David Breakey reports on EUSC’s latest action: BUSC Squash Individual Championships in Birmingham.
Last weekend 15 members of the University of Exeter Squash Club travelled to Birmingham for the BUCS Squash Individual championships.
The tournament was graded with 7 mens categories and 3 womens. With three players ranked in the world’s top 150 playing in the Men’s A category and former world number 1 Vanessa Atkinson in the Womens the standard was exceptionally high.
Exeter were represented in the Men’s B category by 1st team captain Alex Cope and mercurial Frenchman Jon Taubert. While Jon was able to dispatch Coventry’s answer to Roger Federer to progress to round 2, Alex was faced with a tough match against former Polish junior champion Konrad Tyma.
Unfortunately Alex was unable to bag the win and was left to brew over a first round defeat. Jon couldn’t repeat his first round success and at 10-8 up in the 5th did an “Andrew Hill” collapsing to a 12-10 loss. Alex shrugged off numerous minor injuries, one suspiciously obtained whilst sharing a hotel room with Jonny Machin and Seb Posner, to make good progress in the plate before being beaten in an epic 5 set final.
In the Men’s C category Jonny Machin lost in the first round and followed it up with another loss in the plate competition. He can be forgiven however as he was no doubt distracted by rumours of a new rival to his beloved Rooster House takeaway called Chicken.com.
Exeter had 3 players in the Men’s D category. Brett Norman faced Chris Horne, formerly of Exeter but now playing for fierce rivals Plymouth. Brett cruised to a 3-0 victory despite Chris showing some serious rage, no doubt built up at Plymouth by having only Duncan Hefford for company.
Seb Posner clinched a first round victory despite suffering from an injury but again couldn’t get past the 2nd round losing to an opponent who looked suspiciously like Olly Murs. Josh Tipping also represented Exeter in the D category but seemed far more interested in watching the Women’s matches and so lost both of his games.
The Men’s E draw contained Exeter’s two flair players in Tim Moseley and Andrew Hill. Tim was back on home soil but couldn’t make it count and lost his first round. He was more successful in the plate though and backed by some seriously committed female support reached the semi-finals before crashing out.
Consistency has always been the problem for Andrew Hill but he seemed to have turned over a new leaf here as he cruised through the opening rounds without being troubled. After an arduous 3-2 win in the semi-finals he was through to the final to face Tim’s first round opponent. Just when it seemed he’d forgotten what the tin sounded like he was back to his old self in the final as he squandered an incredible 6 match points in a row before losing 3-2.
David Breakey comfortably won his first round in the Men’s F draw before losing 3-2 to the top seed in the 2nd round. Rich Carter was stunned in the first round and lost 3-0 but recovered to win three in a row and reach the final of the plate. Luke Christian, known for his dislike of early starts, also lost in the first round-edged out 3-2. Luke recovered well though to also win 3 in a row in the plate and set up an all-Exeter final with Rich.
While Carter was the favourite on ranking positions Christian was looking to cause an upset. Despite Luke doing all he could to delay the start time it was apparently still too early in the morning and Rich easily took the lead. However spurred on by half of the vocal all-Exeter crowd Luke recovered and managed to close out the match 3-1 to take the plate.
John Howell was Exeter’s only player in the Men’s G draw. After being pushed all the way in the first round in a 5 set thriller he cruised through the next 3 rounds to take the title dropping only 1 more game. John has put this success down to his new found friendship with Marwan El Shorbagy, world number 33 and younger brother of Mohammed. There is even talk of the two becoming Facebook friends, something that Jonny Machin has desperately tried to achieve for years.
Sophie Williams enjoyed first round success in the Women’s B category crushing her opponent 3-0. A tough second round match saw her characteristic rage in full flow as she succumbed to a 3-0 loss. To make matters worse she was so blinded by the rage that she somehow managed to lose her racquet.
Club Captain Holly Gottlieb was one of two Exeter players in the Women’s C category. She faced a tough first round clash and was unlucky to lose it 3-0. There was more success in the plate though as she won her first match 3-0 sending a warning message to potential challenger and rising star within the club Chris Baylay. She couldn’t keep the run going though and lost a tight second match.
Sarah Tyrrell easily dispatched her first opponent in the C category although not quite quicklly enough to beat her 9.58 second record. She continued to improve, possibly a result of her recent late night practice sessions with a certain Dr Feather, and cruised into the semi-finals. Unfortunately this was the end of the track for her though and she lost 3-0 despite some impressive running.
Overall it was a very successful weekend for Exeter showing just how much the club has improved in recent years and the potential it has to be even better in the future.