AUSSIE FRANKCOMB IN MOTE FINAL
England's Chris Ryder overcame
gritty Australian Aaron Frankcomb in the final of The Mote Classic
Pro-Am, sponsored by Harrow and Shepherd Neame.
Top seed Ryder, who is based in
ranked 36 in the world, won a hugely entertaining final 11-13, 13-11,
11-2, 11-6 after 82 minutes of absorbing, high octane squash at The Mote
Squash Club in Maidstone.
No.2 seed Frankcomb showed no signs
of the effects of playing two marathon five-setters the previous day as
he clinched a tight opening game 13-11.
However, Ryder reversed the score
in the second game, clinching the tiebreak after Frankcomb had received
treatment to a bizarre hand injury caused when the two players collided
and Ryder stepped on the falling Australian's racket, trapping his thumb
When the action resumed, the
players produced the longest rally of the match which Frankcomb won
after 86 shots to take the game to the tiebreak.
Ryder, 28, stepped up a gear in the
third game and powered home 11-2 as Frankcomb finally began to show
signs of fatigue after his two-hour semi-final the previous evening.
Tasmanian Frankcomb, 24, fought
back to lead 4-2 in the fourth game but could not maintain the momentum
as Ryder regained control, winning six points in a row from 5-4 down to
break his opponent's resistance and reach match ball.
World No.42 Frankcomb claimed one
more point but Ryder closed out the match in the next rally to clinch
the £500 winner's cheque. He and Frankcomb, who received £350 for his
phenomenal efforts, certainly deserved to quench their thirst with a
variety of products from co-sponsors Shepherd Neame, Britain's oldest
After the final Ryder paid tribute
to The Mote for staging the tournament and said: "All of the players
have really enjoyed the weekend and you have looked after us superbly,
so we look forward to coming back next year when the event will
hopefully be part of the PSA World Tour.
"This is a superb club and it is
great to see so many new tournaments on the calendar taking place in
Kent. You really are setting an example for other counties to follow and
the players appreciate it so much."
Frankcomb, meanwhile, left the club
chewing over a contract offer from Mote first team captain Adrian
Humphries to play number one for the side next season.
The Saturday session produced
astonishing value for money with four top-class quarter-finals and a
doubles competition slotted in before the semis, in which Frankcomb
escaped from match ball down against Scottish
No.1 Alan Clyne.
The tournament reception featured
music from London squash legend Danny Lee, who has a top-class voice to
match his coaching ability.
The Mote also hosted coaching
clinics for juniors and women players, plus a radar gun challeng which
was won by Cambridge professional Galen Le Cheminant, who belted the
ball at 157mph.
MARATHON MAN FRANKCOMB MEETS EASY
RYDER IN MOTE FINAL
By ALAN THATCHER
Australian No.2 seed Aaron Frankcomb emerged
from two incredible marathon encounters in one day to reach the final of
The Mote Classic in Maidstone.
First of all he overcame Malaysian Jam Adnan in
the quarter-finals and then survived an astonishing two-hour battle with
Scottish No.1 Alan Clyne in the semi-finals.
Frankcomb, the 24-year-old world No.42 from
Tasmania, looked on course for a simple victory in the quarter-finals as
he led by two games but the determined Adnan covered the court superbly
and began to find a winning length. However Frankcomb reasserted his
autrhority in the fifth to win 11-9, 11-7, 6-11, 8-11, 11-7 in 65
Five hours later he was back on court to face
Clyne, who had beaten Kent's Ben Ford 3-1 in the quarter-finals.
Clyne astonished the packed gallery at The Mote
Squash Club with his speed around the court and squeezed home 11-9 in an
opening game lasting 20 minutes. Frankcomb stayed in front throughout
the second but Clyne finished the third game strongly, moving forward
from 7-7 to win it 11-8 in 28 minutes.
The fourth game was a brutal battle of attrition
lasting 33 minutes.
Frankcomb kept his nose in front to lead 7-5 but
Clyne then strung four points together to move within a whisker of
victory. However, he struck a volley into the tin with a shot that would
have given him match ball.
Then, after Frankcomb had levelled at 9-9, Clyne
gained that elusive match ball only to fire a forehand drop shot into
Frankcomb won the tiebreak 12-10 after a lengthy
pause to wipe the copious amounts of sweat from the court floor.
The Australian opened up a 5-1 lead in the fifth
but Clyne fought back to level at 5-5. However, Frankcomb's immaculate
length and control returned as he eased home 11-6 in one hour and 59
minutes of brutal combat.
The packed crowd gave both players a massive
ovation but the happiest spectator was England's top seed Chris Ryder,
who now meets Frankcomb in the final after enjoying two straightforward
The 28-year-old world No.36, who is based at
Wolverhampton, eased past Galen Le Cheminant of Cambridgeshire and then
removed Nafiizwan Adnan, the No.3 seed, in the semi-finals, impressing
the audience with his superb court coverage and immaculate ball control.
FORD FIGHTS BACK AND NOW HAS A MOUNTAIN TO CLYNE
By ALAN THATCHER
Kent county squash captain Ben Ford
came close to a shock defeat in the first round of The Mote Classic
Pro-Am in Maidstone.
Ford, the experienced professional
from Welling, survived a battling fightback from the 19-year-old Ahmed
El Refee before booking his place in the quarter-finals.
Ford looked comfortable as he won
the first two games but El Refee, who was born in Cairo and is now being
coached by former world No.2 Peter Marshall in London, hit back to draw
level. However, the 33-year-old Ford regained control to ease home 11-5
in the fifth.
Ford now faces a tough battle
against Scottish No.1 Alan Clyne in the quarter-finals.
El Refee was the only underdog to
win a game as the eight qualifiers took on the top eight pros in the
main draw following the previous night's elimination contest.
