Women’s Final: Grace Gear vs Georgia Adderley
Both women started strongly with exchanges down the backhand wall. Grace hit an excellent crosscourt to get back to 2-2 but was immediately under pressure from Georgia but fought back to 3-3. Both players were taking it in turns to win the rally. Grace was looking at taking it in short at the earliest opportunity. And it was paying off as she went into a 7-4 lead. But a great boast from Georgia got it back to 6-7. And then she made it to 7-7, but Grace responded to go to 8-7 but Georgia came back to 9-9 before she tinned an easy forehand to hand the first game to Grace.
In the second Grace got off to a great start to lead 3-0 and then extended it to 4-1 after Georgia dived for a shot in vain. Grace continued with her game plan of taking the ball in short but Georgia fought back to 5-5. Grace kept hitting the ball short and it was proving to be the winning solution and went ahead again at 8-6. Another attempt at a short shot let Grace down this time. But a great length got her back to 9-7 but again Georgia levelled at 9-9. Another dive from Georgia came to no avail and Grace served for the game but Georgia levelled at 10-10 and went ahead to win the game 12-10 and level the match at 1-1. Grace seems to struggle to close out games.
Grace continued to take the initiative and take the ball in short, she moved to a 2-0 lead. And then smoothly to 6-0 before Georgia got a point on the board. Georgia surged back and took the next three points before another series of short shots took Grace to 7-3. And then two great lengths got Grace to 9-3, and another straight drop got her to 10-3 and then game, 11-3. Grace’s game plan seemed to be working really well. Grace into a 2-1 game lead.
Game four: Grace started where she left off and moved quickly into a 2-0 lead but Georgia quickly got it back to 2-2 and then lead after Grace tinned a long drop attempt. Two long rallies gave the advantage back to Grace who went into a 4-3 lead. Grace kept up her short game and moved into a 7-3 lead after another dive from Georgia. But Georgia got it back to 5-7 before Grace’s short game was really paying off as it took her to matchball, which she took to win the match 3-1 in 47 minutes. So a slight upset in the seeding ratings but the way Grace kept taking the ball in short was the difference, her shot selection was better. And that secured her first PSA title.
Men’s final: Nick Wall vs Charlie Lee
A testing opening rally ended with a tin from Charlie. Both players were testing the other’s ability to hit accurate, tight drives. Nick moved to a 5-2 lead before Charlie pegged him back to 4-5, then another lengthy rally got him back to even at 5-5. Two short sharp rallies with a winning crosscourt nick from Nick got it back to 6-6. Another short exchange got it to 7-7 before Charlie made a move and got to game ball at 10-7. A great drop from Nick got it back to 8-10 but Charlie forced an error from Nick to take the first game 11-8.
The second game got underway and Nick quickly forced two errors from Charlie to take a 3-1 lead. A stroke decision in Charlie’s favour, followed by another got him back to 3-3. Nick discovered his short game and won the next two points to lead 5-3, that was followed by a long rally with Charlie again hitting the tin. Nick continued with his winning short game and raced to a 7-3 lead. Another error from Charlie gave Nick another point at 8-3 and then 10-3. Charlie saved one game ball but Nick wasn’t to be denied and won the second game 11-4.
The third game got going with both players trying to take the ball in short. The game continued tit for tat at 4-4 with neither player getting a decent lead. Nick started to push ahead after a mistake from Charlie and led 7-4. A terrific rally saw Charlie win a stroke ball and get a point back but Nick responded and went to 8-5. A missed drop from Nick gave Charlie a stroke ball and got him back to 6-8. But an error by Charlie gave Nick a 9-6 lead and another error gave game-ball to Nick. Charlie got one back with a lovely weighted boast and the score got to 9-10 and then 10-10. A great response from Charlie but another crosscourt drop from Nick and a weak shot from Charlie gave the game to Nick 12-10, to lead the match 2 games to 1.
The fourth game: Nick was trying to move Charlie around the court more but Charlie responded with two really sharp rallies to take a 2-0 lead. Two short rallies and it was 3-1 to Charlie but Nick was in no mood to stay behind and he quickly took the lead at 4-3. Another error from Charlie gave Nick back the advantage at 6-4. A couple of mistakes by Charlie and suddenly it was 8-4 in favour of Nick. Then Charlie mounted an attack and got it back to 6-8 but Nick hit a lovely backhand volley to go further ahead at 9-6. A long rally gave Nick Championship ball and he won the game 11-7. An excellent match and a good win for Nick but a good, solid performance from Charlie.
