DATES FOR YOUR DIARY
Winter leagues begin fully after the warm up in September.
Willis and Handicap Cups commence with first round matches. Watch out for the email in November with further details..
A New Year social event to replace the customary Christmas Club Night......a chance to meet convivially with other members over a meal and a drink at The Sun Inn at Belton from 6.45 p.m.
Finals Night - all the club competitions played on one evening in front of a packed gallery and with refreshments.
Club AGM - watch out for an email with meeting venue and agenda.
Bob Black will be in touch to put together the Sept leagues.
Summer Leagues commence spanning two months through to end of season.
New membership year begins - membership renewals will be issued in early August.
Members of Rutland Squash Rackets Club enjoyed an ecellent evening of squash last week as their winter season came to an end, with the finals of all four competitions being played in the same evening, watched by a large and appreciative crowd.
The final of the Willis Cup, the club's open competition, was the first on court with Jonathan Lee (winner of this in 2008) against Richard Park. From the outset the pace was fast and furious, with both men striking the ball very hard, buut Jonathan was able to take control of the first two games with a number of well placed shots into the back corners of the court. In the third game, however, Richard began to read Jonathan's game much better and was able to counter his power shots with some excellent balls down the side walls, which enabled him to take that game 9-7. But he was unable to sustain this, and with Richard tiring and Jonathan hitting the ball harder and faster than ever, the fourth game, and therefore the match, went to Jonathan 9-4, 9-1, 7-9 and 9-1.
In the Willis Plate, contested by Bob Black and David Cliff, Bob raced into a 5-1 lead in the first game, but David found his rhythm and fought back to level the game at 5-5. Bob briefly took back the initiative to go 6-5 ahead, but David then had a run of points and closed out the game 9-6. However Bob, who is one of the longest standing members of the club, drew on his years of experience and came straight back at the start of the second game, taking the first five points. David stemmed the tide briefly, but Bob employed his boasts to good effect and levelled the match by taking the game 9-5. The crucial third game was close fought, but Bob continued to outfox his opponent and won it 9-7. Thereafter it all went Bob's way and he took the match 6-9, 9-5, 9-7, 9-3.
Meanwhile in the Ladies' final Katharine Gaine who had won the Mary Matthews Cup for the last fifteen years, was facing the challenge of Alex Howe. Both women were hitting the ball powerfully, but it was Alex who took the initiative in the first game, winning it 9-4. Katharine then came back in the second, taking it 9-6 and levelling the match. Even though broken strings necessitated a change in racket in game three, Alex was undeterred and was moving around the court more effectively than her opponent, reading Katharine's game well and continuing to power the ball to the back. The third game went to Alex 9-6, and the pressure was now really on the defending champion to produce her very best.
From left to right: Alex Howe, Katharine Gaine, Jonathan Lee, Richard Park, Bob Black, David Cliff and Philip Bailey.
Katharine seemed to be on course to level things at two games all when she went into a 5-1 lead in the fourth game, but then a run of tentative half-court shots that were pounced on by her opponent saw that lead disappear, and the score was sudenly 7-5 to Alex. Katharine fought back to 7-7, but Alex's power was too much and the match went to Alex 9-4, 6-9, 9-6, 9-7.
The last match of the evening was the final of the Handicap Competition, which saw Jonathan Lee returning to the court, this time to face left-hander Philip Bailey. The handicapping gave Philip a slender 4 point advantage, and this proved to be crucial in keeping Jonathan at bay in the first game which was won by Philip 25-23. A number of those in the spectators' gallery thought the effects of having already played one match would mean Jonathan would start to tire, but in this best of three game match there was still everything to play for and Jonathan was not going to give up. The second game was keenly contested, with some brilliant rallies and superb court coverage by both players. At 24-24 they were in a tie-break situation, and although Philip had a match point at 26-25 he was unable to capitalise on it and Jonathan eventually won 29-27, thus levelling the games at 1-1. In the final game Philip managed to hold on to his 4 point advantage up to 10-6, but then Jonathan strung together 7 consecutive points, taking hime to a 13-10 lead. From that point on Philip could not quite get back on level terms, and eventually Jonathan too the game 25-19, winning his second trophy of the evening.
At the trophy presentation afterwards, thanks were given
to the markers, John Cowan and Laurence Redmond,
who valiantly scored all four finals between them.