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Club Finals 2016

Friday and Sunday afternoons saw the completion of 10 of this years finals, and some great action was witnessed by the sizeable crowd on both days, with new faces in quite a few of the finals.

On Friday the following trophies were competed for, Club Championship Division B and C,  Club Championship Division A Plate, Veterans over 40 and the Handicap Plate.

Club Championship Division B. Thomas Bragg v Bradley Mills.

 Thomas Bragg Winner, Bradley Mills Runner up  Thomas Bragg with Barbara Telfer

In an even first game it was Thomas who eventually pulled clear but only in the latter points to take it 15/11, Bradley won an equally tight second to level the match up with a 15/12 game, and so it continued into the third with Thomas getting the better of Bradley with a 15/13 game to go ahead again 2-1. Bradley led another tight game in the 4th, 9/6 and 11/9 and at 12 all it was up for grabs, but Thomas prevailed and took the 4th game 15/12 to win 3-1.

Club Championship Division C. Ian Savage v Zachary Singleton

 Zachary Singleton Winner, Ian Savage Runner up  Zac Singleton with Barbara

Ian started well taking the opening 4 points before Zac responded with the next 4 , and so it went on throughout the first game until eventually Zac sneaked ahead at the death to take it 15/13. Undeterred by this and losing the first 4 points of the second game Ian stuck in and stopped the momentum and with all the rest of the points being shared we had a tie-breaker at 14 all, Ian took mit at the first chance to win 16/14 and level the match. Zac was more accurate in the third and took it comfortably 15/7, and followed it up with a 15/10 in the 4th game to win 3-1.

Handicap Plate, Hannah Crichton v Kai Nolan

 Hannah Crichton Winner, Kai Nolan Runner up  Hannah Crichton with 'Aunty' Barbara

Hannah was playing off -22 and Kai was +1 which meant that in the best of 3 games Kai had 23 points start to 'first to 37 points. Kai took the opening 2 points to lead 25/0 before Hannah got started, but then she played steady controlled squash to score 13 of the next 15 points to half the deficit. Kai was retrieving almost everything and Hannah was working hard to out position him, and the next 13 points were Hannahs to see herself nearly draw level at 26/28, but this was the last chance that Kai had as Hannah concentrated through 'till the end of the opener taking the next 11 points for a hard earned 37/28 winning game. Hannah started well in the second game only losing 2 points out of 16, but then hit 3 balls down in 6 points and Kai was still just ahead on the ratio of points he needed to score. Hannah re-focussed and took the next 10 points to claw back the advantage, and but for a few errors once she was level on the scoreboard and then in front, took the second game 37/32 and the match 2-0, but she had to work hard for her 74 points, all credit to Kai who's fitness never waivered throughout.

Club Championship Division A Plate, Dominic Corlett v Brandon Groggins

 'Brothers in arms', Dominic Corlett Runner Up, Brandon Groggins Winner  Brandon Groggins with Barbara

On paper this looked hard to call before hand and so it proved in the opening game with neither player more than 2 points clear. Brandon was first to have a little breathing space at 8/6 but that was the biggest points lead throughout as Dominic gave it everything to keep in touch, and it was no surprise to be at 13 all deep into the first game. Brandon just managed to sneak ahead at the end taking the game ball at the first opportunity to make it 15/13 and go 1 game in front. The second was equally tight although with Dominic leading 6/3 it looked at one stage that Brandon was feeling the effect of a tough opener, but he dug in and took the next 5 points to once again get himself in front, but then Dominic took the next 4 points to see himself go back into a 2 point lead, only to then lose the next 4 points to see Brandon lead by 2 points at 12/10. They shared the next 4 points but Brandon had game ball again at 14/12 only to see Dominic save the chance and pull level at 14 all with 2 points of his own, into the tie-breaker and Dominic had his only game ball at 15/14 but Brandon wasn't for losing just yet and he took the point to level and the next to give himself his 4th game ball which he now took to win the game 17/15 and lead 2-0. The third game saw Brandon run away with it as Dominics fitness deserted him big style as Brandon steam-rollered him 15/3 for a comfortable 3rd game and match.

