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2016 Club Champions found
 
The club’s 2016 Club Championship wound up last week, after three weeks of competition that saw some pretty intense matches, and quite a few interesting results.
 
Due to some unfortunate timing we didn’t really have a proper finals night, with both the men’s and ladies A grades decided before last Wednesday night, but there were still a heap of good games on the last night with all the other finals decided, and a group of stayers kept the barman occupied for quite a few hours after the last game.
 
060816 AK 040Sam Harrison
John McDonnell missed the finals last year, but he’s back winning again, although he’s got a couple of years yet to catch up to Stratty.
 
On the way to the final John disposed of Sam Harrison, Pete Blacklow and Chris O’Reilly.
 
Pete Bryant was second seed, and he beat Paul Cousins and Rob Beale before facing Nick Marshall in the semi-final.
 
Any thoughts of a free ride into the final for Pete quickly disappeared as Nick turned up with a 100mph game, and no matter how much Pete upped the pace (and he spent quite some time on the T with Nick scurrying all around the court), Nick responded with extra pace of his own, and after a spectacular battle it was Nick through to the final.
 
 
He brought the same intensity to that game, and took it to five sets but couldn’t quite find those last vital points and John happily took his chance on match point in the fifth to wrap up another title.
 
Mick Hooper had to get past Sam Harrison to make the B grade final, while on the other side of the draw Jon Bond beat James McCloy and Ben Kruger to book an appointment with Mick.
 
That final also didn’t disappoint, going to five sets with Mick putting those relentless shots down the left hand wall, but Bondy getting most of them back - but not quite enough, and Mick will get his name on the B grade cup.
 
Illustrating the depth the club currently enjoys, Adam Clement (D1) was top seed in the C grade, but he was never going to get things his own way, a in the semi-finals he met Pat Summerfield, who’s A game has returned after a ‘holiday break’.
 
Pat won that one in four, and faced Jock O’Connor in the final, after Jock knocked over Jordan Hooper and Craig Campbell to get there.
 
Jock decided to bring his own A game along, and after a brilliant contest emerged with the C grade honours in four sets.
 
Ron Carlson beat Lucas Hooper to make the D grade final, and met Jimmy Hunn, who took out Andy Morrison in their semi, but in the final Ron’s more structured game provided the necessary edge and the D grade cup will have his name on it this year.
 
Phil Andrew did best in a depleted E grade, beating Lucas in the final.
 
The ladies grade was much anticipated, with defending champ Cath Blacklow expecting tough opposition all the way through, with Kirsty Clay taking the top seeding.
 
Kirsty beat Suzanne Nijjar, and then Rebecca Abernethy in a strenuous five-set semi-final.
 
Rebecca played Di Ness in the quarter-final, but Di had the incredible bad luck to turn the wrong way on her ankle and retired with a bad injury; hopefully she’ll be back soonest!
 
Cath beat Chrissy Stratford, and then had a semi-final clash with Jess McCloy, but unfortunately Jess was operating at about 40 per cent and eventually retired ill.
 
Cath and Kirsty fought out a hard-hitting final, with Cath eventually holding on to her crown in a four-set arm-wrestle.
 

 

060815 AK 041 Adam Clement Sam Harrison Celtic Squash

Adam Clement and Sam Harrison in action at the 2016 Mid Canterbury Squash Championships. Sam went on to take out the C grade title.

 

Stratfords dominate on the courts

Auckland A-grader Craig Stratford returned to the club on Saturday night where his stellar career all began to claim the major honours in the Celtic Squash Club’s annual Ray McBeth Memorial tournament (2016).
 
After disposing of Celtic’s Peter Bryant (who was in a national title-winning team with Craig at Ashburton College some years ago) and defending champ Corey Hastie on the way, Craig met Sam Shearer in the championship final.
 
B2 graded Sam threw everything he could muster at Craig, but the relentless defence which was so quickly turned into attack eventually left the Ashburton player with nowhere to go, and the match was over in three sets, giving Craig a title he last claimed two years ago, and before that about 20 years ago!
 
The game of the tournament was actually the third and fourth playoff, between out own John McDonnell and Corey Hastie, who of course was another to start his career on our courts.
 
Both ranked B2, they put on a simply superb show of top squash, shadowing each other around the court and producing some outstanding retrieving, boasting and cracking drives, in a long five-setter that kept the packed gallery absorbed for each and every shot.
 
John was eventually the victor in a stunning match that went right down to the wire.
 
In the ladies grade, our own Rebecca Abernethy put up a brave showing against Craig’s daughter Simone, who is currently B2 and headed for further glory under Craig’s coaching, but the young Auckland star wasn’t giving anything away at all, and maintained her ruthless approach in each of the three games it took to wrap up the title.
 
One day Rebecca will be able to watch a world champion on the telly and say “I played a final against her”.
 
Simone also contested the men’s C grade, and took the special plate, losing only to Sam Harrison and Paul Cousins, who are pretty strong blokes.
 
Kyla Murphy and Charlotte Smith made their way to the plate final, where Charlotte eventually took out a tight battle.
 
230716 AK 002 Pat Summerfield Ivan BrownRakaia’s Matt Speedy took out the B grade from Ashburton’s Garry Mayne, who had set the grade wide open by knocking out top seed Braden Kenny in the first round.
 
Garry brought his best game to the final, but it wasn’t enough to topple Matt, who hits the ball as hard as anyone around.
 
Braden went on to take the plate from Celtic’s Billy Nolan, while Dean Harrison beat Stephen Brown to take the special plate.
 
That game was played down at Collegiate late on Saturday afternoon, and both players found it necessary to indulge in a little liquid fortification in between games to keep themselves going.
 
Mitch Sim from Methven was too good for Ashburton’s Nick Swift in the C grade final, while Ed Harrison and Adam Clement fought a titanic battle in the D grade final, with Adam very very pleased to finally taking the honours there.
 Veteran Ian Dolden surprised a few onlookers just by making it through to the E grade final, where he met 16-year-old Jarod Hopwood from Ashburton.
 
Doldie pushed the young fella, more than 50 years his junior, to the limit in what was an exciting five-setter, but couldn’t quite get over the line, despite playing as well as he has for years; sometimes he even played straight!
 
About nine hours later Doldie, who was our major sponsor with his Home Kills, left the premises, with a bit of assistance necessary from our taxi driver, Stratty Snr.
 
Liam Schikker from the Mayfield club only dropped one game on his way to the final in the F grade, and Campbell Bedward could do nothing to stop his advance.
 
Liam proved his dominance was no fluke and took the match in straight sets.
 
The tournament was deemed a great success, and an excellent precursor to the Mid Canterbury Squash Championships, to be held at the Collegiate courts on August 5-6.
 
Thanks to sponsors Doldie, Pete Blacklow, Pat Summerfield, Outdoor Adventure Sports, Mt Hutt Skifield, Paper Plus, and especially Craig, who arrived carrying a big box of goodies which boosted the prize list up fantastically.
 
We applied to the Trust for a bit of sponsorship - we’ve purchased our goodies from the lovely people at the Flash Ash every week for nearly 40 years and only hit them up once in that time - but they said that they were restructuring so they couldn’t help us out. So - what do they do with the money??? Oh well, from now on the best price at the supermarkets is what we’ll be paying.
 
The usual team put the tournament together, that’s Chrissie, Ed, Mick, Gary, Jenni, with help from Charlotte and Jordie, and everyone else who did stuff to help - brilliant work yet again!
 
An excellent, yet laid-back tournament, just what Ray McBeth himself would have approved of.

 

Squash Demo Night a winner 

The club held a successful demo night on Wednesday, despite disappointingly low numbers turning out.
Craig Stratford, an Auckland A-grader who began his career on these courts, was in attendance, along with daughter Simone, who is rocketing through the national rankings and is currently a B2, played a demo match with Ashburton’s Lee Barker, currently the best player around Mid Canterbury, holding the Rakaia, Methven and Ashburton titles so far this season.
 
They put on a superb show for the crowd, with Lee managing to pick up some of Craig’s best front-of-court shots, and some amazing rallies resulted, with some shots coming out that were never in any playbook anywhere.
 
Craig and Simone then demonstrated some training techniques, with Lee helping out which was a great thing, and some of our club members found out the hard way that some things aren’t quite as easy as they might look.
 
There’d be a few sore calf and  hammy muscles today I think.
 
A Q&A session followed, and Craig related some excellent stories from the past, both good and bad experiences on the court, while  we received a bit of an insight into what it takes to get right to the top.
 
Our friends Outdoor Adventure Sports were on hand with some quality products, and for those who attended it was a highly entertaining and educational evening, thanks to Craig and Simone!
 

 

Winter League 2016: Will resume after Club Champs!

 

 

Interclub 2015:

Celtic Div III team defends title! Champions again . . .

And Celtic takes Division 1!!!

 


 

 

 

Interclub Champions for 2014 - Celtic Division 3 and Division 4 Teams!!!!

 

Club Contacts:

President: Steve Devereux Phone 021 892425 -  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Secretary: Jenni Ryk Phone 308 3577

Treasurer: Mick Hooper Phone 308 8528

Membership: Chrissie Stratford 308 9586

 

 Winter League finished, 2015 Club Championships begin Monday August 17.

 

 

 

 

CLUB CHAMPS: Cath a new champ, John does it again

The club wrapped up the season with their annual club championships on Friday night.

With the top seeds already knocked out in the men’s A grade, it was defending champ John McDonnell up against Billy Nolan, and after a torrid battle John scored a 3-1 victory to have his name etched on the cup again.

In the ladies A grade second seed Cath Blacklow finally got her name on the cup after several years trying, with a four-set win over fourth-seeded Rebecca Abernethy.

JockBilly

Cath dominated the ‘t’ and kept up a relentless barrage of power shots that Rebecca couldn’t match, despite some amazing running and recovery shots.

Paul Cousins became a deserved B grade champion, after getting past Pete Blacklow, Brendon Adam and having to withstand a strong challenge from Sam Harrison in the final.

