Two players from the Isle of Man, Peter Sharples and Les Callow, traveled to the Village Hotel and Sports Club in Bury last weekend to play in the Over 65’s Masters Inter County Team Squash Championships.
Peter and Les represented Merseyside, who unfortunately could not field any other players so the team was a man short.
Merseyside had two matches on Saturday and one on Sunday. The first match was against Cumbria and Peter Sharples was drawn against ex Isle of Man player and resident Terry Belshaw. In a very tight first game, Terry just edged it 15-13 but then he played with a lot of deception to win the next two games. Les Callow then played Collis Skeik in what proved to be a very competitive match with Collie winning 3-0 but the game scores were 12-10, 12-10, 11-8.
The next match was against Lancashire and Peter was again on first against Allan Barwise. From the first rally it was obvious that Allan was an exceptional player and although Peter never gave up, All cruised to a 3-0 win. All’s squash level points would have placed him in 8th position in the Isle of Man rankings. Les Callow played Alistair Caffrey and this was a real ding dong match with both of them playing great squash. Allister won the 1st and 3rd games and Les won the 2nd and 4th to set up a 5th game. Allister started playing high servers and lobs which just died in the back corners allowing him to win a close game 11-7 and give him match victory.
On Sunday morning Merseyside played Northumbria and again Peter Sharples was on first against Adrian Alderton. Adrian never let Peter settle into his game and although Peter battled hard he lost 3-0. Les Callow played Tony Penson. Tony is a tall player and has a huge reach which allows him to retrieve balls from anywhere on the court, which proved to be the deciding factor. Les played well but lost in 3 close games.
Both Isle of Man players agreed it was a great weekend and a huge learning experience and are keen to represent Merseyside again in this event.