by SquashPlayer





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BSPA Dulwich Open
Sponsored by Harvey & Wheeler

Day 3                                                     click on images for larger view

Sharpes is Dulwich Champion

Charles Sharpes (World no.62) lifted a first Dulwich Open with a hard fought victory over Ben Coleman (World no.65).

The two are good friends and often this can have a negative impact on any encounter, but in this instance, as had been the general theme through the tournament, the squash was free flowing.

Dulwich Squash President
Nikhil Roy & Charles Sharpes

A capacity crowd were treated to an entertaining match that lasted over and hour and that was filled with full court coverage interspersed with unreachable winners.

Sharpes started the better taking the first, but Coleman (left in dark top) was soon into his running and levelled things up before easing to 5/2 in the third and looking like he might take control.

Sharpes pulled things back to parity at 5-5 and the two then traded points before Sharpes was able to breakaway and take the game 11/9 after 20 minutes of pulsating squash.

This seemed to give him the boost he needed opening up a lead early in the fourth and never looking back despite Coleman’s best efforts to wrap up his second win on the JW Cannon UK Grand Prix.

In his post match speech, Sharpes thanked the Dulwich club for  making the players feel so welcome and in particular the free food over the course of the event!!

To cap a successful weekend, the victory also confirmed Sharpes top of the JW Cannon UK Grand Prix standings and a £500 bonus.

Final result: Charles Sharpes bt Ben Coleman 3-1 (11/5 3/11 11/9 11/7) [63 minutes]

Day 2

With the earlier retirement of top seed Tom Richards the door was ajar for one of the young challengers and it was Ben Coleman who took full advantage but not without a big effort.

In the quarter-finals he saw off Australian 4th seed Rex Hedrick in an athletic 3 games lasting over an hour, before facing Angus Gillams who had earlier beatem Jim Bamber in straight games.

Over the course of the next 80 minutes both players drew ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from the capacity crowd as they threw themselves around the court. Coleman was in control early on but Gillams grabbed the second and just lost the third before powering back to draw things level, much to the delight of the Dulwich crowd who were loving every strained sinew and winning shot. In the fifth, Coleman managed to get an early lead, and hold on to it, to cross the line after 5 exhilarating and exhausting games.

In the bottom half of the draw, it was the quarter-finals that produced the five setter with Dec James taking 3rd seed Charles Sharpes all the way to the wire before being edged out 11/9 in the fifth. Meanwhile, Richie Fallows managed to get the better of 2nd seed Eddie Charlton to set up a tasty encounter with Sharpes. In the end it was the first that proved decisive in the last match of the day as Fallows lead 10/8 before Sharpes dug in and managed to turn things around 12/10. Although Fallows battled on, wowing the crowd with some spectacular winners it was the steadier Sharpes that had the upper hand and he closed things out in straight games.

So the Grand Final will be between two great friends separated by just 3 rankings in the PSA Dunlop World Rankings.

2pm Grand Final: Charles Sharpes (World  no.62) v Ben Coleman (World no.65.


Day 1
A great days squash at Dulwich Sports Club in SE London saw all the seeds move smoothly through round one. Indeed the only game dropped was by Paul Rawden who started slowly against Herts Keith Timms before edging home in 4 tight games.
The Last 16 threw up some much more testing encounters. Charles Sharpes & Rex Hedrick got through in straight games, and top seed Tom Richards looked to be following suit before losing the third and putting out his hand to concede against a surprised but delighted Jim Bamber. It turned out to be a precautionary withdrawal by the event favourite who has several PSA events coming up in early April. It does however open the door not only for the Dulwich Open title but also the race to the JW Cannon Grand Prix title. Its now a two horse race and with Sharpes safely into the quarters Eddie Charlton was keen to avoid falling at the Last 16 hurdle and managed to see off a couple of game balls in the first before getting past Paul Rawden.
Angus Gillams has been moving stealthily through the draw and upset the World rankings with a straight games victory against Lewis Walters, where he was joined by Declan James. The Nottinghamshire based player was made to work hard for his spot by the youngster competitor in the draw British U17 Champion Kyle Finch. James lost the first and only just edged the second before strength and experience took control.
The final match of the evening was well worth waiting for as Richie Fallows and Malaysian Sanjay Singh fought out and entertaining encounter that went the full 5 games. Singh was the first to match mall but couldn’t find the winner and it was local favourite Fallows who got home 12/10.


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BSPA UK Grand Prix