Category Archives: Inter-County

Yorkshire Over 60’s – Inter County Finals

22nd/23rd June 2019.

Birmingham University provided the venue for this year’s Inter Counties Finals, with Essex being Yorkshire’s opponents for their quarter final tie.

First on court for Yorkshire at No.3 was Steve Forster. After a slow start, he gradually clawed his way back into contention, only to lose the first game narrowly.  From this point forward he took control of a relatively tight match to run out a 3/1 victor.

At No.1 was Phil Wakefield and he also found himself well down in the first, however, he remained patient and eventually closed out the game. From there on the result was never in danger, as he won the second and third comfortably to secure a 3/0 win.

Although the match was now won, Mark Shipley played out the number two string game. Mark continued the trend of his colleagues by starting slowly. Mid way through the first, he began to find his length and from this point forward the result was never in doubt, as he went on to win 3/0.

This set up a semi final against current champions, Lancashire, who sadly due to injuries were only able to field two players, but both were International standard.

Steve Forster sat this one out claiming a walkover at 3, meaning that if we could win one of the remaining matches it would take us through to        Sunday’s final.

Unfortunately this was not to be the case as the Lancashire players showed their true class to win these two matches convincingly.

At 1 Phil was never able to find his rhythm against Allen Barwise and the same applied to Mark at 2, who found Steve Johnson in fine form.

This left Yorkshire to contest the 3rd/4th play off against Northamptonshire on the Sunday morning.

The play off began with Steve Forster at No.3 and right from the start he dominated his opponent, playing and moving extremely well, giving Yorkshire the ideal start with a 3/0 victory.

Next on court was Phil Wakefield facing England International, Simon   Evenden, a re-match of their British Open semi final encounter and this proved to be the game of the weekend.

Having narrowly lost the first, Phil managed to up his game taking the next two to lead 2/1. Despite having one match ball in the fourth, sadly it was the Northants player who took the set to level at 2 all.

The fifth set was a tense and nervy affair with both players playing some very good squash but equally making mistakes. The writing looked on the wall form the Yorkshireman as Evenden opened up a 4 post lead. However, the best was still to come as Phil stormed back to reach match ball, but was unable to close out the match. After a series of opportunities Phil eventually won the set 20/18, to secure 3rd place for Yorkshire.

Mark Shipley played out the 2nd string game against Ian Holmes, and after levelling his game at one all, he lost his rubber 3/1.

A great weekend and perhaps with a better draw, the team could quite easily have made the final.

Well done to everyone.

Steve Everitt  23.06.2019.

Womens Over 50 Intercounty Finals

Yorkshire ladies were in action at the weekend, at Warwickshire Squash club, defending the WO50 title which they took in 2018. Unfortunately the team was missing several key players due to holidays and injuries so with a squad  of Andrea Santamaria, Julie Field and Julie Nevins, all from Pontefract, the ladies travelled down on Friday for a match at 9am on Saturday morning. Up first against Hertfordshire and in a 3-1-2 order of play, Julie Nevins- more used to playing the doubles game for the last 5 years- was catching up on the singles game again.  Andrea  dispatched her opponent followed by Julie Field who won and gave the match to Yorkshire. Saturday afternoon and a tougher match against a strong Welsh team, who have been champions many times in the past. However Yorkshire showed their true grit with victories from Andrea and Julie Field.

Following a lively evening at  the Warwickshire captain’s house where all the teams had been invited, Yorkshire then played old rivals Kent on Sunday morning. Julie Nevins just lost out to the experienced Karen Hume and Andrea then beat Mandy Aitkin. Again  the pressure was on Julie Field against  the youthful Candy Wilson. An exciting match with  a win for Candy gave Kent the title. 

An enjoyable weekend , played in the true spirit of the game.

