Newcastle squash Durham

Victory against Manchester takes Newcastle to the final of the BUCS Conference Cup. Image: Pixabay

Last Wednesday many of the BUCS matches were cancelled and postponed due to the bad weather conditions. Luckily for the Newcastle’s women’s first team they only had to travel to Durham for their quarter-final squash match. After Newcastle’s win last week over Birmingham 2nd team and Edinburgh 3rd team prior the women’s firsts were on a roll. Travelling through the treacherous weather the women made their way to Maiden Castle.

Up first were the third seeds where fresher Julia Crowther took to the court. A slow start from the Newcastle player left her on the back foot and losing the first game 11/3. After a team talk and coaching advice from Head of Racket Sports Liam Gutcher, Crowther went back fighting strong. Playing more of an attacking game meant that Newcastle were neck and neck in points. Unfortunately, the Durham player defended well taking the second game 11/8. In the third, the Newcastle player didn’t give up, but Durham were too much of a match in this case leaving the match score 3-0 to Durham.

Next on court was fourth seed Iona Jardine. After some of the Newcastle players unable to play, second team player Jardine stepped up to the mark. A little nervous in the first game left Newcastle one game down. Jardine regained her confidence in the second game where she defended well but again the Durham player had too much strength as she took the lead. Going back on court, the Newcastle player had some fight left in her as her speed gave her the edge taking a game 11/4. This meant that it was 2-1 in games with Durham in the lead. In the final game Durham went for the attacking drop shot tactic which resulted in another loss for Newcastle.

The final game left Durham nervous as Wilkins won

As both the third and fourth seed players had lost their matches it wasn’t looking hopeful at this point for Team Newcastle. Hard hitting and confident Katherine Wilkins was next to take to the court. The Newcastle second seed went out strong and raring to go. Durham’s Hodgson had some excellent returns and fantastic speed taking the game to two-clear points. Wilkins fought hard and took the first game 12/10. In the next game the Newcastle player channelled her focus and hit some narrow drives storming through this game winning 11/4. The final game left Durham nervous as Wilkins energetic play scored her a 3-0 match win.

With the score currently 2-1 to Durham the number one seed and captain Charlotte Cooper needed a clear 3-0 win in order to grant Newcastle the success. As both the number one seed players took to the court the pressure was on, but Cooper didn’t seem phased as she attacked the ball well making her opponent fall behind in points. Newcastle took the first game 11/5. As this was a cup match the captain knew that she needed to minimize the points her opponent won in order to reach the next round of the competition. In the second game Cooper was showing no mercy as her technical drops shots scored her the game 11/2. In the final game, the Newcastle player made it look effortless with her play taking the final game 11/1.

The winning matches from Cooper and Wilkins left Newcastle tied 2-2 with Durham. This meant that points from the games were counted and after a brilliant performance from Newcastle’s Jardine, Newcastle beat Durham 7-6 in game scores. Newcastle’s women’s first team are now through to the semi-finals of the cup tournament where they face Nottingham seconds at The Northumberland Club.

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