BOURSE Welsh Masters Open 2018
Cardiff once again played host to the BOURSE Welsh Masters Open, as the best veteran squash players from around the world congregated in the capital
BOURSE Welsh Masters Open 2018
Cardiff once again played host to the BOURSE Welsh Masters Open from December 7-9, as the best veteran squash players from around the world congregated in the capital for a typically competitive weekend of racquet action.
Welcoming more than 100 players from 12 countries – including Sweden, Zimbabwe and the Czech Republic – friendly rivalries, intriguing match-ups and exciting court action were in strong supply across the three-day event, staged at the Sport Wales National Centre (SWNC) – which also hosted live streaming for knock-out matches – and Cardiff Squash Club.
In the men’s over 35s, an all-England round-robin was topped by Peter Billson, who won all three of his matches without dropping a game, leaving Richard North and Nicholas Murrills to pick up the runner-up and bronze medals. Sweden’s Joanne Elgood was similarly impressive in victory in the women’s event – completing her five-match clean sweep with a solid win over Wales’ Sarah Trevelyan (11/2, 11/6, 11/3).
Matthew Stephenson continued England’s superiority by topping the over 40 group, overcoming France’s Michael Macone in the deciding match (11/1, 11/3, 11/4); while David Rees-Godfrey claimed third after beating Gary Fry in an all-Welsh affair (11/6, 12/10, 11/4).
Henrieta Loksova of Slovakia proved too good for Ireland’s Orla O’Doherty, in the women’s over 45 final (11/4, 12/10, 11/8), while Izzy Bramhall beat Sarah Parr to bronze in a humdinger of a play-off (11/7, 11/5, 5/11, 8/11, 11/7).
It was equally exciting in the men’s draw as England’s Darren Withey won all of his fixtures in a six-man round-robin – finishing with a remarkable comeback from two games down against David Robertson to snatch the title from the Welshman; Dallas Hayvice also snuck ahead of Jason Salisbury to finish third on overall games won.
The women’s over 50s was taken by Andrea Santamaria of England, who proved too strong for the competition, sweeping all before her including Helen Barnard (Wales) and Karen Webb (Zimbabwe), who had to settle for second and third respectively.
In the men’s over 50 elimination knock-out, there was a home 1-2-3, as Wales’ Richard Murphy claimed first ahead of compatriots Ian-Fenner Evans and Nick Jones, who completed the podium ahead of top seed, Günter Bratz, who had to settle for fourth.
Paul Clark of England won in the same format in the over 55 event, defeating Wales’ Mike Workman in the final (11/2, 11/6, 11/3); while Mike Logan beat Karam Singh to third (12/10, 11/5, 11/9).
Retaining her title, home favourite Sian Johnson demonstrated her dominance in the women’s over 60s category by storming to four round-robin wins, leaving England’s Jill Campion and Julie Field to collect silver and bronze.
The corresponding men’s event was something of an English monopoly, with Ian Bradburn coming back strongly from an early setback to win in four over David Kirk (9/11, 11/4, 13/11, 11/6); while Simon Evenden picked up third.
In the most senior event, Geoff Redfern upset the favourite Geoff Walton to take the over 65s trophy home (11/4, 11/2, 11/4); Barry Featherstone wrapped up a successful weekend for England with a win over Alan James of Wales (11/5, 9/11, 11/5, 11/8).
With so many players and nationalities represented throughout the weekend in Cardiff, it was exceptional to see that the great spirit of squash was well observed throughout the event, with all participants receiving a warm Welsh welcome and hospitality that included plenty of food, drink and song – when not on court.
Another notable event was in men’s over 35 competitor, Jamie McAnsh, taking part in his first able-bodied European tournament despite suffering from complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) and playing in callipers. Read more about Jamie’s story here.
Squash Wales would like to thank sponsors: Karakal,Sport Wales, Dunlop, Merchasylum, Lasers Are Us, Defiance Sports Therapy, Bangor University, Glamorgan Telecom, CarMichaels, Cable Stream, Chaps and Tiny Tumblers for their support of the tournament.
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Issued on behalf of Squash Wales by Thomas Owain Davies.