BSPA UK Grand Prix Finals


GRAND PRIX

by SquashPlayer

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Barker and Lengthorn-Massaro Fail to Retain Titles

The B.S.P.A finals were completed at Ipswich Sports Club on Henley Road tonight. The lesser-fancied player winning in each final.

The Ladies Final was first up and here Laura got off to a great start, she dominated from the T and looked simply stronger in all areas.

She picked the volleys off, was quicker on to the ball and generally gave Vicky a torrid time, the first game went away quickly 11-5. The second started in similar fashion, Laura was getting onto the ball early and producing some great little trickle boasts to get herself an early 6-3 lead, a dodgy decision seemed to fire Vicky up however. From here on Vicky started to dominate, early on to anything loose in the middle, she also put more pace on to her drives and started to put in some lovely drops as well. 

She won the 2nd 11-8 and went 9-0 up in the third before Laura could get back into her stride, Laura tried at this point to stem the tide, but the third went 11-3 to Vicky.

In the fourth Laura came out a little bit quicker and began to push Vicky around the court a bit more. Vicky kept digging the ball back under pressure and countered at the front beautifully, when given the chance, at 6-5 for Vicky, Laura made another couple of mistakes and it was all over, Vicky took the title 5-11, 11-8, 11-3, 11-8.

In the after match interviews, Laura admitted to being somewhat rusty but, ďVicky simply took the T away from me in the second, you really can only play as well as your allowed to play.Ē

Vicky thanked everyone for the tournament and intimated that this maybe one of her last tournaments, ďIíve been looking at retiring now for a while and there maybe something in the pipeline to keep me away from squash, if it happens this would be a nice way to finish.Ē

Next up the Mens final and here Peter was hoping to retain the title he won off Ong Beng Hee last year.

The first game was played at a varied pace, Adrian breaking up the rhythm nicely and using his speed to counter Peterís attacks to the front, Adrian held Peter quite brilliantly at times and the forehand straight drop in particular hurt Peter a lot. 11-8 Adrian.

In the second Peter upped the pace a touch more and Adrian made one or two more mistakes. Peter looked incredibly strong on the ball, as ever and although Adrian kept trying to break the game up he couldnít stop Peter keeping the pace up and playing some exquisite volley drops, Peter hit in a couple of great straight kills to finish the game off 11-6.

In the third Adrian again managed to get his nose ahead and try as he might Peter couldnít get back in front. Adrian using his speed to get on to anything short and then hold, Peter looked like the pace wasnít to his liking either. Peter tried to turn the screw, and the pace up, but all to no avail, 11-6 to Adrian.

In the fourth the boys showed how much these end of season matches matter, one or two of the decisions were somewhat disputed and it got rather heated in there, at least they cared.

Peter got into the game a bit more but Adrian once again always seemed to have the answer for anything Peter did. At 6-5 for Adrian a couple of lovely holds on the back of two cruel rallies saw Adrian 8-5 up, Peter hung on point for point from there but it wasnít enough, 11-8 for Adrian.

In the aftermath Peter was disappointed but accepted defeat gracefully, ďHe simply had all the answers to day, I think Iíve played better but he didnít let me play in the end.Ē

Adrian said his plan had been not to let Peter find a rhythm, ďPeterís worked really hard on his movement and he is one of the best if you let him find his rhythm so I tried to stop him doing that and thankfully most of the time it worked. Can I also thank everyone for their support and Martin and his team for a very friendly tournament, I hope to be back next year.Ē

It was just left to Simon Parke to thank everyone for a great three days and this tournament was done.

Ipswich Sports Club hopeís to host a separate Menís and Ladies event next year and this events home looks secure for the next couple of seasons at least.

 

Seeds Through to Finals, Daryl Loses out in Fifth to Adrian

The B.S.P.A finals continued at Ipswich Sports Club on Henley Road tonight, and all four seeds came through safely. Daryl Selby was again involved in a five set thriller but this time on the wrong end.

The Ladies matches were on first and Vicky Botwright gave Victoria Lust a hard time, there was some great Squash in patches but Vicky always had the edge. Her great length and touch to the front never really allowed Victoria into the game and although Victoria had a few bright patches in the third she never really threatened Vicky, 11-3, 11-4, and 11-5 to Vicky Botwright.