The Northern Joe Cup -Semi-Final Reports
Grace Gear vs Lily Taylor
On paper this looked like being a close game. Grace started with intent and moved ahead only to be pegged back by Lily. The first game was too and fro until near the business end when Grace had a game ball at 10-9 but Lily stayed strong and took the game to a tie break. The game went to advantage for each player until Lily struck and won the game 13-11. A great start to semi-finals day.
In the second, the game continued to be very close and competitive but with Grace holding the advantage the game seemed to be hers but Lily mounted a comeback and Grace again served for the game at 10-8 but Lily fought back to take the game to another tie break. Again Lily dug deep and found the right shots to take a second tie break 13-11 to take a 2-0 game lead. It looked like the final was beckoning for Lily.
In the third, Grace got off to fast start and started to dominate proceedings, Lily looked to be suffering as Grace romped away to an 11-0 win, an amazing turn around.
The fourth game got off to a flying start with Lily, seemingly fully recovered, racing to a 3-0 lead. But not to be outdone Grace then reeled off 5 straight points to lead 5-3 but Lily got a point back before Grace extended her lead and although Lily pulled a couple of points back, Grace served for the game and won 11-7.
So we entered the fifth game with Grace in the driving seat. The early rallies were pretty even but Grace swept ahead to lead 5-2 before Lily got back in the game at 4-6, but then there was a long physically demanding rally which Grace won and that seemed to demoralize Lily who fell back to 10-5 and then there was no mistake from Grace who won 11-5 to take the tie 3 games to 2. An excellent match, So Grace moves into the final to face the winner of the Saran Nghiem vs Georgia Adderley match.
Stewart Macgregor vs Nick Wall
Looking at Stewart’s last two matches you felt that fatigue might be a factor in this match. But it would depend on how well he’d rested and recovered. Stewart got off to a good start and led 2-0 but Nick played some tight angles to reduce the deficit but Stewart recovered well and moved to 5-1 with blistering cross court shots. Nick got a point back but Stewart again moved ahead to 8-3.Nick again got back to 8-4 before Stewart got to 10-4, and took the first game 11-4.
Stewart looked to be on it from the start of the first point, work for Nick to do. In the second game, Stewart off to fast start with a cross court nick but Nick replied with a punishing cross court and a straight drop. At 2-2, Nick produced three really good rallies to take the lead at 5-2 and then 6-2 Nick produced another perfect straight drop, and a mistake by Stewart moved Nick to 8-2. Stewart got back into the game with a winning boast and a mistake by Nick to go to 4-8 and then 5-8. The pace was frenetic and the accuracy was very good. Another mistake took it 6-8 but a good winner and a mistake from Stewart allowed Nick to serve for the game and he took it 11-6.
So at one each, the match was set up nicely. Nick looked to be in better shape, the third game started off and Stewart was forced on the defensive. At 1-1 Nick produced a super cross court drive that won him the point. Any cross court not wide enough was attacked quickly and punished. A blood injury briefly stopped play while Stewart received treatment. Play resumed and Nick immediately stretched his lead to 3-1. Nick was now in the ascendancy and moved to 5-1. A long rally at 6-2 had Stewart on the back foot and Nick quickly took it to 8-2. Two good rallies from Stewart got it back to 4-8 but Nick produced some really well constructed rallies to ease to game-ball and he took the game 11-4 to lead 2 games to 1.
In the fourth game both players were using the chip down the wall to get out of difficulty, but Nick was slightly more accurate and moved ahead to 4-1. Some heavy forehand drives from Nick saw him move to 6-1. A tumble from both players after an arduous rally moved Stewart to 2-6 but Nick kept ahead at 7-3. And a missed drop from Stewart and a lob saw Nick lead 9-3. Stewart responded but Nick served for match ball at 10-4 to win the game 11-4 and the match 3 games to 1. A solid performance from Nick Wall, and maybe a match too far for Stewart Macgregor.
Saran Nghiem vs Georgia Adderley (Sco)
The second women’s semi-final saw local player Saran Nghiem take on Georgia Adderley. The crowd were expecting a close match and hoping for a win from Saran. Saran won the toss and both girls were hitting straight lines from the start. But Georgia moved to a smart 4-1 lead. But Saran played two long rallies and got within touching distance at 3-6. But Georgia stayed calm and won the first game 11-3. The crowd was muted, had Saran’s two massive 5-game matches in the earlier rounds Saran taken the edge off her game?
