ALL ENGLAND FINALS @ HALLAMSHIRE, SHEFFIELD APRIL 30th – MAY 1st 2022 Report by Tim Smith
Squad: Tim Smith, Neil Counter, Mike Morgan, Nigel Bell, Jon Wills and Kev Hugh.
This was most likely Cornwall’s strongest ever o55 team on paper and our best chance of improving on the highest ever 5th place finish at the National finals achieved by any Cornwall county team. In the quarter final we played Sussex and the contest went all the way to 2 all when Neil Counter, playing last, anchored the result with an excellent comeback in his 2nd string match to get us through to the semi in fine style. Nigel Bell and Jon Wills also enjoyed good wins at 4th and 5th string respectively and thus a top 4 result was guaranteed. The semi final against Surrey was simply a step too far with two England internationals at the top of the opposition order and solid depth through the squad, our team was simply out-played and went down at every string 5 nil. In the third place play off we were slightly unfortunate with injuries affecting both Tim Smith at first string and Nigel Bell at 4, who both had to retire. Neil was also clearly weakened by an inopportune stomach bug and Mike Morgan at 3 and Jon Wills at 5 were also overcome by their opponents.
Hence a final position of England no4 for Cornwall and slightly mixed feelings as the cards just didn’t quite fall for us in the final match against Middlesex for that bronze medal position.
An exceptional weekend of keenly fought inter county masters’ matches saw CORNWALL WIN THE GROUP with two wins out of two. First up was Somerset which Cornwall managed to win 3-2 in rubbers with Nigel Bell winning 3-0 at 5th string, #2 Mike Morgan won 3-0 and Tim Smith at #1 beat England 🏴 060 number 3 Nick Gollaglee 3-0. Jon Wills at #3 lost 3-0 and likewise for Kev Hugh at 5. Up next and just an hour and half later Cornwall took on the might of reigning National Champions Avon (twice!) at their home club! Nigel showed his class by winning 3-0 again, Kev played out of his skin to win 3-2 after quite some encouragement from his team mates, Mike went down 3-0 but not without a fight and Jon suffered a second 3-0 defeat but looked out of sorts. This meant the match and the weekend decider was Tim’s match at #1. In an amazing atmosphere both players gave it their all to reach 2-2 but it was Tim who showed all his strength and fitness to take the match 12-10! This means Cornwall will now play in the National Finals in May and with the possibility of Neil returning could on paper cause some real upsets! And all this on ST PIRAN’S DAY!
OVER 55s (following revamp of ICC by ES 2021-22 season) Team captained and managed by NEIL COUNTER with vice-captain TIM SMITH. Squad: Kev Hugh, Mike Morgan, Jon Wills and others as reserves.
ARCHIVE – OVER 50s COUNTY TEAM.
2019-20 Season: no team entered due to revamp of competition resulting in all masters sides playing on the same weekend. O35s and O45s entered with high hopes for both.
2018-19 Season – New ES Regionalised Format
Stage 2, National Finals at Birmingham Uni, 22/23 June 2019
Sadly, having battled to earn a qualification place for the first time ever at the National Finals (new format suiting us, admittedly) team captain Neil Counter was unable to field his strongest side with 4 withdrawals due to injury and unavailability. Normally held in March the shift to June was much criticised especially considering our county’s reliance on the tourist season which meant two of our best players were busy at work. Hopefully ES will take on board the change many were urging. Neil did, however, get four to travel and full credit to them for wanting to make the effort for their county. Neil at #1 was always going to struggle, Jon Wills gave it his best at #2, Andy Ahern gave a very good account of himself at #3 and Tony Saxton from Bude battled hard in both his matches, V Dorset and V Warwickshire. The O60s filled in the gaps with Tony playing against Dorset (3-1 L) and Russ performing miraculously almost beating the Warks #5 late on Saturday afternoon. Two nil up and looking comfortable Russ then had a slump allowing his opponent to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat 3-2! The over 50s enjoyed their weekend and we are very grateful to them for completing the fixture rather than pulling out last minute. CCSRA will be considering in due course which age groups to enter for next season’s ES Inter-County……
Stage 1 @ EXETER V DORSET V DEVON V SOMERSET MARCH 2019
A slightly understrength o50 team traveled to Exeter to take on Devon, Dorset and Somerset. Our first match saw Cornwall up against old-enemies Devon.
