2023 Shield Tournie

The Alex Doherty Memorial Shield is an annual tournament at Galashiels Squash Club for the early round losers of the Club Championships.  The final was contested by previous Shield Champion Graham Bensted of Peebles and Selkirk’s Iain Gorman.

These pair actually met in the First round of the Club Championship, where Gorman won 3-0 before losing to eventual Championship Runner-up Sam Collin to drop into the Shield tournament.

Veteran Bensted started the Shield tournament with a Walk over against Nick Ord before taking the Scalp of Club Captain Del Sharratt 3-1 and followed this with a 3-1 Semi-final victory over Derek Noffke who hails from south Africa.  Gorman’s route to the final seen him triumph over Jonathan Fletcher (Melrose) 3-2 and Nick Jupp (Ancrum 3-0) before meeting Double Club Champion Iain Laing (Selkirk).  Iain Laing was strong favourite to win this tournament; but Gorman dug in and focussed on the game to take the scalp of Laing 3-2 to chich Gorman said “I’m rather chuffed”.

In the Final Gorman dominated form the start, both players are hard hitters and they both had to concentrate on the ball as the drives were fast and full length.  Gorman was able to pick out the corners more consistently and this gave him the edge against the more senior Bensted, Gorman took it 15-13, 15-13, 15-6 to claim the Shield title.