Men’s first squash team cruise to 5-0 victory


The match began with the number five seeds, with Lancaster represented by Phil Lowrey. Lowrey dominated from start to finish, never looking in any risk of even dropping a set. The highlight of the game was when Lowrey drew his opponent into the front of the court with an extremely delicate drop shot, before lobbing his opponent to the back of the court, and as his opponent scrambled to get back he killed the game off with an exquisite drop shot once more. Lowrey won 11-2, 11-0, and 11-3, to set a firm example to the rest of his team mates.

Joe Reeds continued exactly where Lowrey had left off, in the battle of the number fours. Reeds opponent was extremely unorthodox in his style as was demonstrated in the opening two rallies of the game. The first of which was straight from serve, as he turned his back to the court, and flicked the ball dangerously over Reeds head, to give him an easy opportunity to kill the first point off. The second point saw Reeds opponent unnecessarily play a shot off the back wall, when he had a fairly simple backhand option open to him. His unorthodox style of play did not fluster Reeds in anyway, who simply controlled every rally from start to finish, and was in greater danger of being hurt by his opponent than he was getting beat. His opponent could run amazingly fast, and reach some balls that seemed initially unreachable; however his shot choice let him down ultimately. Reeds rallied to an 11-2, 11-2, 11-1 win.

Arnie Dunning was Lancaster’s number three, and was ruthlessly efficient in his work. At times it appeared he was toying with his opponent; however he was simply waiting for the perfect opportunity to kill the points off.  Dunning was unperturbed by his opponent’s tennis style serve, consistently returning the ball by placing it exactly where he wanted to.  His opponent had no answer to Dunning’s powerful driven shots, and lost 11-0, 11-2 and 11-5 after a mini but somewhat short-lived revival in the final set.

Dave McGovern stepped up confidently as Lancaster’s number two seed. McGovern was excellent in finding the nick in the wall with his cross court shots giving his opponent no opportunity to return the ball. McGovern stormed into a one set lead courtesy of a clever, disguised drop shot clinching the set 11-2. His opponent was clearly demoralised and was trying desperately to get into the game, but to no avail. McGovern drew in his opponent with a drop, before lobbing to the back left of the court, into an unreturnable position, to take the second set 11-0. The final set saw the rally of the day, as after nine previous shots, McGovern played the ball with his racket behind his back, as he had ran too far after anticipating the forehand drive, before his opponent drilled the ball to the back of the court, only for McGovern to return it off the back wall to keep the rally alive. However this was McGovern’s last input in the rally as his opponent easily killed the point off with McGovern caught out of position. The match finished 11-2, 11-0, 11-2 to McGovern, the most comprehensive victory of the day.

The final match saw the clash of the number one seeds, with Lancaster represented by Captain Ben Holden. After going behind early on in the first set, Holden turned it around with a fantastic drive, followed by an amazing reach to lob his opponent. Holden took the first set 11-4. However all was not plain sailing, as in the second set Holden’s opponent had him scurrying around the court chasing after the ball. No sooner had Holden pulled it back to 9-7 to his opponent, he hit a shot directly back at himself before volleying the ball away mid rally, in disgust at his own shot. His opponent clinched the second set 11-7, before the MMU player was greeted by an ironic cheer off his team mates for the teams first set of the day. Holden had clearly not recovered from his 21st birthday celebrations, only a day earlier. However he did not let this show in the final two sets of the day, as he secured the 5-0 rout for Lancaster with some exhibition boast shots, and a demonstration of sheer racket power, as he battle-rammed his opponent off the court, clinching the match 11-4, 7-11, 11-8, 11-6.

Holden said “The team played fantastically well and I am extremely proud of the guys. Everyone was on form today apart from myself obviously. I think that win should be enough to guarantee our place in the league for next year, and now we can start looking upwards”.

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