Yorkshire v Hertfordshire
Andrea beat Gillian Lilico 15/4   15/7   11/15   15/2
Julie Field beat Isobel Smith  16/14   8/15   15/8   15/12
Julie Nevins lost to Sheila Blake 9/15   9/15   9/15

Yorkshire v S. Wales
Andrea beat Helen Barnard  15/2   16/6   8/15   13/15   15/10
Julie Field beat Gill Campion 15/10   15/11   6/15   15/13
Julie Nevins lost to Sian Johnson 9/15   6/15   7/15

Yorkshire v Kent
Andrea beat Mandy Aitkin  17/15   15/9   15/5
Julie Field lost to Candy Wilton  10/15   6/15   13/15
Julie Nevins lost to Karen Hume  3/15   5/15   8/15

Yorkshire Womens O50 ICC

This event was held on 2nd March at the Northern Club, Didsbury, Manchester. Cheshire 


A prompt 09.30 start with very friendly match between Jane Law and Julie Field,  set the morning off with a 3-0 win for  Yorkshire. 
A rather more serious approach saw some tight and entertaining squash between Nicki Fowler and Andrea Santamaria, but the result was never in doubt with another 3-0 to Yorkshire. 
With no pressure on the match result, another chatty match between Paula Arrowsmith and Polly Woodward gave amusement to all. Yorkshire won 3-0 again. 

Yet again, the O-60 pairing of Julie and Lynne Davies were on court . After a quick and positive start from Lynne,  Julie pulled the first game back to win 15-12 and then followed up with two more convincing wins for her second 3-0 of the day.  Andrea took on Sian Philips (slightly a knee injury) and tried to find her racket with the ball  a few times… 
to the amusement and entertainment of the onlookers but in the end won a very convincing 3-0 victory.  Paula was then on with current O-60 World Champion Jill Campion. They had a very competitive match with the lead swinging one way then the other, Jill finally clinching it in the 5th. 
As usual, it was a friendly and enjoyable event at a very pleasant venue. 

Julie Field

Yorkshire  will go forward to the final stage of the competition. 
On paper, the two other teams were very strong contenders. They each were short of one of their key players and so this particular region could have been exceptionally strong. It seems a shame for the competition that we were grouped together in this way and that only one  county will go forward. 

ICC Mens Over 60’s

Stage 1 of this year’s competition saw Yorkshire drawn against Cheshire, Durham & Cleveland and Lancashire 2.

In their opening match they faced Cheshire with Mark Shipley first on court for Yorkshire. After taking the first game comfortably, Mark found himself trailing by 2 games to 1, however, he quickly regained control of the match coming out with a 3/2 victory.

Next on court at No1 was Phil Wakefield who came up against a very tricky and somewhat vocal opponent. Despite dropping the third game Phil kept his composure to win the fourth and gain a 3/1 victory.

The final game saw Robert Taylor playing at No.2. Whilst this proved quite a close encounter in terms of game scores, sadly the Cheshire man always appeared to hold the upper hand, holding on for a 3/0 win.

Result: Yorkshire 9 points Cheshire 5 points

Lancashire B were the opponents for Yorkshire’s second match.

Steve Forster came in at No.3 for Yorkshire and very quickly settled into his stride winning the first game comfortably. The second and third games followed a similar pattern which resulted in a 3/0 victory for the Yorkshire man.

The first string match saw Phil Wakefield face a very experienced opponent from Lancashire. The first and second games proved to be quite tight with Phil coming out on top in both. The third turned out to be more comfortable for the Yorkshire player as he ran out a 3/0 winner.

The final game of the day saw Robert Taylor at No.2 and after a slow start and losing the first, Taylor stamped his authority on the match to win by 3 games to 1.

Result: Yorkshire 12 points Lancashire B 1 point

On the Sunday morning the final game of the weekend was against Durham & Cleveland, in what looked on paper to be their easiest game of the weekend. This couldn’t have been further from the truth.

The match began well for Yorkshire with Steve Forster dominating his opponent from start to finish, running out an easy 3/0 winner and taking the Yorkshire squad to the brink of qualification for there Finals weekend.

The No.1 string game also started well for Yorkshire with Phil taking a 2 love lead. It was at this stage the match turned on it’s head with the D&C player fighting his way back to win 3/2.

At No.2 Robert Taylor was involved in the game of the day. With the rubber finely poised at 2 games all, the fifth proved to be an epic, swinging one way then the other. Sadly for Yorkshire the D&C player held his nerve to take the game 16/14 and the match for Durham.

