Leicestershire Men's inter county match report

Men’s Inter-County Captains Match Report

For this season’s first inter-county fixture we ventured to Norfolk with a few players unavailable which allowed for a few players to make their Leicestershire men's debut. The squad was Darren Lewis (Captain), Andes Ling, Rob Britton, Paul Stroud, Ben McNaulty and Dave New. Ahead of this newly assembled Leicestershire team were the counties of Oxfordshire, Surrey and Norfolk.


First up was Oxfordshire, Paul and Rob were first to take to the courts. After nervous starts for both they began to find their timing before losing out 0-3. Ben followed with a similar story but pushed his opponent to a tie break in the third before also conceding 0-3. Darren and the unknown Andes (new to the county) went on next, Darren went 2-0 down in his match before finding his rhythm and pace then proceeded to grind his opponent down to take the team’s first victory 3-2. On the other court Andes was proving to be a fantastic player with some unbelievable shots and rapid movement that delighted the Leicestershire team! He had a great match and narrowly lost 9/11 in the fifth.


The second match was against Surrey who on paper were the strongest side having a full time professional player at fourth string! Dave and Paul kicked things off and Dave having started strongly had game ball in the first but was squeezed out eventually losing 12/14. The game continued to be closely fought but resulted in a 0-3 defeat, meanwhile Paul was playing at his best and had reached 1-1 (both of which were tie breaks!) Ben then started on the other second court and although playing well and fighting hard against the pro he lost 0-3 11/13 in the third. Back on the first court Paul was now at 2-2 having taken the fourth game 16/14 saving 4 match balls and executing an amazing dive that would compete with the world best. Paul ran and ran and ran and got to 9/7 up, unfortunately at that point he hit ‘The Wall’ and lost 9/11 in the 5th. 0-3 down in matches Darren and Andes took to the courts to redeem Leicestershire. Darren won a comfortable 3-0 his opponent didn’t find his way into the game at all. Andes once again produced some incredible retrievals and was full on attack attack attack!!! In a very close fought match Andes secured his first Leicestershire win 3-2 11/9 in the 5th. So the team narrowly lost 2-3 against the toughest opponents.


Heading into Sunday having lost the first two matches the team could not now qualify for the promotion group and after a night of rehydrating everyone looked a bit tired. The first casualty was Paul who after his huge match the day before was struggling to move and so was forced to drop out. Darren then went on first and lost 0-3, Ben started next and after a solid start found himself established in the game at 1-1. Down in the third game 3/10 he made an incredible come back to take the game to a tie break that he lost 11/13 after this huge effort in the third he was unable to hold the fourth and lost 1-3. Rob and Dave were next on court and both not had close matches but both lost 0-3. Andes was last up and after all his hard work on Saturday had slowed a little but still produced some great squash and won 3-1!!


Although the team came last they fought ferociously all weekend, with some extremely competitive matches and it was fantastic to have some new players that gave it their all!

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