Thrilling conclusion to the LSRC Plate tournaments

The annual Squash and Racketball Plate tournaments concluded last week, with two brilliantly contested finals taking place at the Lilleshall National Sports Centre.

The finals had been due to be played on 19 Dec, but were postponed into the New Year following the maintenance work which took place on the Club’s courts.

Andy Reed and Dave Frost met in the Racketball Plate final on Weds 23 Jan and following some superb rallies and closely contested games, it was Andy who sealed the inaugural title with a 3-0 victory.

The Racketball Plate tournament, which was launched by the Club for the first time last year, was open to preliminary and first round losers of the main Racketball Open competition. Andy and Dave lost their first round Racketball Open matches against Pete Langston and Steve McClelland respectively, but then worked their way through the rest of the Plate field to face-off in the final. Andy and Dave defeated Tony Waldron and Tim Mansell respectively in their semi-final matches, prior to the final showdown.

Steve McClelland (left) secured the Squash Plate title with a tight 3-0 victory over Joel Reed.

Steve McClelland and Joel Reed lined up in the Squash Plate final on Sat 26 Jan, with both players contributing to a high-quality match which showcased a series of tactical well-crafted rallies.

Joel missed the opportunity to convert three game balls in the opening game of the match, with Steve making him rue his errors, as he took the first game 20-18. Steve then went on to seal the title, edging the next two games 15-13 and 15-11, to complete a well-deserved 3-0 win.

The Squash Plate tournament was open to preliminary and first round losers of the Squash Open competition. Steve battled past Hardip Sahota and Stuart Clark in the earlier rounds to reach the final, having lost his Squash Open preliminary against Tony Vrahimis. Joel was previously beaten 3-0 by Pete Howells in the opening round of the Squash Open, but went on to defeat Dave Diss and Dave Frost on his way to the Plate final.

The highly anticipated Squash Open final had been due to be contested by Sam Clark and Tony Vrahimis last week, but it was postponed due to a recent injury picked up by Sam. The game will be rescheduled very soon.

Steve McClelland will be involved in final action once again, when he plays Kevin Redstone in the Racketball Open final, which is due to be played in the next few weeks.

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LSRC to close early for the Christmas break

The Club will be closing down for the Christmas holidays slightly earlier than normal this year on Friday 14th December due to essential maintenance work which is being carried out on our courts. This work has been commissioned and coordinated by Lilleshall National Sports Centre.

The maintenance work will start from midday on Friday 14th December and will involve all five of our courts undergoing various fixes to the floors and walls. The work is due to be completed before the Club reopens again in the New Year on Wednesday 2nd January 2019. Members will therefore be unable to book courts through the Centre during this time period.

The following Club activities will be affected by the maintenance work:

  • Junior and Adult coaching sessions on Saturday 15th December 2018.
    • The coaching sessions will start again from Saturday 5th January 2019 at the usual times.
  • Club nights on Wednesday 19th and Thursday 20th December 2018.
    • The first Club night of the New Year will take place on Wednesday 2nd January.
  • Our B Team’s (home) squash match against Shrewsbury SRC ‘F’ on Thursday 20th December 2018.
    • This match will be rescheduled and Martin Powell, our B Team Captain, will inform his squad of any developments.
  • The various tournament finals which were due to be played on Wednesday 19th December 2018.
    • These finals will be rescheduled for the New Year and competitors will be notified about new dates by our Chairman, Paul Evans.

The Club would like to pass on their sincerest apologies to our members for any inconvenience this news has caused, particularly to the members who were planning on playing either squash or racketball with us next week, but the news of this maintenance work and early closure only came through to the Committee yesterday from the Centre’s management team.

We’d like to thank all our members for another fantastic year of support and the Committee would like to pass on our wishes to everyone for the festive season ahead.

Merry Christmas and we hope to see you all in the New Year, when the Club will be celebrating its landmark 50th Anniversary – a huge milestone that we plan to celebrate in style during the summer.