Vicky was full of praise for Victoria afterwards, ď Sheís improved a lot since our last meeting and the quality of Squash was pretty good I felt. We really blessed in this country to have so many strong women and up and coming juniors coming into the game.Ē

Deon Saffery next up against Laura Lengthorn-Massaro; Deon started off at a great pace, Laura wasnít quite up for it and the first game was dominated from the T by the diminutive Deon, 11-5 Deon.

Laura had somewhat underestimated Deon in the first and in the second she stepped up a gear. She stepped forwards in the court and slowly Deon got a bit looser. Laura was now beginning to pick Deon off from the T and Deon never really go back into it, she had a little patch in the fourth when she got ahead 3-2, but Laura dragged out a few of the rallies, stepped forward and slowly Deon fell away.

Laura eventually ran out a 5-11, 11-3, 11-3 and 11-4 winner.

Laura was also full of praise for Deon, ďI simply underestimated her, the last couple of times weíve played Iíve been able to dominate but today she was much quicker on to everything. Fortunately I managed to get back on top in the second and then pick off her looser shots from the middle.Ē

The Mens semiís followed; first up Peter Barker and an improving Tom Richards.

Peter was awesome tonight, he kept the pace up from the start and whatever Tom did Peter had an answer. Peter played not only at a pace but he also changed the pace seemingly at will, a couple of lovely deft touches too and tonight only ever one winner. Tom played some lovely winners in amongst it not least a straight kill on the forehand in the second but never quite enough, 11-6, 11-5, and 11-7 for Peter.

Peter himself was somewhat surprised by his form, ďIíve just started training again so Iím amazed at where Iím at, I couldnít do much wrong tonight. Just hope I can keep it going tomorrow.Ē

Last one of the night, last nights thriller winner, Daryl Selby and Adrian Grant. Daryl kept us entertained tonight for 102 minutes and although yesterdayís game was more explosive, and therefore somewhat shorter, he certainly has earnít his corn this weekend.

In the first both got into there rhythm nicely and Adrian just seemed to have the better shots when it mattered, a couple of delightful straight backhand volley kills in particular stood out. 11-5 Adrian. In the second Daryl went up a gear and although Adrian was matching him shot for shot, Daryl just edged ahead. At 5-4 up, Daryl produced a couple of great drops on the backhand side and edged himself ahead, a couple of long old rallies later and Daryl had the game 11-6.

In the third Daryl began to look the stronger and after a couple of horror rallies Adrian seemed to guess a bit, and Daryl forged on. The pace looked to be very high and Daryl was, on the surface at least getting the edge, he was taking it in early and then pouncing on anything through the middle, third game to Daryl, 11-8.

Adrian got away to good start in the fourth getting a couple of easy balls to put away and Daryl threw in a couple of tins to boot. There were then a couple of long, long rallies ending in lets, 5 to be precise, Daryl nicked a couple of points again but then got a couple of no-lets he didnít like, 6-3 Adrian. About now Daryl started to look ragged. He just got that little bit looser, and Adrian, very kindly, upped the pace. Daryl seemed to not be quite getting around Adrian anymore and another couple of no-lets left him frustrated and wanting to know why not. Adrian eventually winning the fourth 11-8.

Off at a tangent here but a downside to the tri-ref system is that there is never going to be an explanation forthcoming. It stops the discussions and the rows mind, which I personally think has to be the greater of the two evils.

Anyway back to the squash, Daryl now started to look really tired and although you still gave him an outside chance in the fourth, in the fifth it was all over. He tried, by god he tried, but all to no avail. He just simply couldnít stay forward long enough to really attack Adrian anymore and inspite of a couple of winners early on he was never going to take the fifth. Adrian eventually ran out an 11-5 winner.

Both players stayed on to chat to compere Simon Parke.

Daryl, ďI thought I played really well considering that Iíve just been on holiday, but in the end the pace of the second and third told, I just couldnít take it short anymore and then cover it. Result defensive squash and Adrian, all credit to him, took full advantage.Ē

Adrian was pleased with his win and looking forward to tomorrow, ďIíve just come back off holiday so Iím pleased to have sneaked through in five. As for Peter, I think Iíve won the last two but they werenít really important games. Iím sure tomorrow will see us giving one hundred percent and weíll see what the outcome is.Ē

Iím looking forward to tomorrowís finals.

