Cup win for Gryphons squash team
The men’s 3rd squash team emerged as 2-1 winners from Wednesday afternoon’s clash with York 2nds at the Gryphon Centre, progressing to the next round of the BUCS Northern Cup.
Angus MacPherson and Rakaan Al Huneidi battled through close encounters in the opening two matches to give the home side the two point advantage required to claim the victory against their North Yorkshire neighbours.
First to grace the ‘T’ was Angus MacPherson who fought through a cagey opening to the afternoon’s play by claiming the first game 11-9. However, his opponent from York found his rhythm in the second game, leading MacPherson by seven strokes to nil, before drawing level with Leeds after a swift 11-3 victory.
The third game of the opening fixture proved to be the closest-fought of the day, with neither player taking more than a one point lead until York edged 10-8 ahead at the business end of the game. Yet the indefatigable MacPherson survived three game points against him before punishing the opposition, taking advantage of his first game point to claim the third game 13-11.
Building on his late flurry in the previous game MacPherson strode into a 9-3 lead before finishing the tie confidently as he powered to an 11-5 victory in the fourth game to win the match 3-1 overall.
Knowing that victory in the second match of the afternoon would ensure Leeds’ progression to the next round of the cup, Rakaan Al Huneidi flew out of the blocks winning the first two games 12-10 and 11-4 respectively. Al Huneidi displayed some fine footwork and, at two games to nil, looked to be cruising to a demolition of the York opposition.
However, York refused to be brushed aside so easily and attempted to justify their short journey down the A64. After his bright start, Al Huneidi’s concentration faded in the third game before a brave five-point comeback in the fourth proved to be in vain as York clinched the game 11-9 and forced the two to play out an intense match- deciding fifth game.
Determined not to cave in to the York comeback, Al Huneidi took the final game 11-9. The two players emerged from the court exhausted after their five-game thriller to cheer on their captains in the final match. With the fixture already won by Leeds, it seemed the pressure was off for both players. However, in light of the toil of his team-mates, the York captain seemed determined to exit the Gryphon Centre with a consolation victory in the final match of the day. Leeds’ Robert Mayne exhibited a strong backhand and was fast around the court but struggled to cut out the unforced errors that ultimately led to a three-nil defeat.
Despite defeat in the final match and a valiant effort from York in the two earlier encounters, the Gryphons always appeared the likelier victors and now look confidently towards building a run in the BUCS Northern Cup.