Andy Ahern making his debut v Dave Hazzard won comfortably 3-1, a good start for Cornwall. Meanwhile Mike Morgan made short work of Martin Billis beating him 3-0, putting Cornwall 2-0 up. Kevin Hugh missed a chance to clinch it for Cornwall being edged out 11/9 in the fifth. Pete Walker found Nick Dart in form also being beaten in 5. So it was down to Neil Counter at No1 to try and win it for Cornwall, he didn’t disappoint winning 3-0 against the hard hitting Dave Brown. Great start for Cornwall 3-2.
A strong Dorset team were up next for Cornwall who were weakened by Mike Morgan who had to miss the match due to his ASBO Tag battery running out and needing renewing. Kev Hugh found Adam Scott too strong going down 3-0. Andy Ahern leveled it for Cornwall beating Charlie Campbell-Wynter 3-0. Pete Walker fought bravely against Ian Miles but couldn’t overcome him losing 3-1. Neil Counter outplayed the ex-pat and classy Martin Greenslade beating him 3-0. Russ Jameson stepped in to play at 5 fresh from his exploits in the o80’s also in Exeter but found Ian Hayden too accurate losing 3-0. 3-2 to Dorset.
And so on to Sunday and what was looking like a straight shoot out between us and Somerset to see who comes second behind Dorset. Andy Ahern went 2-0 up against Derek Truman and had match point in the third, only for Derek to clinch it and the next game to set up a nervy fifth, which Andy won 11/7. Meanwhile Kev also went to 5 after being 2-0 down but unfortunately lost the fifth. When Pete went down 3-0 to Steve Jukes it seemed like Cornwall were going down, but up stepped Mike Morgan fresh from not playing the night before and rehydrating in the nearest champagne bar, who took on a very fit Neil Mansey. Neil couldn’t handle Mikes physical all court style, Mike winning 3-1. Neil said afterwards “I honestly didn’t know where Mike was going to hit it next” Mike’s reply was “ neither did I”.
So it was down to Neil Counter and Duncan Alexander to fight it out to see which County comes second. Duncan won the first 11/6, Neil replied by winning the next 11/6, Duncan Egen the third 12/10. Neil again leveled the match by winning the fourth 11/8.
It appeared Duncan had used all his energy trying to nick the fourth and so Neil powered through the fifth to win the match, beat Somerset and ensure Cornwall ended up second behind Dorset. So Cornwall’s o50s join the successful o35 and o60 teams in qualifying for the finals in June. Kev
Stage 2 @ Somerset v Cornwall v Wilts & Oxfordshire 24th/25th March, Wyvern Club – Team: Mike Morgan, Kev Hugh (capt.), Jon Wills, Pete Walker, Tim Smith & Neil Counter
Finally, Cornwall were able to put out their strongest side to date and had the added luxury of taking a squad of six to the familiar surroundings of The Wyvern Club, Taunton. The weather was spring-like and the chatter in the various cars heading east was extremely positive, apart from the inevitable talk of various injuries!
The first match was against Wiltshire and Kev (Baldy) Hugh was on court against the wily Welshman, Clive Morgan. Kev played superb squash and was 2-0 and 8-4 up in the third and then looked like he was going to suddenly snatch defeat from the jaws of victory….giving his teammates near heart attacks up in the gallery! Clive took the third 11-9 but Kev finally sneaked it 11-9 in the fourth to seal our first win, thus allowing the team to relax a little. It certainly helped Mad Mike Morgan and Pete (Sky) Walker, as they went on and recorded easy 3-0 wins. Neil Counter lost the first game in his match but then got into a good rhythm and won the next three games to record his first win of the weekend. Tim Smith was playing at one and found his hands full losing the first two games to a very skilful opponent. However, Tim’s fitness is something to behold and he dug in to record a brilliant 3-2 win. His opponent at the end looked like he’d been in a 12 round prize fight! So after round one, it was Cornwall in first place with a 20-4 win and Somerset in second with a 17-5 win over Oxfordshire. The sixth man’s (Jon Wills) contribution at this stage was to set the club’s alarm off upon arrival and also to drop his marking board onto court – fortunately, no injuries! Most felt it was just as well he wasn’t playing!
