News Archive

DATE HEADLINE
   
28/12/2003 PRESTON HOP TO THE TOP
28/12/2003 LADIES END ON HIGH NOTE
10/12/2003 GP 16 - New Brighton 9
05/12/2003 PRESTBURY BACK ON TOP
31/11/2003 TITLE RACE OPENS UP
31/11/2003 HIGH FLYING BOTWRIGHTS
12/11/2003 FIRST TEAM STRUGGLE TO VICTORY
12/11/2003 VICKY HELPS LADIES TO NORTHERN WIN
06/11/2003 ROCKED IN BLACKPOOL
29/10/2003 GROVE PARK 3 - LIVERPOOL 2
25/10/2003 GROVE PARK TAKE REVENGE ON THE NORTHERN
25/10/2003 LADIES CONTINUE REIGN AT THE TOP
15/10/2003 CONTARY TO POPULAR BELIEF ...
15/10/2003 LADIES FLY HIGH AT TOP OF DIVISION 1
08/10/2003 ROONEY LEADS FROM THE FRONT
01/10/2003 FIRST LOSS
28/09/2003 ROONEY ZAPS ZAMAN IN QUALIFIERS
24/09/2003 EASY START FOR GP 1
16/09/2003 CAPTAIN BOB SPEAKS!
19/08/03 EXHIBITION SUCCESS
24/07/03 HEAD TO HEAD - WHITE VS NICOL
11/07/03 LADIES TO STAY UP!
02/07/03 NICOL & WHITE AT GROVE PARK!
17/05/03 GROVE PARK DOUBLES '03
03/05/03 EURO TEAM CHAMPS
02/05/03 SEASON REVIEW
09/04/03 SO CLOSE!!
08/04/03 TITLE DECIDER TONIGHT?
07/04/03 CHESHIRE CUP DISAPPOINTMENT
02/04/03 TITLE DECIDER SHOWDOWN!
01/04/03 CHALLENGE CUP IN SEMIS
28/03/03 TITLE BLOW.
28/03/03 SUMMER SQUASH
28/03/03 EARLY SUCCESS IN CHESHIRE CUP
19/03/03 TITLE RACE HOTS UP.
12/03/03 GROVE PARK STAY TOP (JUST)
08/03/03 GROVE PARK HOSTS INTER COUNTY FINALS
05/03/03 GROVE PARK GO TOP!
26/02/03 TWO HORSE RACE?
03/03/03 WEBSITE RELAUNCHED- Find out whats new.
04/02/03 SPECIAL OFFER - HALF PRICE MEMBERSHIP
01/01/03 FIRST TEAM IN TITLE CHASE
01/10/02 BOTWRIGHT SIGNS FOR LADIES
01/09/02 SPECIAL OFFER
26/05/02 2nd TEAM TAKE DIVISION TWO TITLE
26/05/02 LADIES RETAIN CHESHIRE CUP
26/05/02 PAT TAKES FIRST TITLE IN PRAGUE FINAL
20/05/01 A CHESHIRE CLEAN SWEEP
   
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For really old news from newsletters first published 1981-87 see the archive.



28/12/2003
PRESTON HOP TO THE TOP

Yawar wins comfortably but the team losesGrove Park slipped to a second consecutive 3-2 away defeat to the Grasshopper's strongest lineup of the season.

As with Grove Park's defeat to Prestbury on their last outing, it was despite winning at one and two.

Although Patrick and Yawar disposed of Chris Gordon & Dave Bradbury with ease, there presence at the top was crucial in allowing Lambert, Laidler & Gallagher to move down the order and proved far to strong for the Grove Park lower order.

The win moves Preston to the top of the NWCSL Division One.

Other results

28/12/2003

LADIES END ON HIGH NOTE

After struggling to three consecutive defeats, the Ladies team bounced right back to form with the return of No.1, Becky Botwright from the World Open and the Qatar Classic.

They just managed to beat 2nd placed Village Hyde, 3-2.

Becky overcame a strong challenge from Helen Easton to win 3-1 before both Anna Vaughan and Hilary Kenyon came home 3-2 winners to take the match.

They now go into the 2nd half in 3rd position with a number of teams hot on their heels but the return of Christine Kenrick should strengthen the lower order.


10/12/2003
GP 16 - New Brighton 9

Grove Park held on for a narrow 3-2 win against New Brighton last night. Ammad & Liam won fairly comfortably but the match came down to Yawar's incredible resilience.

Playing against the World No. 100, Duncan Walsh, he managed to hang on in there for 90 minutes of gruelling squash until Walsh was forced to retire hurt while trailing in the fifth.
Other results

05/12/2003
PRESTBURY BACK ON TOP

Prestbury powered back to the top of the NWCSL Division One with a 3-2 win over Grove Park. Despite Patrick Foster and Yawar Abbas doing the business at one and two, Prestbury's lower order was just too strong.

Liam Foster and Chris Matthews were well beaten by Ben Blocksidge, new to Prestbury this year, and Nick Murrills.

But it was Ammad Jawaid who had a chance to take the match for Grove Park but the experienced Glen Ragou just had too much for him and took it in the fifth, despite a valiant effort from Jawaid.

With Preston losing out to Monton the top of the table remains incredibly tight with only 12 points separating the top 5 teams.

Elsewhere, David Lloyd moved off the bottom of the table with a 3-2 win over The Northern, but the biggest upset came with Derek Ryan leading Rochdale to a 5-0 thrashing of Liverpool.

