Another great club championship with some excellent squash on display throughout the weekend.
A EVENT FINAL
The A Event final saw the usual suspects facing off once again, Milo Mckenzie, the no.1 seed and current club champion, against Rich Hodges, the no.2 seed and 5-time club champion.
Milo made the better start and took the 1st game 11-6, playing more accurate and attacking squash than Rich. The 2nd game was much closer, with Rich upping his game. Milo made a few errors at crucial points towards the end of the game and Rich took it 11-8 to level it at 1 game each. Milo regained his focus in game 3 and, despite Rich's great retrieval skills, won the game 11-6 to go 2-1 up. Milo continued his fine form in the 4th game and looked to be cruising to his 2nd club championship title with 5 match balls at 10-5 however, Rich refused to give up. With a combination of mistakes from Milo and winners, Rich found himself level at 10 all. We got possibly the best rally of the game at 10 all, with both players firing in attacks, but it was Milo who hit an outrageous volley nick to give himself another match ball. This time he made no mistake and hit a low forehand kill to retain his title!
A PLATE FINAL
The A Plate final saw Mark Manuel take on Adam Coates, both of who had played well in their plate semi-finals matches to reach the final.
The 1st 2 games saw Adam struggle to get many points on the board, due to a combination of Mark's accurate low hitting and some nerves. This saw Mark take a quick 2-0 lead, with both games going 11-2 in favour of the 2nd team Captain. Adam shook off the nerves and upped his game in the 3rd and had the lead at the mid-stage of the game at 7-5. However, Mark continued his consistent and powerful play and regained the lead and converted the 3rd game 11-9 to win the A Plate!
The ladies final was between Sophie Cassidy, who cruised through the group stage without dropping a game, and Shef Popat, who sneaked through on individual points won after winning the same number of games as Michelle Fawdon.
Sophie dominated the majority of the match with her accurate lengths and quick movement, there were spells at the beginning each game where Shef managed to pull ahead but she was never able to stick with Sophie for long enough to take a game. Sophie won the contest 3-0; 11-3,11-6, 11-4 to win her first ladies title.
B EVENT FINAL
The 2 tops seeds had both advanced through the draw to reach the final, no.1 seed Richard Martin dropped 1 game on route to the final, whereas Umer Chughtai had some tougher games, dropping 3 games.
The 1st game made it clear that there wasn't much between these 3rd team players, with them going almost point for point up to 9-9. Umer was more clinical with his shots in the closing stages and took the 1st game 11-9. A lapse in concentration from Richard, along with some hard attacking squash from Umer, saw him facing a quick 9-2 deficit in the 2nd game, and despite his best efforts he was too far behind to mount a substantial comeback and Umer took the 2nd 11-7. Another slow start from Richard left him 5-1 in the 3rd, but this time he mounted a stronger comeback and cut through Umer to take the 3rd 11-6 and keep his chances alive. Both players were visibly struggling with the heat in the 4th, but that didn't seem to deter either of them as the game went the distance, with Umer and Richard playing some of their best squash in this game. The game was tied at 10-10 and Richard managed to pull in front and give himself a game ball at 11-10, but failed to convert it. Umer summoned his final reserves of energy and just held off Richard to take the 4th 13-11 and retain his B Event champion status!
B PLATE FINAL
The B Plate final was contested by Alex Bell, last year's winner, and Chris Trewhitt both of whom had overcome some tricky matches to reach the final.
Chris was the dominating force in this match-up, with his powerful drives being too much for Alex to deal with. Chris was always comfortably in the lead in the 1st and 2nd game, and took both 11-6. Alex got to grips with Chris' power in the 3rd and started playing some better more attacking squash, winning a number of points with low, short boasts. Despite this, Chris just had enough to get over the line in the 3rd, 11-8, and be crowned the B Plate winner!
Congratulations to all the winners, runners-up and everyone who participated to make this a great event. Thanks also go to our sponsors: Squash Up, Squash Newcastle, Whitehouse Farm Centre and Prestwick Care who all supported our tournament this year!