Date: Sunday 22nd April Venue: Harleston Community Leisure Facility, Wilderness Lane, Harleston, IP20 9DD Venue website: www.hclf.co.uk Venue contact: 01379 852088 Entry deadline: 6.00pm, Wednesday 18th April
The Grand Prix is open to players of all standards under 19 years of age, and is ideal for beginners, developing & experienced junior players.
Players must be able to serve from the service box. Entrants will be graded into groups of similar ability & receive a minimum of 3 matches. Trophies or medals will be awarded to the Winner of each group.
Approved eye protection must be worn during warm up & play; this will be available to borrow on the day.
The draw & start times will be emailed to all entrants on Friday 20th April. Please send entry form, together with entry fee of £8, cheques payable to: “Norfolk Junior Squash” to Tony Henden, Broadland Sports Club, Main Road, Fleggburgh, Great Yarmouth, NR29 3AE. For payment by bank transfer to NJS, account details available on request.
For more information contact Tony Henden: Tel. 07900 558493/ 01493 369651 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Ah, Finals Night – the evening where the stakes are high, the play is fierce and reputations lie on the line. Everything is to play for on this occasion; and nowhere was it seen more clearly than in the Men’s 060/5 category. Brian Day beat Richard Soanes 3-0, but Peter Arbuthnot delayed his journey to see his new-born granddaughter to play Nigel Reeve instead. Sadly for Peter, he headed back down the A11 with nothing but a 0-3 loss for company, leaving Nigel as Men’s O60/5 champion. The Men’s O45 saw Martin Guppy beat Phil Buttery 3-1, and Rob Hambrook took a rowdy 3-2 win over Steve Moxey to win the title. Katie Cox was runner-up to Robert Thirst after a 3-0 defeat in the U23; Lucy Cox beat Chris Nixon by the same margin, and Josh Hall went down to James Thacker 3-1.
The Ladies’ Racketball Plate Final between Pam Reeve and Karan Cox was closer than the scoreline might suggest, with Karan emerging as 3-0 victor. Shaun Cramer had good 3-0 wins over both Brian Day and James Thacker in the Men’s B Racketball, and Steven Knight beat Ian Sneddon 3-1 in the same competition. The Ladies’ Racketball Champion is Julie Johnson, who beat Sue Kuhaudomlarp 3-0, and Steve Dawson had a thumpingly-brilliant run against David Gouldby, coming back from 0-1 down to win 3-1 and take the Men’s A Racketball title.
The Men’s C Plate semi-finals saw James Thacker beat Phil Buttery 3-1 to set up a final with Shin Azegami, but Shin couldn’t dent James’ winning streak and went down 0-3. In the Men’s B Plate semi-final, Jason Brooks triumphed 3-1 over Josh Hall, but he lost 1-3 in the Final to – yes, you’ve guessed it – James Thacker. The Ladies’ Plate Final was also a pairing of familiar faces, where Lucy Cox beat Sue Kuhaudomlarp 3-0.
At last, it was time for the main draw finals. Jason Brooks went head-to-head with Ben Margolis in the Men’s C Final and came away with a 3-0 win and the title, and Herman Van Der Berg made the home crowd very happy with a 3-1 victory over Robin Chipperfield in the Men’s B Final. The Ladies’ match was a hard-hitting battle between Katie Cox and Katie Lawrence, and that same crowd were left gasping by the skill and force demonstrated at every point; but it was Katie Cox who walked away with the title of Ladies’ Champion after a five-game slog. Lastly, it was the Men’s A event. After a shaky start, Ashley Bowling looked more purposeful against Norfolk’s defending champion as the games progressed, but in the end, there could only be one winner – and that was, once more, Jamie Goodrich, who never set a foot wrong throughout his 3-0 victory and came away with the crown of Men’s Champion once more.
So that’s it for 2018, and what a championship it was. It had a little bit of everything – drama, upsets, tantrums and gamesmanship – but above all, it had more than its fair share of brilliant squash, fair play, healthy competition and sportsmanlike behaviour. Thanks must go to our tournament sponsors, Top Spin Tennis, for providing the entry bags for our competitors, to Katie Lawrence, for her scheduling wizardry, to Brian Day for filming and to our referee, Mike Campbell. Most of all, however, thanks must go to all the supporters who created such a great atmosphere throughout the week, and to the competitors, for making the Norfolk County Closed Squash Championships 2018 such a great event for players and spectators alike. We’re looking forward to welcoming you back to the courts next year.
Match Of The Night: It has to be the Ladies’ Final match, which overshadowed the Men’s Final in terms of tension, drama and uncertainty. Katie Cox came storming out of the blocks to go 2-0 up, only for Katie Lawrence to drag it back to 2-2; the final game was too close to call, but it was Katie Cox who will have her name etched on the trophy for 2018. An excellent match from two players who both gave their all to each game.
Player Of The Tournament: James Thacker. Four categories, no withdrawals, a scheduling nightmare and more matches than you could shake a racket at, he came away with a trio of trophies as rewards for his efforts. Well played, James.
