Chairman’s Report, South of England Masters 2013
Broxbourne, 4th – 6th January
The South of England, hosted at Broxbourne, was the largest of the season with 117 entrants, with only a handful of injury/illness drop outs.
First of all, though we were saddened to hear about the stroke suffered by long standing O60 player, Mick Broomhall, he of the constant forehand, being the only ambidexterous master currently playing! Mick would have been a contender for an England cap, so we wish him well in his recovery. Barry Alder and Lance Kinder are living proof it is quite probable that Mick will be back on court…
To the weekend’s squash.
The Women’s O55 was won by Welsh stalwart Lynne Davies, from Jane Law.
The WO50, keenly contested, saw Helen Gould beat Julie Ann Pegram and Sarah Howlett, whilst Tammy Bennett, went out to No 3 seed, the ever consistent, she with two new hips, Jill Campion. Campion then proceeded to lead Gould 2-0 in the Final before the Bristolian pulled herself together and ground out a 3-2 win for yet another Regional. We will have to add up who has won the most Regionals but the name Gould will be up there with Featherstone and Wright…
The Women’s O35/40 was a dogfight, won by Mandy Akin who was giving away 15 years to some and 10 to others! Akin was just to good for all the rest, beating Isabelle Tweedle 3-0 in the final. However, the latter had been engaged for 75 minutes the night before, beating Sam Mueller 10/9 in the fifth, a real hum dinger, as Sam exercises ultimate velocity to each shot she plays.
The Men’s O70 was a Clemson affair as he was too good for everyone, with Brian Hardcastle second, Lance Kinder third with a hard 3-1 win over Nigel Belle.
The O65’s saw some tough matches. Geoff Howes, up from the 60’s with points in the bank and hoping to sneak the sixth spot in the Home Internationals, went right to the wire with Chris Ansell and the latter was forlorn at losing 9/10 in the fifth. Howes then took Aubrey Waddy to a tight 3-1 and then the latter overturned Chris Goodbourn 3-2. In the other half, Martin Pearse, as ever, found himself 1-2 down to cross court drop specialist Tony Clifford, before coming to life, winning 9/3 9/0. However, expanding unnecessary energy is not to be recommended if you have to play Barry Featherstone a few hours later and the latter was always on top 3-0. The Final was a dogfight and Waddy caught up from 0-2 to 2-2 but Featherstone tightened up and won the fifth reasonably comfortably.
Men’s O60s – Ronnie Bell made the long trek from Carlisle and found life easy all the well to the Final, Ken Anderson, Geoff Walton and Paul Reader all going the same way 3-0. Geoff Wilcock-Ragou’s minder — recorded victories over Barry Alder 3-1 and Ed Winter 9/1 9/7 6/9 9/3 and in the lower half, John Goodrich overturned Leon Kirton and Neil Nightingale. Ian Holmes, however, no warm-up, 8 or 9 pints, just picks up his racquet, goes on court, wins and then plans the real ale pubs to visit! And in the Final he had his chance reaching 2-1 and 8-8, before Bell finally exerted some dominance.
The Men’s O55s saw a tight battle between David Stones and Simon Evenden in the preliminary round with the former’s court craft finally gaining ascendancy. With the big boys back in residence, it was interesting to see how it would pan out, and in the Semi, Mark Cowley overturned Steve Johnson 9/7 10/9 9/3. No 4 seed Stuart Hardy, came back from the dead 1-2 and 0-5 to overturn close challenger for an England cap Colin Shields, and the latter was upset to go down 8/10 9/2 5/9 10/8 9/4. Hardy, however was feeling the effects a few hours later with an effervescent Duleep Adihetty. The Final (I didn’t see it) was not the best advert for Olympic viewing, according to the witnesses, and Duleep isn’t quite as adept a cage fighter as Mark Cowley is. The latter, as strong and as aggressive as ever, will be a handful in the Closed. Watch out Peter Alexander and of course, Duleep. Worth watching.
The Men’s O50s was a John Cordeaux walk in when no 1 seed James Ockwell, leading 9/1 9/0 suffered a ‘glitch’ to go down 6/9 0/9 8/10 to Steve Barlow. Nick Peel then overturned Barlow 3-1 and before that, a good win against the talented Grant Miller – 9/6 9/7 1/9 8/10 9/5. Cordeaux however, is extremely difficult to beat and Mark Taylor and Dermot Hurford both suffered accordingly. The Final was rather one way traffic, but Peel will be very happy to have got there!
The O40’s saw Stuart Summers take out James Powley 3/0 and Matthew Stephenson 11/8 10/12 11/8 11/6 before falling to Paul Boyle 11/7 12/10 11/8. John Hanson had a long battle with Jon Gliddon 7/11 14/12 11/7 6/11 11/6, whose wife would have been glad he lost, otherwise she wouldn’t have bumped (literally) into Tom Cruise in Central London at 7pm! Fate plays its evil hand…! (Mr Cruise looks like a terrible flirt.) Hanson was drained physically for his evening battle with Glen Ragou (I marked it). The latter’s speed is on a different planet to most and after losing the first, won 6/11 11/3 11/2 11/9. However, Boyle was in no mood to even let Glen get anywhere close, and recorded an 11/4 11/3 11/8 victory. Third on the trot. And an England place, as long as he plays in the Closed.
In the Men’s O35s Jamie Goodrich, playing down an age group was still too good for the rest, Dave Gouldby 11/2 11/4 11/7, Mick Biggs 2-1 and an injury whilst no 2 Marc Woolhead saw off Craig Perry, James Clyne and Christian Donelan. Clyne had an hour long battle with Nick Hargreaves 4/11 10/12 11/3 11/4 9/11 in the first rounds The Final saw nip and tuck, lots of close and vociferous calls, and finally the Norfolk player made it 11/9 in the fifth – three titles to Norfolk players!!
Many thanks to Karen Lane and Brian Brock for all the work organising Darren and Theresa at the Club and the Markers, George Kyriacos, Paul Allen, Colin Milner and Ronnie Davidson.