Result: Yorkshire 7 points  Durham & Cleveland 9 points

However, despite losing their final match Yorkshire had accumulated 28 points which was enough to secure top spot in the group and qualification for the finals in June.

Well done to everyone for their contribution in what proved to be a very successful weekend for the squad.

Steve Everitt

Over 50’s weekend report

It was always going to be a tough weekend with Durham & Cleveland and Lancashire in our group, last year’s winners and runners up. 
The 1st match against Northumbria proved to be a nice warm up for the afternoons true test, John Hanson, Richard Briggs, Jason Fearn and Graham Hawcroft having comfortable 3-0 wins, only the captain made hard work of it, eventually winning 3-1.
The afternoon was the crunch one, with Durham already losing to Lancashire this was the one both teams needed to win, Graham once again showing the speed and agility of a man half his size won 3-0, barely breaking sweat, (this weekend was the first time he had represented Yorkshire since the U19’s, 34 years ago !!!). The No 3 strings were already doing battle, with Jason having an tight match with Peter Lonsdale, eventually losing 3-0 with all three games going to tie breaks, it really could have gone either way. No 4 strings had a seesaw match, Tony eventually sneaking it 3-2, so all to play for 2-1 up and no 1 and 2 strings still to play. John had a great match with Yawar, eventually losing 3-0 but a great effort against a super fit opponent, he will be aching for days to come. Richard went on with all guns blazing and despite taking each game close he eventually lost 3-0.
So near and yet so far, to the pub re-group and decide tactics for the next morning.
Brandon Petty and Mark Wilkinson stepped in on the Sunday, and despite a 9.30 start on freezing courts, they both put up great efforts against two very unorthodox players, but the results didn’t go our way.
The exertions of the day before were taking there effect on Graham who has never seen a squash court on a Sunday morning, and the spark failed to ignite, the same with Tony who never seemed to get into the match. Biggest surprise was Richard paying at No1 string and despite numerous fresh air shots in the warm up, took his opponent to 11-9 in the 5th.
A great weekend, the event ran smoothly, and benefited from having other age groups at the venue.
Thanks to everyone who played and gave up their weekends
Maybe next year 😀

ICC (over 55) Masters

Captains Match Report

Well whoever decided that playing 4 matches in one weekend using PAR scoring to 15 at our age needs taking aside and shooting!

We all hated the 3 county format admittedly but a 5 county format is sadistic! Although much better socially with other age groups also playing the same weekend.

There were some brutal matches and the overall standard, particularly at first and second strings, was ridiculous. Steve Smith had an epic match on Saturday against his Cheshire opponent coming back from 2-0 to win 3-2. And Andy Tuck had a murderous 5 setter against his Cumbrian opponent before squeaking home in the 5th.

After the first matches on Sunday morning Northumberland had 3 wins from 3 with 2 counties (Cumbria, and Yorkshire)  having won twice and lost once so there was everything still to play for. The undefeated Northumberland team was strong with Jon Evans at 1, Paul Millington at 2 and Glenn Ward at 3. Luckily Brian Beeson was on holiday! Andy Hall played the previously unplayable Glenn Ward (who had destroyed all his other opponents) in a pulsating 5 setter that left both men literally on their knees, with Ward just edging the 5th. A fresh Ged Martin who arrived (like the Cavalry) on Sunday morning hit the ball too accurately and too hard for Millington and won his match 3 – 1. Jon Evans (recently crowned over 60 National Champion) was wily and cunning and prevailed over Steve Martin at 1. But Prem was too clever for his 5th string opponent and Blacksell lobbed and dropped his Northumberland opponent to death on the cold glass show court. So we defeated the previously undefeated Northumberland 3-2.

Which left Yorks to play Lancs and Cumbria to play Cheshire. If we beat Lancs we would come top. If we lost to Lancs we would come third if Cumbria then beat Cheshire – which was expected.

And we did scrape by in the Roses match with Steve Martin having a great win at first string against Alan Day, Prem again being too skilful for his opponent and Blacksell (stuffed full of Ibuprofen), too mobile and quick for the 6 foot 3 inch Lancashire unit playing at 4th String.

So Yorkshire topped the 5 County Group with Cumbria second and Northumberland third.

