Lancashire County Closed 2018 Report

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Mar 222018

Lancashire County Closed 2018 Report


The Lancashire Squash County Closed took place on the newly refurbished courts at Rochdale Sports Club over the weekend of 16th -18th March one of the coldest on record. The schedule was thrown out by the gridlocked motorway network around Manchester & the unseasonable snow storms.

Entries were down on previous years, probably due to the tournament being held later than usual & the fact that the regulars from Rochdale were away for the Cheltenham Festival. As a result, it was decided to combine the Masters over 45 to over 55 into one event as last year’s over 45 finalists had now turned 50. Only one lady entered to add to the disappointment. Two juniors from Wigan Sports Club, Adam & Josh Ford played in the Open event for the first time, Adam reaching the Semi-final at the expense of the Rochdale player Steve Spedding, where he lost to the eventual runner up also from Wigan. 16-year-old Josh gave another local favourite Gaz Evans a fright before he ran out of steam. Gaz, now 36, didn’t have enough left in the tank when he met eventual winner, Isaac Rawcliffe, complaining that he was giving away 16 years to his opponent!

The Open final was a hard fought 3 setter between the number 1 & 2 seeds, Isaac beating Ryan for the first time 11/4, 11/9, 11/5. The over 35 final also went with the seeding, Rochdale’s Richard Mills retaining his trophy at the expense of Matt Walsh from Tame Valley, 11/3, 11/3, 11/3. The combined Masters produced some of the closest matches with the number 1 seed, last year’s over 50 champion, falling in the Semi-final to Gary Wood 11/4, 11/8, 3/11, 6/11, 12/10. In the Final against the number 2 seed from Rochdale, Steve Cummings, Gary once again took the first 2 sets 11/8, 11/8 before losing the next 3, seeming to let a couple of decisions distract him. Steve repeating his victory from last year. The over 60 Final saw last year’s runner up, Neil Rodda, against newcomer to the age group Alan Connor. Alan proved too mobile, winning 11/6, 11/6, 11/3. The over 65 was also between last year’s beaten finalist & a newcomer to the age group, with Phil Shacklady beating his Marland Hill club mate Bob Houldsworth, 15/11, 15/3, 15/8.

Plate events were held in the Open, where former University mates Matt Oakes & Steve Spedding contested a close 5 setter, Matt eventually winning 13/11, 8/11, 6/11, 11/4, 11/6. The over 35 plate between Rochdale’s Ben Caffrey & Whitefield’s Craig Chisholm resulted in a win for Ben 11/2, 11/7, 11/7. The combined Masters plate was won by Andy Craig who beat David Whittles in another 5 setter, 11/9, 8/11, 9/11, 11/6, 11/7.







 Tournament Winners

Women’s Inter County Championships 2015/2016

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Nov 092015

Women’s Inter County Championships 2015/2016

The Women’s Inter County Championships began on Saturday at Fairways Lodge with a match against Leinster.

Due to the unavailability of the most experienced Lancashire ladies, we fielded a very weak squad for the weekend. Nuclear physicist Sophie Whitehead playing in her first Inter County match could not overcome her nerves & went down 0-3 to a very mobile Irish girl. Student Millie Camm also went down 0-3 in the first matches on court.

Next up were Biomechanics student Ellie Cowie & G.P. Fiona Hesten. Fiona having made her County debut for the over 50’s squad 2 weeks ago, proved far too mobile for her younger opponent & picked up Lancashire’s first 3 points of the weekend.

Last on was 15-year-old Amie Comer playing at No.2. She also picked up a point going down 1-3 to a strong Irish girl. Result; 1-4 to Leinster.

The 2nd match was against Shropshire & once again the star was Fiona Hesten, this time winning in three. Result; 1-4 Shropshire.

On Sunday with Millie Camm not available Tax Inspector Pat High-Comer stepped in at three but could not cope with the power of 20-year-old Jess Winder. This time Fiona couldn’t repeat her Saturday triumphs & went down 0-3 to Linda Winder a very experienced Cumbrian coach. Result; 0-5 Cumbria.

Despite the superior intelligence of the Lancashire squad, the lack of a League in the county to cater for ladies squash showed on court.

Thanks to Fairways Lodge for making the courts available.

The next round will be played on 12/13th March 2016. Hopefully the experience gained this last weekend will not deter the players from trying again.

Lancashire Over 60s Report

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Nov 052015

Lancashire Over 60s Report

Lancashire hosted the Men's over 60's Premier League stage 1 weekend over the 31st Oct and 1st Nov 2015 held at Fairways Lodge, against Cumbria, Yorkshire and Cheshire.

The first match was played against the favourites, ( Cumbria ). Neil Rodda playing 3rd string had a tough match, showing obvious signs of a busy week lost 3-0. Phill Shacklady started well against the International Ronnie Bell, being 1 game all before suffering a dead leg in an accidental collision. This restricted his movement and lost 3-1.
In the dead rubber, Geoff Willcox went head to head against the experienced Derek Leaver, just losing out 9-6 in the 5th to give Cumbria maximum points.

Cumbria went on to top the group without dropping a match.

With Lanc's No1 unable to continue the weekend and other injuries, it was left to Geoff and Neil to move up the order against Cheshire and Yorkshire, both winning a match against rated players.

