The University of Birmingham’s Men’s Squash 2s have had an impressive first half of their season, winning all but one of their matches. At Christmas they sat comfortably in 2nd place in the BUCS table with Oxford 1s leading the way by several points. It was all to play for on Wednesday in the Munrow Sports Centre. After a 5-0 thrashing from Oxford earlier on the season, Birmingham were determined to seek revenge.
Birmingham’s Robert Hinds got Birmingham off to a start, after defeating his opponent11-9, 11-8, 11-9. As the results suggest the games were closely fought between the two players. Hinds used his fast pace both in ball speed and footwork to secure the win for Birmingham. Birmingham led 1-0 after the first fixture.
The second match saw Birmingham’s Winson Tong lose out to Oxford in a more uncontested match than the first. This time it was the Oxford player that dominated the game using his agility to his advantage in order to defeat the Birmingham player 11-2, 11-2, 11-2. The scoreline was a harsh reflection on an exciting and tense game, in which each point consisted of long and tiring rallies. Tong gave it his all and at the end of the match was clearly disappointed in his play. After this match it was 1 all.
The third match was unfortunate for Birmingham as they once again lost. Franz Crate disappointingly lost 11-7, 12-10 and 11-3 against his Oxford counterpart. As demonstrated by the score it was a tight game and Crate played strongly, and was perhaps unfortunate not to win at least one game. With the overall score now reading 2-1 to Oxford, they needed to win just one more game then they would win the overall fixture. The pressure was on and the tension high going into the final 2 games of the day.
James Robinson, however, was unable to give Birmingham a fighting chance at an unlikely comeback. He like the other members of Birmingham’s Men’s 2 team lost in straight sets, 11-4, 11-8 and 11-6. Robinson became quickly frustrated with his game and after the first match seemed to storm off the court which only continued to project a negative atmosphere onto the squash courts. This was not pleasant for the spectators that consisted of friends, family and other members of the Squash club. This result meant that Oxford had now put the fixture beyond Birmingham.
Going into the last match, Ed Henley aimed to pick up a consolation to establish some pride back into the hearts of Birmingham. However, Oxford prove too strong once more and he was defeated 11-2, 11-4 and 11-8. Spectators constantly cheered Henley on, urging him on after every point. The Oxford player, unfortunately, was gifted with an incredibly long reach allowing him to miraculously return shots when it seemed like Henley had the better of him.
Overall, Birmingham lost this top of the table fixture 4-1. Birmingham should be pleased with the way each member preformed as most of the matches were tightly contested and it was a shame for Birmingham to not secure a few more games in their favour. With this win Oxford 1s consolidate their position at the top of the table while Birmingham remain 2nd which if they play the way they did last season with strong comfortable wins against other teams then they will stay in this a position, a position that they should be proud to be in as the Birmingham’s Men’s 2s are overall a talented and skilled team.