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Aston & Fincher Sutton Coldfield International 2018
20-24 Nov, Sutton Coldfield, England, $5k

Final:
[2] Victor Crouin (Fra) 3-0 [4] Abhay Singh (Ind)
           11-4, 11-6, 11-8 (54m)

Crouin claims the crown
Chris Hall reports

A fitting finale to what has been another fantastic week at Sutton Coldfield Squash Club. A packed show court provided an electric atmosphere and the match itself certainly didn't disappoint.

54 minutes for three games should show exactly how competitive this match was, two exceptional movers battling it out and throwing all they could at each other.

As has been his trademark this week Victor was firing in the boast to great effect but just when it looked like he had the rally won, Abhay would not only get to the ball but somehow manage to counter beautifully. There were at least 3 or 4 cross court drops into the nick from Singh when it looked like he wouldn't even get the ball back.

Crouin just about had more control of the play, volleying at every opportunity and using great variety to try and outmanoeuvre his opponent. The crowd tried to get behind Singh in the third, desperate for another game but in the end Victor had enough to close it out in straight games for a deserved win.

Both players spoke with great respect for the other after the match, with Victor also keen to recognise the support of his father throughout his career so far. It is certain that these youngsters have a bright future within the game.

Many thanks must go to our sponsor Aston and Fincher who once again have supported the event and do so much for the club.
 

Sutton Coldfield International 2018
20-24 Nov, Sutton Coldfield, England, $5k
Round One
20 Nov
Round Two
21 Nov
Quarters
22 Nov
Semis
23 Nov
Final
24 Nov
Mike Harris (Eng) *
11/8, 11/5, 7/11, 11/8 (42m)
[wc] Sam Todd (Eng)
[1] Jan vd Hereweggen (Bel)
14-12, 11-4, 12-10 (35m)
Mike Harris
[1] Jan vd Hereweggen

11-9, 11-8, 11-4 (38m)

[7] Rory Stewart
[1] Jan vd Hereweggen

10-12, 11-9, 11-6, 3-11, 11-6 (62m)

[4] Abhay Singh

[4] Abhay Singh

 

11-4, 11-6, 11-8 (54m)

 

[2] Victor Crouin

4th PSA title for Victor

Mark Fuller (Eng) *
11/5, 11/4, 11/5 (27m)
Rohan Mandil (Fra)
[7] Rory Stewart (Sco)
11-9, 11-8, 3-11, 11-5 (52m)
Mark Fuller
Nick Mulvey (Eng) *
11/9, 11/2, 11/6 (28m)
Anthony Rogal (Eng)
[8] Ben Coates (Eng)
11-5, 11-7, 11-2 (27m)
Nick Mulvey
Nick Mulvey

11-8, 11-8, 11-9 (38m)

[4] Abhay Singh
Connor Sheen (Eng) *
15/13, 8/11, 11/7, 11/5 (47m)
Be Ford (Eng)
[4] Abhay Singh (Ind)
11-9, 11-2, 11-9 (38m)
Connor Sheen
[wc] Joish Owen (Eng)
11/3, 7/11, 11/5, 11/5 (43m)
Owain Taylor (Wal) *
Owain Taylor
11-5, 4-11, 11-6, 11-4 (45m)
[3] Patrick Rooney (Eng)
[3] Patrick Rooney

13-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-4 (45m)

[5] Jaymie Haycocks
[3] Patrick Rooney

11-7, 14-12, 11-4 (46m)

[2] Victor Crouin

Chua Man Sin (Sin)
11/9, 12/10, 11/5 (32m
Adam Auckland (Eng) *
Adam Auckland
11-3, 11-2, 11-2 (15m)
[5] Jaymie Haycocks (Eng)
[wc] Jack Turney (En)
11/9, 11/7, 11/3 (36m)
Harry Falconer (Eng)
Harry Falconer
11-5, 11-8, 4-11, 11-8 (47m)
[6] Joe Green (Eng)
Harry Falconer

11-5, 11-5, 11-7 (43

[2] Victor Crouin
Curtis Malik (Eng)
11/9, 11/9, 11/3 (35m)
Miles Jenkins (En)
Miles Jenkins
11-6, 11-4, 11-7 (35m)
[2] Victor Crouin (Fra)
* = 9/16 seed

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Semis : Singh & Crouin to meet in final
Chris Hall reports

Abhay Singh 3-2 Jan Van Den Herrewegen

The biggest crowd of the week had turned up this evening and there was an expectant atmosphere as these two took to the court. Would three time champion Jan make it through to his fourth final or could the young Indian upset the odds.

It seemed evident from the first game that Jan was employing a more attacking style than in the previous rounds, taking the ball in short more often as he raced to a 3-0 lead. Some fine counter attacking from Abhay along with a few errors from the Belgian took the 4th seed to a 10-7 lead. As has become his strength Jan was able to up the quality when it mattered, recovering to take the first 12-10.

The next two games followed a similar pattern but with Singh showing remarkable court coverage and some quality counter drops to leave Jan in trouble, 2-1 to Singh.

A determined Jan stormed through the fourth and the general consensus was that he would have enough in the fifth. Singh had other ideas and after an even start to 5-5 he got the better of some quality rallies to take the match 11-6.

Victor Crouin 3-0 Patrick Rooney

After the crowd had topped up their beers, our second semi-final got underway and we were treated to some extraordinary shot making and jaw dropping recovery. Patrick looking to take the ball in more severely and Victor more happy to extend the rallies and counter.

From 7-7 the Frenchman staying more patient as a couple of errors from Rooney and a trickle boast from Victor giving him the game.

