Surrey Sports Park was packed for a repeat of last year’s final between defending champions Surrey H&R and their local rivals St George’s Hill, and the crowd saw Surrey retain the title, claiming a record fourth win in five years, in a match that for so long could have gone either way …
Surrey H&R 3-2 St George’s Hill
Alison Waters 1-3 Laura Massaro 5/11, 11/7, 7/11, 6/11 (51m)
Adrian Waller 3-1 Joe Lee 11/7, 9/11, 11/5, 11/7 (60m)
Simon Rosner 3-1 Nicolas Mueller 11/4, 5/11, 11/6, 11/5 (48m)
Adrian Grant 3-2 Tom Richards 11/9, 11/9, 8/11, 9/11, 11/6 (87m)
Peter Barker 0-2 Daryl Selby 8/11, 9/11
Team-mates just a couple of days ago in Germany, but on opposite sides tonight, Massaro gained a measure of revenge for her defeat at Waters’ hands in the Irish Open final as she put St George’s ahead.
Surrey took the lead as Simon Rosner continued his winning record against his most-times room-mate Nicolas Mueller, the Swiss levelling at one-all but unable to maintain the effort as Rosner eased through the third and fourth.
Surrey were one game away from retaining the title as Adrian Grant went 2-0 up over Tom Richards – not that it was easy, both were 11-9 and Richards was particularly unhappy with a stroke against him at game ball in the second.
Richards took the third, taking the crucial points at the end of another close game, and the fourth was nip and tuck – the court was hot and bouncy, and Richards had to put in an awful lot of effort to stay in touch, was on the floor several times but managed to pull another game back 11/9 to keep St George’s in the hunt.
It was Grant though, who picked up the momentum at the start of the decider, and from 4-0 up he managed to keep the gap, despite Richard’s considerable best efforts, taking the game 11/6 to make it a hat-trick of titles for Surrey.
The evening was rounded off with a best of three win for Daryl Selby over long-time adversary Peter Barker, then Surrey collected the trophy for a fourth time, the first club ever to do so.
Full report to follow …