Day 5 – Sunday 3rd April, FINALS
Women’s O70. Rebecca Czuczman (KNT) has five National titles but not a British Open. Standing in her way again was five time champion Ann Manley (AVN) who also has three World titles. A vital first game went to Manley 13/11 as did a third by the same score. 11/9 in the fourth and another title for her.
Women’s O65. Pauline Douglas has played for South Africa and Scotland and is a former World Champion. She had too much mobility for Eunice Bond (SCO) the National Champion but a good match with some great skills eventually went to Douglas in straight games.
Women’s O60. In a repeat of the National final Jill Campion (WAL) a former World Champion and three time Open Champion took on England International Lesley Sturgess (DYS). It was another tough match that almost inevitable went to five games before Campion prevailed.
Women’s O55. Mandy Akin (KNT) was favourite here but has had some injury problems recently and is a bit short of matches. Hilary Kenyon (CHS) and AKIN always have tight matches and an earlier one this season went to 12/10 in the fifth. Kenyon was on form here, however and came through in fout very close games for her first British Open.
Women’s O50. Andrea Santamaria (YKS) has Open, National and European titles but had to really battle this week. She came through in five in the semi and after being 2/0 up in the final found herself in another fifth game ahainst National Champion Sarah Parr (BRK). He experience saw her through as she took her fourth Open.
Women’s O45. Vix Smith (SRY) was the season’s revelation winning the Open and the Closed and winning the Player of the Year accolade. She beat Rachel Calver (LEC) in those finals in five very close, competitive matches, but today Calver was on her best form. She controlled the pace and came through 3/0 – 18/16 in the third for a first Open to go with her previous National win.
Women’s O40. Keeley Johnson (KNT) is a former Open, National and European Champion but lost the National final this year to former Wales International Hannah Wright-Davies. The Wales player again proved too strong and took the title in straight games.
Women’s O35. A small draw headed by two exceptional players who were both World top 20 players recently. Sarah Campion (CHS) won the British Open and National titles last season but had a stern test here. In an exceptional match that would not have been out of place in the PSA arena Fiona Moverley (YKS) prevailed in five games of the highest quality. A fantastic showpiece for Women’s Squash.
Men’s O80s. No one wins four World Masters titles without being able to hit a ball pretty well and Adrian Wright (YKS) can certainly do that. John Blurton (SFD) is the National Champion and has good mobility but he could not match the Silver Fox. A sixth British Open for Wright.
Men’s O75. Barry Featherstone (HPH) has won European, British Open and National titles and having a birthday a week before this event he was firm favourite. But James Dubois (SRY) is National Champion and improved dramatically.
He took the first game 16/14 with some exquisite volley drops and questions were asked. Featherstone answered them emphatically serving better and getting into the rallies that he dominated. A four-game victory for the Salisbury man in half an hour.
Men’s O70. Terry Belshaw (CBA) has been close to the big titles before and he started this final against former National Champion Ian Graham (SSX) in unstoppable form. He was two games up in no time and Graham was on the ropes.
Somehow, the Veterans Club chairman rallied and squeezed the third 11/9. Belshaw, at times unplayable had two match points in the fourth but errors crept in and Graham clawed it back 15/13.
Belshaw had another purple patch and went 8/3 up in the fifth. Surely it was over. But Graham showing incredible grit and discipline rolled off the next eight points for the title in 35 minutes. What a match.
Men’s O65. Robin Ridley is National Champion and Scotland Champion and no. 1. He beat John Guyatt (WOC) in four in the Nationals and was favourite here. Guyatt played very positively and took the first well but Ridley struck back and rolled off the next two.
Guyatt went back to a more positive and varied game and amidst some wonderful rallies took the next two games 12/10. 12/10. for the title in 38 minutes.
Men’s O60. Mark Woodliffe (GLR) has seven British Opens and rarely loses in his age group. Smooth around the court and always playing the right shot, he is exceptional. His opponent, Allen Barwise (CBA) is European Champion and a former National Champion. No mean player, but he could find no way through the class of Gloucestershire man who is now based in Germany. Another British Open for Woodliffe.
