Power Surge in Aberdeen
In a repeat of last weeks St George’s Hill final, it was Power on this occasion
who stole the headlines as he reversed last weeks result and got the defense of
his Aberdeen title off to a flyer.
Third on court tonight, playing in front of a raucous Aberdeen crowd, Power and
Palmer put on display of squash worthy of any final. The now leaner looking
Canadian has a formidable record in Aberdeen, unbeaten in fact following British
Open ‘99 and Legends ’11 success, brought to the court his full artillery. A
quick start from Power saw him race to 4/1 and 7/4 leads. The rallies were
fast-paced, constructive and most of all entertaining. Palmer worked hard and a
combination of winning lengths and trademark volley drops saw him level up at
8/8. Power’s wand soon came back to life though and a winner in the front left
corner that was so fast and complex that I can’t even begin to describe it,
pulled him two clear at 10/8. An outrageous volley nick from Palmer took him
within one point, however a precision forehand straight drop from mid-court from
his opponent and it was first blood to the Canadian.
Game 2 formed a similar pattern but it was Palmer in the ascendancy this time as
he drew clear from 2/2 to 6/2. A string of points however from Power saw him
leap to an 8/6 lead, with the squash on display of the absolute highest
standard. The referee was being called into action a lot more at this point, but
in fairness to both players all was well above bored and despite some
involvement from the crowd, few could argue with the decisions being made.
Palmer leveled to 8/8 and then grabbed a game ball at 10/9. Power hit one of the
most sensational winners I’ve ever, an overhead behind the back backhand
straight volley rolling drop. Sensational. It spurred him on to a few more
inspirational rallies and the magician closed the match out 13/11 to end The
Marines 100% legends record.
Early in the evening the crowd welcomed first of all to the court Welshman Dave
Evans and local hero Peter Nicol. Nicol endured a tough Aberdeen Legends debut
last year finishing the tournament without a win, tough for any local to take
but especially one with Nicol’s pride. Things started badly too as Evans imposed
himself around the court to open a 1 game lead courtesy of some beautiful
squash. Whether it was the work Evans had put into winning the first game or
Nicol loosening off, or perhaps a combination of the two, The Boss took control
of the T, turned retrieving into attacking and 15 minutes late the match was his
much to the delight (and relief) of the home crowd.
The match that followed saw adopted Scotsman John White put on a real show
against last year’s runner-up Derek Ryan. The Aberdeen crowd had gone 8 years
without seeing White in action and based on the performance tonight they will be
making the most of every minute he spends on court this weekend. It was however
Ryan who started the brighter of the two, racing to a 5/1 lead. White soon
turned on the magic though and a serious of well directed slashes of the racket
saw him surge ahead and eventually take the game 15/13. Despite all his efforts
and fight Ryan simply could not stem the slow of winners coming from the racket
of White and an 11/9 scoreline saw White close out the match 2/0.
Final match of the evening saw adopted local lad Simon Parke take on Aberdeen
regular Tim Garner. Parke came out the blocks the faster of the two and despite
some resistance from his opponent he took the game 11/3 in quick time. A
complete reversal saw Garner dominate proceedings and again in quick time the
game was over 11/3 and we were tied at 1/1. A joint push from himself and his
Aberdeen crowd saw Parke start the deciding game in better fashion. Now
constructing the rallies with more purpose the Yorkshire player built and
maintained a 3 point gap to close out the match 2/1.
thoroughly enjoyable start to the event. All 8 players showcased some hugely
impressive and entertaining squash and the Aberdeen crowd will come back in
their masses tomorrow eagerly anticipating more of the same.
Peter Nicol bt Dave Evans 2/1 (7/11, 11/7, 11/5)
John White bt Derek Ryan 2/0 (15/13, 11/9)
Jonathon Power bt David Palmer 2/0 (11/9 13/11)
Simon Parke bt Tim Garner 2/1 (11/3 3/11 11/7)