Numurkah Squash Club’s pennant night was a short one this week with quite a few absent.
Cold winter weather, injuries, work and family commitments all took toll. Many matches were played out of time or forfeited.
That aside, several good matches provided some spectator delights and it was the juniors who certainly came to the fore.
It is great watching from the sideline as the next generation begins to develop their skills along with their sportsmanship.
Young Hudson Storer not only performed well on the court winning in straight games but he also showed how to contribute as a club member by scoring.
Clear and strong calls ensured the players knew where the game was at every interval.
His brother Eamon had an epic game against Kobi Hipwell. It was a hard-fought battle that provided spectators with some great viewing in long rallies.
Kobi held his shots, thinking about positioning and delivered some great forehand volleys, but it was Eamon with his skilled backhand shots down the wall that brought him home, winning 10-8 in the fifth.
Sam Kelly was another junior who showed stoic resolve, overcoming disappointment to enjoy the game.
He played a great match against a tougher opponent in Jake McPherson. Jake dominated at the ‘T’ maintaining control throughout and won in three.
Then came the adults with some interesting challenges and fiery matches.
Dave Poort and Andrew Storer put on a good display match.
Dave was striking the ball hard and fast to start and won the first game. Then the tactics of both changed and it seemed a bit of ‘cat and mouse’ antics with some long stretches being forced.
Straz (Storer) came home at the end, winning in four.
On an adjoining court Marco Franco was unable to deliver his usual energy burst as Dave Kelly played his short game well.
Dave won in three with Marco trying to keep his shoulders from drooping as the final score was read.
Sam McPherson had a win against Cameron Wallace in three straight.
Meanwhile on court three, Greg Books tried a sneaky tactic against Will Watkins when during the warm-up he chatted about super heroes within his family.
Will saw through his caped crusades and was able to keep Greg focused and moving around the court.
Greg was unlucky on many occasions including one when all that he need do to produce a winning shot was to hit the ball anywhere on the court. Absolutely anywhere but into himself. Will won in three.
Over on court one Max Hall had a five-gamer against Geoff Eddy.
Hard-hitting Max hit a few unforced errors losing the first. He came back in the second and then the third seemed to steady the round with a hard fought-game and 10-point win going Max’s way.
The fourth saw Max’s confidence rise as he had Geoff all sorted out at 8 -2 but that was short lived.
Geoff changed gear, coming back and gathering eight straight points to win the unwinnable 10-8.
Wind now in his sails, Geoff got the next game 9 -2 to take the match.
On centre court Trev Eddy came back for a hit after his trek around the United States and had a game with Damien Hipwell.
Damien displayed his court covering techniques winning in four.
Back on court one and Gavin Banko scored a few nicks to gain some advantage.
He was hitting well deep into the corners and stood steadfast against Peter Blake, however, Gav was unable to sustain that prowess.
Peter on the other hand started off gingerly and was slow to move but he came home strong to win in five against Gavin.
There are only a couple more rounds until the finals and, hopefully, a change in climate to bring back the energy.