Other results this week



31/11/2003
TITLE RACE OPENS UP

Ammad Jawaid lunges for the ballThe race for the NWCSL Division One title has opened right up. With long time leaders, Prestbury, losing out again, Preston Grasshoppers have leapt into the top spot. Wins against Rochdale CLS (16-11) and David Lloyd Manchester (19-4) in the last two weeks leaves Grove Park just 6 points shy of the leaders with Monton not far behind.

It makes this weeks encounter at Prestbury and Preston in two weeks time all the more important. But without Jon Rooney, who showed his class by dismissing the experienced Paul Hargrave in straight games last week, it makes the task all the tougher .

31/11/2003
TITLE RACE OPENS UP

Grove Park's Irish International , John RooneyThe race for the NWCSL Division One title has opened right up. With long time leaders, Prestbury, losing out again, Preston Grasshoppers have leapt into the top spot. Wins against Rochdale CLS (16-11) and David Lloyd Manchester (19-4) in the last two weeks leaves Grove Park just 6 points shy of the leaders with Monton not far behind.

It makes this weeks encounter at Prestbury and Preston in two weeks time all the more important. But without Jon Rooney, who showed his class by dismissing the experienced Paul Hargrave in straight games last week, it makes the task all the tougher .


31/11/2003
HIGH FLYING BOTWRIGHTS

Grove Park Ladies player, Vicky Botwright, has just broken into the top ten in the world rankings at No.9, after claiming her fourth appearance in a WISPA final this year in October. This could give Vicky, 26, a realistic chance of breaking into the English National squad.
She will hope to move further up the rankings with a good run at this weeks, big money, Qatar Classic.

WISPA Rankings - DECEMBER 2003


Meanwhile younger sister, Becky Botwright (now world No.44), has managed to join her in the first round at Doha, which is the richest event of the year, after battling through qualifying. Becky did so after fighting back from 0-2 down against World No.26, Wendy Maitland - beating the Scot 5-9 7-9 9-6 9-4 9-7 in 54 minutes to set up a first round clash with compatriot Tania Bailey, the eighth seed.

However, with the Botwrights absent, the Grove Park Ladies team has had it's winning streak broken with two consecutive defeats. They were unlucky to lose out 2-3 to Cheshire CO after winning the top two strings with Kate Oldale just losing out in the fifth at four. They were then well beaten by Alderley Edge with only Anna Vaughan recording a win. It has been a lack of strength in depth which has been their downfall but this should improve with the return of Chris Kendrick, the continued improvement of the inexperienced lower order and hopefully any new members taking advantage of the great offers being offered for new female players joining the club.


12/11/2003
FIRST TEAM STRUGGLE TO VICTORY

It went right down to the wire in an intriguing 3-2 match against Chester on Tuesday.

It started poorly for Grove Park as both Liam Foster and Ammad Jawaid lost out 3-0 to Jonathan Clark and Grove Park old boy, Drew Williams.

But it improved as Yawar Abbas effectively contained the shot playing ability of Grove Park favorite, Dave Campion and won without conceding a game.

Next came the main event as Patrick Foster, who is coming right back to form after a slow start to the season, took on 5 times World Champion and arguably one of the best female players of all time, Sarah Fitzgerald.

Goto www.sarahfitz-gerald.com
 Find out more about Sarah on her website

Sarah showed her class with some excellent volley kills but it was Patrick that controlled the match with a lob and drop game (old man squash basically!) preying on Sarah's lack of height. Despite a very tight third, Patrick took it 3-0.

The match came down to a tight 4th string rubber which Chris Matthews had taken into a fifth game. Despite slipping down 7-3, Chris dug in and gutsily clawed his way back into the game and eventually snatched it 9-7 to win the match for the team.
(Match Card)



12/11/2003
VICKY HELPS LADIES TO NORTHERN WIN

The Ladies continue their unbeaten streaked with the help of World No.11, Vicky Botwright who was debutising for younger sister, Becky. They came through 4-1 winners against local rivals, Northern, with wins coming from Vicky, Hilary Kenyon, Anna Vaughan and Sue Pettigrew, though Hilary took it into the fifth as usual. Despite the win, Village Cheadle go one point ahead at the top of the table after a 18-6 win over third placed New Brighton.
(Match Card)



05/11/2003
ROCKED IN BLACKPOOL

Grove Park First Team went down to only their second defeat of the season against Blackpool outfit, South Shore. The only win came from Patrick's creditable 3-2 victory over Paul Lord who was carrying a slight injury. Despite losing, the rest of the team all contributed points to the 19-8 scoreline with Liam Foster unlucky to lose out 10-8 in the fifth.
Elsewhere, leaders Prestbury crashed to their first defeat of the season at the hands of Preston and Monton also lost, leaving a cluster of about 6 teams still in the hunt for top spot in the table.
(Match Card)


29/10/2003
GROVE PARK 3 - LIVERPOOL 2

Patrick Foster, who seems to have rediscovered the winning touch, brought the first team home to a 3-2 (16-8) win against Liverpool CC, in a match where both teams were short of a few players. Other wins came from Chris Matthews and the young irishman, Dave Noone. The win takes them up to 2nd position in the table, just above Liverpool and Monton but will still be quite a long way off runaway leaders, Prestbury.
(Match Card)


25/10/2003
GROVE PARK TAKE REVENGE ON THE NORTHERN

Grove Park took their revenge on the Northern who denied them their first Division One title last year, managing to pull off a great result at the Northern with a below strength team. Patrick Foster went down 3-0 to Andy Whipp after a tight first game but Grove Park came storming back with wins in straight games from Liam Foster and Chris Matthews against strong opposition. After which Dave Noone made his debut for the club. Filling in for Ammad Jawaid, he just missed out in the first two tough games but came back strongly to take the rubber 3-2 and secure the match. The result was decided before Yawar Abbas took on Masambo Selisho, but it didn't stop it being a bruising encounter with no quarter given. The Northern captain eventually taking the game 3-2.
(Match Card)


25/10/2003
LADIES CONTINUE REIGN AT THE TOP

The Ladies continue their reign at the top of the Cheshire Ladies First Division with a 3-2 win over Wirral based Neston, despite a weakened team. They don't have a game next week but when they return will face a stern test from Warrington, who are the only other unbeaten side but have games in hand.
(Match Card)


15/10/2003
CONTARY TO POPULAR BELIEF ...

