Category Archives: Inter-County

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

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

Yorkshire Ladies miss out on title in the final

Yorkshire ladies hopes of regaining the title, last won in 2015, were dealt a blow by the loss of No 1 Fiona Moverley who was called up to play for England-her first cap in the European Team Championships in Helsinki.

So with a team of Lauren Siddall, Katie Smith, Hannah Shipley and Julie Field, all Pontefract and newcomer Lauren Gray from York, the ladies faced Nottinghamshire in their first Monrad match.

The ladies had a comfortable 5-0 win with the following results.

Lauren Siddall v Shioban Robertson 11/4 11/5 11/1

Katie v Catherine Rose 11/2 11/4 11/8

Hannah v Lauren West 8/11 11/4 7/11 11/1 11/7

Lauren Gray v Susan Pynoger 11/6 11/2 11/2

Julie Field v Megan Harlow 11/5 11/5 11/8

The second match against Surrey was expected to be tougher. Julie had a comfortable win v Caroline Lucas 11/4 11/3 11/1 as did Lauren Gray v Katie Wilson 11/6 6/11 11/6 11/6. Hannah lost to Emmeline Gale 11/9 6/11 8/11 5/11.

Lauren Siddall at 1st string was fourth on court and this exciting match proved to be the most challenging and longest match of the day, Lauren finishing with a 3-2 win of 7/11 11/9 11/9 9/11 11/4 against Alison Thomson.

Having secured an overall win of 3-1 and this left Katie with a dead rubber at 2nd string against the experienced Shayne Baillie. An exceptional display by Katie, with a result of 11/4 11/2 moved the ladies to the final the following day at Sportscity.

The ladies finally went on court at 3pm. Lauren Siddall played Sarah Campion on the all glass court, losing 5/11 3/11 8/11. Lauren Gray had a comprehensive win over the Cheshire captain, Kirsty West with a score of 11/9 11/8 11/8

Hannah lost to Olivia Howell 5/11 6/11 9/11 and Julie Field defied her years, with the longest match of the day-just losing out to youngster Hayley Openshaw. Blower 8/11 11/9 8/11 13/11 5/11 Katie faced Rachel Chadwick in the final tie, another exciting close match reflected in the score of 7/11 12/10 12/14 6/11

The final result was 4-1 to Cheshire who retain the title from last year.

Wigginton and Chapel Allerton Juniors enjoy friendly rivalry

 

Wigginton played Chapel Allerton in the latest round of the North West Yorkshire Junior Squash league.

Unfortunately, a couple of clubs failed to turn out a team due to illness so the two clubs mixed and matched games to ensure all the kids had plenty of squash and enjoyed the day. 

These teams  have met a number of times over the past two years so it was an opportunity for players to see how they have improved.

The match was between both clubs under 11 and under 13 teams.

The first match was played between Wigginton’s Scott Codrai and Josh Wood from Chapel A. These two boys have played on a numerous occasions and always have close competitive games and this was no exception resulting in a 3:2 win to Scott.

Ruby From Chapel A had the opportunity to get her revenge on Finn Dunlop by beating him 3-0.

Josh Wood was the stand out performer for Chapel A winning all his matches on the day.

There was great support from the parents which also ensured the event ran smoothly.

Yorkshire fail to progress in Masters over 45’s

 

Despite a valiant effort, Yorkshire over 45’s failed to qualify for the finals as they exit the Inter County Masters at stage 2.

The competition which was held at Pontefract Squash club saw Yorkshire, Durham, Cleveland and Cheshire compete for a place in the finals.

A new format meant that only one county made it to the finals, it was all to play for.

The first bout saw Yorkshire and Cheshire take to the court which meant Robin Manall (5) and Simon Hepworth (3) were in action. Manall was out of the traps very quickly against a very skilful older player. He proved far too quick around the front of the court and ran out a comfortable 3-0 winner. Hepworth was returning from injury but he played a good match and proved too strong for his opponent, winning 3-1.

Ex pro Jonathan Lilley (1) and debutant for the over 45’s, Paul Adams (4) were up next. Lilley had been working on his fitness and movement in the last couple of weeks following injury problems and it really showed in the early stages. As the game went on he became more relaxed and played some ‘range finders’  and went on to out-skill his opponent with a fine array of deception and shot making, winning 3-1.

