VARSITY 2014: Squash

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Tomas Awdry of Aber defeated Dave Parry of Bangor in 3 games 11-6, 11-8, 11-5.
Photo – Andrew Simpson

ABERYSTWYTH University Squash Club fielded a 10 man team this year for Varsity and went on to beat Bangor 7-3, taking their overall winning streak to 8 years in a row (and that’s only taking into account how far back people can remember). Bangor also fielded a 10 man team, but theirs was a mixed team after Aber failed to get a Women’s team together this year. The matches played were all high quality, with some being very close ties, and there were also a few rematches from last year which were quite something to watch.

The matches kicked off with the highly anticipated top seeded pair of Tomas Awdry of Aber and Dave Parry of Bangor. This match was a rematch of their last meeting at Varsity last year, where Awdry went on to win 3 games to 2. This year however, Awdrys skill showed from the off as he dominated the game to win 11-6, 11-8, 11-5. Parry got frustrated early on in the match, causing him to make errors that Awdry was able to maximise on.

Following this Team Aber win, there was a continued string of wins from the Aber side, with victories from Jack Cunningham who defeated Helen Fay; 11-7, 11-8, 11-4 in a very convincing display. Matthew Hay also grabbed a win, by defeating Bangor’s Sandra Morgan in 4 games; 11-6, 9-11, 11-6, 11-6. Despite the second game lapse, Hay simply outclassed his Bangor opponent. The next game saw Sam Batey take on Jacob Parnell, with Batey trailing 2-7 in the first game. It looked like Bangor may be on the verge of something, however, Batey went on to win the next 9 points in an inspired comeback, and then went on to take the match; 11-7, 11-6, 11-6.

The next match to play was the closest of the lot, and the only match that went onto 5 games. Lloyd Fisher, the Aber #6 was to take on the Bangor #6 Andy Wells. In a match that was filled with some incredibly close rallies and some tough calls over blocking, Fisher went on to win the match; 11-5, 6-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-8. In a great show of sportsmanship, Fisher immediately went and gave Wells a hug upon sealing the match, after what was the longest match played. At this point in the day in the Plascrug Leisure Centre, the spirits were high on both sides, who were intermingling well. It also showed how tight the Aber squad were, supporting each other all the way. There were even some inspiring speeches from Tomas Awdry to the rest of the team.

The next couple of games saw a few defeats for Aber, with Josh Waterhouse losing to Ed Clarke; 10-12, 7-11, 7-11 in another match with some seriously close ties and long rallies. Likewise, Bangor Club Captain Shaun Sullivan defeated Gwion Jones in straight games; 12-10, 11-5, 11-9.

Aber however, did see wins from Joe Laird and Tim Lill. With Laird coming back from a game down to defeat Tom Nicholls in 4; 8-11, 11-2, 11-9, 11-9. Lill also took 4 games, but showed some impressive movement around the court to win; 11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8.

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Aber Club Captain Thomas Penberthy in action against Bangor Uni’s Rhys Parry.
Photo – Andrew Simpson

In the final match of the day, even with the win already in the bag, there was still excitement as Aber Club Captain Thomas Penberthy looked to once again take on Rhys Parry, who had defeated Penberthy 3-1 the previous year. In a gruelling game that used the whole court and had most points contested by long rallies, once again Parry was simply too much for Penberthy who went down; 8-11, 7-11, 11-9, 7-11 to lose 3-1 for a second year in a row. Speaking to Penberthy after the match, he said that he made too many mistakes and that “he’s [Parry] just a good player, he forced those mistakes”.


A rally from the Penberthy vs. Parry game.

Aber squash went away with a 7-3 win, with Penberthy saying that the day had been great, with everyone playing well. The highlight of the day was Lloyd Fisher’s win over Andy Wells in 5 games but the whole team did themselves proud.