2024 CSSC GB Vets, Fire Service Match Report

22nd June 2024: Social squash match CSSC vs Fire Service vs GB Vets

Following the success of the 2023 event, the Civil Service, GB Vets and Fire service squash teams all headed to Nottingham to take part in a friendly 8-a-side squash match.

First up were CSSC against the GB Vets who boasted none other than Nick Gollaglee, British Over 65s champion, in their ranks, along with a host of other national players. The civil service, however, were boosted by being loaned Nick Sheppard from the GB Vets and local Nottingham player Noah Duckworth. Despite these additions, the civil service found it tough going yet managed to put on some excellent performances against tough opponents. James Hodson was star of the match for the Civil Service managing to get a win against the talented John Simpson. Special mention also goes to Tim Burrell and Imran Bashir for getting a game each while the others all lost encounters closer than the scorelines suggest – Nick Sheppard and Paul Clarke particularly unlucky not to win a game.

Despite some heavy legs going into the 2nd match it didn’t show. Mike Plant had a very good win in a tight affair while Richard Chubb and David Jacobs, playing his first CSSC squash event, also managed to come out on top. Imran Bashir and Paul Clarke were both unfortunate to be on the wrong end of 3-2 scorelines – just not having enough to get over the line. James Hodson, Joe Shil and Noah Duckworth played well but ultimately were bested by their opponents.

In the remaining match once again there were plenty of tight matches with the Fire Service just managing to narrowly beat GB Vets.

Following the squash all the teams retired to the bar to enjoy some food before heading home having thoroughly enjoyed the event. 

CSSC

GB Vets

Match score

James Hodson

John Simpson

3-1

Tim Burrell

Ray Burke

1-3

Joe Shil

John Parkes

0-3

Noah Duckworth

Nick Gollaglee

0-3

Imran Bashir

Rob Reid

1-3

David Jacobs

Mark Ainley

0-3

Nick Sheppard

Saoirse O’Sullivan

0-3

Paul Clarke

Peter Bailey

0-3

Match result:

1-7

CSSC

Fire service

Match score

James Hodson

Michael Bowes

1-3

Joe Shil

Ian Williams

0-3

Mike Plant

Karl Mullins

3-1

Noah Duckworth

Ross Bingham

1-3

Richard Chubb

Mark Ainley

3-0

Imran Bashir

Shaun Cramer

2-3

David Jacobs

Simon Jackson

3-0

Paul Clarke

Paul Drakes

2-3

Match result:

3-5

GB Vets

Fire service

Match score

John Simpson

Michael Bowes

3-0

Ray Burke

Ian Williams

0-3

John Parkes

Karl Mullins

3-1

Nick Gollaglee

Ross Bingham

0-3

Rob Reid

David Jacobs

3-1

Mark Ainley

Shaun Cramer

1-3

Peter Bailey

Simon Jackson

3-0

Sue Pynegar

Paul Drakes

1-3

John Parkes

Mike Plant

2-3

Match result:

4-5

2024 CSSC Racketball Tournament

Nottingham Squash Club was once again the venue for the 2024 CSSC Racketball (Squash 57) Championships which were held on the 15th June 2024.


 A favoured venue for many CSSC squash and racketball events in the past, the club is now run by volunteers who do their best to provide a warm and friendly welcome to players and guests.

Seven of the eight entries arrived bright and early to commence their match-play for 10:00am.
The round-robin system was used which meant that each participant had six matches to play, this kept them busy for the day.

The format was best of 3 games to 11 points, with 2 clear points being required at 10-all

There were some very entertaining matches and everyone played in a competitive and friendly manner.

240614 Peter Fielding

 

Peter Fielding was involved in the two of the three longest matches of the day as was Micky Gallacher. These being against Micky and Russell Bassett, Peter unfortunately being on the losing side of both, either side of the lunch break.

