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
Squash Demo Night a winner
Winter League 2016: Will resume after Club Champs!
Celtic Div III team defends title! Champions again . . .
And Celtic takes Division 1!!!
Interclub Champions for 2014 - Celtic Division 3 and Division 4 Teams!!!!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Pat Summerfield filled in for an injured Jock and won the special plate for his good deeds.
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.
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.
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.
May 12, 14
Summer Squash 2014
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.
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.
In 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-
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.
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 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!!
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.
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.
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 . . .
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.
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!
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
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.
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
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!
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.
The weekly Ashburton Celtic squash results are displayed on AshburtonOnline.co.nz.
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.
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.