The Senior Inter County Championships were held in Nottingham from 30th April to 1st May. Eight of the top Counties in England fought battle to decide who became National Champions.
Ben Coleman
Richie Fallows
Rory Pennell
Paul Rawden
Owain Taylor
Gary Nisbet
and David Lararus
Round 1 saw Essex Men take on Sussex. First on were Essex debutant’s Gary Nisbet and Paul Rawden. Gary lost a tight 0 – 3 at 5 whilst Paul was a comfortable 3 – 1 winner at 3. On court next was the ever reliable Ben Coleman at 1 and another Essex debutant Owain Taylor. As ever, Ben prevailed to win 3 – 0 whilst Owain just got pipped 2 – 3. Last on was Richie Fallows who comfortably won 3 – 1 to give Essex a 3 – 2 win overall and into the Semi Finals.
The Semi Final against Nottingham was always going to be a close affair. Both teams had world ranked players and Essex were playing against the Home Club who came with a lot of support.
Owain Taylor at 5 and Rory Pennell at 3 started the ball rolling for Essex. Owain who had played a long match in the morning had another marathon epic against England Over 35 player Nick Hargreaves. Owen played a much more disciplined game and just nicked the 5th against his fitness fanatic opponent. Rory had a much easier path against a younger inexperienced opponent and pulled through 3 – 0. A great start from Essex who then had Ben and Paul next on. Paul played his best squash of the weekend providing nicks from all over the Court and won his match 14 – 12 in the deciding rubber hitting a cross court backhand rolling nick. At the same time the two number 1’s were on. The pace was terrific with some great shot making from Nottingham’s Number 1 Declan James and some great scurrying from Ben Coleman. Ben continued to pick balls up from everywhere and Dec eventually ran out of ideas and Ben went on to win 3 – 1. Lastly on was Richie who retired in the third to save energy for the final for the next day. Essex beat Nottinghamshire 4 – 1.
Essex were in the final against local rivals Kent and were determined to go one better than two years ago when Essex were runners up. No one could predict the outcome of this final. The match kept swinging one way then another, results were unexpected! Owain and Rory played first and with some hard hitting Owain pummelled his opponent to the back of the court to whom he had previously lost a week before. Owain was unstoppable and totally committed and won 3 – 1. Rory couldn’t stop his opponent hitting hard low cross court shots which Rory could only boast back. This put his opponent in front with some clinical drop shots and Rory unexpectedly lost 0 – 3. The match was poised at 1 – 1. Next on Court was Ben and Paul and unfortunately Paul got injured in the first game and went down 0 - 3 which put Essex on the back foot. Ben was 1 – 2 down and Essex looked like losing the final yet again. Ben dug deep and pulled the game around and ended up winning a gutsy 3 – 2 which made the score level. Our number 2 Richie Fallows and world ranked 65 used all his athleticism and flexibility to an emphatic 3 – 0 victory against a fine shot making player.
Essex were the victorious 3 – 2 winners and became Champions of England !!!
A fine all round team performance who truly battled and gave their all the whole weekend. Well done lads!!

Team Manager
David Lazarus