Wins for all three of York’s squash teams

The men’s squash firsts, the men’s squash seconds and the women’s squash firsts all enjoyed wins on the Saturday of Roses

The men's squash firsts in action earlier this season. Image: Peter Iveson

The men's squash firsts in action earlier this season. Image: Peter Iveson

UNIVERSITY OF YORK 4 – 1 UNIVERSITY OF LANCASTER

York Men’s Squash team earned a hard earned 4-1 victory over a determined Lancaster side that didn’t give an inch throughout a pulsating five matches.

The compact spectator’s area above the courts made for a bustling and intense atmosphere with the Red Rose support particularly vocal. First up, in a high-octane battle which set the tone for the match series was Lancaster’s Joe Reed versus David Potter.

In a tight game with the winning margin per set never more than four points, Potter’s greater composure saw him through to a 3-1 win to give York a 1-0 lead. Overlapping with this was undoubtedly the tie of the match with Arnie Dunning of Lancaster coming back from two games down to defeat Matt Brennan with the final game going down to the wire 13-11 in Dunning’s favour, who fell to the floor in exhaustion after winning.

It felt as though the next tie would be crucial in the overall outcome of the match. Initially the momentum remained with Lancaster and McGovern in his duel with Matt Lewis as he took the first set 13-11. However this merely spurred Lewis to produce some outstanding play, sweeping back to take the next three games whilst losing only four points.

McGovern’s dramatic collapse spelled the beginning of the end of Lancaster’s stern resistance as Ben Holden was next comprehensively defeated 3-0 by Matt Pollen which took York into an insurmountable 3-1 lead overall, thus securing victory. As a final flourish York also took the dead rubber game to complete a final 4-1 win, in doing so securing four more precious points in the overall Roses competition.

UNIVERSITY OF YORK SECONDS 4 – 1 UNIVERSITY OF LANCASTER SECONDS

A superb performance from the York’s squash players earned the White Rose two Roses points.

Ben Craddock was the man charged with earning York an early lead and despite some suspect serving he still managed to edge out the first game 11-9 against his opponent, Felix Bilson.

In the second game it became a battle of Craddock’s skill and technique against the power of Felix and it was once again Craddock who won the game. Craddock then eased to an 11-3 victory in the third game with some fantastic squash which his opponent had no reply to, handing Craddock a 3-0 victory and putting York ahead.

Sam Westmoreland then increased York’s lead and put them 2-0 up with a solid display against Tom Fielding. Following a tight first game, which Westmoreland clinched 12-10, both players looked evenly matched, but in the second Westmoreland’s skill and agility allowed him to return some impossible balls and hammer Fielding 11-2.

A lacklustre third game allowed Fielding back into the encounter but another dominant display in the fourth meant that Westmoreland won the tie 4-1 and gave York a 2-0 lead.

Myles Knight left himself a lot to do in his match against James Flanigan as he lost the first two games. He did manage to draw level however after two good games particularly in the fourth where he showed his true ability with an 11-4 victory. He could have claimed victory for York if he’d won the deciding match but unfortunately he lost out 11-8 to put Lancaster on the scoreboard.

Matt Johnson came up against a difficult opponent in the form of Phil Lowrey but he always looked like the better player. Things went swimmingly in the first two games as he won them both, although he did manage to upset a few of the Lancaster fans by appearing to refer to Lowrey as looking suspiciously like President Nixon.

An outstanding performance by Lowrey in the third allowed him to win one game, but Johnson clinched the points for the York side with a 12-10 victory in the fourth game.

Alex Turner then won the last encounter easily as he played some fantastic squash, making the game look easy. It provided York with a 4-1 winning score line that matched their dominance.

UNIVERSITY OF YORK WOMEN 4 – 0 UNIVERSITY OF LANCASTER WOMEN

The York women’s firsts squash team took home four points for the Roses tournament yesterday in a true whitewash of their Lancaster rivals, with each player winning their individual matches.

The team needed to win three of the four matches to bring all four Roses points home for York and they did it with little concern.

The first match saw number three player Timna Freeman set against Ciara Wilder playing for York. The first game of their match made for a slow start, but Wilder secured the first win of her match with 11-6. Freeman’s defences ultimately failed her as Wilder went on to her match with the remaining games scoring 11-6 and 11-4.

Meanwhile, Emily Lowrey took on Lancaster’s Helen King, in the closest match of the women’s squash tournament. Lowrey locked in a strong start between the number four players, powering ahead whilst Lancaster supporters tried to pick up King’s spirits.

Lowrey began to struggle with longer rallies, as King proved herself an equally matched opponent. It was the longest game of the match with two close games scoring 11-9 and 11-8. Both players began to suffer from fatigue, but Lowrey persevered with a number of powerful rallies to win 11-9 within her third game.

Wilder and Lowrey’s wins presented team Captain Emily Russell with the opportunity to win the full four Roses points for York. She ran away with 11-2 points in her first game against opposing Captain, Georgina Baum. Russell’s winning point of her second game was taken effortlessly before Baum had any chance to retaliate, losing with just one point. York’s Captain continued to soar through the match, with a victorious final game totalling 11-1.

Despite Russell’s match securing the all-important Roses points, number one players Samantha Preston and Hannah Sewell still took eachother on. Sewell rapidly won her first two games of the match for York, 11-5 and 11-1. Preston was left looking disgruntled as she struggled to keep with up with the pace of the three games and impending likelihood of a whitewash. Rapid rallies continued as Sewell calmly secured a White Rose triumph for the team in the last game, winning 11-2 with a series of sharp backhand shots.

The Lancaster women’s team left today’s tournament having failed to win a single game in any of their matches. While King put up the best defence against an equally determined Lowrey, the York Captain’s thrashing of her Lancaster opponent characterised the team’s resilience to win.

Each member of the York team secured their match wins within three games of a potential five. York supporters at Sewell’s match summed up the tournament’s sentiment with a banner which read: “You’re gonna get squashed!”

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