It has been over 10 years since Bridlington were last represented in the Humber and District Squash League; the home of the region’s top squash talent.
Bridlington Squash League was setup over 5 years ago and has developed from 20 players to in excess of 70 active players, moving from the Sports Hall on Gypsey Road to their brand new facilities at East Riding Leisure Bridlington.
With a rich pool of talent to choose from, Ian Thurlbeck and Steve Brown felt it was now time for Bridlington to be represented at a Regional Level again.
Steve, often referring to himself as ‘The Dark Destroyer’ or ‘The Left Handed Assassin’, is one of the original players from the last time Bridlington were represented in the Humber League and was elected Vice Captain, probably his greatest achievement in the sport that he loves dearly.
Ian and Steve gained local sponsorship from The Jewellers Academy, a training centre for jewellery repairs, and The Workshop, both in the heart of Bridlington on Prospect Street. The Workshop, with its onsite goldsmith and Swiss trained watch and clock repairer, retailer of bespoke gold and silver jewellery, along with The Jewellers Academy, were keen to sponsor the team and finance their kits.
Cheryl Boyd, of The Workshop said: “We`ve had a business in the town for the past 17 years and have been well supported by locals so I think supporting the local squash team is the least we can do. We always like to give something back to the local community and wish the team luck for the rest of the season”.
With their 8 man squad; Ian Thurlbeck as Team Captain, had the difficult decision of choosing just four players to play in each match. With each match being Best-Of-5-Games and each game point being so valuable, tough decisions were made and only the in-form players were picked.
Adam Yates, current reigning champion of Bridlington Squash League, brought a vast amount of experience to the squad, formerly representing Beverley and Malton at Regional Level. Adam’s son Alex, one of the most improved players in Bridlington Squash League over the last 12 months also joined the squad and made it a family affair.
After strong performances in the recent Bridlington Summer Squash League, Nick ‘Poster Boy’ Malarkey and Chris ‘Golliath’ Grainger were given spots in the squad and the final two positions went to veterans Glyn ‘The Bishop’ Owen and Derek ‘Derk’ Boyd. The Bishop and Derk have been consistently good players for the past five years and brought valuable experience.
Bridlington Squash visited Hull and East Riding D for their first match in the Humber Division, over 10 years after their last appearance at this level. The season got off to a slow start with draws against Hull D and Appleby Frodingham and then defeats away at Barrow and at home to Beverley – the two strongest teams in the division.
Ian said; “It was a bit slow to start with but I think a few of the players were a little bit nervous. The standard of some of the players we came up against surprised us and it took us a while to start to relax and let our shots go.”
A heavy defeat away at Hull and East Riding E with regulars Adam and Ian missing proved somewhat of a turning point, and results started to improve after that.
Ian said “Our first win of the season came at home to Blackburn and everyone put in a real shift”. Bridlington scored 14 out of a maximum 15 points and the charge began.
The Dark Destroyer and Poster Boy were both hitting form, a positive vibe was surging through the squad. The Left Handed Assassin celebrated the first victory by introducing ‘Team Aftershave’ for after matches and tried to give the Team a ‘Fantasy Football’ style nickname. (The boys didn`t mind the aftershave but Squash and Becks was never going to stick).
A draw away to Hull and East Riding F followed by victories against Goole and Haltemprice helped Bridlington move up the league.
With the Christmas Mid-Season Break approaching, Bridlington extended their unbeaten run with a draw against Hull University and a victory at home to David Lloyd Hull.
Bridlington were Mid-Table going into the new year and are looking forward to the second half of the season.