We were geared up for two very interesting finals today, both of which would produce first-time Tour Title Winners!
The women’s final was between local favourite, 17 year old Saran Nghiem and Lucy Beecroft.
The men’s final was between Miles Jenkins and James Peach, both players had comfortable wins in 32 and 36 minutes respectively, so fatigue shouldn’t be a problem for either player. Likewise for the women as both won their semi-finals in around 20 minutes.
The club has had a very busy, long weekend. The club has put on graded events for adults and juniors and there has been some really exciting squash in all events. The club organizers and volunteers have helped produce a tremendous tournament which has been well supported by the community, both onsite and watching via live streaming. The Cheetham Hill Committee would really like to thank their sponsors for providing the backing for the event.
Women’s Final: Lucy Beecroft 3-0 Saran Nghiem
Lucy got off to a confident start and went 2-0 up. Saran reacted and levelled the score, both were moving very well and looking for openings. Both were pushing their opponent into the back corners and looking to put the ball away in the front of the court. At 6-6 Lucy pushed hard and went 9-6 up. And continued to take the first game 11-6.Saran started the second game with real intent and moved Lucy from front to back and finished the point with good tight drop shots to take a 4-1 lead.
But Lucy fought back to level at 4-4. Lucy then had a bit of a purple patch and moved to 8-5 but Saran took the fight to Lucy and levelled it up at 9-9. It was thrilling stuff and kept getting better. At 10-10, Lucy pushed ahead to game ball at 11-10 but Saran pulled it back to equal at 11-11, but Lucy wasn’t to be denied and took the second game 13-11 in 12 minutes.
In the third game, Saran again got off to a good start but little by little Lucy pegged her back and chipped away with her long drops form the back of the court to frustrate Saran into making too many mistakes and ran out a winner at 11-5.
Men’s Final: Miles Jenkins 3-0 James Peach
Both players were looking for an early breakthrough but it stayed fairly equal until Miles took a two point lead at 5-3. But James was hitting consistent straight lengths and pulled it back to 6-6. Miles gathered himself and opened up a 10-7 lead and won 11-8.
The second followed the same scenario and got to 4-4 and then it was nip and tuck until 9-9 when Miles just got a head and finished it off 11-9.
The third game got underway with both players attacking with deep drives to the back corners and then looking for a short ball to put away at the front. James was now looking to take the ball in short at the earliest opportunity. The score advanced to 6-6 with James pushing hard but Miles went ahead with a good tight drive and a stroke ball gave him a 8-6 lead.
Miles followed that up with a couple of volley drop winners to take him to match ball at 10-7. And hung on to win 11-9. A really fast tempo game played in an excellent spirit.
Lucy Beecroft 3-0 Katie Wells
The first semi-final of the day has Lucy Beecroft up against Katie Wells. Both Katie and Lucy had 3-0 wins in their respective quarter finals without expending a great deal of energy so it was looking good for an exciting, close match. Beecroft started well and raced into an early 5-0 lead, before Katie made an impression on the score. But three quick points got her back within touching distance before Lucy responded with 3 unanswered points to open up the gap again, Lucy continued to dominate and took the first game 11-4.
Lucy took control in the second game and had Katie going to all four corners of the court. The game was over quickly Lucy asserting her superiority to full effect to take the game 11-6.
The third game continued in the same vein with Lucy dominating completely and securing her passage to the final with a resounding 3-0 win: 11-4, 11-6, 11-4
James Peach 3-0 Curtis Malik
James got off to the better start and went into a 5-2 lead before Curtis made a mini comeback to 5-7 before Jame pulled away again to take the first game 11-5. Right handed Curtis was almost a mirror image of left handed James, both hitting straight and playing straight drops.
The second game was a more cagey affair with both players using lengths and tight drops to keep in the game and looking for their opponent to make mistakes. As the game enfolded James took the initiative and worked the ball to Curtis’s backhand and ran out an 11-6 winner.
In the third game, the pace of the game stayed the same with neither player willing to take many attacking shots, both relying on good lengths to the back of the court waiting for errors. James continued to be the steadier of the two and ran out a 11-4 winner in the third to win 11-5, 11-6, 11-5.
Saran Nghiem 3-0 Emma Bartley
Saran got off to a flying start and raced to an 11-1 win. Saran’s use of her length and speed to wrong foot Emma was evident and so it proved on the scorecard. The second game was closer but Saran always had the edge and the game was hers, 11-6. This is a young lady going places.
In the third game Emma came out flying and raced into a 3-0 lead. Saran recovered to level it up at 3-3, Emma battled hard and stayed in the game to 6-6. Then Saran picked up the pace and used her strength to keep Emma in the back corners and rushed to an 11-7 victory. The local girl is really going places, a superb win. Result: 11-1, 11-6, 11-7.
