Northumbria Squash Presentation Night 2018

Northumbria Squash Presentation Night 2018

On Saturday 21st April, the Northumberland Club hosted the Northumbria League Cup Finals and Presentation Night, following a busy week of team cup squash.

Before the presentations, County Chairman Dave Barnett ran through the highlights of the 2017/18 season:

    • In October, the John Dale trophy for the most promising young Northumbria player was awarded to Andrew Shipley.
    • In January, Northumbria Girls Under 17s (Lowri Waugh, Megan Evans, Harriet Wight, Erin Vitty, Lucy Anderson, Aanya Hamilton and Emma Delgaty) and Boys Under 17s (Max Forster, Andrew Shipley, Harry Little, Lennox Lockwood, Nathan Dobson and Thomas Moore) reached the National Finals, the girls finishing runners-up to Yorkshire, and the boys finishing third behind Sussex and Warwickshire. The Boys Under 15s and Under 13s and the Girls Under 11s also reached their Trophy Finals, the girls winning their event.
    • Also in January, 16-year-old Max Forster (Northumberland Club) won the County Senior Men’s title for the first time, beating multiple winner and Northumberland Club team-mate Dave Barnett in the semi-final and then defending champion Liam Gutcher (Northern) in the final. Sam Ward (Northern) took her fifth County Senior Ladies’ title beating previous winner Hannah Cliff (Tynemouth) in a repeat of last year’s final result.
    • Northumbria Men’s Over 55s (Bryan Beeson, Jon Evans, Paul Millington, Glenn Ward, Ron Freeman and Peter Slaughter) the defending National champions are again through to the National Finals weekend to be held on 2nd/3rd June.
    • Northern hosted the Gosforth Classic in December, then Tynemouth once again hosted the County Closed in January, followed by the increasingly-popular Eldon Leisure Open in February, and the Northumberland Open PSA / graded event in March which moved from Northumberland Club to Tynemouth this year. It is good to see these events being well-supported by players and spectators alike.

Dave thanked the members of the County Committee and others around the clubs for all their efforts over the season, and invited club representatives and interested parties to attend the County AGM to be held at the Northumberland Club on Wednesday 9th May (7pm start). He then presented the league certificates for the Northumbria League divisional winners/runners-up and players of each division, and the cup trophies and medals, with announcements by League Secretary John Thompson.

Winter Leagues 2017/18 – round up

70 men’s teams from 24 clubs and 13 ladies’ teams from 8 clubs took part in the 2017/18 Winter Leagues. There were 8 Men’s Divisions and 2 Ladies’ Divisions, splitting into 3 at halfway.

Starting with the Men’s lower divisions, in Division 7, Chester-le-Street 4 went up as champions with Boldon 3 as runners-up just ahead of Sunderland 3. Chester-le-Street’s Colin Barwick (11 from 12) edged out team-mate Dave Harrison (8 from 9) for the Player of the Division award.

Primrose 3 ran away with the Division 6 title and Concordia 3 were runners-up. Primrose’s Ben Brown (12 from 12) was Player of the Division ahead of team-mate Paul McAdam (13 from 14).

Ashington 1 finished Division 5 champions ahead of runners-up Northumberland 5, who were promoted for the third successive season. It was Ashington’s John Armstrong (16 from 16) who finished Player of the Division, with team-mate Ron Freeman (also 16 from 16) a very close second.

In Division 4, Primrose 2 were also promoted for the third successive season finishing as champions, with runners-up Westoe 3 supplying both Player of the Division Stephen Wilkinson (13 from 14), and runner-up Stephen Boyer (14 from 16).

Boldon 1 were another team who achieved three successive promotions as they took the Division 3 title, with Dunston 1 as runners-up ahead of Tynemouth 4. Player of the Division was Boldon’s Bobby Aitchison (15 from 16), just ahead of Dunston’s Chris Cassidy (14 from 15) and Michael Bridgwater (13 from 14).

