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
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.
(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.
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.
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.
The six week session was a great success and as such I have continued with the Tuesday evening Ladies 1.5 hr sessions.
I initially had an interest from 12 ladies, the news soon spread and after the first six weeks I have had another two requests to participate. Of course, being ladies, some were/are a bit hit and miss due to parents evenings, husband being detained at work, etc. etc.
There has been many benefits to the participants, to the club and to generating interest in the sport.
I had a few beginners , (Mother’s of some of our junior members) some ladies who maybe played every now and again with a friend and not really committed to the sport, and others keen to improve.
My ladies bonded from the onset, made new friends and met other lady members, creating a great atmosphere and activity within the club.
The only thing I would have done differently would have been to set up a WhatsApp group from the very beginning. I send a message out every Monday morning and those able to attend send me a reply as such. This gives me the opportunity to plan before the Tuesday evening session according to the ability and skills of each player. It also acts as a motivation and a reminder to the rest of the group.