Fnals Night took place recently at Galashiels Squash and Racketball Club, with plenty of spectators for the matches.
The Alex Doherty Memorial Shield and the Club Championship were both being contested.
In the Shield tournament, veteran Andy Waddell was up against student Amir Hosny. Andy, a previous club championship finalist in the 1990s was looking to turn the clock back and prove he could still beat the young ones.
It was a great start for Waddell, as he showed his prowess by winning the first game 15-8. This was with the stalwart playing plenty winners and keeping the ball tight to the walls, so he didn’t have to run about too much.
The second game was considerably closer. Hosny knew he couldn’t match the shot placement and skill of Waddell, so he chose to play full-length shots and prolonged the rallies to try to tire Waddell out, as he knew he had the edge on
fitness and stamina. But, despite that, Waddell took it 15-13 for a 2-0 lead.
Hosny continued his tactic in the third game as he knew Waddell would start to make mistakes if he became tired. Hosny was 14-7 up and serving for the game but Waddell’s head didn’t go down and he fought valiantly to 14-11. However, one drop shot from the youthful Hosny took the third game.
The fans were getting treated to an awesome match now, and several rallies earned rounds of applause and cheering from the crowd. Hosny seemed to be getting into the game the longer it went on, while and Waddell was starting to hit the tin and make more unforced errors. Indeed, this led to 15-11 to Hosny for 2-2 to take it into a decider.
The fifth and final game saw Hosny improve yet again. In contrast, the stamina and fitness of Waddell was fading and, although the game was close till 8-8, Waddell just found the going too tough and Hosny pulled away and took it 15-
8 (Amir Hosny 3, Andy Waddell 2).
In the Club Championship final, Andy Gill was looking to emulate club legend Ian Hogg by winning four in a row, while club championship debutant Tony Elliot was looking to win the title at his first attempt.
Gill had been nursing a sore back since the start of the championship but a decisive 3-0 victory over John Sharratt in the semi-final gave him some confidence coming into the final.
Although Elliot took the first game, it was close at 15-10, and the level of squash was exceptional. But Gill’s back problem persisted and his usual twisting and movement disappeared. Elliot took the remaining games 15-6 and 15-3
For a great 3-0 triumph.
Gill acknowledged his back issue but said: “Tony was just a far better player on the night. My back restricted my movement – but all credit to Tony.”