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Friday, 29 May 2015

Fortunes revived by Graham’s return

WITH promising youngster Simon Graham available for the first time this season, Hexham Squash Club made an excellent start to 2014.

Up against a strong Tynemouth II side, they picked up a maximum 20 league points after finishing the encounter as 5-0 victors.

Looking to push home Hexham’s advantage, Graham got off to a flyer by winning his opening game. However, he was in trouble after dropping the following too, only to pull it back and secure a 3-2 victory.

The pattern followed for Tom Ewan and Andrew Wilkinson too as they both had to battle back from 2-1 down to secure the match.

Teammate Damon Watts was in a more perilous position as he took some time to recover from the festive season, going two games down in quick time. He managed to find his form to take the next three games, and the match, though.

It was more plain sailing for Greg Van Hinsbergh who started for Hexham, carrying over his good form of last year with a competent 3-0 win.

While it looks comfortable on paper at 5-0, Hexham acknowledged they were in a game against their opponents. With all matches keenly contested with long rallies, tight boasts and drop shots throughout, nine of the individual games were won by only two points.

Hexham could not keep up their winning momentum as, despite being involved in another tight match-up, they went down 3-2 to Eldon Leisure.

But they did pick up a valuable 11 points with thanks mainly to 3-2 successes for both Van Hinsbergh and Adrian Alderton.

They were well supported by their teammates but Wilkinson (1-3), Ewan (2-3) and Watts (2-3) fell short.

Hexham II started the year with a great 4-1 win over Northumberland IV despite the absence of Jon and Julian Steward.

Jim Chambers took the first match 3-2 despite good chances to win the match earlier, while, on the adjacent court, Steve Blake put Hexham in a good position with a competent 3-1 win.

Northumberland threatened to fight back when Ian Donkin lost 3-1, but Paul Satow secured the match for Hexham with a fine 3-2 win which included a marathon fourth set which Paul won 17-15.

Dropping down to represent the seconds, Van Hinsbergh concluded a good night for Hexham with a 3-0 victory.

They did not have their own way when they visited Primrose, again without the Stewards, and suffered a heavy 5-0 defeat with only Blake managing to register a single game.

Having won the final match of 2013, Hexham III were hopeful of maintaining their success into the New Year. However, their hopes quickly dissipated as they were beaten 5-0 by both Dunston III and Chester Le Street III, two of the division’s best teams.