Numurkah squash action

March 03, 2017

Players seem to be finding their groove in round four of the summer squash pennant.

The warm summer temperature found the ball bouncing well on Monday night and resulted in many long rallies.

Cameron Wallace and Gavin Banko could attest to this with a three-set thriller.

Play was explosive between the level-two opponents with neither realising that hard hitting was making the ball easier to retrieve due to the extra bounce.

Banko won the first game in a hard-fought slog, 9-5 while the second game started in the same fiery style and for most of the game the scores were close.

Wallace managed a small lead at 7-5 and looked like he would win the game, however, faulting on his serve saw Banko win three easy points to take the lead and serve for the game.

The next point was typical of the match with an exhausting 20-shot rally, giving Wallace the serve.

Neither player would concede a centimetre of space and three more hand-outs ensued before Banko could wrestle control to take the game, 9-7.

The final game and then match fell Banko’s way with a score of 9-0 in the third with a score that in no way reflected the intensity of play in a terrific game to watch.

Steffan Nordbye and Marco Franco played next in another evenly matched battle.

Vigorous play from both with varied hitting to the back corners mixed with short boasted drop shots off the side walls kept each player guessing where the ball was headed. Franco took the first with a healthy lead, 9-2.

The second was more closely contested and with the scores at 7-8 Nordbye accidentally hit Franco with the ball.

This seemed to rattle Franco and Nordbye won the next three points and the game with an irretrievable serve to the ‘nick’ where the wall meets the floor.

The game loss only seemed to inspire Franco and he quickly ran ahead by five points at 7-2. Nordbye rallied in reply and won a number of lucky shots to bring the score to 6-7.

It seemed his luck had run out though and Franco won the game 9-6, and then the match by taking the fourth game from his exhausted opponent, 9-2.

Trevor Eddy had an easy win over David Poort whose two-week spell from play seemed to his detriment.

Play started with ear splitting volume from the two hard-hitting level one adversaries and appeared to be the game-of-the-night, with low and fast precision hitting from both.

Eddy swung the scores in his favour by mixing up play rather than just trying to slog it out and repeatedly had Poort standing too far back in the court to retrieve his drop shots with the final scores reading 9-3, 9-0, 9-4.

Former Victorian state team player Peter Blake dusted off his racquet to play Sam McPherson.

McPherson showed that turning 30 recently had no ill-affect on thrashing the former local champion whose fitness and touch with the racquet were a little off after not having played for a few years.

There was some interspersed brilliance from Blake but too little of it to make any real challenge for McPherson who won the match in three games, 9-7, 9-4, 9-0.

●Other scores were: Eve Vandergeest d Sean Berend 10-9, 9-10, 10-8, 9-6; Karl Koelman d Christine Poort 9-1, 9-5, 7-9, 9-8; Max Hall d David Kelly 6-9, 9-7, 10-8, 9-10, 9-5; Sam Kelly d Hudson Storer 9-0, 9-2, 9-0; Sonia Withers d Nick Petigrove 9-4, 9-2, 9-3; Eamon Storer d Kate Kelly 9-1, 9-1, 9-0; Sam Gierveld d Peter McPhilamy 7-9, 10-8, 10-8, 5-9, 9-7; Nerolli Eddy d Jorja Eddy 9-2, 9-1, 7-9, 9-2 and Jason Kelly d Jack Kelly 7-9, 9-2, 9-7, 9-6.

—Damien Hipwell

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