Essex Girls U-17’s gain sweet revenge over Lloyds

ELLIE HEWES (aged 14) REPORTING

The Essex Girls’ Under 17 squad scored a sweet victory over the City Boys from Lloyds Squash Club earlier this week leaving our opponents speechless and slightly befuddled. One of their players ended up wearing a girl’s skort, football socks and an Essex juniors’ top. Quite surreal but very funny.

Our team of Alice Green (Captain), Margot Prow, Eleanor White, Aliza Sheikh, myself, Piper Tatum, Amy Aspinall, Paige McCoy, India Webb and Elli Barrot recorded a great 6-4 win gaining sweet revenge from last year when we lost 6-3. Margot is actually a Middlesex junior player but stepped at the last minute to help after three of our players were either injured or unavailable. Thanks, Margot.

After we had been escorted into the glass building that overlooked the Thames and the O2 arena, we made it to the squash courts; ready for our opponents to arrive. To set the scene and get them sweating (if they weren’t already because of how hot it was in the building), we started with some three quarters. Before long, the first opponent had turned up and was ready to play Aliza.

ALIZA AND RICHARD

The atmosphere was set. Essex in red and City boys in…well, most of them turned up in a suit but soon were in their playing gear. Aliza managed to get the first game against Richard but then lost the second. Steve Aspinall was appointed courtside coach which worked a treat as Aliza then pulled the next two games out of the bag to win 3-1.

Meanwhile, on the facing court, I had started my match against Conrad. After earlier eating a full rack of BBQ ribs in TGI Fridays and running to get a taxi alongside other Essex player Piper Tatum; I didn’t feel too ready to play but managed to record a 3-0 win, putting Essex 2-0 up in matches.

Next on court was India and Amy. India had a very tight game against Yan, probably the closest game out of everybody. Like last year, she has a punishing 3-2 battle which sadly she just lost out on but her determination was impeccable and she put everything she had into the match. Nonetheless, she kept smiling throughout and it was a great match.

On the other court, the long rallies were taking place and I was sweating even watching Amy take on Will Murray-Willis. Amy ran from one corner to the next, back again and and so on. The Essex player played really well; tight drops and amazing power in her drives. The final score resulted in 3-0 win for Will but it was 12-10 and 11-9 in two games. Again, Amy’s determination was incredible. The match score was now 2-2.

ELLI AND BOB SHERLOCK

Elli was now on court and so was Eleanor. Eleanor played with extreme maturity, hitting the ball accurately and tactically, setting the rally up to be able to hit a winner. Her tactics paid off handsomely and Eleanor won convincingly 3-0 highlighting how much she has improved in the past 12 months. It was a great match to spectate.

Elli was on the other court producing sensational drops and volley-drops against Bob Sherlock. Even though she lost 3-0, the score didn’t reflect the intense rallies throughout and Elli’s amazing determination. She, too, ran from corner to corner hitting all the balls she was faced with on court. The match score was now all square again at 3-3.

Paige and Margot then followed. Paige played a fellow Essex Boys’ Under 13 player Charlie Broad who was related to one of the Lloyds team and was asked to fill in for a late withdrawal. Paige won 3-1 and her accurate drives down the wall and her volleying across the T put her ahead in the third and fourth game to round off an entertaining match. It was a good match and both of them were running from corner to corner; showing strength in all categories of squash.

On the other court, Margot looked extremely sharp against Matt Cosby, from our sponsors Miles Smith Insurance Group. Her shots and speed made her a credit to have as part of our squad. Matt couldn’t believe he even got a game but Margot managed to beat him in the last three games with very good rallies and a great performance overall. Essex were now ahead 5-3.

Lastly, Piper and Alice were on. Piper had absolutely astonishing rallies and her drops were a credit to the team. She ran her opponent Mike everywhere. To one corner and then to the next. It was a great match to watch. Unfortunately it was 3-0 to Lloyds in the end but it didn’t reflect the actual rallies and two of the games were 12-10 and 11-9. Piper should be proud of her performance.

The match score was now 5-4 in matches with everything on the line. The showdown between our captain Alice along with Darren Vickery will long be remembered, especially as prankster Darren turned up for the match wearing a skort, Essex shirt and football socks. I guess he thought his team weren’t going to win and so tried to dress up and be part of the Essex squad.

DARREN AND ALICE

He was extremely comical and it was a great match to end the squash for another year. After many conduct warnings, conduct points, much laughter and smiles that made your jaws ache, Alice again pulled it out of the bag and won 3-0 in a lovely match.

She had him running everywhere, one corner to the next and well, I suppose, the only way he was going to win the match was by asking for huge amounts of lets and strokes or not hear ‘time’ between games when he needed to come back on court now. Essex concluded with a 6-4 win and after many pictures, it was now time for the food.

Looking over the River Thames and eating sandwiches and eclairs… what more could you want? The O2 lit up in front of you, enjoying it with your friends. It was the perfect end to a perfect day and of course we need to thank people for allowing this to happen.

On behalf of all of the squad, I would first like to thank Essex Junior Squash secretary David Harris who organised the whole event along with our Chairman Matthew White and head coach Lauren Selby. Another thank you goes to Lee Horton who provided us with all the pictures (see more on Facebook) and also the team from Lloyds for allowing us to play them.

The support from Matt Cosby and the good people at Miles Smith Insurance Group massively helps Essex Junior Squash operate to such a high level. Thank you, guys. Lastly to the parents for bringing their children to the Reuters Building in Limehouse, East London. Without your support, the event could not take have taken place.

Final Results:

Darren Vickery vs Alice Green: 0-3: 8-11, 3-11, 5-11

Matt Cosby vs Margot Prow: 1-3: 11-9, 5-11, 5-11, 3-11

Jo Bud vs Eleanor White: 0-3: 10-12, 6-11, 5-11

Will Murray-Willis vs Amy Aspinall: 3-0: 11-8, 11-7, 11-2

Bob Sherlock vs Elli Barrot: 3-0: 11-3, 11-8, 11-4

Conrad vs Ellie Hewes: 0-3: 8-11, 5-11, 5-11

Richard vs Aliza Sheikh: 1-3: 6-11, 11-8, 4-11, 12-14

Mike vs Piper Tatum: 3-0: 12-10, 11-9, 11-3

Charlie Broad vs Paige McCoy: 1-3: 9-11, 11-6, 5-11, 1-11

Yan vs India Webb: 3-2: 11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-4

ESSEX 6, LLOYDS 4