Westoe 2 had a fine season finishing as Division 2 champions one point ahead of runners-up Washington, who won a second successive promotion. Hexham 1 just missed out on promotion in third place. Westoe 2’s Lee Anderson (15 straight wins) picked up the Player of the Division title ahead of team-mate Ryan Hall (14 from 15).

Having narrowly missed out on promotion last season, Newcastle University 2 made no mistake in securing the Division 1 title, with runners-up Chester-le-Street 1 denying third-placed Tynemouth 2 the other promotion slot. The University’s Oliver Walls with 15 straight wins just edged out team-mate Rob Finch (15 from 16) for the Player of the Division title.

Newcastle University 1 comfortably retained their Men’s Premier title, finishing ahead of runners-up Northern 1 with Westoe 1 in third place. The Men’s Premier Player of the Season was Liam Gutcher (Northern) with 14 straight wins, followed by Hannah Cliff (Tynemouth, 13 wins from 14).

In the Ladies’ League, Northumberland Ladies 2 retained their Division 2 title ahead of runners-up Eldon Leisure Ladies and Northumberland fielded both Player of the Division Abigail Bedford and runner-up Beth Dean, both juniors.

Northumbria University Ladies won the Division 1 championship going through the season unbeaten, the only team in either Men’s or Ladies’ leagues to do so, with Northern Ladies 3 runners-up. Both Ellie Watling and Megan Kaye (Northumbria University) were unbeaten but Ellie Watling took the Player of the Division title as she had dropped no games to Megan’s three.

In a tense finale to the league season, Northern Ladies 1 took the Ladies’ Premier title by the narrowest of margins – one point – over runners-up Tynemouth Ladies 1, with Northumberland Ladies 1 in third place. Hannah Cliff (Tynemouth) continued her extraordinary run of wins (12 from 12 this season), not dropping a single game, to retain the Ladies’ Premier Player of the Season award, with County Under 17 number 1 Lowri Waugh (Northumberland, 11 from 12) finishing as runner-up.

Here are some photos of the night to share.

Cup Semis and Finals 2017/18

There were ten semi-finals across five events running from Monday to Friday followed by the five finals on the Saturday. The events were the Ladies’ League Cup (for teams in Ladies’ Divisions 1 and 2), the Men’s League Cup B (for teams in Divisions 4 to 7), the Men’s League Cup A (for teams in Divisions 1 to 3), and the Men’s and Ladies’ Northumbria Cups (for the top-4 Premier teams in each League).

There were no real surprises in the semi-finals, with all the expected teams progressing to the finals, albeit some by fairly narrow margins!

Men’s Northumbria Cup:
Newcastle University 1 beat Tynemouth 1 5-0
Westoe 1 beat Northern 1 3-2
Ladies’ Northumbria Cup:
Northern Ladies 1 beat Primrose Ladies 3-2
Northumberland Ladies 1 beat Tynemouth Ladies 1 3-2
Men’s League Cup A:
Chester-le-Street 1 beat Hexham 1 5-0
Tynemouth 2 beat Westoe 2 3-2
Men’s League Cup B:
Primrose 2 beat Chester-le-Street 3 4-1
Westoe 3 beat Ashington 1 3-2
Ladies’ League Cup:
Northumbria University Ladies beat Northumberland Ladies 2 3-2
Tynemouth Ladies 2 beat Eldon Leisure Ladies 5-0

On Saturday, the first match played was the Ladies’ League Cup final between Northumbria University Ladies and Tynemouth Ladies 2. Ellie Watling got the University off to a flying start at 3, but Emily King at 5 and Amy Rowell at 1 turned it round for Tynemouth before Alya Ibrahim at 2 levelled the scores. So it all came down to the final match on court between Megan Kaye and Emma Rowell at 2, which Megan won in a close 3-0 to secure the League and Cup double for Northumbria University.