The second was a very even game, highlighted by some quality attacking play from Rooney, along with a few errors from him and some good play from Crouin. Both players held game balls but from 12-12 it was two ambitious shots from Rooney that clipped the tin to hand his opponent a two game lead.

The third was more comfortable and it looked like losing the second had slightly dented Rooney's resistance.
 

 
Quarters : Top four seeds through
Chris Hall reports

Jan Van Den Herrewegen 3-0 Rory Stewart

This was a high paced match with both players working hard to control the middle and take the ball early. Jan starting the stronger and storming to 8-2 and 10-6 leads in the first, aided by a few errors from the Scot.

Rory shoring things up to recover to 9-10 before Jan closed out the game. The second followed a similar pattern with Jan leading 8-5 and 10-6, eventually taking it 11-8. The fight seemed to have been taken out of Rory slightly in the third game which Jan took comfortably.

Again today it was perhaps the movement and recovery of the Belgian that proved decisive.

Abhay Singh 3-0 Nick Mulvey

A very even match for two thirds of each game in this one, the first two games reaching 7-7 and Mulvey actually holding a 9-7 lead in the third but it was Singh who managed the greater consistency at the end of the games to make the difference.

Both players showing a great range of shots and court coverage, perhaps Mulvey not quite being patient enough at the tail end of the games.

Patrick Rooney 3-1 Jaymie Haycocks

Another match played at a blistering pace between two players with excellent racket skills. Rooney sneaking a tight first game after Haycocks held a game ball of his own perhaps proving crucial. Jaymie came out firing in the second with a number of winners and Patrick finding the tin with a few attacks of his own.

The local boy not doing too much wrong in the third and fourth games, but Rooney showcased his full range of attacking intent to keep in front.

Victor Crouin 3-0 Harry Falconer

The game scores don't do Harry justice here. Every rally being highly competitive and both players being made to work hard. Victor continuing to use his backhand boast to devastating effect, forcing the Englishman to defend out of the front.

Crouin's impressive movement leaving Falconer struggling to put the ball away when he did get his chances. Like all matches this evening, this was played in great spirit.
 

Round Two :
Chris Hall reports

Jan Van Den Herrewegen 3-0  Mike Harris

Three time winner Jan Van Den Herrewegen got his campaign underway against Mike Harris in a repeat of the 2016 final, in which Harris took a 2-0 lead before Jan fought back to win 3-2. In today's match Harris showed much of the same attacking intent that took him to that final, having chances to take the first game in particular, but Jan's excellent court coverage and consistency being enough to see him through.

Rory Stewart 3-1 Mark Fuller

Meanwhile Mark Fuller and Rory Stewart were involved in a real battle, the Scot taking two close games each lasting 14 minutes apiece. Fuller typically stayed strong and showed some good play to extend the match before Stewart regrouped to win in four.

Nick Mulvey 3-0  Ben Coates

Nick Mulvey continued where he left off last night to take control of his match against Ben Coates. Despite some excellent rallies and impressive court coverage from Coates, it was Mulvey who always had the edge.

Abhay Singh 3-0 Connor Sheen

Abhay Singh took a tight first game against Connor Sheen, both players showing good variety and exceptional movement. Singh took charge of the second, aided by some errors from the racket of Sheen. At 7-4 up in the third it looked like Singh would wrap things up but Sheen knuckled down and managed to create a 9-7 lead. Singh eventually glad to draw level and close out the game 11-9.

Jaymie Hayocks 3-0 Adam Auckland


A clearly under the weather Adam Auckland took to the court against last year's finalist and club favourite Jaymie Haycocks. Haycocks didn't take his foot off the pedal and kept the intensity high to take the win. A shame Adam was struggling as this could have been a cracker.

Patrick Rooney 3-1 Owain Taylor

Patrick Rooney took out Owain Taylor in a great display of squash from both, a real crowd gathered for this one. Rooney showcasing all of his racket skills on his way to the win, but not without Taylor having moments of success himself.

Victor Crouin 3-0 Miles Jenkins

It was our first chance to see French youngster Victor Crouin in action and he didn't disappoint. Up against the much improved Miles Jenkins this was never going to be an easy match. Crouin looking strong on the volley , utilising the boast well along with his fluid movement to just edge each game. Every rally was fiercely competitive, but Jenkins perhaps not doing enough at the front of the court tonight.

Harry Falconer 3-1 Joe Green

Harry Falconer and Joe Green battled it out in one of the longest matches of the evening, Falconer taking a 2-0 lead with some patient play and Green beginning to look hampered by the end of the second. Just as it looked like Falconer would wrap things up, Green fired back to take the third 11-4. A tight fourth game reached 8-8, Falconer sneaking ahead to take the win.
 

Round One :
Chris Hall reports

Round One of the 2018 Aston and Fincher Sutton Coldfield International got underway with no major upsets.

First on Mark Fuller was always in control against Rohan Mandil whilst on court 6 Mike Harris, a former finalist, was extended to four games by an impressive Sam Todd.

Nick Mulvey proved too strong for Antony Rogal and at the same time Ben Ford and Connor Sheen were involved in the match of the night, two close games being split before Connor managed to gain the edge.

Sutton's Josh Owen certainly had the backing of the crowd against Owain Taylor, showing some great quality to take the second game but Taylor proving just too consistent overall.

Adam Auckland got the better of Chua Man Chin in three, despite having to fight back from 7-3 down the the second game.

Harry Falconer had enough to keep the speedy Jack Turney at bay in three competetive games. In another of the night's best matches, Miles Jenkins took on yongster Curtis Malik, edging two high quality games before easing away in the third.

We look forward to round two and our top eit seeds making an appearance.
 

 

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