Contary to popular belief (and newspaper reports) Grove Park 1 beat Village Hyde 14-8 (3-2) on tuesday night. The strong Hyde side included world no. 27, Nick Taylor, who overcame John Rooney in 3 games in a match that was closer than the scoreline suggested. Yawar and Liam won comfortably before Patrick recorded his first win of the season, against Paul Kelly, in yet another 5 setter . Ammad Jawaid had earlier lost to the talented Simon Pickering, who was formally a junior at Grove Park.
(Match Card)

15/10/2003
LADIES FLY HIGH AT TOP OF DIVISION 1

By Sue Pettigrew

Following on from a very distasteful season last year, with the ups and downs of whether we were going to get relegated or not on a technicality, Grove Park Ladies have decided to show the League that they fully deserve a place in Division 1 by topping the Division!

We have currently played 4, won 4 with wins as follows:

Glossop (A) Won 5-0 19-2 See the match card
Village Cheadle (H) Won 3-2 14-8 See the match card
Bowdon (A) Won 5-0 19-1 See the match card
New Brighton (H) Won 4-1 16-5 See the match card

The highlight being the hard fought victory over local rivals, Village Cheadle, which only came after an incredible match in which Hilary Kenyon managed to come back from 1-2 down and 1-8 down to force a fifth game. The final game was even closer with both players struggling to take advantage of a number of match points but Hilary stood firm and eventually prevailed in dramatic style, 10-9.


Revenge was particularly sweet over Bowdon and New Brighton who were both strong supporters of kicking us down to Division 2.

The team comprises, Becky Botwright (currently ranked 48 in the world and who last week narrowly lost out in the final of the BSPA Tynemouth Grand Prix event to Laura Lengthorn), Hilary Kenyon, Anna Vaughan, Chris Kendrick and Sue Pettigrew. However, as Chris has deserted us for Australia for 8 weeks, we have called on the resources of Suzanne Sealy and new girl, Kate Oldale to help us out.

Long may the reign continue!


08/10/2003
New boy-  Irish International, John RooneyROONEY LEADS FROM THE FRONT

Grove Park First Team were made to work hard for their 3-2 win against, mid-table, Wigan CC. It didn't start well, as Chris Matthews went down 0-3, his first loss of the season. Patrick, however quickly went two up and had match points in a tight third game, but the match turned dramatically on a few points. After just losing out 10-9 in that game the aftereffects of last weeks illness really showed as Wigan's Nigel Willis came thought strongly to win 3-2.

Things got better as Ammad came through a difficult match 3-1 before John Rooney comfortably won 3-0. Making his home debut, the irish international, 23, impressed with a combination of speed, disguise and drops which were far to good for the tough Wigan No.1, Gary Thwaite. That just left Liam Foster to wrap up the match in straight games. (Match Card)


01/10/2003
FIRST LOSS

The first team went down to their first loss of the season away to a strong Monton side. Jon Rooney made a strong start to his Grove Park career with a 3-0 win (continuing his British Open form). But Patrick missing out though illness, left the middle order vulnerable and so Ammad just lost out 2-3 in the deciding rubber (Match Card)


28/09/2003
The latest news from the British Open Squash
ROONEY ZAPS ZAMAN IN QUALIFIERS
The British Open men's qualifying competition is under way in Nottingham, with Britain providing the top five seeds ...

Grove Park new signing, John Rooney, pulled off the only upset on the opening day of qualifying for the 2003 British Open Squash Championships at Nottingham Squash Club when he beat Pakistan's Shahid Zaman, ranked 47 places higher in the world, in straight games.

Spurred on by local supporters, Rooney, who is based in Nottingham, beat world No34 Shahid 17-15 15-8 15-10 in 45 minutes - and now faces Nottingham club-mate Simon Parke, the world No18 who is a 'veteran' of 12 British Open appearances since making his debut in 1989.

Irishman, John, is due to make his Grove Park debut against Monton (who finished in forth place last season) on Tuesday night, just as long as he doesn't go too far in the Open.


24/09/2003
EASY START FOR GP 1

Grove Park First Team cruised to their first win of the season last night against a below strength Warrington side. Missing ex-Grove Park player, Jon Kemp, at one, they struggled as Chris, Liam, Yawar and new boy, Ammad Jawaid, strolled to 3-0 victories. Only Patrick, who was looking a little rusty, was pushed and just lost out in the fifth to Steve Siveter to make it 19-3. (Match Card)

16/09/2003
CAPTAIN BOB SPEAKS!


Welcome to another year of high adrenalin, nail biting, team squash! It's why we can't wait for the summer to be over!

There is lots to look forward to in the new season with some new players at the club now getting involved in the teams and providing a welcome boost. Derek Ryan has now moved on, but the club has secured the services of (another) Irish international and World No. 81, Jon Rooney for a select number of appearances this season. Ammad Jawaid (whose father, Aftab Jawaid was 3 times British Amateur Champion and 3 times British Open Finalist), John Thompson and Murray Lonsdale are among those helping to strengthen the top teams. Other newcomers include Jonathan Crossland, Anna Vaughan and a number of new faces in the lower teams.

