Sun 27th, Final
David Palmer bt Peter Nicol 10/11, 11/4, 11/7, 11/7
Simon Parke bt Martin Heath 11/9, 9/11, 11/9
Palmer claims Namur Legends Trophy
Two-time World Champion Palmer lost the opening game to his equally legendary opponent, losing out in a nail-biting tiebreak, but from the second game onwards Palmer upped the tempo and dominated the middle of the court. Nicol, who won everything the sport has to offer, was unable to find an answer to the powerful play of the only recently retired Aussie, who lived most of his professional career in Belgium, resulting in a 10/11, 11/4, 11/7, 11/7 score-line.
Englishman Simon Parke secured third place in a high quality field, beating Scot Martin Heath in a best-of-three 3rd/4th Play-Off match: 11/9, 9/11, 11/9.
The four first round losers, John White, Lee Beachill, Derek Ryan and Tim Garner, entertained the crowd on the final day of the Namur Legends event in the southern part of Belgium with an action packed and fun filled doubles exhibition match.
Sat 26th, Semi-Finals
David Palmer bt Simon Parke 11/6, 11/8, 11/9
Peter Nicol bt Martin Heath 11/7, 6/11, 11/4, 11/7
Lee Beachill bt Derek Ryan 9/11, 11/9, 11/8
John White bt Tim Garner 11/6, 11/9
New versus old in Namur Legends final
Palmer, the two-time World Open and four-time British Open champion, recorded another straight-games win to get past Simon Parke in the semi-finals, while Nicol, winner of everything the sport has to offer and world number one for over six years, beat Scot Martin Heath in four games to reach the final.
Palmer and Nicol met 22 times in their professional careers, with Nicol taking the spoils on 14 occasions, most famously in the 2006 Commonwealth Games final on Palmer’s home soil in Melbourne.
Parke, former world number 3, will take on Heath, a former world number 4, in the 3rd/4th place match, whilst big-hitting John White faces newcomer Lee Beachill to determine who will finish in fifth spot. Many-time Irish champion Derek Ryan will play co-organiser Tim Garner in the first Play-Off match of the day with the winner avoiding last place.
Fri 25th, Quarter-Finals
David Palmer bt Derek Ryan 11/7, 11/8, 11/10
Simon Parke bt Lee Beachill 10/11, 11/6, 11/10, 10/11, 11/5
Peter Nicol bt Tim Garner 11/6, 11/10, 7/11, 11/5
Martin Heath bt John White 9/11, 11/10, 2/11, 11/6, 11/8
Baptism of fire for Beachill
Brought in as a late replacement for the injured Jonathon Power, former world number one Lee Beachill made his Legends debut as the Namur Legends of Squash kicked off in Belgium, and it was a baptism of fire as he went down in a gruelling five-setter to fellow Yorkshireman Simon Parke, three of the games going the full distance before Parke took the decider 11/5.
“Welcome to the Legends Tour Mr Lee,” tweeted Tim Garner.
In the semi-finals Parke will meet top seed David Palmer, who made easier work of his own Legends debut with a straight-games win over Derek Ryan, although the tall Irishman was getting closer game by game, losing out on sudden-death in the third.
“Palmer in 4. Solid start for the new boy,” was the Garner verdict.
In the bottom half of the draw, which had a distinctly Scottish flavour, Peter Nicol overcame his Eventis partner Tim Garner in four games and Martin Heath came from 2/1 down to beat Aussie-Scot John White in five.
“Winning streak over,” added Garner, “Peter tucked me up in 4.”