Men & Women $6k PSA Challengers, 29 Jul – 02 Aug, Cheetham Hill, England
The second running of the Northern Joe Cup takes place from the 29th of July to the 2nd of August. This year’s festival of squash is dedicated to raising both awareness and funds for The Brain Tumour Society.
Semis : Women’s Top Seeds beaten in semis
While the men’s tournament had been full of upsets up to the quarter-finals, it was the top four seeds who contested the women’s semi-finals at Cheetham Hill.
Not to be outdone on the upset front, Torrie Malik and Saran Nghiem toppled the top pair of Millie Tomlinson and Alison Thomson to set up a final between the two long time junior rivals.
In the men’s semis the last remaining seed Curtis Malik came from a game down to beat Finnlay Withington while Welshman Elliott Morris ended the run of Scotsman Alasdair Prott to reach the final.
Quarters : Men’s upsets continue as Women’s top seeds advance
Quarter-finals day in Manchester saw the upsets continue in the men’s draw, with top seed Curtis Malik joined in the last four by unseeded trio Finnlay Withington, Alasdair Prott and Elliot Morris.
By contrast in the women’s draw the top four seeds advanced with Millie Tomlinson set to face Torrie Malik in the semis while Alison Thomson takes on Saran Hghiem.
Day 2: More upsets as 5 seeds fall in a day of upsets
Elliot Morris Devred (WAL) 3-0 (2) Simon Herbert (ENG)
A big upset with Morris-Devred taking out number 2 seed Herbert in straight games in 31
mins. Morris Devred was patient and it paid off as Herbert made too many errors and tinned
a lot of shots.
Alasdair Prott (SCO) 3-2 (5)Owain Taylor (WAL)
Taylor got off to a very quick start and apart from a few rallies was untroubled as he won the
first game 11-5 In the second Prott played a straighter game but still hit too many cross courts onto his opponent’s racket and went down 11-8. In the third game, both players hit a better, tighter length with Prott cutting out errors on his cross courts. However, Taylor had a match ball but Prott pulled level with excellent drops and went on to win the game 12-10. In the fourth, Prott seemed to have a bit more in the tank and raced away to win 11-1 Into the fifth with all to play for, the game was very close until at 6-6 Taylor got a racket in the face. And after a medical timeout, Prott was not to be denied and won 11-6. An excellent recovery from 0-2 down to take out the fifth seed.
(8) Stuart Macgregor (ENG) 3-0 Lewis Doughty (ENG)
Macgregor, seeded (8) got off to a flyer and kept ahead in the score to take the first game 11-5. But with Doughty you know you need to put in a shift and Macgregor was more than willing to do that as he took the second to 10-10 before pulling away to win 12-10. In the third Macgregor always had the upper hand and closed it out 11-5.
(3) Ben Smith (ENG) 3-1 Perry Malik (ENG)
Third seed Smith took the first game 13-11 but in the second Malik fought back to edge it 12-10. In the third, Smith pulled away to win it 11-7 and completed a tough encounter by taking the fourth game 11-8.
Vini Rodrigues (BRA) 3-0 (4) Sean Conroy (IRL)
A fast-paced match saw Rodrigues take out the fourth seed, Sean Conroy, 3-0 in 32 mins. Rodrigues controlled the game with his tight and fast volleys pushing Conroy into all four corners of the court. There was no respite and in an entertaining match, Rodrigues proved to be the man in form and ran out a comfortable winner.
(6) Marek Panaceki (CZE) 3-0 Sam Osborne-Wylde (ENG)
The young Czech used his speed and agility to keep on top of Osborne-Wylde who played well but just failed to find the winner. Panaceki controlled the match and won in three.
Finnlay Withington (ENG) 3-1 (7) Joeri Hapers (BEL)
The match got off to a cracking start with Withington taking the ball early and looking for winners. Both players used their speed and accuracy for a fast-paced match with Withington in the ascendancy. He took the first game and also the second with some excellent volleys and kills. In the third the seventh seed changed his tactics and used his lobs in an effort to stifle Withington’s attack, it paid off and Hapers took the third game. In the fourth Hapers continued with his lobbing but Withington had worked out how to counter and took the game and the match 3-1.
(1) Curtis Malik (ENG) 3-0 Joel Arscott (NZL)
Malik, the number one seed, was always in control of this match. He was just one step ahead of Arscott and kept the pressure on at all times. Arscott was having to work very hard to keep in the match. Malik never took his foot on the gas and won comfortably.