The 2 hour break involved some snacking and a rapid trip to the shops in Mike’s 700bhp Merc, as he wanted to buy an IPad! Anyway, onto round 2…….
We were up against Oxfordshire, who have always proven a stern test in the past. However, they proved to be our weakest opposition of the weekend, with the boys only conceding one point in the overall match score. Kev decided to cause no heart flutters on the balcony and dispatched his opponent 3-0. Pete and Mike also recorded easy 3-0 wins but Neil lost concentration in the third game, losing it 9-11. However, he refocused and won the fourth to take it 3-1. Tim basically dismantled his opponent 3-0 with tight, attacking squash and looked very impressive. So with 2/3 matches played, it was Cornwall still in first place with a maximum 40 points and Somerset still in second, having beaten Wiltshire 17-3. It was now all about the Sunday morning and the winner takes all clash between Cornwall and Somerset. The banter started early but first the Cornwall lads needed to sample the delights of a night out in Taunton! The thought of the clocks going forward an hour filled some with dread but the evening performance was equal to the heroics of the day. The kitty was topped up several times, we lost count of the rounds and Mike ‘lost’ his phone. Fortunately, he left it in the taxi and it was returned before the night was out, so he could talk to his beloved Diane! We all returned to the Travelodge safely via an extremely welcome KFC….
Sunday morning loomed with a distinct lack of sleep for some. Over breakfast, the usual chatter about who snored the loudest or longest loomed large and Pete may well have won that particular competition! The talk quickly moved to the upcoming match with Somerset and the lads started to focus. We felt that we needed to win at seeds 3,4 and 5 as Neil and Tim were up against very good opponents and only one of the Somerset team had been out the night before! Jon stepped in at number 5 and should have been fresh not having played all weekend. However, having shared a room with Pete and probably sampling a little too much Taunton ale, he made a meal of his match. It was quite a painful experience for Neil, who was marking but Jon ended up winning 3-0 in a close encounter. Next on was Pete and he was playing Somerset stalwart Graham Bishop. Pete was out the blocks like a scalded cat and won the first 11-2. However, even though he won the next two games 12-10 and 11-9, it was a close affair. Mike Morgan played Derek Truman and showed no signs of fatigue from his previous matches or the night before. A comfortable 3-0 win. Maybe he should now be known as Mike ‘Superman’ Morgan as opposed to Mad Mike……NAAAAAAA! So the match was now won with Cornwall having an unassailable 3-0 lead. Neil and Tim were still hungry for victory. Sadly, Neil looked out of sorts against a strong Duncan Alexander, going down 0-3 but I’m sure he’ll do better should they meet again. Tim was up against Nick Golaglee, who was also unbeaten and it soon became apparent as to why. Nick plays incredibly, accurate, high serves on both sides which immediately puts most opponents on the back foot. Any ball that’s returned even slightly loose is dispatched with precision and his drop shots are awesome! Tim found himself 2-0 down but once again dug in and played superbly to win the third. Nick then refocused and won the match 3-1. No disgrace for Tim as Nick is very likely to make the England over 60 team next year and is not too far away from the over 55 team.
Thus, we dropped 5 points to Somerset but we claimed 55 points out of a maximum of 60 over the weekend. It’s so good to finally have a successful Cornwall Masters O50s team and we’re looking forward to challenges later in the year. The arrival of Tim, Neil and Pete has made a massive difference. A great weekend all round and the gladiators returned home in glorious Spring sunshine, with more tales to add to the vault! We would also like to add our congratulations to our over 60 team who were also victorious this weekend!