240614 Results

Everyone was more than ready for the break, and a cold buffet was provided courtesy of CSSC – the sandwiches were picked up and fresh on the day and were absolutely delicious :>)

During lunch ex- CSSRA President Marian Holmes played ex-CSSRA Chair Linda Parsley in what could have been a Ladies Championship Final. With a few more lady entrants this might be something that could be introduced next year.

As it came to the last round of matches both Micky Gallacher and Collis Sheik were undefeated, with Collis just edging being leader on games conceded count-back, Micky having dropped one game.

Due to a masterly insightful draw by the ‘Tournament Director’ (or a massive stroke of luck) we found ourselves in the position of the last round of matches actually including the Championship decider.

 This was a very entertaining match with both players still showing good levels of skill and fitness following the day’s exertions.

In the end the title of CSSC RACKETBALL CHAMPION 2024  went to Collis with a 12/10 15/13 victory.

 

The trophies were presented by Marian Holmes ( former President of CSSRA)

2024 National Champion - Collis Sheiks                                 2024 Runner Up - Micky Gallacher

240615 Champion Collis Sheik                           240615 Runner Up Micky Gallacher

 

The competitors and organisers (Peter Fielding missing)

Front row: L to R - Marian Holmes, Russell Bassett, Paul Clarke, Micky Gallacher, Collis Sheik, Deborah Atkinson, Cynthia Crane, Linda Parsley

Rear: L to R - Phil Crane, Neil Moore

240615 All Competitors

 

2024 CSSC Open Squash - 13/14th September - New Venue

Hi all

Just wanted to give you the heads up that the next CSSC Open Squash event will be held at the Wolverhampton Squash & Tennis Club on Friday 13th & Saturday 14th September 2024.

A couple of hotel suggestions have been provided for those that will be staying over, and they are:

The Mount Hotel

Mount Rd

Wolverhampton

WV6 8HL

 

Novotel

Union St

Wolverhampton

WV1 3JN

 

The competition will be graded as usual so is suitable for all standards.

Looking forward to seeing you all there

 

2023 CSSC National Individual Open Championship - 17/18th November

A NEW CHAMPION FOR CSSC SQUASH

CSSC Squash were back in action in November 2023 at the Nottingham Squash Rackets Club (NSRC) for their National Singles tournament.

Regrettably only one lady entered the event, as a result of injury and other priorities, so the Ladies event was cancelled.

The men’s event, however, was well supported. 20 players entered with a range of standards. This enabled a combination of Knock Out and Round Robin events to be run, which provided good competition for all levels. For those who follow the England Squash ranking system, Squash Levels were from “unknown” to 11,000.

Among the entrants was the current 7 times CSSC Squash Champion, James Hodson, taking his place as the number one seed and aiming for an 8th win. Looking to challenge him was a newcomer to CSSC Squash, Tom Trott, who slotted in as the number 2 seed.  These two were all set, if seeding was correct, to meet in the final.

Along with many of the regular top CSSC players an encouraging number of newcomers had entered, and there were players across all grades A to E.   Unfortunately, by the start of the event, injury and illness had reduced the men entrants from 20 players to 12.

The first round in the Knock Out resulted in the losing players dropping down to the B grade event. The successful first round players played a further series of knock out matches with the next round losers going into the A Plate event.

In the top half of the main A grade, James Hodson had a Bye and then won his first 2 matches against Chris Mason-Thom and Matthew Sampson to put himself into the final. Chris had previously beaten regular entrant Dan Willets and Paul Atkinson.

.

In the other half of the draw, Frazer Richards had probably the hardest time on court with a 3-1 win over last year’s finalist, Craig Webb, followed by a 3-2 loss to newcomer Tom Trott.

Losers in the first round of the A grade event went into a B Grade event, initially intended to be a Knock out format, but numbers determined that a Round Robin format would be a better option. Here Dan was joined by seasoned Squash player Collis Sheik and newcomers Nigel Jubbs and Kevin Walters. This was tough group with many of the matches going to 5 games. Dan won the group with just one game loss to Nigel while Kevin Walters took the Runner Up slot.