(1) Millie Tomlinson (ENG) 3-0 Catherine Holland (SCO)
Number 1 seed Millie Tomlinson took on Scotland’s Catherine Holland and it was a verystraightforward affair with Tomlinson winning in 14 mins 11-5/11-2/11-2.
(3) Torrie Malik (ENG) 3-1 Juliette Permentier (NED)
Malik got off to a flying start and won the first 11-3 and the second 11-1. She appeared to be in cruise mode but Parmentier played some good rallies and edged it 12-10, before Malik got going again in game four to seal a win 11-3.
(7) Asia Harris (ENG) 3-0 Phoebe Colman (ENG)
Harris got going quickly and raced away to an 11-1 win in the first game. Game 2 went much the same way with Harris dominating the front of the court to take it 11-4. In the third Colman made an impact but still trailed in the score and went down 11-6.
(4) Saran Nghiem (ENG) 3-0 Amy Royle (ENG)
This was always going to be a tough ask for Royale. Nghiem looked sharp as she raced through the first game. In the second she continued to push and again in the third to win the match.
(5) Katie Wells (ENG) 3-0 Jasmin Karlar (ENG)
Karlar was pushed around the court by Wells who was in total control. And took the first game 11-2. In the second Karlar was more focused and took the game to 11-9. In the third game Wells dominated again and won 11-5.
Lowri Roberts (WAL) 3-2 (6) Kiera Marshall (ENG)
The first game went into extra time with Marshall taking it 18-16 in a marathon first game. Roberts hit back in the second and after some tough rallies won 11-5. Marshall got straight back in the third game and with some long and skillful rallies did enough to win 11-7. In the fourth game there was no let up with both players going for it but Roberts played some excellent winning boasts to take the game 11-7. In the fifth game Roberts had the upper hand as Marshall seemed to tire. Roberts took out the sixth seed 3-2 in 54 mins.
(8) Polly Clark (ENG) 3-0 Maisara Azlan (MAS)
Clark looked to be in charge from the off. Her combination of length and short shots proved to be a winning combination in the first two games. In the third Azlan staged a comeback and took the game to Clark, but in the end Clark had just enough to win the game 13-11 and the match 3-0.
(2) Alison Thomson (SCO) 3-1 Grace Clark (ENG)
The number two seed got off to a slow start and needed a couple of mistakes from Clark to win the first game. In the second Thomson got off to a good start and led quite comfortably but Clark managed a great run of points to take the lead at 9-6 but Thomson pulled it back to 10-10. A lovely cross court nick from Clark helped her to win the second game 12-10. The third game saw a rejuvenated Thomson who hit her targets and raced to an 11-2 win. Thomson carried on in the fourth game and Clark ran out of ideas as Thomson completed her victory.
The 2021 event raised over £10,000 and saw over 200 people playing squash in professional, graded, team events and squash clinics over the five days of the event. This year the event is bigger with Cheetham Hill and Fairways Lodge both hosting the event (there are three courts at CHSC, court number three has been completely refurbished including a new glass back wall glass balcony, and we also have four courts at Fairways with one able to host two hundred spectators).
This year’s PSA Challenger Tour 5K Men’s and Women’s event with almost 50 professional players with many of the world’s top 100 competing. In addition, there will be an amateur team tournament, an individual amateur graded event along with junior squash camps and evening squash coaching clinics.
In the women’s draw we have Millie Tomlinson (ENG) top seed with Katie Maliff (ENG) at 2, Alison Thomson (SCO) 3 and Torrie Malik (ENG) 4. Local favourite, Saran Nghiem (ENG) is seeded 5 and local support will be in evidence. Other local girls in the first round are Charlie McCrone (ENG), Mia Leahey (ENG) and Miriam Mulla (ENG).
In the men’s draw, Curtis Malik (ENG) is the number 1 seed, with Simon Herbert (ENG) at 2, Ben Smith (ENG) at 3 and Alejandro Enriquez (GUA) at 4. Again there is strong local interest with Finnlay Withington (ENG), Connor Sheen (ENG), Lewis Doughty (ENG), Oscar Beech (ENG), Issac Rawcliffe (ENG) and Carlton Oldham (ENG) in first round action.
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 from both venues if you can’t make it to the club.