Men’s O55. It was a question of whether Eamonn Price (HFD) could reproduce the heroics of his sensational match against top seed and seven time Champion Fredrik Johnson (SWE) yesterday in four gruelling games in 43 minutes, against another great player in Yawar Abbas (DCL) the defending champion.
Abbas was too good and despite a valiant rally to take the third game 16/14 the match went to Abbas in four games of quality Squash in 39 minutes. A fourth British Open for him.
Men’s O50. Nick Wall (YKS) is a double British Open Champion and has three Nationals as well. But Stuart Hargreaves (YKS) had served notice that he was in form by beating the powerful no. 2 seed John Simpson. In a full-blooded battle with great shot-making and retrieving. It was always going to go to a decider. And it was Hargreaves who emerged the stronger in the fifth to take the title in 41 minutes.
Men’s O45. I’m not sure how often twins have played in the Final of a major squash tournament but Nick and Rob Staunton of Ireland did so at the National Championships a couple of years ago and now again here. Nick had removed top seed Paul Boyle (BUX) and Rob was second seed.
These two tend to play some contentious matches and fireworks were forecast over Court 5. But it was not to be. Nick was the more outgoing and aggressive, took the first, edged the second 12/10 to shouts of delight and romped through the third for a first British Open title.
Men’s O40. Darren Lewis (LEC) would be described as a great talent on the Squash court in any company. He plays shots that sometimes have to be seen to be believed and can be unplayable. Glyn Saunders (YKS) the no. 2 seed was not overawed. What an athlete that man is. He covered the court at great pace relentlessly powering the ball back.
The first two games were shared and in a moment of inspiration the third went to Lewis 12/10. He held on to control the fourth and take his fourth British Open in 33 minutes of all action squash.
Men’s O35. Rory Pennell (ESX) was a World ranked pro and after a break came onto the Masters circuit this year. He has improved continuously and played top squash in his semi final to remove second seed Jason Pike (WKS). James Bowden (LEC) was to prove another matter. What makes one player a bit better than a very, very good player?
Bowden has it. A quality match but it was soon clear that there could only be one winner and Bowden romped home 3/0 for a second British Open Masters title.
Also to the England Squash Masters Committee for the organisation of the event, especially Events Manager Brian Brock.
Day 4 – Saturday 2 April, Semi-Finals
Masters Chairman Stuart Hardy reports
Men’s O80. The inspirational elder statesmen of the game were in action today. Lead by four time World Champion Adrian Wright (YKS) he showed his renowned solid hitting as he despatched Geoff Coe (CHS) in straight games. In the other semi another former World Masters champion Lance Kinder (HPH) was giving a few years away to National Champion John Blurton (SFD) who proved to strong. A Wright / Blurton final.
Men’s O75. Barry Featherstone (HPH) is on a mission. Just in the group he seems stronger and fitter than any other player. John Smith (NLD) is a canny player but he had no answer to stop the Featherstone piledriver. 3/0 to him. He will face the National Champion James Dubois (SRY) who worked out the mercurial skills of Tommy Elves (DCL) whose lobs and volley drops were at times unplayable. Dubois has the strength and mobility, however and came through after dropping the first.
Men’s O70. Ian Ross’ run of wins came to and end when the Scot lost in straight games to the man he beat in the last British Open final. Terry Belshaw (CBA) kept probing the front of the court and today was too good. A 3/0 win and a date with former National Champion Ian Graham (SSX) who was too good for Andrew Edmondson (LCN) who could not reproduce the form that removed the no. 3 seed yesterday.
Men’s O65. Scotland No. 1 Robin Ridley is on a mission for the Open and National double and he ended Ripley Oyler’s (BRK) fine run in straight games although each was competitive and hard played. Oyler’s fine form has earned him a first England cap this season. Ridley will face No. 2 seed John Guyatt (WOC) who proved to be too strong for Geoff Redfern (WKS) and in spite of some fine rallies and exquisite drops Redfern could not make headway.
Men’s O60. Mark Woodliffe (GLR) has seven British Open titles already and is imperiously marching through the draw. Another 3/0 win against the in form James Barrington (SRY) who fought hard and produced some lovely squash but Woodliffe had too much game. In the final he will meet Allen Barwise (CBA) who gained revenge for a 2019 National final loss to Neil Harrison (DCL) and controlled the match to keep Harrison out and record a 3/0 win. Barwise already has a National and European title and would dearly love an Open.
