Thursday, December 7, 2023

Joel Makin beats Tom Richards in Thanet thriller

Joel Makin enjoys his victory with his new Thanet fan club

Makin lifts title after Lee foils Fallows in quarters
By CHARLES MOLONY – Squash Mad Correspondent

Joel Makin triumphed in an entertaining final against top seed Tom Richards in the final of the 2018 Thanet Open, sponsored by Roe Timberframe and Miles and Barr.

The Broadstairs club was packed for the duration of the tournament and the final promised to be a classic. Makin began strongly and won the first game quite comfortably after a series of long rallies.

In the second, Tom looked to be in exhibition mode, going for winners from everywhere but unfortunately hitting the tin on six occasions to make life easier for his opponent.

The third was neck and neck till 8-all, with Tom playing the better squash throughout the game only for the gritty Welshman to dig in and sneak it 11-8. I think if the match had started from the third game, the result might have been a different story!

There was a shock in the quarter-finals when Charlie Lee triumphed over Richie Fallows. After two even and close games, Charlie took the third after having built a big lead.

The fourth was neck and neck and most people sensed a 3-1 win as Charlie was playing the better squash, but Richie managed to edge 10-8 and then close it out 11-9.

The fifth game was close until about 3-3 and then Charlie won about five points in a row. From them Richie looked to have written off the match as he seemed to move down the gears and didn’t seem that upset at the end. He did come down to watch the semis the next day, though!

Over the course of the weekend, more than 50 players descended on Thanet Squash Rackets Club to watch the pros and play in the Graded tournaments. Previous A grade winners have included Daryl Selby, Nafiizwan Adnan and last year’s champion Ben Coleman.

An increased prize this year meant another stellar line up containing five top-100 world ranked players including Richards, Makin, Josh Masters, Fallows and Lee.

I’ve had enough! No more long rallies, begs Henry Withrington (left) as Joel Makin sends him on a route march round Broadstairs

A second round encounter in the A Grade between second seed Makin, world ranked 38, and Henry Withrington proved to be the pick of the early games for the packed crowd.

Makin continuously made Withrington run by making his returns easily gettable only for him to manage to retrieve anything Withrington could throw at him. The second rally of the match lasted close to three minutes with Henry collapsing at the back of the court wanting no more. Joel easily won 11-2, 11-2, 11-2.

Compliments to tournament organiser Joe Magor, who played world ranked number 32 and top seed Tom Richards in the second round and almost managed to take a game off him.

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After Lee’s quarter-final victory over Fallows, he played frequent training partner  Richards in the semi-finals. It proved to be another five-setter, with Richards hitting back from 2-1 down to win the fourth and fifth 11-6, 11-5.

In the other semi, Josh Masters went down in straight games to the Welsh number one, a repeat of the result on Makin’s last visit to the county to win last year’s Select Gaming Kent Open at The Mote.

A huge crowd gathered for the final showdown and the players didn’t disappoint with some lengthy rallies and brilliant retrieving. In the hot weather the ball really was sitting up and even nicks were being returned. Makin showed some of his Commonwealth Games form to win 11-4, 11-2, 11-8 to claim the first prize of £1,000.

Thanet Open 2018 sponsored by Roe Timberframe & Miles & Barr, Thanet Squash Club, Broadstairs, Kent, England.

First Round:
Tom Richards bye
Joe Magor bt Sam Hendon 3-1 (9-11, 11-4, 11-6, 11-2)
Ben Ford bt Duane Harrison 3-0 (11-6, 11-6, 11-5)
Ondrej Uherka bt Jack Webster 3-1 (11-7, 11-8, 5-11, 11-3)
Charlie Lee bt Tom May 3-0 (11-1, 11-2, 11-6)
William Hendon bt Nic Wallder 3-0 (11-5, 11-8, 11-9)
Joe Williams bt Alasdair Shappcott 3-0 (11-6, 11-5, 11-6)
Richie Fallows bye
Josh Masters bye
Adam Turner bt Matthew Bolt 3-1 (6-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-4)
Steve London bt Kieran Hillman 3-0 (11-4, 12-10, 11-9)
Lyell Fuller bt Ed Miles 3-0 (11-6, 11-2, 11-4)
Miles Jenkins bt Billy Miles 3-0 (11-2, 11-2, 11-7)
Sam Osbourne-Wylde bt Robert Thirst 3-1 (11-6, 10-12, 11-8, 11-7)
Henry Withrington bt Adam Ward 3-1 (11-5, 11-5, 10-12, 11-6)
Joel Makin bye

Second Round:
Tom Richards bt Joe Magor 3-0 (11-3, 11-3, 12-10)
Ondrej Uherka bt Ben Ford 3-0 (11-4, 14-12, 11-8)
Charlie Lee bt William Hendon 3-0 (11-3, 11-5, 11-3)
Richie Fallows by Joe Williams 3-1 (9-11, 11-4, 11-2, 11-7)
Josh Masters bt Adam Turner 3-0 (11-3, 11-7, 11-5)
Lyell Fuller bt Steve London 3-0 (11-7, 11-2, 11-6)
Mike Jenkins bt Sam Osbourne-Wylde 3-0 (11-4, 11-4, 11-9)
Joel Makin bt Henry Withrington 3-0 (11-2, 11-2, 11-2)

Tom Richards bt Ondrej Uherka 3-0 (12-10, 11-6, 11-8)
Charlie Lee bt Richie Fallows 3-2 (10-12, 12-10, 11-5, 9-11, 11-5)
Josh Masters bt Lyell Fuller 3-0 (11-5, 11-5, 11-4)
Joel Makin bt Miles Jenkins 3-0 (11-3, 11-8, 11-8)

Tom Richards bt Charlie Lee 3-2 (7-11, 11-6, 8-11, 11-6, 11-5)
Joel Makin bt Josh Masters 3-0 (11-4, 11-7, 12-10)

Joel Makin bt Tom Richards 3-0 (11-4, 11-2, 11-8)

A Plate: Matthew Bolt. RU: Alasdair Shappcott
B Grade: Robert Thirst RU: Mark Wheeler
B Plate: Adam Ward RU: Franz Gate
C Grade: Harvey McIntyre RU: Simon Dumbleton
C Plate: Nigel Pope RU: Keith Stocker
D Grade: Gabriel Scott RU: George Holborn
D Plate Marcia Brittain RU: Steve Pomfret
E Grade: Freddie Mile RU: Caspar Bloomfield
E Plate: Luan Woods RU: Natashah Wilson

Many thanks to Roe Timberframe and Miles & Barr for their tournament sponsorship. Thanks also to the superb organising skills of Joe Magor.

For any information about our club, please visit

Pictures courtesy of Thanet Squash Club


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1 Comment

  1. Great write up Charles!!

    Thoroughly enjoyed the weekend and top support once again from the Thanet members!!

    I am still rueing being 10-6 up in the 3rd game against Tom Richards and failing to convert any of those gameballs!!!

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