Monday, December 4, 2023

Kent Open capers as locals meet the pros

Tricks and nicks as pros show the Kent boys how it’s done
By ALAN THATCHER – Squash Mad’s embedded reporter on the scene

KOshepsThe Select Gaming Kent Open 2014 got under way with a fun-filled day of action as local club players pitted their skills against eight professionals.

The locals enjoyed a taste of the quality required to reach the higher levels of fitness and skill necessary in the professional game. And the pros enjoyed a sociable introduction to a competition celebrating its fifth year as a PSA world-ranking tournament.

Several of the locals pinched games here and there and enjoyed brief spells of reaching a dream-like zone where they felt capable of mixing it with the pros. Then the pain kicked in and normal service was resumed (usually within a few rallies).

There were some tough battles when the club guys faced each other, and Mote veteran Jason Goodayle came desperately close to rattling Assistant Tournament Director Joe Magor, who completed seven matches in two days after playing in the Bexley tournament the day before.

Magor’s Canterbury team-mate Tom May did well to take game off top seed Nick Mulvey, who looked like he was enjoying himself all day as he nursed Mote legend Marcus Robson through one qualifier and then treated the crowd to a fantastic exhibition of squash with Sam Ellis. Sam’s “Bristol mizuki” shot baffled plenty of spectators, but not Mulvey.

The longest legs in squash were on display as Phil Nightingale and Bradley Masters filled Court One. Next time these two play we’ll install a special roundabout on the T. The Mote’s Matt Hazzard took a game off Pete Higgins, who will be concentrating on the Radar Gun Challenge today.

Mote team-mates Adrian Humphries and Paul Newvell performed admirably, and Steve Wykes will be hoping for some support as he meets Ellis in today’s semi-finals.    

Special thanks to the Canterbury contingent, led by Tony Gamble, who are getting their practice in early for a daunting programme of events in the Kent Open Party Weekend.

For the pros, the serious stuff starts tonight with the Pre-Qualifying finals. Visiting players begin to arrive ahead of the qualifiers and the main draw, and club treasurer Joe Wheatley will enjoy the chance to display his all-round skills as Head Chef and Tour Guide as he shows our guests the delights on offer in Kent’s county town.      

Select Gaming Kent Open Pre-Qualifying competition, at The Mote Squash Club, Maidstone, England:

Group A

Nick Mulvey beat Tom May 2-1 (11-9, 11-13, 11-7)
Sam Ellis beat Marcus Robson 2-0 (11-3, 11-7)
Sam Ellis beat Tom May 2-1 (11-7, 8-11, 11-6)
Tom May beat Marcus Robson 2-0 (11-9, 11-6)
Nick Mulvey beat Marcus Robson 2-0 (11-5, 11-8)
Nick Mulvey beat Sam Ellis 2-1 (6-11, 11-8, 11-8)

Group B

Phil Nightingale beat Pete Higgins 2-0 (11-2, 11-3)
Brad Masters beat Matt Hazzard 2-0 (11-3, 11-2)
Brad Masters beat Pete Higgins 2-0 (11-1, 11-4)
Phil Nightingale beat Matt Hazzard 2-0 (11-3, 11-4)
Pete Higgins beat Matt Hazzard 2-1 (8-11, 11-9, 11-8)
Phil Nightingale beat Brad Masters 2-0 (11-9, 11-6)

Group C

Steve Wykes beat Jason Goodayle 2-0 (11-5, 11-5)
Joe Magor beat Adrian Humphries 2-0 (11-4, 11-6)
Joe Magor beat Jason Goodayle 2-1 (15-13, 4-11, 12-10)
Steve Wykes beat Adrian Humphries 2-0 (11-6, 11-3)
Adrian Humphries beat Jason Goodayle w/o
Steve Wykes beat Joe Magor 2-1 (11-8, 10-12, 11-6)

Group D

Joe Green beat Chris O’Neill 2-0 (11-4, 11-6)
Laurence Green beat Paul Newvell 2-0 (11-4, 11-4)
Laurence Green beat Chris O’Neill 2-0 (11-3, 13-11)
Joe Green beat Paul Newvell 2-0 (11-5, 11-4)
Chris O’Neill beat Paul Newvell 2-0 (11-5, 11-4)
Joe Green beat Laurence Green 2-1 (13-11, 9-11, 11-2)

Pre-Qualifying Semi-Finals

Match 1 – 4:00pm – Court 1 – Nick Mulvey vs. Joe Magor
Match 2 – 4:00pm – Court 2 – Steve Wykes vs. Sam Ellis

Match 3 – 5:00pm – Court 1 – Phil Nightingale vs. Laurence Green
Match 4 – 5:00pm – Court 2 – Joe Green vs. Brad Masters

Pre-Qualifying Finals

Match 5 – 7:00pm – Court 1 – Winner of Match 1 vs. Winner of Match 2
Match 6 – 8:00pm – Court 1 – Winner of Match 3 vs. Winner of Match 4
(Two winners go through to Qualifying Draw on Tuesday June 10th).


The hallowed turf of The Mote (the squash club is on the right)
The hallowed turf of The Mote (the squash club is on the right)



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