We knew it would be tough
Southport & Birkdale Squash first team players knew before the season started that the step up from the North-West Counties Squash League (NWCSL) would be a severe test of their abilities. Prior to the start of the season we recruited two players to boost our challenge in the league. Emyr Evans, Wales Ranked Number 3, World Ranked 152 and Isaac Rawcliffe a NWCSL 1st division player. Unfortunately, Isaac never played for the club due to an opportunity to go to the USA to coach college squash. With our club's long term number one and a veteran of many years experience in the 1st division, Howard Nuttall, sidelined with a long term injury it fell on our club players to step up to play higher up the order than was originally planned. Needless to say this was very tall order indeed and consequently, by the half season, we were firmly in the relegation zone having won one match and being awarded another due to team selection anomolies by our opponents. We fared well in the second half and, as our players became used to the faster pace of the league, we got some good results and with three victories there was a possibility that we could avoid relegation. However,results from other teams did not favour us and we finished one place below the relegation line. We hope to be reprieved, as we can certainly do better in the 1st division in future. One high light of the season was the guest appearance of World number 14 Daryl Selby on two occasions for the club.
He played twice for us in the first half, beating New Zealand number 2 Evan Williams 3-2. His appearance on 28th February against Wigan 1st team saw him beat the up and coming Patrick Rooney 3-2 with the spectator gallery packed.
Having come close to promotion last season our second team have won their division 3 North league and are promoted to the 2nd division. They had been in second place most of the year behind 315 Squash Club. But, 315 were deducted 40 points for playing ineligible players and consequently ended up second. The 2nd team now play local rivals Northern Crosby 1st team in the 3rd division playoffs.
The 3rd team have suffered all season from multiple cry offs which left them nearing the end of the season in a relegation position. Fortunately, fixtures towards the end went in our favour and we scraped out of the relegation zone by one place.
The 4th team finished comfortably in mid table in division 4 North West. With the strength of the club we should be looking for them to be pushing for promotion next season.
For the first time in our history we have fielded a 5th team. Playing in division 5 North, they have done excetionally well to finish in mid table. The highlight being some outstanding performances by our two junior players , Chris Seitis and Kieran Rimmer, in their first season playing team squash.
S & B Squash have five teams playing in the North West Counties Squash League (NWCSL) To see their final league positions and individual player results and rankings follow the links below:
1st Team Results
1st Team League Position
2nd Team Results
2nd Team League Posiiton
3rd Team Results
3rd Team League Position
4th Team Results
4th Team League Position
Team Player Individual Rankings