GU squash glory

[box] David Lyons [/box]

Glasgow University Squash Club’s Mhairi Charlton won the Scottish University Individual Squash Championships, hosted by Heriot-Watt University, with a comfortable 3-0 victory over Robert Gordon University’s Lindsay Ackers. Charlton’s 11/7, 11/8, 11/5 victory means she retains the title she won as a fresher last year, and went the entire tournament without dropping a game.

The Glasgow player looked comfortable throughout the final. Ackers struggled to keep up with Charlton’s athleticism, and resorted to going for difficult attacking shots. Her eagerness to force the pace of the game lead to Ackers making a lot of unforced errors, which allowed Charlton to concentrate on staying solid and hitting a good, tight length. Although Ackers managed to stay close to Charlton on the scoreboard until the midway point in all three sets, when it came to the important points the Glasgow player moved through the gears and never really looked under any threat.
The only brush with elimination Charlton had was in her semi-final against Elaine Duncan. Duncan accidentally caught her opponent in the face with her racket at the end of their second game. The umpire warned her that if her lip continued to bleed she would have to forfeit the match, Charlton applied some ice, quickly recovered her composure and battled through to win the third game 12/10. “It’s really good to win again. I was pretty nervous because this year I was expected to win so there was a lot more pressure.”

Charlton’s win capped a generally successful weekend for the Glasgow squad. Costanza Ronchi finished second in the beginners’ draw, whilst two players got into the last eight of the men’s competition. Unfortunately Peter Halliday and Liam Dickson were drawn against each other in the quarter finals. Halliday won the hard-fought game 11/3, 11/7, 3/11, 11/8, before being beaten by Heriot-Watt’s Ewen Urqhart in the semis.

Oliver Blakemore, Glasgow Uni Squash Club captain, who finished 13th, said: “Having played alongside Mhairi all season and watched her improve her game in a very tough league I feel this is a fully deserved and well earned victory. In terms of the club’s performance, we also had two players finish in the top five in the men’s draw and the largest number of entries since I’ve been at the club. It was a very successful weekend.”
The men’s draw was eventually won by Edinburgh University’s Iain Tennant. It was also Tennant’s second consecutive win, although his third overall having missed the 2010 tournament because it clashed with the BUCS individuals. After the final Tennant said: “I’m very pleased to have won my third Scots Uni’s. It means a lot. It’s always good to grind out victories.”


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