Our main aims for the season are for the 8th team to be promoted back to division 4 for next season, to strengthen the Ladies Team and for the First Team to emulate last years drama and excitement and possibly go that one step further and win the Championship!

They start the new season on Tuesday, 23rd September at home against Warrington and I hope to see as many of you as possible cheering them on.

Have an excellent and enjoyable season!

Bob Howe - Club Captain

19/08/03
EXHIBITION SUCCESS

A fantastic night was had by a sellout crowd as two of the world's best players visited Grove Park.

A fullhouse wait in anticipationPeter Nicol, the World No.1 and debatably one of the greatest players to have played the game, graced Grove Park last Tuesday along with the World No.3, John White.

With the show court seating filled to capacity, Peter Nicol got the exiting night started by taking on the might of Grove Park, lead by the 9th team captain, Dave Cochrane. It was first to five points... it didn't last long (but it might just of been too long for Dave who was sweating buckets even before he went on, Nicol it seemed might just have had an edge on fitness). On came John Bayley, Murray Lonsdale, Big Mike Andrews and Rod Boswell, but all were served the same fate. Despite the massive difference in standard of the Grove Park players, next to Peter Nicol, "quite frankly they all looked rubbish", noted one observer. Not even Rod's dodgy comedy routine could put Nicol off his game.

Meanwhile on court 5 the real quality squash could be found, as John White took on the classy line up of Hilary Kenyon, Iain Stewart, Alastair Atkinson, Stuart Henderson (and Nick Hague's mate who snuck on at the end). John White was recently described as "the most lethal player on the planet" which was justified by his brilliant win at the English Open at the weekend and so was quite obviously the far harder man to play. Which just puts into perspective the outstanding achievement in taking 2 points of him. A feat that was achieved by myself.

(Reporting totally impartially of course) I could see that White looked fairly confident and so in the first rally I cunningly drew him into a false sense of security by running around like a lunatic and hitting truly awful shots straight back at him. Sure enough White took the point, but it was then I decided to strike. From deep in the left-hand corner it came, a thundering backhand drive, it struck the front wall just millimetres above the red (or was it green) and shot into nick and was dead before the World No.3 could react... game on!

Unfortunately the next couple of points didn't go exactly to plan as White got a couple of what can only be described as stuffy nicks (I almost saw one of them). But I was back in form in the next rally, a couple of solid drives almost got John to move (not quite) and then suddenly there it was again- the low backhand drive kill, the crack reverberated around the court as it drilled into the nick. It was even better than the first one (this one even came off the strings) it was so good it could have been hit by John White himself. John stood there stunned and the crowd were on their feet (both of them, but probably because there weren't any seats). As for he last two points, I forget.

There was plenty of banter to the referee and the crowdI should probably point out that other players might have managed to get one or two points as well, but Nicol and White were probably just being generous.

It was then time for the main event, Nicol versus White. White started the stronger of the pair with some brilliant attacking play, combining incredible power with delicate drop shots. He went on to take the first game, but then Nicol started to get back into the match by extending the rallies. There was plenty of light hearted banter between the players and the local world class referee, Tony ParkeJohn White unleashes his powerr.The crowd got involved as well with some choice one-liners as Nicol took control and took the next two games. In the forth game the match really started to hot up, which was unsurprising as it was nearly 30°C outside. The retrieval play was awesome as both players made some stunning pick-ups, but it was Nicol who was looking the stronger. It got to about 12 all, but the pace of game and the heat (and obviously the harder matches earlier in the evening) had got to a tired looking John White . A couple of loose shots later and the World No.1 had won the exciting match, 3-1. It had been a great demonstration of squash of the highest quality.

The unforgettable evening was rounded off by the players answering questions from the audience followed by long cool drinks in the bar. (Did I mention my two points against John White?)

Thanks again to Jim Hall for promoting the event, Prince Sports, everyone who helped out and of course Peter Nicol and John White.

See more photos of the night in the gallery



24/07/03
HEAD TO HEAD:
PETER NICOL vs JOHN WHITE

Nicol and White have played each other ten times in major competition. Nicol has generally had the better of the rivalry beating, John White seven times, but White has won their last two encounters. See their complete record against each other -

HEAD TO HEAD RECORD

Find out more about the squash stars in the following profiles -

PROFILE:/ JOHN WHITE


PROFILE:/ PETER NICOL

You can get some great photos of John and Peter at SquashPics.com.


But you can see them for real on Tuesday 5th August.

The event will be sponsored by prince squash and JIM HALL SPORTS.


11/07/03
LADIES TO STAY UP!
The Ladies team is now guaranteed to keep its place in the top division next year! Despite finishing fifth, the team had faced relegation because it couldn't field enough players for one match last October.

The team did appeal against the automatic relegation but the rule was upheld. The team only managed to escape relegation due to other teams declining to be promoted, though Grove Park were last in line to be to be offered their place.

Unfortunately with a small (but talented) squad there will always be the odd occasion when getting a full team out might be problematic. This is why we are offering great membership offers for new female members with the goal of introducing a 2nd team in the 3rd division.

Botwright fans will be pleased to know that with the place in Division 1 secured, Becky Botwright (World #51) will again be playing for us in the coming season with possible guest appearances again from Vicky Botwright (World #14 - wasn't she famous for something??)


(Oddly enough, vicky botwright and thong appear to be some of the most popular search keywords to get on to this site. You know who you are, so put it down and come down to Grove Park on a monday evening during the season and see them (and some great squash) in the flesh.)


02/07/03
NICOL & WHITE AT GROVE PARK!
See two of the world's best players at Grove Park on Tuesday 5th August! The exhibition match between Peter Nicol and John White, the world no.1 and 3 repectively, will be followed by a doubles match and then a few lucky members will get the chance to play against Nicol or White in what promises to be a fantastic night.