Which means we go through to the finals on the 22 and 23 June – venue to be confirmed, but please put in diaries. 

Thanks to all the Yorkshire players who travelled variously from London, Harrogate, York, Bradford, Doncaster and Sheffield to be there. Thanks to Giles for keeping all the matches on track.

And thanks to our Yorkshire sponsor Allam Marine. 

Stephen Blacksell 

Inter-County O65s Stage 1


England Squash tried a new system that saw several age-groups playing at the same venue.  The venues on each day though differed.  In addition, there was yet another design of team shirt for Yorkshire players to wear.  Universal approval for any of the three was not apparent.

However, the team ventured over to Grove Park for their first match.  The opponents were Merseyside.  Start time was an early 10:00.

First up at three was team captain Edward Winter from Sheffield.  He was under treatment for a problem with his right hip.  Seeing as you ask, not the joint but the imaginatively named greater trochanteric pain syndrome.  Although he moved gingerly, he beat Les Callow 3-0 (15-11, 15-13, 15-6).

Next up was first string, Scot now York resident Brian McRobbie against Pete Sharples.  Brian sneaked the first 16-14, was less troubled in taking the second 15-8 but had another close one in the third although it went his way 17-15.

So two up; good start.  Last on was two string: Barnsley’s Steve Williams against Ian Sheard.  In his characteristic unflappable style, Steve cruised through 15-9, 15-13, 15-7.

After an excellent beginning the team now faced old adversaries Lancashire. The match began at 14:40.  Edward Winter continued where he left off and countered the challenge from Phil Shacklady with a near pain-free 17-15, 15-13, 15-9.
Similarly, Brian McRobbie resisted Robert Holdsworth 15-13, 15-13, 16-14.
Steve Williams completed the clean sweep with a 15-13, 20-18, 15-12 victory over Geoff Wilcock.

What a Saturday.

Brian with wife and travelling-supporter Margaret, stayed over. Steve and Edward returned to their respective homes.  All three contemplated the match against Cumbria the following day.
The four arrived safely at Manchester Northern ready for a 12:10 start.
A slightly sore Edward Winter eased past Roger Furniss 15-13, 15-9, 15-12.

Brian had a tougher encounter against England international Terry Belshaw.  Having let slip a lead at game ball, Brian lost the first 16-18.  He then lost the second 15-11 but took the third 15-7.  However, Belshaw came back strongly in the fourth that he captured 15-12
This was the first rubber the team had lost in eight matches.

Steve Williams began well against Chris Lilly and secured the first 15-13.  In the second though, Lilly had a string of the-ball-could-have-gone-anywhere type shots that turned out to be winners and took the second, also 15-13.  Lilly started the third with another run of winners in the third but the run petered out.  Besides, Williams is a tough opponent.  He held in and then eased to take the game 15-11.  His opponent was now tired and Steve pressed home his advantage to take the fourth 15-8 and the rubber 3-1.

Against the ante-post odds perhaps, Yorkshire had beaten all three of their opponents.  Each of the three-man team had acquitted themselves well.

The finals scheduled for 22 and 23 June now beckon, at a venue to be decided.

Edward Winter

Yorkshire Womens Over 45 team

The first match played was against Worcestershire.
In her debut Yorkshire appearance Clare played at 3 winning comfortably 3-0. Also playing her first match, Vicky then continued the winning streak with a 3-1 victory playing at 1 on a very slow and cold court. Nicola cemented the victory playing at 2 with a 3-0 impressive win. After a good first match win.

Our second match was against a much stronger Warwickshire squad. Vicky got the team off to a good start with a 3-0 win at 2 with a much harder and faster game on a warmer court suiting her fast pace game. Second on court was Sarah Wood playing at 5 and making her debut Yorkshire squash appearance against the experienced Warwickshire captain. After a hard fought, close game sarah was unlucky to lose 3-0 which didn’t reflect the evenly matched abilities of the 2 players. Clare played next at 4 and had a similar evenly matched contest, being 10-6 up in the 2nd game but the experience of her opponent unfortunately resulted in a 3-0 loss. Feeling the pressure of the team being 2-1 down, Nicola went on court at 3 with a fighting spirit. Nicola played 3 very closely fought games, again against a very evenly matched player & was very unlucky to lose all 3 games by the narrowest of margins. Finally, Sarah Percy played at 1 against a very young and energetic opponent. Still recovering from a viral infection Sarah worked hard to secure the first game. Struggling to breath Sarah continued to work hard, playing some long & tiring rallies and was frustrated that her inability to play her A game lead to a 3-1 defeat. 

