Last Thursday the Northants 1st and Northants 3rd teams were competing in the 1st Division and 4th Division KO cup finals respectively, and both won.
The 1st team, comprising of Hari Patel, Steve Ward, Alex Eales, Simon Turner and Tom Paton were up against Lings 1. First on court was Tom Paton, who after winning the first 2 games, was cruising at 14-8 but then lost that game 16-14. He regained composure and went on to take the 4th game. Next on was Simon Turner who played an epic match against Simon Philips, eventually winning 3-2, with several games going to the wire and leaving both players completely spent. Team captain, Alex Eales went on next and won quickly 3-0. With the trophy retained, Steve Ward and Hari Patel eventually got on court at around 10pm to enjoy themselves, both winning 3-0.
Meanwhile, the 3rd Team were up against Diana 5. First on court was Sion Roberts who won 3-0. He was followed by Bobby Acworth who lost, then Anthony Tetley who battled out a 3-2 win. Tetley, who has been out of action recently was struggling for fitness and had to rely on using his skills to outwit his opponent. He was followed by Earl Harrison who played the best match club chairman, Steve Avil, has seen him play in a long time to win 3-0 and so winning the trophy for the team. So, like the 1st team, the number 1 string player, Nick Marlow could go on with no pressure but unfortunately he lost the tie - but it didn't matter as the match was won.
This capped a mixed season for the Northants sides.
The 1sts got the double by winning the Division 1 title as well, finishing 23 points clear of second place Darlington 1.
The 2nd team struggled in Division 2, partly due to trying to give as many people as possible a chance to play in the first half, but they had a better 2nd half and finished 14 points clear of the bottom placed club. It was good to see, however, Tom Sexton come through to play in team squash and develop his game as a result.
The 3rd finished mid table in Division 4 but this is where we always plan to finish as we use this team as one to bring new people into team squash. Steve Tew manages the large squad well, giving everyone chances to play, and it was great to see the likes of Bobby Acworth, Sion Roberts and youngster Adam Stamp coming through this season.
With a lot of clubs struggling for depth in numbers this year, it will be interesting to see the make up of the leagues next season.