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Faultless show from squash side Haverhill Devonports

Squash captain Malcolm Day has admitted his ‘shock’ at Devonports’ unexpected promotion push in Division Four of the Cambridgeshire Squash League.

His comments follow the Devonports recording a fifth maximum score of their league campaign, at home to Newmarket II, to wrap up the first half of the season.

The season had begun poorly, however, with two losses from their opening three fixtures, as Devonports adjusted to life in the division; they had been relegated from Division Three at the end of last season.

Devonports Haverhill squash team 2018/19 Division Four of Cambridge Squash League (5924641)
Devonports Haverhill squash team 2018/19 Division Four of Cambridge Squash League (5924641)

But adjust they did, with six consecutive victories – including four 5-0 whitewashes – leaving them knocking on the door of a top two finish, and promotion.

“To be honest,” Day said, “we didn’t really think we would be anywhere near a promotion place.

“But everyone has been playing so well and things are feeling so confident at the moment.

“We have three players who could be our number one player, and that’s a very good position to be in.”

Devonports were due to face Peterborough III away last night in the first round of the Hereward Cup and, despite their opposition playing in the division above, were confident of progressing.

Day said the team were gunning for a chance to take on rivals Newmarket I – who enjoyed a first round bye – in the next stage.

He added that, although the team were underdogs in a tournament for clubs in Divisions Three and Four, recent strong league results put them in good stead for a cup run.

And, in their last outing, the 5-0 home win over Newmarket II, the team dropped just one set on the way to victory in a ‘faultless performance’.

Day said: “We have one of our strongest teams available at the moment.

“The return of James (Fitzpatrick) has made a big difference to us – he hadn’t played in three years, since the first team disbanded, but has got back into it quickly.

“Even with the strength of the team though, I’m not sure any of us expected to be quite this competitive, and we’re definitely looking at promotion now.”

He said the team could yet be strengthened even further with Wayne Bamforth still sidelined with a knee injury, but revealed they could also lose Nathan Ttophi, if his military posting is moved from the area.

“We might get stronger, or we might get weaker,” he said.

“Who knows at the moment, but it’s nice to have a player like Wayne still to play this season.”

They will hope to replicate the form they produced last week as Gary Last, Ttophi, Tony Archer, Fitzpatrick and Day saw off their opposition with relative ease.

Devonports will return to league action on January 17, away to table topping Fenland, who beat them 4-1 in the opening game of the season.

But, depending on the result last night, they may have a second round cup tie against Newmarket.

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