For only 5 admission (free for under 16s) you will also be able to test out all the latest prince rackets and even purchase one at discounted prices. There will also be food available afterwards.

Tickets are available from JIM HALL SPORTS LTD. (0161 439 7394), behind the bar or from Grove Park committee members. For more infomation please email.


18/05/03
DOUBLES '03
The Grove Park annual doubles tournament took place on Thursday. The full 32 players had entered the competition, with the standard ranging from pro's to social players. They were paired with their partners based on ability so the weakest players get to play with the strongest players. All the 15 minute matches were played in the evening with everybody getting to play at least four matches.

This year the teams were competing for the Ron Yule Trophy which was very kindly donated to the club a few years ago by Ron, our most senior member.

Despite the obligatory confusion in the first round of matches, some of the pairs actually started to get the hang of it! In the first semi final John Bayley partnered Ky Hibberd, one of the very talented young twins who are ranked 7 & 10 in England at Under 13 level. They took on the Pete Brown invitational team in which Liam & Patrick Foster took it in turns to play with Natalie Husdan while pretending to be Pete, who had not turned up (confusing, I know).

After the allotted time the points were even and so the match went to a last sudden-death rally. Ky (12) served well to Natalie (18) who put in a good return before the ball sat up nicely for John (???) a couple yards from the front wall in the middle of the court and with a calmness that only comes with years of experience promptly creamed the ball right into bottom of the tin! The Pete Brown invitational went into the final.

In the other semi Yawar Abbas and Jim Farrington were matched against Ky's brother, Morgan, and Alastair Atkinson. Yawar covered the front of the court and tried to cut off as much as possible but despite some great play was bypassed once too often by the opposing pair.

The final featured Irish International, Patrick Foster as Pete Brown matched up against Morgan on the left side. But the youngster wasn't fazed and after a tight start the speedy partnership of Morgan Hibberd and Alastair Atkinson pulled away from Pat and Nat to take the Ron Yule Trophy as victors.

Thanks to Yawar and John for organising this fun night of squash.


15/05/03
SEASON REVIEW - 2002/03
The year so nearly brought glory for the First Team, but was a tough season for most of the clubs teams after the league restructuring.

The year's highlight had to be the First Team battling against Northern for the NWCSL title on the last day of the season. Great atmosphere, great squash - skilful, committed, exciting, but to win the match, end on equal points and still lose the title - gutting!

The 2nd team couldn't quite replicate last years winning form but finished mid-table, a couple of places above the 3rd's who had some great wins against all the top 5 teams but had a few relegation worries at the end as four teams go down from this very competitive division. It will be only the second year the team has managed to stay up in Division 2 by right.

The story in the third division has to be the second half recovery of the 5th team. A demoralised team before Christmas, the team was turned around when Peter Karwat stepped up from the 6th team captaincy to take on the 5th team. Leading by example he only lost two matches, inspiring his team to claw it's way out of the relegation zone and in the process earning himself the Team Player of the Year Title for the best match record.

But it was the lower teams that had the hardest time after last year the number of division 4 sections were reduced from 12 to 9 which significantly raised the standard. The biggest losers were the 8th team who had to compete in the tough southern section as they were relegated. Most surprising was the 9th who dropped from consistently finishing about 4th in Division 5 over the last few years to finishing bottom of their section this time around. Both the 10th and the 11th dropped back from last years positions but continue to introduce new players into team squash.

Despite finishing in fifth place, their highest placing for a few years, the Ladies team still face the prospect of relegation. This was due to the small but talented squad, which includes World No.55, Becky Botwright, not being able to field more than 2 players for a match during the first half. The club failed in its appeals against this rule, so must now wait to see if it is offered a place if a team refuses promotion.

The Cheshire Cup sides did well again this year but just lost out by the narrowest of margins (a reoccurring theme this year). Both the Men's Cheshire Cup and the Challenge Cup side lost out in the final and the former losing 9-7 in the fifth of the deciding game.

So we can now look forward to next season when we hope to see a promotion challenge from the 8th team, a more competitive year from the lower teams and convert some of those near misses into success.

Summary of the 2002-03 season.


03/05/03
EURO TEAM CHAMPS
Grove Park players Derek Ryan and Patrick Foster helped Ireland to a successful European Team Squash Championship in Nottingham. Comfortable wins for both over Norway and Hungary lead to Ireland topping their group and earning a play-off place against the no.5 seeds, Scotland.

In a match of high drama, Ireland squeezed past Scotland by a single point! Martin Heath faced Derek Ryan in the final match, and with Heath two games up both knew the score - Heath needed a 9-0 win while Ryan had to score two points to create an upset for the Irish. Two points was what Ryan scored, the second on a penalty stroke.

Ireland went on to record their best European finish for ten years, of 6th place (as did their womens team) after beating Denmark but losing out narrowly to Sweden in the 5th/6th place play-off.

The competition was however dominated by England, but they had to work for it. In the longest men's final on record, they retained the European Team Championships title after beating France by the narrowest of margins. Earlier in the day, England defeated Netherlands to secure the women's title for the 27th year in succession, but for the first time since 1988 dropped a match in the final.

09/04/03
SO CLOSE!!Grove Park Squash Club, First Team
Grove Park First Team beat The Northern 3-2 in a fabulous night of dramatic squash and drew level on points but lost the title on matches won.

A capacity crowd witnessed some exhilarating squash with enormous commitment as both teams went all out for the title.

