Ex-Galashiels squash champ shows a strong Gill to win

As part of the re-opening of Gala Squash Club, three-time club champion Andy Gill made a one-off appearance in a challenge match with club captain Del Sharratt.

By Ralph Mellon
Monday, 23rd August 2021, 4:18 pm
Andy Gill, left, and Del Sharratt after a previous encounter
Andy Gill, left, and Del Sharratt after a previous encounter

Gill was champion in 2014-16 before moving out of the area. He and Sharratt have had some power clashes in the past but Gill has always had the measure of him.This match proved to be a scene as Sharratt started a flawless first game. He was on form and had control as he won the first 15-8.

Sharratt’s confidence was sky high therefore, going into the second game, but Gill turned on the prowess with his serves by varying between lobs and drives, so his opponent couldn't control the rallies with the returns.

Gill cruised to 15-3 with something like a 'how dare you win the first game' reaction.The third game was tighter as Sharratt brushed up on his returns and made Gill work a bit harder but the latter still took it 15-11.Sharratt took a bit of time between the third and fourth game to refocus. In the fourth, he totally slowed the action down, taking extra time with his serves and taking the ball later in the bounce.

This this tactic caught Gill out and Sharratt levelled the match at 2-2 with a 15-13. In the fifth game, no quarter was given. Neither player wanted to lose the tie and Sharratt used good width on his shots while Gill deployed back-front-back-front to tire Sharratt out.

Sharratt managed to take a 2-0 lead and maintain a two-point gap until 8-6 up, when he served out and Gill took the hand (serve). The squash was top drawer, the rallies were long and the deciding game was tight.

Gill was first to serve for the match, at 14-13 up, but Sharratt's return found the nick and the bounce fooled the ex-triple champ and Sharratt then took the hand but Gill showed why he was a three-time winner and took the next two points to win the match 3-2 after almost an hour of play.Andy Gill 3, Del Sharratt 2 (8-15, 15-3, 15-11, 13-15, 16-14).