Men’s O55. In the best match I have seen this week Eamonn Price (HFD) produced a masterclass of controlled squash to beat seven time British Open champion Fredrik Johnson of Sweden. Price played straight length squash and gave Johnson very little to attack and frustrated the super mobile Swede into errors. In the final he will meet Yawar Abbas (DCL) who had the edge on Steve Wren (NZL) and after a tight 12/10 first ran out a comfortable winner. A great final in store.
Men’s O50. Nick Wall (YKS) took his expected place in the final but had to work hard to get past a tenacious Matthew Stephenson (YKS) who played a great game but just fell short in the end. Unexpectedly Wall’s final opponent will be Stuart Hargreaves (YKS) who produced a fine upset coming back from 2/1 down to outlast John Simpson (YKS) the No. 2 seed.
Men’s O45. In another upset Nick Staunton of Ireland took his place in the final edging out the No. 1 seed Paul Boyle (BUX) in a tense all action encounter. At one all the match hinged on a vital third game which to wild celebration Staunton took 12/10. He held on to take the fourth for a four game win in 42 minutes. In the final he will meet his twin Rob Staunton (IRL) in a repeat of a National final a few years ago that had its share of fireworks. Rob beat Jolyon Head (KNT) in straight games in a clinical display of squash. An explosive final in prospect.
Men’s O40. In a group of exceptional talent Darren Lewis (LEC) would always stand out. He again was particularly impressive here beating Steven Davies (BFD) in straight games without really letting him have a sniff of the finish line. In the other half of the draw Nick Hargreaves (NOT) and Glyn Saunders (YKS) were pounding each other with relentless rallies. The first game took 15 minutes and went to Hargreaves but Saunders struck back 12/10 in the second. He took the third as well and at 9/8 down it looked like a fifth was looming but three quick points and Saunders, very relieved, was in the final. 47 minutes of all action squash.
Men’s O35. Former Champion and top seed James Bowden (LEC) is a ferocious striker of a squash ball and he did a very professional job in closing out the talented Jamie Douglas (NLD) in straight games in 32 minutes. Always in control Bowden found the right shot continuously and will be difficult to beat this week. Rory Pennell (ESX) has played the Masters circuit all season but today he played the match that he has been trying for all that time. Playing with pace and aggression he gave second seed Jason Pike (WKS) little chance to get in the game and powered to a straight games victory.
Women’s O70. Rebecca Czuczman (KNT) opened her account with a straight games win over Claire Bryars of France and now will meet Ann Manley (AVN) a five time Open winner and former World Champion but Czuczman has seven National titles to her name and it should be a good match.
Women’s O65. Pauline Douglas (SCO) is favourite here and is a former World Champion. She produced a beautiful game against Lynne Davies of Wales and is playing great touch and movement won through in straight games.
Women’s O60. Jill Campion (MDX) and Wales is another former World Champion and with her typical style of focused and accurate squash had too much for Iris Hoefling of Germany. In the final she will meet Lesley Sturgess (DYS) who got the better of former National Champion Sian Johnson (WAL) in three closely contested games.
Women’s O55. Mandy Akin (KNT) has eight British Open Masters titles and is favourite here. In her semi final she kept Karen Webb (BRK) at bay with controlled athletic squash. A 3/0 win to Akin. In the final she will play Hilary Kenyon (CHS) who had a good contest for two games against Polly Woodward (CHS) before running away with the third.
Women’s O50. European Champion Andrea Santamaria (YKS) had a superb semi final with the talented Nicky Horn (YKS). In a match that swung backwards and forwards Horn edged 2/1 up with a 12/10 third game and got to a match point in the fourth before Santamaria steadied herself and took it 14/12. She kept her nose in front from there and got home in five. In the final she will meet National Champion Sarah Parr (BRK) who again proved a bit better than her opponent in that National final, Jillian Lilico (HFD) and won in three entertaining games.
