Friday, September 22, 2023

Power meets Palmer in Legends final showdown


Peter Nicol chats to Danny Lee as Jonathon Power smiles at the crowd

















Jonathon Power put in an imperious performance on Super Sunday to put arch rival Peter Nicol to the sword and set up a potentially explosive Monday night final with David Palmer.

The opening game was classic squash, with both players clearly enjoying renewing their rivalry. Each trying to find ways to expose their opponent using all the court-craft they could muster.

Power is certainly in the best shape he has been in for a couple of years, and was moving quickly on to Nicol’s drops at the front giving himself enough time to hold, flick and drive the ball away from his opponent.

Nicol battled valiantly but could do little to halt the tide of winners and it was the mercurial Canadian that took the first.

The second was a one-way rout, albeit played at high intensity and with no quarter given. Power is never one to give away points and he was merciless as he moved to 9/0 and it was only a sidewall nick that got Nicol on the scoreboard at all! A few rallies later and it was all over and a much awaited final between the ’Marine’ Palmer and the ‘Maestro’ Power will now have top billing on the Monday night.

David Palmer maintained his unbeaten record on the Legends Squash Tour with an action-packed 2-1 win over long-time friend and rival John White. As expected it was a big-hitting affair with both players striking the ball fiercely to all corners of the court, much to the delight of the crowd.

White was on great form, not just with the racket but also chatting to the referee, the crowd and indeed himself. Palmer kept his concentration early on but White managed to find is range when game ball down saving two and then closing it out at the first attempt as Palmer unusually clipped the tin with backhand drops.

However, he kept his cool at the start of the second in the face of some ferocious ball striking from White and somehow managed to keep a very hot bouncy ball under control to win the game.

The third followed a similar pattern and although Palmer started to look a little weary it was White who tired and towards the end was forced to dive to try and stay in the rally. Each time causing a welcome rest as the court was cleaned, but  finally after just under 50 minutes of swash buckling squash it was Palmer who was the victor and the first name in Monday nights final.

David Palmer beat John White 10-12, 11-7, 11-5

Jonathon Power beat Peter Nicol 11-7, 11-2

Parke & Ryan Pick-up Consolation wins


Simon Parke & Derek Ryan picked up consolation wins in Nine Telecom Legends with wins over wildcards Stephen Meads & Tim Garner, respectively. Parke got the evenings entertainment under way with a straight games win featuring the pairs trademark court coverage. Parke led 4/1 in the first, before Meads moved to 5-4, but another run of points saw Parke home 11/6. The second followed a similar pattern with runs of points being punctuated by some tough rallies necessitating a few chats with the referee to get their breath back! It looked to be all over as Parke moved to 10/5,but Meads was far from done saving 3 match balls before falling a couple of points short at 8/11.

Ireland’s 208-capped Derek Ryan picked up his first win in the other pool with a hard fought 2-0 win over Eventis’ Tim Garner. The lanky Irishman was always in control of the first game using his reach to good effect to cut the ball off on the ‘T’.

Clearly keen to pick up his maiden win in the event Garner came back strongly in the second but could never pull ahead. They were level at 6-6, 7-7, 8-8 and 9-9 with the rallies getting increasingly tougher as both players strained for a potentially decisive game win. Eventually it was Garner’s resistance that broke first with a couple of tins giving the game and match to the Irishman.

Simon Parke beat Stephen Meads 11-6, 11-8

Derek Ryan beat Tim Garner 11-5, 11-9

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