The final positions were;
1) Cumbria
2) Yorkshire
3) Cheshire
4) Lancashire

A thank you to Peter Withington for organising the courts and food.

Bob Houldsworth
Lanc's O60's Captain



O 60's players

Lanc's V Cumbria

Lancashire Over 50’s Report

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Nov 042015

Report for Lancashire o50’s 31st/1stOctober/November

Lancashire over 50’s travelled with confidence to Crosby with a large squad keen and prepared to pit their skills against Merseyside, Warwickshire and Lincolnshire.

The first match against Warwickshire saw debutants Gino Pani and Gary Caldeira win comfortably at 4th and 2nd string respectively and 5th string John Valentine dig in heroically to win 3-2. The perpetual motion of veteran England player Alan Barwise was too much for his gallant opponent until disaster struck and his calf muscle ripped and he lost the 3rd set. Somehow ignoring the pain Barwise fought on and emerged victorious against an astonished opponent.

Captain and first string Stuart Wardle effortlessly filleted his opponent for the first two sets until again old legs sought to undermine the seemingly inevitable victory, as his calf muscle twanged like an old Stradivarius and lacking the grit of his teammate Wardle tried to end the contest without further movement. Fortune favoured the pain averse however and two nicks later the game was won. 20 points to the red rose county

The second match then seemed to be an uphill struggle with the wounded Barwise decamping northwards up the M6 and Wardle ostentatiously dragging the ruptured leg behind him, two matches were surely over before they started. Again lady luck smiled, Lincolnshire were a man short so already Lancs are 3 sets to the good, the elastic wrist of Gino Pani was bewildering his opponent, and the merciless Caldeira was eliminating the Lincolnshire no2 with brutal efficiency. Once again injury struck, Pani’s hamstring fell victim to the Lancashire curse and rendered immobile went down 3-1.

Wardle, hopping with unlikely effectiveness won the first set, but it proved to be a false dawn as his opponent still blessed with two working lower limbs made this numerical advantage count and won the next 3. John Valentine then had to win, so that Caldeira’s inevitable victory would win the match and this he did another 3-2 marathon, again proving superior in fitness and composure in the final set. Caldeira however had seen his 2-0 lead dragged back, now it was 2 all and anyone’s game. Again the superior conditioning of the Lancashire man saw Caldeira assert his supremacy once again and dominated the final set to win 3-2.

3 men down the Lancashire needed reinforcements and they duly arrived the Wigan warrior Ian Bradburn and the Tameside twosome Jamie Maddox and Barry Stringer. These three plus the undefeated Caldeira, quickly despatched their opponents against the hosts Merseyside whilst an exhausted Valentine was defeated more by his exertions of the day before than his opponent losing 3-2.

The weekend belonged to Lancashire however 55 points to the good and looking forward optimistically to the promotion playoffs on the 23rd/24th of January.

Honours Even In Inter-County Finals

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Mar 252015

Honours Even In Inter-County Finals

The trophies were shared around at the latest batch of Inter County Championship finals at Wolverhampton last weekend. Surrey won the men’s over-45 final with a comprehensive 5-0 victory over Durham and Cleveland, but went down 4-1 to Middlesex in the O55 final. Meanwhile, the women’s O55 trophy went to Hertfordshire (pictured), who beat Surrey 3-0 in their final. Read more

Inter County Finals – Wolverhampton. Read more

Lancashire Squash Senior Men County Closed 2014‏

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Oct 062014

Almost 40 men ranging in age from 20 to almost 70 took part in the Lancashire Squash Men's County Closed at Fairways Lodge Hotel & Leisure Club this last weekend.

Julian Tomlinson from Bolton, a former Lancashire Squash Junior Champion and now part of the professional squash circuit, won the Men's open event for the first time, beating Wigan player Ryan Atherton 3-0 in the final, having beaten another Wigan player Paul McDonald 3-2 in the Semi-final.

The over 35's event was won by Fairways Lodge player Steve Withington for the second time, to the delight of the large, slightly biased, crowd, beating Preston Grasshopper's Darren Vescovi.

In the over 45's, Rochdale's Steve Cummings overcame Lancaster's Steve Hollinrake, the previous holder and county colleague, 3-1.

The over 50's event was won by another Fairways Lodge player, Stuart Wardle who beat Preston's Andy Heller 3-0.



Former over 45 champion Ian Bradburn moved up to the over 55's and despite a career threatening ankle injury, still managed to beat Blackburn's Steve Taylor 3-0.

The over 60's event was an all Bolton final between close friends and rivals Bob Houldsworth and Phil Shacklady with the latter once again coming out on top 3-0.

A round robin event was played in the over 65's, due to last minute withdrawals with injuries sustained playing League squash on Thursday evening. The winner was Blackburn's Dave Scurlock who saw off the challenge from Wigan's Alistair Swift and Virgin Active's Arnie Wilkinson.

Tony Parker and Andrew Hood officiated for most of the matches with occasional assistance from the players, who must all be congratulated on their sporting behavior at all times.

Prizes were donated by Wigan based Dunlop Slazenger International Ltd. and shirts were supplied by Notorious Ltd. of Mossley. Thanks to both companies.

The Women's event will take place in December at Virgin Active Manchester.


Full results ladder below