VETERAN Clydebank squash player Dave Sturman was crowned national champion after winning an epic final on Sunday, March 11 at the 2018 Scottish Masters Championships in Inverness.

The second seed defeated Ernie Cowell 12-15, 15-13, 15-10, 15-17, 15-11 in the men’s over-65 final.

Going into the final he hadn’t dropped a game throughout the competition at Inverness Tennis and Squash Club but was up against a player in sixth seed Cowell who had shocked top seed Jim Dougal in a tight semi-final.

Sturman had match balls in the fourth game which were saved by Cowell, but the Clydebank ace kept his composure to claim victory.

“I am ecstatic,” he said afterwards. “In the fifth game Ernie was 5-0 up and I thought it was going to run away from me.

“But I managed to get the odd ball back and suddenly it was 5-5.

“Ernie then made a few mistakes and I capitalised on it.”

He continued: “I play every day but in a final it’s much harder to get routine shots in.

“I settled after the first game where I probably had a few nerves.

“It was tough when I didn’t convert the match balls in the fourth but grit and determination helped me through.”

“I have great admiration for Ernie.

“He has been out for a few years with injuries and is back playing really well which is great to see. He had a long semi-final against Jim Dougal and was probably on his knees going into the final.”