being colder, the two players struggled to get the ball warm.  It was a match that went back and forth with points taken by both players.  The first game was won by Massey 10-8 but the remaining two were clearer wins for Massey to take the match 3-0 with a final bad shot off the frame.

Kynoch and Lindsay took to court to fight for the winner and runner up for the group as they went into the match equal on points. The players also found the court to be playing slower than Saturday but JK coped better by moving David around.  Lindsay was carrying an injury and was forced to retire in the first game with John winning the match and the group for the weekend.

Leading Masters Tournament Points

Pos. Name Pts Pld
1 John Kynoch 1080 3
2 David Lindsay 935 5
3 David Massey 590 5
4 James Stewart 415 2
5 Ralph Laing 365 3
6 Mark Beaumont 360 1
7 Craig Doel 290 1
8 Andrew McCulley 260 2


MO50

Despite one late call-off, there was still a decent entry of ten competitors in the Men’s Over 50s competition.

Day 1

The first round matches on Saturday morning saw Archie McGillivray play Danny Russell and Steve Luker play Tom Smith. In the opening tie, it was Archie who was able to dominate for a 3-0 win, while Steve fought back from 2 games to 1 down for a 3-2 win.

Saturday afternoon saw the quarter-finals contested. Russell Hunter, making his first Masters appearance of the season, had a tough opener against Ronnie Carter. The games were keenly contested, but Russell prevailed in each.

In the second of the quarters, Brian Robertson was the more consistent player against Archie McGillivray, winning in straight games.

It was a similar story in the Rod Robinson v Chris Holt match, with Chris the victor without dropping a game.

Steve Luker’s reward for his earlier efforts against Tom Smith was a tie against Steven Polli, champion in the age group from last year. Steven dictated play from the start and completed the set of 3-0 quarter-final wins.

In the final of the plate competition, there was a ding-dong battle between Tom Smith and Danny Russell. It went to a fifth game decider and in a final twist, Tom had a match ball, couldn’t convert it and Danny snatched the win.

Day 2

Sunday’s semi-final line-up was Brian Robertson against Russell Hunter and Steven Polli against Chris Holt.

Russell made a fast start, winning the first game, but Brian won the next two to seemingly take control of the match. However, Russell dug in to win the fourth and take the match to a fifth game, but couldn’t sustain his challenge, Brian getting over the line to make the final.

In the other semi-final, it was Chris who made the fast start, getting to 8-1 in front in the first game, but there was no panic from Steven, who played his way back into contention and, despite having two game balls against him, won the game 10-9. Thereafter, Steven played in an assured manner to win 3-0.

In the final, Steven won a closely contested first game. Brian got to 7-2 ahead in the second, but, as in his semi-final, Steven remained calm and turned things around to win the game 9-7. That was a significant moment in the match and Steven carried that momentum into the third game to finish the tournament without losing a game. A worthy winner.

Leading Masters Tournament Points

1 Brian Robertson 1320 5
2 Graeme Patullo 585 3
3 Chris Holt 435 2
4 Archie MacGillivray 370 4
5 Steven Polli 360 1
6 Ronnie Carter 320 2
7 Duncan Fraser 295 2


MO55

There were 11 competitors and the competition was played as a simple knock out.

There were three first round ties. Trevor Mitchell and Richard Easton convincingly won 3-0 against Rolf Hansen and Lance Marshall respectively. The other tie between Alan Susskind and Gordon Kerr was very competitive and Alan, local member at Newlands, won the fourth game 10-9 and the match 3-1.

In the quarter finals there were good 3-0 wins for Alan Thomson, Trevor Mitchell and Neil Rayner against Alan Susskind, Norma Gregory and Richard Easton. The other quarter final went to the wire before Keith Gristwood pipped Alan Law 3-2.

In the semi finals Alan Thomson played Trevor Mitchell and Neil Rayner played Keith Gristwood. Alan showed all his class to comfortably beat Trevor 3-0 and in a tighter match Neil beat Keith 3-0.

The final was again one sided with Alan beating Neil 3-0 to win the O55 title.

Gordon Kerr beat Norma Gregory 3-0 in the final of the O55 Plate.

