Orkney denied Shetland the chance of retaining squash’s Cee & Jays under-19 inter-county.
This season’s line-up saw a lot of hard fought matches. Shetland were hopeful of retaining the title but started as underdogs with four of Orkney’s boys competing at a regional tournament the previous weekend. First up were number six seeds Shetland’s Michael Swierczewski and Orkney’s David Chalmers. Michael’s good serving saw him take an early lead in the first game. He played some powerful squash with long rallies especially considering he has only been playing for three months, but was just unable to match David’s experience and tightly hit drives as David won the first match.
Number five seeds were Shetland’s Lorne McNiven and Orkney’s Yan Shearer. This was a fast a furious match with both players hitting good drives and drops and running very hard. Both players were on top of their game and this showed as the first two games went to eight each but Yan just managed to edge both and then take the match after another hard fought game.
Girls number three seeds were next up as Shetland’s Chelsea Jamieson took on Aimee Drever. Both girls played opposing styles and it was very much a battle of who could get the momentum off the serve in each rally. Aimee’s experience in the adult leagues showed as she was able to get more of her power shots and put Chelsea under a lot of pressure. Some good lob serves and short play brought Chelsea back into the game but it was not enough to stop Orkney completing their early 3-0 lead.
Shetland’s Patrick Nicol and Orkney’s Andy Reid were next up seeded fourth. Both players drove it hard early on in what looked to be a close match up. However, Patrick played the game of his life as nearly all his short shots were hit to perfection. This frustrated Andy as he was unable to find his top form cutting Orkney’s lead to two.
Girls number two seeds were next up with Shetland’s Leanne Jamieson verses Orkney’s Amy Walker. This was the first of the rematches from August and saw Amy put in a good effort to try and alter the result from last time but Leanne’s shot were just too tight and powerful for her to get into the match as Shetland pulled it back to 3-2.
Boys number three seeds saw another rematch from August between Shetland’s Michael Thomson and Orkney’s Kit Bichan. Michael got off to a slow start and Kit took full advantage taking an early lead in the match. Michael fought back with some lethal power serves to take him to the brink of tipping the balance of the match. Kit dug deep and managed to hold on enough to edge the last game and the match giving Orkney a 4-2 lead – the same position they had lost last season. Again Shetland needed to win the last three matches.
Shetland’s Hannah Garrick and Orkney’s Sarah Cowie were next to do battle. Sarah had a lot to do to catch her opponent who was representing Shetland for the sixth time. She gave it her all but was unable to narrow the gap Hannah and closed out the match leaving Shetland 4-3 down and two matches to play.
Next up was the top seeds as Shetland’s Kevin Moar took on Orkney’s Andrew Moar. Both boys were on the top of their game as the first game went to Andrew after endless rallies of drives. The second and third games were much more tactical as a lot more variation of shots were played and some endless running from both players. Kevin was picking up nearly every shot Andrew played but Andrew was just too strong this time as he closed out the match and regained the inter-county for Orkney.
The last match and rematch from last year saw number two seeds battle it out as Ellis Robb took on Erlend Cowie. Long rallies were the theme for the top seeds and this game was no exception as the first two games were shared one apiece with some excellent endurance squash from both players. Neither player was going to win on fitness alone and it was eventually Erlend that raised his game enough to maintain a lead and close out
the match leaving the final result 6-3 to Orkney. More details from this event can be found at www.shetlandsquash.co.uk