The second game got going and the players shared the early points. Georgia moved ahead 4-2 and then 8-2. Saran seemed to be just off the pace of the game and Georgia took advantage. At 9-3 Georgia played two winning shots to take the game 11-3.
In the third Saran got off to a good start and led 2-0 but Georgia pulled it back to 2-2. Georgia was using her hold to great effect and moved into the lead at 3-2. But Saran fought back to draw level. Georgia moved ahead at 5-4 but was pulled back to 5-5. Georgia served at 6-5 and moved ahead to 8-5 and finally won the game 11-6 and won the match 3-0. Good match from Georgia who moves into the final to play Grace Gear. But it has been a great week for Saran.
Harry Falconer vs Charlie Lee
Both players looked calm and got off to a swift start and some rapid rallies with Charlie in control and moving to a 7-1 lead. And after a couple of points from Harry, Charlie moved to game ball and won 11-3.
Charlie’s better length and sharper hitting was paying dividends. Harry was going to have to work really hard to get back into the match. Charlie was getting to all of Harry’s short shots and forcing the pace. A great backhand cross court nick took Charlie back into the lead and he increased it further with some straight volleys. Harry was trying to force the pace and making mistakes, but he did pull it back to 3-7 but went further behind when Charlie hit a great drop shot. His volleying was the key to his success and he had game-ball and ran out the winner at 11-6.
The third game saw Charlie race to a 5-0 lead, he was controlling the game from the T and not giving Harry a look in. He swiftly moved to 8-0 before Harry staged a mini-comeback and moved to 3-8 but Charlie stepped up the pace and won the game 11-3 and the match 3-0. A sharp performance from Charlie to set up a final tomorrow against Nick Wall.
The Northern Joe Cup – Quarter-Final Reports
Lewis Doughty vs Stewart Macgregor
Both players had tough last rounds, see who manages the physical side better. Stewart won the serve. Long rallies down the backhand wall from both players to get things underway. Both using length to put their opponent in difficulties, a stroke ball got Stewart back to 3-3. Some really good retrieving work from Lewis but he fell behind at 3-5. Lewis levelled at 5-5, but Stewart edged ahead to 7-5. After a really long, searching rally Stewart took it to 8-5. Two rallies and it was 9-6 to Stewart. But a big push by Lewis got him back to 8-9. But Stewart hung on to take the game 11-8. The second started with more pressure from Stewart but Lewis responded well to edge ahead 3-1. Stewart got a point back with a stroke and then levelled at 3-3. Another stroke made it 4-3 for Stewart and he increased his lead to 7-3 with a couple of errors from Lewis. A long, grinding rally took Stewart to 9-3, followed by a short interchange of shots at the front took Stewart to game ball and the game 11-4. Lewis was obvioulsy feeling the effects of yesterday’s battle more than Stewart. Stewart started the way he finished the last game by applying constant pressure on Lewis to take a 3-0 lead. Lewis kept battling away but he was getting nothing and Stewart stretched away to a 6-1 lead. Two more winning drops and Stewart could scent victory and two more mistakes from Lewis gave him match ball and he won the game 11-1 and the match 3-0.
Katie Wells vs Grace Gear
Grace won the toss and the game got underway with both women hitting good lengths with Katie getting a quick point. Grace responded and drew level at 2-2. Grace was moving Katie around the court and took a quick four point at 6-2. Grace continued but Katie responded and got to 6-7. But Grace attacked and got to 9-6 and pulled it back to 8-9 before an error had Grace serving for the game and she did to take it 11-8. Grace opened up the second game and went to a 2-0 lead. Katie levelled at 2-2 with a good winning drive before Grace got her length going and pushed to 5-2. Both women were using height well but Grace’s superior drop shots allowed her to move away to 8-4. At 9-5 Grace served and moved to game ball at 10-5 and she won it 11-6. The third game started with Grace looking very confident but Katie got to a 2-1 lead with a couple errors from Grace. Katie kept her nose in front at 4-2. But Grace’s use of her volleys was proving to be a headache for Katie. Grace extended her lead to 8-5 but Katie attacked and got it back to 8-6. Grace replied and got it to 9-7 and then 10-7 match ball which she took to win 11-7 and the match 3-0.