Ed’s little boy Sam appears likely to be a contender for higher honours next time round if he continues to improve at his current rate.

Adam Clement was seeded second in the C grade, and when Lawrence McCormick pulled out injured it looked a home run for Adam, and so it proved when he disposed of Scott van den Bemd in a straight-sets final.

Adam’s toughest match was in the semis, when Ron Carlson pushed him hard in a long five-setter.

Phil Andrew produced his best squash to take out the D grade title, in a marathon five-set match over Hamish Cross, and in the ladies B grade two very evenly-matched players, Chauntel Kentish and Charlotte Smith, went toe-to-toe in a long five-setter, with Smith eventually taking the honours.

Brilliant night to finish up a brilliant season, remembering we grabbed two of the four division titles on offer in the Mid Canterbury Squash interclub competition.


 

 

Finals Night

 

Nearly there . . . 
Billy will play John in the final after finishing Pat's big run; Paul will play Sam or Doldie in the B grade final; Scotty and Adam will fight out C grade and its Phil v Hamish for D grade honours.
Rebecca ran and ran and ran to take Di out of contention and will play Cath in the ladies final, Cath had to work hard to get past Marie, while either Chauntel or Charlotte will have their name etched on the ladies B grade cup forever and ever.
Friday night is finals night - come out and have a look!!!

 

 

Winter Squash 2014

 Interclub 2014

On Friday night (August 8) the Div 3 and 4 teams both finished of their seasons in fabulous style, taking their respective titles to become Interclub Champions (Ed's Div 3 team went through unbeaten; unheard of in a super-competitive competition like this).
Congratulations to all the players, coaches and supporters!
Div 2 were the defending champs in their grade, and were right in the firing line, but one slip a few weeks ago saw them out of contention, although they still finished in the top four.

 

Ray McBeth Memorial Tournament 2014
 
The club ran its annual Ray McBeth Memorial tournament last weekend, and due to massive support from sponsors and players from all over the place it was a huge success, easily the best we’ve had for many years.
Lets do the sponsors first, because nowadays they are an absolutely vital part of any sporting event. 
Thanks to Craig Stratford for getting Head on board, an impressive box of goodies arrived from Auckland a couple of days before the tournament started, and that base allowed us to present the best line-up of prizes ever.
Giles from the Ashburton Trust was very good to us, and Blacklows, Ian Dolden’s Homekill, Outdoor Adventure Sports, Pat Summerfield and Anstiss Paper Plus all added to the big picture.
260714-TM 275Pete Summerfield on court
Matt Ness’ donation of a huge chunk of meat (processed by the good folks at Allenton Butchery) made it possible for Chrissie and her kitchen elves to put on an excellent supper on Saturday night, then on Sunday Ed brandished his best culinary skills to treat the crowd to a marvellous feed cooked on ACL’s super mobile barbecue (thanks G. Casey).
Stratty had a full-time job driving the courtesy bus, kindly provided by Drummy at A T0 B Rentals.
On the court, while the big boys (most of whom started out as juniors at Celtic anyway) were battling it out for major honours, our own players were managing to put up some pretty good performances too.
In the men’s A John McDonnell came out on top, despite having to juggle work commitments, and then withstand the challenge of Rakaia’s Matt Speedy.
Billy Nolan won the plate from Paul Cousins, while Chris O’Reilly took a big scalp by knocking over Dean Harrison to take third spot in that grade.
Mick Hooper had to get past Emma Sloss, no mean feat, to face Brendon Adam in the B grade final, and that was a fine contest too.
Lawrence McCormick found out how good Emma is in the playoff for third, while Ed Harrison had a huge battle with Niki-Lee Francis in the plate final but couldn’t quite find the line.
Pat Summerfield filled in for an injured Jock and won the special plate for his good deeds.
Heaps of Celtic players in the C grade, and it was Mike van den Bemd who came through, beating Logan Ford in the final.
Pete Blacklow beat Nigel Tew to take the plate, while Adam Clement beat Sam Harrison in a high-speed match to take the special plate, and Ian Dolden pulled up lame after the semi-final.
Scotty vanden Bemd was top seed in the C grade, but a Sunday morning game with Michael Burton on the other side of the court was a bridge to far, while Aaron Leckenby took the plate over Jimmy Hunn, Jess Dargue took out the special plate and Jordy Hooper and Brendan Clark battled out a marathon for third place.
In the men’s E Lucas Hooper won the plate, while Robbie Kok couldn’t quite make the final and had to settle for bronze.
In the ladies A Cath Blacklow and Di Ness made the plate final (Cath too good on the night), while Marie Kennedy finally found a racket that worked, and although going down had a huge match for third spot against Simone Stratford.
Nik Millichamp beat Rachel Prendergast in the ladies B plate final, Chauntel Kentish lost to Jade Stratford in the special plate, and Chrissie Stratford won the classic plate.
Lots of old faces turned up to see how the club has progressed since the ‘old days’, which was great to see.
Playing the finals on Sunday (just like the old days) turned out to be a master stroke, having games live on the big screen in the lounge (thanks Donna Wylie) was hailed by everyone as a wonderful innovation, and tournament winner Craig Stratford (who’s been around top squash in New Zealand for a long time) had a lot of very nice things to say about the club and the tournament, so it will go down as one of our best.
 
 
League Results from August 25-27
Results from last week’s round of the winter league competition:
Jon Bond beat Ron Carlson 3-2, Hamish Cross beat Nik Millichamp 3-0, Sam Harrison beat Jordan Hooper 3-1, Mick Hooper beat James McCloy 3-1, Paul Cousins beat Craig Campbell 3-1, Nigel Tew lost to Mike van den Bemd 1-3, Rebecca Abernethy beat Jess McCloy 3-0, Sam Harrison beat Reece Wallington 3-0.
Jenni Ryk lost to Nathan Forbes 0-3, Phil Andrew beat Di Ness 3-2, Jock O’Connor beat Brendon Adam 3-2, Mark O’Grady lost to Ed Harrison 1-3.
Billy Nolan beat Chris O’Reilly 3-0, Robbie Kok lost to Cath Blacklow 2-3, Aaron Leckenby lost to Pete Blacklow 0-3, Rachel Prendergast beat Charlotte Smith 3-0, Marie Kennedy lost to Aaron Leckenby 1-3, Steve Devereux lost to Sam Harrison 0-3.
 

Results from August 4, 6
 
James McCloy lost to Chris O’Reilly 1-3, Jimmy Hunn lost to Pete Blacklow 1-3, Hamish Cross lost to Cath Blacklow 0-3, Charlotte Smith lost to Robbie Kok 2-3, Mick Hooper beat Ed Harrison 3-1.
Scott vanden Bemd beat Jess McCloy 3-0, Paul Cousins beat Brendon Adam 3-1, Rebecca Abernethy lost to Scott vanden Bemd 2-3.
Bily Nolan beat Jon Bond 3-1, Nathan Forbes lost to Ron Carlson 2-3, Chauntel Kentish lost to Reece Wallington 0-3, Marie Kennedy beat Phil Andrew 3-0.
Reece Wallington beat Rachel Prendergast 3-1, John McDonnell beat Steve Devereux 3-0, Ian Dolden lost to Mike vanden Bemd 0-3, Jenni Ryk lost to Chrissie Stratford 0-3, Ed Harrison lost to Jock O’Connor 0-3, Aaron Leckenby beat Chris Thompson 3-0.
 
 
Results from June 9, 11:
 
 
Results from last week’s Winter League:
 James McCloy lost to Chris O’Reilly 1-3, Jimmy Hunn lost to Pete Blacklow 0-3, Brendan Clark beat Cath Blacklow 3-2, Charlotte Smith lost to Nik Millichamp 0-3, Mick Hooper beat Mark O’Grady 3-2, Adam Clement beat Jess Dargue 3-0.
 
John Surridge lost to Jess McCloy 2-3, Rebecca Abernethy beat Marie Kennedy 3-0, Steve Devereux beat Brendon Adam 3-2.
Billy Nolan beat Jon Bond 3-0, Nathan Forbes lost to Ron Carlson 0-3, Lawrence McCormick beat Sam Harrison 3-1, Chauntel Kentish lost to Reece Wallington 0-3, Marie Kennedy lost to Phil Andrew 2-3, Robbie Kok beat Hamish Cross 3-1.
 
James McCloy beat Craig Campbell 3-2, Ian Dolden lost to Mike vandenBemd 1-3, Scott vandenBemd beat Jordan Hooper 3-0, Jennni Ryk beat Chrissie Stratford 3-1, Ed Harrison lost to Jock O’Connor 2-3, Aaron Leckenby beat Phil Andrew 3-0.
 
 
 
 
Results from May 19-21:
 
John McDonnell beat Steve Devereux 3-0, Scott vandenBemd beat Rebecca Abernethy 3-1, Hamish Cross lost to John Surridge 0-3, Billy Nolan lost to Jock O’Connor 2-3, Blair Horrell beat Phil Andrew 3-2, Steve Devereux beat Rachel Prendergast 3-2.
Adam Clement beat Brendan Clarke 3-2, Charlotte Smith lost to Nik Millichamp 1-3, James McCloy beat James Hunn 3-0.
Ed Harrison beat Craig Campbell 3-2, Aaaron Leckenby lost to Steve Devereux 2-3, Marie Kennedy lost to Jordan Hooper 1-3, Robbie Kok beat Chrissie Stratford 3-2.
Mick Hooper beat Jon Bond 3-2, Mark O’Grady beat Ron Carlson 3-1, Jess Dargue lost to Sam Harrison 1-3, Susan Dargue lost to Reece Wallington 1-3.
Chris O’Reilly beat Brendon Adam 3-0, Cath Blacklow beat Di Ness 3-0, Nik Millichamp lost to Jess McCloy 0-3, Pete Blacklow lost to Mike vandenBemd 2-3.
 
