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Exeter Golf and Country Club has been crowned regional squash champions in a historic double win at the end of an unbeaten squash season, winning both the Premier League and the Devon Cup with record-breaking points.
After winning the Premier League earlier this month, Exeter Golf and Country Club’s 1st Men’s Team went on to smash the double by beating Fort Stamford at the Devon Cup Final. It is believed to be only the second time one team has won both and definitely the first time for Exeter Golf and Country Club.
Exeter Golf and Country Club is celebrating the end of their most successful season ever having won 17 matches in a row – that is every match in the Premier League and every match in the Devon Cup. The unbeaten champions obtained a whopping 95% of total points available, which is a record, and they were 53 points clear of the team in second place. The team effectively won with three matches spare.
The 2017 Devon Cup Final was a battle of the champions as Exeter Golf and Country Club took on last year’s Cup winners, Fort Stamford. With the double-win on the horizon, the atmosphere at host venue Exeter Golf and Country Club was buzzing.
Exeter Golf and Country Club’s Reuben Morris took on Fort Stamford’s Duncan Hefford in the first match of the tournament. Both served up a high-class spectacle of squash with the match always finely poised. In the end, Reuben was able to open Exeter Golf and Country Club’s account with a hard fought 3-2 win, in what proved to be the match of the evening.
Next up was the evergreen Gary Bennett of Exeter Vs the highly skilled Dom Lyons in another competitive match. With a 3-0 win, Gary moved the Golf Club within striking distance of the cup. Gary was keen to get off court as quickly as possible to start rehydrating with Topsail and Champagne, to celebrate the win and his 30th birthday.
With Exeter Golf and Country Club now 2-0 up, Pete Joyce of Exeter and Tony Tremain kicked off at the same time as Mike Gregory, Exeter and Jon Gallagher. It was hard to know which game to watch. Both matches were very tight, with both poised at 1-1. Jon Gallagher played some fantastic, controlling, squash and despite the ‘Sheriff’s’ trademark holds and on court guile, Jon was able to hold on for a hard fought 3-1 win. With the Fort deservedly pulling it back to just 2-1 overall, Pete Joyce kept a cool head and wrapped up a 3-1 win, taking Exeter Golf and Country Club to an unassailable 3-1 lead on the night.
With the title already won, Mike Harris, Exeter’s squash pro and Mark Chapman renewed rivalries at 1 string, with Mark arguably providing Mike’s sternest test of the season so far in a previous league match. Despite Mark’s best efforts and some creative commentary from match referee, Paul Gregory, he was unable to stop Mike from winning the match 3-0 and with it, the League and Cup double.
Captain, Jon Sharpe said, “Exeter Golf and Country Club’s 1st Men’s Team has made the club so proud. Winning both the Premier League and the Devon Cup has been the highlight of our year and has certainly placed squash firmly in the limelight once again. A fitting advert for Devon squash, our team and Fort Stamford, have raised the bar for the region’s squash during a two-year battle to the top. We had a great turn-out on the night with supporters from both Exeter and Plymouth which created an electric atmosphere at the club. Thank you to Bob Hefford, Alan Ford and the two guest referees, Phil Hancock and Paul Gregory.”
Exeter Golf and Country Club’s successful season culminates on 6th and 7th May with a PSA (Professional Squash Association) Pro Tournament. The club’s Squash Professional, Mike Harris, is delighted to welcome other squash professionals from the top 100 in the world, who will take on each other in a champion of champions tournament. The two-day squash event will be a great spectacle to watch.
The 1st Men’s Team at Exeter Golf and Country Club includes: Mike Harris, Mike Gregory, Peter Joyce, Gary Bennett, Reuben Morris, Jon Sharpe, Robbie Brown, Andrew Street, Simon Irvin.
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