Women’s O45. This group is becoming a Smith/Calver roadshow with these two exceptional women bringing out the very best in their games. Vix Smith (SRY) has won the British Open and National titles in the last season and reached the final here with a hard fought 3/1 win over Catherine Ruffle of Kent. The third game which Smith took 12/10 was crucial. Meanwhile Rachel Calver (LEC) also had her work cut out as she edged the first 13/11, took the second, lost 12/10 in the third before running through the fourth. So a Smith/Calver final part three.
Women’s O40. National Champion and former Wales International Hannah Wright-Davies (KNT) is looking for her first British Open title and was in great form when she overcame Natalie Lawrence (SOM) in straight games in half an hour. In the final she will play Keeley Johnson (KNT) the former champion who had a titanic battle with Kate Bradshaw (CBE). With some great squash from both women Johnson went 2/0 up but Bradshaw battled back to level. The fifth went point for point but Johnson squeezed home 13/11 to book her final slot.
Women’s O35. This group is being played as a round robin and the two top seeds have comfortably emerged in the final. Top seeded Fiona Moverley (YKS) recorded wins against Sarah Jane Kneller (ESX) and Polly Rowlance-Smith (LCN) to take her place while last season’s British Open and National Champion Sarah Campion (CHS) recorded similar results to set up a mouth-watering final between two former top professional players.
Some World Class Masters Squash on display tomorrow and new British Open Champions to be crowned. Finals start at 10.30am and a feast of Squash will be on show.
Day 3 – Friday 1st April
Day 3 Quarter Finals day saw some fantastic matches played across all the age groups with some upsets and great comebacks which contributed to a memorable day of Masters squash.
Men’s O75. Top seed and favourite Barry Featherstone (HPH) just in the age group announced himself in style as he overpowered former 70s World Champion Chris Ansell in straight games. He will now face the wiley John Smith (NLD) who was too good for Allan Whittow (BUX). There was an upset as Thomas Elves (DCL) playing his unique drop game outfoxed six time champion Mike Clemson (YKS) winning 3/1 in 37 minutes. He will now meet second seed and National Champion James Dubois (SRY) who once again proved too good for Martin Pearse (NOR) winning in straight games.
Men’s O70. Winning the British National and European titles doesn’t guarantee future success and Ian Ross (SCO) nearly came unstuck against the very good Jakey Musson (CBA) recovering from 2/1 down to edge through 13/11 in the fifth in 45 minutes. He will now play Open finalist Terry Belshaw (CBA) who also had a tight match squeezing home 11/9 in the fifth against Tony Pensom (DCL). In the bottom half newly crowned Scottish Champion Emilio Fazzi fell to Andrew Edmondson (LCN) in four and will meet former National Champion Ian Graham (SSX) who beat Peter Smith (BUX) in straight games.
Men’s O65. National Champion and Scottish Champion Robin Ridley is top seed here but had to work very hard against England star Simon Evenden (NHM). Ridley recovered from 9/3 down in the first to take it 12/10 and had to do another fightback to take the fourth 12/10 for a four game win. Ridley will face Ripley Oyler (BRK) who is having a fine tournament and he defeated the talented Gordon McManus (KNT) who was also battling a niggle. There was a seeding upset as 3/4 seed Stuart Hardy (WLT) lost to long standing rival Geoff Redfern (WKS) a 5/8 seed 11/8 in the fifth. Redfern will meet John Guyatt (WOC) who was too controlled for Wales No.1 Adrian Alderton winning 3/0.
Men’s O60. Mark Woodliffe (GLR) has come over from Germany to compete and has won the British Open several times before. Outstanding in his age group he is the man to beat. Nick Gollaglee (SOM) could not find the answer and fell in straight games. The next man up for him will be James Barrington (SRY) who is producing some fine results this time against Lluis Suarez from Andorra the 3/4 seed and in a fantastic match won in five excellent games. In the other half Allen Barwise (CBA) the current European Champion produced another solid performance to beat Teejay Sogunro (HFD) 3/0 and he will play another former National Champion in Neil Harrison (DCL) who beat Mark Taylor (AVN) in four tight games.
