Category Archives: Masters

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

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.

 

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

Yorkshire Over 60’s Inter-County

On the weekend of 24/25th March, Nottingham Squash Club was the venue for Inter-county Finals.

In their Semi Final match Yorkshire faced Northamptonshire, who were winners of their Stage 1 group.

First on court for Yorkshire at No.3 was Steve Forster. In the first game Steve started very well, building himself a good advantage and despite a late push from his opponent he took the first game to lead 1/0. The second game saw the Northamptonshire player start much stronger and take a big lead, however, Steve held his nerve gradually narrowing the gap and eventually taking the second to lead 2/0. The third started in a similar vein to the second but Steve again came from a number of points down to take full control and take the match for Yorkshire by 3 games to nil.

At No.1 Anthony Kettlewell faced current England International, Simon Evenden and after a slow start Anthony found himself trailing 1/0. The second and third games were much tighter, but sadly this resulted in a 3/0 defeat for the Yorkshire player.

With the match now tied, everything rested on Robert Taylor at No.2. He was also up a very experienced player in Ian Holmes. After a cagey start where points were traded by both players, Robert manged to get himself in front and take the first game to put himself 1/0 up. The second followed a similar pattern, with Taylor taking this one also to extend his lead. Needing just one more game to take the tie for Yorkshire, the third proved to be a much tighter affair but Taylor maintained his composure to this one and the match for Yorkshire.

Yorkshire 2  Northamptonshire 1

Following a team meeting, Fred Harrison, kindly agreed to stand down for the second match, resulting in an unchanged team to face Lancashire in the final.

Steve Forster was on first again against former National Champion, Steve Johnson. Despite the first two games being close, the Lancashire player managed to edge both games to take a 2/0 lead. In the third Forster gained the advantage and when leading 12/9, the Lancashire No.3 pulled his calf muscle and was unable to continue. Game to Yorkshire 3/2, taking a 1/0 lead in the match.

The No.1 string game featured current National Champion, Allen Barwise from Lancashire. Anthony started the game extremely well frustrating his illustrious opponent. Despite having two chances to close out the first game, Anthony eventually lost this one 18/16. The second game was also evenly contested but again the Lancashire player gained the upper hand at a critical time, taking this one 15/12. Despite a valiant effort in the third Anthony eventually went down by 3 games to nil.

The match was now evenly poised at one rubber each and again it was down to Robert Taylor to attempt to win the match for Yorkshire. His opponent was current England International and National Over 60 Runner Up, Ian Bradburn,

Robert started the game strongly taking the game to his more experienced opponent and clearly this tactic worked with Yorkshire taking the first game. Bradburn was clearly unsettled and raised the tempo in the second game and after a fairly even start the Lancashire man levelled the game at 1 all.  Despite Robert’s endeavours, the rallies were now quite punishing for both players and sadly from a Yorkshire perspective Bradburn came through to win 3/1 and take the match for Lancashire.

Overall this was an excellent effort from the Yorkshire squad and to finish the competition was a terrific achievement.


Fred Harrison; Steve Forster; Robert Taylor; Anthony Kettlewell

 

Thanks should also go to Dave Lines who captained the team once again this season.

Final Positions

  1. Lancashire
  2. Yorkshire
  3. Northamptonshire
  4. Surrey

Steve Everitt

Yorkshire Over 60’s – Match Report

Over the weekend of 28/29th October, Yorkshire entertained Cheshire, Lancashire and Northumbria 1 at Chapel Allerton, Leeds in the 1st Stage of this years competition.

It proved to be a thrilling competition with some very close encounters.

In their opening match, Yorkshire faced Northumbria, knowing this tie could to be pivotal to their success for the whole weekend.

First on court playing at No.3 was Steve Forster and it soon became apparent his opponent was not in the greatest of health as Steve took the first game 15/8. He took full advantage of this opportunity, proceeding to put the ball into all areas of the court to keep his opponent under constant pressure, winning his match 3/0 to get his team off to a great start.

