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County News

Inter County Stage 1 results

Men's Over 45

Oxfordshire have not been able to field a mens team in the mens over 45s National League for nearly 5 years, due to a lack of interest within this age group. This year looked no different, so Simon Street agreed to organise the team as he was keen to play from 2014, when turning 45, and wanted to build some momentum beforehand. The first objective was to field a team of at least 5 people who qualified and were keen to play. The second objective was for these players to simply enjoy the experience and not have too many expectations, as this was a new experience for many of them. Street assembled a squad of players Chris Burton, Nick Barnett, Simon Pick, Alan Steptoe, Paul Sayers, Jim Lynn and David Wright. Unfortunately, David pulled out a few days before the event with a bicep tear and Alan pulled his glute a week before the weekend, although rested for a week and agreed to play still.

England Squash & Racketball placed Oxfordshire in Division 2, which was sub divided into 3 leagues and we played Worcestershire, Shropshire and Suffolk in Group B, hosted by Shropshire. The three Group winners all qualifying automatically for the promotion play offs to Division 1, with the best placed runner up from the three groups also joining them.

With Alan rested for the opening match, Oxfordshire got off to a flying start in their match against Worcestershire and won 5/0, with some excellent performances particularly from Chris and Nick, who both managed to win in 5 tough games. For our second match, we played Shropshire. Whilst Chris was well beaten by a solid number one, Alan and Paul had comfortable wins and Simon only narrowly lost 10/8 in the fifth. So this match came down to the decider and Nick breezed to a comfortable 3/0 win to keep Oxfordshire in the hunt for the promotion group.

After Saturdays fantastic performances, came a dose of reality, dished out by a very strong Suffolk team who thrashed our guys 3/0 in each match. However, Suffolk were so convinced of their strength that they only turned up with 4 players for the whole weekend and these stars did not drop a game, apart from the walk over that each of the other counties were awarded at 5th string! Oxfordshire finished runners up in Group B and returned from Shropshire having thoroughly enjoyed themselves, played some great squash and, to quote Chris Burton "Top 'company' and a really solid bunch of guys. Despite the result against Suffolk, I suspect we 'over-achieved' as a group of people". So I am pleased to conclude that both my original objectives have been achieved and it was a pleasure to field a squad of committed and enthusiastic players. In addition, we qualified for the Promotion Group Play Offs as the best placed runners up, so an excellent result all round and the guys should be extremely proud.

Full match results can be found here

Men's Over 50 full results

Men's Over 55 full results
Men's Over 60 full results
Men's Over 65 full results

Ladies full results
Ladies Over 50 full results

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