Cornwall: 55 points, Somerset: 40 points, Wiltshire: 25 points, Oxfordshire: 11 points
Stage 1 @ Newton Abbott v Devon v Somerset v Dorset ‘The Gaffa’: Kev Hugh 28/29 October results available on: http://mastersicc.leaguemaster.co.uk/
L – R: Jon W., Kev ‘The Gaffa’ Hugh, Nige Bell, Jack H & Neil C (pictured after beating Somerset 3-2 on the Sunday morning after the O60s insisted the Peter Pans went to bed early!). Other results: V Devon L 3-2 & V Dorset L 5-0. In part explained by the injury list and withdrawals: Mike ‘Morgy’ M, Pete ‘Skywalker’ and Tim S (played Saturday). Big thanks to Jack (China Fleet) who super-subbed at the last minute.
Read The Gaffa’s report in full……..
Cornwall’s 050 team – the famous ‘Peter Pans’ – made the short journey to Newton Abbot to take on Devon (hosts), Dorset and Somerset. Up first were Devon. Neil Counter at 2 and Jon Wills at 3 got the ball rolling. Neil’s opponent pulled up in the first game and had to pull out whilst Jon pushed the experienced Dave Brown eventually going down 3-1. Cornwall ‘new boy’ Nigel Bell had a good win at 5 winning 3-1 and when Kevin Hugh went 2-1 up at 4 it was looking good for Cornwall, but unfortunately he couldn’t sustain it losing 3-2. It was all down to Tim Smith at 1 against the classy Martin Glover but although he had him all over the court he just couldn’t win the important points going down 3-0. Devon 3 Cornwall 2.
Next up were the very strong Dorset with ex-Cornwall old boy Martin Greenslade at no 1. With Nigel Bell not being able to play, veteran Jack Halford was called up to the side. He battled gamely but couldn’t overcome his opponent going down 3-0. Neil went down 3-1, whilst Jon pushed his opponent all the way before eventually losing 3-2. Kev Hugh found his opponent too strong going down 3-0 so it was down to Tim to salvage some pride for Cornwall against Martin Greenslade. Tim fought for every point and was very unlucky to lose 9/11 in the fifth, the best match of the weekend many felt.
On to Sunday. After being suitably refreshed the night before and having an inspirational team talk from The Three Russkateers o60 team Cornwall took on old foes Somerset. With Tim Smith indisposed Jack Halford was again called up. Unfortunately Jack couldn’t make any inroads into his opponent losing 3-0. Neil went on against the wily Nick Gollagee, putting in a fantastic effort winning 3-1. Kev Hugh looked out of sorts against his opponent losing 3-0. Nigel Bell continued his good form beating the no 4 12/10 in the fifth. And so it was up to ‘hero’ Jon Wills playing at 2 to seal victory with a brilliant display winning 3-1 to give Cornwall a 3-2 win.
Overall standings were Dorset 53, Devon 37, Cornwall 28 & Somerset 25.
Well played boys! The Gaffa Kev
DAVE THE HERO WHERE THE CIDER APPLES GROW!
Stage 2 2017 Somerset v Wilts and WE LOT! By Kev Hugh
Cornwall’s o50 team traveled to Taunton to take on Wiltshire and Somerset. Earlier in the day Somerset beat Wiltshire 4-1. Cornwall were slightly stronger with the addition of Tim Smith and Neil Counter so hopes were high. Jon Wills and Dave Mathews got the ball rolling against Wiltshire with fine 3-0 wins for Cornwall at No.3 and No.5. Dave beat the Welsh Champion at O65 level, Clive Morgan. Kev Hugh suffered a setback losing 3-2 at No.4 but Tim Smith secured the team win with a comfortable 3-0 win at No 1 and Neil completed the rout winning 3-0 at No 2.
Next up were Somerset and looking at the two counties results v Wilts it looked like it was going to be a tight match. Jon Wills made short work of the Somerset No. 3 to put Cornwall in the driving seat. Meanwhile Dave was on the next court and although he went 1-0 up he soon found himself trailing 2-1 to their No. 5. Tim Smith in the meantime came up against a fresh and determined Somerset No. 1 losing, perhaps surprisingly, 3-0. With Dave looking down and out at 2-1 and 15/14 ( matchpoint) down all looked lost especially when Dave went to shake hands believing he’d lost 16/14. After persuading him (gently, as you do with the elderly) it was still only 15/14 he played on and took that game 19/17 to a huge roar from his team mates, although that was nothing to the roar he got when he took the fifth 11/5. Lifted by Dave’s amazing win Neil and Kev both went on to win their matches 3-1 and 3-0 respectively to make sure Cornwall came top.
