TEAM AON START LEAGUE A ON FORM TO DEFEND THEIR TITLE
The squash leagues started this week with some great squash, a few rusty players and a lot of good craic.
Monday saw the A league in action and was a great first night of the season for AON who played E-Cerebro. Patrick Fitzpatrick is at the top of his game at the start of the season and ran out a 3-0 win over a Mike Hayler who needed a couple of health breaks. Stuart Highy valiantly played against the youth of Team AON but with wins for Jason Crease, Mason McLarney and Chris Cave they proved too strong with only Ashley Sykes scoring a win for team E-Cerebro.
In the other A league match Easy Gym were too strong for X Stoneart beating them 5 0.
The B League were in action on Thursday. Sharks opened the season with a great victory over Island Exhausts. With both teams having a different mix of players to last season, this was always going to be an interesting match. New recruits Mike O’Brien and Mark Stratford hit the ground running. Mark taking a good win against Pat Russell and Mike succumbing in a close game to Exhausts' new recruit, Douglas Jacobsson. Sharks Greg Ansara had a close 4 game thriller with Les Callow whilst Richard Webster and Dave Freer managed to squeeze past Ian Sheard and Peter Sharples respectively.
The other B League match was a close encounter between Outcasts and Conister Racketeers Pioneers which Outcasts won 3 2 with wins from Liam Davies, Mark Henson and Stuart Highy.
With a fantastic entry of 8 teams the C League now play on Tuesdays and Fridays to allow 4 matches a week. It kicked off with a hard fought match which the Racketeers Academy won 3 games to 2 against Dandara Falcons. Two matches went to 5 games. Fiona Baker for the Falcons beat Steven Wright 3 2, while Blake Ronald of the Falcons lost 3 2 to Alan Bashforth for the Academy. Vusimbe Zivave made his debut for Dandara Falcons at 5 and despite starting well he was beaten 3 1 by Martin Greenwood. Andrew Brown at 2 secured the win for the Racketeers Academy.
It was a good start for Browne Craine Dragons returning for their second season playing new team Dohle Stars. Dohle took an early lead winning the first two matches of the night. Then Michelle Smith comfortably overcame David Maddrell while Dan Gibson, making his first appearance in over a year for the Dragons, took a quick 2-0 lead before a strong showing in the third by Antony Bentley-Robers gave hope of a team win. Unfortunately for Dohle, Dan comfortably won the 4th game to take the match and the win to the last game. Jon Shepard vs Brian Cowley proved to be a fitting end to a relatively even match up with Brian finally losing 3-2.
The first Friday night match of the C league between Buchanan & Pitts Misfits and Hansard Racketeers started slowly (possibly the players were already thinking of their evening refreshments in the nearest public house)! There were some entertaining games with trick shots and diving (courtesy of Hansard Racketeers) but it was the Buchanan & Pitts Misfits who collected maximum points.
Finally the junior teams played each other with Junior Academy playing Jewel tech Ladies Squash team. It was a great match all round with all Juniors playing great squash and showing their massive improvement. The match of the night went to Amaline Batty against Oliver Williams, with Amaline taking an early lead with a 2-0 advantage, Oliver fought back well and managed to come through and win 3-2. Overall the boys came out on top with Carl Albright, Aaron Rumney and Oliver taking the wins.
So as some players celebrate their wins, others feel the need to get to the gym to improve their fitness while still others seek out a better prematch energy snack than chocolate crispie cakes, we all look forward to what week 2 will bring.