Kent junior Elliot Knight did
himself proud as he enjoyed his moment in the spotlight against top seed
Chris Ryder, and the 55-year-old Kent veteran Phill Crane was proud of
the three points he managed to acquire against Alan Clyne.
Kent county badminton player Peter
Stock, who plays squash for Fitness First Medway, ran and chased every
ball against Joel Hinds, the recent British Under-23 runner-up, but soon
became aware of the fitness levels required to compete at this level as
Hinds worked him from corner to corner.
Karim Safwat, son of Egyptian
legend Ahmed Safwat, played superbly against No.2 seed Aaron Frankcomb
but was on the receiving end of some brutal rallies as the Australian
secured his place in the quarter-finals.
Malaysian brothers Wan and Jam
Adnan cruised past Joe Magor (Canterbury) and Dean Newbery (Bexley) and
big hitting Galen Le Cheminant, from Cambridgeshire, had too much
firepower for Martin Clark of Rodmersham.
BIG DAY FOR KNIGHT IN THE MOTE
By ALAN THATCHER
Kent youngster Elliot Knight gained the ultimate
reward for winning through last night's qualifying round at The Mote
Classic Pro-Am in Maidstone, a first round tie with top seed Chris
The 19-year-old county junior, from Farningham,
beat Eddie Aruede from host club The Mote to book his place on court
with the world No.36 from Hertfordshire.
Two other Kent juniors came close to springing
The Mote's own James Evans, who is just 13, lost
13-11 on a tiebreak in the fifth game after a 71-minute marathon match
against his vastly experienced opponent, Dean Newbery from Bexley.
Evans, who has recently broken into The Mote
Squash Club's Kent League first team, fought back from two games down to
win the fourth 14-12 on a tiebreak and held four match balls in the
deciding fifth game before Newbery clawed his way back from the brink of
defeat to claim a coveted place in tonight's first round against
Nafzahizan Adnan from Malaysia.
Another Kent junior, Matt Fincham from the
nearby Maidstone Squash Club, also lost a fifth-game tiebreak to The
Mote's evergreen veteran Phill Crane. Crane, a member of Kent's over-55
national inter-county champions team, won the first two games
comfortably but struggled to stem the tide as the 18-year-old Fincham
battled back to take the match the full disatance.
However, experience finally told as Crane
squeezed home 12-10 in the tiebreak to gain a place in the first round
draw against Scottish number one Alan Clyne, the 22-year-old from
There was a strong Egyptian flavour in the event
as Karim Safwat, son of the late Egyptian squash legend Ahmed Safwat,
and the Cairo-born Ahmed El Refee both booked their places in the first
Both overcame players from the host club, Safwat
beating Adrian Humphries and El Refee taking out Paul Newvell.
Safwat now meets No.2 seed Aaron Frankcomb from
Australia, while El Refee faces Kent county captain Ben Ford, who has
just returned from a successful trip to Australia, where he won a world
ranking event in Perth.
Canterbury's Joe Magor, a former student in
Malaysia, will enjoy meeting Malaysia's No.3 seed Nafizwan Adnan after
cruising home against Simon Crowther from Tunbridge Wells.
Kent badminton player Peter Stock, who plays
squash for Fitness First Medway, beat The Mote's club champion Paul Adam
to win a first round clash with Joel Hinds, the recent runner-up in the
British Under-23 Championship.
The hard-hitting Martin Clark, from the
Rodmersham club near Sittingbourne, overcame Neil Tierney from Brentwood
3-1 to claim a first round tie with Cambridgeshire's Galen Le Cheminant
in what promises to be a real test for the radar gun tonight.
MOTE CLASSIC ATTRACTS AN INTERNATIONAL
By ALAN THATCHER
A new tournament emerges this week with
the launch of The Mote Classic Pro-Am at my home club, The Mote Squash
Club in Maidstone, the county town of Kent.
Sixteen locals play off in a qualifying
round on Thursday night with the eight winners gaining the opportunity
to tackle eight professionals in Friday's first round.
Kent county coach Ben Ford, the No.4
seed, will be assured of local support as he bids for success in the
inaugural tournament. The top two seeds are Chris Ryder (Herts) and
Australia's Aaron Frankcomb, ranked 36 and 42 respectively in the latest
PSA world rankings.
Third seed is Malaysia's Mohamed Nafizwan
Adnan, followed by Ford, Scottish No.1 Alan Clyne, Adnan's brother
Nafzahizan, and rising Derbyshire star Joel Hinds and Cambridgeshire's
shotmaker extraordinaire Galen Le Cheminant.
Qualifiers who are hoping to impress
include Ireland's Rob Staunton, Kent county player Neil Baker (from
Sittingbourne) and the immensely promising 13-year-old James Evans, who
is now playing for the host club's first team. Evans will be playing
fellow Kent youngster Elliot Knight in a Junior Challenge ahead of
This is the final tournament in a busy
season at The Mote, which has hosted the Kent County Closed, the
four-tournament Kent Grand Prix Series and a sell-out Prince Roadshow
featuring Peter Nicol and Tim Garner.
The tournament is sponsored by Harrow
rackets and Britain's oldest brewery, the Faversham-based Shepherd Neame.
The event will feature coaching clinics
for women and juniors and we are delighted to have attracted such a
quality draw in our first year.
Our ambition is to develop the tournament
into an annual ranking event but at the same time we are determined to
promote grass-roots squash and give local players the opportunity to rub
shoulders with the leading professionals.
Thursday: Qualifying competition (6pm)
Friday: First round (6pm)
Saturday: Quarter-finals (11am and 12 noon) and semi-finals (5pm and
6pm) plus Plate competition, doubles and tournament party.
Sunday: Doubles semi-finals and final, Plate Final, Junior Challenge and