The Bucks O60s mens team took part in the inter-county tournament a few weeks back. The old boys managed to beat Cumbria 2-1 in the semi-final on the Saturday to reach the Sunday final facing Surrey, who had beaten Yorkshire 3-0 in their semi. Surrey proved a bit too strong for the boys, winning 3-0 but not without some stiff resistance in each of the rubbers. Nevertheless, a very creditable achievement to reach the final; we even managed to come away with some silverware; well, wooden plaques anyway!
In a bit more detail, the weekend capped a series of good performances by the Bucks O60s squad over the last 15 months. Having fought to gain promotion to Premier in 2014-15, winning Stage 1 and coming 2nd in Stage 2, we progressed further this season with a 2nd place finish in November (to Surrey again) to qualify for finals weekend. Despite being only 3 man teams in this age group, no less than 8 players were involved at different stages in the journey – Phil Alexander, Rob Ballingall, John Bullard, Mick Carson, Steve Hunt, Chris Jordan, Peter Smith and Aubrey Waddy. Also, many thanks to Philip CL for providing back up from home this weekend.
Regarding our nemesis Surrey, they proved worthy winners being unbeaten in the three Stage 1 matches as well as over finals weekend. In Stage 1 it was somewhat disconcerting that they had two O60 England players not selected for one of the ties, winning all 3 rubbers 3-0! Before our final, Surrey were overheard in the locker room to rather cheekily refer to Bucks as ‘minnows’ – not too unreasonable perhaps considering the relative sizes of Bucks and Surrey squash-wise! It was particularly pleasing therefore that each rubber was well contested. Rob Ballingall won the first game against previous British Open and Closed O60s semi-finalist (etc.) Steve Jackson playing at #3. Phil Alexander very nearly took the number 1 string Paul Ekins to 5 games and Peter Smith led 7 times RAF champion Dave Clark by 2-1 at one point. So at least the Bucks minnows were able to give the Surrey sharks a bit of a nip! Indeed it is not inconceivable that we could actually beat them!
So once again, many thanks and very well done to all involved. Also a great thank you to Mary who catered magnificently for us over the two Stage 1 weekends that we hosted at Chesham Bois.