My last squash story of the season (promise!)

On Tuesday night Air-IT Nottingham – ‘my’ professional squash team plated the last match of the season – up in Pontefract. We had a very slim chance of making the play offs for the Title but it relied too much on us demolishing the opposition and other teams winning by high margins.


That didn’t happen and we came 4th in the end.

But we did win the match at Pontefract 4-1.

My star player this year has been the Scottish number one and world ranked 26 Alan Clyne. On Tuesday something extraordinary happened. He was up against the world number five (and previous world number one player) James Willstrop.

Willstrop finishes at 6 ft 4 inches. Clyne is 5 ft 8 inches. And the 21 place difference in world rankings should have sealed an automatic three points for Pontefract. But Willstrop was all out of sorts and we sat in silence as Clyne won the first game 11-0. He then won the next four points – Willstrop took two and then Clyne closed the game down 11-2. This is unheard of in Squash!

In the third Willstrop clearly had decided to play and the game was much tighter – but Clyne won it at 12-10!

There were some interesting lessons I think (not just for squash):

1. Don’t underestimate the under-dog
2. Just because the opponent is much bigger than you – it means nothing
3. Support is still important (the crowd at pontefract was very subdued!)
4. If the early parts of the match are won easily you need to keep your concentration.

It’s been a great fun season – I’m really proud of the players and the way they have conducted themselves. We really had to rebuilt the team from scratch when we lost our sponsor.

If you fancy seeing some world class squash we’ll be doing it all again next year!

By Tim GARRATT Posted in Nottingham Tagged Air-It Nottingham, Alan Clyne, Eddie Charlton, James Willstrop, , PSL,

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