Losers from the Main A Grade 2nd round then played a Plate event. The four eligible players were reduced to three with the retirement of one member, so a Round Robin was played. This resulted in Andrew Symmons taking the A Plate title, beating both Chris and Paul, with Chris taking the Runner Up prize.

The CSSC Squash section took the opportunity of the presence of regular players to hold their AGM in the Saturday lunch break. This was followed by the final match of the main A grade event between James Hodson and Tom Trott. This final was a stunning match with both players playing incredibly tight shots and making amazing retrievals from every corner of the court.

The outcome was in doubt right up to the last rally – narrow margins. Well played to both players and we have a new champion in Tom.

It was good to see some new players and we hope all were able to enjoy the experience of playing and marking different people. We hope to see them in other events.

The squash matches were spread over the two days, Friday and Saturday and, as usual, a light hearted Quiz was held at the club on Friday evening with the club providing supper, giving players and organisers a chance to relax.  All in all it was a very successful event –a lot of good squash played in a good spirit.

Final placings:

Event

Winner

Runner up

Mens A Grade

Tom Trott

James Hodson

Mens A Grade Plate

Andrew Symmons

Chris Mason-Thom

Mens B Grade

Dan Willets

Kevin Walters

Ladies

Not played

 

 

2023_Champion_Tom_Trott.jpg  2023_Runner_Up_James_Hodson.jpg

Men's Champion Tom Trott receiving his trophy from event organiser Linda Parsley                                  Runner Up James Hodson receiving his prize from Linda Parsley

2023_James_and_Tom_with_B_Grade_winner_Dan_Willets.jpg

James and Tom with B Grade winner Dan Willets

 

The next event in the CSSC Squash calendar will be the Team Tournament in February/March 2024. Teams are to consist of both male and female players and can represent a department, office or any group. Individual players who cannot raise a team should contact the organise Peter Lee (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 07715 452 434), who will try and allocate players to a team.

Ladies especially welcome. Information and entry details will be on the CSSC website, under 'Squash'.

Following this the Masters (Age Groups) and Racketball Tournaments will be held in April/May 2024. Location to be advised.

 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

 

See you all in 2024

 

 

2023 New Champion for CSSC Squash Singles

At the annual Squash Single tournament played on 17th/18th November played at the Nottingham Squash centre, a new Champion emerged in Thomas Trott. This was the first CSSC tournament Tom has entered and he beat reigning champion (and 8 times winner) James Hodson in a thrilling final.

More detailed report to follow along with photos from the tournament.

CSSC Quadrangular 2023 - 1-2 September 2023

CSSC Quadrangular 2023 – 1-2 September 2023.

With last year’s event cancelled the Civil Service were very pleased to resume their annual fixture against the Police Force, Fire Service and UK Armed Forces. The CSSC men’s team travelled to Edgbaston Priory and it was good to have a few new faces in the team with some young(er) players joining the old stalwarts. The team featured new players Joe Shill, Craig Webb and Ben Mann joining James Hodson, Tim Burrell and Ethan Thornton.

CSSC vs Police Force

The first match was against the Police who had won the event for the past few years, and are always well stocked with good players. This year was no different and the CSSC team knew they had a tough task. First on were Ethan Thornton (5) and Craig Webb (4). Ethan never really hitting his stride was taken out by his talented opponent. Craig put up a good fight and after settling into the match almost took the 3rd game. It was all too late and Craig also went down 3-0. Looking to get CSSC back on track were Ben Mann (3) And Tim Burrell (2). Ben lost 3-0, a score line that didn’t reflect how close the match was. With Tim losing the first game it was looking like his match would follow suit but he managed to take the next 2 games and sneak over the line in the 4th to take a 3-1 win. Finally CSSC had some points on the board. Last on was James Hodson (1). Much like the previous matches James put up a good fight but couldn’t quite squeeze a game from his opponent, going down in a close 3-0 match.

A 4-1 loss to the Police Force with 2 matches left to play.