Cornwall ended up with 36 Points, Somerset 23 Points and Wiltshire 7 Points.
Many Thanks to all the team, Captain Kev.
Stage 1 2016-17 Wilts V Avon V Cornwall Oct 8th by Captain Kev Hugh
Cornwall’s Over 50 team traveled to Wiltshire slightly stronger this year with ‘youngster’ and County No 9 Neil Counter (Truro) making his Over 50 debut.
Wiltshire played Avon first and it soon became apparent that Avon were the inform team, beating Wiltshire 5-0. After a short break it was Cornwall’s turn to take on Avon. Truro pair Jon Wills and Russ Jameson (3 and 5 respectively) were first up. Jon pushed a strong N° 3, the well-known and quite infamous Rob Watkins, all the way before losing 3-2 and Russ, in his umpteenth year in the Peter Pans, had close rallies but eventually lost 3-1. Kev Hugh (4) and Neil (1) were up next. Kev eventually lost 3-1 and Neil didn’t get much change out of his opponent losing comprehensively 3-0. In-form Mike Morgan (2) from Newquay failed to impress and completed Avon’s rout by losing 3-1.
Judging by the scores against Avon, it looked like it was going to be close between old enemies on court, Cornwall and Wiltshire, and so it proved. Russ up first lost 3-0 to a strong Wiltshire N° 5 (veteran Clive Morgan, Welsh vets international no less), while volley specialist Jon got the better of the Wiltshire captain winning 3-1. Kev Hugh at 4 couldn’t get the better of the Wiltshire N°4 losing 3-1. Neil recorded his first Over 50 victory easily beating Wiltshire’s N° 1. Mike Morgan clinched it for Cornwall winning 3-1 at N° 2.
FINAL POINTS SCORE: Avon finished on 40 points, Cornwall were second on 20 points and Wiltshire were last on 14 points.
Stage 1 2015-16 V Wilts V Essex V Somerset by Captain Kev Hugh
Cornwall’s intrepid over 50 team travelled to Swindon to take on Essex, Somerset and Wiltshire. Cornwall’s team being Rob Page, Mike Morgan, Jon Wills, Kev Hugh and Carl Megson. First up were a strong Essex team. Rob and Mike and Carl all succumbed 3-0, Jon made a spirited attempt but lost 3-1. Captain Kev restored some Cornish pride winning 3-2 (Tony’s comment: ‘A Catain’s Innings!’)
Next up were Wiltshire. After Captain Kev’s team talk/hairdryer the team performed excellently with Rob, Mike, Jon and Carl all winning 3-1, only for Kev to lose 3-0 and quickly slink off to the changing rooms …..to the hairdryer!
Sunday morning saw the team thoroughly refreshed after an early night (Tony’s comment: ‘Well done lads!’) and willing to take on a strong Somerset team. Rob and Mike found the weekends exertions a little too much, both going down 3-0; Carl was unlucky to lose 3-1 and Jon and Kev both performed well with Jon winning 3-0 and Kev (the Hairdryer Captain) winning 3-2.
Somerset ended up winning with 52 points with Essex second on 42. Cornwall were a creditable third on 28 points and hosts Wiltshire slumped to just 16.
