Match Report by Jon Sharpe, Men’s Squash Captain
Each year, Devon Squash Rackets Association runs the Devon Cup competition which, a little bit like the FA Cup in football, allows all the clubs/teams in Devon to play in. This year, our Exeter Golf & Country Club Premier League team were aiming to secure an unprecedented 5th consecutive cup, playing at Devon & Exeter Squash Club, pitting our 5 best players against Exeter University’s finest. Unfortunately, we were missing our regular Number 2, British Masters finalist, Mike Gregory but we hoped to still bring home the win!
Playing in reverse order, first it was the turn of the Number 5’s, with Pete Clutton-Brock playing against Exeter Uni’s number 5, Rob Dunford. Rob is also a coach at out club, so this was always going to be a tough task, but Pete played incredibly well, losing a very hard fought match 1-3.
With the number 4’s stepping on court, it was time to level the tie, and Ben Hancock duly obliged, winning 3-1 displaying some great hitting and nerves of steel.
With the tie firmly in the balance, it was up to Pete ‘Wizard’ Whitely to help us progress and after a Lightening quick first 2 games, the Wizard was producing his magic, though an opponent over 25 years younger dragged himself back into the match to level at 2-2. Fortunately for the team, Pete turned from Wizard into warrior and managed to turn the tide to win the deciding game and take the win, 3-2. This was the first of two ’50/50′ matches which were essential to win.
Next up, our Welsh Junior international, Ioan Sharpe, stepped up at Number 2 to take on a a similarly fast, fit and skilled player from the University. In what proved to be the toughest match of the evening, Ioan took the deciding game in front of a partisan crowd to win 3-2, with only 2 points difference in each game. Ioan also survived 2 match balls before closing out 3-2!
And finally, with the match win secured, our number 1, Mike Harris, stepped onto centre court to show us all how to do it, winning 3-0 and only dropping a few points in the process. Despite being jet lagged, Mike was able to round off a fantastic evening for the team.
Special mention to long time Team Manager, Robbie Brown who did his best to prove that 1 man can give as much vocal support as the whole of the Exeter University squash club who’d come to support their team. Also a big thanks to Mike Gregory who was cheering on via the WhatsApp group in France!
So, an amazing 5 consecutive Devon Cups for Exeter Golf & Country Club and a fine achievement!