CSSC vs Fire Service

Having suffered a brutal defeat earlier the CSSC team were looking to get back on track. Joe Shill came in at number 5 and immediately got the team off to a winning start, comfortably seeing off his opponent with some determined running and skilful shots. Craig Webb and Ben Mann continued the teams winning ways with Craig running out a 3-0 winner and Ben, having suffered a little wobble to drop the 3rd game, came out on the right end of a 3-1 win. That meant CSSC had won the match, all that was left was for James and Tim to play the remaining matches. Tim managed a close 3-0 win while James had a real tussle at the number 1 string. James lost the first only to draw level at 1-1. A close loss in the 3rd was followed by a comfortable win in the 4th from James to take the game to 2-2. With nothing between the players as they each traded points it was only at the very end of the game where the Fire Service player just edged ahead with some canny winners to take the game 11-8, and match 3-2.

A 4-1 win for the CSSC.

CSSC vs UK Armed Services

With a win and a loss CSSC were looking to win their last match while hoping the Police Force would slip up against the Fire Service. First on were Joe and Craig. Joe started slow but after just about winning the first took control of the match to win 3-0. Craig had a very tough match but managed to keep his nose ahead throughout, winning 3-0 in a very close encounter. With Ben also winning 3-0 each of the debutants had an excellent couple of days. Last on were Tim and James looking to wrap up the win, which they duly did - each winning 3-0.

A 5-0 win for CSSC but not enough to catch the Police who, having won all 3 matches, were once again crowned champions. CSSC came a very creditable 2nd with the UK Armed Services in 3rd and Fire Service in 4th.

Final scores:

Police force: 58

CSSC: 42

UK Armed Forces: 21

Fire Service: 8

20230901 130501 Quadrangle 2023 1

CSSRA AGM - 18th November 2023 Nottingham

The CSSRA will be holding their AGM at 1pm on Saturday 18th November 2023 at the Nottingham Squash and Rackets Club NG7 1BX  (if you are entering the CSSC Open Singles competition you will be able to attend anyway!!)

All CSSC members are welcome to attend, give their view on Squash in CSSC and/or volunteer.

 

Linda Parsley

2023 CSSC Open Squash Singles - 17th/18th November 2023

The 2023 CSSC Squash Singles Tournament will be held at Nottingham, Squash Club on Friday 17th/Saturday 18th November 2023.

This is a Graded National event for which CSSC members can claim financial assistance through the CSSC National Travel Policy.

Start time will be 12:00 on Friday 17th, concluding on Saturday 18th afternoon. All entrants will have a minimum of 3 matches.

Accommodation is readily available in Nottingham. The Squash Club has an arrangement with St James Hotel, which is in walking distance from the club. A crash pad for single occupancy costs £70 B&B at the Squash Club Rate. Tel No 0115 941 1114.

Lunches will be provided and a social evening with supper will be held on the Friday evening at the club.

We will also have the use of a physio on the Saturday.

 

GB Vets vs National Civil Service vs National Fire Service Nottingham Squash Rackets Club 8th July 2023

Just over a year has passed since the first match between the Civil Service and GB Vets took place and here we were, back in Nottingham for the rematch. This time we were joined by a team from the Fire Service, keen to join the party. We had booked the four main courts at Nottingham (7-10) all the way from 12 noon until 6pm. This may have seemed a bit conservative on first glance but some cracking matches meant that a full day of court time was almost completely used.

GB Vets vs Civil Service

With four courts in action it really was a case of dipping in and out but in the first round of matches :

(2) John Simpson was too strong for an injured Craig Webb (pulled adductor, first injury of the day) who had to drop out afterwards. 3-0 to John.

(3) John Parkes just seems to get fitter and faster with age. Anyone who plays him is in for a tough examination and Marc Aldridge was no exception with John coming through 3-1

(5) On a really hot court 10, Peter Lonsdale was made to work hard against the willing running of Joe Shills. Joe is really fit and that brought him through against Pete in a hard, sweat inducing 3-1

(6) Rob Reid raced away from Ethan Thornton in the first game with very controlled accurate placement of the ball only for the complete reverse in the second game with Ethan dominating the court. Rob regained the upper hand in the next two for a comfortable 3-1 win

So 3-1 to the vets and the second matches on.

