International squash stars Alan Clyne and Harry Leitch delighted a packed gallery at The Mote Squash Club on Friday as dates were announced for next year’s Kent Open.
Clyne, the current Kent Open champion from Edinburgh, aims to be back to defend his title in 2011 when the PSA world-ranking tournament is staged between May 24-29.
Winning the title in June this year was one of the highlights of a successful spell in which he and Scotland team-mate Leitch also reached the semi-finals of the Commonwealth Games doubles competition in Delhi.
On Friday, Clyne and Leitch took to the courts first of all to offer some valuable tips to Mote’s outstanding juniors, British Under-15 champion James Evans and his Kent county colleague Ryan Duke.
They then took on several of Kent’s finest doubles pairs including 15-year-old Duke and 55-year-old Kent veteran Phill Crane, who gained the most number of points from the Scots duo in a tight game that finished 15-12.
Evans and Mote first team colleague Jonny Powell lost 15-9, Waterfront’s Duane Harrison and Mark Steeden went down 15-10, and a shock seemed on the cards when Canterbury pair Joe Magor and John Brewer led 8-4, but the Braveheart duo turned the tables to triumph 15-9.
After some comedy mixed doubles, with Harry partnering Chrissie Rolf to a 15-14 victory over Alan and Judith ???, the guest stars joined in a Lightning Round involving ten club players ending with Clyne beating Magor in the final.
The two internationals then staged a singles exhibition, full of dazzling shots and incredible retrieving, which Clyne won 11-8, 7-11, 11-2.
After more than three hours of hugely entertaining play on court, the Scottish duo took part in a squash forum in the club lounge during which several pledges of sponsorship were made to boost the fund for next year’s Kent Open.