Category Archives: Inter-County

Yorkshire Womens O50 ICC

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

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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. 

(South)Wales 
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 hampered.by 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 😀
Tony 

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

02 AND 03 MARCH

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
Vicky

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.


FIRST SECOND THIRD
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.

CHAMPIONS!

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

 

WOMEN’S O50 FINALS

Last Saturday, at Pontefract, Yorkshire ladies played in the final of WO50 IC which had been rescheduled from March due to severe weather conditions. The Monrad tournament included Kent (holders),Yorkshire, Avon and Hertfordshire.

TheYorkshireteam throughout the season had comprised Nicola Horn, Kate Fisher, Julie Field, Kim Chadwickand Sarah Percy. The team was strengthened by a new O50, Andrea Santamaria.

The team met Avon first and gained maximum points with a 3-0 win;

  • 1 Andrea beat Pippa Green 15/8 16/14 15/0
  • 2 Kate Fisher beat Eunice Bond 15/11 15/12 15/12
  • 3 Julie beat Ann Manley 15/11 16/14 15/0

 

The final was then set up for a tough match against Kent who had beaten Hertfordshire.

3rd string went on court first and Julie just lost out to Karen Hurn in a close tie

11/15 15/7 10/15 9/15

Andrea at 1st string had a comfortable win against Mandy Akin

15/7 15/8 15/11

So at 1-1 all, the final result rested on Nikki who came through after a close match to win

7/15 16/14 18/16 15/9

With a 2-1 total, the trophy went to Yorkshire, last held in 2013 and 2014

The final placings were
Yorkshire
Kent
Hertfordshire
Avon

Inter-County Over 55 Mens Team

The Yorkshire Men’s over 55 team headed down the M1 for their rearranged stage 2 match with Hampshire and Buckinghamshire on Saturday 14th April – the previously scheduled weekend having been cancelled due to the inopportune arrival of the beast from the east.

We arrived at the rather smart Chesham Bois tennis and squash club for our 2 p.m. . match in glorious sunshine with the Hampshire team sitting out watching the tennis and topping up their vitamin D. It transpired they had lost 5-0 against Bucks in the 10 a.m. match and with only one team certain of promotion from Div 1 to the Premier division we set about trying to emulate that score line. Which we did.

Ged Martin played super tight squash to overcome the Hampshire Captain, George Kousseff, Phil Wakefield had too much guile at 2 for Simon Dancer, Blacksell steadied the ship after a shaky start to come through against Doug Chandler 3-0 at 3, with Steve Smith playing classy squash to defeat Chris Edwards at 4, and with Yorkshire debutante, Randolph Victor proving too strong and fit for a skilful (but less fit) Steve Ralphs at 5th string. Credit to Hants who bore their second heavy defeat with good humour and excellent sportsmanship.

Which set us up for the crunch Bucks match at 5 p.m. with the Bucks players strolling in nonchalantly at 4.55, so cutting it fine. The 5th and 3rd strings were quickly in action though with Rod Erridge at 5th string playing an epic 5 setter (saving a match ball in the 5th) against Bucks Captain Chris Gildersleve, before prevailing 13-11! Blacksell came through 3-0 against the hard hitting deceptive Neil Hinds and Yorkshire were off to a very solid start. Darren Withey played excellent squash to defeat Ged 3-0 at first string (no sign of the dodgy back that had been troubling Darren of late) leaving us needing one more win from Phil at 2 or Steve Smith at 4. Phil had a tough battle against Mark Treadwell but held out to win 3-1 with Steve playing some very solid squash to win 3-0 at 4th string. So a 4-1 victory and promotion to the Premier division secured.

After a splendid home cooked meal from the wonderful Mary who looked after us magnificently all day we headed back up the M1 only to find it closed between junctions 22 and 23! So 7 hours driving and 6 hours of squash – a long but thankfully successful day!

Many thanks to Chris Gildersleeve and Mary for their excellent hosting and catering. Thanks to the selected Yorkshire players for their support and participation and to all of you on this e mail for your involvement and support.

And thanks also to Allam Marine for supporting Yorkshire County squash.

Looking forward to Premier Division IC squash next year.

And just as a final comment directed toward England Squash – the 3 team one day format again demonstrated its severe limitations. It completely destroys the social element and confers an advantage on the home team that gets a 6 hour break between matches whilst the other teams play back to back. All the Bucks players went home (understandably) after their morning match (why would you hang around for 5 hours before your second match?), the Hants players all (understandably) went home after their match with Yorkshire and before the Bucks players had returned to the Club, and there is no point in the day where everyone can sit down to a meal together – so you play your two matches in splendid isolation with little or no atmosphere with people wanting to get off after they have played, rather than sticking around for a drink and a meal. Please bring back the 4 team weekend format!

Stephen Blacksell