North of England Masters, Pontefract Squash Club
26th – 28th October 2012
The North of England Masters was as per usual, at Pontefract Squash Club, with a slightly lower than normal attendance of 110 players.
The Women’s 50/55 age group was won by World Champion Julie Field who found Jill Campion tenacious in her 2/3 defeat. Third was Sarah Howlett. Winner of the 55 group was Susan Meadows over Jan Ellis, the latter having won the first game scored to PARS, had to reply…
British Closed Champion, Nicky Horn, won the O45 from Kay Fallows and newcomer Hilary Kenyon, the latter, new on the scene, will undoubtedly be a handful in future events.
In the O40s, tight matches ensued, but local girl Andrea Santamaria wasn’t going to surrender Home advantage and her 3-2 victory over Isabelle Tweedle was enough to give her the title with Alison Goy throwing away 4 match balls in her match with Tweedle going down 8/10 in the fifth.
Men’s 70/75 saw Mike Clemson reign supreme, beating Brian Hardcastle 9/0 10/8 9/7, Lance Kinder 9/0 9/0 9/2 and Andrew Beeston 9/7 9/4 9/1 in the Final. He also played a succession of youngsters and elderlies and still wanted more. No doubt he will be looking for a Retirement Home with a Squash Court attached…
Men’s O65 saw Barry Featherstone too good for all and sundry, after unexpectedly losing to Aubrey Waddy at Bury. Waddy led Martin Pearse 9/1 9/4, but the Chairman, having been 0/2 down in the Semi and Final in 2011 and won, did exactly the same, coming back 9/6 9/4 9/1 to enter the Final with Featherstone. To no avail in 2012.
Men’s O60, missing a load of regulars, saw Ronnie Bell out and out favourite and he slightly hiccupped against Phil Godfrey 6/9 9/1 9/5 9/5, then beat Barry Alder 9/7 9/3 9/0 to enter the Final. At the bottom, Clive Harrison beat Leon Kirton 3-1 and then beat John Duckworth 3-2 but had nothing left for a fresher Neil Nightingale.
Ian Holmes, 10 pints on Friday and another shed load on Saturday, remained unmoved by unusual toxic bodily fluids within and took out John Alderson 9/5 9/6 9/4, Paul Reader 9/7 6/9 3/9 2/9 and Neil Nightingale 9/5 9/4 8/10 9/1. The Final saw Holmes contest until the third quarter and Bell’s couple of glasses of wine far outweighed 10 pints of 6% proof beer. Score 10/8 3/9 9/6 9/2.
Men’s O55 was also missing Messrs Cowley, Alexander, Adihetty, Bativala, Johnson and for good measure, London v and McManus….. in what would be an extremely strong age group. However, Stuart Hardy puts more work in than 99% of the rest and was far too good, except for a blip at 2/0 and 7/3 versus David Stones In the Semi.
The latter caught up and took the fourth but his leeway on his volley went awol in the fifth with the tin receiving a lot of attention. Hardy then dominated the Final with Colin Shields, winning 3-0.
Men’s O50 saw Greg Loach re emerge from hibernation and proceed easily to the Final, whilst in the bottom half, seed Jeremy Goulding went out 7/9 9/0 9/10 3/9 to Andrew Hall. James ‘New look’ Ockwell then showed his maturity beating Hall 9/7 9/8 9/3 before finding Loach too much of a handful in the Final.
Mind you, it didn’t help that James (now into his sixth decade) was woken up by unruly naked inhabitants on both the Friday and Saturday night, eliciting police involvement and a refund on the room rate! Premier Lodge ‘guarantee’ a good nights sleep and a lot of players, including James, suffered badly with the disruption and noise.
Men’s O45 is fast becoming a foregone conclusion if the name Ellis F is on the entry form. Question is, how long can Frankie keep up this relentless physical pressure before a) he gets bored with it or b) he injures himself with his exertions.
Fact is, at the moment, he is the nearest thing to a 30 year old Touring Professional and no one else has the physical capacity to with stand it (except, probably Eamonn). Scores – Marvin Rust 9/1 9/0 9/1, Peter Lonsdale 9/3 9/2 9/0 (in 45 minutes!) and in the Final Duane Harrison 9/3 9/2 9/0 (40 minutes!)
Interesting to see if Peter Gunter, Eamonn Price or David Youngs can challenge him at Bristol on his home courts. We will wait and see.
Men’s O40 – well, no 1 seed David Youngs came an early cropper in round one with New Zealander Paul Boyle 9/11 9/11 4/11 and the latter progressed via Stuart Summers 11/5 11/5 11/7 to the Final. Matthew Stephenson upset the ssedings beating no 2 John Hanson 12/10 11/9 11/9 but then went out to reggae star Glen Ragou 11/9 11/8 11/3.
The latter, sent home early by his elderly Lancashire drinking companions , found a night without Southern Comfort too much, and in an entertaining Final, with some interesting decisions that upset the normally unflappable Ragou, saw Boyle win his first Regional 11/7 5/11 11/8 6/11 11/6.
Men’s O35, James Goodrich (now over 40) saw off Ben Burbank 11/6 11/7 11/5 and Nick Hargreaves 11/5 16/14 11/8 whilst in the bottom section, Tim Burrell beat Christen Donelan 11/3 11/4 11/6 Matt Lowery 11/2 11/9 11/6 and then upturning the seedings beating Goodrich 11/4 4/11 13/11 11/9 to record his first victory.
Thanks to Mick and Cindy Todd and Margaret at Pontefract, plus all the staff and the SRA markers.
Please remember cut off date for Bristol is Wednesday 21st November at 12 noon.
Also to Brian and Ros Brock who presided over the whole weekend at the Tournament Desk, doing a superb job