All Four Seeds Through, Just

0n the return of the BSPA Finals to Ipswich Sports Club on the Henley Road all four seeds came through safely on the opening night but not before Darryl Selby was given one hell of a shock by Andy Whipp writes Martin Levens.

 The night started tamely enough, Tom Richards always having the edge over Joel Hinds. It was only in the third that Joel got to grips with Tomís speed. He seemed to step up to the plate at this point but without ever getting to game point. He eventually lost 11-4, 11-6, 11-9.

As Tom suggested afterwards, University life is no replacement for the training of a professional. ďIíve been training hard since coming out of the juniors and Joel has probably been doing other things at University,Ē he said.

Peter Barker wanted to get Steven Meads out of the way quickly and although Steven briefly got ahead in the third he never really looked like competing with Peter.

Peter was pleased with the win, ďI felt good tonight and although my legs are heavy from my training right now, it felt important to keep ahead of him before he got into it.Ē

Peter came through 11-3, 11-5, and 11-8. Looking forward to a tough match tomorrow, Iím sure Tom Richards will be hoping to push Peter all the way.

Next game up was Scott Handley and Adrian Grant; Adrian had been surprised last year by a great performance from Ben Ford so one expected a more determined approach this year.

Scott had other ideas however and he held on to Adrian point for point in the first game without ever getting to game point, first game 12-10 for Adrian, Scott looked a little worse for wear in the second and made one or two mistakes early on, 11-6 for Adrian. In the last Scott produced a couple of great cross court flicks early on and got himself ahead, Adrian dragged his way back but never looked totally comfortable, in the end Adrian hung on to the third 13-11 but Scott had certainly pushed him all the way.

The last match produced the fireworks; Andy Whipp went off like a firework, putting pace on to his drives and forcing Darryl to lift more than he would have liked and then chopping the ball away. Darryl begins to drag the rallies out a bit but at 10-5 in the first he duffs one through the middle and game for Andy.

In the second Darryl gets away to a much better start and seems to get on to the ball a bit earlier to take away Andyís chances, Darryl seemed to be back in control, 11-4 Darryl.

The third chapter in our saga, and Andy attacks again chopping in some great nicks but Darryl seems to be hanging on point for point dragging the speed out of Andy. Then the pace told, at 6-6, Darryl serves out Andy, chops in another outrageous winner and all of a sudden Darryl looks a bit ragged. 11-6 for Andy, and heís looking good.

The fourth was close all the way to 6-6 but Darryl managed to get on to a couple of short balls a little bit earlier and get himself a couple of points ahead. At which point a couple of decisions from the tri-ref began to bother him, but who to argue with, with the electronic system not even a sign of whom he can turn to.

The best rallies of the match where at this point, Andy attacking everything and Darryl getting onto everything early to counter-attack some unbelievable speed and accuracy, when you watch this sort of stuff you remember what inspired you to start the game, great for the kids watching!

Anyway eventually after a couple more discussions with the electronic ref Darryl hangs on for an 11-8 fourth game.

Surely the fifth canít be as good, truth be told, unfortunately not, both players want it badly enough for it to be ragged at times. Of the first six points five were decided on errors, 4-2 for Darryl. Andy gets back into it again, and after another couple of great winners and long punishing rallies later we are at 6-6 again. Darryl manages to but in a couple of great winners of his own when it matters and Andy clips the top of the tin. 9-6 for Darryl and although Andy has one more blast itís not quite enough and Darryl comes away a relieved man, 11-8 in the fifth.

The last game was a truly great advert for Squash and on the back of it a few more tickets were sold, also the kids loved it, Iím sure its no consolation but thanks Andy.

Tomorrow, Peter Barker against Tom Richards, one can only imagine that Tom will be looking to give it his bast shot. Followed by Darryl and Adrian, got to be a close one that. I for on one canít wait.

The ladies start tomorrow as well and in the Semiís Deon Saffrey will be hoping to push Laura Lengthorn-Massaro and Victoria Lust will be hoping to give Vicky Botwright a shock.

I canít wait.


 

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BSPA UK Grand Prix