8th Oct:
OK, the Surrey Cup is not as prestigious as the National League, but believe me, the faithful followers like me enjoy great matches, great fun, and great players.

I’m not going to list all the players that participate regularly in the competition, but from the top of my head, Rodney Durbach, Bradley Ball, Stacey Ross, Steve Meads, Mark Cairns, Adrian Grant, Ben and Tim Garner, Peter Genever, Del Harris, Scott Handley, Danny Meddings, and so on… The ones I forgot, please don’t shoot, I’ve been travelling and writing a lot lately, a bit tired, the French woman…

And this year, we have a new addition, the Boss, Mr Peter Nicol himself, is representing Esporta Croydon.

“I came to Esporta Croydon about a year ago for an exhibition, and I liked the club. And it just happens that I have an Esporta two minutes walk from my flat. So I contacted them to see if we could find an arrangement, and we did. So I will play for the club, when my squash schedule allows it, do some exhibition matches and coaching for the kids.”

Well, sir, nice to have you aboard…. Like a spectator said after the matches of Peter Nicol and Adrian Grant, “who do we have next, Jonathon Power???”.

Enjoy the new season


The Scorecard
Esporta bt Colets  4-1 (17-7)

The National League, week one


So guys, don’t forget to send us the results of your matches, and nice little reports would be more than welcome….

“Since I heard I was going to be a father, I have much more strength and energy”, said the delightful Handley after his match against Peter Nicol, the Boss in his first appearance in the Surrey League.

I don’t know what Scott is on, but I want some! On Tuesday, in the National League, he battles with Adrian Grant, world 13, and wins in 5 games, and the next day, he pushes Peter in 5 very hard games….

In the first, it’s actually Scott that takes the lead, to everybody’s surprise, 6/0. If his drop shots are still a bit imprecise, he hits the ball well , covering a lot of ground, finding good lengths. He takes the game 9/5.

Peter recovers, starts getting in front, applying more pressure, being more in control of the rallies. Very rightly, he wins the game 9/2, but the pace is very high, the points very disputed…

The third is extremely close, 1/1, 3/3, but slowly, Scott gets his drop shot to a fine art, pushing Peter just out of his comfort zone, and gets the advantage, slowly, point by point, to finally take the game 9/5.

I must say I thought that Handley would just crack up, what, with his match of the night before, and now, playing away, against a legend. So, I thought that when Peter took the fourth 9/2 after leading 5/0, the fifth would be a doddle.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. Yes, Scott suffered in the decider, Peter’s game was just too quick, too precise, his wrist seemed to be made of rubber, his moves were catlike, and he got up to 8/1, match ball. And then Scott went for everything, every ball, every kill he could think of, and got back to 8/6.

But an extremely relieved Nicol was able to close the match on his fourth match ball, and clinch the victory, in 75 minutes.

“I have been doing a lot of hard training recently, so it was good to have a hard match. Scott is extremely fit, he played very well, and took full advantage of the high tin and traditional scoring, both of which I haven't used for a very long time. And I was very happy to win that one…”

Anyway, I think we can officially call this first week in the League Scott Handley’s week!

“Well, it wasn’t too bad, considering…”

Considering the fact the man just came back last Thursday from three weeks’ honeymoon….

“We went to California, San Francisco and then the Grand Canyon. So, I didn’t play squash for 3 whole weeks. I played yesterday against Peter Parker in the National League, and today, I had to play against Adrian, now 13 in the world! So, getting a game out of him, it’s not too bad…”

And from Steve Cubbins and myself, congratulations to him and his lovely bride Sam….

As usual, I couldn’t see everybody. I glanced at Robbins against Johnson, which seemed a very high paced match, much closer than the score line tells. And unfortunately, I couldn’t see even one shot of Del Harris against Danny Meddings, as it was played at the same time as Peter’s, and at the time, I fought to get a small place on the floor, and believe me, every inch of the front of the court was occupied…. No way could I stand up and leave my little spot in front of the glass.

Sorry guys…

To finish the evening, we had a close encounter. Boy does that Clive Ewins knows how to hit the ball! It was the first time I have seen him play, and I was nicely surprised.

Steve Meads, having lost weight due to hard work, he told me (he is doing a lot of coaching at St George’s Hill, I understand), was in good form and very motivated tonight - who knows, maybe he wanted to avenge his defeat last night against Peter Genever, a very disputed game.

But it’s the “Hitter” Ewin that took the first game, after a good 23 minutes of battle, 10/8. Steve retorts very quickly, went up 8/1, but some outrageous shots from Clive threatened the “Mean Machine”, as I like to call him, and he had to work just that much harder to finish the game 9/5.

The third lasted only 2 minutes, and went to Meads 9/0.

A tired and not feeling too well Clive Ewins made a fantastic start in the fourth, leading 6/1. But Steve had no intention of losing that one, and after equalising 6/6, took the game in 11 minutes 9/7.

Yes, it was a great battle, and allowed me to discover another good squash player. Told you, I just love the Leagues….


Yes, it was Adrian Grant's birthday on Wednesday, 24 years old he is, God, how time flies, he was 16 when I saw him play the first time in South Bank.

Still tired from his match against Scott Handley last night, Adrian was on a bit of a mission tonight, as his girlfriend had booked a table in a restaurant to celebrate his birthday, and he had to play well, and win quickly if he wanted to be on time.

Well, if the young man took the first game 9/5, Mark Cairns hadn’t played his last ball and took a surprising lead 3/0 in the second, then 7/1, finding good angles cross courts, good lengths, and following up Adrian’s precise shots. Grant came back very close, but it was a little too late, and Mark clinched the second 9/6.

After that, Cairns did his best, but Grant was just in a different league altogether, and the birthday boy took the 2 last games 9/0, 9/0.

So, Happy Birthday Adrian….