Six times champion defeated in exhilarating squash weekend

Squash. Photo: Shutterstock SUS-150809-154504001
Squash. Photo: Shutterstock SUS-150809-154504001

The defeat of reigning and six times winner of the Bedfordshire County Squash Championships, Steve Davies, signalled the end of an ultra-competitive weekend of top quality squash at Lewsey Sports Park.

Play began early on Saturday with the early adult rounds followed by the junior categories and whilst there were no upsets in the first round amongst the adults, the Boys U19s event had a dramatic start.

Oliver Spence, who only took up the game two years ago, faced local LDSC player, Sean Davies, arguably the favourite for the title.

Over an hour later Spence left the court having triumphed 3-2 in a thrilling match as Davies, had to go straight back on court to face the number three seed in the adult tournament Joe Elfasi and unsurprisingly put up little resistance.

Spence then followed up his win with yet another five game thriller against Alex Axford to take the title in the round robin format.

Given the turn of events it was hardly a surprise that the play-off for second and third also went to five with Davies showing remarkable fortitude to edge home and take second place.

In the U15 event, LDSC starlet, Sophia John, saw off all her opponents without dropping a game, despite only being 11.

The U11 event was a much closer affair and the final was contested between siblings Lily and Natalie Main.

The only surprise was that it didn’t go to five in what will be their last domestic final at this age group as Lily, who moves up to U13 level, romped home 3-1.

The second round of adult matches finished Saturday’s play with all going to form setting up some mouth-watering ties in both the A and B Grades.

Sunday kicked off with the two A Grade finals and Steve Davies disposed of young Sam McCoy in quick style, however, the other semi was a fiery affair between Bunyan’s Nathan Derrick and LDSC player Joe Elfasi.

Elfasi edged the first before trailing 2-1 only to claim the fourth set to set up a decider, but Derrick showed just a little more maturity and focus on the vital points to triumph and set up a repeat of last year’s final.

In the B Grade semi-finals Stephen Axford triumphed over Flitwick’s Jeff Bulled, whilst an understandably tired Sean Davies seemed to run on pure adrenalin, but that was sufficient to defeat Mowsbury’s Phil Hale.

In the women’s final last year’s winner, Debbie Main, failed to cope with Alison Parles’s aggressive shot making who was unfazed when losing the second game, ultimately winning 3-1.

The B Grade final was keenly fought, but Sean Davies pulled energy reserves from deep within to win 3-1.

The A Grade Final saw Derrick race into a 2-0 lead.

Despite being hampered by injury, Davies dug out the next two games to level it.

Both players looked dead on their feet in the final game, however, some unforced errors by Davies allowed Derrick a lead and he deservedly won his first County Championship.