Success at national championships for squash trio Jimmy, Sue and Robin

Three Dumfries squash players landed national titles on last Sunday at the 2018 Scottish Masters National Championships in Inverness.

Wednesday, 14th March 2018, 4:14 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th March 2018, 4:23 pm
Images from the 2018 National Masters Scottish Squash Championships, 11 March 2018 at Inverness Tennis & Squash Club, Inverness. Photo: Paul J Roberts

Jimmy Wells, Sue Strachan and Robin Ridley from Dumfries Squash & Racketball Club claimed trophies after winning their respective age group categories.

Wells hadn’t lost a game going into Sunday afternoon’s final and came through his final in four games against Chris Holt, 12-15, 15-10, 15-12, 15-8.

It was his seventh Scottish Masters title overall, his first title at Men’s Over 55 level and second national success following hip replacement surgery two years ago.

He said: “Chris and I had played each other in two tight matches recently and it was one apiece going into this final.

“So I knew it was going to be close and I am really pleased to have got the win.

“I had to change up my tactics during the first game and the new tactic suited me and made all the difference.

“I didn’t need to work too hard around the court and was able to make Chris do all the work.”

He added: “Since I got my new hip it has felt like a new start. I did everything I could to get competing again and it’s great to be back.

“It was a couple of years of struggle and it was difficult to get that winning mentality back.”

Sue Strachan had to get past a determined Julia Horsburgh to claim the Women’s Over 50 title.

She showed great fighting spirit in closing out a tight first two games, eventually prevailing in three, 18-16, 15-12, 15-8.

“I am so delighted,” Strachan said.

“It was a really tough final which could have gone either way.

“Huge respect to Julia that was my most difficult match of the competition and the toughest ever against Julia who I have played many times before.

“She is the most focused player to play against and you can feel that focus when you are on court with her.

“I am a more powerful player but she is perhaps more skilful so I have to try and keep the intensity up which is very tiring. It was hard work but that’s why we play, for that kind of experience.”

Robin Ridley was delighted to retain his Men’s Over 60s title after a spell on the side-lines.

The defending champion damaged his ankle on Boxing Day and only recently returned to the practice courts ahead of this tournament held at Inverness Tennis and Squash Club.

But Ridley showed no ill-effects winning the title without dropping a game and defeating Peter Shivas in the final, 15-11, 15-9, 18-16.

“I haven’t played Peter in a few years but he has really improved and put me under quite a lot of pressure.

“He is a consistent player and has been involved in the Scotland set-up for years and I knew I needed to maintain my game on his all the time.”

He added: “It’s great to win having not played in two months. I only entered at the last moment but it feels good to retain my title.”