(1) Nick Hargreaves and Tim Burrell put on some show. Both players chasing down the ball time after time with great shot making and retrieval. Tim came through for the Civil Service but it looked as though the effort had taken a lot out of him with the next match following on soon. 3-0 to Civil Service

(4) Chris Mason-Thom is a tall rangy player who covers the court really well and looks to extend rallies. This set up a good test against the hard attacking squash that Ray epitomises. Chris did work incredibly hard and a 0-3 result doesn’t reflect how much he put into the match. 3-0 to GB Vets.

(7) Nick Sheppard and Dan willets played the same match last year. That time Dan had a torn rotator and couldn’t play anything high. This time Nick came into the match nursing a back strain and with more than limited mobility. Nick took the first game but a bumping together at the start of the second aggravated his back strain (Nick withdrew after the match, second injury of the day). Despite pushing in the third, Dan was able to run out to a 3-1 win for the Civil Service.

So after almost exactly two hours play we had the first match result, a 4-3 win for the GB Vets

 

GB Vets

 

Civil Service

 

1

Nick Hargreaves

Lost to

Tim Burrell

0-3 (6/11, 7/11, 10/12)

2

John Simpson

Beat

Craig Webb

3-0 (11/8, 11/2, 11/6)

3

John Parkes

Beat

Marc Aldridge

3-1 (11/8, 11/8, 7/11, 11/6)

4

Ray Burke MBE

Beat

Chris Mason-Thom

3-0 (12/10, 11/6, 11/8)

5

Peter Lonsdale

Lost to

Joe Shills

1-3 (10/12, 6/11, 11/7, 6/11)

6

Rob Reid

Beat

Ethan Thornton

3-1 (11/3, 4/11, 11/6, 11/8)

7

Nick Sheppard

Lost to

Dan Willets

1-3 (11/9, 2/11, 11/13, 5/11)

     

GB Vets win

4-3

Civil Service vs Fire Service

(1) Neil Cross had a long drive from Colchester in the morning and it seemed to have had an effect as he made an uncharacteristic number of errors in going down to Tim Burrell, rallying for his second win – two impressive matches from Tim. 3-1 to Civil Service

(2) Travis Tatum travelled up from  Colchester with Neil and seemed to have the same car legs at the start of his match with plenty of unforced errors against Marc Aldridge. From then on Travis rallied and showed what a capable and graceful player he is with languid unhurried movement around the court and some wicked wristy angles on shots. 3-2 to Fire Service

(3) Mike Plant is a tall and very fit athlete with a long reach, very similar in fact to Chris! The difference between the two on the day was the work Chris had already put into his match earlier and with both players able to retrieve the ball consistently it was that tiredness that gave Mike the edge. Chris made a valiant effort to hold on in the third but to no avail. 3-0 to Fire Service

(4) If we could hook Joe Shills up to the national grid we wouldn’t need to worry about power generation in this country ever again. Fresh from a hard match with Peter Lonsdale, Joe was back on court to face Ross Bingham another player whose game is based on fitness. In so many respects an evenly matched pair but it was Joe who came back from narrowly losing the first two game to win the match while Ross then withdrew injured (third injury of the day). 3-2 to Civil Service.

(5) With Craig Webb dropping out, Peter Lonsdale volunteered to fill in for the Civil Service with his opponent, Steve, agreeing the make their match a double header for the Vets vs Fire Service which was due to follow. Another long match with Peter eventually taking the win. 3-2 to Civil Service

(6) Ethan had recovered from his experience against Rob Reid and was able to show off his normal level of racket skill in beating Shaun Cramer. 3-0 to Civil Service

(7) Karl Mullins must be well over 6 ½ feet tall with a reach to match. Karl also normally plays racketball and his shot choices favoured a lot of Australian boasts and other angles with not a lot hit straight. Dan had enough control to stay in front and take the match but admitted afterwards he was more than a bit confused by where the ball was going. 3-1 to Civil Service.

