Friday, December 1, 2023

Nineteen champions crowned in Manchester

All the Masters finalists in Manchester

Taylor and Marshall serve up a treat in Manchester Masters final


A host of new National champions were crowned in Manchester. Former World No.2 Peter Marshall and seven-time National masters champion Nick Taylor contested a thrilling men’s over-45 final on the show court on the last day of the tournament in Manchester.

The match was one of 19 finals to be played in the Blowers Jewellers National Squash Championships, with some mouth-watering squash on show from players of all ages.

Men’s Main Draw
Nick Matthew made history by winning his ninth National title, cementing his status as one of the greatest British squash players ever.

The three-time world champion eased through the final against underdog Joe Lee to take home the trophy for the sixth year in a row.

The former World No.1 came into the game as huge favourite against his opponent and claimed the victory with a comfortable 11/6, 11/4, 11/8 in 40 minutes.

“It’s an honour to win a ninth title”, he said. “I think Joe was a little bit nervous with it being his first final. He pushed me hard in the third game, maybe I got a bit nervous. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve won a few titles, you do sometimes get a bit excited towards the end. But I’m really happy with where my game is and hopefully I can take that forward to the tour now.”

Women’s Main Draw
In the women’s main draw, Laura Massaro won her fourth National Squash Championship title to further establish her dominance at the top of women’s squash in England.

The World No.5 from Preston defeated Sarah-Jane Perry in a repeat of the final from two years ago in Manchester.

World No.8 Perry emerged victorious on that occasion but there was no stopping former world champion Massaro this time on the all-glass show court.

Now, she has her sights set on Cassie Jackman’s record of six women’s titles. She said: “I was really gunning to get my fourth title today. Cassie was an amazing player and I would love to carry on and try to emulate what she has done.”

The match proved relatively straight forward for Massaro, who won 11/5, 12/10, 11/9 in 42 minutes in front of a packed audience at the National Squash Centre.

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Masters events

Women’s Over 35s
Top seed and two-time National champion Lauren Briggs [Essex] required just 20 minutes to dispatch Somerset’s Natalie Lawrence [2] in the Women’s Over 35s winning 3-0 11/6, 11/3, 11/2.

Men’s Over 35s
Andy Whipp [1] of Cheshire captured his first National title in the Men’s Over 35s in three beating 2015 champion Darren Lewis [3/4] of Leicestershire 11/1, 12/10, 11/6 (26m). Whipp was rarely tested all weekend and didn’t drop a game.

Women’s Over 40s
The biggest upset of the day saw Kent’s Keeley Johnson [3/4] clinch her first National title following a clinical display against 2015 Over 40s champion and top seed Shayne Baillie (Surrey) winning 3-0 11/3, 11/3, 11/9 (23m).

Men’s Over 40s
Scotland’s Peter O’Hara [1] captured his second Over 40s title against Lancashire’s Danny Massaro [2] winning 11/9, 11/5, 11/8 (36m)

Men’s Over 45s
Lancashire’s Nick Taylor [1] collected his eight National title after a thrilling Over 45s final with former World No.2 Peter Marshall 8/11, 12/10, 11/7, 11/5 (53m). Taylor rounded off an incredible year after capturing the World Masters Over 45s title in Johannesburg in October.

Women’s Over 45s
Yorkshire’s Andrea Santamaria [1] dispatched Buckinghamshire’s Sam Mueller [2] in 21 minutes winning 11/7, 12/10, 11/5, adding a second Over 45 title to her collection.

Men’s Over 50s
Hampshire Stephen McLouglin [2] claimed his first National title after toppling four-time National champion Yawar Abbas [1] of Durham and Cleveland in a thrilling five-setter which lasted nearly an hour – 13/11, 6/11, 6/11, 11/7, 11/6 (57m).

Women’s Over 50s
The Women’s Over 50s final was tightly contested between Avon’s Rose Bamber [1] and Scotland’s Fiona McLean [3/4]. Top seed Bamber needed over an hour to dispatch McLean 3-2 18/16, 10/15, 15/11, 12/15, 15/13 (61m).

Men’s Over 55s
Top seed Mark Woodliffe of Gloucestershire claimed his sixth National title, adding a second Men’s Over 55s to his collection, defeating Worcestershire’s John Parkes [2] in straight games, 11/5, 11/5, 11/7 (29m).