The team kit was by far the best on show and all the players enjoyed their day out and are looking forward to the next team performance.

Thank You

Junior Inter County

Five counties shared the spoils at the 2018/19 Junior Inter County Championships in Nottingham at the weekend as players from Yorkshire, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire and Lancashire lifted the coveted titles.
Girls Under 19

Yorkshire and Surrey claimed three titles each with Sussex lifting two and Lancashire and Hampshire clinching one.

Boys Under 19

There were fist pumps and screams galore as 467 players representing 124 teams cheered on their fellow county team mates in the main draw and plate finals with competitors demonstrating remarkable team spirit and sportsmanship throughout the weekend.

Girls U11 Sussex Northumbria Hampshire
Boys U11 Surrey Oxfordshire Sussex
Girls U13 Lancashire Northumbria Essex
Boys U13 Surrey Yorkshire Warwickshire
Girls U15 Hampshire Yorkshire Warwickshire
Boys U15 Sussex Yorkshire Essex
Girls U17 Yorkshire Northumbria Kent
Boys U17 Surrey North Wales Kent
Girls U19 Yorkshire Hampshire Sussex
Boys U19 Yorkshire Sussex Hampshire

View the final results: LeagueMaster

Girls Under 17

Inter-counties Over 45’s Men

Finally got the event underway after being cancelled in march due to snow. A last minute withdrawal by Gloucester meant a three team “round robin” event between Yorkshire, current holders Durham and Hertfordshire. Unfortunately we drew the short straw and had to play 2 matches on Sunday – a tough ask.

First up Hertfordshire. Starting things off at 5, Phil Davis. After a see-saw battle with 3 games going to deuce, I eventually lost 14-12 in the 5th. No captains performance there then! 3’s on next with Simon Gittins debuting for YorkshireOver 45’s. After a tough match, Simon lost out 3-1. Onto the no1’s and our “trump card” former world no.3 Simon Parke also debuting for the 45’s. It soon became apparent that Simon’s skill levels were too much for his opponent. Simon winning 3-0. On next we’re the 2 & 4 strings. Jon Lilley at 2 won the 1st comfortably and in the 2nd his opponent retired injured – 3-0 match to Yorkshire. That left the overall match score finely balanced at 2-2 with John Riley hoping to seal the win at 4. John was quick out of the blocks to go into a 2-0 lead only to be pegged back 2-2 by a very stubborn opponent. The nerves were definitely jangling. John played well winning the 5th 11-8.

Match to Yorkshire3-2. Bring on Durham!

After a touch of lunch and some rehydrating, time to lock horns with reigning champions Durham. They had beaten Hertfordshire 3-2 on Saturday so had the benefit of overnight rest.

5’s and 4’s on first. At 4 Simon Gittins breezed past his opponent 3-0 to get us off to a great start. At 5 John Riley, with the least turnaround time of all of us, John was visibly fatigued but he still had enough left in the tank to seal a 3-0 victory. At 3, Stuart Hargreaves stepped in fresh from his holidays to get a hard fought 3-0 victory over club colleague, Peter Lonsdale, gaining revenge for his loss to Peter in stage 1. On the adjacent court, no1 Simon Parke was taking on Yawar Abbas in an epic encounter. Simon showing his skill to take a 2-0 lead and Yawar showing his speed and fitness to claw it back 2-2. Simon played some delightful shots in the 5th to gain the initiative and to take the match 11-4 in the 5th. Finally at number 2 Jon Lilley playing an opponent who never seems to get tired or lose! Unfortunately for Jon, his opponent was just too strong with Jon losing out 3-0.

Overall result, match to Yorkshire 4-1.


Left to Right. Jon Lilley, Stuart Hargreaves, Simon Gittins, Phil Davis (capt), John Riley & Simon Parke.