Archive………THE NEW BEGINNING FOR THE OLDIES
Season 2013-14 Stage 1 Somerset V Cornwall V Oxfordshire
by Tony Bowyer
Fresh legs, the sweet smell of youthful vigour from ‘just-turned-50’ (or was that heat rub?), thinning crowns but lots of experienced talk and brave claims of taking the world and his dog on, the resurrected Cornwall Peter Pans set off up the A30 to do battle with Oxfordshire and Somerset at Taunton Squash Club one damp but normal Saturday in November without a whiff of Christmas in the air (ok, I’m trying to remember what happened, when and where and it’s not easy at my age! I mean it was early November!). First on (unusually) Cornwall raced into a 2-0 lead against the hosts with resounding wins for Russ Jameson (PZ) and Nige Watson (Torpoint). Unassailable you would think, but neither Tony Bowyer (yours truly), Mike Morgy Morgan or Kev ‘Capt’ Hugh could muster a win to send the Cornish packing for once against a county we normally hold our own against. Bowyer (yes, me) was the most disappointing having looked stiff and ungainly on court and losing 3-1 to a player he has beaten easily twice – was age a factor or is that a silly question at Over 50s level??? Mind you, he did go on court 15 minutes after the car journey so maybe he has excuses as old squash players often do! For Mike and Kev it was a bit too tough at the top so the less said the better….Then on came a rather ‘accountant’ looking Oxford team and surprisingly again Bowyer lost at 3 but this time narrowly 3-2 and looking dominant and serving he still managed to let the last few points of the 5th slip agonisingly away from him! Russ managed another impressive win as did Nige in spite of a lack of practice matches now that Torpoint is no longer a squash venue in Cornwall (sadly). Then a similar story unfolded….with Mike and Kev coming 2nd against, I have to say, very classy and well-seasoned opponents who nicked shots at will and preferred not to rally because they didn’t have to!!! Ah well, there would always be Stage 2!!! Bring it on…and we needed a night out which Taunton could not provide because we all went home early to bed with our pipes and slippers as old men do!
Stage 2 A ‘They Don’t Like it Up ‘Em!’ weekend in Warwickshire
Cornwall V Warwickshire V Cambridgeshire at Sutton Coldfield Squash Club
Ha! Ha! Early to rise late to bed, and so it was. Heading north along the great motorway arteries of this fair isle on a cool January morning, spirits high and squash bags primed for guaranteed wins, the same team again came up against some very sleek and mean opposition. Against Cambridgeshire first who had beaten Warwickshire 4-1 previously, the visitors quickly went down 2-0 at 3 and 5 with both Bowyer and Watson losing their matches respectively. Bowyer found himself embattled again against a cocky Scottish exile and just didn’t have the legs to finish him off eventually losing (again) 3-2; Watson meanwhile faired little better and also lost 3-1. Russ quickly restored hope with a smart and athletically impressive win at times with overhead shots a man half his age would be proud of – Russ was, after all, a very accomplished volleyball player! Mike Morgy Morgan, newly crowned county over 50 champion, again came up against classy opposition and went down 3-1 after putting up a spirited fight in the middle of the match. Kev Hugh lost at 2 but showed signs of getting back to the form he once had at over 45 level….Then, and this is never fair, Warks produced almost a different and definitely stronger 5 for the evening match against Cornwall. Bowyer hardly got going and unbeaten Russ got rather brushed aside by his opponent. Mike rallied a lot against his oppo but it didn’t go his way so to save our blushes it was down to the skipper, last on. Captain Kev looked very impressive on court floating lobs at will against a good home player and immediately taking a 2-0 lead and our hands up on the balcony started to rub confidently. Then came the turnaround as his opponent ‘lengthed’ his way accurately into contention. The fifth was quite a battle but Cornwall couldn’t quite manage it…..so all the talk in the bar was about NEXT YEAR!! The wooden spoon leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. Anyone out there turning fifty with good squash credentials please apply….
Tony ‘Loser’ Bowyer
Sadly, writes Tony Bowyer, the team has collapsed this year with injuries and retirements, so it is without doubt prudent to withdraw from the Over 50s. I am willing to step down if someone else wants to take over and am hoping we can enter again next year. Please can you let me know if you are keen for a run in the champs with a few weekends away again. The draw did come through – away in BUCKINGHAMSHIRE! Sorry everyone.
2011-12 7th in England
Tony Bowyer (Truro) on a season where six points made all the difference…….
