Club Champs Squash 2019

Squash Club Championships 2019

Friday 19th June saw the finals of this years Club Squash Championships and what a fantastic evenings entertainment we were treated to by all the players involved.

Two months of knockout stages in all age groups plus this year the inclusion of a Doubles category lead us to this grand finale of 6 spectacular matches which kicked off with the over 55's where James Wadley met Bob Green, a match that was always going to be a tough ask for Bob who has recently returned to squash after a lengthy lay off. James took the early initiative and with his powerful and accurate play ran in to an impressive lead not allowing Bob to get in to his stride and play his usual more careful and controlled game. After an exchange of winning shots it was James who took the first game. The second was more of the same but Bob was now beginning to get his eye, but not before James had hit his second game winning shot. 2-0. Game three was much closer with just a couple of points between them for the most  and it could have gone either way but finally James was just too strong and ran out a 3-0 winner. A great start to the evening.

Tim Dickins and Andy Codrai fought their over 45's match with, as always, gusto and flare. These two great players were always going to have a nip and tuck close game and that's how it turned out trading punches one way then the other, each game producing long  rallies and brilliant shots. After two games it was one a piece so still could have gone either way but in games three and four Andy was just that bit more clinical and eventually went on to win 3-1.

The over 35 game between Stuart Delmege a 4th team player and Mark Bangs a 2nd team player was always going to be interesting. Mark, a classy, thoughtful and very precise player and Stuart an excellent player, who relies on power and his super quick speed around the court. Again, each game was similar to the last in this match with Mark moving Stuart from the back to the front of the court  with shots of such accuracy that Stuart struggled to return them. It was Stuart's fitness and pace that kept him in the games, this I think surprised Mark who couldn't believe how some shots were being returned. In the end though Mark's class shone through and was victorious 3-0.

There was a third place play off in the Main Draw with Matt Merriman and Callum Greasley (The Trojan) going head to head. Again, as expected a close fought affair between two first team players at their respective clubs. The first game was just edged by Matt but Callum's never give up attitude saw him battle in the second playing some of his best squash to take the game and level at 1 all. And so the pattern continued for two further games full of  spectacular rallies and shots, eventually though culminating in what was to be two more games for Matt who finally won 3-1 which meant to Matt's relief that the name Merriman will continue to appear on the list of medal winners for another year.

What a great idea to add the Doubles in to this years tournament, my personal favourite category in this years Club Championships and what a ding dong final it turned out to be with the match going all the way to five games but what odd games they were. After the first game it looked like it was going to be a very one sided affair as Damon Chase and Phil Bull demolished George Stanford and Callum Greasley (the Trojans) by 11 points to 1. The second saw the Trojans make a come back and take a very tight game to make it 1-1 but again the third saw an odd swing back to Damon and Phil who restricted their opponents again to just 1 point. Were George and Callum flagging? clearly not as they took the fourth to evens things up again. So to a decider, and what a game it was with the scoring going back and fro and eventually at 13 all, with the time getting on and with Chairman Moore worried that his Auntie Bessy's spuds and sausage rolls were getting over done in the oven, Callum and George decided to end proceedings and won the final two points to claim a well earned victory 3-2. An excellent game played in great spirit and with a real sense of humour by all including our guest scorer for this match, Phil's wife Tina who did a sterling job.

    

So to the final event of the evening, the Main Draw final between George Stafford and the now ever so tired and a little bit sweaty Phil Bull (come to think about it I don't even think he changed his shirt??). Anyway this was the club Legend vs the young pretender and neither wanted to lose. Both players came out of the traps as we knew they would playing unbelievable squash and is was Phil who took the first close game to lead 1-0. George, with his seemingly extendable arm and with his ability to do the splits got to just about everything in game two and was the eventual deserved winner so now 1-1.

Phil simply could not let George beat him in this final, it had happened a little too often of late and the rot had to be stopped and stop him did. Phil used all the tricks in his book of ridiculously impossible shots to eventually see off a still very very impressive George to become once again the 2019 FAIR OAK SQUASH CLUB CHAMPION.

Finally a big thanks for all the help I received organising the tournament and on the night and also to our club President Devan Kandiah who presented the trophies.

Entries will open for this years Presidents Cup Racketball handicap competition very soon.

Cheers for now Mike Davies - Tourney Organiser