A contingent of squash players from Nunholm Squash Club headed to Aberdeen last weekend for the first Scottish Squash tournament of the season, the Stonehaven Masters, and achieved mixed results.
In the over-70s, reigning Scottish champion Davy Rogan got off to a flying start winning both his round-robin matches in straight sets on the Saturday. He continued this form into the semi-final on Sunday morning. In the final he was up against an opponent 6 years his younger and narrowly lost each of the first two sets on the tie-break 10-9. This seemed to take the wind out of him and thus his younger opponent also took the third set to leave Davy runner-up.
In the over-55s, Phil Leek, a relative novice on the Masters circuit, lost his first round match in straight sets and unfortunately fared no better in the plate competition. In the over-50s, Keith Gristwood achieved a good win in his first round match 3-2 but lost to the 2nd seed in the quarter-final 3-1.
In the over-45s, the club had two participants in the top half of the draw, Jimmy Wells the reigning Scottish champion and Jim Scriven, along with Ronnie Carter from Lockerbie. Both Jim Scriven and Ronnie Carter won their opening matches easily in straight sets setting up a quarter-final match between them. Meanwhile, Jimmy Wells had received a bye in the first round and then due to an injury to his opponent a further bye into the semi-final to play the winner of the inter-D&G match.
This match between Jim Scriven and Ronnie started off edgily and after a few exchanges of service Carter eventually took control of the first game after keeping the pressure on Scriven. The next two games went the way of the first with Carter winning in straight sets to set up a semi-final against Jimmy Wells.
In the semi on Sunday morning, Wells took control of the first game winning relatively comfortably. In the second he took a big lead only for Carter to dig in deep and recover to tie the match 1-1. In the third set, Wells finally took control of the match and won through to the final 3-1.
In the final, Wells was meeting an opponent who had just moved up from the over-40s. Expecting a tough match Wells got into the zone right at the start and took a tough first set. In the second, his opponent sought to get back into the match but Wells was intent to control the game and not let him in and he ended up winning a tight second set. The third set was relatively straight-forward after his opponent became dispirited and thus Jimmy Wells defended his Stonehaven Masters with a 3-0 victory.
Next tournament is the West Masters in a month’s time. Nunholm Squash Club is hosting its inaugural Scottish Squash tournament, the South of Scotland Masters open, in late November.