 

 

 

May 12, 14

This week’s Winter League:
 
A round of ridiculously close five-setters!
On Monday night Jordie and Di battled it our for hours, with Di sneaking in after both had match points in the fifth; Steve and Pete also went the long way (22-20 in the fourth) with Pete taking the fifth, but they were all overshadowed by Craig and Brendon (Adam that is), who went toe to toe for hours (well, a very long time).
After three games went long, the fifth went to 18-16 in Craig’s favour, and both players crawled off the court, completely knackered. Great stuff.
Wednesday started the same way, with Nathan and Rebecca beating up on each other over five long sets (Nathan took the important one), Scott and Jess only went to four but it was a very long four with Scott winning.
Nigel brought along his A game and knocked over Lawrence in three (big move up the ladder), Mark O was good enough to handle Doldie’s odd shots, and Aaron was very happy to beat his old mate Jimmy!
 
 
Results from the Celtic Squash Club’s winter league competition this week:
Craig Campbell beat Brendon Adam 3-2; Jordan Hooper lost to Di Ness 2-3, Chrissie Stratford beat Jess McCloy 3-1, Jon Bond lost to Chris O’Reilly 1-3, Steve Devereux lost to Pete Blacklow 2-3, Sam Harrison beat Cath Blacklow 3-0, Reece Wallington beat Nik Millichamp 3-0.
Jock O’Connor beat Chris Thompson 3-0, Adam Clement beat Phil Andrew 3-0, Hamish Cross beat Rachel Prendergast 3-1.
Nathan Forbes beat Rebecca Abernethy 3-2, Chauntel Kentish lost to John Surridge 0-3, Lawrence McCormick lost to Nigel Tew 0-3, Billy Nolan beat Steve Devereux 3-0.
Robbie Kok beat Charlotte Smith 3-0, Aaron Leckenby beat James Hunn 3-1, Marie Kennedy lost to Brendan Clarke 1-3.
Jenni Ryk beat Susan Dargue 3-0, Scott vandenBemd beat Jess Dargue 3-1, Ian Dolden lost to Mark O’Grady 1-3, John McDonnell beat Mick Hooper 3-0.
 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer Squash 2014 

 

 

 

Wednesday January 29, 2014

 

 

 

Summer squash, with all the heat and bouncy balls, has returned, and there was a bit of rust apparent (and possibly a couple of extra pounds here and there) but most people seemed to remember how to hit a squash ball.

 

Chris kicked the year off the right way with a 3-1 win over Pat, his quick reactions and right-place-right-time skills helping considerably, Ron and Di fought out a good battle with Ron sneaking in; Chrissie was on the receiving end of Jenni’s really nasty serves and lobs, and while she took one game, Jenni took two; and Di came back for another round, this time with Scott, and this time recording a victory.

 

Billy and James smashed it round with Billy coming out just a bit better, Nathan and Brendan matched each other’s shots (some of them a little bit bizarre) and in the end matched each other’s score; Chauntel is improving, but not nearly as much as Jess who had way too many guns, and Aaron chased everything valiantly but Lawrence was too good all over the court.

 

Ed and Paul bashed out an early season skirmish, but nobody wrote down the result so we may never know who won that one; Rachel found that Sam is going to quickly move up the ranks, Jock wasn’t on his best form but didn’t need to be because Steve wasn’t either; Pete and Fly together on the court don’t leave a lot of real estate uncovered and it was closer than the 3-0 scoreline indicates; Cath beat Jess 4-0 but every game in that one was close too, and Susan was happy to win a game!!! (but not the match unfortunately) against Nik, both players have learnt to put in some super serves, although one or two (or three) are still going just a wee bit on the high side.
 
A good week, no defaults, no injuries!!!

 

 
 
 

 

 

Summer Squash 2014 Draw

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter league 2013
 
 
Winter's Winners
 
 
Winter league is all over for another year, and it was the ‘Chris and Mark’ team that was consistently scoring the points, enough to finish ahead of the pack.

Chris O’Reilly, Mark O’Grady, Chris Thompson and Mark Shera compiled Team 4, and they finished on 141 points, ahead of Team 8 (James McCloy, Craig Campbell, Cath Blacklow and Chrissie Stratford), with Paul Cousins, Jon Bond, Marie Kennedy and Nathan Forbes (Team 3).

Team 6 (Pat Summerfield, Lawrence McCormick, Carl Haugh of Chauntel Kentish) was fourth.
 
Summer league is scheduled to start on October 23; there’s a few names on the list already but YOURS should be there - if it’s not and you want to play summer call Steve on 0211493688 (or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
 
 
 
 
 
 
Winter league round 17, September 4
 
Lots of movement on the ladder with only three weeks to go in the winter league!
 
Not at the top, where Paul managed to hold off Jock without TOO much trouble, Ron moved up a bit when he beat Marie in four, Di moved up to the top of the B grade (up with Rebecca and Cath) when she beat Phil, Pete held his spot when he beat Steve 3-1, and Mark (S that is) had to work a bit but didn’t drop a game against Jane.
 
Chauntel had some good shots against Chrissie, but not enough to get a game; Lawrence and Craig fought out one of the battles of the night, a huge five-setter that moved Lawrence up the ladder about a dozen places; Jordie played some of his best squash when up against Pat, but it was 9-zip in the fifth as Pat upped the pace and Jordie couldn’t go with him, while for four games Cath and Steve had a royal battle - Cath forgot to turn up in the fifth though.
 
Chris was another to make a big move upwards when he knocked over Aaron in four sets, while Billy and Mick produced their usual marathon, rallies all over the place, and this time it was Micky who had the edge, and moved himself up somewhere near the top of the A grade.
 
 
 
August 29                                                                                                         
 
Chrissie kicked off this week’s round taking on Rebecca, but couldn’t get a game on the scoreboard; Craig was just a bit too strong for Adam, and James finally returned to the court after an extended injury/illness break, and found that Ed was still in good form, and Ed kept his place high up on the ladder.
 
Chris (T) and John (S) fought a titanic battle, and for a while both forgot the squash term ‘let’, and it was Chris who lasted better in a huge five-setter; Petr’s last game before he leaves for Ozstralia was against Fly, and his mind wasn’t properly on the job as Fly took it in straight sets, hopefully Petr will be back one day to get some revenge; Di got up to 7-6 in the fifth against Steve, but that’s not quite enough; and Paul and Jock were yet another pair to fight out the long version of the game, Paul had just enough gas in the tank to outlast Jock.
 
James was playing a good running game, but Scott had brought his best game along as well, and it proved better on the night; Aaron was also in good running form, but you have to be better than good to tackle Lawrence, and that’s how it panned out; Pat and Mick produced some super long rallies, and the 3-0 scoreline in Pat’s favour could easily have been very different; Ron and Bondy have met many times on the sporting fields and this contest was as close as any they’ve ever had, but it was Bondy who emerged the victor on this occasion; and Phil found that life on top of the B grade meant having a target on your back, a target that Marie homed in on, and pushed herself lots of places up from where she was!
 
 
 
 
August 21
 
Biggest result of the week - As a result of bringing his A+ game to the court Ed moved up the ladder about ten places, going one spot ahead of Micky! Ed was a bit shaky getting near the end of five sets, but held his nerve and finished the deal properly; Scott did what lots of people do when faced with a higher graded player, lifted his own game considerably, but not enough to get a game off Craig; Phil and Cath were both hitting the ball particularly well, but Cath just a bit better; and Rachel put in some good stuff but Chrissie was still too strong on the night.
 
Robbie lost 0-3 to Nathan, but could easily have picked up one or two (or maybe three) games; Billy and Paul were both going for serious gold in their match, Paul dug deeper in the end; while Bondy survived his return to the court, against Steve, which was his only aim on this occasion.
 
Chris O beat Pat a week or two ago and revenge was obviously sweet as Pat went back into the number two spot on the ladder; if Ed and Micky had the best game on the night then Fly and Lawrence must have run them a very close second, very close. A huge match. Lawrence got to the line by a whisker.
 
Jordie had to work a bit in the fifth to make sure Chauntel didn’t get too close, Jane found that Rebecca was still definitely one of the top ladies, and John found that Di was also another of the top ladies for a very good reason.
 
Pete as usual threw everything into his match with Petr Cech, but in spite of a 100-mph game Petr had his opponent covered (this time); and Jock looked good for a while taking one game of John, but as per usual when it came to the business end John lifted his game and Jock just couldn’t go with him.
 
 
The winter league will go for another four weeks, till the end of September, then we’ll have a break of a couple of weeks, then it’ll be SUMMER!!!! Sunshine and all that . . .
 
 
 
 
 
August 14
 
Marie started the night off, not against Carl as she expected, but against Steve, and she started off very well indeed, claiming the first game, but that wasn’t enough; Graeme McCormick turned up for the first time in a couple of years, good to see, but unfortunately he met Chris O on the court, and went down in three; brother Lawrence went a lot closer against Petr, in fact about as close as you can go with a long game in the fifth, but in the end a similar result; while Paul after a bit of a slow (and slippery) start had the wood on Pat.
 
Court One was definitely slippery, care of some girl on Saturday night spilling talcum powder(!!!!!) on it . . . weird.
 
Billy fronted against John M, and was going well until John upped the pace a bit, Pete and Steve went the long, long, long way, and Pete finished up 9-6 in the fifth, while Robbie extracted revenge over Chrissie from their last meeting (although it took him five games to do so).
 
Mark (S) battled hard against Rebecca, but she’s pretty smart on the court and only let him get one game; Chris (T) and Scott fought out possibly the longest match in a night of extreme five-setters, Chris scraping in at the end; Chris (O) had to work to get around the big fella, but work he did, and Ed had no answers in the finish.
 
Phil at last produced some of the from he’s capable of, he’s had a quiet couple of months, and beat Aaron in four, which rocketed him about a hundred places up the ladder, Ron didn’t have quite such a good night, and Nigel took full advantage of that, Steve had to work hard to get past Scott in four, and Jock turned up with his A game, and Mick didn’t have any say in the matter as that one was wrapped up in straight sets.
 
