Daryl Selby has
won his National title, and this time his scalp in the final was the
legendary ex-World Squash Champion Peter Nicol.
The finals were
watched by a capacity crowd of 250, probably the largest yet to watch a
racketball match, and they were in for a treat.
Selby got off
to a flier, winning the first game 11-4, after some gruelling rallies
but Nicol showed all the resolve expected from a man who spent 5 years
as the World’s number one He took an early lead in the second, and
ground out a 12-10 win, Selby’s only dropped game of the competition.
Selby came back strongly in the third to take it 11-7.
weakened by the earlier Campion match, Nicol put everything into the
fourth, but whatever he tried, Selby had the answer, and although the
game produced some spectacular rallies, Selby always looked the more
likely winner, and he finally took it 11-9, with Nicol tinning after
saving 2 match balls.
was Selby, and this time it was the surprise package, Robinson who ran
into the immoveable rock. Daryl cruised through 11-3, 11-7, 11-4.
Nicol on the
other hand had an epic four-setter against David Campion, which finished
a mere 3 hours before the final. They know each other’s games well and
Campion again pushed Nicol all the way. At times David’s play was
sublime, particularly in the second, but to no avail. After losing the
first, Nicol came back to win 9-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-8 in a little over 1
Chambers was Selby’s next victim. A tough game, but the result never in
doubt, Daryl winning 11-6, 11-7, 11-8.
unheralded Michael Robinson looked as though he was set for humiliation
after losing the first 0-11 to Gavin Perrett, but came back strongly to
take the match against Ted Jeal’s conqueror, winning 0-11, 11-8, 11-6,
First seed to
fall was Kent’s Ted Jeal, last year’s losing finalist. Devon’s Gavin
Perrett, dropped the first 12-14, but then gradually took over control,
winning 13-11, 11-9, 11-8.
Two other seeds
dropped games: David Campion, who used to play for Edgbaston in the
Premier Squash League, dropped a game to Devon’s Ashley Knight, while
Theo Woodward took a game off Yorkshire’s Dominic Hamilton.
beat local Edgbaston Pro Mike Edwards 3-0 and Michael Robinson of Surrey
beat Lee Jemmet, a former top squash junior in five.
to move through the draw relatively smoothly, this time beating Dorset’s
Andy Corben in straight sets, while Nicol was tested by Matt Baker, but
came through in three.
All the seeds
came through unscathed, although Mark Fuller (Notts) took a game off
Peter Nicol to put on his CV. Matt Baker survived a five setter against
Ben Brown (Yorks), while Selby dropped only 8 points to Shopshire’s Tim
match, Nicol was full of praise for Selby, currently ranked 9 in the
World squash rankings, and for the facilities in Birmingham. ‘I’ll
definitely be back next year to try again’ he said. ‘Edgbaston has some
of the best facilities in the country, and the atmosphere throughout the
weekend was great’
For his part,
Selby was equally gracious: ‘I grew up in awe of Peter, and have always
dreamed of getting on court with him in major competition. To play
against him in a match like this was a pleasure and privilege.’
Laura Hill from
Derbyshire was hot favourite for the Women’s title, and she didn’t
disappoint. She never looked in trouble beating Vicky Hynes, former pro
at Edgbaston and England international 11-8, 11-4, 11-6 in the semi
In the other
side of the draw, Lauren Selby from Essex beat Warwickshire’s promising
young England hopeful Sarah-Jane Perry 10-12, 11-5, 11-7, 11-5.
The final was a
repeat of last year, and the result was never in doubt. Neither player
was at their best, and Lauren simply didn’t show enough guile to really
test the Laura’s athletic powers of recovery, and Laura ran out a
comfortable 11-3, 11-7, 11-5 winner, completing the tournament without
dropping a game.
Star of the Age Groups once again was Jim Lord, who claimed both the
Over-35 and Over-40 titles for a second year – a total of 7 matches
between Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon.
The Over 35’s was a particularly strong section with newcomer Matt Baker
making a strong challenge, beating Jim’s brother David Lord and Scott
Summer from Kent on his way to the final. Last year’s finalist Matt Pugh
lost in the quarters to Summer in a tough 5-setter (Pugh only does tough
5-setters). Lord family honour was restored in the final with Jim
beating Baker 3-1. Matt played in spectacular bursts, mingled with very
unspectacular lulls, during which Jim piled on the points, taking the
final game 11-1.
Then it was straight to another court to play the Over-40 final against
Avon’s Rob Watkins, where he dropped the first game 7-11, and then
stormed through 11-2, 11-9, 11-2.
Steve Bateman won the Over-45’s after missing the event last year, and
Mike Phillips got his hands on a trophy for the first time, winning the
Over-50’s against Keith Palmer 11-9 in the fifth.
The Over-55’s was an all Edgbaston affair, with Richard Waller beating
teammate Bill Mulholland in the final. Both caused upsets, beating top
seeds Phil Wilson and Jez Horrocks respectively in the semis.
Ian Graham, moving into the over-60’s, claimed the title along with his
bus pass, when John Cockill stormed off at 0-2 down, and did not
John Houghton is a first time winner in the Over-65’s, and Tony Thomas
outlasted the other coffin-dodgers to take the over-70’s for the first
In the ladies’ age groups, there was another double winner – Lesley
Sturgess of Derbyshire, who beat Carolyn Lindsay in the over-45’s and
Jenny Matthews in the over-50’s, both in four sets.
There was a two-time runner-up form Derbyshire as well – Sue Smith lost
the Over 35-s to Kathyn Milne and the 40’s to Bev Vatcher, who took the
trophy back to Dorset.
In the over-55’s, Linda Smith beat Gill Wagner in the final, and Bett
Dryhurst retained her over-60’s crown, beating Rose Huish, playing for
the first time.
– FULL CLASSIFIED RESULTS (PDF