Women’s Over 55
Two-time National champion Jill Campion [2] of Oxfordshire collected her third Over 55’s title after downing Derbyshire’s Lesley Sturgess [3/4] in five close games winning 3-2 – 11/15, 6/15, 15/8, 15/12, 15/7 (37m).

Women’s Over 60s
World Masters champion Julie Field of Yorkshire captured her seventh National title in the Women’s Over 60s round-robin fending off Lynne Davies (Yorkshire), Bett Dryhurst (Worcestershire) and Eunice Bond (Scotland).

Men’s Over 60s
After dispatching top seed Rustom Bativala in the Men’s Over 60’s semi-final, Simon Evenden [3/4] was forced to withdraw from the men’s final due to illness, resulting in Lancashire’s Stephen Johnson [3/4] claiming the title.

Men’s Over 65s
The Men’s Over 65s saw Sussex’s Ian Graham [2] celebrate his first Nationals success after downing Cumbria’s Terry Belshaw [3/4] 3-1 – 11/4, 12/15, 15/12, 16/14 (46m).

Men’s Over 70s
The Men’s Over 70s final was closely contested between top seed Phil Ayton of Sussex and two-time National champion Rod Boswell [2] of Cheshire which saw Ayton prevail 3-0 – 15/13, 15/13, 15/10 (28m) and clinch his ninth National title.

Men’s Over 75s
Five-time World Masters Champion Adrian Wright [1] of Yorkshire justified his top seeding in the Men’s Over 75s by downing Cheshire’s Geoff Coe [2] in three – 15/6, 15/4, 15/3 (19m) to capture his eight National title.

Men’s Over 80s
Surrey’s Pat Kirton won his 17th National title in the inaugural Men’s Over 80s event following a round-robin with Malcolm Gilham (Suffolk), John Woodliffe (Gloucestershire) and Lancelot Kinder (Hampshire).

English Deaf Squash Championships
In the English Deaf Squash Championships Matthew Hewitt dispatched Dan Easton in three 11/5, 11/9, 6/11, 11/4 (31m).

2017 National Championships, Manchester, England.

[1] Laura Massaro 3-0 [¾] Sarah-Jane Perry 11/5, 12/10, 11/9 (42m)
[1] Nick Matthew 3-0 [5/8] Joe Lee 11/6, 11/4, 11/8 (40m)
W35: [1] Lauren Briggs 3-0 [2] Natalie Lawrence 11/6, 11/3, 11/2 (20m)
W40: [¾] Keeley Johnson 3-0 [1] Shayne Baillie 11/3, 11/3, 11/9 (23m)
W45: [1] Andrea Santamaria 3-0 [2] Sam Mueller 11/7, 12/10, 11/5 (21m)
W50: [1] Rose Bamber 3-2 [¾] Fiona McLean 18/16, 10/15, 15/11, 12/15, 15/13 (61m)
W55: [2] Jill Campion 3-2 [¾] Lesley Sturgess 11/15, 6/15, 15/8, 15/12, 15/7 (37m)
W60: Julie Field 3-1 Eunice Bond 15/6, 11/15, 15/4, 15/9 (29m)

M35: [1] Andy Whipp 3-0 [¾] Darren Lewis 11/1, 12/10, 11/6 (26m)
M40: [1] Peter O’Hara 3-0 [2] Danny Massaro 11/9, 11/5, 11/8 (36m)
M45: [1] Nick Taylor 3-1 [2] Peter Marshall 8/11, 12/10, 11/7, 11/5 (53m)
M50: [2] Stephen McLoughlin 3-2 [1] Yawar Abbas 13/11, 6/11, 6/11, 11/7, 11/6 (57m)
M55: [1] Mark Woodliffe 3-0 [2] John Parkes 11/5, 11/5, 11/7 (29m)
M60: [¾] Stephen Johnson w/o [¾] Simon Evenden
M65: [2] Ian Graham 3-1 [¾] Terry Belshaw 11/4, 12/15, 15/12, 16/14 (46m)
M70: [1] Phil Ayton 3-0 [2] Rod Boswell 15/13, 15/13, 15/10 (28m)
M75: [1] Adrian Wright 3-0 [2] Geoff Coe 15/6, 15/4, 15/3 (19m)
M80: Patrick Kirton 3-1 Lance Kinder 15/9, 15/10, 13/15, 15/6 (25m)

EDSA: Mathew Hewitt 3-1 Dan Easton 11/5, 11/9, 6/11, 11/4 (31m) 

Pictures courtesy of England Squash


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