Once again the Kent o50s trio of Mandy Akin, Candy Wilton and Karen Hume found themselves making their way to Pontefract, for the (re-arranged due to snow) Inter- County Finals.
The event promised to be an exhibition of exciting squash with well over eighty players at the venue including ex professionals, current World, European, British Open and National champions amongst the players representing their respective counties. Squash wise, the event didn’t disappoint.
Kent’s semi-final was against Herts, their opponents for the last 2 years at this stage. First up was Karen who won comfortably at no.3. She was followed by Mandy, who, playing an inspired Isobel Smith, did well to take a win 3-1. The final match between the number 2 strings was a thrilling match, going to the wire, with Candy emerging the victor 15-13 in the 5th. Kent was through to the final 3-0.
The final was always going to be a close affair, with the Yorkshire team strengthened by a no.1 who wasn’t old enough to play in the original final back in March. Again Karen was first on court, this time to face a formidable opponent-the current World and European O60s champion, Julie Field. With a poor record against Julie, this was a tall order for Karen, especially playing on Julie’s home courts. However, playing some inspired squash, she was able to take the match 3-1.
Next on, with an equally difficult match was Mandy against ‘the baby’ of the ‘Yorks’ team and a former National Champion, Andrea Santamaria. Unfortunately for Mandy, Andrea, enjoying the luxury of her home courts, was on fine form and took the match 3-0.
So, to the final match and with the match poised at one all, Candy faced yet another former National Champion, Nicky Horne. Fighting all the way, Candy put up a great fight in a high quality game, but went down 1-3, 15/7 14/16 16/18 9/15.
Yorkshire were victorious, reversing last year’s result.