Masters Inter-Counties Finals

InterCounties team2023

Hexham trio of Andrew Wilkinson, Adrian Alderton and Jon Steward represented Northumbria in the Masters Squash Inter-Counties finals held at Peterborough in April. Team regular Tony Penson (former Hexham player) now plays out of Consett. After comfortably qualifying hopes were high for a strong result.

In the semi-finals Northumbria met Berkshire who always do well at these events. All the matches were closely contested. Tony Penson put up a good fight against drop shot expert John Petrusche just losing in the fourth game 19-17 (and we only play to 11!). Andrew Wilkinson had arisen from his sick bed to battle experienced England player Ripley Oyler. The third game proved critical which Ripley just won 14-12 and then took the forth 11-9. Adrian Alderton had a close encounter with Alistair Lloyd but just got pipped 11-9 in the fifth.

The play-off for 3rd place was against Northamptonshire. Jon Steward had an entertaining game with Chris Beeching. All games were extremely close; however, Chris took the forth 13-11 for victory. Adrian put on a stronger display to take a 3-0 win against an awkward opponent Julian Craxton. Although not fully fit Andrew Wilkinson put up a brilliant fight against Ian Holmes, taking the forth 12-10 to level the match at 2-2 and leading all the way in the fifth but was just pipped at the post 12-10 by Ian. It was a bit disappointing not to get on the podium but some good games were played.

The event was won by Lancashire against Berkshire who could field two England players including the current British Champion Alan Barwise.