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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Palmer and Power roll back the years in Legends final

Alan Thatcherhttps://squashmad.com
Founder of World Squash Day, Squash Mad and the new Squash 200 Partnership, building clubs of the future. Founder of the Kent Open and co-promoter of the St. James's Place Canary Wharf Classic. Author and Public Speaker.

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The headline ‘Rivalries Never Die’ was never more appropriate than in a combustible final between David Palmer and Jonathon Power.

Both former World No1s and World Champions, they went at each other toe to toe, trying to wrestle the ‘T’ and the initiative from one another. Palmer took the lead in the first, building up a solid 9-5 start but some unforced errors allowed Power back into it and a final one in to tin gave the Canadian first blood.

The action really heated up in the second as both players stepped up court and the pressure on the referee as the match deteriorated into a bit of a street fight.

With neither player prepared to back down and recognising the potential significance of the game, the crowd were treated to an old school encounter with both players trying to maneouvre each other with the ball and their bodies (flashback to that famous Super Series battle in the Broadgate marquee, live on Sky Sports)!

Power had chances to open up a two-game lead but Palmer held his nerve, saving two game balls and eventually winning it on a Power ‘No Let’! The third settled down a little as Palmer got a little bit of a stranglehold and won it in relative comfort but Power was’t quite done.

He raised his game another notch to race to a 6-1 lead and it looked as though a decider was on the cards, but Palmer steadied the ship and charged to match ball in double  quick time as Power started to look like he was in some physical discomfort. A couple of trade mark trick shots saved two match balls but after 75 minutes of enthralling squash it was Palmer who was crowned Nine Telecom Legends Champion.

In an interesting twist of fate the two finalists will line up against each other on the opening night of the Xodus Group Aberdeen Legends on Friday. Power will be looking for revenge, and the crowd will be looking forward to another instalment in the rivalry.

Result: David Palmer beat Jonathon Power 9-11, 14-12, 11-8, 11-7  (75 minutes)

White too hot for Nicol

John White was in his usual maverick form in the third-fourth play-off with Peter Nicol. Always being a bit of an entertainer it was the perfect stage for White to display his full array of shots, normally with extreme force.

The first game was played in great spirits with both players engaging with good humoured banter with referee Malcom Whitely. It was White who opened a first and decisive lead 8-4 and despite Nicol throwing himself around the court to peg back the deficit, White edged it 11-9.

The second was a role reversal, at least in terms of scoreline, with Nicol leading 9-3 and White getting back to 9-9 before losing out 9-11.

The decider was nip and tuck all the way and a 8-7 it was anyone’s but it was White who set up the first match balls. Nicol save two but on the third attempt a straight volley kill saw White close out the encounter in style.

Result: John White beat Peter Nicol 11-9, 9-11, 11-9

John White and Peter Nicol

Derek Ryan, Tim Garner, Steve Meads and Simon Parke

David Palmer and Jonathon Power are all smiles after a competitive and entertaining Legends final

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