National Club Squash Champions 2016

Congratulations - National Club Squash Champions 2016

Having won two of three group stage matches, the Roehampton Club National Club Team qualified behind group winners and close rivals, Colets. This achievement meant the team represented Roehampton Club at Edgbaston Priory Club in the National Club Championship finals last weekend.

It was a four-man team with the match result going on matches won in the first instance, in the event of a tie at 2-2, then on games won, then, if needed, on points!

The weekend draw proved to be a tough test on paper although we had our strongest squad available for the weekend. Four players sensibly made their way to Birmingham on the Friday night - wise move as yours truly left Saturday morning to experience part of the M40 closed, snow (yes in April) and then traffic. Lucky I wasn't playing! Our Captain also suffered a similar journey and only made the match with a few minutes to spare. It was also great to see Roehampton Club Members

Michael Hill and Michael Holland at the venue on Saturday, and CEO Marc on Sunday to support the players, thank you.

Quarter-finals

The team faced Wigan, a team with a strong number one and three other players who perhaps looked more like supporters! This was certainly not the case as it proved to be three of the most unique styles and shapes of squash player ever to be seen to make up a strong Wigan team.

Not to be deterred, the team began the match with our experienced Captain Steve Richardson leading from the front as Roehampton won the match 3/1.

Semi-final

This match pitted us against hosts and the previous year's Champions, Edgbaston Priory. Having been rested for the first match Tom and Matt were now involved, tough call to drop Steve and Robbie after their impressive win but that's what the manager is for! The format meant numbers 2 and 4 started the match with 1 and 3 to follow. So Charles and Matt were on court and after the first couple of games I turned to Michael Hill and said 'we are in trouble!' Charles two games down against a strong Edgbaston number 2 and Matt taking his time to find his rhythm was one game and 10/8 game ball down! What followed proved to be brilliant to watch, Matt turned the 10/8 game around to win the game and then played well to win 3/2. Charles played brilliantly to get back into the match and then level at 2-2, and although going down 3-2 the two games could have been vital. Joe was given a tough first game but thereafter asserted himself to win comfortably. Tom gave an exhibition on clean, crisp ball striking to take the match 3/1.

The Final

Sunday's Final was against a team we have played twice previously in the group stages, Colets - always drawing the match 2-2 but losing on count back.

The same format remained for the final with strings 4 and 2 on first, although this time only Matt at 4 started as the women's final was still ongoing. This helped with the match starting at 2.30pm as Matt was due to get a flight at 5.25pm! A slow start (nothing to do with the late night) saw Matt lose the first game in a match we thought would be close. Some words from Tom and Steve and Matt was now back on court playing better squash, although each game was close, Matt won 3/1.

Charles had now gone on court and looked to be playing extremely well, taking a close first game. This proved to be vital as Charles' three tough matches over the weekend may have caught up with him (again, nothing to do with the late night) as he went down 3/1. Joe managed to be on and off court while Charles was still running his socks off. Joe was ruthless, not giving any easy points (as the match looked like going to points at one stage) and winning 3/0.

This left the match poised at 2/1 to Roehampton Club with Tom only needing one game to mean the title would be Roehampton Club's by virtue of games won.

Tom gave it his all in the first against Colet's Richie Fallows. What followed was a high-class game of shots and exceptional movement. Tom winning 13/11 and giving Roehampton Club its first ever National Club Squash Championship Title.

The team now hope to represent Roehampton Club and England in the European Club Championship in September.

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