Matchbericht ¦ Nationalliga B ¦ Grasshopper II vs. Allschwil I ¦ 3:1

The penultimate match of the season and we were up against Allschwil. Before Christmas we’d only got a winning draw so we were looking to go one better this time.

It was our turn on the back courts and first up were Dalvit at 2 vs Jasmin Ballman and Magdy at 4 vs Philipp Gass. It wasn’t looking promising in the first few minutes with both Gabriel and Magdy going 0-4 down. Fortunately, Dalvit started finding his length and turned up the intensity to take the first 11-5. Meanwhile Magdy was a little slower to find his shots. He lost the first despite saving 4 game balls but then powered through the second 11-5. Unfortunately the tactic of ‘everything in the nick’ didn’t work all the time and Magdy found himself 2-1 down before refocusing and taking the 4th and 5th games 11-6, 11-5 to seal a 3-2 victory. Meanwhile Dalvit had started to try too many fancy shots in the 2nd game and a series of very accurate winners from his opponent put him on the back foot. Despite also saving a handful of game balls it was just too late and the games were tied at 1-1. A switch back to consistent pressurising squash proved to be a turning point and Gabriel took the 3rd 11-5. A strong fight back from Jasmin in the 4th looked threatening but Dalvit kept his game, in his words, “long and hard” and closed out the 4th 11-9 and his match 3-1. 

Next up were JB vs Nadine Frey and Tom vs Mike Brändle. JB played clinically, wanting to maintain his unbeaten NLB record and he made sure not to drop a game. He pounded his opponent into the back corners and only dropped 13 points over all 3 games. Meanwhile, Tom was engaged in a struggle on the graveyard of champions. Finding it difficult to generate enough pace Tom tried uncharacteristically to go for fancy winners. Needless to say this was completely the wrong tactic. Despite a close first game a handful of mistakes at crucial moments meant he went down 10-12. A very weak 2nd game saw at least 5 forehand drops hit the tin before he regrouped in the 3rd and played more patient, accurate squash. Tom managed to win the 3rd 11-8 and started the 4th positively taking a decent lead. At 9-7 a monster rally went Mike’s way and then despite getting a match ball Tom found the tin again. Unfortunately, that spelled out the beginning of the end and Mike battled through to win 12-10 and take the match 3-1. In the words of Magdy there was a big tactical error: too often not attacking when it was easy and too often trying to attack when it wasn’t on. 

Nevertheless, a 3-1 win for GC overall and another 3 points brings us to second in the table. We now haven’t lost a match since the beginning of November and we will finish at least third in the league whatever happens in two weeks. However, a win on the 17th March would keep us in second and mean we can take part in the playoffs for NLB champion.