Paul was up against a very strong opponent and  in the first two games but dug deep and after a couple of gruelling games levelled at 2-2. But in the deciding game Paul fell to a 3-2 loss. Rick Sanders (2) endured a very tough game against very talented opposition and lost 3-0.

However,  Yorkshire progressed into the showdown match with an overall victory of 3-2. After Durham had beaten Cheshire 5-0 in the early afternoon match it was a winner takes all between Yorkshire and Durham.

Simon Hepworth (5) and Ian Tooms (3) were first up on the court. Hepworth ran into a player enjoying a real purple patch who hit winner after winner which resulted in a 3-0 loss. Ian Tooms played a very experienced campaigner with a remarkable ‘engine’ and after gaining a 2-1 lead he battled hard but could not close it out, eventually losing 3-2.

On at 4, Rick Saunders and this time playing a stylish player who played at a similar tempo . After 3 close games, Saunders proved too determined and defeated his opposition 3-0.

Jonathan Lilley (1) continued to impress in the tournament however, he was up against a very strong opponent in Yawar Abbas. The game was full of quality with two very talented players fighting for their counties. Abbas conditioning proved too much and he defeated Lilley 3-2.

The final match, at 2, saw Stuart Hargreaves taking on a very strong opponent in Andy Cross. Hargreaves struggled to find his touch in the first two games but battled hard to win the third. The fourth game was a very tight affair but it was just beyond Stuart’s reach, resulting in a 3-1 defeat.

This meant that Durham progressed to the finals with a 4-1 win over Yorkshire.

 

 

 

 

Yorkshire propell to victory at Inter County Championship

The dominance of Yorkshire juniors in the Inter County Championship continued into the 2016-17 campaign with 7 out of the age groups once again qualifying for the finals weekend held at Pontefract Squash & Leisure Club.

Finals day on Sunday saw the girls under 13’s squad of Asia Harris, Amy Royle, Layla Johnson and Lexie Ogram play against a determined Essex team. After disposing of a very strong Hampshire team in the semi-finals, Yorkshire were favourites and lived up to the hype after they dropped just one game to win the title 3-0.

The U17’s triumph in Pontefract

The girls under 15’s followed suit with wins for Mai Whattam and Laura Longfield toput Yorkshire  2-0 up against Buckinghamshire in the team game. But the opposition pulled one back with an impressive performance from the country’s number 1 ranked player Katie Malliff as she beat Yorkshires Lydia Robinson 3-0. Under pressure both Ophelia Watson and Amber Copley stepped up to the mark to record 3-0 wins and retain the title with a 4-1 team result.

After producing a fantastic performance in the semi-finals against Essex, Yorkshire knew they had to up their game once more against Kent in the final. Polly Clark, Aisha Forster and a 3-2 clincher from Emma Gill saw the title head north towards Yorkshire. Semi-final hero Grace Clark and captain Poppy Jarram were unable to beat tough opposition but the title was already won.

Hopes were high for a fourth Yorkshire title from the boys under 17’s after losses by Connor Watson and Sam Davey were rectified by wins from Sam Todd and Harry Anderson to make it 2-2. But in the deciding match the Hampshire number 1 was too strong for Ben Sockett and Yorkshire were unable to add to their winning tally.

Only the boys under 15 team missed out in stage 2 but Jordan Stewart, Jack Walmsley, Matthew Readshaw, Matthew MacGregor and George Bidder can be proud of the way they battled against strong opposition – they will be a force to contend with in the next campaign.

The girls under 19’s (Charlotte Jagger, Gabriella Mawson and Charlotte Fish); boys under 13’s (Ben Beachill, Ben Parlour, Joseph Royle and Alec and Sam Tomlinson) and the boys under 19’s (Stuart MacGregor, Elliot Ridge, Yusef Forster, Ben Merchant and Joseph Twigge) were all beaten by eventual tournament winners Sussex, Leinster and Surrey respectively on Saturday in the semi final.

Three titles and a runner-up spot for Yorkshire is by far the most successful county performance in the competition and an impressive total for next season’s players to beat.