First defeat of season for Chantry

On Tuesday 8th November, Chantry were away at Gosling playing at possibly the worst courts on the circuit with craters in all the walls!

Up first were strings 1 and 4.  Carl playing Charlie who quickly showed his class with aome accurate drives and good pickups.  Carl fought hard in the first game but went down 15-11.  The second game started in similar fashion but then Carl realised he was up against it and, according to James, had a sulk and lost the last two games 15-6, 15-6.

Meanwhile on the other court, Vinnie was taking on Adam Norris, considering this was string 4 it was surprising that this match contained the highest quality squash of the night, wioth both players working hard and playing some great shots.

Adam won the first 15-11 and then a close-fought second 17-15, which Vinnie should have won – on game point he stretched and just reached a tight shot at the front of the court playing a lovely drop shot to secure the game. But Vinnie stretched the definition of sportsmanship to the limit by saying that he wasn’t 100% sure he’d reached the ball and asking the marker to confirm – who wasn’t sure either so a let was played – which Adam took and went on to win the game. Vinnie then pulled a game back 15-7 and seemed to be turning the corner but Adam came back strongly and took the fourth 15-13.

Two strings down after two matches.  Now, string 5 James was on court against Chris.  This was a topsy-turvy match with both players making a plethora of mistakes and generally running around a lot.  James took the first 16-14, lost the second 10-15, won the third 15-10, lost the fourth 15-12 so it was into the decider.  Despite (or perhaps because of) intensive coaching in the break between games, James couldn’t hold it together in the 5th and Chris started to get some accurate boasts in to take it 15-9.

Meanwhile Mark had an easy stroll at string 3, playing Oliver (who had played @1 the week before).  This was a one-sided match with Oliver not getting close to Mark and going down 15-11, 15-10, 15-5.  At least Mark had rescued Chantry’s blushes!

The last match of the night was string 2 with Paul taking on Sid.  Paul’s previous two matches had both resulted in tight 3-2 losses and things didn’t look good in the first game as Sid pulled off some great tight boasts, racing into an 8-1 lead before Paul pulled it back to 14-14 but Sid hung on and took the game 16-14.   Paul then carried on his good work in the second half of that game with an easy 15-7 win and was well positioned in the 3rd at 13-8 up but then it was Sid’s turn to fight back to 14-14.  This time Paul managed to hang on and won after 19-17 a tight tie-break.  But Sid had taken confidence from his fight back in the 3rd and Paul was starting to flag and lost the 4th 15-8 to take it to another decider.  The fifth game was nip and tuck but then a controversial call of a double bounce by the marker at 5-all, which was hotly disputed by Paul, swung the game towards Sid.  That call took the wind out of Paul’s sails and, to be honest, he got the hump and went down 15-7.

So a 4-1 win for Gosling knocks Chantry down to 4th in the league – still well positioned but needing a win next week against Nuffield, one of the teams to have leap-frogged us.


Chantry make it 3 out of 3

Chantry vs Active4Less 1, 1st Nov 2016

The Chantry squash team continued their winning start to the season with a good victory over Active4Less, although the match ended up closer than looked likely early on.

Most of the guys at Active4Less have been playing team squash against us for years now, so Martin Miller was underwhelmed to find out he was playing Vinnie at 4.  Sure enough he couldn’t deal with Vinnie’s power and accuracy and was soon muttering and looking to the marker for any assistance he could get.  But that was all to no avail as Vinnie ran out an easy winner 15-7, 15-5, 15-12.

Meanwhile on the other court John G was playing Tim Seaton.   John was still looking for his first ever win at team squash so was the hungrier player as he ran out the winner 15-7, 15-12, 15-12.

So two games up and just one more required from the top 3 strings – surely this one was in the bag?

With Mark once more arranging to be late to avoid having to mark a match, Paul C at 2 and Carl at 1 were next on court.  Paul was up against Paul Drakes, and foolishly decided to use a freshly restrung racquet from the outset.  Paul C couldn’t get used to feel of the new strings and went down 7-15 in the first.  Swapping back to his old racquet helped winning the 2nd game 15-11 before narrowly losing the 3rd 14-16.  Then finally Chantry Paul takes control and wins the 4th easily 15-4.  But his opponent comes back strongly and Paul D takes the 5th 15-11 to keep Active4Less in the match.

Carl is having a tough time on Court 2 muttering something about “ringers” between games as he is outclassed by Matt.  Carl does get a consolation game but goes down 6-15, 13-15, 15-12, 7-15.

So all to play for in the final match as Mark turns up just in time to take on Rob St Ledger who has been ill for some time and this is his first team game for over 6 months.  His lack of match fitness shows quickly as Rob is gasping for breath midway through the first game.   Mark puts the first game away easily 15-7.  The second game should follow in the same way with Rob stuck at the back of the court, but Mark proves stupidly generous and steadfastly refuses to win with easy drop shots and keeps driving the ball back to where Rob is standing.  But eventually Mark manages to win 15-12.  After a good talking to in the break, there is hope that Mark will win the next easily, but he continues to make life hard for himself and the whole game is nip and tuck.  Eventually though he runs out the winner 16-14 to take the game and match for Chantry.

Afterwards, Vinnie treats us all to his new madras-spiced chicken noodles and dumplings, which is met with much appreciation and disappears quickly, so that there’s only enough leftovers for Carl to take one helping home with him.

Chantry aren’t the only team with 3 wins out of 3, with Haileybury 3 sharing top spot with us.  Next up for Chantry is Gosling away on 8th Nov.  Gosling won their first two matches but then got thrashed by Nuffield, so it could be a chance for Chantry to continue their winning streak.