Top tussles on court for Cromer Squash Club

SQUASH: Cromer finally got their 2010-11 season under way this week when they travelled to Fleggburgh to take on Broadland II in a Norfolk League Division Two match while the second team were at home to the young students from UEA in Division Three.

The reigning club handicap champion, veteran Peter Foster, was a last minute replacement at number five for the first team but despite playing well and taking the second game he had to settle for a 3-1 defeat as he narrowly lost the fourth game 10-8.

Captain Henri Paul had a torrid evening as he picked up just three points in a straight game defeat at number four but the new club champion, Richard Keeble, playing at number three kept the team in contention with a straight game win of his own.

Alex Foster kept the team's hopes alive when he came from 2-1 down to win the second string match 3-2 but at number one Ben Herrieven found his opponent just too good and he was well beaten 3-0 to leave the final score 16-7 in favour of the home team.

Paul said afterwards: 'This was a disappointing result for our first match of the season but the result was probably a fair reflection of the evening. I was simply outclassed but Keeble and young Alex Foster both played exceptionally well to win their matches.'

Results: Ben Herrieven lost to Richard Barnes 4-9 0-9 4-9, Alex Foster beat Justin Millar 1-9 9-6 8-10 9-6 9-6, Richard Keeble beat Roly Gosaii 9-4 9-3 10-9, Henri Paul lost to Paul Banham 1-9 1-9 1-9, Peter Foster lost to Mark Woolner 1-9 9-3 4-9 8-10.

Second team captain Barry Starling made just one enforced change to his team as he again left himself on the sidelines. Martin Sanville was unavailable which enabled Dave Jones to come back into the team at number two. Sadly, with one exception the team were totally outclassed by their young opponents who were supremely fit and placed the ball with unerring accuracy.

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Martin Braybrook, Kim Payne, Dave Jones and Matt Copeman all played as well as they could but all lost their matches in straight games with none of them able to pick up more than a dozen points along the way. It was left to former club champion John Baker to spare the team's blushes as he, after losing the opening game of his third string match 0-9, recovered brilliantly to take the match 3-1.

Starling said: ' The average age of our team was almost 30 years more than that of the students and sadly this showed.

The one bright performance was Johnnie Baker's and he showed that although form may be temporary class is permanent as he put the rest of his team mates to shame. 'I think UEA will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season but even so I might try and freshen the team up for our next match.'

Results: Matt Copeman lost to Dom Williams 0-9 5-9 7-9, David Jones lost to Sam Hazlegrove 2-9 1-9 5-9, John Baker beat Dom Markham 0-9 9-1 9-4 10-8, Kim Payne lost to Ben May 2-9 6-9 4-9, Martin Braybrook lost to Long Hui Loo 4-9 5-9 3-9.