The New Year started with a lot of action on court compensating for the excesses
of the Festive Season. Broxbourne SC in Hertfordshire hosted the South of
England Masters Open admirably and the 100+ players were well looked after.
The Womens’ events saw problems with late withdrawals but Sam Willis powered
through the over 35 and 40s. Fran Wallis of Linden SC in Lincolnshire was the
runner up in the 40s and stressing she was just 45, won that one beating
Nottingham’s Sue Pynegar in the final. In the over 50s Middlesex’s Anne Windle
overcame Averil Murphy of Essex in four.
The Mens’ over 35s saw Deryshire’s Kevin White, still celebrating his father’s
MBE in the New Years Honours proving too fast and mobile for former British
Police Champion Jason Foster in the final. In the over 40s a resurgent Rick
Weatherell from Berkshire reminded people of his top 20 days as he dismissed no.
1 seed Peter Gunter in the quarters but he then fell to Yorkshireman Alan
Norrish. Meanwhile at the bottom of the draw Norfolk pro David Youngs was
playing superb squash with his precise style beating Steve McLoughlin in the
semis and Norrish in the final. He looks on the way to an England place.
RAC pro Greg Pearman of Surrey again swept all before him in the over 45s. Greg
Loach of Derbyshire and James Ockwell of Middlesex fell without seriously
troubling him. Ockwell had previously had a good win over Yorkshire no. 1 Chris
Harland. In the over 50s Stuart Hardy returning from three months travelling
upset the seedings putting out Warwickshire pro Mo Sarwar while Geoff Redfern
did likewise against Geordie Colin Shields. Returning from injury Mark Cowley
edged home against Redfern while Middlesex colleague Dulip Adihetty ended
Hardy’s run. Powerhouse of the over 50s, Ian ‘Bam Bam’ Bradburn of Lancashire
won his third regional in a row beating Cowley and the Adihetty.
The over 55s is very competitive with several players chasing England caps.
Judge John Goodridge again overcame Middlesex’s Howard Cherlin in five while
Cheshire’s John Duckworth has been playing himself into form and fitness all
season beat local star Dave Cooper and then Neil Nightingale. The final was
all Duckworth and he stormed to a 3/0 win and seems to have done enough for his
England call up. New over 60s player, Geoff Howes (new by five days) overcame
Masters Chairman Martin Pearse who had been battling one of those Christmas
bugs, and nearly upset 60s front-runner Barry Featherstone of LA Fitness
Salisbury who re-asserted himself in the fifth. Meanwhile Devon’s Mike Taylor
beat Chris Ansell but fell to Trevor Wilkinson who in turn lost the final to the
former Army player, Featherstone in four.
In the senior age groups – the over 65s had the Silver Fox, Adrian Wright beat
former Broxbourne pro Len Froggitt but in the process hurting his back.
Yorkshire’s ever nimble Mike Clemson came through the rest of the draw and took
a walk-over in the final. With unusual serving difficulties Hampshire’s Lance
Kinder squandered many chances but it ended with Sussex player Tony Searle
taking his second over 70 title in a row.
Please go to
ENGLANDSQUASHMASTERS for more information on age group