Department of Sport

Dramatic scenes on the all-glass as Nottingham take home the 2022 Squash Championship and Trophy titles

 

Madina Squash BBW 22'

With University of Nottingham Women's teams in both the Trophy and Championship finals, it was a busy day on the squash courts for our #GreenandGold first and second teams. In the Trophy, the University of Nottingham 2's took on the University of Exeter first team, whilst the Championship final saw the University of Nottingham 1's take on the University of Birmingham's first team.  

BUCS Women's Championship

After retaining the BUCS Championship title for the 4th year in a row in 2019, the break between finals made no difference to our Women’s 1st team as they once again secured their place at BUCS Big Wednesday for 2022. Having also won the BUCS Premier League this year, the side have continued to showcase their talent since returning and look to top off a fantastic 2021/22 season with another Championship title.

Standing in their way of winning a fifth successive crown was the University of Birmingham first team who the #GreenandGold had beaten 4-1 in February to claim the Premier League Title. The side therefore could take great confidence into the match, and this was added to by the presence of sport scholar Gina Kennedy. Kennedy, world number 11, is studying a masters at the University and has been playing very successfully on the World Tour, but has returned to represent the #GreenandGold for the biggest team sport match of the year. Representing the University of Nottingham alongside Kennedy will be by Madina and Faiza Zafar, Grace Clark and Josie Barker. Unfortunately world ranked 61 player Lucy Beecroft had to withdraw from competition the day before the event.

University of Nottingham Squad: Gina Kennedy, Madina Zafar, Grace Clark, Faiza Zafar and Josie Barker.

The first match of the final saw the three seeds take to the all-glass court, Nottingham's Grace Clark and Birmingham's Katie Cox. Clark opened the match with a superb and composed backhand cross court drop to take the first point. Two stroke points given against the Birmingham player showed the possible difference in nerves to start the match between the two as Clark continued to lead with some great shots, eventually winning the first set 11-5. Perhaps composed during the break, it would be the Birmingham player who would take the lead in the second set 4-0. Grace would fight back and close to 7-8, but Cox would close out the second set. It would be the Birmingham player who would also take the third set to lead 2-1. Taking the momentum into the fourth set, Cox would open a 7-1 lead before a Clark fightback brought the score back to 7-10, but could not hold off Birmingham's Cox who would claim the match 3-1. 

On the neighbouring court, five seed Josie Barker would ultimately lose three sets to nil against her opponent Chloe Foster. This would leave Nottingham needing a comeback to claim the Championship trophy. 

In the top seed match, the University of Nottingham's world number 11 Gina Kennedy took to the all-glass court following Clark's defeat, taking on Birmingham's Kiera Marshall. A long opening rally would see Kennedy take the first point of the match with a stroke point, before taking a commanding 5-0 lead. Kennedy's class would show in the first set as she never looked out of control and won the opener 11-2. The second set began much like the first ended with Kennedy controlling long rallies and forcing her opponent into mistakes, as she went up 5-1. Birmingham's Marshall showed great bravery but could not stop Kennedy who closed the second set with a beautiful low boast, and then took the match with more brilliant shots to win Nottingham's first match of the contest 3-0.

Needing to win to tie the match for the University of Nottingham Faiza Zafar took on Rosie Kirsch and took a close first game 11-9. Faiza continued to play great shots, particularly low cross-courts to take a quick and commanding 8-1 lead in the second, before closing it 11-4. Knowing the magnitude of the third game, Faiza continued to play well and claimed the third and winning set with a stroke point. This made the match 2-2 with Faiza's sister Madina needing to win to secure the championship for Nottingham!

The two seeds of Madina and Birmingham's Megan V Drongelen now drew a big crowd with Birmingham and Nottingham fans trying to cheer their player onto victory. The two were closely matched at 9-8 with the Nottingham player in front before a brilliant cross court from Madina was cancelled out by a huge drop volley by Drongelen, who then edged ahead and won the first set 12-10. Nottingham's Zafar would not be fazed by the setback and built a 6-1 lead in the second, before winning the set 11-8 with a tight backhand drop shot. The third set was another close affair with both playing great drives, and neither relenting at a 4-3 scoreline in favour of the Birmingham player. Drongelen continued to maintain a gap to Nottingham's Zafar, before moving into position to win the set at 10-6 following a contentious call, and then taking the next point and set 11-6. In what was becoming a hotly contested affair because of the magnitude of the match, it would be Drongelen who would continue her momentum to take a lead to begin the fourth. Madina showed no quit however and asked the crowd for more support as she built her way back into the set to make it 5-5. The #GreenandGold support answered, and so did Madina taking a brilliant set of squash 14-12, meaning the match would go to a deciding set for the BUCS Championship trophy! Madina opened the set well, backed by a vociferous Nottingham crowd and took a 5-4 lead. With a hint of nerves, Birmingham's Drongelen put a boast low which opened up the set for Madina at 9-6. Sensing the tile was close, the Nottingham player began to show nerves of her own as the score was levelled at 9-9 by Birmingham. More close points followed in a hugely tense ending where neither player could pull two points clear. However, Madina would ultimately be the one to hold her nerve winning the Championship with a superb boast for 13-11! What a match to clinch the BUCS Championship for the University of Nottingham Women's squash!

Final result: 3-2 to the University of Nottingham. University of Nottingham Women's Squash crowned BUCS Champions!

 

BBW '22 Women's Squash Trophy

BUCS Women's Trophy 

The Women’s trophy team were prepared to defend their title that was hard earned at the last BUCS Big Wednesday in 2019 in a 4-0 win. There were some new faces in the team this season, but they were feeling confident after achieving a 4-0 win against Edinburgh in the semi-finals. It was Exeter that they were to face in the final. 

University of Nottingham Squad: Megan Thomas, Amber Copley, Jess Morgan, Bronte Wright

The UoN Women’s 2s team stormed the Trophy final at this BUCS Big Wednesday, with all four #GreenandGold players on top form, winning their matches 3-0 to secure the trophy over Exeter. The team kept their cool and won easily, dominating each and every set that they played!

Final result: University of Nottingham win the Trophy 3-0!


For more information on Performance Squash at the University of Nottingham, please click here.

You can watch all of the action back via the live stream here.

Posted on Wednesday 23rd March 2022

University of Nottingham Sport

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University of Nottingham
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Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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email: sport@nottingham.ac.uk