Men’s O55. Seven time British Open Champion Fredrik Johnson of Sweden was a top 20 World Pro and still seems to move like it. He had a magnificent match against England star Alex Betts (MDX) who matched his ferocious hitting and at one game all a vital third game went to the Swede 15/13 followed by a fourth. Johnson will now meet another former champion in Eamonn Price (HFD) who put in a classical display of pressure squash to end the excellent run of Steve Martin (YKS). A great semi final in prospect. In the bottom half another former World Pro Steve Wren (NZL) had a real battle with England Captain Ray Burke MBE (YKS) who levelled at two all before earning two match points. Wren steadied himself and snatched the decider 12/10. He now meets defending three time champion Yawar Abbas (DCL) who had too much for Martin Geear (LEC) winning in four games.
Men’s O50. Nick Wall (YKS) is already a double British Open title holder and he is looking for three. He overpowered Jeremy Krzystyniak (SRY) in straight games today to set up an all Yorkshire semi final with Matthew Stephenson who proved to controlled for Craig Webb (GLR) winning in 3. The event is starting to look like a ‘Yorkshire Closed’ as Stuart Hargreaves came through against Tim Clark (DCL) in a well fought contest while John Simpson, seeded 2 was too good for Dominic Curtis. Four Yorkshiremen in the semi finals. There must be a joke about that!
Men’s O45. Top seed Paul Boyle (BUX) had a tremendous battle with Chris Stanley (DVN) in his quarter final taking the first two games 14/12 and 16/14. The third also went to Boyle in what must be one of the hardest straight game wins. Former National Champion Nick Staunton of Ireland also won through proving too talented for David Gouldby (NOR) winning in four. Meanwhile second seed Rob Staunton (IRL) brother of Nick won a close and exciting straight games over David Robertson of Wales and he will meet Jolyon Head (KNT) who had an absolute stormer against Joss Hargrave (LEC) winning 13/11, 9/11, 12/10, 8/11, 14/12 in just under an hour.
Men’s O40. Darren Lewis (LEC) has three British Opens and was in dominant form today as he brushed aside the powerful Adam Giles the Wiltshire Champion 3/0. He meets Stephen Davies (BFD) who outlasted Mike Potter(CHS) after Potter had taken a long, hard first 14/12. In the other half Nick Hargreaves (NOT) played as he does best – long, attritional rallies and high energy. It was only just enough as Stephen Jenks (SPE) almost matched him only falling short 12/10 in the fifth in nearly an hour. He will meet Glyn Sanders (YKS) who came from 2/1 down to beat second seed Paul Jones (HPH) over five games.
Men’s O35. James Bowden (LEC) is another former champion with the knack of winning matches. He controlled the game beautifully and eased past Dan Busby (WKS). Jamie Douglas (NLD) will face him next after a clinical demolition of Norfolk shot-maker Matt Bolt. The other half is interesting in that Rory Pennell (ESX) – who was too good for Tony Webb (SRY) and has been re-finding his match play all season, will face Jason Pike (WKS) who emphasised the gap in the top 35s with Jamie Goodrich (NOR) who is playing a couple of groups younger. A four game win for the Leamington pro. So that semi final with two England team mates this season will be a rematch of an epic five game match where Pennell saved seven match points to win. Pike will want to put things right!
Women’s O70. Many time Champion Ann Manley (AVN) started her matches with a solid 3/0 win over Claire Bryars of France. Some lovely rallies and fine shot making but Manley always had the edge.
Women’s O50. Nicky Horn (YKS) has not appeared on the circuit for a while but she is always top quality when she does. She proved to be too accomplished for Alison Goy (NOT) winning in straight games. National Runner Up Jillian Lilico (HFD) came through a competitive four game match against Wendy Hiscox (MDX) and will now meet her National final conqueror Sarah Parr (BRK) who had a real battle with Sarah Percy (YKS) eventually squeezing home 11/9 in the fifth.
Women’s O40. Natalie Lawrence of Somerset showed some fine form to despatch Gemma Barber (DOR) in straight games to book a semi final with National Champion Hannah Wright-Davies of Kent and Wales. Kate Bradshaw (CBE) produced a similar solid result against Elaine Radcliffe (SPE) and she has earned a match with former champion Keeley Johnson (KNT) in the semi finals.
Semi finals on Saturday start at 11.00am and some great Masters Squash is in store.
Day 2 – Wednesday 31st March
Things heated up today with all the major players in the draws competing.
