Wentworth relied on games won as the scores were tied in the squash final against Alcuin.
Usually dominant in all of their college matches, Wentworth were powerless to resist impressive performances from all of Alcuin’s women which provided a good base from which their male teammates could work.
The match started with Chris Goode of Alcuin facing Nils Morosz of Wentworth. Goode took an early lead but was immediately pegged back by Althuis. The games consisted of long, punishing rallies as both players looked to assert themselves on the match. However it was Morosz who would ultimately run out victor, winning the more crucial points in each game and capitalising on Goode’s errors to win 11-7, 11-6.
Alcuin’s David Hamilton took on Tom Henry in the men’s number fourths match. Although matching Henry for technical ability, Hamilton was being forced to return on more shot than he would have liked to, resulting in a fairly swift first game being won to 7 by Henry. Hamilton grew into the match in the second game, looking more impressive but still being shaded by his opponent. Although Hamilton had managed to level the match after Henry took an early lead, Henry took the second game 11-8 and gave Wentworth an early two point lead in the tie overall.
Alcuin’s next two then levelled the match for the Owls.
Kate Addlestone came up against Siewwai Poon, and settled into the match incredibly quickly. Addlestone looked the more powerful and mobile of the two, only giving away points via her own individual errors, wrapping up the first game quickly. The second of the games saw a far more impressive performance from Poon, who raced into an early lead and consolidated it by taking the second game 11-7. Addlestone returned to her form of the first game, taking the third game as quick as she took the first and halving Alcuin’s deficit.
Alcuin co-captain James Beswick went up against Matt Robson in the closest game of the match. Beswick started out strongly, moving Robson around the court well and looking the more technically adept of the two. Beswick took the first game comfortably, but faced a fightback from Robson in the rest of the match. Robson appeared to start moving better, returning shots that he did not get to in the first game. Beswick kept his composure and closed the game out with a brilliant drop shot to give Alcuin their first, and only, point in the men’s rubbers.
The mens’ threes match saw UYBC firsts player Ollie Hoult face Andrew Steer. Both started quickly, moving well and making few errors. However, as soon as mistakes started to creep into Hoult’s game, the match slowly tilted in Steer’s favour. Steer took both games fairly comfortably, winning them 11-5 and 11-6, a tie which could have been much closer on a different day.
Beswick’s co-captain Joanne Sharpe took to the court against Charlotte Brannigan and immediately acquitted herself well. Sharpe got into the stride quicker than Brannigan, and took the first game 11-8. The second game saw Brannigan hit her stride, unleashing powerful forehands and smashes that Sharpe struggled to return. However, Sharpe stoof firm and the game became a balance between Sharpe’s placed shots and Brannigan’s brutal forehands, with Sharpe edging it to draw Alcuin level in the tie and give the Owls the bonus point.
Amy Moore was pitted against Huang in the final women’s match of the tie and saw Alcuin take the lead in the match for the first time. The start saw Moore and Huang trading errors but Moore was able to win the first game to 8. Once both players started to iron out their errors, the game was an exhibition of impressive ‘gets’, both players return shots that looked destined to fall short of them. Moore eventually took the rubber two games to one, guaranteeing Alcuin at least a draw.
In a strange turn of events, Wentworth fielded another girl in the men’s half of the draw but the quality of the match was not affected in the slightest. James Burroughs and Katie Wilson faced off fighting for the match. It was Wilson who emerged the winner, being able to produce the shots to combat Burroughs’ swift movement around the court. Burroughs grew into the game more and more as it went on, but Wilson was impressive in her shot making, running out 13-11, 11-8 winner and securing the win for Wentworth on games won.
Both teams are deserved representatives of York, Wentworth having dominated college squash for years and Alcuin being by far the most improved team in the league over the past 18 months.
Alcuin: C. Goode, J. Beswick (C), J. Burroughs, O. Hoult, D. Hamilton, J. Sharpe (C), A. Moore, K. Addlestone
Wentworth: N. Morosz, M. Robson (C), A. Steer, T. Henry, K. Wilson, S. Poon, C. Brannigan, R. Huang
Player of the Match: James Beswick