 
 
August Draw2
 
 
 
 
Winter league finally resumes, after a hive of tournament activity, and to start the night Cath took on the club's number one Di Ness, and came out firing, reversing the 3-0 result from the club champs only a couple of weeks ago; Pat moved up the ladder a few places with a super win over Billy, right down to the wire that one, anybody's game at 7-7 in the fifty; Chauntel did well to take a couple of games off Robbie, who was in full talk mode throughout.
 
Nathan is obviously determined to improve a lot, and the 1-3 scoreline against Carl was closer than it looked; John was a bit too good for Phil, but when Phil gets around to moving his feet a bit, things might be different!!!, Mark (O) was too-big-too-strong for Ron, who just couldn't get his own straight game going under the pressure; Lawrence was a bit the same, couldn't get a running game going as Steve kept finding winners.
 
Jock started brilliantly against Paul, and it looked like a minor 3-0 upset was on the cards, but Paul wasn't having that and came back strong in the third and fourth, and it looked all over at that point, but Jock decided to make a comeback of his own and the fifth was a thriller, even to the end, till Paul found a winning shot to take the honours.
 
Petr and Craig bashed out a marathon. A long one. Both had their ups and downs, and Craig just had enough to take out the contest in the fifth.
 
Rebecca was just a bit too strong all over the court for Scott, but it was a three-setter that took a very long time, James just can't quite get close enough to Aaron in competition games, and that trend continued on Wednesday, while Ed fought valiantly to make an impression on Mick, but every time he was getting somewhere Mick's superior length game and rallying ability would win through, and that's how it finished.

 

 

 

Club Championships 2013

 

After two weeks of tough competition, the club found its champions for the year, when the finals of all grades were played on Wednesday night.

070512-KG 007Paul CousinsIn the A grade, top seed John McDonnell had his hands full keeping the challenge of second seed Paul Cousins at bay.

At two hard-fought sets up it looked like John was in control of the match, but Cuz had other ideas and pulled back a game in the third, and it was game on.

In the fourth John managed to keep just half a step ahead, producing some remarkable retrievals to nullify the superb shots that Cuz was putting in, and the defending champ survived to record his fourth straight club cham-
pionship title.

The ladies final was if anything more exciting.

Top seed Di Ness was never going to get it easy against the two-time defending champ Rebecca Abernethy, and that’s how it panned out.

After four exhausting sets they were no closer to a result, and in one of those matches that deserves a ‘draw’ result, Di finally picked up the big points at the end to win 9-7 in the fifth.

That left the club in the rare position of having a brother and sister as champions; maybe the Stratfords had father and daughter champions at the same time?? Better check the big board.

Jenni Ryk took the ladies B grade, her experience proving too much for Rachel Prendergast, while Chrissie beat Chauntel and Cath beat Marie in the plate sections.

In the men’s B grade Ed Harrison ended up winning the title in straight sets, but in each of those sets Pete Blacklow pushed right to the limit, and until that final point was scored there was still every chance of a fourth, or a fifth set in the contest, as anyone who has ever stepped on to the court with Pete will testify.

If there was an upset result, it was in the men’s C grade, where fifth seed Nigel Tew, after disposing of top seed Carl Hough in the semis, went on to beat Lawrence McCormick in another straight sets final, but another that could easily have gone the distance.

In fact Nigel didn’t drop a set throughout the tournament, and that’s a remarkable result considering how close all the players in the grade are to each other.

Jordan Hooper was the victor in the men’s D grade.

Jordie brought his A game along to the final (sometimes he doesn’t), and that game was too good for the sheer enthusiasm and wonderful running game that new boy Aaron Leckenby produced, but the finals experience will prove invaluable to the younger player.

The club’s annual open tournament is on next weekend, and entries are still open for that, players can email entries to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Doldie's Home Kill outfit has become a major sponsor (he's donated a sheep as well that is now residing in the freezer upstairs), so best you enter soonest!!

Oh yeah, we'll have a week off winter league; resuming July 30, for five, maybe six more weeks.

 

 

Winter League Round 10                                                                                                                    
 
JockBilly
Billy and Chris seemed intent on making the night go as late as possible, as they went hammer and tongs for game after game after game after game after . . . how many is that? Whatever, it took forever as neither was giving anything away, and when Chris hit the final winner it was one of those that should have been a draw.
 
Stratty still has the shots, but Fly was way too good around the court, Nathan is learning this game fast, took one game off Steve and could have easily been two, Robbie and Mark (Shera that is) battled away and finished 3-1 to Mark, although Robbie easily won the vocal section, and Nathan came back for more but may have run out of gas and that let Chris (T) get all his best shots in.
 
John and Chrissie also seemed to want the last players of the night get on the court at 1am, they kept at each other for another marathon match, and John eventually took the honours by not very much at all, Fly had another go but just when it was getting interesting Bondy went down in a heap; hopefully just a bit of a minor hammy strain; and Jeff has yet to find his feet on a squash court again, Paul getting in while he could and winning 3-zip.
 
Ron found that the pace is up quite a bit when you play at Number Two; but he still made Adam work real hard for his win, it could just have easily been 2-2  at one point instead of 0-2; Phil finally got his game together, unfortunately for James, Petr got stuck into Mick and took one game in an excellent match, but of course one isn’t enough, Lawrence met Nigel on a very good night, which meant Nigel took a minor upset there, and Carl came back from injury to put the hurt on Scott, who will be a whole lot better when he stops over-running the ball!!

 

 

 Winter league round 9                                                                                                                                   

 

 Billy and Jock fought out the first battle on a night when not many folks were hanging round for long, because it was COLD outside!!

Billy took the honours but they were all friends afterwards as you can tell . . .190613-KC 031Jock and Billy
 
Gary couldn’t get around the court as much as Petr (there’s a bit of a difference in years there), while Steve had to work to get back from 1-2 down against Di, and Robbie found Jordie’s dreads too hard to handle, getting one game on the board for his team.
Rebecca lost one game to Scott, but came back and won three of her own, in the big battle of the night James and Aaron went at it hammer and tongs, but Aaron has a big edge on tearing around the court at a million miles an hour, and that showed in the end.
 
Adam and Micky were last on, and Adam demonstrated that he hadn’t forgotten any squash skills on his time off, he may have run out of petrol with a couple of game to go though.
Jane put in some good shots, but not enough to make Mark drop any games, Pete and Fly  made the court look small as they traversed every part of it, but Pete went more miles and therefore finished best, Mark came back for another round, this time with Chris (T) and found it a whole lot harder, as Chris was getting some super length on his shots.
 
Nathan and Chrissie set the court times back a fair bit with a huge five-setter that Nathan just sneaked in, Marie took one game off Steve and the others were all big scores, Bondy had the wood on Craig in three sets, while James started off painfully slowly against Paul and looked like he was on a different court, but somehow fought back and suddenly it was two games each - Paul had to dig deep to sort that one out!
190613-KC 032Petr Holub
Czech Republic import Petr Holub goes for the big shot in his game against Gary this week. 
 

 

 

Winter League Round 8                                               
Chris (T) started this week's round of action by having to hold out the whirling dervish that is Aaron, but he managed to get there in four; Billy's playing very well right now, just ask Mick, who did sneak one game.
Mark (S) hasn't had enough big games recently, and it showed when he met Rebecca, who ran him all over the show; then there was the Blacklow Encounter - Pete v Cath, and it went to a long five-setter, which Pete eventually won; Paul had a fair shot at the big title when he had John 2-1 down, but John dug deep, as he does, and won it in five.
Adam came back after an injury layoff and found James a bit too strong for starters; Chrissie had the wood on Chauntel, and Chris came back for another shot, but this time his opponent played some fine squash shots as well as doing a whole lot of running, that would be Ron the fitness man.
New boy Jeff took the court with Jock, and when the rust goes off he'll be a force maybe by Club Champs time!
Phil found Marie's shots too good, but still took one game, while Jock filled in for Big Ed and gave Petr a fair old run around.
Bad news for both Interclub teams - both had the rare taste of defeat!! But they are still both right at the top of their respective ladders, and will be back in the winner's circle next week, won't they . . .

 

 

 Winter Round 5                                                                     

 

Paul kicked off the round by taking out the glasses-less James in four, Bondy and Lawrence hit the ground running and didn't stop for a long long time, with Bondy taking the honours eventually, Marie found that a big European holiday didn't do Carl's game any harm, and Chauntel was more than happy to take a game off Steve (with only a small handicap!).


Sandy was doing a lot of running as usual, but Micky was up for the chase and won in three, Petr wasn't on his best form and couldn't get near Ed, who was pretty much on his, Chris and Phil had a cracking first game but Phil lost the plot somewhere after that, and Mark had no trouble disposing of Rachel, but there's some tougher ones coming his way.


Jane couldn't match Scott around the court, John S and Aaron put on the Match Of The Day, a huge marathon that left both of them gasping and absolutely shattered - Aaron by a whisker; Nigel took a game off Pete, but that only makes Pete angry and he turned up the wick after that, while Jock toiled hard against John, but it was definitely a real C2 v a real D1.


Steve presented Billy with a much better game than last time they met and even took a game, but with the same end result, Stratty had way too many skills for Nathan, and Sir Robbie did the same to James.

 

Second four weeks

 

 
Winter 2013 Round 4
 
Big game this week from some of the new faces; James (H) and Scott bashed it around for five games, and the newest boy (Scott) finished with three games to his name; Rebecca had enough skills to overcome the outrageous enthusiasm that Aaron brings to the court, Nathan is learning plenty from boxing above his weight at no. 2, this time Nigel showed him a few new tricks; Sandy ran and ran and picked up all Steve's real good winners (ALL of them). 3-zip there.
Jock is getting back to form, but slowly, and Billy isn't one to take prisoners, 3-1 scoreline, Blair found that Petr is also in non-prisoner mode, Clarkie played possibly his best game - ever - to knock over Di in three sets, Di was playing pretty well herself, we await the results from the drug testers with interest;Jordie is back, but Sir Robbie K just had his measure in a big five setter.
 
