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28/09/2008
EUROPEAN SQUASH CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS
 

England And Germany Share The Titles

EUROPEAN SQUASH CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS.
LINZ, AUSTRIA.

SEP 26-27 2008

 

 

ENGLAND AND  GERMANY SHARE THE  TITLES

By Martin Bronstein

 

There were a few surprises in the European Squash Club Championships in Austria where 16 Menıs teams and 10 Womenıs teams competed for the title of European champions.  Each club had won their national title giving them the right to compete in this much anticipated tournament.

 

Paderborn Squash Club, the German champions and the number one seed, duly proved their seeding  to win the Menıs title, overwhelming surprise finalist Odense of Denmark, 4-0 in the climax of the tournament.

 

Pontefract, the English womenıs champions, cruised through to beat French champions  Squash LıHermine in the final.

 

In the highly competitive Menıs draw, second seeds,  Colets Health and Fitness, the English champions from Thames Ditton in Surrey, found themselves in Pool B together with the Scottish Champions Aberdeen Squash Rackets Club.  With Daryl Selby at number one and Simon Parke at number two (both Englishmen) the seeding blipped by seeding such a strong team so low as to be in the same pool as Colets.

 

In their first pool match Colets took on  Farao Sportegyesulet of Hungary, a team without any real known players  and the alarm signs went up when Scott Handley, the Colets number two lost to Tomas Toch in four games. Although Colets won the other three ties, this loss would  eventually be their undoing.

 

In their second pool match Colets again took a 3/1 win, with losers Squash Vaduz  pulling off a shock win when David Heath of Scotland, brother of former world top ten player  Martin Heath, beat Coletıs number one Alex Gough 3/2  in a 55 minute  battle.

 

Meanwhile Aberdeen  had won both of their ties 4/0 which meant that when they played Colets in the their third and final pool match, they had the countback statistics on their side in case of a draw.  And that is exactly what happened:  Cameron Pilley,  the Colets number one who has had a superb season on the world circuit (almost beating James Willstrop in the final of the Canary Classic) was surprisingly beaten by Daryl Selby.  This was  fine victory for Selby who has a world ranking  of 37 while Pilley is ranked 18.

 

At number two Scott Handley had a miserable  weekend, losing to Simon Parke in straight games.  Although Mark Cairns and Clive Ewins both scored easy 3/0 victories at third and fourth string to earn the draw,  it was Aberdeen who went through to the semi-finals on countback, 10:2 on matches won and lost against Coletsı 8:4 and 30:7 on games compared to Colets 28:13.

 

In Pool A  Paderborn steamrollered their opponents with 4/0 victories, losing just three games  in 12 matches, to earn their spot in the semis. Led by world number 10 Ong Beng Hee and backed up by Simon Roesner and Tim Garner, both highly experienced on the world circuit, Paderborn were quite rightly seeded one.

 

Pool C featured very few known names  and Danish champions Odense with Azlan Iskandar at number one and backed up by Rasmus Nielsen, Kim Poulsen and Michael Hansen, duly won  all their matches. Iskander is presently ranked  11 in the world while his team-mates barely register on the PSA radar.

 

Pool D  saw Swedish champions Intersquash top the the table with two wins and and a draw. Amr Mansi, Badr Abdel Aziz, Mohammed Aziz and Ahmed Abdel Asiz are not well-known top names, but they are very solid players giving the club strength in depth.

 

However in the semi-finals, they were simply no match for Paderborn who took a 4/0 victory without dropping a game. It was the second semi-final that caused the surprise Aberdeenıs number two  Simon Parke lost to  Rasmus Nielsen in four games; Iskander duly beat Daryl Selby 3/0 when it was thought that Selby might have made more of a fight for it. Odense won at three and four to win4/0 and earn a place in the final.

 

This too was a walkthrough for  Paderborn.  Ong Beng Hee, ranked in the top ten,  beat Iskander in straight games ­ another surprisingly easy result - and Simon Roesner, Tim Garner and Oliver Post made it a clean sweep  for the German Champions.

 

In the playoffs  Interclub finished third and Aberdeen cook fourth place. Colets won both their games 4/0 to finish in fifth position, an indication of just how good they were and  they returned to England wondering  what might have been  had Abderdeen been placed in another pool.

 

PONTEFRACT TOO GOOD

There could have been very little doubt about who would walk off with the womenıs title and the Pontefract, from Yorkshire, arrived with a team headed by Dutch champion  Vanessa Atkinson who was backed up by Rebecca Botwright,  Kirsty McPhee  and Lauren Siddal. This was just too much firepower for the other clubs. They beat Indoor Squash Club 3/0 and  Mulhouse 2/1, to win Pool A.  Kathrin  Rohmueller  pulled off a shock victory for the German club by beating Rebecca Botwright 3/2.

 

Pool B was won by French Champions  Squash LıHerMine who had a very able line-up with  Isabelle Stoehr, Annelise Naude and Laurence Bois.

 

Four teams contested  Pool C  and it was Odense who came out on top, pipping the Fitzwilliam club from Ireland.

 

The womenıs competition went to quarters  and Emma Beddoes playing number one for the Viennese team  SAS Wien Energie, took a surprise

3/2 victory over  Vanessa Atkinson.  Lauren Siddall and Kirsty McPhee both  had straight game victories  to ensure Pontefractıs semi-final place.

In the semi finals Pontefract beat Fitzwilliam 2/1 with Laura Mylotte playing well above herself to beat Lauren Siddall in five games.

 

Isabelle Stoehr led her French club to victory over Odense 3/0 to earn a place in the final. Vanessa Atkinson can always be counted on to come back like a steam train after a bad defeat and this she did with a vengeance in the final  crushing Stoehr  3/0 in under half an hour.  Annelise  Naude brought all her experience  to play  to beat Lauren Siddal in  five but  Rebecca Botwright took a straight game victory over Sonia Pasteris to  give the title once more to the Yorkshire Club.

 

COMPLE RESULTS, SCORES AND FINAL POSITIONS CAN BE FOUND ON http://www.squash.or.at/ecc2008/