The best of the men’s team were unable to complete a squash whitewash as they crashed to a disappointing 5-0 defeat.
After the successes of their second string and female counterparts, the onus was upon Lancaster to make it a hat-trick of victories.
James Hill and Dave McGovern were the first two up for Lancaster who have enjoyed a mixed season, finishing mid-table in the BUCS Northern Conference 2A. They were expected to overcome a York side playing in the division below them but the Red Rose suffered defeat in both games.
The following two seeds succumbed to similar fates. Tony Hinds and captain Ben Holden could do nothing to stop York taking a commanding 4-0 lead and by the time the tie was mathematically beyond Lancaster, top seed Jez Boardman could do nothing but surrender defeat.
Lancaster Men’s 2nd’s strolled to a comfortable victory in the first squash event of the weekend, despite the event yielding no points.
What some may have seen as an insignificant friendly due to the lack of points on offer, the Lancaster team saw as an opportunity to get-one-over on their foes from across the Pennines. In Roses, there is no such thing as a friendly.
The desire from both teams was clear from the off-set as their two number fives stepped onto court to do battle. In the confines of a small, walled in squash court temperatures and tempers can rise in an instant. Jack Ross and his opponent appeared to be made of similar stuff as the first two games saw them on level terms. Ross proved his worth in the next two however, running out a 3-1 victor.
Shahbaz Afzal’s game followed a similar pattern and ended in the same result giving Lancaster a 2-0 lead. However York responded in due course, as number three Alex Mealing could not prevent his opponent pulling one back for York.
Phil Lowrey was up next knowing that a win would seal his team’s victory and he duly obliged with a convincing win that relieved Lancaster’s fifth and final player of any pressure that would have befallen him had Lowrey surrendered Lancaster’s lead.
Nick Costa took to the court to rack up an easy 3-0 win ensuring an overall 4-1 set victory for Lancaster that was no more than they deserved.
Lancaster’s ladies took to court five to carry on the men’s winning form, claiming the four Roses points on offer in a triumphant 5-0 rout.
The Lancaster girls appeared in confident mood ahead of the clash with York and the pressure was on to carry on from a successful season in which they have a 100% record, winning every game competed in this year. With league and cup sewn up, Lancaster were determined not to tarnish their impressive record.
Sam Preston ensured that that was not the case in their first game as the home team took a 1-0 lead, although they were made to work hard for it. Preston’s opponent proved to be more formidable that perhaps Lancaster were anticipating, taking the set all the way to five games. Whilst there were moments of uncertainty from Preston, due mainly because of fatigue, she never once fell behind and earned a precious 3-2 win to set Lancaster on their way.
Whilst Preston slugged it out on court five, captain Georgina Baum was surprised to find that York had brought with them a fifth player which gave the skipper the opportunity to contribute to her team’s success. Baum navigated her way past her opponent with style, dropping just one game in the process.
Picking up on their captain’s lead, Lancaster’s remaining three players ensured that their winning record for the season remains intact. Penny Howe did not take long to overcome here opponent, needing just three games to ensure Lancaster’s win and the coveted 4 Roses points up for grabs.
And there were similar stories for Lancaster’s top two seeds, Elanna Herod and Jo Hamlyn. As they expected before the game, Lancaster’s two top performers this season were in rampant mood and were relentless in their pursuit of a perfect game.Their respective 3-0 wins ensured an overall score that was both deserving and impressive whilst showcasing the talent that has served them so well this season.
Captain Baum was delighted with her team when she spoke to SCAN. She said:
“I think we all played awesomely. I rather liked the fact that it was a surprise to find it was a five girl team as every other match we play is.”