Elise Romba (Fra) vs Georgia Adderley (Sco)
The first game got underway with both players exchanging points. Georgia sneaked into a 4-2 lead before Elise got it back to 4-4. It was being played with both women looking for the opening to win the point. Georgia applied the pressure and went to 10-4, and closed it out 11-5. The second game followed a similar pattern with Georgia applying the pressure and looking to win easy points. Elise responded but struggled to respond to Georgia’s accuracy. But she responded and closed it but fell short and lost 11-8. In the second game Elise grabbed a 4-2 lead before Georgia drew level at 4-4 and went ahead 5-4, before winning 11-8. The third was quite competitive but Georgia ran out 12-10 win and the match 3-0.
Nick Wall vs Miles Jenkins
This had the makings of a really good, tough match. Nick got off to a 3-0 lead with some accurate straight drops before Miles countered with two of his own. But Nick applied more pressure and went on to an 8-5 lead. Nick continued to pressure Miles and reached game-ball with a clever drop. Miles countered and served at 7-10 but was forced to concede a stroke and Nick won the first game 11-7. In the second game Nick was too accurate and his drops too tight as he raced into a 6-0 lead. Miles battled hard to stay in the game but he was pushed from corner to corner. He rallied slightly to 3-9 but Nick served for the game at 10-3 and won 11-3. The third game started with Nick getting out to a 3-1 lead. He kept extending and ran out 11-8 to win the game and the match 3-0.
Alicia Mead vs Lily Taylor
This match looked to be a tough call on paper with both girls seeded 6 and 2 respectively. The game was set to start with Lily to serve. Lily went to a 3-1 lead and was putting the pressure on Alicia who responded but Lily then upped the pace and went out to 9-4 and then 10-5 before winning the game 11-5. The second game was a much closer affair with Alicia leading before Lily pulled it back to 10-10 before Mead took the game 15-13. In the third it was nip and tuck again with neither player managing to get that elusive lead. Until Lily went 8-6 up, but Alicia immediately responded to draw level at 8-8. But again Lily hit the front at 10-8 and won the game 11-8 to take a 2-1 lead. In the fourth it again stayed equal with neither player taking the initiative. The game fluctuated from one player to the other, but Lily grabbed the initiative and won the game 11-8 and the match 3-1.
Charlie Lee vs Perry Malik
Both players got off to a flyer with some good rallies and great retrieving with Charlie moving to an 8-5 lead. But Perry pulled it back to 7-8. But Perry served to hand Charlie game-ball which he took to win the game 11-7. In the second game Perry got the lead at 4-2 but was quickly pulled back to 4-4. The game moved on to 5-5 with some tight rallies. The game went point for point to 7-7 with both players hitting their targets at the back of the court and looking for an opportunity to take the ball in short for a winner. Charlie moved to 8-7 and took the game 11-7. In the third game Charlie got off to a better start and led 5-2. He then went to 8-3 and went for match ball at 10-5 and won the game 11-5 and the match 3-0.
Christina Gomez (Esp) vs Saran Nghiem
Both women were trying to take their opponent in short, the game went one way then the other before Christina got a foothold at 4-3 but Saran fought back to level at 4-4. Saran then pushed ahead to 7-4 and then 9-5. And served for the game at 10-8 and won 11-8. The second game was nip and tuck with Christina taking a 10-7 and winning the game 11-7. In the third game Christina got off to a better start and led 4-1, but Saran fought back to even it up at 5-5 before Christina went to 7-5. This was becoming a seriously competitive game, with Christina going into a 9-7 lead and serving for the game at 10-8 which she duly did 11-8 to take a 2-1 lead. The fourth carried on in the same vein with both players hitting some really good winners. The game reached 4-4 then 6-5 to Christina and then 6-6 and 8-8. And then 9-9, before Saran had game-ball at 10-9. And won 11-9. So it went to five! The fifth got off to a flyer with both players going for the winners. The game went one way and then the other before Christina got a lead that looked decisive but Saran kept her head and clawed it back to clinch an excellent win over the number one seed. So on to a semi-final match with Georgia Adderley.
Harry Falconer vs Vini Rodrigues (Bra)
The final match of the evening and most people had this down as a battle but Harry came out strong in the first and never relinquished the lead to take the first game very comfortably, 11-2. The expected reaction from Vini never got going and after some decent rallies, Harry won the second 11-5. In the third Vini put up some stronger resistance but it was all Harry who never gave his opponent a sniff and won the third 11-8 and the match 3-0 in just 28 minutes.