Next the Men’s League Cups A and B went on court. In a quick start, Westoe 3 got their revenge on Primrose 2, securing League Cup B by winning the first three matches at 5, 3 and 1 through Ken Landsbury, Stephen Wilkinson and Paul Little. Primrose hit back too late through Jeff Houston at 4 and Tony Hockey at 2 to narrow the gap, but Westoe 3 took the match 3-2 to lift the trophy.

The League Cup A final between Chester-le-Street 1 and Tynemouth 2 was another surprise. After Tom Beresford got Chester-le-Street off to a good start with a 15/14 win in the 5th against Richard Bradley at 3, Tynemouth took charge of the match, Matty Walsh and Paul Millington winning at 5 and 1 respectively, then Liam Dobbin wrapped up the match and the Cup for Tynemouth 2 with a 3-0 win at 4. Steve Fountain won a 5-set tussle with Sam Evans to narrow Tynemouth’s margin of victory to 3-2.

Finally the Ladies’ and Men’s Northumbria Cup finals went on. In the Ladies’ event, Northumberland Ladies 1 won convincingly against Premier Division champions Northern Ladies 1, who were missing key players at the top of their order. Lowri Waugh at 3 and Rebecca Symmons at 4 set Northumberland up for the win, which was clinched by Lizzie Little at 1, then further wins by Maria Bainbridge at 2 and Beth Dean at 5 completed a 5-0 win for Northumberland Ladies 1 to take the Northumbria Cup in emphatic style.

In the Men’s event, Newcastle University 1 were looking to secure the ‘double double’ against Westoe 1, having won back-to-back Premier titles and last year’s Northumbria Cup, however they were missing their veteran number 3 and talisman Bryan Beeson through injury. Oliver Walls gave the University a good start at 5 but Westoe hit back through Michael Burton at 3 to level the match. Chris Wiggins at 1 put the University back in front against a heavy-legged Paul Lord but again Westoe levelled through Richard Elliott at 4, who beat Alex Cahill in a nail-biting 5-setter. All hinged on the number 2 match between Michael Mackay and Chris Boyer, Chris eventually coming out on top 3-1 in front of a raucous crowd to secure the match win 3-2 and the Northumbria Cup for Westoe 1.

Men’s Northumbria Cup:
Westoe 1 beat Newcastle University 1 3-2
Ladies’ Northumbria Cup:
Northumberland Ladies 1 beat Northern Ladies 1 5-0
Men’s League Cup A:
Tynemouth 2 beat Chester-le-Street 1 3-2
Men’s League Cup B:
Westoe 3 beat Primrose 2 3-2
Ladies’ League Cup:
Northumbria University Ladies beat Tynemouth Ladies 2 3-2

So a great night for Westoe. The Finals and Presentation Night were well-attended by a variety of players and supporters from all over the county, with the now-customary University ‘barmy army’ meeting their match in the large Westoe travelling support, and the presentations were followed by an excellent buffet. Thanks go to the Northumberland Club for hosting the whole event.

John Thompson (League Secretary)

Northumbria Squash Leagues 2017/2018 Awards

Premier Newcastle University 1 Northern 1 Liam Gutcher (Northern)
One Newcastle University 2 Chester-le=Street 1 Oliver Walls (Newcastle University)
Two Westoe 2 Washington 1 Lee Anderson (Westoe)
Three Boldon 1 Dunston 1 Bobby Aitchison (Boldon)
Four Primsrose 2 Westoe 3 Stephen Wilkinson (Westoe)
Five Ashington 1 Northumberland 5 John Armstrong (Ashington)
Six Primsrose 3 Concordia 3 Ben Brown (Primrose)
Seven Chester-le=Street 4 Boldon 3 Colin Barwick (Chester-le=Street)
Ladies Premier Northern Ladies 1 Tynemouth Ladies 1 Hannah Cliff (Tynemouth)
Ladies One Northumbria University Ladies Northern Ladies 3 Ellie Watling (Northumbria University)
Ladies Two Northumberland Ladies 2 Eldon LeisureLadies Abigail Bedford (Northumberland)

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