Yawar Abbas set an early example by combining intelligent play with some incredible retrieving against Cornelius Musonda, who has only lost one match all season. Yawar lead throughout the first game but couldn't quite shake off the Northern No.3. He just couldn't take advantage of his three game points and allowed Musonda to steal the opening game 10-9. But despite picking up a knee injury in the first, such was desire to take the title from his former club, nothing was going to stop him. He duly delivered with a 3-1 victory.

The No.1's, Andy Whipp and Derek RyanBut meanwhile on court 5 Chris Matthews lost out 3-1 to simon Brand and Liam Foster went down to love against Northerns tough No.4, Masambo Selisho.

Patrick Foster however, made up for his first half defeat against Peter Billson with a great performance to win without conceding a game.

The nights proceedings were brought to a conclusion by the No.1's, Derek Ryan and Andy Whipp. The crowd were enraptured by this fantastic game of contrasting styles. Derek took the rubber 3-0 to win the match, however the scoreline hardy did justice to this keenly fought tie.

Peter Billson congratulates Patrick Foster.But in the end the victory was not quite enough as The Northern were awarded the NWCSL Division One Championship on matches won. Just one more game throughout the entire season would have been enough to give Grove park its first ever Title. But it was not to be and perhaps Masambo Selisho summed it up by saying ".. well, we had more money!".



08/04/03
TITLE DECIDER TONIGHT?
Grove Park need to make up an eight point deficit if they are to take the title from Northern in tonights head to head, but that may still not be enough.

The task they face is a difficult one as a 4-1 win will probably be required and even then Northern could still make it. But that will not be the end of it as there are still various appeals that may affect the top teams and will be only settled on the 15th April.


07/04/03
CHESHIRE CUP DISAPPOINTMENT
Both teams lost out in the finals of the Cheshire Cup competitions held up at Warrington. The Cheshire Cup side cruised into the final with a comprehensive defeat of reigning champions, Winnington Hall, without dropping a game, while the Challenge Cup side got a bye through to the final when Knutsford Sport pulled out.

The Final started well with early wins by Patrick and Liam Foster against Warrington on their home turf. But the Cheshire Cup side, missing key players down the order, couldn't capitalise on the good start, eventually losing 3-2. Paul Ashton came closest to sealing the Cup when he was narrowly defeated 9-7 in the fifth.

The Challenge Cup side (for players of Division 3 standard and below) sealed a disappointing day for Grove Park as Steve Ward, John Bayley, Roger Shoesmith and Mark Davenport lost aganist a strong looking team from Woolston. A late win for Peter Karwat however, restored some pride.


02/04/03
TITLE DECIDER SHOWDOWN
A 20-1 win at Y-Squash closes the gap on The Northern to set up the showdown on the last day of the season this Tuesday, 8th April. The Northern are now just 8 points ahead at the top of the NWCSL Division One table.

Grove Park First Team cruised to victory to confirm relegation for Y-Squash. Derek Ryan, Patrick Foster, Yawar Abbas, and Chris Matthews weren't troubled, with only Liam Foster losing a game after picking up a minor injury.(View scorecard)

The Northern drop points to a spirited Prestbury side but recorded a creditable 16-7 victory despite losing at No.1 to World Junior Champion, James Willstop. (View scorecard)

Make sure you don't miss this fantastic night of squash where the title will be decided!


01/04/03
CHALLENGE CUP IN TO SEMIS
The Cheshire Challenge Cup Team joined the Cheshire Cup side in the semis (see below) with a clinical 5-0 win over local rivals, Stockport. Steve Ward, Terry Reid, Dave Smeaton won fairly comfortably with only Roger Shoesmith being pushed to the fifth game by Stockport Captain, John Cunningham.

Both semi-finals will be played this coming Saturday, at 2.00pm before the final on Sunday at Warrington.

28/03/03
TITLE BLOW.
Disappointment as Grove Park narrowly lose to Grasshoppers allowing Northern to move 12 points clear at he top of the NWCSL Division One table.

They desperately needed to beat Preston to keep the pressure up on The Northern and with Preston's Irish International, John Rooney absent there where high hopes. In fact, Rooney was one of the few brave (or possibly mad!) souls to compete in the Qatar Tour Event in Doha. Most players such as Rooney's teammate, Joey Barrington, and Northern's No.1, Andy Whipp, pulled out of the event for obvious reasons.

Unforunately the hope started to fade as Chris Matthews, who was carrying a foot injury, lost 3-0 despite his best efforts. After a bright start Irish No.1, Derek Ryan started to labour against Jonah Barrington's son, Joey, with what look like another injury. He didn't really look himself as he went down 3-1. It picked up though, as Patrick Foster recorded his eleventh consecutive win with some brillant squash at times and Yawar Abbas put in a commanding performance to dismiss Preston's imported No.3. It turned out that the critical string was at No.4, however Liam Foster lost out in the fifth game 9-6.

Meanwhile The Northern took 19 points from Y-Squash who now look almost certain to get relegated. This leaves Grove Park trailing by 12 points with only one game to go before the big head to head on the last day of the season. Realistically they now need Prestbury to take points of the leaders while taking maximum points of Y-Squash in order to take the title, because while they are capable of beating Northern it is going to be tight!

28/03/03
SUMMER SQUASH.
The North West Counties Squash Summer League starts on Thursday, 8th May. The number of teams we enter depends on the interest shown (up to a maximum of three teams). The league is slightly more relaxed than the winter leagues and is generally more local. All team standard players are welcome to play.

So, if you are interested in continuing to play team squash through out the summer months whether it is regularly or just occasionally, sign up on the squash teams noticeboard. Or email Alastair Atkinson.

