March 8, 2018, by brzmjb1
Match in Focus | Men’s Squash beat Birmingham 3-2 to book their place at BUCS Big Wednesday
University of Nottingham went into this Men’s Squash BUCS Championship Semi-final as narrow favourites and knew they would have their work cut out if they wanted to secure home advantage at BUCS Big Wednesday in 2 weeks’ time.
During the regular season, UoN finished just above Birmingham having won at their last two encounters, albeit by a tight 3-2 score line both times. This semi-final was to be no different with University of Nottingham winning 3-2 in a closely fought match in front of a crowd of supporters at David Ross Sport Village.
University of Nottingham vs University of Birmingham
David Ross Sports Village, 4pm
- Adam Auckland vs Jan van den Herrewegen
- Owain Taylor vs Stuart MacGregor
- Matt Broadberry vs Paddy Harrison
- Tom Bailey v Michael Mattimore
- Ollie Holland vs Jonny Camfield
Ollie Holland got the semi-final underway as he took on Johnny Camfield on the All-Glass court at David Ross Sports Village and won the first set comfortably to get the Green and Gold off to a winning start.
It wasn’t so easy in the 2nd set with Camfield squaring things up at 10-10. It was Holland’s turn to dig deep and he was forced to save 2 game balls, the last of which was a delightful cross court backhand which Camfield found irretrievable. Holland went on to win 14-12 and go 2-0 putting the game firmly in his grasp.
The final set was a more straight forward affair with Holland racing to an 8-1 lead, taking the final set 11-4 to register the first point on the board for the Green and Gold.
Fresh off his first 2017/18 Premier Squash League appearance this year where he raced to 2-0 lead early on, third seed Matt Broadberry got off to a slower start over at court 3 by narrowly losing his first set 16-14.
In the 2nd set, Broadberry opted to push Patrick Harrison into longer rallies and abandoned his short game in a low risk approach. It ultimately paid off and whilst Broadberry hit the tin at 10-8 game ball, he went on to win the final point and level the game at 1-1.
Played in front of a packed gallery which included the UoN Women’s squash team who had successfully concluded their semi-final, the following 2 sets swung both ways to level things up at 2-2 and taking the game to a deciding set.
Broadberry trailed for the majority of the final set, with each point throwing up more tension from the crowd and it was at 7-7 that he eventually took the lead for the first time.
Harrison looked visually broken by the shift in momentum and in a show of true determination, Broadberry saw the game out by finishing a gruelling 47 shot rally at game ball to win the closest contest of the afternoon.
Adam Auckland went into his top seed matchup full of confidence having knocked out 2016 individual champion Van den Herrewegen in this year’s singles championships.
It was the Belgium international who made the perfect start to the match and whilst trailing on a number of occasions in the first set it was Van Den Herrewegen who took the first set 9-11.
Auckland rallied back in the 2nd set level things up, but it was the 3rd set that put Van Den Herrewegen in control of the match winning 9-11 to go 1-2 up.
In the final set Van Den Herrewegen raced to a 0-9 lead and even though Auckland fought till the end, he couldn’t prevent a 6-11 victory for Birmingham who registered their first point of the afternoon to make it 2-1 overall.
Next on Court 3 was Tom Bailey, who lined up against Michael Mattimore knowing a victory would secure a place in the final.
All nerves were quickly set aside when he took the first set 11-6 and second set 12-10.
Mattimore fought back winning the 3rd set 9-11 but it was to be Bailey’s day. He put on a squash exhibition in the fourth set to win 11-2, much to the delight of the crowd who had moved over from the all-glass court to watch this crucial tie.
Victory was already in the bag when club Captain Owain Taylor took to the all-glass court against Stuart MacGregor.
Taylor finished 5th in the BUCS Individual A Grade competition in December where he defeated today’s MacGregor in straight sets 11-7, 11-8, 11-3, but it wasn’t to be this time around.
With the pairing competing over 3 sets due to the premature conclusion of the overall tie, it was MacGregor who got off to the fastest start winning the first set 6-11.
The second set swung each and every way with the lead bouncing back and forth throughout. At 13-13 it was MacGregor who took charge, winning the final two points and just doing enough to edge a win, which in the context of the match meant very little.
With the final match on the all-glass concluding, University of Nottingham had once again successfully qualified for a third consecutive BUCS Championship final.
The team have lost just four of their last 20 league matches, with all of these defeats at the hands of defending champions UWE who have dominated the leagues for the past few seasons and who they will likely meet in the final.
The result mirrored the achievements of the Women’s Squash 1st team who swept aside Northumbria University with a clean sweep 5-0 win to also set up a BUCS Big Wednesday Championship final at David Ross Sports Village on 21 March 2018.
Tickets for BUCS Big Wednesday are now on sale and are only £2. Secure your seat today at https://fixr.co/organiser/BUCS or visit our event page at www.nottingham.ac.uk/sport/bbw for more information.
No comments yet, fill out a comment to be the first