Last weekend saw Norfolk O40s Squash 57 team compete in the inter county National finals at the prestigious Nottingham Park squash club.
Our first opponents were Shropshire, and Rob Hambrook was first up to play, after a shaky start he lost the first a close 15-13 but made his opponent work hard, in the second he was much more confident and at 9-6 up had his opponent in all four corners and took that game 11-6 and alas the Shropshire player had to retire with an injury, so 3-1 to Rob and 1-0 to Norfolk.
Next up was the impressive Ian Cox who had knee surgery less than 2 months ago, he also started slow and lost a tight first game 9-11, but write cannonball Cox off at your peril he came out firing the ball at pace and a variety of angles which the Shropshire player just couldn't cope with ( not many can) Ian saw the match out a fairly comfortable 3-1 so 2-0 and the match was already won.
Next up was David Gouldby who had been in fine form prior to a bout of flu a week or so before, he was playing the Edgebaston's club pro Mike Harris The first 5 points David didn't make a mistake and took all his openings to go 5-0 up but then his opponent started to play well and levelled and it turned into a right old battle with both players making surprising errors this is how it went to the 5th, again the momentum was swinging back and forth but towards the end of the 5th David's flu caught up with him and alas he was looking a bit jaded, Shropshire won the second string match 3-2 but Norfolk wins 2-1 to set up a final with Dorset.
Luckily we have an abundance of very good O40 racketball players in Norfolk, and it was a hard decision for the captain to select players, Steve Moxey was the first player to go on court in the final and after a long first game and being 10-8 down he pulled thru 13-11, he then gained confidence and won the next two 11-0 11-3. 1-0 to Norfolk.
Next on were the number 1 strings, Ian Cox on the show court playing a very talented Dorset player who had a similar style, the first went to Dorset as Ian was going short to early, but after taking advice from his team seemed to be in control for the rest of the match playing some ridiculous angles at speed which his opponent just couldn't retrieve Ian wins 3-1 so Norfolk wins the National title, David Gouldby's opponent suddenly developed an urge not play a nothing game so he withdrew.
All the matches were played in a very friendly competitive manner, and all the Norfolk team including the players from the previous rounds deserve a huge well done! Thanks go to Rob Hambrook for all his efforts with this team.