first_imgThe Ladies Blues Squash team finished off their season in style on Thursday night in the Finals of the Oxfordshire County Championships. After impressive displays from Hannah Tye and Rhian Hopkins, who both secured convincing straight games victories at no. 2 and no. 3, and unlucky losses from Lucinda Orr and Camilla Day – who both showed that they were more than the equal of their opponents in terms of talent by winning game 9-0 – the match was poised on a knife edge. It was perhaps fitting in this siuation that Kerri Shields, in her last outing for the University, before she tries her hand as a professional squash player this summer, was due to play the final, and deciding rubber of the match for the championship. Shields’s impressive stroke play and volleys made it look easy, and the result was never in doubt from very early on. The Dark Blue star shut out her opponent in such an effective manner that she allowed her only two points in the entire match. To end the season being crowned as County Champions will be some consolation to the Dark Blues after some heartbreaking losses. The failure in the semi-final of the BUSA Championships at Easter – to the eventual champions, the University of Wales, Cardiff – compounded the narrow defeat at the hands of the Tabs in this year’s Varsity Match in February. Oxford will believe that having lost to their Light Blue rivals by the agonising margin of three games to two for each of the last five years, they are more than due a victory. However, despite the two defeats, albeit in notably prestigious games, should not take the shine off an impressive season in which 25 wins were obtained from a daunting fixture list of no fewer than 34 matches. The loss of fourth year stalwarts and Captains Shields and Orr should be counteracted by the strong players remaining and the anticipated strengthening of the squad via the arrival of Brown University’s Squash Captain, Avery Broadbent, next year. If Shields makes it in the professional game she will be following in the footsteps of Ben Garner, who left Oxford two years ago and is still climbing up the world rankings. He currently stands at number 45 in the world. The last piece of business for the Women’s Squash Club this year is the Cuppers Finals on 10 May in which Teddy Hall will try to stop Keble making it a hat-trick of victories in the last three years.ARCHIVE: 1st week TT 2004last_img read more