Mens Over 55 Inter County Championship Finals at Wolverhampton Lawn Tennis and Squash Club – weekend of 21/22 March
Well we made the County finals for the second year running, but this year our first match was against reigning champions Middlesex, we had been told their squad had been strengthened so it was going to be very tough as our squad was seriously depleted. With Jon Evans unable to make the weekend, captain John Thompson on holiday in Australia, Derek Collins on holiday in South Africa and Ronnie Freeman’s wife very ill this hit the top of the order very hard.
So our squad was:
1. Andrew Wilkinson (Hexham)
2. Adrian Alderton (Hexham)
3. Colin McNestrie (Tynemouth)
4. Alan Coates (Eldon Square – Captain)
5. John Palmer (Hexham)
Game 1 – Northumbria vs Middlesex (reigning champions):
John started off very well at no 5 winning the 1st game 9/2 on his debut for the county. But his opponent turned things around to close out the next 3 games. John lost 3-1.
Colin was up against a very good player in Duleep Adihetty and duly lost the 1st game 9-0 but soon got his tricky drop shots going and put Duleep under much more pressure just loosing the next 2 games 9-7. Colin lost 3-0.
Alan was playing a tricky left hander in Stuart Hardy and had no luck loosing 3-0.
Andrew playing at no 1 was up against Scottish International Alan Thompson had a very hard 1st game loosing 9-0. Andrew then played out of his skin in the next 2 games going down 9-5 and 9-7. A very good effort. Andrew lost 3-0.
Adrian was last on playing hard hitting Mark (Master Blaster) Cowley and was duly blasted off court, looking slightly bemused as if squash shouldn’t be played that way. Andrian lost 3-0 in the shortest game of the day.
Middlesex Won 5-0.
Game 2 – Northumbria vs Cheshire (winners of our group in the first half):
It was another hard game against Cheshire with John again winning the 1st game but he soon had problems with experienced Geoff (six of clubs) Walton loosing 3-1.
Both Colin and Alan lost 3-0 against very strong players.
Andrew played the game of his life and went 2-0 up against Doug Waller before running out of steam eventually loosing 3-2.
Adrian got a game out of Rob Blair but lost 3-1.
Cheshire won 5-0.
Andrew Wilkinson 0-3 Alan Thompson - 0/9 5/9 7/9
Adrian Alderton 0-3 Mark Cowley - 2/9 1/9 4/9
Colin McNestrie 0-3 Duleep Adiheety - 0/9 7/9 7/9
Alan Coates 0-3 Stuart Hardy - 4/9 6/9 2/9
John Palmer 1-3 Gordon Kerr - 9/2 5/9 2/9 0/9
Andrew Wilkinson 2-3 Doug Waller - 9/7 9/3 4/9 4/9 4/9
Adrian Alderton 1-3 v Rob Blair - 9/1 6/9 3/9 4/9
Colin McNestrie 0-3 Kevin O'Neill - 1/9 4/9 0/9
Alan Coates 0-3 Phil Osborne - 1/9 7/9 1/9
John Palmer 1-3 Geoff Walton - 9/4 7/9 6/9 4/9
Middlesex won the final 4-1 against Surrey with a surprise defeat for their new no 1 by Dermot Hurford.
Thanks to everyone for making it a good weekend, we knew it was going to be tough and it certainly was. So no silver wear again…