Next up for Yorkshire was Anthony Kettlewell, who faced a very accomplished Northumbria No.1. Sadly Anthony never really got into his stride, losing his match 0/3.

Last on court for Yorkshire was Robert Taylor and this proved to be the match of the weekend, lasting in excess of an hour. The tone was set in the first game with Robert managing to take this 21/19, before his opponent took the next two games 14/16 and 13/15. The 4th game swayed backwards and forwards before Rob managed to close this out 15/12. In the decider, Robert got off to a good start and despite a spirited effort from his opponent, Robert managed to take this 15/7 to win the match for Yorkshire.

Yorkshire 9 points Northumbria 5 points.

The second match of the day saw Yorkshire take on Cheshire, knowing that a good win could see them make the County Finals in March 2018.

Fred Harrison came in at No.3 for Yorkshire. Unfortunately Fred never really settled, looking nervous throughout against a very mobile Cheshire player, eventually going down 0/3.

Second on court was Anthony, who was up against the very experienced Geoff Walton. Anthony took full control of this match from the start, never really giving his opponent the opportunity to play his own game. Anthony came through with a 3/0 victory to level the match score at 1/1.

After his epic first encounter it was left to Robert to attempt to bring home victory for Yorkshire against a fresh opponent. He won the 1st 15/9 before losing the 2nd 9/15. With the 3rd game very much in the balance, Robert came good just at the right time to take this 15/11. The 4th game also proved to be a battle but Robert eventually came out on top 15/12 to take Yorkshire to their second victory of the day.

Yorkshire 9 points Cheshire 4 points

Day 2 saw Yorkshire needed just one point from their final match to make the finals but in this match they faced a formidable Lancashire team, full of quality.

Back in at No.3 was Steve Forster, against a very nimble opponent. After a slow start, he lost the 1st game 10/15. Trailing 6/11 in the second game, Steve produced some excellent squash to unsettle his opponent and won 8 points in succession to take this game 15/11. The 3rd game proved to be quite close until the latter stages, eventually losing this one 10/15. The 4th proved to be a game too far for Steve, losing this one 5/15, but more importantly he had secured the point necessary to take Yorkshire into the finals.

Anthony was next up for Yorkshire and despite some heroic rallies against a top class opponent, he eventually lost his match 0/3.

The final match saw Robert take on England international Ian Bradburn. His exploits of Saturday certainly took their toll on Robert as he never properly got going against such an experienced player. Having lost the 1st 11/15, he went down 7/15 and 4/15 to lose 0/3.

Mission accomplished by a very spirited Yorkshire team. Well done Mr. Lines.

Thanks should go all Counties for the spirit displayed throughout a brilliant weekend and for Chapel Allerton for allowing us to host the competition there.

Final Standings:

  1. Lancashire     36 points
  2. Yorkshire       19 points
  3. Northumbria  19 points
  4. Cheshire          7 points

Steve Everitt   30.11.17.

Over 45 Inter-County

Originally a 4 team event reduced to 3 after Lancashire’s 11th hour withdrawal.
All matches played on the Saturday.

We were in a tough group with the current champs and one of the finalists from
last year. First up Cambridgeshire. On first local lad Paul Adams.  A real tough
encounter over 3 games. Paul winning 3-0 but all three games only a couple of
points in it. On next debuting for the team John Riley. John was up against a
very quick talented player and after losing the first he went on to win a tight
match 3-1. On next at 1 Matt Stephenson also making his debut for the over 45’s.
A really difficult first outing for Matt up against the former world no.7.
After a hard fought 3 games Matt lost out 0-3. 4th on court at number 4 Rick
Saunders, playing a former foe from his Cambridge days. After a brutal 12-10 in
the 1st Rick had knocked the stuffing out of his opponent and ran out a fairly
comfortable 3-0 winner. With the match already in the bag it was left to the
number 2 strings to play. Jonathan Lilley winning the first 11-2 with his
opponent clueless as to where the ball was going. However, after some helpful
words from his teammates he worked out how to combat Jonathan’s shot making.
Jonathan eventually losing 1-3. Win for Yorkshire 3-2. Great start against a
really good Cambridge team.

