Orkney continue to dominate inter-county squash. Shetland tried hard to deny Orkney their 17th senior inter-county in the last 21 years. However a full strength Orkney team were just too strong as they won seven matches to two.
Shetland had six changes from their A team from last year with Orkney having five changes. The first game, between Maria Strachan and Marie Wylie of Orkney, was tight but Marie managed to take it after a hard fought 28 rallies. Maria was unable to stop Marie scoring heavily in the next two games as she won the first match 3-0.
On centre was one of the highlights of the inter-county, with number two Andy Bilton taking on former Scotland number 10 Adam Bews. Fifty-one rallies ensued with a lot of good squash but inevitably Adam came out on top.
Number five Darren Thomson took on Orkney’s captain Michael Scott for the closest match of the evening. Michael won a close first game but the second must be a contender for the longest game of the season – after a massive 46 rallies Michael just edged it 9-7. The third game saw another 32 rallies before Michael won the match.
The next set of games saw Kevin Moar take on Orkney’s Andy Kemp, both players having moved up from the B team last year. Experience won over youth this time as Andy’s length and tight shots were just too strong for Kevin.
Ladies number one Joan Smith took on Orkney’s Betty Stranger. Joan made a strong start, scoring fast, and Betty was unable to hold her back from winning the first game. Betty adjusted in the second and it was a lot closer but Joan continued to score heavily and took the second and third games after some high quality squash.
Neil Petrie, number three, took on Ian Stout. Neil struggled to find his normal form as Ian won a long first game. A combination of injuries compounded Neil’s problems as he struggled on and was unable to stop Ian taking the next two and the match. Orkney had now passed the threshhold to win the county with three games left to play.
Ladies two seeds were next up with Hannah Garrick against Orkney’s Linda Hill. The first game was incredibly tight with Linda doing well to stop Hannah scoring heavily. Hannah eventually managed to edge the first game after 42 rallies. The marathon first game took its toll on Linda as Hannah won the next two to win the match.
Second last was number four Billy Mycock against Orkney’s Colin Renall; Colin played a very strong game and Billy was unable to get into it as Colin won 3-0. The highlight of the match was a cartwheel pick up in the front court by Colin.
The final match up was number ones Ramsay Hogg and Adam Stranger from Orkney. This saw some of the best rallies of the night and some great squash but Adam is on the form of his life at the moment and was just too good for Ramsay.
This left the final score 7-2 which was an improvement on last time but leaves Shetland with a lot of work to do to catch up for next year.