The first Easter Graded Squash Competition took place last week at the NSC. This is a new addition to the squash calendar and after a good entry it will become a regular fixture. The players were graded into four groups according to ranking with eight players in each group.
In group A the first round matches went according to seeding with all but one match being won 3-0. The exception was the match between Hamish Thornton and Steve Baker where Baker managed to take a game off his higher ranked opponent. The closest match in the second round was between Hamish Thornton and Jason Blue, with Blue coming back from 2-0 down to win 3-2. In the final round there was a very close match between father and son Steve and Calum Baker with dad managing to win 3-1 in four very hard-fought games. The A group final was between Thom Whiteway and Jason Blue. Whiteway took a 2-0 lead but Blue won the third game. Whiteway showed his skill and good retrieving to take the next game and win the Final 3-1.
In the B group the closest first round match was between James Leith and Jon Shepherd with Shepherd coming back from 2-0 down to win in five games. All the second-round matches went to five games with Douglas Jacobsson and Mark Grace beating Mark Taggart and Jon Shepherd respectively, and Les Callow and James Leith triumphing over Dean Sowerby and Pat Russell. The Final in this group was between Douglas Jacobsson and Mark Grace with Jacobsson just managing to win in five tight games.
The closest match of the first round in group C was between Shaun Wylie and Andrew Brown. After four games the scores were level and the fifth game continued in this neck-and-neck way until Brown won in the battle to two clear points 14-12. The second-round matches were all won 3-0 apart from Beth Jones against Darren Smethurst, where Smethurst won 3-1 playing great hard running squash. In the final round Beth Jones beat Brian Cowley 3-2 and Peter Baker beat Andrew Brown by the same score. The final was between Michael Fernandes and Oliver Williams with Williams winning in three close games.
Group D was a very competitive group with four of the six matches going to five games. Emma Leith lost to Isaac Quayle 3-2 but in the next round Emma managed a 3-2 win against Fatheha Essa. Essa then lost 3-2 to Isaac Quayle. The final of group C was between two juniors Isaac Quayle and Ben Leith with Quayle winning 3-2 in five very close games.
The Winners and Runners Up were –
Winner – Thomas Whiteway
Runner Up – Jason Blue
Winner – Douglas Jacobsson
Runner Up – Mark Grace
Winner – Oliver Williams
Runner Up – Michael Fernandes
Winner – Isaac Quayle
Runner Up – Ben Leith