claim 3rd Place

Sue Pynegar reports on the Women's 3rd/4th play-off ...

First on court were Alison Goy (Nott) and Ruth Drysdale (Redland). This began as a tense error prone game , maybe something to do with Saturday night out in Nottingham City Centre.

Ruth took the 1st game with some tight steady play. Second game was close going to 7/7. Alison took it 9/7 with 2 wining volleys.

She went 6/0 up in the 3rd, with excellent lengths and goods boasts. Ruth was tiring but fought back to win two points. Game went 9/2 to Alison.

4th game was good squash from both players with long tight runners. Alison played excellent from front and back of the court to take the most competitive of the games 9/4, and the match 3/1.

Next, Alex Norman (Nott) Alice Bishop (Redland). Alex had been on the receiving end of Becky Botwright in the semis- and was looking sharp. The boot was certainly on the other foot today.

Alex gave a masterly performance of power and touch play. The match lasted 13 minutes including breaks, 9/0, 9/0, 9/1. The highlight of Alice’s weekend was her point with a dead nick killer serve.

Meanwhile on court 6, were 5th string. Kitty Newsham (Nott) and Julie Molesworth. Kitty, age 16, played solid sensible squash, and didn’t the nerve get the better of her today. She went 9/2, 9/0 up, but by the beginning of the 3rd, was hand-in hand-out several time, with Julie staging a very determined fight back, but Kitty dug in an won that one 9/2.

4th string Jane Bramley (Nott) and Harriet Minchin were next on. Jane won that one 9/5, 9/2, 9/1. She lobbed and served extremely well, Harriet had great trouble dealing with this style of play.

Final game were 2nd string on court 7. Sue Pynegar (Nott) against Karen De Klerk. Despite the score of 9/0, 9/6, 9/1, this was a competitive hard game. Karen staged a strong come back in the second with some well engineered rallies and tight play at the front of the court. After a few tense rallies, Sue took this 9/6 and went on to play more steadily, and take the final game 9/1.

Sue, Jane & Alison steer
Nottingham to 3rd place

MEN’S 3rd/4th PLAY-OFF
In the morning, I followed the meeting between Limpsfield (who play in the Surrey League, along with my club Wimbledon) and Nottingham. Unfortunately for them, Nottingham only came with 4 players, so they started with a handicap.

May I start by saying that I was not impressed by the “couldn’t care less about this 3rd/4th match on a Sunday morning” attitude from Toby Mortimer (Limpsfield). Matthew Oxley (Nottingham) did gave a toss, and punished his opponent in 22 minutes 9/4, 9/1, 9/0.

Chris Tomlinson, 2-0 down ...Nick Douglas (Nottingham) was playing a “better disposed” Chris Tomlinson, even if Chris didn’t play at his best, far from it. But at least he had the courtesy to respect a maybe less talented player than himself, who won fair and square 9/5, 9/1, 9/3.

Limpsfield was lucky that Colin Payne had an unexpected victory over Neil Reddington, 9/1, 9/3, 9/7 in only 23 minutes. “Well, that was a surprise”, said a very smiling British Over 40 Champion. “I didn’t expect to win against somebody younger and fitter!”

Yes, Limpsfield was lucky, as Tim Richards (Nottingham) was no match for Kristen Johnson’s game. And although he was extremely determined and courageous, Tim couldn’t do anything to stop Limpsfield's 4th string from seizing the decisive point 9/8, 9/0, 9/1 in only 25 minutes.


Malcolm Willstrop reports ...

Pontefract's ladies team have been hitting the high spots, recently having been featured in the Sunday Newspapers for their looks and they showed that they can play squash.

Bidding for a record third consecutive win, the all-international team with an average age of 20, dismissed hosts Nottingham 5-0 in the semi-final to set up a final with the experienced New Eltham side.

Experience could not counter youth of this quality and Pontefract's young guns shot the opposition to pieces 5-0 without yielding a single game.

As holders, Pontefract go to Austria to defend their European title in September and with such a classy, young side they are sure to acquit themselves with credit, under the managership of Terry Dudley.

The travelling Pontefract support returned to the club for celebrations and were joined by squash legend Sarah Fitz-Gerald, five times World Champion, and looking at her in the National League final still the best woman player in the world. Fitzy played for Pontefract when they won last year's European Championship and she remains a great favourite at Pontefract.

The future has to be bright for the young Pontefract side and they are already European, British and Yorkshire League champions, as well as Yorkshire Cup holders.

Mandy Akin on New Eltham Ladies

More on Willstrop's Words


Only joking…. Wimbledon was actually playing Village Cheadle, but Liz West, mum, Kristy and Evie, daughters, were playing 3rd, 4th, 5th string, as one of their players couldn’t make it. So, at the last minute, 12 year old (yes, she looks much older, doesn’t she?) Evie replaced the missing player.

The junior was a bit out of her depth there, and Wimbledon's Philippa Jebson decided to keep the ball in play, and made a nice conditioned game to allow the young girl to enjoy the event.

Claire Baker, 3rd string, was playing Evie’s mother, Liz. Ms Baker, part of the England O40 team that recently won the Home Internationals, met feisty opposition, but had the measure of her opponent, 9/2, 9/2, 9/7.

Rebecca Colthup (4th string Wimbledon) was facing Kristy, Evie’s sister. Rebecca recovered after a bad start, but swept her opponent to one side 9/7, 9/2, 9/2. She stated at the end of the match that “Horse-riding before a squash competition is probably not a good idea…”

1st string Jane Gardner (Wimbledon) stepped in against Laura Dedic. Both players were a bit surprised by some refereeing decisions I was told, but Jane mixed her game very well indeed, and succeeded to overcome her hard hitting opponent in 4 games and 40 minutes 9/4, 9/7, 6/9, 9/8.

And Hilary Tarleton (Village Cheadle) saved the club's honour by winning the 2nd string in 3 straight sets 9/4, 9/7, 9/5.