Mens County O-45 team shock the squash world and are promoted to Division One.
· Team: Glenn Ward, Gary Candlish, Ken Landsbury, Tony Bisset, Alan Coates.
The squash world is still reeling from the news that over the weekend of 28th /29th January in Leicester, a cobbled up O-45 team from Northumbria finished 2nd in the Div. 2 promotion group and so have gained promotion to Division One. Men wept, women fainted, clocks which had been stopped for years started working again. Such was the nature of this shock. Please stay awake as we guide you through the match details in full digitally enhanced 1D.
Match No.1 vs Leicestershire. Won 3-2.
Late substitute at No. 5 Alan Coates appeared to be a little overawed at just playing in the same team as the legendary Ken Landsbury, and didn’t settle well, losing 3-0 to a very capable opponent. If he’d had 2 legs he would have been even better. At No. 3 however, Ken had no such worries, and launched straight into a 3-0 victory against a shellshocked opponent; he’d never seen squash played that slowly before. Playing at No.1, which is where he should be, Glenn couldn’t match his opponents guile, craft or anything really and quickly lost 3-0. But, in his mind, he won -and that’s what counts. Newcomer No. 4 Tony Bisset firstly eased himself through the narrow court door, and then via a combination of poor fitness, wood shots and total misses, blitzed his opponent 3-0. And so with the match poised at 2-2, our No. 2 The Gary Candlish entered the arena to bring the tie home, winning 3-0 with a great display of shotmaking and knee bandages. A win 3-2 for the hapless Geordies. What happened there?
Match No.2 vs Northants. Won 3-2. We know, It doesn’t make sense, really.
We think that Alan’s twin brother Alan had sneaked in as it was a totally different Alan Coates playing here. He quickly got into his stride, playing at a high tempo mixed up with great drops, running out a 3-0 victory. Ken then went on and didn’t play as well as he did in the 1st match and lost 3-0 vs a clever opponent. Well he said he had some ‘O’ levels anyway. Glenn then went on and raced into a 2-0, 7-2 up in the 3rd lead….. and proceeded to lose 3-2. Ah yes No Lungs Ward. Tony then stepped on court and soon notched up his 2nd win of his O-45 career with a 3-1 win over a good opponent. Not as good as Tony will tell you he was, but canny good. Not even a small blip in the 2nd game which he lost 10-8 could stop the Bisset jugganaut rolling on. And it was a big jugganaut. And so with once again the match poised at 2-2, it was left to The Gary Candlish to win it for us. And he did it in style again, with a 3-0 win which took hIs county O-45 career record to P4, W4, L0. And boy did we hear that quite a bit over the next 24 hours. Another win 3-2 for Geordies. Oh dear we might get promoted . Then it’ll be too hard.
Match No.3 vs Cumbria. Lost 4-1. Coates stars again as Northumbria’s wheels fall off. Luckily, it didn’t matter.
And so to that horrible Sunday morning match. People hung over, aching bones, and ugly. And that was just Tony. Alan picked up where he left off yesterday, and again won 3-0, reading his opponents game well and keeping the pressure on him till he cried like a baby. Well, he was only 7. Ken also continued where he left off yesterday and lost 3-0 – but had his chances; he could have went off after the 1st game but he didn’t. Not to be left out, Glenn also wanted to do what he did yesterday …..so went into a 2-0, lead and lost 3-2. Think there’s a message there – stop the kebabs . Tony had tweaked his hamstring or something at the back of his big leg yesterday, and couldn’t really move. Yes- less than usual. He did try and just play winning shots from the T, but quickly realised he didn’t actually have any, bravely losing 3-0. With the match lost but with a few important points on the board, The Gary Candlish appeared. But not for long –as halfway through the 1st game he also tweaked something at the back of his equally big leg and had to retire injured; his record now moving to P5, W4, ‘Somethings Gone Lads’ 1.