28/03/03
CHESHIRE CUP LATEST.
A successful start to the Cheshire Cup campaigns. In the men's main event Liam and Patrick Foster lead the side to a 3-2 victory over a young but talented side from Crewe Vagrants. They will now face Winnington Hall in the Semi-Finals.

The Challenge Cup* side also got off to a winning start as wins from Tony Foulds, Terry Reid and Roger Shoesmith saw off Cheshire Oaks (who beat Grove Park in the final of this competition two years ago) before Paul Vale as ever decided to turn a two nil lead into a 3-2 marathon in what was a dead rubber (as it were?). They will now face Stockport at home in the Quater-Finals on Monday 31st March.
*The Challenge competition is open to those players who play below Division Two level.


19/03/03
TITLE RACE HOTS UP.
A vital win at Liverpool keeps Grove Park title hopes alive, but it took an epic comeback from Chris Matthews to beat the reigning NWCSL champions. Marcus Berrett, who has been in outstanding form recently, proved too strong for Derek Ryan at number one. But 3-0 wins for both Patrick Foster and Yawar Abbas set the stage for Matthews' heroics. Coming back into the team after a couple of weeks absence (and a poor result on the second team at Alderley) , he then went two games down, but he never gave up. He fought back to 2-2 at which point the Marathon training must have started to pay off as he went on to eventually take the tight final game, 9-7.

Meanwhile, The Northern were recording only their second victory in six matches against second to bottom team, Dragons Chester. This will take them to the top of the table by just a couple of points and makes the showdown on the last day of the season ever more tantalizing.

But first the sizable obstacle of Preston Grasshoppers has to be overcome in this weeks penultimate home fixture.

REMAINING FIXTURES -

DATE GROVE PARK THE NORTHERN
25.03.03 Preston Grasshoppers (H) Y Squash (A)
01.04.03 Y Squash (A) Prestbury (H)
08.04.03 The Northern (H)
Grove Park (A)



12/03/03
GROVE PARK STAY TOP (JUST)
Grove Park narrowly lost (view scorecard) to a very strong Monton side but still managed to stay top of the table as Northern lost (view scorecard) at Preston.

The match was tighter than the 1-4 scoreline suggests with the top three rubbers all going to five. The night didn't start well with Liam Foster losing out in four, but it soon picked up as Yawar Abbas took an early two game lead against the new British U19 Champion, Lawrence Delasaux. Meanwhile, Patrick Foster, improving as the game went on, ended up winning fairly comfortably in the fifth. Yawar, however just couldn't finish off the youngster and started to struggle to keep up with his pace. He stuck to the task though, but eventually lost in a keenly fought contest. The match was lost when young Thomas Javanaud, who never really got going, was shut out by Vicky Botwright 3-0, who ironically had been playing for Grove Park Ladies the night before. But with vital points still to be played for, old adversaries Derek Ryan and Paul Lord went on for the first string match. After trading the first two tight games, Ryan, who was obviously very determined, started to dominate and earned himself match point at 9-8 in the forth. But he was denied by the referee who called a let when Ryan and the entire crowd thought it was a stroke. He never quite recovered and lost that game and subsequently went on to loss the final game 9-6.

However, The Northern couldn't capitalise on the slip as they lost even more heavily to Preston Grasshoppers. Their only points came predictably from wins by Cornelius Musonda and Masambo Selisho.

It all means that Grove Park extended their slim lead to three points but are living dangerously as they have the tougher fixtures still to play. (See below)

08/03/03
GROVE PARK HOSTS INTER COUNTY FINALS
Grove Park hosted the finals of the Inter County Team Championship at various age groups. Grove Park stepped in at the last minute to hosted the event for England Squash, after the National Squash Center in Sports City was unable to hold it.

Some of the squash was of highest quality and with an enthusiastic crowd it made for a great day. There was also local interest as Grove Park players Rod Boswell and Dave Tweedle represented Cheshire in the Over 55 category. Cheshire, however were knocked out when they were narrowly beaten 3-2 by Middlesex.

Thanks again to all those club members who helped accommodate this quality event.

05/03/03
GROVE PARK GO TOP!
Grove Park First team have just taken the top spot off The Northern at the head of the NWCSL Division One table.

An under strength Northern team went down 3-2 at home to relegation strugglers, Village Hyde. As Andy Whipp and Peter Billson were away on National League duty, Cornelius Musonda and Masambo Selisho had to step up to the top two positions. However, they both showed why they are at the top of the Division One Rankings (each has only lost one match all season) as they quickly finished off the Hyde pair. At four and five, Northern's lack of strength in depth was shown up as Hyde took both rubbers comfortably. In the end it all came down to the number threes and with eight points riding on it, it just had to be a tight one. It didn't disappoint! Eventually it came down to the the last game and then to the last point, but in the end Hyde's Mike Knight was just able to steal the the fifth game 10-9. (View scorecard).

Meanwhile Grove Park managed to take advantage of Northern's slip, up at Warrington. Wins came for Derek Ryan, Patrick Foster, Yawar Abbas and Liam Foster before talented youngster ,Tom Javanaud, (who is ranked seventh in England at U17 level) was shown that experience counts by veteran Robert Forde who won 3-0. The 17 point haul takes Grove Park to the top of the table by just one point. (View scorecard).

Next up is Monton at home on 11th March, all support is very welcome. It should be a good one!

