ES National Inter-County Finals (Stage 2) @ Solihull & Arden Squash Club, Birmingham, 22/23 June 2019…….by Matt Harford
County teams from across the UK had to compete in regional qualifying events earlier in the year to reach the Inter-County National finals weekend, where the Cornwall O35’s team succeeded in securing a place. The finals event was held at the Solihull and Arden club in Warwickshire were the remaining counties went head to head in a format that involved a team of 5 players competing against the other counties in best of 5 game matches, with the results of the Saturday fixtures determining the teams that would play each other for final position matches on Sunday. With ex Bude player Max Miller injured and Darren Shaw of Newquay’s late withdrawal leaving the squad needing a revamp, experienced Cornish veterans Dave Priem and Matt Waterton stepped up to join Phil Thomas, Jamie Lang, Mark Campen-Howarth and Matt Harford to make it an all Newquay Squash Club team that travelled to the Midlands to represent the county. In the first match against a strong Buckinghamshire side, Matt Waterton put in an impressive display but it was not enough to stop a 3-0 defeat. Matt Harford evened the tie with a dogged 3-2 victory against the Buckinghamshire No 3, with Mark Campen-Howarth also winning his tie at No 4 to give Cornwall a 2-1 lead before Phil Thomas, playing at No 1 lost 3-0 to leave the tie finely balanced going in to the last match where Cornwall No2 Jamie Lang was up against a tough opponent in the current O45 British Champion Paul Boyle. Taking the first game with his trademark high intensity volleying game, it looked like an upset was on the cards when he also led the 2nd game 8-4. Boyle however capitalised on a change in tactics to claw his way back in to the tie taking the 2nd game and then narrowly winning the next two games to give Bucks victory. Next up Cornwall freshened up the team, bringing in Dave Priem for Matt Harford to play against Norfolk, the pre competition favourites with the highest combined ranking of players at the finals event. Their team proved too strong with Jamie Lang getting the only victory as Cornwall lost 4-1. On the Sunday, Norfolk went on to beat Cheshire to win the event, leaving Cornwall with a 5th/6th place tie on the against Sussex. Matt Harford was restored to the team line up and started the match with a 3-1 victory to give Cornwall the lead. Dave Priem rolled back the years with some deft touches to try and maintain momentum, however his opponent covered the court well to take the tie. Mark Campen-Howarths opponent looked the more fatigued before going on court, Mark spotting this, produced a high octane performance to prevent his opponent playing his way in. Phil Thomas was next up against the Sussex No 1, capitalising on his superior physical game, Phil took a deserved 2-1 lead before his wily opponent slowed the game down and produced a range of lofted and weighted cut shots to disrupt Phils momentum and pinch the match 3.2. As with the Bucks tie, this left No 2 Jamie Lang with the pressure of trying to see out the tie for a Cornwall victory. Jamie proved to be more than up to the task, starting the match on the front foot and not letting his opponent get a foot in the game on his way to a 3-0 victory and a well-earned 5 th placed finish for the Cornish team, the highest achieved for an O35’s team.
Stage 1 2018-19 March 2/3 @ Exeter D&E Club in SW Region v Glos v Devon v Avon
Captain: Matt Harford
Probably the strongest O35 team we have ever fielded and superbly captained by Matt! The team of Max, Phil, Matt, Jamie, Mark and Darren had a distinctly NEWQUAY look about it! It all went down to the Sunday morning with Cornwall needing to beat leaders Gloucestershire to have any chance of that coveted second place which would mean probable qualification for the National Finals in June. A tough ask compounded by Max’s absence following his return to Bristol the night before. Fortunately Matt won at two and Mark won at 3 so it all came down to Jamie who promptly obliged with a clinical 3-1 display of power and accuracy raising the error count in his oppo. For all the results details go to https://mastersicc.leaguemaster.co.uk/cgi-county/icounty.exe/showintermatches?divisionid=3
Have they qualified for certain? TBA but I think they did it so three Cornish masters’ teams will represent the county at the finals on 22/23 June.
|C South West||P||W||L||D||F||A||Pen||Total|
SADLY, DUE TO NUMBER OF TEAMS ENTERED, NO STAGE 2 2018
IT WAS TOUGH IN WALES! by Matt Harford, Captain O35s 2017-18 30.9/1.10 2017
SE Wales v Cornwall v Middlesex v Cheshire v Lancs (withdrawn) DIV 2 Stage 1
Cornwall traveled to Newport Squash Racquets Club with a strong side on paper to take on the might of stronger counties like Middlesex, Cheshire and SE Wales in an attempt to return to Division 1 of the Masters O35 Inter County tournament.
Starting promisingly against previous National Champions Middlesex, Truro’s stalwart Neil Counter narrowly missed out on victory by 3 games to 2. Mark Howarth (NQY) and Max Millar (ex-pat) fought hard but both ended up losing a tight 4th game to go down by 3 games to 1. Captain Matt Harford (also NQY) got Cornwall’s solitary victory for the weekend with a battling 3-2 result over the Middlesex No2, whilst Launceston’s O35 County Champion Phil Thomas’s return from injury proved a little too soon, struggling to get into a rhythm due to a long term hand injury during a 3-0 loss which consigned Cornwall to a 19 pts to 7 defeat.
