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.
- Lancashire 36 points
- Yorkshire 19 points
- Northumbria 19 points
- Cheshire 7 points
Steve Everitt 30.11.17.