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Courtcraft Nick Matthew Academy
Steel City Open 2014
27-30 Nov, Hallamshire, Sheffield, $5k

30-Nov, Final:

[1] Greg Lobban (Sco) 3-0 [8] George Parker (Eng)
                11/6, 11/5, 11/4

Lobban takes Steel City title in style

Greg Lobban won the inaugural Courtcraft Nick Matthew Academy Steel City Open in classic style.

The top PSA world ranked player in the tournament and the number one seed. He came to Hallamshire in fine form and on the back of some recent high class performances at world tour events. Making the first round off the US open and last 32 in the world championships, which will move him higher up the rankings.

George Parker, national under 19 Champion, has had a tremendous tournament knocking out two seeds on is ways to the final.

Introduced on court to a packed house by Andrew Nickeas. Nick Matthews gave a short profile of the players during the knock up to the delight of all the spectators.

Both players started brightly testing each other and trying to command the Tee. Parker opened the scoring; Lobban replied Parker then delayed and completely sent his opponent the wrong way 2-1 and a good start from Parker. Lobban started to apply pressure, working the ball all over the court changing pace not letting Parker settle.

His reward was three consecutive points, the first a sublime forehand drop followed by two unforced errors from Parker trying desperately to get back in to the game. After a longish rally Parker finished it with a beautifully executed forehand drop. Lobban now fleet of foot covering the court with grace applied more pressure on Parker resulting in four straight points to lead 8-3. An exchange of points with one game ball saved by Parker took Lobban to game ball 10-6.

A duel of drops in the next rally Lobban then pulled out of his bag of tricks a perfectly cross court lob Parker retrieved for Lobban to execute a forehand drop with Parker stranded in the back of court. First game to Lobban 11-6.

Parker lead the second 4-2 Lobban stepped up is game put Parker under more pressure and started commanding the tee, Dominating the rallies winning them or forcing Parker to make mistakes. 9-4. Parker secured his last point of the game with one off his favourite shots a backhand cross court volley drop. Next two points to Labbon in quick succession closed the game out 11-5.

Complete dominance in the third by Lobban secured the match. Parker tried hard, worked hard never gave up but the extra pace movement and court craft of Lobban had too much for Parker on the day. Winning clutches of points in succession with token resilience from Parker Lobban secured the game and Match 11/5 3-0 games to nil in 31 minutes.

One hour before the final of the Courtcraft Nick Matthew Academy Steel City Open, You could find three times world champion Nick Matthew on court coaching some of his academy kids. All credit should go to Nick and Trevor Davies of Prosquash for promoting and staging the event.

There should be more of these Challenger events to help and assist our younger players in their chosen profession.

Terry Dudley, courtside @ Hallamshire
  

Draws & Results

Steel City Open 2014
27-30 Nov, Hallamshire, Sheffield, $5k
Round One
27 Nov
Quarters
28 Nov
Semis
29 Nov
Final
30 Nov
[1] Greg Lobban (Sco)
11/4, 11/2, 11/8 25m)
Micah Franklin (Ber)
[1] Greg Lobban
11/8, 13/11, 10/12, 11/6 (72m)
[5] Mark Fuller
[1] Greg Lobban

11/5, 11/5, 11/7 (40m)

[3] Chris Fuller

5th PSA title
for Greg

[1] Greg Lobban

 

11/6, 11/5, 11/4

 

[8] George Parker

[5] Mark Fuller (Eng)
13/11, 12/10, 6/11, 11/5 (48m)
Steve London (Eng)
[7] Kevin Moran (Sco)
7/11, 11/4, 11/8, 11/5 (43m)
Ben Grindrod (Nzl)
[7] Kevin Moran
11/8, 11/6, 11/3 (36m)
[3] Chris Fuller
[3] Chris Fuller (Eng)
11/6, 11/2, 11/4 (34m)
Ben Coates (Eng)
[wc] Adam Turner (Eng)
11/8, 11/5, 9/11, 11/2 (39m)
[4] Adam Murrills (Eng)
[4] Adam Murrills
12/10, 11/4, 11/5 (35m)
[6] James Earles
[4] Adam Murrills

11/8, 11/7, 12/10 (43m)

[8] George Parker

Ashley Davies (Eng)
12/10, 11/6, 9/11, 11/7 (59m)
[6] James Earles (Eng)
Josh Masters (Eng)
6/11, 11/4, 12/10, 11/6 (50m)
[8] George Parker (Eng)
[8] George Parker
11/5, 11/7, 9/11, 11/1 (46m)
[2] Nathan Lake
Tristan Eysele (Rsa)
6/11, 6/11, 8/11 (26m)
[2] Nathan Lake (Eng)
 

29-Nov, Semis:
Lobban and Parker through to final

George Parkerís great run continued with an emphatic victory over Adam Murrrils in the first semi-final of the Courtcraft Nick Matthew Academy Steel City Open.

