Squash breaks even in Stan Calvert play

Charlotte Cooper reports on the mixed fortunes for the Newcastle Mens and Womens teams in Squash

Charlotte Cooper
27th February 2018
Victory against Manchester takes Newcastle to the final of the BUCS Conference Cup. Image: Pixabay

Womens firsts

This years Stan Calvert matches against Northumbria started as they always do - Newcastle gets a huge support group down to watch followed by a megaphone…Following last year’s results of Northumbria just beating Newcastle, we were ready for the challenge ahead. Down at The Northumberland Club in Jesmond, the women’s teams took to the courts first. Despite Newcastle missing some of their key first team players they still got stuck in to their matches.

Up first were the number 3 seeds. Newcastle fresher Hodgkins took a slow start to the game which Northumbria took full advantage of. The hard hitting third seed took the match in three straight games. The 5th seeds battled it out on the court next door which attracted spectators as the games went on. Newcastle player Murphy wouldn’t give up, giving her all but unfortunately Northumbria snatched the games leaving the scores 8/11, 12/14 and 9/11.

Captain and first seed player Cooper took to the court to be the last hope at a Newcastle win

After two tough losses Newcastle still had their heads held high looking for their chance to strike a win. Both the second seed and fourth seed players took another two 3-0 losses. Second seed Crowther performed some great defensive shots, but her Northumbria opponent was too strong for the Newcastle fresher. Again, with the fourth seed players, Newcastle’s Jardin was stretched out across the court from the range of shots Northumbria were hitting out. This meant that Newcastle women had already lost.

Despite this, captain and first seed player Cooper took to the court to be the last hope at a Newcastle win. Northumbria stepped out strong taking the first game. After some coaching advice from club coach Liam Gutcher, Cooper went back on court confident. With some fantastic attacking shots and many winners from volley nicks, Cooper took the match 3-1. The overall score was 4-1 to Northumbria.


Mens firsts

After supporting the women’s team, the men come out with determination to sink the Northumbria men’s team down. President of the squash club, Ryan Doran was up first showing no mercy to his opponent. He took the match is straight games, 11/0, 11/2 and 11/2. Fourth seed player Cahill also followed in his team mate’s shoes. Again, with some strong narrow drives Cahill took the match 3-0. With Newcastle being in the lead by two games the pressure was on Northumbria to bring it back and level with their women’s team.

Fortunately for Newcastle, both the second and third seeds weren’t going to give in that easy. Third seed for Newcastle Walls, stepped up to the mark taking the first game 11/1. In his next game his opponent dug deep and fought back, however Walls’ shots were too much of a match wining the game 3-0. Second seed and longest standing member of the squash club, Mike Mackay then took to the court. With some supportive spirt from the crowd followed by Newcastle’s typical megaphone behaviour, Mackay was raring to go. Taking the first game by storm, Newcastle secured an 11/3 win. The Northumbria play battled back trying to defend all his opponent’s shots. Newcastle again were too strong with the match score 3-0.

With some long-standing rally’s and some great attacking volleys Wiggins pulled it out the bag for Newcastle winning 3-1

With the overall match score currently at 4-0 to Newcastle, they had already guaranteed a win over Northumbria. As the first seeds went on, Newcastle’s Wiggins wanted to take home a full 5-0 win. Dominating the ‘T’ Wiggins was miles stones apart from his opponent with the first game ending at 11/1. In the next game Northumbria picked up the pace leaving Wiggins on the back foot and a two-clear score to Northumbria 12/10. Now at 1-1 in games Wiggins found that drive to push his opponent further and add the pressure. With some long-standing rally’s and some great attacking volleys Wiggins pulled it out the bag for Newcastle winning 3-1.

The overall score for the men’s match was a fantastic 5-0 win to Newcastle. Unlucky to the women who missed out on a 1-4 loss however with some of their first team missing, the second team girls really stepped up their game doing Newcastle proud.

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