Last night saw the culmination of this years Club Closed Competitions with 6 of the Finals being played. This year we have seen some great games with some really close matches. Some of the highlights before this evening were:
Ruth Sleigh vs Laura Holding in the Ladies semi final which saw Ruth coming back from 2-1 down to take the game.
Nick Loomes vs Hari Patel in the Mens Semi final with Nick taking the match 3-1 but coming in as the underdog. Both players played some really tight squash of exceptional quality.
Frankie Jones vs Milly Bairstow in the Girls U12 which saw Frankie take the match but it could have gone either way and we are sure these two ladies are going to have many close games in the future.
Adam Stamp vs Will Rhodes in the Boys U19 semi final which saw Will squeeze through 3-2 (and aged his dad by about 10 years!)
Last night started off with the Men's Plate Competition and Boys U19. Ross Headley surprised veteran Melvin Crane with his court coverage and unique style, but Melvin's experience eventually saw him through, spoiling Ross's birthday, in a 3-0 victory. In the Boys U19, Will Rhodes and Alistair Geear were competing (with Dad's, Pete and Martin, playing every shot with them on the balcony!). Alistair appeared the more relaxed on the day and saw him through, with less mistakes made.
Next up was the Boys U15 and Mens Finals. In the Boys U15 we again saw a couple of juniors who will be battling many matches against each other over the forthcoming years, Bradley Crane and Tom Conboy. Bradley, having just come back from an appendix operation, wasn't on top form during his semi final earlier in the week but he regained some of his touch to help produce a quality close match with Tom. All the games were close with Bradley managing to grab the 5th.
In the Mens Final, Nick Loomes came into the game feeling ok after his mamoth semifinal, but Martin Geear's consistency paid off allowing him to regain the Tobin Trophy following loosing out to Jack Turney last year. The Trophy was presented by Andrew and James Tobin, Les Tobin's son and grandson. Nick came off with severe blistering to his feet meaning he was unable to play the Racketball Final and with his opponents, Pete Ross's, agreement this will be played in a couple of weeks time.
This left the O40s and Ladies Finals as the last of the evening. In the O40s Handicap coaches, Steve Avil and Pete Rhodes, faced each other with only 4 points between them. Pete took a close first game, Steve came back to take the 2nd giving us a deciding game. Pete took the game to 13-9, then Steve came back to get to match ball 14-13, but served out! At 14 all Steve set 1 and took the title. The Trophy was presented by President Ken Martin.
In the Ladies, Ruth was competing for a record 7th title having equalled the titles won last year. In a repeat of recent finals, her oponent was Lin Leach and again Ruth came out on top although Lin put up a great fight in the 2nd game. The Trophy was presented by President Hilary Hearnshaw
The other titles won this year are
Frankie Jones - U12 Girls
Max Wilson - U12 Boys
We still have one game to play to decide the Girls U16 title, between Lulu Pemberton and Freddie Marlow.
The O55s final is being played Monday evening between Gary Aram and Steve Avil
Thanks goes to all those who competed and marked the games particularly Tim Arthur, Pete Ross, Steve Avil, Gemma Christison and Steve Iles who marked on Finals Night.
Thanks for the supporters who came out last night to watch - especially welcome back to John "The Face of Harborough Squash" MacDonald who was down for the weekend! Next year we look forward to playing the finals on the show courts with more viewing space!
Footnote: The O55's Final took place on Monday 29th and saw a repeat of last years final with Steve Avil taking on Gary Aram, and had a similar result with Steve coming out on top. Thanks go to Club President, Richard Balme, for marking the game despite it's strange "colonial" marking system!