Veterans Over 40 Chris Woloszyn v Craig Richardson

 Craig Richardson Winner, Chris Woloszyn Runner up

Craig was fairly dominant in the opener as Chris took a while to get his straight length and lobs accurate enough to negate Craigs all court retrievals, and it was a late run of points that saw craig run away with the game 15/6. The 2nd game saw both players hit a series of winners each to get themself a lead only then to see it evaporate as the other drew level and it was only late on again that Craig pulled ahead enough to see himself clear and take the 2nd game 15/9, but Chris was starting to come more into the match. The 3rd game was very tight with Chris opening up a 2 point lead, the first either of them had in this game at 13/11, and better still he had a game ball a point later at 14/11, but Craig did what Craig does and dug in, pulling the deficit back and levelling the score at 14 all taking it to a tie-breaker, and indeed having a match ball at 15/14 but Chris claimed the point to level again, however Craig took the next 2 points to win the game 17/15 and the match 3-0.

Sunday saw the 5 remaining completed finals, these being the Non Ranked, Club Championship Division B Plate, Handicap, Veterans over 50 and Club Championship competitions.

Non Ranked Ian Savage v Paul Greggain

 Ian Savage Winner, Paul Greggain Runner up  Ian (Lillly) Savage with Barbara

Two well matched players made for a 'too tight to call' match, and the first game proved it with neither player either to get more than a 2 point advantage throughoutuntil Paul managed to pull away at 11/9 up to 14/9 and then take the game for the loss of only one more point 15/10. At 6 points to 5 to Ian in the second another tight game was in prospect but a devastating run of points from Paul took him into an unasailable lead by 5 clear points and another 15/10 game followed, 2-0 to Paul. Ian looked to halt the slide in the 3rd game and 6 early points gave him the advantage only to see Paul level it up with his own spell of points and they swapped the odd point here and there until finally Ian pulled away at 11/10 to take the 3rd game 15/11. Ian was never behind on the scoreboard in the 4th game as he reeled off another 15/11 score to level the match at 2 games all, to take it to a 5th game, the first of the weekend. Ian was now firing on all cylinders getting points in blocks of 3's and 4's and soon led 3-0 and 9-5, but Paul wasn't beaten yet and rallied well to pull the score back to only 8/9 down, Ian scored another couple, and Paul contributed 3 points to level the game at 11 all, but from there Ian seized the initiative and won the game 15/11 again for a good 3-2 victory, to retain the trophy.

Club Championship Division B Plate, Hudson Irving v Kai Nolan.

 Hudson Irving Winner, Kai Nolan Runner up  Hudson Irving with Barbara

Two more contrasting finalists you could not have seen. Hudson has been playing for many many years and is a previous Club Champion whereas Kai has played for just over 12 months, Hudson has age and touch whereas Kai has Fitness and bags of enthusiasm and  Hudson has vast game awareness whereas Kai is an 'out and out' runner, and so with all these contrasts it was a fascinating watch. Hudson was the steadier in the first game but it wasn't easy for him as Kai got to virtually everything and it was only his lack of steadiness at times that caused his undoing, sometimes putting Hudson back in the rally and sometimes forcing the ball too much, and so Hudson took the first 15/7. Kai was more settled in the second game although just as busy round court, but he had cottoned onto Hudsons short shots to the front and returned the shot to catch Hudson out of position, Hudson saw a good 6 point lead evaporate as Kai improved the longer it went on and Kai led 10/9 through good play, but the next  8 points were shared and Kai had a game ball at 14/13, but the experience of Hudson held sway and we were into a tie-breaker at 14 all. Hudson had game ball but Kai saved it, Kai then had game ball but Hudson saved it also and at 16 all it was tense, but Hudson drew on his experience and took the 2 points needed for an 18/16 game and 2-0 lead. The third game was another tight one with only 1 point between them for the first 27 points as Hudson led 14/13, only for Kai to rush a simple drive at match point down and crash the ball onto the top of the tin to give the game and match to Hudson 15/13 and 3-0.