Miles Jenkins 3-1 Ben Smith
Ben got off to the steadier start and used his reach to good effect and kept his nose in front to win game one. Miles came out in game two and used his strength and all-court game to edge ahead in the second game. In the third his continued pressure brought him a swift reward as he romped away with it. Game four, Miles proved to be the stronger, steadier player and edged ahead. The match appeared to be heading to a foregone conclusion as Ben tired. Miles won 6-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-1.
Quarter-Finals : Dave Scurlock reports
Curtis Malik 3-1 Lewis Doughty
Curtis and Lewis were first up, the match got off to a fast start with Curtis leading the way with some crisp hitting to the back corners and tight drops to Clark Clarkthe front corners. He took the first two games 11-6, 11-6 and looked to be heading for a comfortable 3-0 win but Lewis came out in the third after some lengthy rallies pulled a game back 11-8 and looked to be getting more into the match. The fourth game was hotly contested and Curtis just managed to keep in front to register a 3-1 win: 11-6, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9 in 48 minutes.
Katie Wells 3-0 Asia Harris
The first game was very close with Asia looking likely to win but Katie fought back at the end of the game to record a 12-10 win. The second and third games were fairly comfortable for Katie as Asia hit the tin on too many occasions and ran out a 3-0 winner: 12-10, 11-5, 11-7.
James Peach 3-0 Perry Malik
The match was full of excellent rallies, good court coverage and some superb winners. It was a fairly even game but James was always in control and ran out a 3-0 winner: 11-5, 11-8, 11-6.
Lucy Beecroft 3-0 Kiera Marshall
Lucy got off to a quick start and fairly dominated the first game, her depth on her drives and cross courts put Kiera under pressure and allowed Lucy to put away her front court shots. The match continued with Lucy controlling the play and she ran out a 3-0 winner: 11-5, 11-8, 11-6.
Ben Smith 3-1 Owain Taylor
Ben got off to the steadier start and kept his early lead to push for a 11-6 advantage. Ben continued pushing and pressuring Owain into too many mistakes and won the second game 11-2. In the third Owain got off to a fast start and kept his lead to register an 11-3 win to make the match an interesting watch.The fourth game stayed close with both players sticking to their game plan. Ben pushed ahead and managed to get to match ball and win the match. 11-6, 11-2, 3-11, 11-6.
Emma Bartley 3-0 Polly Clark
Emma got off to a fine start and used her reach to move Polly around the court. She kept hitting down on the ball to create pressure situations for Polly. Emma was using her length to take time away from Polly and make it difficult for Polly in the front corners. An 11-7 first game for Emma was followed by a very tight second and third game, both of which Emma won 12-10 to run out a 3-0 winner: 11-7, 12-10, 12-10.
Miles Jenkins 3-0 Fergus Richards
Miles put the pressure on from the outset of the match and used his pace and crisp hitting to engineer his openings. The first game went Miles’ way 11-5. In the second he kept the pressure up moving Fergus from corner to corner. His accurate length hitting enabled him to drag Fergus into the front corners and cement his superiority. Fergus put up great resistance and rallied but wentdown 3-11. In the third game Fergus swept into a 5-2 lead but Miles hit back and won the next 8 points to take him to match ball and a 3-0 win: 11-5, 11-3, 11-6.
Saran Nighiem 3-0 Emilia Korhonen
Saran got off to a slow start but gradually got back into the game to level it up at 6-6. The game continued point for point until Saran grabbed a two point lead and held on to win 11-9. Saran continued with her all court game mixing her drives with good, tight lobs to the back corners. From 4-4 she took the next 7 points to take the second game 11-4. The third game was a tighter affair but at 7-5 Saran kept herself ahead in the match and won the third 11-9.
Day ONE : Dave Scurlock reports
Katie Wells and Tashy Baker got the event going. Tashy seemed to have a shoulder injury and really had no answer to Katie’s immaculate straight length and crosscourt accuracy. It was a routine 11-6, 11-5, 11-9 victory for the Lincolnshire girl.
On the men’s side, Curtis Malik was too strong and powerful for Robert Howarth (RSA), Robert was 1-0 down before he knew it. He picked up in the second but Curtis ran out a comfortable 3-0 winner: 11-1, 11-8, 11-5
Next up for the men: David Haley v Lewis Doughty. The match settled into a battle down the backhand wall, a game of nip and tuck. Lewis took the first game after twenty minutes of play. And the match continued in the same vein, a real battle of attrition which Lewis won in three: 13-11, 11-8, 11-9.