Again almost exactly two hours play and a 5-2 win to the Civil Service but some hard matches within that.

 

Civil Service

 

Fire Service

 

1

Tim Burrell

Beat

Neil Cross

3-1 (8/11, 11/9, 11/7, 12/10)

2

Marc Aldridge

Lost to

Travis Tatum

2-3 (11/2, 5/11, 11/3, 8/11, 7/11)

3

Chris Mason-Thom

Lost to

Mike Plant

0-3 (6/11, 4/11, 16/18)

4

Joe Shills

Beat

Ross Bingham

3-2 (12/14, 7/11, 11/9, 11/7, 11/3)

5

Peter Lonsdale

Beat

Steve Wyatt

3-2 (11/2, 12/14, 14/12, 9/11, 11/6)

6

Ethan Thornton

Beat

Shaun Cramer

3-0 (11/4, 11/8, 12/10)

7

Dan Willets

Beat

Karl Mullins

3-1 (11/7, 9/11, 11/7, 11/8)

     

Civil Service win

5-2

GB Vets vs Fire Service

(1) Neil continued to look a bit out of sorts against a really in form Nick Hargreaves and although he took the first game it always looked like Nick was the stronger player on the day. 3-1 to GB Vets

(2) Travis had definitely shaken off the car journey but John was just too quick and accurate to be wrong footed by Travis wristy shots. 3-0 to GB Vets

(3) So if you have played two hard matches in four hours do you really want the next to be against a rested John Parkes? Joe showed amazing stamina to come out and play hard again and kept the match tight against John who had just enough experience to see him home. 3-1 to GB Vets.

(4) Despite a hard fought win from Ray, Mike and Ray had enough in the tank to stay on and play each other again straight after. 3-2 to GB Vets.

(5) This was played earlier during the Civil Service vs Fire Service

(6) Rob Reid again showed accurate length and line hitting, putting the ball in difficult places for Shaun to get it back from. A well controlled win for Rob. 3-0 to GB Vets

(7) With Nick withdrawing, Peter Lonsdale stepped in to play Karl in what was a very dead rubber. As Peter joined in the racketball shots and eschewed drops it made for a very entertaining and close match, much to the hilarity of Karls sons who were trying to get embarrassing video clips of his rallies from the balcony.

So, final result 7-0 to the GB Vets but yet again there were some great 3-2 matches in there.

 

GB Vets

 

Fire Service

 

1

Nick Hargreaves

Beat

Neil Cross

3-1 (6/11, 11/8, 11/4, 12/10)

2

John Simpson

Beat

Travis Tatum

3-0 (11/4, 11/8, 11/4)

3

John Parkes

Beat

Joe Shills

3-1 (13/11, 11/13, 11/6, 11/9)

4

Ray Burke MBE

Beat

Mike Plant

3-2 (11/4, 3/11, 13/11, 3/11, 11/8)

5

Peter Lonsdale

Beat

Steve Wyatt

3-2 (11/2, 12/14, 14/12, 9/11, 11/6)

6

Rob Reid

Beat

Shaun Cramer

3-0 (11/9, 11/4, 11/3)

7

Peter Lonsdale

Beat

Karl Mullins

3-2 (14/12, 9/11, 11/8, 12/14, 11/6)

     

GB Vets win

7-0

Unfortunately, the threat of rail strikes meant that most players were keen to get home on the Saturday rather than stay over for a night investigating the bars of Nottingham like last year so pizzas and drinks were taken at NSRC before everyone made their ways home. Many thanks go to NSRC for again hosting this event. It is clear they are struggling through some difficult times and we all wish them the best of luck and hope they can come through it intact and viable. Also big thanks to the other captains, Nick Shepherd and Neil Cross for bringing out players who really got into the spirit of the day and made it all thoroughly enjoyable. I would like to thank all the Civil Servants who came out to play. A date is being arranged for next year and there is interest from a fourth team in joining in.

GB Vets 2023