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Cornwall travelled to Somerset for Stage 2 of the Over 35 inter County squash championships.

Cornwall were somehow in the promotion group – drawn against Dorset and Somerset who had beaten Cornwall to first and second positions in the Stage 1 event!

Joining the group were Worcestershire. Whilst Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset had played each other on previous occasions and knew each other’s strengths and weaknesses no one knew what threat Worcestershire would be.

The Cornish side were strengthened by the availability of Max Millar – although living in London he is a former Bude player and eligible to play for his home County. With Max coming straight in at number 1 this would assist and strengthen the Cornish side considerably.

In the first tie Cornwall played the Stage 1 winners Dorset who were clearly as strong as before.

At 5, Mike Morgan (Torpoint) had a close encounter of the Mike kind! This was a much better performance than in the Stage 1 event when Mike was troubled by illness and Mike narrowly lost his opening match 3-2.

Number 4 Matt Waterton (Newquay) together with Number 3 and Captain Elliott Moore (Truro) both like to play squash with winning shots but limited physical exertion! Both Cornish players lost their matches – Elliott not recovering from game point up in the first game to then lose comfortably.

The usually dependable Neil Counter (Truro) was also beaten.

Thankfully Max Miller (Charing Cross Hospital & MCC) at 1 salvaged some Cornish pride with a 3-0 victory over his Dorset opponent Martin Greenslade. This was in affect a Cornish double header as Martin Greenslade of Dorset is a previous Cornish County Champion!

Cornwall had lost their first match 1-4.

With Somerset beating Worcestershire convincingly Cornwall would need a change in fortunes if they were to avoid a battle for the wooden spoon with Worcestershire!

Thankfully this 2nd fixture, against Somerset had a much more positive outcome for Cornwall.

Mike Morgan had another epic match which again went to the final game. It was advantage Mike on this occasion to win 3-2.  Although Mike had won one match and lost one, he had gained 5 out of a maximum of 6 points during his 2 matches on Saturday.

Matt Waterton continued the winning trend with a 3-0 win over his Somerset counterpart. Matt won 3-0 but this was a very close contest with Matt winning games 2 & 3 by 12 points to 10.

Elliott Moore was sadly unable to put in a Captain’s performance – his squash is obviously struggling with the joys of recent fatherhood. His belly certainly is! Advantage Somerset 3-1.

Neil Counter was in this match back to his usual dependable self with a 3-1 win in his match against the Somerset team Captain.

At number one Max Miller was again involved in a match with a double Cornish connection! His Somerset opponent Matt Harford currently lives in Cornwall and plays for Truro! Once again Max won it for the Cornish side.

This was a great result for Cornwall – a 4-1 win.

With Dorset securing a win in their second match it was Dorset who were the overnight leaders by 10 points – Somerset and Cornwall were tied in joint 2nd.

With only 1st and 2nd place available for promotion everything was to play for on the Sunday morning with potentially all 4 teams able to win promotion.

With Mike Morgan unavailable Russ Jamieson had travelled with the team to play this fixture. Sadly for Russ Worcestershire were reduced to 4 players so despite his efforts Russ did not get to play – but Cornwall had won the first match 3-0 without hitting a ball.

Matt Waterton continued the winning trend. Despite a slow start with Matt trailing 2-1 Matt managed to level his match and then win the final game 13-11.

As the matches progressed it became clear that Somerset were matching the Cornwall results. If Cornwall continued to match the Somerset results Cornwall would be guaranteed 2nd place as the Cornish side had beaten Somerset in their match the previous day. Any slip up would give advantage to Somerset.

In another twist the Somerset side were making short work of Dorset – this meant that either Somerset or Cornwall could make up the 10 point overnight deficit and snatch a win for the weekend.

Next on, Elliott Moore for Cornwall made up for his below performance of the previous day with a 3-0 win although his opponent was somewhat under par!

Playing out of order the number 1’s played next – Elliott thought he had won his match comfortably but Max Miller for Cornwall still managed to defeat his opponent even more swiftly. That was 3 wins from 3 for the Cornwall number 1! It’s not often that the Cornwall side sees a statistic like that!

Cornwall were now 4 – 0 up. All the team needed was for Neil Counter to win at number 2 to guarantee at least 2nd place.

Neil played his best squash of the weekend – his opponent clearly struggled with Neil’s unorthodox style and Neil won the match 3-1.

With Somerset losing their final match Cornwall were now 3 points clear of Somerset.

Significantly Dorset had struggled in their Sunday fixture picking up only a few points – with Cornwall having secured maximum points in their match against Worcestershire Cornwall leapfrogged Dorset to top spot!

Somerset secured the runners up position having defeated Dorset.

This was a fabulous performance by the Cornwall side – with a number of thanks that must be expressed to Max Miller who still plays for his home County despite now residing in London, to Mike Morgan who travelled to Taunton under his own steam to play both Saturday matches and particularly to Russ Jamieson who agreed at very short notice to play the match, knowing he would only have one game on Sunday morning but would be away all weekend.

Despite not getting a game it was those 3 extra points that Russ secured by turning up that turned out to be the most important of the weekend – had Russ not played Cornwall would have ended the weekend on level points with Somerset and Dorset. With neither of the Counties being an outright winner it would have been down to the lottery of game points won to determine the overall positions!

By a margin of 3 points Cornwall had won the weekend!

Final Standings:

  1. Cornwall 43 points
  2. Somerset 40 points
  3. Dorset 40 points
  4. Worcestershire 16 points

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