Last Friday saw Market Harborough take on Abbey Sports 2nd Team in the Final of the Leicestershire Leagues Knock out Cup competition. This was the first year of the competition which was devised to give players some competitive matches over the quieter Christmas period, when the earlier rounds were held and to also get players and teams from different leagues competing against each other. The format of the matches was teams of three, comprising of an O55 player, an O35 player and a third player of any age, competing in a match where the players in the lower ranked side could use 9 extra points at anytime during their game. This allowed for some interesting tactics to be played out.
In the Final, held at Leicester Squash Club on London Road, Leicester, Market Harborough were ranked as the stronger team and so Abbey had use of the extra points.
In the first tie, Martin Geear played Abbey’s Muckesha Hira. Hira knew he was up against it, playing the current Leicestershire O35 and O45 champion, and so used his 9 points when he was 7-0 down in the first game, giving him the first game but know points to use in the remainder of the tie. Geear went on to win 3-1, 7-9, 9-1,9-0,9-1. Abbey took the second tie, the O55s, when Robin Clemments beat Jon Maynard, 3-1 after Maynard had dug in to take the first game 10-8.
So the match was poised 1-1, with the decider between Hari Patel and Abbey’s Dennis Husband, a county O45 player. In an exciting tie, where the crowd were all speculating on how Husband would use his extra points, Patel came through to win 3-1, 9-4,9-2,7-9,9-5 making Harborough the victors 2-1 in the match.