For our second match of the day we were facing a difficult challenge playing the
current Champions Durham & Cleveland.

At 3 John Riley playing his second match of the day who was up against a really
good player who was fresh and had not played yet. In a really close match the
freshness made the difference. John losing 10-12 in the 5th. At 5, another “new
boy” Mark Swift. Mark was in control against quite an unorthodox shot maker. He
ran out an easy 3-0 winner – great debut. On next at 4 Stuart Hargreaves.
Stuart was up against one of his team mates from Pontefract in a game where
both players were familiar with the other’s game. After some really hard rallies
Stuart eventually going down 1-3. Next at one Matt Stephenson, for his second
match of the day. After winning the first 11-4 Matt was flying only for his
opponent to retire at 2-0 down in the second. Disappointing for Matt but a win
is a win! So with the match at 2-2 it was left to Jonathan Lilley to try to win
the whole event for Yorkshire. He was up against an opponent who he has played
many times over the years where the matches are always nip and tuck. Jonathan
moving and playing well went into a 2-0 lead only to be slowly and painfully
clawed back to 2-2. Both players were fighting exhaustion in the fifth and
eventually Jonathan lost out 7-11 in the fifth.

A really tough but good days squash from all concerned. Hopefully enough to make
the finals in March.

MO55 Inter County

30th September and 1st October

Captains Report

Yorkshire travelled to Duffield to play Warwickshire, Derbyshire and Shropshire.

 

First up were Warwickshire who were a man short following a last minute cancellation.

Steve Forster played at 4 and after a slowish start, had too much finesse for his opponent and won 3-0. Rob Taylor had a battle at 3, eventually prevailing 3-2 in contentious circumstances when his opponent objected to a referees decision and forfeited the final game. Steve Blacksell went on against what he thought was the Warwickshire No 2 only to discover after scraping a punishing 3-2 victory that he’d actually played the No. 1. Which meant that Phil Wakefield had no trouble dispatching the Warks No.2, 3 – 0. So a 20 point start and we were off to a flyer.

 

Next up were the home county, Derbyshire. Once again Steve Forster played impeccably to beat his opponent in 3 closely fought games at 5. Rob at 3 had too much firepower for his opponent and won 3-0 so all was looking good. But then Steve Green pulled his troublesome adductor and hobbled manfully through 3 games – his restricted movement meant he lost 3-0. Phil played a strong Derbyshire No.1 and lost a skilfully played match in 3 closely fought games. So 2-2 with the No. 2 string to be the decider. Thankfully Blacksell was able to out manoeuvre his opponent and took the string 3-1 and thus the match.

 

A fine curry and some good IC hospitality followed before we reconvened on the Sunday to play Shropshire. Sadly Warks could only get 2 players out on the Sunday and so conceded their match 5-0. Which meant that Yorkshire needed to beat Shropshire to finish top (Derbyshire having beaten Shropshire on the Saturday. We were a team of 4 as Shropshire were a man short on Sunday

Rod Erridge travelled down from York and outthought his opponent at 4 and won 3-0. Steve Forster again played well and prevailed 3-0. Phil managed to win at 1, 3-0 and Blacksell after a slow start, won 3-1.

 

So 54 points accumulated and a Yorkshire victory to take forward to Stage 2.

 

Thanks to:

·         Simon at Duffield for great organisation and hospitality.

·         Steve Everitt for turning up to support.

·         The Yorkshire players who all journeyed far to play for the County.

·         The County and their sponsor Allam Marine who make it all possible

Stephen Blacksell