Graham brothers load up with skill and talent for Big Shots
Two young Galashiels squash players were in Edinburgh recently to compete in the latest instalment of the Big Shots series.
The event is an entry level squash tournament for youngsters aged from six to 16, and is split into divisions.
Galashiels Squash and Racketball Club was represented by current junior champion Dima Graham and his younger brother Sasha.
Sasha was placed in Division Four and struggled to live with the competition.
The tournament format meant everyone got three games and an overall ranking.
The games were timed for seven minutes, so the highest score after that time would win.
The first game saw Sasha pitted against Daniel Evans from The Grange. Sasha found Daniel’s serves very difficult to read and Daniel would score several points just from the serve; the game went 22-9 to Daniel.
This put Sasha in the fifth to eighth play-off and he came up against another of Grange’s rising stars, Megan Read.
This game was closer and both players enjoyed the rallies. Megan took it 18-12, which meant Sasha faced Benjamin Wilkie in the seventh/eighth play-off.
This was an exciting watch and remained pretty close for the first five minutes. But, at the end, Benjamin was too fit and strong, and pulled away to take it 20-12.
Dima Graham was in Division Two with some formidable players. His opening rubber paired him with James Kelly, of hosts Edinburgh Sports Club. The latter proved very skilful and rocketed off to a 32-10 victory, but later pulled out of the tournament.
Dima was put in the fifth to eighth play-off, where his first opponent was Josh Myers of Edinburgh SC. This was a closely-fought match, with neither player really pulling away.
Dima triumphed with a confidence-boosting 17-15 result. For fifth-sixth place, he was up against Finlay Templeton, of Colinton Castle.
Finlay started well and some good squash from both made it entertaining to watch.
Finlay went to 12-7 and seemed to be in control but Dima kept his focus and wouldn’t take his eye off the ball. He knew time was running out for him to come back – and a series of clever boasts brought him back into the game.
Finlay’s head went down as he swiped at a couple of key shots and Dima came from behind to sneak it 19-18 in the dying seconds.
Dima was delighted with his fifth place and was already looking forward to the next round at Colinton Castle.
The Division One title for the day was won by Thomas Crawley, of The Grange, who beat Scotland U13s representative Jamie Pearman, of Tyne SC, 32-10 in the final.
Gala Squash Club captain Del Sharratt said: “It’s great just to see the kids get a competitive tournament against kids from other clubs.
“This is a vital stepping stone for Dima and Sasha into the Junior Open events and both boys are as keen as mustard.”