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Squash Ladder – Challenge Anyone!

The internal squash ladder has been running since September 2018 and it’s great to see that so many club members have supported this new initiative and taken part in some closely contested matches.

For those who are unfamiliar with the squash ladder format, we have an important rule which stipulates you can only challenge up to six players above you in the ladder, e.g. Player #30 can only challenge up to Player #24 – but no higher.

However, as we’re entering the festive month of December, as a Christmas bonus to our playing community, we have decided to waiver this ‘Six-Up Rule’ throughout December, meaning that from Saturday 1st Dec, players can challenge anyone in the ladder, irrespective of their current ranking status.

For example, if you are currently ranked #40 in the ladder and you’ve always wanted to have a crack at a player from the Top Ten, then this is your chance to do so. If you’re ranked mid-table and want to challenge our current Club #1 (Keith Hansell), then now you can do so.

All the normal ladder rules will remain exactly the same, with the exception of the ‘Six Up’ stipulation. So, from next month, this is your opportunity to climb the ladder swiftly and establish your new ranking.

The ‘Six Up’ rule will return from Tuesday 1st Jan 2019.

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‘Pitch and Play’ to move to Weds nights

The final Thursday night ‘Pitch and Play’ squash session will take place in its current format on 1st November 2018.

After this time, the session will be moving over to Wednesday nights at 7.30pm, starting from 7th November 2018 onwards.

This will ensure regular ‘Pitch and Play’ participants have access to our glass back squash courts at all times throughout the year, allowing for a more sociable atmosphere, and the session won’t clash directly with our B team’s county league home matches, which take place on Thursday nights and previously meant ‘Pitch and Play’ participants were moved down on to the ‘Corridor Courts’.

The club’s court booking sheets will be updated accordingly by LSRC committee members to reflect this change.

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New coaching initiative to begin in Nov 2018

Lilleshall Squash and Racketball Club are launching a new coaching initiative next month to provide local juniors and adults of all ages and abilities with the opportunity to learn how to play the sport.

The club, who are based within Queen’s Hall at the Lilleshall National Sports Centre, near Newport in Telford, have partnered with Courtney Downing, a Level 4 Professional Coach, who has represented the England over 40s international team during recent years.

Downing, a ten-time Shropshire county squash champion, who has been involved in the sport since he was 8 years-old, will be providing three expert coaching sessions to a range of different age groups on Saturday afternoons starting on 3rd November 2018.

“The idea of these coaching sessions is to give people, who may not have tried the sport before, an introduction to the game and the opportunity to try it out for themselves,” said Downing.

“We’re encouraging people of all ages and abilities to take part in a great sport that is excellent for fitness and can be played all year round.”

The club will be offering all junior players (aged 17 years old and under) their first coaching session completely free-of-charge, with the fee then reverting to a standard price of £3 per child per session, or £5 for two children attending together. Adult coaching will cost up to a maximum of £25.00 for a one-on-one 45 minute session. This price is variable and can work out cheaper depending on the total amount of adults attending the session (i.e. splitting the costs).

The club, which was established nearly half-a-century ago in 1969, is hoping to build on the recent successes enjoyed by England’s international squash team at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, where former World #1 professional squash player James Willstrop, along with Midlands-based professional Sarah-Jayne Perry, secured Commonwealth Gold and Silver medals respectively in their final matches on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia.

Downing will be coaching three different sessions on Saturday afternoons including; Under 12s (14:15 – 15:00), 12-17 year olds (15:00 – 15:45) and Adults (15:45-16:30). Squash equipment, including rackets, balls and safety goggles, will be provided for all junior players.

Squash is a racket sport played by either two (singles) or four players (doubles squash) in a four-walled indoor court with a small, hollow rubber ball. The players must alternate in striking the ball with their racket against the front wall until a player cannot get it back any more.

Squash provides an excellent cardiovascular workout, allowing players to keep fit all year round. In one hour of squash, a player may expend between 600 to 1000 calories, while receiving an extensive upper and lower body workout. Played in 188 countries across the globe, squash has previously been rated by Forbes as the number one healthiest sport to play.