Chrissie dug deep to return lots of Steve's big shots, but couldn't make the scoreboard, Ron had an expensive 3-1 win over Marie (new motto: don't step on your racket!); Mick had enough to keep Bondy at bay in four, while James didn't have enough to counter Paul's all-round court skills on the day.
 
John (S) and Chris T had a big game, not an inch of the court was left untravelled on, with Chris emerging the victor; Pete and Fly provided Match Of The Day, a huge marathon between two fellas who know each other's game, Fly ended up taking a big move up the ladder; and John (M) showed how it was supposed to be done, Mick ran everywhere but the big shots and the acccurate shots and the downright nasty drops and drives just kept on coming.
 
Interclub: Both teams still on winning runs, Div II went to Geraldine and brought back the chocolates while Div III had a big win over Mayfield.
 

 

Winter Round 3:                                                       
 
Robbie just made it in time to kick off Round Three against Rachel, and nearly let himself get distracted and had to work a bit to win in five; Phil did a lot of running around chasing Di’s better shots, and will have learnt from that one; Bondy had a very slow start for some reason (Guinness perhaps??) and let Petr get two games up, which is hard to come back from, but his competitive spirit kicked in and he finally made it in a very long five; Sandy was playing ok but Jock wasn’t, he had his ‘off day’ for the year (better now that at interclub!). Three zip, and Jock was lucky to get zip.
 
Paul must have been out to impress the family up in the gallery, two big five-setters, and having to save match point against James, but save it he did, and went on to beat Lawrence in their marathon; Chauntel is playing better shots but not enough of them to get near Chrissie, while Steve had to work overtime to keep Ron under control.
 
Nathan, out of his depth at number two (that will change soon!!) still took one game off Pete, no mean feat; John (S) lost the first game to one of our enthusiastic young Englishmen (James) and had to dig deep to get the necessary three; Clarkie had exactly the same issue with the other one (Aaron) who hits the court with even more vigour and just needs a few minor changes to his game to get a whole lot better, while Billy beat Steve in three (way too easily!).

 

 

 

Winter League Round 2                    

Should be easy to pick a Game Of The Round, surely . . . wrong!


This week there was just a heap of evenly matched five-setters, and four-setters that with an ounce of luck (good or bad, depending on which box you're serving from) could have been fives as well.

Chrissie was pretty much in control in her game over new-boy James, but watch out in a few months' time; the scoreline reads 0-3 but Ron was way, way closer than that to Rebecca for a vast amount of that contest; Nathan took a game off Mick, pretty good for a beginner!; and Steve couldn't quite take James (M that is) to five, even though he was 7-0 up in one game . . .

Ron had another go, this time with Nicola, who shows promise already; Di was another to keep a new boy under control, although she had to work a bit to keep Aaron off the scoreboard; and Nigel was very happy to take one game of Petr, who took a long time to get his game going.

Rachel didn't quite have enough to get close to Lucas; Phil just needs to polish some rough edges and he'll get a whole lot closer to Marie than 1-3, Ed and Bondy hammered it out for a huge five-set match with Ed getting home; and Sandy and Paul had the late late show, which Paul dominated, Sandy didn't quite have the shots to back up his running game this week.

Mark (S) and Chauntel battled away for a 3-0 win for Mark; Chris (T) and Carl produced one of the more entertaining games of recent times as they bashed, crashed and thundered around each other, ability dead-even, luck just a tiny, tiny bit on Carl's side in the end; Pete and Lawrence went even harder at it, five sets of tenacity, incredible retrieving, and never-give-up attitude, one of those that deserved to be a draw but Pete took the chocolates in the end; then Chris O and Pat had their own version of the marathon, Chris had his big chance in the fourth with several match points, but that last one is just SO hard to find sometimes! Pat came back, and took the fifth just to rub it in.

Fantastic night all round, and even better on hearing that Div II and Div III both scored excellent victories at Interclub on the Tuesday night.

 

 

 

 

 
 Winter League, Week 1:       
 
Winter has been squeezed, manipulated and, er, squashed into one night this year, so it should be a little more social, if on occasion a little late, and it means there's a bye too, so if players can't make it, there's definitely someone available to play for you.
 
Jane and Robbie were first to hit a ball in the competition, and that first ball was served out of court, not an auspicious start! But a good game followed, with Robbie proving that he's still just a bit too strong there; John (S) and Clarkie showed that they're ready for winter action with the first big five-setter of the year, Clarkie coming out on the right side at the end, Pete was too fast around the court for Gary, who's still got the shots but just can't get to them sometimes; and Pat and Billy fought out another five, with Billy getting the edge.

Steve provided the year's first big upset, moving way, way up the ladder by knocking over Chris in four; Bondy and Fly went at it for a long, long time, with Bondy winning a gut-busting five, Marie stayed just ahead of Chris (T), and Lucas couldn't take advantage of the fact that Steve was fair knackered after his game with Chris, and lost 1-3.

Big Ed and Lawrence had a battle of contrasts; Ed had all the big shots but Lawrence was like a greyhound, retrieving everything, except in the fifth when it counted most; Phil and Blair were all energy in a high-action contest with Blair apparently over most of his injured bits; Jock had the edge in fitness over James; Petr found that Mick is rapidly getting back to his best, which is pretty good, and new-boy Ron may not be in the No. 3 position for long after being too good for Chrissie.
 
 
 
 
 Quizco                                                                              
 
. . .  was a great success to start the season, with a few new faces turning up, and a lot of laughs on the night.
 
Pat Summerfield's team had the most points in the end, just nosing out Ed's lot in the last round, but the highlights may have been Ed demonstrating his wonderful singing voice to obtain a bonus point, and Jock doing the energetic actions to one of Kirsty's 80s TV themes. Great stuff!!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
That’s it, another summer of squash all over.
 
Only two weeks and winter will start, but before that we’ll have a Quizco evening to set things off the right way, with the team that you’ll be in for winter league.
 
Watch your email (or this space) for details!
 
On the last night of summer James and Paul kicked off proceedings, with Paul’s newest arrival on the family front watching on with great interest, and so he just had to win, didn’t he; Mick managed to run around the big fella (Mark O) all night, and recorded a 3-0 victory, Rebecca couldn’t do the same against Steve and lost by the same margin.
 
Lucas sometimes doesn’t bring all his attention to the court, but he did on Monday and Chrissie couldn’t get near him, while Robbie and Clarkie went at it for half an hour, Robbie got one game but Clarkie picked up three.
 
Paul came back on Wednesday (maybe it was Wednesday his whanau attended come to think of it!!), but his winning form deserted him, or was it just that Billy is in some very good early season form; in the first round Mark (H) managed to hold out Petr quite comfortably, but this week in a huge battle Petr took the honours 3-2; Di and Marie just can’t figure out who is the better player, so they had yet another draw (2-2) to make the picture completely unclear; Pat was playing some fine winners, but Pete just kept running them down, which is intensely frustrating (unless you’re Pete), and John brought out his best game to take the first two off Steve, and hold him off till the buzzer went.

 

 

Summer squash nearly finished; we'll have a two-week break then into winter, there's a list up on the board!

To get into the season proper, the second Wednesday of the 'break' we'll have a Quizco to start things off, see if the mental capacity is as good as the court skills!

No problem sorting out teams - your Winter League team is your Quiz Team! And those teams will be sorted out just as soon as we have enough entries, so watch this space . . .

 

 

2013 Summer Draw

 

 

Summer Round 7:

Lucas is improving, but so is John, and a draw was a fair result of the first game of the round; Clarkie chased Rebecca around all day but couldn't get those vital last points off her, no games on his side of the ledger; Mick played the long rallies but Pat had the better shots and won 3-1; while James found that Chris still puts himself in the right places at the right times, Chris 3-1.


Jane kept Rachel off the scoreboard, winning four games herself, something she wouldn't have dreamed of doing a year ago; Maria still can't quite get a hold of Marie's game, Pete filled in and was too strong for Petr - just, in every game; and Pat found that Paul is showing a bit of pre-season form, and went down 1-3.


Chris came back on Wednesday, but ran into Billy who is another hitting a very good ball right now, and running hard to go with it, 3-1 to Billy; Big Ed and Mark (H) bashed and crashed each other around the court, with Ed pulling out just enough to win, wihle Chrissie ignored all the vocals from her opponent and put Robbie away four games to zip.


Chauntel's serve improves every game, and had some good shots despite going down 0-3 to Jenni, who still has a very mean serve herself; Laurence and Jock were all high-speed action, with Jock lasting to win 2-1, and Steve and Petr fought it out again, end result 2-1 to Steve in a close, close one.

 

 

 

 

 

Summer is rapidly disappearing, it's COLD at night already, and only a couple of weeks of summer squash left!

There's lists on the board for interclub and winter league; we may not get a Div 1 team in this year, but that will only make Div II stronger; Ed Harrison has already put together a strong Div III team so we should win that one (after a couple of years of off-court disasters conspired against us), and if we can get a Div 4 team together then that should be a very strong competitor as well.

Action from the summer league this week:

Micky and Mark (H) went at it without a real result (2-2), Rebecca and Di followed and did exactly the same thing; Di came back to fill in for her sis, and gave Lucas a lesson.

Pat and Chris managed to squeeze five games into the allotted time, with Pat taking three of them; Pete Blacklock made a rare summer appearance and beat Mark (O) in a close one, Maria had too many guns for Chrissie, and Cath was too good for Jane.

 

On Wednedsay night Laurence and Petr joined the draw brigade, also battling to 2-2 when the bell rang, Jenni still has some good shots (especially serves!) in her repertoire, but Marie has more and that one finished up 3-0, Chauntel and Rachel's game was closer than the 4-0 scoreline in Rachel's favour indicated, and Jock and Paul were both in super form for their clash, which Paul emerged from as the winner 15-14 in the third.

Doldie and Sandy took to the court at 6pm, but Doldie apparently didn't wake up till about 6.15, as Sandy put 15-0 on him in the first, and was up 8-zip before Doldie got on the board. It was business as usual after that, but Sandy just kept it up and finished with a remarkable 5-0 win; Brendon and John threw everything  into a huge battle that finished in John's favour, just.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Into week 2 already, and there's been a couple of very warm nights to bash the ball around in.