Leading Masters Tournament Points

Pos. Name Pts Pld
1 Alan Thomson 930 3
2 Keith Gristwood 685 4
3 Neil Rayner 630 2
4 Alan Law 595 3
5 Chris Holt 570 2
6 Richard Easton 480 5
7 Rolf Hansen 460 4

MO60

There were 9 competitors in a simple knock-out format. In the quarters the top 3 seeded players all had reasonably simple 3-0 wins. The other quarter was Emilio Fazzi v Ernie Cowell. Ernie was making his comeback after his face bumped into a racket 3 weeks ago. A see-saw encounter ended in a 3-2 win for Emilio, although in a post match interview he did not rate the quality of squash too highly.

In the semis Paul Harris beat Emilio 3-0. The other semi was John Rae v Eric Donohoe. The match followed a pattern to recent encounters between these two, with Eric attempting to draw John into dangerously long rallies, while John was doing his utmost the avoid them (perhaps aware of the fact that this was only his third of a possible 6 matches in 26 hours!). John ended up a 3-2 winner.

And so the final of Paul Harris v John Rae (very much in form from his efforts in the English Masters regional events where he has reached the semi final stages on two recent occasions.) A titanic struggle which with injury time lasted over 100 minutes. The match itself see-sawed 1-0 to Paul, then 2-1 to John. After Paul won the fourth to level the match, the tense 5th became very attritional which was halted at 8-8 after an accidental collision. After a time out John typically insisted on playing on but Paul ran out a winner 10-8 after several hand outs. After all this, John then went on to play another highly competitive 5 setter in the O65 final an hour later…

John Pinkerton beat Ernie Cowell 3-1 in the final of the O60 Plate.

Leading Masters Tournament Points

Pos. Name Pts Pld
1 John Rae 1200 6
1 Paul Harris 1200 4
3 Jim Dougal 760 3
4 Eric Donohoe 645 5
5 Dave Taylor 600 3
6 John Charles 445 3

MO65

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

In the only first round tie Warren Cameron beat Brian Dunn, a newcomer to the Masters circuit, in a tight game match.

In the quarter finals the four seeded players progressed. John Rae and Jim Dougal had convincing 3-0 victories against Warren Cameron and Emilio Fazzi. In the other matches Alex Sinclair beat Dave Sturman 3-1 in a competitive tie and Ian Ross recovered from 1-2 to beat Alex Everingham 3-2.

In the semi finals on Sunday morning John Rae easily won 3-0 against Alex Sinclair and Jim Dougal beat Ian Ross 3-1 in a competitive match. Jim won the first game after Ian led 8-5. Ian recovered to win the second game but Jim won the third and fourth games 9-7, 9-5 to win the match and set up another Dougal/Rae final.

The O65 final was played shortly after the O60 final which involved John Rae and lasted over 100 minutes including an injury break to John. John, of course, demonstrated his fitness and competitive nature and played in the O65 final. In an interesting and entertaining match Jim beat John 3-2 to win the O65 title.

Alex Everingham beat Dave Sturman 3-2 in the final of the O65 Plate.

Leading Masters Tournament Points

Pos. Name Pts Pld
1 John Rae 1240 6
2 Jim Dougal 1155 5
3 Ian Ross 885 4
4 Alex Sinclair 835 5
5 Dave Sturman 740 4
6 Emilio Fazzi 360 3

MO70

There were five competitors and the competition was played as a round robin with five matches being played on Saturday and five on Sunday.

At the end of Saturday Bernard Starkey and Chris Jeffrey topped the leader board with two wins. Bernard won 3-0 against Bill Kennedy and Andy Jack and Chris won 3-1 against Ian Nicolson and Bill Kennedy. In the other game Ian Nicolson beat Andy Jack.

On Sunday morning Bernard and Chris won their matches 3-0 against Ian Nicolson and Andy Jack. This set up the final match between Bernard and Chris which was a repeat of the Tayside and Fife and the Highland finals. Bernard repeated his previous wins by beating Chris 3-1 in an entertaining final. Chris was runner up and Ian Nicolson was third.

Leading Masters Tournament Points

Pos. Name Pts Pld
1 Bernard Starkey 1240 6
2 Chris Jeffrey 1155 5
3 Ken Reid 885 4
4 Ian Nicholson 835 5
5 Alfie Thomson 740 4
6 Vincent Taylor 360 3

Dates for your Diary in 2016

East of Scotland Masters, Grange Squash Club, 23/24 January 2016

Central Masters, Bridge of Allan Squash Club, 6/7 February 2016

Grampian Masters, Aberdeen Squash Club, 27/28 February 2016

Scottish Masters, Edinburgh, 12/13 March 2016

 

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