Narrow East Midlands Tie Defeat For Team Derby
Team Derby’s men’s squash 1st team were narrowly defeated by the University of Nottingham.
The first match-up was fixed between Ali Zahir and Alex Yee. Zahir ultimately struggled to deal with the resilience of Yee and failed to match the high tempo he set.
Zahir looked exhausted going into the third and what turned out to be the final set of the match. Yee took the final set in a crushing 11-4 win to put the visitors ahead.
The next matchup was a thrilling encounter. Derby captain Joseph Buckley faced James Rowbotham in a dramatic match-up.
After an intense rally in the first game, totalling 16 swings, Buckley took the first set 11-9 to earn Derby their first set win of the day. His last ditch shot to win the game was incredible, after hitting from what initially seemed an impossible position.
The second set was a different story with Rowbotham taking an 8-0 lead. Buckley’s attempted comeback wasn’t enough and the victors levelled the sets with an 11-6 victory.
In the third set Buckley looked impressive. However, during the match he picked up a thigh injury which seemed to affect him throughout; he also fell to the floor and hit his head against the wall, but the Derby Captain remained determined and won the set 11-9.
Buckley’s injury seemed to take its toll in the penultimate set. Rowbotham dominated and played on the injury, forcing Buckley all around the court, and yet again took an 8-point lead. There was no comeback from Buckley this time as Nottingham took the set 11-4.
After five rounds the result was decided, Nottingham had won. However, Noah Duckworth shone in his match-up against Nottingham captain, Kristian Gregory. Duckworth dominated the clash, winning all three of the first sets: 11-5, 11-6 and 11-4.
It was to no avail as Derby lost the tie, two games to one. Duckworth, however, was a
symbol of the power and skill the Derby side possess and can take forward going into
BY JOE LIGHTFOOT (@Joe_Lightfoot1) AND JAMES WILSON (@JamesWilsonfoot)