March 02, 2018

The second placed team on the squash ladder, The Emus, had an outstanding night this week with a clean sweep of wins against the bottom-placed Warthogs, with five matches to none and 15 games to two, putting the Emus atop the ladder.

The only game of note for the Warthogs, led by team captain David Kelly, was his son Jack’s game against Geoff Eddy. Jack won the team’s only two games and only just missed out on taking the match in a five-game marathon. Perhaps Jack can give his team captain some pointers to help boost his team. Final score Geoff d Jack 10-8, 9-3, 10-8, 8-0, 9-6.

Ladder leaders the Bandicoots, led by Cameron Wallace, managed two match wins and eight games against the third-placed Quokkas, led by Sam McPherson, with three match wins and a healthy 10 games. The Bandicoots now drop to second place on the ladder but still hold a healthy 14-game lead over the third-placed Quokkas.

In one of the most entertaining games of the night, Quokka Jake McPherson accounted for Bandicoot Max Hall in a thrilling five-game match. The game score seesawed as each player took an alternate game win, with Jake winning the all-important fifth game. Jake and Max played as if their lives depended on it in an exhibition of determination and grit. Max’s Monica Seles-style grunting kept the crowd amused and his addition of a grunt while running to the ball was not enough to get him the win. Jake matched Max’s hard hitting and furious running but his placement and youth gave him the advantage.

‘‘‘The young bloke was too good for the old bloke,’’ Max said after the game. Final score Jake d Max 9-7, 6-9, 9-4, 6-9, 9-5.

The fifth-placed Wombats, led by captain Greg Brooks, had a team win over the fourth-placed Rats, led by Ethan McDonald, three matches to two and 10 games to seven. The Rats will remain in the top four but only by one game ahead of the improving Wombats.

The match of distinction was played between Wombat Christine Poort and Rat Nick Pettigrove in another five-game epic battle. Christine got off to a good start, taking the first two games 9-4, 9-5, before Nick retaliated to win the next two games 9-3, 9-3.

Heading into the fifth and final game it looked like Nick would cruise through to victory, getting out to a slight early lead. Christine had other plans and took a one-point advantage at 6-5.

A broken ball meant a new ball had to be warmed up mid-way through the final game for the match to continue, which is often enough to break a player’s concentration. Luckily it seemed to have no effect.

With the scores tied at 8-8 and Christine serving, Nick had the choice of playing to either nine or 10, choosing to play the long game to 10. He could only manage one more point win as Christine dominated the centre and front of court position to win the last game 10-9, and the match.

Other scores D. Hipwell d C Le Compte 7-9, 9-4, 9-4, 9-5; G. Brooks d E. McDonald 9-5, 2-9, 9-6, 9-5; H. Storer d L. Inglis Goodliffe 7-9, 9-3, 9-3, 9-4; A. Storer d P. Armstrong 9-2, 9-3, 9-7; S. McPherson d C. Wallace 9-6, 9-5, 9-7; E. Storer d J. Eddy 9-4, 2-9, 9-2, 9-7; S. Brooks d H. Harris 9-1, 9-7, 9-3; A. Meredith d D. Poort 9-1, 9-2, 9-3; G. Banko d D. Kelly 10-8, 9-4, 9-4; B. Kerry d H. Storer 9-6, 9-0, 9-4; C. Brooks d B. Brooks 9-0, 9-1, 9-0.

—Damien Hipwell

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