Racketball, which originated in America and is also known as ‘Squash 57’, is a similar game to squash but is a slower-paced game played with a larger racket and ball.

You can find out more about these coaching sessions by contacting the Club Chairman, Paul Evans on (01952) 812655 or visiting

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Tournament Dates and Fixtures Announced

Tournament Dates and Fixtures Announced

The respective draws for the Open Squash and Racketball tournaments were made earlier this afternoon throwing up some intriguing matches between now and the end of the year.

Details of the full draw can be found here, along with further information from Chairman, Paul Evans.

Entrants should be aware that Preliminary and First Round losers will automatically be entered into the Plate competitions for Squash and Racketball and these tournaments will run concurrently along with the main Squash and Racketball Open draws.

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Winter league pre-season friendlies announced

Winter league pre-season friendlies announced

Our county squash teams are scheduled to play in two friendly matches against rival clubs ahead of the new winter season, which begins next month.

Lilleshall SRC ‘A’ and ‘B’, who are captained by Keith Hansell and Martin Powell respectively, will travel to Bishops Castle on Tuesday 11th Sept (6:20pm) and Wolverhampton Lawn Tennis & Squash Club on Thursday 20th Sept.

Lilleshall SRC ‘B’, who will be competing in Division 3 this season, will begin their campaign at home on Thursday 4th October against Castle Country SC (7:15pm) and Lilleshall SRC ‘A’, who will be playing above them in Division 2, will stage their first game the following week on Tuesday 9th October at home against Wolverhampton LTSC ‘B’.

It would be greatly appreciated if our club members could come down and support our players during these two matches and throughout the rest of the season, which runs through until April 2019. All home fixtures will be staged on our main show courts (4 and 5).

Please note that our weekly ‘Pitch and Play’ session will be hosted on Courts 1-3 (hardback courts) when Lilleshall SRC ‘B’ are scheduled to play at home. You can check our club board for further details.

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Nick Matthew coming to Shropshire

Nick Matthew, England’s most successful professional squash player of all-time, will be visiting our county later this month to play in a series of fun-filled exhibition matches at the Shropshire Squash Club in Shrewsbury.

Matthew, a former three-time World, Commonwealth and British Open champion, will be in Shropshire on Saturday 15th September 2018, taking part in three sessions (11.00am – 1.00pm, 2.00pm – 4.00pm (Juniors only) and 5.00pm – 7.00pm) which are limited to 50 people per session.

The former World #1, who is nicknamed ‘The Wolf’ and recently retired from the professional game, will visit Shrewsbury as part of his ‘UK Tour #WolfOnTour’, which will see him visit 13 various squash clubs across the country.

Each session will last approx. two hours and comprise of several elements, including:

  • Direct Q & A
  • Playing & training tips and coaching
  • Play the Pro session
  • Full exhibition match
  • Photo & signature opportunities

Tickets can be obtained directly from Shropshire Squash Club at a cost of £10 (per ticket) and there are limited amounts of tickets remaining for the early session (11.00am – 1.00pm).

Full details here.

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Sam Clark wins Dave Fox title

The other finals evening took place on Wednesday 20th June. A closely fought final in the Dave Fox (handicap) competition, with Sam Clark defeating Steve McClelland to win 3-0.

The trophy was awarded to the winner by Paul Evans (pictured, centre) following the conclusion of the game and photos taken by John Haskins and Joel Reed.

The result below :

Dave Fox (Squash handicap)

  • Winner – Sam Clark
  • R/U – Steve McClelland

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Contact Us

General Enquires

Paul Evans - Club Chairman
+44 (01952) 812655

Membership Enquires

Vasan - Club Treasurer
+44 (07579 761185)

Our email addresses are for genuine club enquiries.
Any phishing emails will be reported.

Lilleshall National Sports Centre
England Squash
Squash 57
Lilleshall Squash and Racketball Club