Rachel plays the long game to beat Del

Plate winner Ian Chalmers and Handicap Quaich champion Rachel McAleese
Plate winner Ian Chalmers and Handicap Quaich champion Rachel McAleese

In Galashiels Squash Club’s epic final of the Handicap Quaich, Rachel McAleese started on +8 against Del Sharratt on -4.

This meant 2013 runner-up Del was up against it as the games were first to 15, point-per-rally and best of five.

Rachel took the first quite convincingly 15-6 as both players were pretty slow to get going.

In the second game, a near-flawless performance saw Del take it 15-9.

The third game went the distance as Del’s powerful serves and Rachel’s drop shots were successful, Rachel eventually triumphing won 15-14.

Another focused performance and quick movement from Del won him the fourth game 15-9.

Locked at 2-2, and both players tiring, the deciding game had more rallies as neither player wanted to give an inch to their opponent – then at 14-10 down, a very rare loose serve from Del gave Rachel the title 3-2.

Del congratulated his opponent and said: “I am pleased for Rachel. It was a good, fast-paced match in the end and it could have gone either way.

“I will just have to work hard and come back next year.”

In the Plate final, Ian Chalmers (-2) beat Joe Eyre (+2) 3-1 (15-9, 15-10, 16-17, 15-12).

Joe was reigning Handicap Quaich champion, but was up against it from the start. Both players moved well and had long, tight shots, but it was the younger Ian whose fitness won out.