Stage 2 – avoiding Premiership relegation ‘UP NORTH’ in WIGAN, Lancs! 21st/22nd JANUARY 2012 V Lancs V Durham & Cleveland (Warks withdrawn) Venue: Wigan Sports Club
Well, sorry to announce our demise from the top flight of England’s Over 50 Veterans Squash but it just came to be at Wigan Cricket Club on this mild but dreary January weekend. It was eventful on court as well as off it! We also have to protest – ever so slightly at our age – at the way the weekend was arranged in that Lancs (hosts) and Durham played their match against each other on the Friday night allowing plenty of time for recovery to ancient limbs before taking on the Cornish Vets after their arduous journey up the long motorway system of this green and pleasant land! This journey, for Pete, Glenn and I, started at 4pm on the Friday evening with a planned stopover in Droitwich Spa, so by the time we got on court at 1pm Saturday we were, not surprisingly, somewhat fatigued without even a ball being hit! But, in the time honoured spirit of Cornish squashmen ‘abroad’ we did merry battle and almost caused a great upset by beating the Geordies (favourites) who the evening before had thumped the hosts 5-0! Dave Scothern was in fine form again winning comprehensively 3-1, Glenn Mesney (with injury!) narrowly lost 3-2 but further aggravated the neck and shoulder, Pete Eddy had match ball at 8-1 for a 3-1 win but eventually lost to his canny northerner while yours truly lost 3-2 (but was winning 2-1 and comfortable before running out of steam!) – leaving Sean Rosevear, unluckily, retired early with a calf injury after his morning’s journey across the Pennines. A few hours later along came the grinning Lancastrians knowing full well that the embattled Cornish had all played long, energy sapping matches with only a modest number of points to show for it! Sean out, Glenn retired and only three of us left, it was backs to the wall and a hopeless task – Dave lost 3-2 after squandering a commanding 2-0 lead (he was the best performer of the weekend!), Peter lost 3-0 to the England Over 50s Closed champion but played very well and yours truly managed to win only one game against a fit pair of fresh legs from Preston – he was also a true marksman of the nick! Despite the 5-0 defeat (a little miffed we were) the ‘apres’ squash was great, as always the long faces turning to philosophical smiles a few pints later, and the northern social life and ales were much appreciated – by heck it’s cheap up tha’! Six pints made all the difference………sorry for the quip! We even managed a cultural (!) visit on the Sunday morning to Wigan Pier, just the swans, ducks and us! Then we headed back down the M6 – M5 – A30 with Glenn not feeling so well…but that’s another story! We would all like to thanks Terry and the CRSA for supporting our matches this season. Next year, should a fit 5 or 6 of us be keen again, we will be back to Division One with more southern venues expected – every cloud has a silver lining! Thanks for reading this! Tony at Truro HQ………..
Squad: Pete Eddy, Shaun Rosevear, Dave Scothern, Glenn Mesney, Tony Bowyer, Russ Jameson, Mike Hands, Dave Matthew & Dave Smith.
Stage 1: October 15/16th – at Home V Warks V Wilts V Avon at Truro HQ
Unfortunately, the omens were not good with class-act number 1 Pete ‘Ready’ Eddy sustaining two injuries in the early season weakening the side and our overall chances of qualification to the National Finals. Warwickshire failed to show claiming only to have two players available (from the whole of Birmingham???) so it left to the three remaining counties to slug it out. Avon, fielding 3 internationals and an ex-pro, showed their pedigree in the first match giving Wilts a drubbing 19-3 overall which meant that Cornwall would go head-to-head against the losers in the decider for promotion. Glenny Mesney outclassed Clive Morgan, Welsh international, but needed to hold his nerve throughout to achieve the 3-1 scoreline. Dave Matthew beat Oliphant 3-1 but the remaining three rubbers all went in favour of the visitors. Captain Tony Bowyer disappoited with far too many unforced errors at crucial times to go down 3-1; Shaun Rosevear almost overcame the endless athleticism of his opponent, the evergreen Gary Preston, levelling the score to 2-2 but twinged an old injury to restrict his movement in the 5th; lastly, Dave Scothern making his O50 debut came across an inform Mike Stannard who, true to predictions, ran and ran to earn his 3-2 victory not without Dave battling back to 2-2 before his legs let him down. Against a rested Avon side insisting on playing all games on the Saturday the outcome was predictable as all the Cornish players had put every effort into beating Wilts. Avon won 5-0 in rubbers gaining a maximum 20 pionts to Cornwall’s two.
If only Pete had been fit!!!
In all a disappointed O50 side but there’s always Stage 2 in January and so the adventure continues!!
Avon 59, Wilts 39 & Cornwall 33 (Warks 0!)
Match reporter: Tony Bowyer