The Northern Joe Cup–day 2
Lewis Doughty vs Joel Arscott (Nzl)
The second day started with Lewis Doughty vs Joel Arscott. A fast paced match with Joel taking an early lead. Joel played very solid squash and Lewis made too many errors in the first game. In the second game, Lewis was off to a quick start, playing very tight squash and went into an 8-3 lead. And with both players playing the long game Lewis was more accurate and won the second game. After a long third game Lewis hung on and won 13-11. The fourth game followed a similar pattern with Lewis finally taking the game 11-8 and the match.
Celine Walser (Swi) vs Elise Romba (Fra)
Elise took the game to Celine and won the first game. In the second Elise managed to win a closely fought game 12-10, and followed up with a 11-8 win in the third.
Stewart MacGregor vs Curtis Malik
Stewart started off playing very accurate squash and forced errors from Curtis to go 6-1 ahead. The game ebbed and flowed with Curtis levelling at 8 all, before edging the first 11-9. In the second, Stewart got off to another good start before Curis pulled it back to 3-3. The game continued with quite a few disputed decisions from both players. Both players were patient and looking for an opening to play a short ball. Stewart edged into a two point lead at 7-5 but Curtis pulled in back to 7-7 on a stroke. The game was punctuated by appeals but Curtis went on to take it 11-9. In the third game, Stewart got to a 2-0 start before Curtis got ahead but was pulled back and headed by Stewart at 8-6 before Curtis got it back to 8-9. But Stewart held on to take it 11-8 and keep him in the match. In the fourth, Stewart again started well and took a 2-0 lead but Cutis quickly pulled it back to 2-3. Again Stewart edged ahead to 6-3 and 8-4. Curtis kept in the game and pulled it back to 7-9 and then 9-10 before Stewart won 11-9. In the fifth, Stewart again got off a good start and led 7-4. The match had developed into a real dour battle with Stewart staying ahead at 8-5. And then 9-6 and 10-8. And finally winning 11-8. An epic 83 minutes!
Sanne Veldkamp (Ned) vs Georgia Adderley (Sco)
Sanne got off to a good start but was pulled back by Georgia who swept into an 8-4 lead. And went to an 11- win. The second game went in a similar fashion with Georgia racing into a 7-3 lead and controlling the game closing it out 11-3. Georgia carried on in the same vein to complete a 3-0 win.
Perry Malik vs Sean Conroy (Irl)
Perry played some tight squash to put Sean under pressure to take a 9-5 lead but after a brief fight back from Sean, Perry won 11-5. The second game started more evenly with longer, better constructed rallies. After a fairly even game, Perry made it 2-0. The third game was over quickly in Perry’s favour, for a 3-0 victory.
Ali Loke (Wal) vs Katie Wells
In an even first game that seesawed back and forth before Katie won 13-11In the second game Katie raced off to 5-0. Ali pulled a couple of points before Katie secured the game 11-4. The third went comfortably for Katie as she registered a 3-0 win.
Connor Sheen vs Charlie Lee
Charlie started strongly and kept in front to lead 8-4. After a couple of quick exchanges, Charlie won the first game 11-5. The second game followed with Charlie getting a lead and winning 11:5. Charlie won the third and the match 3-0.
Asia Harris vs Lily Taylor
Both players started strongly with Asia holding a lead but at the business end of the game, Lily’s experience showed as she edged it 12-10. In the second game, Lily got off to a 3-0 lead but then Asia dug in and levelled at 5-5. But two mistakes from Asia gave Lily an 8-6 but Asia fought back to lead 10-8. Lily then levelled at 10-10. Before Lily won it 13-11. The third game was competitive with Lily winning 11-9.
Paul Gonzalez (Esp) vs Miles Jenkins
Both players were moving well with Miles keeping Paul deep in the court and taking the ball in short at every opportunity. He raced to a 10-5 lead and finished the game 11-5. The second game was evenly matched until Miles grabbed a two point lead at 4-2. Miles continued to dominate and kept pressing to go out to a 7-2 lead. He further extended the lead and completed a 11-3 win. The third was level until Miles got into a 7-6 lead, he further extended it and won the game 11-7 and the match.
Amy Royle vs Christina Gomez (Esp)
Christina used her superior shot making skills to move Amy around the court and keep ahead in the match and took the first game 11-3. Again in the second game Christina was too strong and won the game 11-5. In the final game Christina won 11-0.
