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Lancaster University Squash Club has secured this year’s Women’s Roses Squash title to add to their victory in the BUCS league. The Men’s team, who also won their BUCS league and Conference Cup failed to clinch the treble against a strong York side.
Women’s Captain, Katie Shearston, led her squad to glory with an overall 2 – 1 victory over York. Anitha Jayamurugan won the final match 3-1 to secure the title for Lancaster University and Sarah Pagan also lived up to form with a 3-0 walkover against York’s third seed.
Speaking to SCAN, Shearston said: “The team’s performance was brilliant! We’ve worked hard all year with successes in our league and coming runners up in the Cup; Roses was a chance to reinforce our reputation as a strong team within the university and we lived up to expectations. It was such a fantastic way to round off the year!”
Jayamurugan added to Shearston’s approbations by telling SCAN, “Katie has worked really hard to coach the team every week and it paid off in our performance. I absolutely love playing squash and I couldn’t have asked for a better team to play in. Winning Roses was truly an amazing way to end the season.”
Following success in both their BUCS league and Cup, the Men’s Squash team was eager to avenge the heavy defeats suffered across the board in last year’s Roses.
SCAN spoke to First VI Captain, Rob Gibson, who told SCAN that “For the first team we were well prepared and at the top of our game following the most successful year in the club’s history. We won the BUCS 2A title and beat York in the final of the Conference Cup to win the double whilst also obtaining the highest amount of BUCS points for any club across the entire campus. We were determined to continue our success and finish the year on a high.”
In the Roses action Lancaster’s fifth seed and future Captain Mike Wray put in an admirable performance against York’s number five. Gibson, whilst personally disappointed, put in a good effort against a technically strong opponent at number four. With his trademark showmanship and scrappy play, number three seed and Club President Loui Quelcutti confidently took his game 3 – 1 and provided much of the “squanter” (squash banter) to keep York on their toes. A motivating force, Quelcutti also helped cheer Arnie “Terminator” Dunning to a victory in his final competitive squash match for the University. Dunning, equipped with headband and safety shades built spirits with a 3-1 victory over York captain, Jon Holden. This win paved the way for a top seed thriller to decide the points.
Lancaster’s number one Tom Barlow stepped up to the challenge of throwing York’s very talented Ed Shannon off form if Lancaster were to secure the title. Barlow fought hard and played some excellent squash with many rallies exceeding 20 shots. Yet still Shannon seemed to reach every short drop and hack even the most perfect lobs out of the back of the court. Unfortunately the score line awarded little justice as Shannon secured victory for York with a 3-0 win to take the four Roses points.
Talking to Quelcutti about the achievements of the club, he told SCAN: “The hard work and dedication of Katie and the Women’s squad was rewarded with a fantastic victory over our fiercest rivals. Whilst on the whole we were disappointed with the men’s result, there were some fantastic individual performances and improvements from last year.”
Many of the current squad are in their second year at the university. With Gibson and Shearston’s consistent time and hard work there are high hopes for their continued success in the League and Cup next season.