Both hitting good length balls and finding their rhythm, first to strike was Murrills with a back hand tight length which was irretrievable. Parker replied taking the next three points two back hand volley drops followed by backhand crosscourt nick. Unforced error by Parker put Murrells back into the game and a cross court into the nick squared the game at 3-all.

Three points to Parker then matched by Murrills followed by an exchange of points to 8 apiece. The game all square, but Parker looked in control moving about court with ease which held true, as he won the next three points the last one with one of his favourite shots a back hand cross court low into the nick.

Parker commanded the first part of the second game to lead 4-0. An unforced error gave Murrills his first point. Parker seemed to have won the next point but his wrist chain broke and dropped to the floor in the rally g giving the point to Murrills. Three unforced errors from Murrills two unforced errors from Parker a no let against Parker seemed to make him focus by winning the next three points, winning the game taking two games to love lead.

First point to Murrills, two to Parker, an unforced error from Parker 4-all. Parker was now commanding the tee forcing Murrills to make errors, and taking a 6-3 lead. Murrills dug deep and got himself into the game to square it 6-6. Parkerís time to make errors, Murrills taking advantage to lead 9-7 looking in control. Parker lost the next point on a no let and duly got a conduct warning for inappropriate comments. His frustration was relieved by a wicked forehand drive only to follow up with another unforced error. 10-8 game ball to Murrills.

If nothing else Parker is a competitor and this showed in saving game ball, squaring it 11 all. 12-11 second game ball to Murrills. A sublime back hand drop gave match ball to Parker, another unforced error from Murrills handed the game and match to Parker in 43 minutes.

The second semi-final saw Chris Fuller take on yesterdays conqueror of his brother Mark, top seed Greg Lobban.

Lobban settled first and with a mixture of changing pace, accurate straight drives, angles., cross courts. He possesses a full bag of armoury never allowing Fuller to settle in any rhythm. Fuller won the first point before Lobban started to mix it up, a back hand crosscourt drop, hard cross court drive to the nick and forcing Fuller to make errors gave Lobban a7-1 lead. Fuller produced a disguised cross court back hand and then Lobban made a rare error givingFuller the next two points. Two more points to Lobban who was now in total control. Fuller managed to force Lobban into another error hitting the ball into the tin, an exchange of points saw Lobban take the first game 11-5.

The second game started with an exchange of points in batches of two before Lobban exerted ihs presence and raced to 9-3, Fuller once again won a couple of points before an unforced error gave Lobban the game same score as the first 11-5.

A repeat of the second game saw Lobban 6-3 up then to his credit Fuller came back fighting and with some determination managed to take four points consecutively with a lovely controlled back hand drop, a cross court drive and aided by a enforced error with an unforced error when Lobban hit the tin with a powerful drive. 7-6 to Fuller.

Lobban stepped up the pressure and Fullers resistance was over as Lobban raced to a 10-7 lead, then produced a fantastic forehand volley nick to win the match which he never looked likely to lose.

Can seed slayer Parker bring Lobban down and win his first PSA Challenger? Who knows?

Lobban will start as favourite but donít write off the determined challenger!

Terry Dudley, courtside @ Hallamshire
  

Draws & Results


 

28-Nov, Quarters:
Parker takes out Lake in quarters
Terry Dudley, Courtside
 
The longest match of the day was the last one on court, the session kicked off with the third seed Chris Fuller of England taking on Scotlandís Kevin Moran seeded 7.

Fuller maintained is fine form of yesterday and did not drop a game. He controlled the match from the beginning with accurate lengths and tight drops. Moran won little flurry of points in each game but could not match Fuller on the night, Fuller won 11/8 11/6 11/3 in 36 minutes.

