O45 team get promoted

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.


  1. Hey lads, it’s Bobby Backhand, Leicestershire captain. Just wanted to say you lads were probably 5 of the best players we have ever seen down here. It is such a coincidence that you all play for the same team and are over 45 as well. Do you do tours? If so, we would like to book you, not Ken though cos he was crap, but the rest of you. Let us know what your fee would be – we’ll have a laugh about it, and then cancel. All the best, Bobby.

  2. Hi lads, I wasn’t playing in the county O 45’s weekend but was in the club and watched most of the games. I must admit when the Northumbria team walked in I thought the Saturday morning Weightwatchers club had arrived, but when you lads started playing – wow. We havent even heard of some of the shots yous were playing; Alans forehand drop lob and Tony’s ‘mid court or anywhere’ drive were good, but when we seen Kens ‘the ball’s never near a wall’ range and The Gary Candlish’s ‘ Volleys taken after it bounces, 2012’ – we were amazed. Add to that Glenn’s ‘Only 12 steps to every shot’ technique – there was a show worth watching. Some of our members commented that they had never laughed so hard since the rally before the one they were laughing at – which is a testament to the consistency of your play. Please come back soon – squash needs players like you 5, if only to remind us that just because you have turned 45, doesn’t mean you can’t still be useless.

  3. I’ve just retired from professional triathlon and iron-man eventing and was thinking about taking up squash and thought I would come along to this over45’s event to see what it was all about. After watching you guys I realised its too fast and I’m probably not fit enough so have decided to take up any other sport instead. Thanks gents.

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