Cromer squash team come out on top in battle of sexes

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Cromer's technical director Barry Starling was a happy man as his Cromer team moved up to fifth place in Division Two of the Norfolk SRA Squash 57 leagues following their 14-4 victory over the ladies from Broadland Swifts.

Starling has a large squad of players registered with the league and it his intention to give as many players as possible the opportunity to play.

He made two changes from the team who lost their previous match at Fakenham with Gary Spruce and Steve Banner coming into the team for the first time in place of Matthew Jordan who had footballing commitments and veteran Peter Foster who was not 100pc fit. Fellow veterans John Chandler and Martin Braybrook were given another outing in the third and fourth string slots.

Both Chandler and Braybrook have many years of squash court experience behind them and they were both always in control of their matches against younger, less experienced players and both came out on top 3-0 to get the Cromer team off to the best possible start.

All four of the Broadland ladies showed they had good racket skills as Banner found out to his cost in the second string match. After losing the first game against Fran Dowe he drew level by taking the second game 13-9 but then lost the next two to go down to a 3-1 defeat in what was his first competitive Squash 57 match.


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Julie Johnson, playing at No.1 for the Broadland team, was a very skilful player and she and Gary Spruce had a terrific first string match. Spruce went 2-0 up, taking the first two games 13-9 13-8 before losing the third game 13-8 but he was eventually able to clinch the match when he won a very close fourth game 14-12 to come out on top 3-1.

This meant that the Cromer team had also won three of the four matches played and they collected the four bonus points on offer as well as ten points for the games won.

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Starling said afterwards:- 'The Broadland ladies were probably more skilful than our team but our team's physical strength was probably the deciding factor.'

Results: Gary Spruce beat Julie Johnson 13-9 13-8 8-13 14-12, Steve Banner lost to Fran Dowe 9-13 13-9 8-13 10-13, John Chandler beat Debbie Pardy 13-6 13-3 13-5, Martin Braybrook beat Maria Rainbird 13-10 13-10 13-6.

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