Squash 3rds crowned First Division champs

A HARROGATE side stormed home to take the Hamlbeton Ales North Yorkshire Squash League First Division title leaving its rivals trailing in what emerged as an inter-club battle.

Harrogate Squash III, who joined the league four seasons ago in Division Three, had rapidly climbed the divisional ladder to become runners-up last term.

But now they have taken the championship for the first time - without losing a match.

The team of Ian Woodhead, 18, David Duncalf, 22 and Adam Hughes, 17, secured the silverware with a 3-0 away win over Leyburn without dropping a game.

Details of the championship-clinching victory were: Leyburn 0 Harrogate Squash III 3 (Harrogate names first): Ian Woodhead beat Nick Brown 9-5 9-1 9-1; David Duncalf beat Mark Thompson 9-4 9-5 9-1; Adam Hughes beat David Harmsworth 10-8 9-6 9-1.

League secretary Chris Lennox said the newly-crowned champions had improved so much he believed they might well have "outgrown" the North Yorkshire League.

They had come up the divisional ladder together, growing into a fine team. It was encouraging and refreshing that such a young side had come through to take the championship, he said.

Meanwhile speculation is already mounting about whether the team will defend their title next season. Ian Woodhead is already working for England Squash, the game's controlling body; Adam Hughes could take a gap year while David Duncalf is the professional coach at Harrogate Squash Club.

Currently the new champions have played 16 matches and taken 181 points.

Their nearest rivals - Harrogate Squash II - have won 10 of their 16 matches and are on 141 points. Harrogate Squash first team trail in third place on 138 points.

In Division Two Bedale II and Boroughbridge are favourites to move into Division One.

Bedale currently lead the table with 14 wins from 17 matches. They have 163 points. Second are Thirsk II with 160 points, having played a match more than Bedale and two more than Boroughbridge who have 155 points.

Boroughbridge's latest victory, a 2-1 away success over Bedale III, gave them another vital push towards promotion. Thirsk kept up their challenge with a 3-0 away win over Harlow III.

Thirsk's winners were Steve Lacey, Mike Pointon and Shaun Holme.

Simon Robinson and Alistair Hogg, who wiped out a two game deficit to take his match 3-2, were the Boroughbridge winners.

Hambleton Ales North Yorkshire League

Division One: Leyburn 0 Harrogate Squash III 3 (Ian Woodhead, David Duncalf, Adam Hughes); Thirsk 2 (Steve Whiteley, Jonathan Harrison) Harlow 1 (Steve Thackwray).

Division Two: Pateley Bridge II 1 (John Bailey) Bedale II 2 (John Abbotson, Andrea Offord); Harlow III 0 Thirsk II 3 (Steve Lacey, Mike Pointon, Shaun Holme); Leyburn II 2 (Richard Phillips, Jim Forbes) Harlow II 1 (Martyn Hall).

Division Three: Boroughbridge II 3 (Phil Strong, Phil Smelt, John Frankland) Harrogate V 0; Harlow IV 1 (Len Jamison) RAF Leeming 2 (Simon Brown, Andy Welford); Thirsk III 3 (Andrea Mayne, Mark Fox, Derrick Jenkinson) Pateley Bridge III 0; Thorp Perrow 2 (John Hart, Will Abbotson) Leyburn IV 1 (John Louden).

Collingham hopes of a league and cup double disappeared when they took a surprise knock out blow in the Kall Kwik Harrogate and District Squash Cup.

The Collingham team went down 3-2 to north Leeds side Adel in the quarter-finals.

A key victory for Adel - and a surprise one - came when John Ploughman defeated Anthony Kettlewell in a five game encounter.

Collingham are still challenging for the league title which they have not won for 13 years.

Ilkley reached the last four with a 3-2 win over cup holders Harrogate Squash II, while Nomads beat Chapel Allerton 4-1 and Harrogate Squash first team pipped Moortown 3-2.

In the semis Harrogate will play Adel while Nomads meet Ilkley. The semi-final ties will be played on March 27 with the finals due to be held at Harrogate Squash Club on May 1.

Harrogate's victory over Moortown was achieved thanks to wins by Martin Wickenden, Tony Nowakowski and Stewart Macdonald.

Kall Kwik Cup quarter finals:

Moortown 2 Harrogate Squash 3 (Moortown names first):

Ian Cawthorne beat Nicolette Fernandes 9-6 6-9 10-8 9-7; Simon Stuart beat Nick Jezeph 7-9 4-9 9-3 9-7 9-2; Geoff Mortimer lost to Martin Wickenden 4-9 3-9 6-9; Richard Hill lost to Tony Nowakowski 6-9 7-9 2-9; Graham Snowdon lost to Stewart Macdonald 4-9 9-4 7-9 7-9.

Adel 3 Collingham 2 (Adel names first): Mark Ambler lost to Andrew Widdison 9-3 4-9 9-10 9-10; Steve Glynn beat Nick Brown 9-3 5-9 7-9 9-1 9-5; John Ploughman beat Anthony Kettlewell 9-5 6-9 6-9 9-4 9-2; Sean Fleming lost to Paul Hill 3-9 4-9 3-9; Jonty Hodgson beat Nick Williams 3-9 9-5 4-9 9-7 9-5.

Ilkley 3 Harrogate Squash II 2 (Ilkley names first):

Gareth Hutchinson lost to David Duncalf 6-9 9-7 7-9 7-9; Andy Hutchinson beat Adam Hughes 9-6 9-3 9-5; Phil Newton beat Paul Hotchkiss 6-9 9-3 3-9 10-9 9-6; Jonty Hawkes lost to Steve Whiteley 9-2 7-9 9-10 2-9; Phil Maunsell beat Bob Peacock 9-6 9-7 3-9 9-7.

Nomads 4 Chapel Allerton 1 (Nomads names first): John Riley lost to Mike Dickens 1-9 5-9 5-9; Andy Hall beat Peter Ball 10-9 9-5 10-8; Mike Weston beat Darren Mould 9-4 9-1 9-4; Matt Smyth beat Joe Cybaniak 9-3 9-4 1-9 9-3; Jonathan Round beat Joe Pygall 9-6 1-9 9-6 10-8.

B Cup quarter-finals: Moortown B 2 Harlow 3; Otley 5 Harrogate Squash C 0; Boroughbridge 1 Collingham 4 (note to sub one result outstanding)

C Cup quarter-finals: Weider, Harrogate 3 Ripon 2; Harlow C 4 Boroughbridge B 1; Pateley Bridge 5 Collingham E 0; Otley B 0 Collingham D 5.