After an outstanding season, Birmingham’s Women Squash Second Team took their rightful place in the 2015-16 BUCS final in Sheffield. After winning seven out of their ten matches this season, they went into this game against Nottingham high on confidence. For many of Birmingham’s talented team, this was the most important game of their lives and they were ready to make the step up.
Birmingham got off to an excellent start with Beth Seaman proving far too strong for opposite number. Seaman remained ntobaly calm throughout the entire game, playing some outstandingly skilful shots. Seaman’s dominance was reflected by the final score line, which read 11-2, 11-1 and 11-1. After Seaman’s dominating start, Birmingham led this match 1-0.
In the second game of the day, for all of Samantha Ho’s hard work and passion, she came undone by a very talented Nottingham opponent, whom effectively refused to let Ho into the game. The first game was a tightly fought affair with Ho losing out 12-10. Ho’s hard work in the first half was perhaps to her own detriment as she appeared to tire in the remaining two games, losing them 11-7 and 11-3 respectively. Ho continued to push to her limit and although losing she not be disheartened by her performance as she remained competitive throughout. It was just unfortunate she came up against a very talented Nottingham player. Regardless, after this second game the score read 1-1.
Alice Oathman demonstrated just how fast and agile you have to be to play squash as she was all over the court. Her Nottingham opponent proved was strong but she was stronger. Using her skill and confidence on the squash court to her advantage, Oathman won in straight matches with the scores making a pleasant reading of 11-6, 11-9 and 11-7. This powerful performance on the court allowed Birmingham to once again take the lead now winning 2-1.
Going into the final match of this trophy fixture, Birmingham Women’s 2s Captain, Joanna Lord faced the toughest opposition from the Nottingham team knowing full well the fate of the cup final was in her hands. Nottingham dominated the first two games of this match winning 11-7 and 11-9. Lord played very well and was unfortunate to miss out on some key points coming after some excellent rallies. In the third game of this match, Lord stepped up through the gears and used her played on her opponents fatiguing legs to her advantage, moving her around the court to devastating effect, winning both the third and fourth fame 11-9 and 11-4. Everything, therefore, rested on this final game. The tension was building. Lord remained calm and won this final game 11-3. Birmingham, therefore, were crowned deserved BUCS champions.
A fantastic set of skills portrayed on the squash courts here at Sheffield. All members of the University of Birmingham Women’s 2s played fantastically. It was a well-deserved win with them all demonstrating not only their obvious abilities, but their character and confidence as well. A huge congratulations to the team.