Alcuin earned a draw in their only Varsity match of the day, drawing 4-4 with Grey College to earn a share of the points.
The Owls’ women won all their rubbers to give York a good platform from which to work. However, their male counterparts were unable to capitalise, meaning Grey snatched an unlikely draw.
Amy Moore got Alcuin off to the best of starts, winning her match in three and setting the precedent for a series of close women’s matches. Moore’s serves were key, winning her plenty of points against an opponent who played well in rallies but struggled with her returns.
Grey levelled in the next tie, with David Hamilton losing a close game in three sets. While the match was closely contested, Hamilton was guilty of making one too many unforced errors, meaning his opponent edged the game.
Emma Claydon took to the court and restored the Owls’ lead immediately. Despite losing the first game, Claydon’s powerful serve saw her take the next two games comfortably. Claydon’s characteristically strong backhand drives were a reliable source of points for the University squash player.
Next up for Alcuin was University squash captain Kate Addlestone, who lived up to her position at the top of the bill. Addlestone was made to play one more shot than she would normally have had to thanks to her opponent’s impressive mobility around the court.
Despite finding herself four match points down, Addlestone battled back to take the second and third games in succession and put Alcuin two points ahead for the first time.
Alcuin captain Joanne Sharpe put in a captain’s performance to swiftly despatch her opponent. Sharpe’s opponent boasted a strong serve, but struggled in rallies when the Alcuinite returned them.
Sharpe’s victory sent Alcuin three points clear and one point away from their maiden Varsity victory.
The Durham resurgence began with the match of James Luca Burroughs. The ex-captain was swift as ever around the court, playing some impressive shots. However, Burroughs found himself snatching at shots which invariably resulted in points in Grey’s favour.
Alcuin’s other captain James Beswick’s first game was taken from him cruelly in sudden death: 15-14. Another close second game that went in Grey’s favour meant that the scoreline did not reflect the performance from Beswick.
Alex Clarke had the final chance to snatch the victory back for Alcuin. The first match was a battle of serves and both players possessed equally impressive serves meaning that the first game came down to only two points.
Clarke seemed to tire in the second match, seemingly surrendering and losing the final game 15-1 – a stark contrast to the first game which finished 15-13.