Lea Barbeau (Fra) vs Grace Gear
Grace probed to be too strong all round for Lea and won 3-0 (11-8, 11-8,11-3)
Nick Wall vs Ben Smith
A very competitive game with some interesting and probing rallies, the first game saw Nick win a close game 13-11. The second game was played again at a high pace with Nick winning 11-8. The third game Nick controlled and Ben tried to get back into the match but came up short and Nick won 11-4.
Sofia Mateo’s (Esp) vs Alicia Mead
Both girls were hitting with good pace and accuracy until Alicia got a three point lead at 8-5. Then Alicia closed the game with a good drop and a winning length. The second game continued at the same pace with Alicia winning 11-8. The third was better with both players going short more often to better effect. And when it came to the business end of the game Alicia’s experience came into play and she ran out a winner 11-8 in the third.
Saran Nghiem vs Torrie Malik
Saran got off to a very quick start and raced to a 5-0 lead, she continued to hit a really good length. But two errors let Torrie back in at 6-2 but Saran again pushed to a 7-3 lead. Still a close battle with Torrie digging in but again Saran opened it out to a five point lead at 9-4. Saran hit some crunching drives and moved to 10-6. Torrie started to fight back and got it to 7-10 but Saran held her nerve and won 11-8. Saran got off to a fast start to lead 3-0 and moved further ahead to 7-1 and won the second 11-1. In the third, Torrie went into a 5-2 lead and was looking very comfortable and moved to an 8-2 lead and took the game 11-6. The fourth game started with Torrie racing to a 4-0 lead and then 8-1. She finally closed the game out 11-6 to take it to a final game. In the final game Saran went 3-0 up. Torrie fought back but Saran rallied to lead 7-2. The match ended with Saran taking the fifth game 11-2.
Vini Rodrigues (Bra) vs Lwamba Chileshe (Nzl)
Vini got off to a fast start and raced to a 6-0 lead. Lwamba pulled two points back but Vini stretched ahead again to 10-2 but Lwamba rallied 8-10 but lost out 11-8. The second game started with a couple of good rallies with Lwamba taking an early 3-0 lead. Vini reacted and got three quick points but Lwamba got to 6-4 and extended to 9-6. And moved on to 10-7. But Vino reacted and took the game 12-10. In the third game Lwamba took an early lead but Vino recovered to 4-4. The game continued to be close with some searching rallies from both players. But a lucky nick and a stroke took Vini to 8-6 but Lwamba fought back to level the score at 8-8. An error from Vini gave Lwamba a opening at 9-8 and went on to game-ball at 10-9, taking the game 11-9. So we moved into the fourth game with the match still anybody’s. Lwamba moved into a 2-0 lead and continued to apply pressure and stretched his lead to 4-1 and then 6-2. But after a couple of superb rallies the score was 8-5 to Lwamba. But again Vini came back 8-9, but Vini dragged it back to 12- 12. Before Lwamba took it 14-12. So it went to a fifth. Vini got off to a flyer and led 3-0. He continued to apply the pressure and went to 8-2. And then 11-3, and took the match 3-2.
Issac Rawcliffe vs Harry Falconer
An open first game saw the score ticking over until 5-5 then Harry made a break to 8-5, before getting game-ball and taking the first game 11-7. Second game followed a similar pattern, exchanging points until Harry opened a two point gap at 5-3 then moved further ahead at 7-3. Further rallies helped Harry to a 9-4 lead and a 11-5 win. In the third Harry’s lifts and drops really started to put Issac under a lot of pressure and helped him to a 6-2 lead. Issac stuck to his task but dropped further behind at 8-3. Two further errors from Issac gave Harry an 11-3 game and a 3-0 victory.
The Northern Joe Cup – Day ONE … report by David Scurlock & Oscar Beech
All is prepared, the banners are up. What a line up for the first day in both the men’s and women’s draw! The matches got under way at 11:15.
Lewis Doughty vs Laouenan Loaec (Fra) : It proved to be a close match although Lewis won 3-0. A hard fought match that got the tournament off to a flying start.
Amy Royale vs Tayla Mounter : Amy won 3-1, her straight hitting and volleying gave her the winning edge.
Stewart MacGregor vs Brice Nicolas (Fra) : The game was fast with both players using width to try to gain the upper hand. Stewart got off to an early lead and never relinquished it, pushing home his advantage to take the win, 3-0.