 

Lucas and John started this week with a big five-setter, John proved just a little bit stronger in the end; Rebecca and Clarkie played their game out of the limelight on Tuesday, and Rebecca sneaked a close victory there, Micky kept his nose just in front of Doldie by running and running, as he does, while James and Sandy produced a huge battle which Sandy ran out the winner of.

Jane and Rachel squeezed four games into the allotted time, and Jane won three of them, Maria and Marie had their usual tussle, and Marie still has the edge in that contest, Micky had to work hard to hold out new boy Petr, our Czechoslovakian  import, while Pat and Paul went hard at it with Paul winning 4-2.

Chris and Billy fought out a battle of their own, with Chris getting just home, the two Marks left it all on the court, and Mark O had two games on the board against one when the bell rang, Chrissie and Robbie fought out a magnificent two-game-all draw, with some remarkable shots turning up that are definitely not in the book, while Steve bashed and crashed his way to a two-game advantage before Jock finally got on the board, and Steve was definitely happy to just hold out a fast-finishing Jock.

 

 

 

 

Christmas, New Year . . . all been and gone, again . . .

and its time to hit the squash court again!

Here's the draw for the first few weeks of 2013:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas is fast approaching, and there's been some excellent squash going on; here's last week's results:


Mick Hooper lost to Billy Nolan 0-3, Lucas Hooper beat Susan Dargue 3-0, Rebecca Abernethy drew with Di Ness 2-2, Mick Hooper beat Mark Holmes 2-1.
Laurence McCormick lost to Sandy Richardson 0-3, Bill Bullock beat Ian Dolden 2-1, Cath Blacklow lost to Laurence McCormick 1-2.
Jock O’Connor lost to Paul Cousins 1-2, Brendan Clarke beat Robbie Kok 4-0, Louise Ryk lost to Marie Kennedy 1-2.
Warren Mackenzie lost to Mark O’Grady 1-2, Steve Devereux beat Bill Bullock 2-1, Jane Lowe lost to Chrissie Stratford 1-3.

 

Here's the draw for the rest of the games up till the Christmas break:

 

 

 

Winter League Xtra                                                                      


 Winter league extra II

With only a couple of weeks to go, and the sun shining a whole lot more, winter has just about done its dash.
We'll have a couple of weeks rest between seasons, but the list is already up for summer league, a season which suits some people more because you know exactly what time you'll be on the court, with no silly five-set marathons delaying things all night.

This week saw those who aren't on our impressive 'injured list' battle it out again; James and Pat went at it for the maximum distance with Pat getting the chocolates, Louise took a game off Chris, Lucas didn't take a game off Rebecca who had been off the winning list for a couple of weeks, and Brendan did well to take Adam to five sets.

Di's long reach helped her to victory over Maria, Paul went down 0-3 to Chris, although every game was a battle, and Phil and Chrissie fought out their own battle with Phil taking it in the fifth.

Chris came out firing on Wednesday night, but John took everything in his stride and covered all those dinky little shots that work against everybody else, Carl had his hands full with Robbie, who was in full voice as usual, but the scoreline read 3-1 to Carl at the finish,

Marie beat Josh only last week, but this week Josh was all over it, hitting a very nice ball, and the 3-zip score was a very fair indication, Gabby deservedly took a game off Steve, Jock and Sandy played out the match of the round with some superb rallies, one of which left them both gasping and probably won the match for Sandy, while Phil couldn't quite get a hold of John's much-improved game. 

 

A few more rounds of winter league just to see us through to spring - it WILL be spring sometime, won't it?

The original teams for the competition have been decimated with injuries, but that just gives us scope to mix things up a bit, so hopefully all the folks who haven't played other folks will get to play them in the next five weeks - if that makes any sense!

Chris (T) started off this week with a four-set win over John, Adam had trouble finding his way round Big Ed, scored lots of points but still couldn't claim a game, Jordie and Clarkie had a huge five-set battle with Clarkie getting the edge in the one that counted, while Robbie had one of his better days on court (and he is having a few currently) when he beat John in straight sets; John was playing well, Robbie was just playing better!

Linda started off well against Carl with her super little drop shots in the right hand corner getting him every time, but eventually Carl took the initiative and with it the result, 3-1, Marie and Steve went the distance, with Marie using the edge bits of her racket to good advantage, and after being 7-7 in the fifth for about half an hour it was Marie who broke the deadlock and took the necessary two points.

Maria was just a bit too good for Jane, who may well have had other things on her mind like upcoming marriage, Micky looked all at sea for the first two games against Sandy, but nobody beats him 3-0, and he came back, and back, and back again to take the result off Sandy, who may have run out of gas a bit late in the fifth. Lucas was another to be playing ok, but not well enough to handle his opponent, as Josh put on the power to take that match 3-0.  

 

 2012 Ray McBeth Memorial Tournament                             

The club conducted its annual Ray McBeth Memorial squash tournament over the weekend, with three grades of eight vying for top honours.

Our own John McDonnell and Collegiate's Phil Hurley (born and bred Celtic boy), the defending champion, were seeded to fight out the A grade final, and both progressed to that final with all-straight sets victories, John beating clubmate Pat Summerfield in the semis, while Hurley defeated Billy Nolan in straight games.
The final was a high-powered affair with some brilliant shot-making and defensive retrieving from both players, but John's superior reach often got him out of trouble, and in every game he was just a couple of steps ahead of Phil, eventually winning in a hard-fought three sets.

Billy took out the battle with Pat for third and fourth, also in straight sets, while Micky Hooper took the plate at the expense of Jock O'Connor, both Celtic players.

It was all Collegiate in the B grade, as John Hetrick and Jonathan Turner made the final.

Turner looked to have the better form going in to the match, but Hetrick was the one to bring his A game along, and took the contest in straight sets.

Mitchell Stoddart took third place, while Mitchell McLauchlan won the plate to complete the Collegiate domination.

Terry Hutchinson, Ashburton's veteran of many a Mid Canterbury tournament, was unhappy to find we'd made him top seed in the C grade, but he still made it to the final, after getting past Marie Kennedy in a big five-set semi-final.

On the opposite side of the draw a much-improved third seeded Lucas Hooper beat second seed Di Ness to join Hutchinson in the final, but in the big match the wiles of the old campaigner were just a little too much for the somewhat younger player, and Hutchinson claimed the title in four highly entertaining sets.

Di and Marie, who we thought might have met in the final, instead were in the battle for third spot, while Collegiate's Jess Saunders and Sir Robbie Kok took out the other plates.


Battles within the tournament: Micky and Jock fought it out for the A grade plate, after Jock had produced his top game to knock over Garry Mayne, but he didn't have enough petrol left in the tank to keep out Micky's constant attacks and that one went to Micky 3-1. Pat had put Jock out of the main draw, and then met Billy in the third and fourth playoff, but Billy was firing all the guns and took that one 3-0.
Clarkie lost to the eventual winner John Hetrick early in the B grade contest, but went on to meet Jordie in the special plate, and won that in four sets.
Jordie had scored one (1) point in his first match, but went on to have a good battle with Mitchell before the game with Clarkie. Steve won his first round match, but it was a biggie and there was no gas left in the tank after that.
Robbie played some good stuff in the tournament; losing to Lucas is hardly a disaster any more, he lost an exciting marathon match to eventual plate winner Jess Saunders and then won the special plate against Jarod Hopwood, a result that he should mark in the memory book because that's a boy with impeccable squash breeding and one day Robbie will be able to proudly say "He might be the NZ champion but I've beaten him."
Marie was a late entry to the tourney, juggling kids sport all over the place, but she gave Terry a huge fright in the semifinal, going down in five sets of trying to counter Terry's sneaky little drop shots.
Di met Lucas in the other C grade semi, and like Robbie found that Lucas has hit the road to improvement in a big way; despite bringing out all her best shots Lucas ran and ran and picked them all up, and the surprise 3-0 result was a fair indication of how it all went.
 Lucas tried to keep to the game plan (thanks Micky) against Terry in the final, but just didn't quite have the experience to counter all Terry's dinky little shots up the front, and the match finished 3-1 in Terry's favour.

 The tournament may not have had the big numbers of some previous years, but was still a good experience for all, with a lot of laughs at the after-match.
With Chrissie holding the kitchen together, Bruce keeping the place clean and tidy and also keeping the bar stocks up, and Micky's mathematical brain in charge of sorting out the tournament, it was another successful event, and the sponsors, Pat Summerfield, Pete Blacklow, Hank Murney (via RX Plastics), Robbies and Anstiss all helped make it that success.


 Club Championships 2012                                            

The club champs have been run and won over the last couple of weeks, and despite a season ravaged by a spate of injuries, we still managed to get four men's grades and two (sort of) ladies grades on court.

 Louise and Jane made up the entire ladies B grade, after being knocked out in the first round of the A grade, and despite Jane's best efforts it will be Louise who has her name engraved on the cup this year.

 The ladies A grade was once again a wide open affair; Chrissie was top seed because the whole tournament was taken straight off the ladder, and she had beaten John S to get herself top billing, but Linda knocked her out in a 3-1 quarterfinal battle. Also in the quarters Di and defending champ Rebecca had a magnificent battle of their own, with Rebecca getting through; Marie made it through due to the flu claiming Gabby, while Kirsty kept up the edge she has over Maria in the other quarter.

Rebecca might have been favoured to beat Linda in one semi, but somebody forgot to tell Linda and a huge five-setter was the result, with Linda coming back in the fifth to give Rebecca a good run for her money, but just couldn't quite get those vital few points at the end, and Rebecca was into the final. The other semi saw yet another five-setter, with Marie also having to play catch-up after dropping the first two sets, but catch up she did, and Kirsty had to pull out all the stops to finally prevail and book her spot in the final.

