Guppy returns to Cromer squash for close season opener

Cromer's 2017 squash club champion Martin Guppy who made a welcome return to

Cromer's 2017 squash club champion Martin Guppy who made a welcome return to the team for the first match of the 2022 summer season. - Credit: Supplied by Martin Braybrook

Cromer's new look squash team took to the courts this week for their first Norfolk SRA Summer League match of the new season and their first match since September 2018.

The summer league has always been the poor relation of the main winter leagues and with both tennis and holiday commitments Cromer have always used it to give some of their fringe players the opportunity to play competitive squash.

This year however things could be different for technical director Barry Starling as the 2017 club champion Martin Guppy has nailed his colours to the club's mast for the new campaign and the newly appointed club coach Henry Geaves has moved over from Rossi's at North Walsham.

With former club champions Alex Oliver (2019) and Matthew Jordan (2018) both available to play and fill the third and fourth string slots it was a strong line up which took to the court for their local derby against Rossi's II.

Jordan was first on court and he had a marathon match against the veteran Roger Hannant who is still a very useful player and after five well contested games he just managed to come out on top 13-11 in the fifth.

On the adjoining court Guppy was not having things all his own way against Philip Slack and after winning the first game 13-6 he lost the next three to go down to a 3-1 defeat.

Henry Geaves had a terrific battle against his former team mate Harvey Edmonds. He opened up a 2-0 lead but was not quite able to close the match out in the third game as he lost it 14-12. Edmonds comfortably won the fourth game to draw level at 2-2 before Geaves recovered his form to take the decisive fifth game 13-11 and the match 3-2.

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This left the overall result in the balance but it was Rossi's Matt Dyke who came out on top against an inconsistent Alex Oliver winning 3-1 which meant that both teams had won two matches but it was the visitors who took the four bonus points as they won 10 games to Cromer's 8 leaving the final score 14-8 in their favour.

Afterwards Starling said: "Although we lost I am not despondent. It was good to see Guppy back in a Cromer shirt and to welcome Henry Geaves to the club. In fact if he had managed to win the third game of his match we would have drawn the match but squash is a game of fine margins.

"If his tennis commitments permit I have still got Richard Keeble to come back into the team and I am hoping that there might be one other new exciting face shortly"