Men’s O75. Some good squash played and no major upsets but the pick of the matches was probably Allan Whittow (BUX) edging past Robert Smith (KNT) in five entertaining games. Masters Founder Martin Pearse (NOR) controlled his match as he beat John Culverhouse (KNT) and now meets National Champion James Dubois (SRY) in the next round. Top seed Barry Featherstone (HPH) just in the age group has a first match against former World Masters Champion Chris Ansell (BRK) who comfortably beat Leo Kingston (LNH).
Men’s O70. British Open and National Champion Ian Ross from Scotland is top seed here and will play Jakey Musson (CBA) who caused an upset beating Neil Nightingale (DYS) in four. Terry Belshaw also from Cumbria got through against Russell Foster (NOT) in four. Scottish Champion Emilio Fazzi will take on Andrew Edmondson (LCN) after he comfortably overcame Terry Norman (SOM). The other quarter will be between two former National Champions in Peter Smith (BUX) and Ian Graham (SSX) who both had comfortable 3/0 wins.
Men’s O65. The top eight seeds all took their allotted places in the quarter finals with National Champion Robin Ridley (SCO) looking ominously good and will now meet Simon Evenden (NHM). Ripley Oyler (BRK) had a terrific battle with Gary Powell (GLR) and in a very close match edged home to book a date with Gordon McManus (KNT) who had to work very hard to get by Peter Hofling of Germany. Stuart Hardy (WLT) overcame John Petruschke (BRK) 3/0 and now meets old adversary Geoff Redfern (WKS) who beat Salu Manzoor (LDN). Second seed John Guyatt (WOC) needed four games to get past Mike Quartley (CHS) and he now plays Wales No.1 Adrian Alderton.
Men’s O60. Top seed and outstanding favourite Mark Woodliffe (GLR) is over from Germany to win this event yet again and he is through to meet Nick Gollaglee (SOM). James Barrington (SRY) continued his very good form of late and beat England player Nick Peel (KNT) in straight games to earn a match with 3/4 seed Lluis Suarez of Andorra who came past David Kirk (OFE) in four. Current European Champion Allen Barwise (CBA) went through in straight games against Peter Call (BRK) but will probably have a tougher match against Teejay Sogunro (HFD). He beat Mark Taylor (WKS) in five seesaw games. In a fantastic match full of touch and fine shot making England player Mark Taylor (AVN) defeated Felix Paal of Germany who is probably the most widely travelled Masters player. Taylor edged the fourth 13/11 in an excellent match. He will now meet second seed Neil Harrison (DCL) who was within a point of going out of the tournament as he went two down to Phil Wakefield (YKS) before edging the third 12/10, the fourth 11/9 and then the fifth.
Men’s O55. Former World circuit top 20 player Fredrik Johnson of Sweden is top seed here and a regular winner. He went through comfortably against Peter Lonsdale (DCL) and meets Alex Betts (MDX) who had a tremendous five set win over Duane Harrison (KNT). There was an upset as Steve Martin (WKS) continued his fine form and again caused a seeding upset beating Phil Yerby (BUX) 13/11 in the fifth. He now meets an even sterner proposition in former National Champion Eamonn Price (HFD) who beat county colleague Marvin Rust in straight games. Steve Wren (NZL) is a former Champion and he eased through to meet Ray Burke MBE (LNH) who had a hard hitting battle with Andy Murray (WKS) winning in five. In another fine five game match Martin Geear (LEC) beat Surrey’s Marc Aldridge in five and now meets defending champion Yawar Abbas (DCL) who had a competitive match with Tim Smith (CNL) winning in four.
Men’s O50. The top seed here is National Champion Nick Wall (YKS) but he was not in action today. The right to play him was won by Jeremy Krzystyniak (SRY) who won a competitive five game tussle with James Bentick (YKS). Craig Webb (GLR) had a straightforward win to set up a date with Matthew Stephenson (YKS) a 3/4 seed. In the bottom half it again went to seeding and Tim Clark (DCL) will meet Stuart Hargreaves (YKS) after a 3/0 win while second seed John Simpson (YKS) will face Dominic Curtis of Surrey.
