Prior to their penultimate match of the season against Birmingham University, Stratford welcomed the news that they had achieved promotion to Warwickshire’s Division 1. As Birmingham University now had no chance of promotion, they fielded a weak team of only four players.
George Owen was first on court for Stratford. Owen played fast and effective squash to race to an easy 3-0 win against the university’s fourth string.
At third string, Freddie Milles played a particularly unorthodox opponent. With the score level at 1-1, Milles moved up a gear to stay one step ahead during the third and fourth games to edge out his opponent, 3-1.
Despite having not played squash for the past four weeks, second string, Simon Kemp, played an exceptional match against his student opponent. By far the most exciting and entertaining match of the evening, both players fought with grit and determination for every point. After playing some rigorous and high intensity squash, Kemp eventually found himself 2-1 up. However, it was clear that Kemp was beginning to tire as his young opponent continued to move efficiently around the court and endure the long rallies. Despite playing some excellent squash, Kemp eventually lost 3-2.
The final match of the evening saw Stratford’s top seed, Richard Rosenthal, engage in his usual ‘no errors’ game plan to take the opening two games with ease. However, a marginal slip in concentration from Rosenthal enabled Birmingham University’s number 1 to find his feet and claw back a game. However, Rosenthal regained momentum in the fourth game to win 3-1 and secure a 4-1 victory for Stratford.
With one match remaining, against West Warwickshire, there is no possibility of catching league leaders, Edgbaston Priory, to win Division 2. Stratford will therefore happily settle for a very commendable runners-up position in the league and the prospect of top division squash next season.