Cockram goes to last-match Plate decider

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- Credit: Archant

Sidmouth ended the season on a high when they became Devon Plate Champions at the finals night held at Devon and Exeter Squash Club.

Sidmouth met a strong Dartington team who play two divisions above them in the Devon Leagues.

With many of the regular team holidaying after a long season, racketball ace Rob Cann was drafted into the side at late notice to fill the number five position.

Cann put in a determined performance –and was beginning to get used to the longer racket and smaller ball – but was eventually overcome by his opponent.

Paul Symington was unlucky not to get more from his fourth string game, but his opponent’s awkward style got the better of him and Sidmouth were 2-0 down with a mountain to climb.


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Sidmouth captain Alick Russell managed to keep his team in the match by edging his third string game against Jon Whiley.

Having been 2-0 up and cruising, Russell let the third and fourth games slip to suddenly find himself in a deciding game.

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With both players tiring Russell once again found his length and accuracy to win 15-11 in the fifth.

Chris Woodruff made a fantastic comeback to win 3-2 against a very fit Dominic Fenton.

Having gone 2-0 down, news of his captain’s victory inspired Woodruff to find top gear and he played superb squash for the next three games to win an epic match 3-2.

The stage was now set for Alan Cockram at number one and he thrives on the big stage.

Martin Billis edged the first game while Alan was still finding his rhythm, but Alan fought back to take the next two games and a 2-1 lead.

Billis played some excellent squash to steal the fourth game and get 12-9 ahead in the fifth.

Sidmouth sensed the shield could be slipping away but Cockram had other ideas. He clawed his way back to 14-14 and a loud cheer erupted from the balcony as he sealed the win 16-14 crowning Sidmouth deserved champions.

The shield was duly presented, speeches were made, food and drink was enjoyed and a great night was had by all.

Sidmouth also finished a strong third in their league this season, just missing out on a promotion place.

Sidmouth would like to thank their sponsors for their support through the season.

The shirts year were sponsored by Signs South West and Leisure East Devon. The main sponsor and venue for after match-entertaining is Sidmouth’s Black Horse Inn.

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