EUROPEAN SQUASH CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS.
SEP 26-27 2008
ENGLAND AND GERMANY SHARE THE
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
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
Pontefract, the English womenıs
champions, cruised through to beat French champions Squash LıHermine in the
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