BRITISH U23 2011
Lust & Waller Cruise To U23 Glory
LUST AND WALLER CRUISE TO U23 GLORY
The British U23 Championships were held this past
weekend at the Hunts County Squash Club where Britainís top young
professionals fought for U23 Glory. Spread over three days the event had
plenty of tough matches each day as well as showcasing some real talent
from the top seeds.
Victoria Lust (Bedfordshire) came into the event in fine form and
holding a much improved world ranking of 36 making her the events top
seed and favourite. Lust was mostly untroubled by her competition as
she confidently brushed aside Kirsty West (Cheshire) in the
quarter finals and Rachel Willmott (Sussex) in the semi finals,
both 3-0. Meeting her in the final was Sarah Jane Perry
(Warwickshire) who unlike Lust had a marathon match in her quarter
final with Victoria Bell (Cumbria) which lasted 65 minutes.
Perryís semi final pitted her against former European Junior Champion
and second seed Carrie Ramsey (Yorkshire), with Perry herself a
former European Junior Champion it was set to be an intriguing clash.
Ramsey started well but Perry soon started to dominate the proceedings
and used her experience to keep Ramsey behind her as she attacked the
front of the court and eventually ran out a 3-1 winner.
The Final displayed a level of maturity from Lust which will be a
welcome addition to the fiery temperament that she sometimes displays on
court. With Perry once again vying for dominance in the middle of the
court it was Lust who played a perfect game plan with patience and
steady build up play before waiting for the right moment to attack.
Perry was unable to get into any kind of rhythm and once Lust took the
first game 11-9 she found it hard to compete with the pace as Lust piled
on the pressure. Lust quickly closed out the game with a 3-0 victory, a
worthy champion who finished the event without dropping a game.
Much like Lust, the Menís top seed, Adrian Waller (Hertfordshire)
also arrived at Hunts County as firm favourite after a good season on
the pro tour which boosted his ranking up to 53 in the World. Waller
made his way into the semi finals with relative ease, winning each match
3-0 and setting up a semi final with Charles Sharpes (Surrey).
Sharpes has also made great strides of late as he leaves the junior
scene behind and focuses on the seniors. It was a commanding display
from Waller who controlled the match and set a pace that Sharpes was
ultimately not able to compete with, a 3-0 victory sent Waller into the
The second Menís semi final saw an in form 3/4 seed Oliver Pett
(Sussex) face the second seed Eddie Charlton (Nottinghamshire)
who earlier in the day had faced Anthony Graham (Gloucestershire)
in the quarter finals which lasted a grueling 73 minutes. Charlton
showed great determination in the semi final and some excellent
retrieving as both players pushed each other to each corner of the
court, however the longer the game went on the less likely it was that
he would advance to the final. With the game level at 2-2 and moving
past the 50 minute mark it was advantage to Pett which he duly took,
11-5 in the fifth after 63 minutes.
The Menís Final was a showcase of attacking squash that was played at an
incredible pace with some phenomenal retrieving. Waller moved quickly
into a 5 point lead only to be pegged back by Pett who then managed to
match Waller until the game was sent into a tie breaker, Waller taking
it 13-11. Both players continued in the same fashion in the second,
matching each other and trading points but with the score at 8-9 down
Waller stepped up a gear to close the game out 11-9. Pett came out
fighting in the third and took early leads, only for Waller to once
again move a gear up and regain control. Pett was desperate not to lose
and showed fantastic pace and movement around the court as Waller forced
him into a number of retrievals that had the packed gallery gasping in
amazement. In the end Waller was too good and finally clinched the title
with another 3-0 victory in 50 minutes.
Waller now adds the U23 title to his collection which includes a
national title at every age group, the only national title left for him
to contest is the senior National Championships and at only 21 you
wouldnít bet against him.