Lauren Tamila vs Elise Romba (Fra) : Elise was very mobile and her forehand boasts proved very effective in earning her a 3-0 win in impressive style.
Alasdair Prott (Sco) vs Paul Gonzalez (Fra) : The game got off to a fast start, Paul used his speed to counter Alasdair’s width and short game but a couple of cross court nicks from Paul got him the first game 14-12. The match looked set to be a classic but in the second game Alasdair was obviously in difficulties and had to retire with a calf injury. Paul won 3-0.
Sanne Veldkamp (Ned) vs Ana Munos (Fra) : Sanne got off to a good start and kept in front she had too many shots for Ana although Ana battled to the end. Sanne won 3-0.
Connor Sheen vs Will Salter : The afternoon started with a 3-0 victory for Connor Sheen over wildcard Will Salter. Will showed promise early on, taking a threatening 6-2 lead in the first game. Connor fought back to win the opener 11-9 and continued to show his class from there on out. Leading throughout the next two games with his superior shot-making, most evident in his crosscourt nick winner to take the second game.
Issac Rawcliffe vs Javier Martin (Esp) W/O Javier withdrew with injury
Katie Wells vs Chloe Foster : The first women’s match of the afternoon was won in three games by England’s Katie Wells. She was the frontrunner throughout, displaying fantastic ball control to command many rallies.
Perry Malik vs David Allman : The 3-0 scoreline does not reflect the competitive squash between Perry and David. Throughout the contest Perry displayed his supreme deception and accuracy, yet David had the movement and the spirit to rally through pressure and win on the counterattack. The physical work Perry had made him perform proved telling by the end of the match as he won in three games.
Charlie Mcrone vs Lea Barbeau : It was great to see Charlie experience high level professional squash today, only a week after she won a third junior national title. Lea showed her strength and consistency in the match to close it out 3-0 and move on to the second round.
Ninon Lemarchand vs Asia Harris : Both players performed very well in this first round encounter. Ninon remained close to Asia on the scoreboard throughout the match, making the end of each game exciting. Asia showed great skill and composure to close out the match 3-0.
Saran Ngheim vs Layla Johnson : It was great to watch two juniors with great potential showing their talents in a professional event already. Layla’s attacking squash made life difficult for Saran in the first game, after which she used her superior strength and experience to take the match in three.
Sofia Mateos (Esp) vs Au Yeong Wai Yhann (Sgp) was a W/O in favour of Sofia Mateos (Esp)
Finnlay Withington vs Vini Rodriques : The penultimate match of the day was a great contest involving the home favourite Finnlay Withington. Each game was very tightly contested, but eventually the physicality of the older player helped Vini secure a 3-2 victory.
Jack Mitterer vs Ben Smith : The last game of the day was a tightly contested match between two promising young professionals. Ben took a very tight first game which appeared crucial to the outcome of the match. Jack fought back impressively but Ben pushed on for a 3-1 victory.
Men & Women $3k PSA Challengers, 03-07 Nov, Manchester
Cheetham Hill Squash Club are delighted to announce the Northern Joe Cup which will run from Wednesday 3rd November to Sunday 7th November. The event is being held in Joe Rawcliffe’s memory and will be raising funds for The Brain Tumour Charity.
To donate and for more information follow the link: http://justgiving.com/fundraising/rrawcliffe-njc
The event will showcase some of the top PSA players in our men’s and women’s 5K Challenger and will feature 48 of the best men and women as they battle it out for the title. In the men’s section we have Nick Wall seeded one, followed by Lwamba Chileshe (NZ), Charlie Lee, Curtis Malik, Miles Jenkins, Sean Conroy (IRE), Joel Arscott (NZ), and Harry Falconer.
In the women’s section we have Christina Gomez (ESP) seeded one, followed by Lily Taylor, Georgia Adderley (SCO), Ali Loke (WAL), Grace Gear, Alicia Mead, Bruna Marchesi Petrillo (ITA), and Torrie Malik.
Added to that we have some local players in the mix, Men: Connor Sheen, Finnlay Withington, and Issac Rawcliffe. Women: Saran Nghiem and Charlie McCrone
Alongside this we will be holding graded singles and doubles competitions and Josh Taylor will be holding coaching clinics.
All spectators are welcome, free of charge, so please come along and support some top quality PSA squash and graded events. The PSA event will be streamed live if you can’t make it to the club.