Rebecca thought she might be a bit late for the final, having to come from netball, but Kirsty thought she might be even later, having to come straight of a plane from Samoa! But they eventually both turned up, and a memorable contest ensued. Kirsty looked to have the better shot selection, but Rebecca has in recent times revealed a running game so good that she must have been taking lessons from Sandy, and while they took turn at having the upper hand, when it went to five games nobody in the gallery was confidently betting on the outcome.
Rebecca got on a roll and scored five points in the middle of the fifth, and while it took her a while to seal the deal that was the ball game, and she gets to join the elite company of those who have their name on the trophy more than once.

Jordie finally got his wish of getting his name on a trophy when he took out the men's D grade, beating little bro Lucas in a tension-packed semi (after a day of text-wars), then meeting Robbie in the final. Robbie actually brought out his best game and was more than competitive for two games, but Jordie managed to keep his head together and was more than excited to finally step up at presentation time and receive his very own cup.

Fly was top seed in the C grade, and took out another Mark (Shera) in the quarters, but came unstuck in the semis when he met Steve. The last four times these two have played have produced long-game-in-the-fifth struggles, but somebody forgot to bring their game along for this one and Steve was into the final. On the other side of the draw Adam beat second seed Josh first-up, then had to repulse a big challenge from new-boy Carl in a five-set semi-final to get to the final.

In that final it was one game each for a while, but Adam kept dishing up dollies which Steve happily put away, and it was over in four games.

Pat will get his name on the men's B grade cup, not for the first time, and had to beat Ed and Warren to get to an uncontested final, with the injury-stick hitting the other side of that draw hard. Pat was in the B grade due to losing in the first round of the A grade, in a match with Paul that was as intense as any in the tournament, a game that would have graced any final.

Another game wearing that description was the ladies special plate, where Di and Maria produced a super contest, which was over in four sets but was still one of the closest and hardest-fought of the tourney. Ttwo others to stand out were also special plate matches, Brendan and Josh went right down to the wire with Brendan winning 10-9 in the fifth, in a match where rackets were constantly whistling very close to opponents' heads, arms, legs and anything else, and just before the men's A grade final Pete and Billy fought out a thriller, with Billy the better shotmaker but Pete's never-say-die attitude forcing it to go the distance, Pete had match point in the fourth but couldn't convert that precious last point and Billy came back to take it in the fifth.

John was clearly favoured to take out his fourth title in a row (he's still got a few years to catch up to Stratty) and he started out by knocking over Bill, Billy and Micky in straight sets to get to the final.

Nick, who has been in seriously good form in recent times, beat Ed and Paul (who may have fired all his shots in the battle with Pat) to meet fellow law-enforcement officer Chris in a semi, but he had to crawl out of his sick-bed to get to that one. Nick won a no-holds-barred battle to make the final and meet John. The final was once again a high-level clash, with Nick tearing into everything and producing some classy shots, but John countering with superb shots of his own and retrieving Nick's best work, and at one game each it was still all on, but gradually John turned the screws and managed to stay just a couple of points in front, and that's the way it finished, at 3-1. Fabulous stuff!!


 2012 Club Championship full results:                                                        

 Men's A grade: Winner John McDonnell, runner-up Nick Marshall, third Micky Hooper, special plate Billy Nolan.

Men's B grade: Winner Pat Summerfield, plate Sandy Richardson.

Men's C grade: Winner Steve Devereux, runner-up Adam Clement, third Mark O'Grady, plate Brendan Clarke.

Men's D grade: Winner Jordan Hooper, runner-up Robbie Kok.

Ladies A grade: Winner Rebecca Abernethy, runner-up Kirsty Graham, third Marie Kennedy, plate Di Ness.

Ladies B grade: Winner Louise Ryk, runner-up Jane McCormick.





Winter 2012                           

With all the squash being played in the last few weeks, we've decided to have a break for a week, then have another five or six rounds of winter league, the draw will be out soonest!



 

June 21                     


Winter league round 8

It was a bit quiet this week, with a couple of defaults and a lengthening injury list; hopefully everybody will be back on deck next week!

Carl is showing up as one of the better ‘new boys’, this week he knocked over Phil in three, and then Jane in three as well for good measure; Di stopped Jordie’s excellent run of form with a straight sets defeat, James put in some good ones, but Nick put in better ones and that was the end of that; Pete and Fly had yet another monster five-set battle, with Pete getting the big point at the end.

Jock caught John asleep in the first game, and a huge upset looked possible but John woke up and took the next three games; Bill had his hands full with Marie but managed to get there in the end, while Robbie took a game off Chrissie and could have/should have taken more, but no, Chrissie in four.

Steve committed the cardinal sin of taking someone too lightly, in the fifth set Brendan connected with a series of super drop shots that all went an inch above the tin, and that was the ball game; Adam brought out his A game when he stepped on the court with Paul, and deservedly took two games off one of our best players, lookout if he puts it all together more often, Mick and Chris had the ‘game of the round’, it went point-for-point for five games, with Chris just running out of petrol right at the end, super game! Gabby made a big move up the ladder when beating John, whle Josh wasn’t going to be left behind and made a big move of his own by beating Marie 3-1, that’s a good result right there.

Interclub - Teams are going well with Div III in second place, and the Div 1 team doing great things, punching way above their weight, while Divs II and IV are hovering just off the pace. Div III is scoring heavily despite missing at least four very good players through injury, and with all players available should go close to winning the thing.



 
June 15, 2012                                                         

Chris (T) is one of the new boys rapidly making an impression; a big jump up the ladder already with a win over John (S), who hasn't been doing too badly himself, Carmen lost to Marie in three, and Paul met the same fate against Jock, who brought out his best shots.

Fly must be the Five Set Man; this time he took on Pete, but came out on the wrong end, Maria can't go with Kirsty's quicker game, and Mark was just too good on the night for Jane.

Carl beat Louise in straight sets, Rebecca dropped one game on the way to beating Lucas, Pete came back to dish out some more punishment, this time on Adam, while James scored a notable victory at Micky's expense, straight sets no less.

Gabby and Chrissie had a highly-entertaining match, and the score didn't deserve to be 3-0 (in Chrissie's favour that is), Josh and Brendan went at it for five big big sets, which Brendan had no intention of doing, but that's what happens and Josh emerged the victor, Steve and Adam made almost the same number of mistakes, but Adam lost 7-9 in the fifth by making just a couple too many, Sandy had his running shoes on. Really. Chris played some fine, winning squash shots, but it didn't matter if Sandy had to get their via Stewart Island, get there he did, in a super performance.

It just wasn't Warren's night, he claimed somebody had raised the tin on him (he even measured it), but Jock didn't have to extend himself too much in that one, Brendan had another shot at glory, but Marie only let him have one game, she's hard to beat right now, Sandy made Nigel do a fair bit of running in a battle with lots of long, long rallies (ask Nigel), Jordie and Linda were level-pegging at 2 games each when Jordie's brain finally switched into gear and he decided he could play properly - result a 9-zip fifth game, Linda wasn't doing anything wrong, Jordie was just hot! Robbie and Phil finished the night with another big five-setter, with Robbie getting the important points at the end.



June 7, 2012                                                     

 Interclub

 First up, the good news!
Our Division One team, which we entered mostly just to give our top players a game and get some tough experience for the next lot down, has yet again confounded the odds and come home with a victory, this time at Collegiate's expense.
John led from the front with a superb win over Phil, in straight sets (despite facing game ball in the very first game), Paul scored a huge win at the bottom of the order, and while Glen and Nick lost their matches, they both put one game on the board, which was enough to seal the deal for the team, the third win (plus one one-point loss) in a season where we really thought we would have been hard-pushed to score one.
Fantastic stuff!
Div II had the bye, Div IV went out to face a strong Mayfield team and Jordie, Robbie, Chris and Brendan couldn't quite get the chocolates. Div III is unconfirmed at this point, but according to reports was on the way to a win.

Winter league Round Six

Mark and Chris (T) started the round with a long five-setter, with maybe Mark's edge in experience being the deciding factor, Pete went on court with Bill and came off five sets later with the win, but knowing that Bill is definitely back to his best form, Chrissie had too much all over the court for Phil, Brendan found that Jordie was having a good day and could only get one game off him, while Nick warmed up for Tuesday's interclub with a good win over Billy.
Wazza had one of his better days on court, taking the long way home over James, Mick was doing his normal big-running game but Paul's shotmaking was too good on the night, while Nigel and Adam also went the distance, with Nigel taking out an exhausting battle.
Maria can't quite get a hold of Marie's game and was downed in three, Sandy inflicted Mick's second defeat of the week, that doesn't happen very often at all, Robbie is struggling to find his form, or maybe John (S) is just improving that much more, and Bondy's all-round court skills were better than Adam's on this occasion.
Linda faced match point in the third, which is somewhat tough to pull back from - but Marie just could't quite land the killer punch and Linda fought back to take it in five, a super game, Sandy filled in for the honeymooners and gave Lucas and Chris some excellent pointers in the game, while Jock took John (M) to five, but couldn't capitalize on the good chances he created, instead finding the dreaded tin way to often.
Jock came back to find revenge on Chris, but Chris had other ideas and cleaned up in three, and Jane and Chrissie finished the round with Chrissie proving still to strong in that match-up.


May 23, 2012

Round 4

James started the round in winning fashion, not letting Warren get a game, Pete did the same to Bill, who couldn't quite find the top form of recent weeks, Rebecca tried everything but Di was just that little bit better on the night in a big five-setter.

Paul took one game off Billy, Craig and Nigel battled out a marathon match with Craig getting three sets on the board to Nigel's two, I think Nigel's been on the wrong side of big ones a couple of times recently; Chris showed he's picking up this game real quick with a straight sets win over Phil, Gary found that Ed is indeed getting all serious about his game this season, Brendon found the same about Kirsty, and Louise couldn't manage to sneak a game off Mark, although a couple of them went very close.

Mark (S) came back on Wednesday night to dish the same out to Jane, Fly found Bondy a bit too tough, while Sandy's return from injury wasn't successful, against Nick, but at least he survived it, and even took a game off one of our best.

