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Declan James claws back to win London title

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Declan James and Gina Kennedy win London Under-23 finals at Roehampton
By  Squash Mad Reporter

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Declan James and Georgina Kennedy won the London Under-23 finals staged at the Roehampton Club.

Men’s Open – Declan James bt Charles Sharpes

Declan James took the Roehampton London BSPA U23 Open with a hard fought victory over Charles Sharpes at the Roehampton Club.

Charles, in his third London U23 Open final and the reigning champion, was looking to end on a high before moving out of the U23 category and he started quickly.

The first was a close battle with players exchanging points to 9/9 before Charles took the game 13/11. Charles racing to a 8/2 lead in the second with superb attacking play seemed to have the match under control and soon led 2-0 taking the game 11/4.

Declan led the third 5/3 & 8/6 but some errors gave a string of points to Charles to lead 10/8 and 2 Championship balls. A no let gave Declan hope and at 10/9 Charles lost a little focus giving Declan hope, which he took winning 13/11.

The fourth was a different story, Declan looking focused and using his short kill shots to good effect, reeling off four points in a row to go 6/2 up, and some unforced errors from Charles gave Declan the game 11/3 and hope to take the title.

Into the fifth and both pushed early to find an advantage, Charles seeming more confident once more hitting some wonderful winners to go 6/5 up, but Declan stayed patient and his excellent retrieving mixed with a ‘no let’ to Charles saw him take a 10/7 lead. Charles hit two wonderful winners to get back to 9/10 but it was not to be as Declan closed out the game and match 11/9 taking the title.

Declan appropriately thanked those involved in the event at the Roehampton Club and looked forward to returning next year to defend the title.

Women’s Open – Georgina Kennedy bt Alison Thomson

unnamedThe opening game saw Ali get off to a good start but from 0/3 Georgina settled and use her precise hitting to dominate from the front of the court Georgina took the game 11/7.

The second seemed to be a repeat of the 1st game as Ali led 3/1 but Georgina was now moving well, hitting good length and using her drop at the right time to take control to go 7/5 up. The excellent play continued and Georgina stayed in control to take the second game 11/6.

The third proved to be one-sided as Ali could not find a way into the game, Georgina was relentless in her determination to retrieve every ball and move Ali around the court and Georgina closed out the game and match deservedly 11/5.

Thank you to Paul Clarke (referee) and Roehampton Club the tournament host & sponsor.

London Under-23 Championship, Roehampton Club (i.e. First Round):

Men’s final:
Declan James beat Charles Sharpes 3-2 (11/13, 4/11, 13/11, 11/3, 11/9) 74min
Semi Finals
Charles Sharpes bt Doug Kempsell 9/11, 11/6, 3/11, 11/5, 11/9
Declan James bt Richie Fallows 12/14, 9/11, 11/9, 11/8, 11/7
Quarter Finals
Charles Sharpes bt Danny Hockborn 11/6, 8/11, 11/9, 11/6
Doug Kempsell bt Joe Green 11/6, 11/2, 11/5
Richie Fallows bt Ben Grindrod 11/3, 11/4, 11/7
Declan James bt Sam Ellis 11/1, 11/5, 11/0

Women’s final:
Georgina Kennedy beat Alison Thomson 3-0 (11/7, 11/6, 11/5 (24min)

Semi Finals:
Georgina Kennedy bt Kace Bartley 11/2, 11/3, 11/4
Ali Thomson bt Katrina Burrows 11/7, 12/10, 11/8
Quarter Finals
Georgina Kennedy bt Jenny Hayley 11/6, 11/7, 11/3
Kace Bartley bt Elin Harlow 9/11, 11/4, 12/10, 12/10
Katrina Burrows bt Rawan Elkalaawy 13/11, 11/9, 6/11, 11/3
Ali Thomson bt Elize Lazarus 11/9, 11/5, 11/2

Men’s Plate Final: Emyr Evans bt Tom Bradford 11/8, 11/7, 11/5
Women’s Plate Final: Elize Lazarus bt Ali Hemmingway 11/8, 11/6, 11/6

 

 

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