Next up for the women: Asia Harris v Nia Davies. Asia played very positive squash, a solid sound performance with accurate hitting to the back corners and error-free squash, to win: 11-5, 11-7, 15-13.
Lucy Beecroft v Jasmin Karlar (seeded 6) was a very straightforward win for Lucy against the seeded Jasmin. Lucy won 11-3, 11-3, 11-3.
Perry Malik v Simon Herbert was played at a fast and furious pace. Simon kept the momentum going and established a 2-0 lead and looked to be heading to a 3-0 victory with his straight lengths and straight drops but in the third game Perry used lifts to get the ball deep and picked off Simon’s returns to take the third. In the fourth play continued with Perry using height and drops to edge the game and take the match to a fifth. Perry carried on with his game plan and took the fifth for a 3-2 win: 5-11, 8-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-8.
James Peach took on James Wilkinson with Mr Peach taking the match 3-0 for a comfortable victory.
Chloe Foster took on Kiera Marshall. The match was played at a fast pace with Kiera winning the first 11-6 before Chloe fought back to take the second game 11-6. But Kiera was not to be denied and won 11-4, 11-8 for a 3-1 victory.
Polly Clark v Abby Hicks, some strong hitting from both girls with both using the lengths well, Polly’s use of her boasts proved to be an excellent weapon enabling her to move her opponent around the court. Polly quickly gained a 2-0 lead and kept the pressure on in the third with some accurate serving and straight hitting to a length, winning 3-0, 11-7, 11-9, 11-6.
On the men’s side Nick Ratnarajah took on Owain Taylor. Owain took charge from the outset and kept Nick moving around and won 3-0: 11-3, 11-6, 11-3.
On the women’s side, Emma Bartley took on Sofia Aveiro Pita. The game was played at pace and with Emma using her height and reach she managed to put Sofia under a lot of pressure and took the first game handily. Sofia was very mobile and she kept Emma on her toes. Emma hit the ball severely into the front corners to keep her ahead in the match. Emma ran out a 3-0 winner: 11-8, 11-9, 11-8 in a hard fought match.
Aaron Allpress took on Ben Smith in the next match. Ben Smith raced into an early lead but Aaron reacted and gained some points in a mini comeback but Ben grabbed the lead once again and won the first game. The second game followed the same path, but again Ben proved to be too strong and came out on top. In the third game Aaron forced the pace and won quite handily. Ben rallied in the fourth and ran out a 3-1 winner:
In the next match in the women’s draw local favourite, 17 year old Saran Nghiem was up against Rosie Kirsch. The first game kicked off with Saran pushing the pace and taking the first game 11-2. Saran continued in the same vein and took the second game 11-3 with an impressive display of pace and precision. Saran showed no nerves at all and completely dominated the third game to win emphatically 11-2. Result: 11-2, 11-3, 11-3.
In the next match, number 2 seed Miles Jenkins took on Alasdair Prott. The match was played at a fast pace and Miles dominated the first two games and looked solid. It was a classic backhand fight down the sidewall with both players looking for openings. Miles was always in control in a hard fought close match with him finally running out a 3-0 winner: 11-1, 12-10 13-11.
The final women’s match of the day saw Aisha Forster take on number 1 seed Emilia Korhonen. The match was tightly contested but Emilia just had the edge throughout the match to complete a 3-0 victory: 11-5, 11-5, 11-9.
The final men’s match saw local favourite, 17 year old Finn Withington take on number 8 seed Fergus Richards. Fergus managed to get in front in the first two games and had Finn covering most of the court. The third game started with both players trying to get the upper hand. It was nip and tuck but Fergus managed to get in front and held on to win.
The Arion Homes Cheetham Hill Classic £3000 PSA Event gets underway tomorrow with some really tough looking first round draws.
Top seed Curtis Malik plays Robert Howarth (RSA) in the first round. The rest of the seeds: Miles Jenkins, Owain Taylor, James Peach, Ben Smith, Lewis Doughty, Perry Malik all have difficult games with Alasdair Prott, recent winner of the 305 Crewe Event, and local youngster Finnlay Withington vying to cause an upset.
The women’s event is also a 16 draw and is packed with talent from top seed, Emilia Korhonen (FIN) to Katie Wells, Polly Clark, Kiera Marshall, Jasmin Kalar, Nia Davies, Sofia Aveiro Pita (POR) and local favourite, Saran Nghiem respectively. The draws make interesting reading and fans are definitely looking for lower ranked players to cause upsets.
Both the men’s and women’s events get underway on Thursday after lunch so why not join us at Cheetham Hill for a weekend of high quality squash. The club will make you all very welcome. If you can’t make it to the club you can follow all the action live on YouTube.