By PAUL LINDSAY at the Roehampton Club
Patrick Rooney and Lucy Turmel won the Carter Jonas Under-23 British Open finals at the Roehampton Club.
They were two entertaining encounters, showing the depth in potential in UK squash.
The men’s final was a truly entertaining battle for the large crowd and a game that showed both players have a big and bright future in the game if they want it. The three years in age difference (Rooney is 20 and Wall 17) was an advantage to Patrick on this occasion as his strength and experience showed.
In the first game, Nick took his time to get to grips with the pace of Patrick’s play and from 3-3 Patrick controlled the rallies making Nick work hard to get to every shot and soon lead 7-3 before closing the first game 11-4.
The second was a closer contest as Nick started going for more attacking winners which were starting to come off and forcing Patrick into errors. From 9-6 down Nick battled back to 10-10 and missed a chance to take the game at 11-12 but Patrick remained calm and countered to take it 14-12.
Patrick was more focused in the third and some wonderful rallies saw, but from 2-2 Patrick’s good length and excellent retrieving was just too much for Nick. Patrick built a commanding lead to see out the game and the match 11-5.
The finalists appropriately thanked those involved in the event at the Roehampton Club.
The women’s final between Lucy Turmel and Alison Thomson was a repeat of the 2017 third-place play-off match where Lucy won 3-0. This year’s clash was a lot closer.
Both players were hitting and moving well in the opening game. Lucy moved ahead and weathered a spirited fight back from Ali, who looked the more attacking player, to win it 11-9.
The second again proved a close and an entertaining battle for the crowd as Ali led 5-2, taking the ball in short really well. Lucy never gave up and soon turned the game around to 6-5 but Alison was now hitting a good width and levelled the match at 1-1.
In the third game, Alison raced into a 4-0 lead and extended that to 7-2 but again Lucy dug deep and never gave Alison a moment’s rest. Her retrieving proved a turning point and from 9-9 Lucy finished strongly to win the game 11-9 to take a 2-1 lead.
Lucy’s confidence showed as her length in the fourth game improved, allowing her to use the drop shot to good effect. But, after leading 7-3, two unforced errors let Ali back in the match. A tough rally at 8-7 saw Lucy open up her lead once more to 10-7 and although Alison continued to fight for every point, Lucy won the game 11-9 to win the title.
Jasmine Hutton won the women’s third-place play-off against Alicia Mead.
Jas started the match with pace and power, racing into an 8-0 lead and she never let up, taking it 11-1.
The second saw Alicia get into the match more using her speed around the court but Jas remained in control with very few unforced errors and took the game 11-5.
The third started well for both players as they looked to try and take control of the game, but from 3-3 Jas stamped her authority back on the match, hitting some lovely winners to take the game and match 11-5.
Carter Jonas Under-23 British Open finals, The Roehampton Club, London.
Patrick Rooney bt Nick Wall 3-0: 11-4, 14-12, 11-5.
3rd 4th Play-off:
Elliott Devred Morris bt Tom Walsh 3-0 (walkover).
Lucy Turmel bt Ali Thomson 3-1: 11-9, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9.
Women’s 3rd 4th Play-off:
Jasmine Hutton bt Alicia Mead 3-0: 11-1,11-5, 11-5.
Pictures courtesy of Roehampton Club