CLYNE CAPTURES MAIDEN NORTH TITLE
produced a magnificant performance earlier in today's final to prize the
North of Scotland Open title away from defending champion Chris Ryder. Clyne
adds his name to an impressive honours board including such greats as Peter
Nicol and Lee Beachill, to name but a few.
The first game was a cagey one. Neither player really settled and both were
making uncharacteristic unforced errors. The pace was high but Ryder was
able to use his hold effectively to move away from 4/4 to a first game of
11/5. Clyne, wearing the ASRC kit, needed to either change his plan or
improve on his existing one.
Game 2 brought higher quality and more competitive squash. The crowd were
treated to a mixture of rallies. Some gruelling lung-busters with both
players covering all corners of the court, some short and sharp as a result
of outright winners, and some involving a little argy-bargy and subsequent
discussions with the referee. Clyne pushed to a 9/4 lead, frustrating Ryder
in the process, but was quickly pegged back to 9/9 by some free swinging
from Ryder. A disputed decision and an unforced error gave Clyne the game, a
crucial game at that.
Ryder got off to a healthy start in the third, 3/0 became 5/1. Clyne,
cheered on by a home crowd, started to claw his way back in using his
highly effective counter drops. We reached 6, 7, and 8 all. Clyne won a long
rally to move one clear, won another on a stroke to give himself two game
balls, and despite Ryder saving one with a clinging forehand straight drive
Clyne took it on the second with, yep you've guessed it, a winning backhand
counter drop. So Clyne 2-1 to the good and looking a tough nut to crack.
Ryder came out shooting at the start of the fourth, perhaps realising that
the longer rallies were no longer paying dividends. From 3/3 a flurry of
winners from Ryder and two unforced errors from Clyne gave the former a
comfortable game to the score of 11/4. So 2-2 and exactly what the crowd
The fifth went in similar fashion to the previous game, but with the roles
reversed. Clyne moved away from 3/2 to 8/2 with an volley nick, two straight
drops, a stroke and an error from Ryder. It looked to be all over, and so it
was just a few rallies later. They were long ones though, so credit to Ryder
for continuing the chase, but Clyne wasn't to be denied and it was he who
closed it out. It was to be Clyne's day, Clyne's tournament. Take a bow
young man - Alan Clyne, the 2011 North of Scotland Open Champion.