Name Dilemma Of The Tournament: There are many candidates for this – Sue ‘Just-call-me-K’, Katie and Karan Cox, Ben and Ben, Katie and Katie, Chris Smith and Chris Smith – but in the end, it has to be Shin Azegami, who was listed as Shin Agazami for the entire tournament and never complained once.
Supporter Of The Night: Lucy Cox. Lime Tree Road’s resident cheerleader kept her nose buried in her chemistry revision throughout the whole of her sister’s Ladies Final Match.
Hero Of The Night: Claudie Lawrence and Ava Fox. Two little angels who mercilessly exploited their cute-factor and blackmailed everyone into buying at least two raffle tickets. They’re destined to be the next stars of Junior Apprentice.
Villain Of The Night: Steve Dawson, for going home with the magnum of prosecco that has been sat next to the organiser’s desk all week.
Text Of The Tournament: ‘So…anyone have an old racket for sale? (Seriously)…’ Better start saving those pennies, Bradley.
PS. Has anyone seen Adam Goodson?
Tournament Results Racketball Ladies’ Plate: Runner-Up: Pam Reeve Winner: Karan Cox Men’s B: Runner-Up: James Thacker Winner: Shaun Cramer Ladies’: Runner Up: Sue Kuhaudomlarp Winner: Julie Johnson Men’s A: Runner-Up: David Gouldby Winner: Steve Dawson Squash Men’s C Plate: Runner-Up: Shin Azegami Winner: James Thacker Men’s B Plate: Runner-Up: Jason Brooks Winner: James Thacker Ladies’ Plate: Runner-Up: Sue Kuhaudomlarp Winner: Lucy Cox Men’s O60/5: Runner-Up: Philip Godfrey Winner: Nigel Reeve Men’s O55: Runner-Up: Simon Cullum Winner: Robin Chipperfield Men’s O45: Runner-Up: Steve Moxey Winner: Rob Hambrook U23: Runner-Up: Katie Cox Winner: Robert Thirst Men’s C: Runner-Up: Ben Margolis Winner: Jason Brooks Men’s B: Runner-Up: Robin Chipperfield Winner: Herman Van Der Berg Ladies’: Runner-Up: Katie Lawrence Winner: Katie Cox Men’s A: Runner-Up: Ashley Bowling Winner: Jamie Goodrich
Both Robert Thirst and Sam Henden, have recently travelled to a number of PSA tournaments. At these tournaments, prize money and most importantly world rankings points are on offer. Due to the calibre of these tournaments they attract highly ranked players, not just from England but abroad as well. Early in the summer both players travelled to the Cambridge Open, a PSA 1k. Robert and Sam both suffered frustrating first round losses. Robert losing to Josh Atwell and Sam Henden losing to Chris Longman. Both players played well but felt they could have done better.
Later in the summer both players were off again, this time to play in the Thanet Open, a PSA 3k, in Kent. As the prize money was larger for this event, bigger names and higher ranked players were in the draw. Players such as Ben Coleman, world ranked 54 and Richie Fallows world ranked 58 were noticeable names.
Sam and Robert both suffered first round loses again, but put in promising performances against strong opposition. Sam was drawn against Rob Downer in the first round. Rob has reached a highest world ranking of 120, and is currently ranked 182 in the world. A tough opponent but Sam gave a great showing of himself being in control of a number of rallies and sticking with Rob till the later stages of each game. Robert also had a tough opponent in the first round, coming up against ¾ seed Joe Green. Joe has a highest world ranking of 105 and is currently ranked 114 in the world. Robert took the lead in each game, but Joe came through strongly during the mid part of each game to push on and take a 3-0 win.
These tournaments are not only for players looking to play on the PSA word tour. Many of the smaller PSA tournaments will be organised with a graded tournament alongside them, so club players can enter and also have competitive matches in a draw more suited to their level.
During August Robert travelled to the National Closed Satellite in Kent, unfortunately Sam could not make this tournament. Robert lost in the qualifying finals 3-1 to Gary Nisbet, 12-10 in the fourth. A great performance from Robert to push an experienced player to four games. This meant that Sam had picked up world ranking points from two tournaments over the summer and Robert had picked up points from three.
Sam is currently Ranked 502 in the world and Robert 489. With both players highest world ranking being 479 (August 2017). The aim for both players is to continue training, improving and making it further through PSA tournaments to gain more ranking points, pushing them higher in the rankings as a result.
Norfolk Squash Annual General Meeting, Saturday 5th August.
The Norfolk Squash Rackets Association AGM will take place at 5.00 p.m. at Broadland Sports Centre, Fleggburgh on Saturday 5th August. The meeting agenda and minutes of last year’s meeting are below. Please try to ensure that your club has at least one representative attending. The AGM will be followed by presentation of trophies for the 2016-17 Winter League, and then by a special meeting to discuss the future of junior squash in Norfolk. Please make every effort to attend if you are involved or have an interest in junior squash.