Thursday, February 4, 2016

WHO LET THE (WAR)DOGS OUT?



Boasters League round 5~

The Wardogs did not move up the standings this week – they remain in 4th place – but rather than lagging 26 points behind the top ranked team, they are now only 4 points back. Their league best 37 points for the week boosted them up within touching distance of the top 3 teams and a safe distance from the dreaded 7th place (30 points) where one would then miss out on the finals.

The next best performers of the week were team Mongoose. They didn’t improve their position on the standings from last week either, but instead of being 16 points behind the 6th placed team - and the last play-off spot – they are now only 2. A significant catch-up to Paddy’s Dropshots who actually picked up the least amount of points during the week (except for Winky-Dinks who had the bye) with just 17.

Space Geckos finds themselves on top of the ladder again, but that view from above won’t last long. They do have the bye next week and have a better than average chance of slipping out of the top 3, if not 4, if Butter Nutz have a reasonable showing for round 6.

Some tight matches worthy of putting in print… Jeff Gembis (Fire Birds) won his third straight league match in the boasters league, but only just, over Tom MacEachern (Foss Nation). It was the first time these two have played each other and neither knew what to expect from their opponent. Jeff was just a smidgeon steadier and took the 2-1 victory, mentioning afterwards that he was surprised how well Tom moved around the court!

Maggie Durant (Wardogs) picked up her second win of the half taking out the unpredictable stylings of Paul Flanagan (Mongoose) 2-1. Maggie looks to be playing more aggressively as she moves up to the ‘T’ line regularly to hunt for the volley. The work is paying off!

Marc Bakst (Foss Nation) got some revenge on Gina Greer (Fire Birds) after he lost to her recently in the box ladders to squeak out a 2-1 win. After the match, Gina was already looking for another opportunity for payback. Marc, however, was looking for the keg… I’m sure they’ll cross paths on the court again soon enough.

So with 4 rounds to play, time running out quickly, we are on the downhill slope of the season. Remember that only the top 6 teams will continue to the knock-out finals, the last 3 teams can focus on their box ladders. It appears to be a two horse race for the last play-off spot, unless Foss Nation and Nicker Ballers can get their squash racquets swinging a little (lot) more often.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

WINKY-DINKS’ WEEK



Boasters League Round 4~~

It can’t really be the case already, can it? Four weeks in, five to go, and the top 6 teams have seemingly been decided? I’m hopeful (pleading!) that things will pick up, but when I get results in such as last night’s round 4, skepticism rages. Where are half the teams?

Paddy’s Dropshots did an excellent job last week, but it all came crashing down on them this week, as only 4 players turned up for bonus points, and only 2 (yes, two!) matches have been completed. I have no idea what the problem is, they ‘played’ against Foss Nation who only had 5 players turn up as well. Paddy’s Dropshots are currently occupying the 6th and final spot for a play-off berth, Foss Nation are thirty-two points behind them. Lots of work to be done.

The Nicker Ballers did have the bye week, so it wasn’t expected they would pick up many points, but they did have the golden opportunity to get some much needed make-up matches in (they have plenty to do!). However, there was hardly any activity going on and the 4 points they did get only makes things harder and harder for them. The Wardogs, for example, have also had a bye week this half and the have twice as many points as the Nicker Ballers. Lots of work to be done here too.

Team of the week goes to the Winky-Dinks. From 3rd place last week, to top of the ladder this week, they picked up an impressive 40 points. Last night, they took Space Geckos to task, winning 8 of the 10 matches they played. Mind you, 4 of those results were 2-1 so it could easily have been a different story. The Space Geckos had the advantage of bonus points with 13 of them, which is the 3rd week out of 4 they have managed to accumulate so many. A terrific average, easily the best in the league so far.

As I wandered around the courts last night, a few interesting matches are worth mentioning… Jamie Shea (Space Geckos) did what no one else has so far managed to achieve this half season, and that’s taking a game from Vikram Chopra (Winky-Dinks). He still lost 1-2, but can be happy he has broken Vikram’s perfect record! Vikram of course, thinks otherwise.

Brien Baker (Paddy’s Dropshots) hit a couple boasts too many for Tom MacEachern (Foss Nation), who was probably sick and tired of chasing those angles every other shot for 3 straight games, and took the 2-1 victory with a smile and quick trip to the keg. And Paul Ward (Wardogs) suffered his first loss of the half as he went down 2-1 to Jeff Gembis (Fire Birds) who appears to be gathering some steam.

So let’s see if round 5 brings people out of the woodwork and onto the court. Or at least the players from the last 4 teams. There is still time to get the gears greased and moving, but that window is closing rapidly - especially with the DAC Classic looming in 2 weeks time. In fact, you should be using these matches as a way to get ready for the Classic… practice, practice, practice!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

THE SERIOUS CONTENDERS



Boasters League round 3~~

The contrast is blatantly obvious. Last night was a glaring example of which teams are challenging for the Boasters League championships and which teams are simply doddering through the weeks. Before I get into a couple of jarring stats for round 3, it should be noted that it was “meet the candidates” night and a high percentage of matches had to be listed as ‘self-schedule’, which certainly affected the amount of matches played. That being said, the reason the standings are as you see them is because of these two details: (Butter Nutz are excused here since they had the bye.)

·         The top 4 teams combined picked up 39 bonus points last night. The bottom 4 teams: 29.
·         23 matches have been played so far for round 3. The top 4 teams make up 16 of those.

It’s simple to see. After 3 rounds, there is already a 19 point difference between Paddy’s Dropshots in 4th place and Wardogs in 6th. Wardogs, mind you, have had the bye already, so their situation is not as dire as Mongoose, The Nicker Ballers (who have the bye next week) and Foss Nation (who have also had the bye but have not exactly torn it up either – they picked up only 9 points since round 2). Yes, it is only 3 rounds in, but catch-up is the worst type of game to play and typically does not work. There are still 12 players in the league that haven’t even played a match or picked up a bonus point for the half. No time like the present to start, right? A little communication, commitment…

But enough of the negativity, I’m sure you will all pick it up and get back on track. Let’s celebrate the positive instead and focus on a couple of great matches played for round 3.

Colin Bayer (Fire Birds) had his work cut out against Jason Currie (Space Geckos). Jason enjoys a fast pace onto his racquet and Colin enjoys a fast pace off his racquet, so the two complimented themselves rather well. Some long rallies, plenty of court coverage from both of them, it was Jason who ended up with the 2-1 win and his first victory of the second half.

Dave Devine (Paddy’s Dropshots) intends to blind us all with his bright pink shirt and maybe it threw John Mann (Winky-Dinks) for a loop. John struggled to match Dave’s ‘pink-power’, and lost 1-2. It was Dave’s second win for the season, so the shirt must be helping at least a little…

John Perkins (Fire Birds) extended his winning streak to 8 matches after taking care of the lovely Cathy Lysack (Space Geckos) 2-1. In fact, since we have tracking scores on Sporty HQ, John has won 22 of 24 matches, and he hasn’t lost since mid-October. I figure I may as well place a target on is back now, or at least jinx him!

So, heading into round 4 and it’s almost the half way mark of the second half. There is only 1 thing to say: Play your matches.

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