Handicap, Chris Musson v Nick Richardson

 Chris Musson Winner, Nick Richardson Runner up  Chris Musson with Barbara

Chris had an 11 point deficit to make up in order to win a game in this best of three game match and Nick has come on well since the start of the season when the handicaps were alloted so it was interesting to see who came out on top. Nick probably didn't help himself by being on a 'stag do' for the weekend and so it was Chris that looked the sharper in the first game as he kept reeling off the winners to keep the margin within range, and although Nick had a late run of points it was Chris taking the first game 26/23 for a 1-0 lead. Nick having run a bit of drink off in the first took 12 of the first 16 points in the 2nd game to make it very difficult for Chris to claw back the advantage at 5/23 down, and the second game was Nicks 26/9 to level it up at 1 game all. Chris was better in the deciding third game and scoring regularly with Nick only taking an odd point here and there, but the handicap was still fairly even at 15/10 and 18/13 to Nick, but a run of 6 points in a row soon pulled the game in Chris's favour as he levelled at 19 all and from there wasn't too troubled as he overcame a visibly tiring Nick 26/21, for a 2-0 win.

Veterans Over 50, David Benson v David Hetherington

 Dave Benson Winner, David Hetherington Runner up  Dave Benson with Barbara

No disrespect to either player, but for the benefit of all I shall use surnames for the remainder of this report. An even opening game saw Benson getting himself in front by the odd few points and it wasn't until Hetherington was 8/13 down that he looked to have the answers to pull it back, but from then on he played the steadier squash to deny Benson a game ball and go on to force a tie-breaker and serve through for a satisfying 16/14 opening game win. Benson was soon 6/2 down in the 2nd game as Hetherington was inspired, but good Benson play soon saw the scores level as he raised the game tempo significantly, Hetherington couldn't get himself back in front and Benson held on for a 15/11 game to square things up. Benson started the 3rd game on top and reeled off 4 winners and still held a good lead despite Hetherington hitting a few good lob winners, with the score at 9/3, and although both of them kept letting the other one back in it was Benson who held on for a 15/9 game to lead 2-1. In the 4th, Hetherington led 7/1 and 8/5 but Benson was on his case and at 9/8 he had clearly given his best, and Benson kept the pace up until he made an error at 12/9 up on the scoreboard. They swapped a few points but Benson wasn't to be denied and took the 4th game 15/12, and the match 3-1.

Club Championship, Daniel Harrison v Ryan Barton

 Dan Harrison Winner, Ryan Barton Runner Up  Daniel Harrison with Barbara

 Ryan took 4 of the 5 opening game points but that was as good as it got as Daniel steadily pegged him back and other than dropping a solitary point when 7/5 up, the game was over for Ryan with Daniel taking it 15/6. The second was a more even contest with great retrieving by both players when under pressure and Daniel was never more than a couple of points clear for the first 12 points until he then managed to pull 4 points clear of Ryan, but Ryan is a reknowned fighter and was soon back level at 11 points all, then 12 points all, until Daniel put together three winners to take the second game 15/12 to lead 2-0. Ryan totally mixed things up in the 3rd game and had Daniel under the cosh for the first time, he had good leads of 5/1, 7/3 and 12/7 but Daniel was still pulling points back as the game entered the business end, but Ryan took the third game 15/11 his first and gave himself a chance. The 4th game saw Daniel turn the tables on Ryan with an early 4-0 lead before Ryan pulled a couple of points back to be only down by 2 points, but a devastating run of points from Daniel saw him go into an unassailable lead 12/2, soon to be a matchball 14/3 lead. Only now in this game did Ryan relax and play some great shots when the pressure was off pulling his score back to 6 points, but it was too big a mountain to climb and Daniel scored the point needed for victory in the 4th game 15/6 and a 3-1 win.

Thanks to everyone throughout the season who played in the competitions, thanks to everyone who marked games and supported the competitors, thanks to Barbara for presenting the trophies, and better luck next year to all those who lost in finals or the earlier rounds of all the competitions.

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