Men’s 45. Another group where the seeding has so far proved absolutely correct. No. 1 seed and former National Champion Paul Boyle (BUX) will face Chris Stanley (DVN) who had too much for Julian Becket (WLT). Irish star Nick Staunton also won in straight games against Justyn Claydon (WKS) and will meet David Gouldby (NOR) who after a 15/13 first went through comfortably. In the other half Joss Hargrave (LEC) was in ruthless form against Jason Revell (LCN) and David Robertson of Wales set up a quarter against the other Staunton, Rob, the no. 2 seed.
Men’s 40. Adam Giles (WLT) powered his way to meet top seed a former Circuit pro Darren Lewis (LEC) the current National Champion in what will be a tough ask. Mike Potter (CHS) will play one 3/4 seed Steven Davies (BFD) while Stephen Jenks (SPE) will play Nottingham Pro Nick Hargreaves who is the other. Waiting at the bottom of the draw is the winner between Glyn Saunders (YKS) and second seed Paul Jones (HPH).
Men’s 35. Some interesting match ups in this group. James Bowden (LEC) is favourite and he now plays Dan Busby (WKS) who eased past Chris Martin (LCN) while the Norfolk shot-maker Matthew Bolt took four contested games to get through Kev Lorne (YKS). He now plays 3/4 seed Jamie Douglas (NLD). Meanwhile, New England cap Tony Webb (SRY) earned a shot at another former circuit World ranked pro Rory Pennell (ESX). Jamie Goodrich (NOR) playing down age groups continues to amaze with his level as he survived the tightest of 3/0 wins to set up a match with second seed and Leamington pro Jason Pike (WKS). Should be a great match.
Friday sees all the top seeds in action and the contenders trying to stake their claims.
There will be some great Masters Squash at the University of Hull while the top World professionals battle it out 200 yards away!
Day 1 – Wednesday 30th March
England Squash Masters were back at the University of Hull for the first time in a few years with the Masters event running alongside the PSA world circuit event. So the Masters players had the dubious pleasure of warming up and playing their early matches while the likes of World No. 1 Paul Coll smashed the ball around on the court next door.
There were a number of drop outs which caused the schedule for the day to be reduced somewhat but there were first round matches in the O70s and O65s which had some seeding upsets.
Men’s O70. There was early success for Alistair Swift (LNH) as he beat Peter Wilson (DYS) to earn a match with top seed and defending champion Ian Ross of Scotland. Leon Kirton (DCL) came through against David Grant from Wales and now faces Scottish champion Emilio Fazzi in the next round. Tony Hulse (MDX) got through against Rodger Holroyde (YKS) and now earns a match against No.2 seed and former National Champion Ian Graham (SSX).
Men’s O65. Clark Adam of Scotland had a terrific battle with Gary Powell (GLR) with all the games going close before Powell squeezed through in the fifth. Meanwhile Peter Hofling of Germany got some revenge over Steve Forster (YKS) and won in three. A rejuvenated Richard Mosley (SRY) almost beat the higher seeded John Petruschke (BRK) but failed to convert a match ball in the fourth and went down in five. Newcomer Salu Manzoor (LDN) was an unknown quantity but proved too mobile for Rob Ballingall (BUX) an experienced campaigner himself. Geoff Redfern (WKS) will now meet Manzoor after seeing off Chris Hughes of South Africa.
Men’s O60. Phil Wakefield (YKS) had a battle with Adrian Lindfield (SFK) eventually edging it 17/15, 11/4, 17/15. Peter Call (BRK) also progressed in straight games against Paul Matthewman (LCN).
Men’s O55. This is probably the toughest of all the age groups with top seed and many times champion Fredrik Johnson of Sweden heading the group but with current champion Yawar Abbas (DCL) and Steve Wren of New Zealand and Eamonn Price (HFD) making up a formidable top four. Today there were wins for Duane Harrison (KNT) and Phil Yerby (BUX) who had a good 3/1 against Wales international Ian Fenner-Evans. There was an upset when Andy Cross (DCL) a former Open Champion went down against the tenacious Steve Martin (YKS). Andy Murray (WKS) just into the age group found the going harder than perhaps he thought in beating John Fuller (YKS) with two games going into extra time. The rest of the top seeds all went through in what promises to be a fantastic draw.
Thursday sees all the higher seeded players starting their campaigns and some great squash is in store.