After a disappointing loss in their opening match to Hull’s first team last week, Newcastle men’s thirds managed to secure a strong 3-0 win against promising league contenders Leeds thirds.
The ongoing redevelopment of the Sports Centre means that Newcastle are currently playing their home matches at Eldon Leisure, and after last week’s unfortunate loss they were keen to get on court and make their mark on this season with a home win in their second match.
The Leeds boys rocked up to Eldon Leisure feeling confident but this was no match for the determination of the Newcastle team held to secure their first win of the Northern 3B league.
Despite all other Newcastle squash matches being away this week meaning little home support from the other teams, the thirds went on court with a fighting spirit.
Third seed Alistair Geear took to the court first with an extremely close first game, battling it out with his opponent who appeared just too much for the Newcastle player and came out victorious in the first game.
After an encouraging talk with the rest of the team, Geear took the next game 11/7 making it one game each between Newcastle and Leeds.
Geear dug deep in the final two games, adding pressure to his opponent who crumbled and couldn’t keep up with the pace, resulting in a 3-1 win to Newcastle.
The Leeds player just wasn’t strong enough to take the win as James Lees came back fighting with an unfazed attitude.
Next up was hard-hitting second seed Sam Austin. After a close first game and a very strong start to his match, Austin took on a two-point clear game in the second.
Both players performed some high-quality squash, keeping the audience’s eyes fixated on the game. The Leeds player had some great defence strategies in this second game, resulting in Austin narrowly missing out and Leeds taking a 14/12 win to level the match.
This made the current score a draw of 1-1, and provided the motivation for the Newcastle second seed to step up his game with some attacking winning shots and secure the next two games, 11/9 and 12/10.
The victory lifts Newcastle up to fourth place in the league.
The 3-1 wins from both Newcastle seeds meant that the pressure was off for the final game as Newcastle had already secured a win. This, however, did not stop the first seed players striving to win every point and pushing for every shot in what was an epic nail-biting match.
Newcastle’s James Lees thrived in the first game and played upon the home team advantage winning 11/7. The following game was Newcastle’s second two-point clear game of the match. Neither teams were willing to give up the win until Lees stretched his game and took the 13/11 win.
Determined to ensure at least a one-match win, Leeds’ number one player secured the next two games with some excellent sharp drives and volleys and dominated the fourth game 11/1.
This made the score 2-2 and took the match to five games. Despite an incredibly well-fought comeback from the Leeds player, their number one just wasn’t strong enough to take the win as Lees came back fighting with an unfazed attitude towards his opponent’s equalising games. Securing the win meant the final score was a 3-0 win to Newcastle.
The victory lifts Newcastle up to fourth place in the Northern 3B league, while Leeds continue to languish at the bottom of the table as they wait for their first win of the season.
Next week the Newcastle thirds face a Leeds team once again, as Leeds Trinity make the journey to Tyneside for the opening round of the Men’s Northern Conference Cup. The winners of this match will play another Leeds team, in this case, the University of Leeds’ men’s seconds.