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Windscale Triple Crown delight

Windscale B team won the Mens County League Cup Final on Saturday for the third time in a row beating Kendal C in Saturdays event at our own courts.

 Windscale B
 The anxious looking Windscale B team, l to r, Sam Nichol (5), Brandon Groggins (1), Craig Richardson (6), David Benson (2), Ian Richardson (4), Steve Walker (3).

Following a very tight loss to the same team a couple of weeks ago in the league match at their courts, it was not a certainty that this was going to be any easier this time round with home advantage, so another thrilling afternoons squash was envisaged, and delivered. With a limited selection to pick from regarding cup qualification rules, it was the following 5 from 6 chosen to pick up their rackets and fight for the clubs honour.

Playing at number 5, another of the clubs junior prospects Sam Nichol who so far this season had played in every game with a record of 15 wins out of 17 games, got the ball rolling with a nervy 3/2 win against Kendals Ian Garnett, where there wasn't much to seperate them on the scorecard, as the games went 15/8, 15/11, 13/15, 11/15, before Sam pulled it out in the fifth with a 15/11 winning game to put Windscale 1 rubber up.

At number 4 was Ian Richardson with a seasons record of 10 wins from 15 who went up against Joel Howes, Ian doesn't like to hang about on court and charged through the games, on his backhand mainly with the 'odd bludgeoned forehand thrown in', 15/11, followed by an easier game in the second 15/6 as Joel couldn't contain him, and Ian finished it off nicely with a 15/12 third game to give Windscale a 2-0 lead and a great platform to build on.

Steve Walker at 3 with a record of 8 from 12 took to the court knowing that a victory would keep the cup at 'home' for another year, and if his season so far had anything to do with it, then the likelyhood was it would go to five games, Steve likes to give the crowd their monies worth. He lost the opening game to Russell Lillebridge 9/15, but turned things around in the second with a comfortable 15/7 win to level at 1-1. Russell took the third with an identical score as the game flip-flopped back Kendal's way, and although Steve tried in the fourth he couldn't seize the iniative and Kendal had their first rubber on the scorecard as Russell took that game 15/7, for a 3-1 victory.

At 2 in the team, David Benson with 7 wins from 11 so far had the same task as last year (except that last season he was our number 1),  that was going on court to win the match for Windscale and he was playing against Garry Major. David is another player that likes pace in the points and the games, and the match in general. He took no prisoners throughout with a fairly lengthy first game for him 15/11, but then followed it up with a quickfire second 15/6, and took the all important third game 15/9, to win the match 3-0 and the rubber, giving Windscale the all important and clinching third of the match for victory.

All that remained was for team number 1 Brandon Groggins, another of our good crop of juniors, with a playing record for the season of 10 wins from 16 to apply the coup-de-grace against Kendal's Christian Hoyle, with the euphoria flowing he took the first game at a canter 15/6, and was only marginally held up in the second as he pulled two games clear with a 15/11 scoreline. The third game ended in identical fashion 15/11 as Brandon hammered home the final nail in Kendals coffin for another 3-0 win, giving Windscale the match by 4 rubbers to 1.

Spare a thought for our unlucky '6th man' Craig Richardson with a not too shabby record of 11 wins from 16 so far this season, an ever-present in fact, and only missing out from playing with Kendal unable to provide a sixth player as was expected of them through prior negotiation. Craig will have to find out where the double-sided coins are sourced from, just in case for next time........only joking, but tough luck Craig you have more than played your part in this seasons team success.

 A happier looking team in the bar with the trophy, champions 2015

It would be remiss when reporting all this to not give an honourable mention to Daniel Harrison who plays out of Windscale in the leagues but represents Whitehaven, as he won the much coveted County Leagues Player Of The Year 2015 with an unblemished 16 wins out of 16 matches played, and but for playing this weekend in the English Nationals at Edgbaston would have been part of the successful Whitehaven team that triumphed over a 4 man? Carlisle team in the A cup final, Congratulations Daniel and Whitehaven.

 Daniel Harrison
 County Leagues Player Of The Year 2015, Daniel Harrison

For the record Willie "yan-foor" Studholme from Wigton was the Hazel Tait Memorial trophy recipient for his sterling service to county squash. Everybody retired from the courts to the refuge of the bar (except Carlisle who went north), to celebrate the squash, or depending on your nationality the rugby results, and a great night was had by all.

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