Mens Inter-Counties Stage One

Northumbria mens team once again are in Division One and hopefully this will be the year they make it into the Premier divison alongside the Ladies team.

The first stage was at New Brighton in Merseyside and the opposition were local rivals Durham and Cleveland, Shropshire and hosts Merseyside.

The Northumbria team – Dave Barnett, Liam Gutcher, Andrew Staley, Matt Hardy and Chris Clinton.

First opponents were local rivals Durham and it was to be the same result as last season, a loss and it was 5-0!!!!!! Strings 1,2 and 3 could have gone either way but it was a losing start and that meant  two more wins were needed to keep the hopes of promotiom alive.

Second opponents were Shropshire who had lost their first match also and early wins for Staley and Clinton set us on our way with Hardy sealing the win, it was to be a 4-1 victory with only Barnett losing out at 1. (after harshly not getting  a let when a fly flew across him Barnett couldn’t get his head back in the game!!!!!!).

After a quiet night and nice meal at the hotel where the waitress named Gutcher the ‘Suarez’ of the squash team Northumbria were raring to go on the Sunday morning in the deciding fixture against Merseyside.

Again Staley and Clinton started the match with a quick win for Clinton and a close loss for Staley still nothing to split the teams. Barnett and Hardy were up next and both won comfortably which only left ‘Suarez’ to seal a 4-1 win and a place in the promotion group alongside Durham, lets hope we can reverse the 5-0 in March.


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