James Earles (6) and Adam Murrills (4) matched each other point for point in the first game, Earles was never behind until Murrills won two points on the bounce from 10 all to take a first game lead 12-10.

Murrills started to put Earles under a lot of pressure early in the second resulting in Earles making loads of mistakes and tinning four balls in a row, eventually losing the game 11/4. The third game was a carbon copy of the second Murrills taking an early lead he never surrendered and secured the game 11/5 in 35 minutes.

The competition was really set on light when second seed Nathan Lake took on eight seed George Parker. Tit for tat to 5 all both players playing with confidence wining rallies on good shots mixed up with the odd tinning of the ball trying for outright winners. Parker started to assert himself with long rallies some good retrieving and the occasional outrageous back hand cross court nicks, taking seven points without reply.

Parker started the second brightly taking a 4-1 lead a couple of points won by Lake to bring it back to 3-4, three more rallies Parker leads 7-3 Lake fought hard to secure the next two points to trail by two at 5-7. It got a little messy and a couple of lets before Parker produced a sublime back hand volley drop followed immediately with a forehand volley drop, a short rally followed before Parker played a tight forehand down the wall to go two games up.

Again in the third Parker started the stronger to lead 5-2, this time though Lake responded in fine style and doggedly brought the game back to 5 all, exchange of points two lets in one rally another exchange of points 8 all Lake played the next two rallies with determination and clawed a game back. First point to lake and is last of the match as Parker took charge and secured the match with a comfortable fourth game win 11-1.

Last match on court was Greg Lobban Scotland the top seed against eight seed Mark Fuller, the elder brother of Chris, would we have two brothers playing each other, we would know after an epic match of 72 minutes. Fullers long game and persistent retrieving took him from 5-2 down to lead 8-5 Lobban started to win the long rallies sending Fuller all over the court and secured the first 11-8. The second followed a similar pattern to 4-apiece two points to Lobban Fuller replied with five to lead 9-6, point to Lobban next rally to Fuller 10-7 to make it one all but Lobban was not to be denied to lead 11-10 Fuller levelled before Lobban closed out the game 13/11.

A tight third followed but Fuller would not let this one get away and won the game 12-10. Lobban secured the fourth 11/6 and the match.

Terry Dudley, courtside @ Hallamshire

Draws & Results



28-Nov, Quarters:
Day Two results

27-Nov, Round One:
Day One at the Steel City Open


Three times world champion Nick Matthew was on hand at his home club Hallamshire in the steel city of Sheffield to welcome all the players to the inaugural Courtcraft Nick Matthew Academy Steel City Open PSA Challenger 5 event.

All the seeds came through their first round matches.

Top seed Greg Lobban of Scotland and second seed Nathan Lake of England both won in three taking little short of the half hour.

Chris Fuller the three seed did likewise but the fourth seed Adam Murrills had a tough match against wild card and local favourite Adam Turner, winning in four 11/8, 11/5, 9/11, 11/2.

All the other matches went to four the longest of these was the match between 6 seed James Earles and Ashley Davies.

Earles sneaked the first 12/10 secured the second 11/6, Davies replied by taking the third 11/9 with Earles winning the fourth 11/7 in 59  minutes.

Looking forward to some potentially mouth watering matches in tomorrowís second round.

Terry Dudley at Courtside

Draws & Results


 
Inaugural Steel City Open

This Thursday, 27th November, sees the start of the inaugural Courtcraft Nick Matthew Academy Steel City Open $5K Challenger squash tournament, taking place at the Hallamshire Club in Sheffield.

The tournament is a PSA 5K Challenger Event, a knock out event for 16 promising young players. These competitors will one day hope to follow in the footsteps of our three time World Champion, and allows them to play for a $5,000 pot of prize money whilst gaining valuable world ranking points.

Sponsored by Courtcraft, who were responsible for renovating the Hallamshire squash courts recently, and the Nick Matthew Academy, this tournament hopes to build in stature to become an annual event over the next couple of years, before hopefully becoming a full blown Sheffield Steel City, World Championship event.

"It's a way of putting a bit back to the tour that has served me so well during my career. My Academy is something I am very passionate about and is something that will go full time post career.

"In the meantime we will do our best to grow the prize money year on year and support the next generation of players coming through. I would like to thank CourtCraft for their sponsorship & Prosquash Events for all their hard work behind the scenes as well as Hallamshire for supporting us all the way."

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