‘Game on’ Matt Waterton (NQY) came in to freshen up the team against Cheshire and the hosts SW Wales and although performing well in a 3-2 defeat to SE Wales he was unable to help turn Cornwall’s fortunes with the team losing to both Cheshire and SE Wales by 20 pts to 3 and 20 pts to 2 respectively.
Cornwall had it tough especially considering the playing strength of the opponents who before ES’s revamp of the Inter-County Competition would have been strong Premier or Div 1 teams. As minnows we certainly put up a good fight and enjoyed the weekend nonetheless. See final table below….
Individual scores available on LM http://mastersicc.leaguemaster.co.uk/
CORNWALL TRIUMPH AGAINST ALL THE ODDS! by Tim Smith
Wilts v Avon v Cornwall STAGE II 2016-17 January 14th 2017
Little more than a week into the new year and the Cornwall 035 team was on the road to Marlborough College for the second stage of this season’s inter-county champs against Wiltshire and Avon. Our team was very strong and comprised Phil Thomas and Max Millar who also represent the full County 1st team, debutant Will Tyas and the very experienced Neil Counter and Tim Smith. We were the second match of the day following a narrow win for Wilts over Avon in the first, and came up against a very motivated Avon squad in a matchup which went all the way to the last tie with Avon just nipping us 3 wins to 2. Phil and Max won their ties for Cornwall while the other 3 all felt there was more in the tank for the second match in the early evening.
Going into that second match against Wilts we were aware that a decent win would be sufficient to top the group and gain promotion for next season. Neil and Tim went on court first with Neil winning his tie comfortably and Tim edging his 3/2 in a very exciting and drawn out tie. Will then took on a very strong opponent and just lost out 3/1 leaving Max and Phil in “mustwin” positions in order the secure the overall victory. And this they did… Max coming back from 1/2 down to take it 3/2 and the classy Phil coming through 3/1 in a hugely tight and fast paced match-up to seal it for us!
Final results Wiltshire 24 pts, Avon 24pts, Cornwall 25pts. YAHOO!
2016-17 Cornwall V Devon V Avon Stage 1
Unfortunately a report was not sent through so we have posted the results directly from the new England Squash website. Avon came with just 3 players. Overall result: Devon 40, Cornwall 22, Avon 2.
For more info visit: www.englandsquash.com and look for Masters.
Group B: Results Mens Over 35s Stage 1 @ Truro S&RC Sat 15th Oct
|1||Philip Thomas||Mike Gregory||1||3||11/9 5/11 6/11 3/11|
|2||Matt Harford||John Gliddon||0||3||0/11 9/11 2/11|
|3||Mark Howarth||Ashleigh Knight||0||3||9/11 6/11 5/11|
|4||Martin Thompson||Jonathan Gallagher||0||3||5/11 4/11 8/11|
|5||Matt Waterton||Paul Gregory||1||3||6/11 9/11 11/8 12/14|
|1||Philip Thomas||Jon Foulds||3||1||6/11 11/4 11/5 11/8|
|2||Matt Harford||Tim Jones||3||0||11/3 11/8 11/5|
|3||Mark Howarth||Connall Platts||3||0||11/7 11/1 11/4|
2015-16 Stage 2 at Thame V Oxon V Bucks V Glos Report by Tim Smith
For the 2nd half of the season our O35 County team travelled to Thame in order to compete against Kent, Gloucester an Buckinghamshire for the right to stay in division one. Cornwall travelled up with 6 players for the event, Phil Thomas, Matt Harford, Mark Howarth, Neil Counter, Tim Smith and Matt Waterton. However, after the 5 hour road trip we were promptly outclassed by a very strong Kent side, picked up an ankle injury with Phil Thomas and a virus infection with Matt Waterton which drastically depleted our resources. The second match against Glos did not go too well either with only Matt Harford picking up a win, leaving us in the position of having to beat the host County, Bucks, on Sunday morning to stay in the division. The team really put in a huge effort to achieve this and Matt Harford, Neil and Tim all had titanic 5 set marathons as we pushed for survival only for all 3 to lose out by tiny margins. Mark Howarth picked up a good result, but as the rest of us could not convert we were unfortunately relegated to division two for the next season.
2015 Stage 1 Away at Cheltenham V Glos V Wilts V Avon Report by Tim Smith
The Cornwall 035 County Team travelled to Cheltenham this October to compete in Division one of the County Championships against Gloucester, Wiltshire and Avon. The team comprised Max Millar, Matt Harford, Neil Counter, Martin Thompson , Matt Waterton and Mark Howarth who made his debut.
The first match was against the home County Gloucester and straight after a 4 hour drive up the M5! Nevertheless the team played exceptionally well with 3 wins for Cornwall out of 5 strings and therefore a close fought victory. In the evening Cornwall faced Wiltshire and this time just lost out 2/3 to the strongest team in the group. At the end of Saturday Cornwall were still in second place with everything to play for on the Sunday as the top 2 teams would make the promotion group for the second half of the season. Sunday morning saw some tired limbs and heavy heads for the match against Avon. The fixture was also closely contended with everything finely balanced at 2 all with one to play. But in thefinal event the boys couldn’t quite muster the crucial win and unfortunately the relegation group it will have to be in the new year!! WATCH THIS SPACE!
Captain: Elliott Moore (Truro) 07770 473023
Cornwall Vets – Away – Bedford 2012