Robbie took a game off Steve and it nearly went to five, Marie came up against Linda having one of her better days and it had to be a good day to knock over Marie in four, Jock tried his hardest but couldn't grab a game off John, although he was stretched more than a few times.

Chrissie was too good for Louise, even after just stepping out of the international terminal at Christchurch Airport, Marie and Lucas fought out the match of the round, every point a huge battle, with Marie's sheer determination getting her home, Steve found Adam having an off day, while Jock came back to have another go, this time against Mick, who is sort of known for being ready to go to five any day of the week, and while Jock managed to get to that stage, he understandably ran out of petrol in the final game.

 

May 16, 2012 -  Winter League Week 3

A week of five-setters, started off by Chris (filling in for an injured Quinton) playing Billy, and moving up a couple of places on the ladder in the process, Ed and Nigel may have fought out the match of the round, no quarter asked or given, and the result eventually going Ed's way, Kirsty had it all over Jordie, and Mark (S) finished that round with a marathon against Chris (T), with Chris just sneaking the victory.

James and Paul continued the theme with another huge five-setter (by now the games were way, way behind time), Paul was just that wee bit too good in the end, Pete and Bill also thought they would join the fun, and bashed it about for nearly an hour with Pete getting home, Rebecca got one game off Steve with lots of good running in there, while Chris had another go, this time with Paul (R), Paul's narrow advantage in experience giving him the win.

Carl Hough had his first game in the league, and showed that he knows how to play, and his battle with Robbie had some very good rallies, Di put an end to Linda's good run of wins, Warren and Jock went the distance with Jock getting the important game, Fly and Steve had their usual five-setter, but this one was a 10-9 in the fifth special with Fly on the right side of the ledger (but with a very nice ball-shaped bruise on the back of a leg as evidence),  Chris T proved he's a tiger for punishment, having yet another go, this time against Marie who had to work very hard to win another big five.
 

Micky took one game off Nick, but Nick's shotmaking was just too good in the end, Clarkie is finding his big comeback is a bit tough, this time he took Steve to five but couldn't quite get that finishing touch, while Adam took revenge on his loss to Stratty in the first round by finishing the round victorious in yet another epic five-setter.

May 9, 2012

Interclub first, and our brand new Div 1 team again performed way above their station, James, Glen, Nick and Chris again went to a countback of points, and only went down by one miserable point! Huge effort from these guys, and its great that James from Mayfield is helping us to provide a competitive team in the top division.

Div II scored their first victory, well done to them, details when I track them down.

Div III hit a speed bump in the form of a powerful Methven team, Craig was last up and had to win 3-0 to secure the victory for the team; he won in five sets but that meant the team still lost narrowly.

Div 4 went to Methven, and Linda again produced the goods at number four to bring the team through, after it was all looking a bit shaky when she was 0-1 down and the big scoreboard read six games each, but she dug deep and secured the win for Celtic.

To our own league, this week Paul Rounthwaite and Mark Shera started things off, with Mark taking the honours in four, Rebecca and Kirsty are probably the in-form players among the ladies and Kirsty took that clash 3-1, Pete and Ed had a monster battle which Ed came out the better of (five sets of course), and Quinton took one game off James, but was forced into a few too many errors.

Paul kept Warren off the scoreboard, Craig discovered that Bill has re-found his best form, and that form was good enough to take their match 3-2, and a huge match it was, while Steve had just enough petrol to outlast Di 3-1. Billy tried his best but Nick had all the answers, Nigel was very happy to score his first win over Steve in at least three years, Jordie and Maria went to five sets and somehow Jordie got up to win it, and Phil showed he’s going to be a force in the lower grades with a straight-sets win over Jane.

Gabby found Chrissie’s experience too much to counter, Josh brought Clarkie back down to earth with a 3-0 win, but both of them will be moving up the ladder in the coming weeks, Bondy was too sharp for Stratty, despite having to pick off some really nasty serves, and it says on the scoreboard that Chris beat Sandy, but I think maybe it was Warren who was on the court, and he made Chris work for every point.

Robbie had a victory over Louise, which moved him up the ladder a bit to make things interesting, Lucas and Linda fought out a titanic five-set battle with Linda getting the vital points at the end, and Mick took a game off John, but the big fella stretched out and took three of his own.

Chris Thompson gave John Surridge a run for his money, eventually losing in four, Marie brought out her best game to knock over Steve in five sets, while Fly took one game off Jock and made him work overtime for his win.

The draw for Week 3 is down the page just a bit.

Bad news on the injury front, Quinton will be out for at least several weeks after doing his knee some damage, while Sandy’s non-appearance on Wednesday was also injury-related, hopefully they’ll be back on court soon!

May 2, 2012 - First-up, Interclub!

Div III has completed two weeks already, and two from two is certainly a good a start as you could ask for, in a group as tough as any.
But the big news came this week when Divs 1, 2 and 4 started.
Celtic entered a Div 1 team for the first time in years, mostly with the intention of dragging everyone up a bit (Div 1 will be using some Div 2 players, Div 2 will then borrow Div 3 players, etc etc), but in the first week our Div 1 team came home with a stunning victory.
John, Nick, Jock and Chris knocked over an Ashburton team, for a team of all ‘home grown’ players that is one fantastic result!
More good news, Glen will be available in a few weeks time for interclub and league, that will boost both competitions.
Divs 2 and 4 found things a bit tougher, but it’s really competitive out there, and everyone who plays interclub will only benefit over the season.

Winter league kicked off this week, James took one game off Nick, Pete and Fly produced the first five-setter of the competition, with Fly scoring a notable victory, Rebecca came out best of a four-set encounter with Maria, while Paul is still just that bit better than Jane – at the moment!

Quinton found that Paul is a different proposition under competition status, and lost in straight games, Ed looks like he means business this year, and Craig was the first to feel his wrath, Mark Shera is back for the winter game, and hasn’t forgotten how to play, as Chris found out, Nigel kept Bill at bay for three games, while Jordie talked himself out of getting anywhere near Di in the late game.

Bondy’s first game for some time turned into an ultra-marathon with Sandy, and both were shattered men at the conclusion of a huge five-setter, Sandy just had that little bit more petrol in the tank, new-boy Josh found that Marie is a tough competitor – but he did get one game, while new-girl Gabby had the same scoreline against John.

Chris O took the first two games against Micky, just always being in the right place at the right time with his racket just at the right angle, but Micky’s not exactly known for giving up, and three sets later came off the court the winner, Stratty’s impeccable drop shots and superb serves frustrated the hell out of Adam, who did get one game, it was welcome back Clarky, who also showed he could remember how to play with a four-set victory over Lucas, who has been travelling ok so that’s a good win, and Chrissie will find herself up the ladder a bit, courtesy of a straight-sets win over Louise, who had scored a ‘rogue’ win right at the end of last season.

Jock made John stretch a few times with some good shots, but was outclassed in the end, Blair took one game off Steve, while Linda, perhaps with the edge of having a hard-won interclub match already this week, battled out a five-setter with Robbie and came out the winner.

One name missing from the league is Bruce, he's battling a tough illness, but still doing all sorts of stuff around the place, give him a call and say Hi sometime!

Club Background

The Celtic Squash Club was formed in 1978, after a progressive group from within the rugby club decided that a squash court would enhance fitness in the rugby players ranks. The single court notion was quickly upgraded to two courts after support for the idea gained momentum, and a meeting at the clubrooms on May 8 1978, chaired by Mr Don Summerfield, saw the first club committee voted in.

John Davidson was the inaugural club president, with Alan Davidson the first secretary/treasurer, with the committee consisting of Cyril Cousins, Stephen Devereux, Ian Dolden, Barrie Gilligan, Barry Hansen, Barry McCloy, Heather McLaren, Gerald Small, Lyn Small, Jim Small, Kay Walsh and Bruce Whelan.

Mr Cousins explained the proposed arrangements for the club, which would see the courts opening on Queens Birthday weekend. Subscriptions would be $15 until the first Annual General Meeting. The first club championship tournament saw Murray Arnst emerge as men's champion, Lyn Small was ladies champ, Jane Stratford junior girls and Shayne Jones junior boys champs.

It was apparent early on that the changing room facilities, built to support one court, had to go, and subsequently a major revamp of the downstairs layout took place, and it must have been a good job because that's how it looks today. When the courts first opened, the upstairs area was completely bare, and various building committees over the years added the bar, the seating gallery and furniture, carpets and drapes, with various fundraising activities helping the cause, such as the 50c raffle with a squash racket as the prize, which raised a mammoth $80.

The entry fee for the first tournament was $1.00.

After years of being known in local squash circles as 'the dungeon', the club finally splashed out and in 2003 installed an air-conditioning system, which heats the courts and the upstairs area in winter, and keeps the place cool for those who want to sweat it out in the summer months.

There is only one annual tournament held at the club now, a far cry from the years when at least three would be conducted, and entries would have to be balloted despite every court in town being utilised. The honours board has seen some interesting developments over the years, with Gary Stratford winning the men's championship in 1981, and holding the title for a staggering 21 years, except for 1995 when young John McDonnell produced the game of his life to take the honours that year.

Jane Stratford, after holding the junior girls title for five years, moved up to have her name in the ladies column for six years, while in recent times Kaylene Donaldson has won the ladies title eight out of the last ten years.

Ian Dolden held the post of secretary for eleven consecutive years, an admirable contribution to the club. The current honours board reads: President Steve Devereux, Secretary Jenni Ryk, Treasurer Mick Hooper.

Squash Results

The weekly Ashburton Celtic squash results are displayed on AshburtonOnline.co.nz.  

Location

The Celtic Squash Club is situated on Keenans Road, Ashburton.

New Players and Members

We welcome any inquiries from anyone considering playing or wishing for their children to play squash. Call Chrissie Stratford on 308-9586 or Mick Hooper on 308-8528. 

Sponsors

We are very lucky to have very loyal and supportive sponsors, including Pat Summerfield Electrical, Blacklows Tradezone, RX Plastics, Twelve Wine Bar, and Robbies, whom without their help we couldn't continue.