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24/10/2016
North of England Masters 2016

North of England Masters 2016
21st – 23rd Oct
Pontefract Squash & Leisure Club

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It was probably fitting that the very last match ever played with traditional Hand in, Hand out (Hi Ho) scoring should be between the Chairman , Martin Pearse and his long standing friend and opponent, Chris Ansell. Of course, it was a lengthy one, just over an hour, encapsulating why there are still many supporters (mostly elderly) of the system that enables come backs from a seemingly lost situation to reverse. And it happened here, for in PAR, Ansell would probably have won, albeit narrowly. But Pontefract has always been a very happy hunting ground for the Chairman with  his legendary  0/2 or 1/2  deficits and so fate played out yet again .

Earlier on, one will have gathered that the England Squash Masters Committee had announced the result of a survey conducted with all registered  Masters players in England which showed only two groups (Men’s 65 and Women’s 50) who wished to retain Hi Ho. With these figures at hand PAR to 15 will now be the scoring system for all age groups, W50 and upwards and Mens 60 and upwards.

WO55/65 – With Julie Field in the draw, one of the 6 English World Champions from Johannesburg three weeks ago, it was always a tough ask for anyone to come close to her. But Sarah Howlett did in the Final leading 2/1 before Julie recomposed herself to clinch the last two in a 9/1  7/9  5/9  9/3  9/5  win.

WO50 – Fran Wallis was in a class of her own, beating both Hilary Kenyon and Shelly Walsh, 3-0. In the battle for second place, Kenyon beat her long standing rival Walsh, 9/4  4/9  9/2  9/7

WO45 – Tough matches as Sarah Parr, back after missing a season through injury, gave World no 2 and Pontefract player, Andrea Santamaria a fright, the score line, 11/7  11/6  6/11  4/11  11/6 with the local girl coming through eventually.

In the bottom half, Izzy Tyrell beat Sam Mueller, 11/8  11/8  11/7, but Santamaria dominated all through the Final, 11/6  11/4  11/5.

WO35/O45 – With Natalie Lawrence having to pull out with damaged ligaments, the round robin saw Louisa Dalwood record her first Regional beating Natalie Townsend, 11/1  5/11  11/3  11/4 and Kalie Lawrence 9/11  11/9  11/5  11/7.

MO70 – Some big upsets here as Rodney Boswell crashed out to Chris Ansell, 9/0  9/7  7/9  6/9  6/9, the latter having demolished Mike Clemson, 9/6  9/6  9/1. No 3 seed Adrian Wright fell at the hour mark to Roger Booker 9/2  5/9  3/9  9/7  7/9, the latter having inflicted the same sort of score line on Bill Wilson.Meanwhile, Martin Pearse was having to come back from the dead himself, with 60 minutes v John Robertson, 9/3  2/9  10/9  7/9  7/9 and in the Semi, Booker, an 83 minute battle,  10/8  5/9  5/9  10/9  4/9. The Final saw Pearse, 1-2 down to Ansell after suffering a third game whitewash, but in the last ever Hi Ho match, came back from a 2-6 deficit to win 9/6  9/4  to record his second consecutive 2016 Masters O70 Regional

MO65 – With points and results all counting for International selection, Neil Nightingale did himself no harm in beating John Hithersay, 4/9  10/8  3/9  9/5  9/3  and Terry Norman, 9/3  9/1  retirement  over Phil Godfrey, Terry Belshaw (5/8) took out no 2, Peter Smith, 9/2  9/10  9/6  9/5, then Norman 3-1 before going the whole hog and taking out the World no 2 Ian Graham, not himself, in a nail biter, 9/3  10/9  7/9  10/9  3/9.

MO60 – With Ruston Bativala dropping out, it was expected that Mark Cowley would dominate, but Ian Holmes, after his Friday night training routine (only 9 pints of top quality real ale) took him close, 9/4  9/4  3/9  5/9  9/2.In the bottom half, Simon Evendon cruised through to the Final, beating a lack lustre   Stuart Hardy before finding Cowley a handful in the Final, 9/4  9/6  9/1.

MO55 – Neil Harrison had a scare against Tom Burton 3/2, whilst Ged Martin remained fresh with a walkover and an unexpectedly easy victory over Ian Bradburn, not his usual self. In the Final. Martin recorded his first ever Regional, beating the Durham player 9/5  3/9  9/2  9/3.

MO50 – David Box also claimed his first Regional, scraping past his old adversary and rival Ray Burke in the Semis, 5/11  11/6  3/11  12/10  7/11, in a match not for the faint hearted. This result gave Box the confidence to go the whole hog having beaten Darren Withey, 6/11  11/5  11/9  13/11 and he duly did, beating no 1 seed Marc Aldridge in the Final in a tense thriller, 11/9  10/12  11/3  8/11  11/9.

MO45 – The return of Andrew Murray saw him sneak past  Stuart Summers, not that sneaking was on the agenda for two such hulks on the squash court! Murray’s 8/11  5/11  11/9  12/10  11/8  victory saw him then nearly remove the no 1 seed Andrew Cross 5 hours later. Cross won, not without some damage, 11/4  11/7  12/14  8/11  11/6.And so it proved as John Gliddon, fresh from a successful World Masters, cruised through the bottom half, very fresh, and recorded victory in the Final, beating Cross, 11/5  11/8  11/6.

MO40 – Rich Green beat Joss Hargreave to enter the Semi v Christian Donelan and that went his way as well, 13/11  11/4  6/11  11/5, whilst in the top half, Devonian John Gallacher beat Giles Cook 3-0 and Matt Stephenson 3-1. Gallacher claimed another Regional, 11/2  11/1  11/9  but Green was a happy bunny having reached his first Final.

MO35 – Peter Pan (aka Jamie Goodrich) playing down 2 age groups, took out Paul Stroud 3-1 and then Marcus Hayes 3-1 to enter yet another Final and claim another title. His opponent, newcomer Alex Preston, had beaten Stephen Davies, 11/8  4/11  10/12  11/3  11/9 and Mike Biggs, 11/5  5/11  11/3  5/11 11/5 and was undoubtedly tired. Goodrich, as fit as anyone on planet earth for his age, fell away on the first two v Preston in the Final, 12/10  8/11, making unusual errors at the front of the court. Once sorted in the Goodrich mind box, it was back to business, length, lob, volley, variety of pace and he won what must be well over his 20th Regional, 11/3  11/5. But congratulations to the newcomer.

Thanks to Mick and Cindy Todd at Pontefract Squash & Leisure, Steve Ridge the Manager, Mandy, Vicky and Chris at Reception & Catering and the ESR Referees, Peter, Peter and Eddie.

And finally to Roz and Brock for all their valuable work organising the actual event.

 

 

 

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