REMAINING FIXTURES -

DATE GROVE PARK THE NORTHERN
11.03.03 Monton (H) Preston Grasshoppers (A)
18.03.03 Liverpool CC (A) Dragons Chester 1 (H)
25.03.03 Preston Grasshoppers (H) Y Squash (A)
01.04.03 Y Squash (A) Prestbury (H)
08.04.03 The Northern (H)
Grove Park (A)

03/03/03
WEBSITE RELAUNCHED
The Grove Park Squash Club Website has a new look for 2003. For prospective members there is now more information on the club, how much it costs and how to join. For current members we have made it easy to follow the progress of the teams as well as your own personal team performance. Also included is a new section to help you to start finding out what the web has to offer squash players and a section which describes the history and achievements of the club. We hope you find the site useful and feel free to add your comments or sign the guestbook.

27/02/03
TWO HORSE RACE?
With just six weeks to go, Grove Park 1 find themselves just eight points behind the leaders, The Northern. However, they have still got the top four teams to play in the coming weeks, culminating with a home match against the leaders on the last day of the season. The Northern's run-in seems slightly easier so it will be difficult for Grove Park as they can't afford any slip-ups if they are going to take the title for the first time. Preston Grasshopper's challenge took a major blow as they lost all the points gained from their tie against Prestbury. Joey Barrington contravened the rules by playing in the National League earlier that evening. That leaves them 31 points behind the leaders, but they still could have a say in the championship race as both Grove Park and The Northern have still to play this strong team.

04/02/03
SPECIAL OFFER
All membership subscriptions are now Half Price until the end of the season. However Ladies joining for the first time can get their first years membership for FREE. For details contact Derek Shardlow- Membership Secretary

01/01/03
FIRST TEAM IN TITLE CHASE
Grove Park First Team are again having a good season, they are currently in second place chasing the leaders, the Northern. They lost ground on them at the end of the first half after losing to them and Preston. But with those tough top of the table matches all at home in the second half and Irish No.1 Derek Ryan set to play more, Grove Park still have a chance to win their first NWCSL Championship.


01/10/02
BOTWRIGHT SIGNS FOR LADIES
Grove Park Ladies have lost U19 International, Sarah Kippax, who signed for Warrington. However they have replaced her at No.1 with Becky Botwright who is the younger sister of Vicky Botwright who sprang to fame after releasing those controversial thong photos. You can see the talented Becky, who is currently ranked 51 in the world, along with the rest of the team on Monday nights. Vicky will also play occasionally if Becky is unavailable.

01/09/02
SPECIAL OFFER
All ladies joining the club for the first time will get their first years membership for Half Price. For details contact Derek Shardlow- Membership Secretary

26/05/02
2nd TEAM TAKE DIVISION TWO TITLE
Grove Park 2nd Team have secured the Division 2 East Title for the first time in their history. They finished with a comfortable 34 point lead over Hyde CC 1, who faded in the last few matches. This means they could join the First Team in the top flight next season. The team consisted of (from) Liam Foster, Chris Matthews, Peter Brown, Carl McColgan, Chris Cope (Captain), Paul Ashton and Brian Foster.

26/05/02
LADIES RETAIN CHESHIRE CUP
Grove Park Ladies have managed to retain their Cheshire Cup title, which they won for the first time last year. England U19 international, Sarah Kippax, Hilary Kenyon and Claire Ball overcame the traditionally strong, Warrington SC, 3-0 in the final. After a bye in the first round of the competition they had beaten Prestbury in the quarter finals and then Woolston to get to the final.

Unfortunately the men's team couldn't retain their title as they crashed out of the competition at the semifinal stage to a very strong Prestbury side. The Challenge team managed to reach the semi of the plate competetion before just losing out to Knutsford Sport, 3-2.

26/05/02
PAT GETS FIRST TITLE IN PRAGUE FINAL

Grove Park's No.1 Patrick Foster claimed his first PSA tour title of his career at the Hi-Tec & Dunlop Open in Prague, without dropping a game.
He beat unexpected finalist Ashley Flathers in the final, 15/8, 15/11, 15/7. While Foster had eased past home favourite Jan Koukal in the semifinals, Flathers beat Spain's Borja Golan, surprise winner of the Mega Italia Open earlier this month.
Details and photos from Prague

20/05/01
A CHESHIRE CLEAN SWEEP
Grove Park swept to victory as they took both the Men's and the Ladies Championship of the Cheshire Cup 2000-01 (and came runners-up in the Cheshire Challenge Cup, just for good measure). The Cheshire Cup is contested by the counties top clubs, but they can only field players who are eligible to play for Cheshire.

In the finals held at Warrington Sports Club, the Men's team, who were missing their number one, Patrick Foster, pulled off a surprisingly convincing 5-0 victory over Chester Rugby Club. Chester, were beaten by a team consisting of Drewe Williams, Chris Matthews, Liam Foster, Brian Foster and Chris Cope. After the bottom three had secured the match, a great performance was rounded off by Drewe Williams unexpectedly at number one in a tight five setter. To qualify for the final they had previously beaten teams from Village Hyde, Village Warrington and then Prestbury in the Semi Final ( View full draw).

The Ladies meanwhile took the Ladies Championship with a narrow 2-1 victory over a Warrington side playing on their home turf. Claire Ball gave Grove Park a good start by winning at three but then Hilary Kenyon lost narrowly in the second string match. However in the deciding rubber Sue Dalrymple beat Warrington's number one to take the title.

The day didn't go all Grove Parks way though, as a the men's Challenge Cup team 'lost narrowly' 5-0 to Cheshire Oaks in the final. The cup is open to players who haven't played above NWCSL Division 3. The Cheshire Oaks team included the world ranked and Cheshire Under 19 Ladies Champion, Sarah Kippax, who was pushed all the way by Simon Bannister We were so impressed, we decided to sign her up this year for our ladies team.

To confirm Grove Park's dominance of the county, in the Cheshire Closed Championship, Patrick Foster won the senior men's title while Sue Dalrymple retained her Senior Ladies Title.

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