Last weekend saw the senior teams travel far ad wide to compete in their respective promotion groups in the second leg of inter-counties. The Men travelled to Warwickshire and the ladies to Norfolk.
The mens team was Dave Barnett( Northumberland club/ Westoe), Jon Tate (sunderland), Liam Gutcher(Northern), Peter McLeod(sunderland) and Chris Nye(Newbiggin). They has to play Warwickshire, Leinster and East of Scotland.
First on was number 5 strings Chris Nye (making county debut) and Nick Bradley( nationally ranked U19 player). Nick started well and Chris dug in but was unable to prevent a 3-0 win for Warks. Next on was Liam Gutcher our U19 number 1 also making his senior debut. Liam played very solidly causing there player many problems but lost out in a long 3-0.
Next match on wee the number one strings Dave Barnett and Steve Coppinger , this match ended up being the longest with Dave coming back from 2-0 down to scrape a 3-2 win. Peter McLeod was next playing at fourth string. He again played a close fought match but was edged out 3-0.
Last on was Jon Tate, he had a slow start losing the first but then came back impressively to win 3-1. Match was wo by warks 3-2.
Again we started with Chris Nye , he once again was playing a youngster this time a very promising 16 year old Rory Byrne. Chris had a slow start losing the first 2 quite quickly but in the 3rd he put up a good fight losing in narrowy 10-8. Liam was next on and found it hard going with his opponent starting at a very high pace, as the match went on he adjusted and improved but not enough to prevent a 3-0 loss.
Number one strings were next on with Barnett playing Irish number 3 Arthur Gaskin. The first 3 games were close with Gaskin leading 2-1 then the wheels fell off for Barnett with Gaskin winning 3-1. McLeod was to play te young Rory Byrne’s older brother Bryan and was to struggle like the others losing out 3-0.
Tate was last on a nd was the only winner comfortably out playing his opponent witha 3-0 win . The match was lost 4-1.
Vs East of Scotland
Again Chris and Liam were first on and neither got any change out of there opponents going down 3-0 in bith matches.
A poor performance from Barnett at number one saw him lose 3-0 and McLeod was to go the same way putting up a fight but getting no change from the strong Niall McKinon.
Jon Tate however was going from strength to strength playing some really good squash and keeping his 100% record for the weekend with a 3-0 win over Scotlands Chris Small. Losing the tie 4-1 again left Northumbria bottom of the group and remaining in the Division for next season.
The Ladies team of Emma Barnett (Northern), Sarah Duckworth (Northumberland club), Lesley Vitty, Sara Potter (both Northern) and Ashley Hay (Northumberland club), faired far better than the Men.
They played the home county of Norfolk and Wales on their first day winning both matches putting themselves in a strong position for the Sunday match against Somerset.
Against Somerset however they lost 3-2 but still gained promotion for next season, Well Done!
A special mention for Sara Potter who played in her first Senior county matches and was unbeaten in all her matches at the young age of 15, well done great effort.