• European Club Championships 2014  • 03-06 Sep • Nottingham •  

TODAY  - Daily reports and updates from the ECC Squash
Wed 3rd,Day ONE 

It was to be a busy day at Nottingham with no less than  16 pool  matches to play on four courts from 9am to late.

At the end of play a lot of playoff places have been decided, but there's still lot to play for.

Match of the Day: Mulhouse v Newlands

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1. Worms held in opening encounter

The 2014 edition of the Euro Club Champs kicked off with the top seeds and 2013 finalists Worms and Paderborn in action.

Paderborn opened up with a comfortable enough 4-0 win over Helsinki, while Worms were held to a 2-2 draw by Nottingham. Ollie Holland and Mark Fuller took the 3rd and 4th strings for Nottingham, but 3-0 wins at the top for Nick Matthew and Greg Marche leave the German team still favourites to top the pool.

Colets and Mulhouse, third and fourth seeds, opened their accounts with 4-0 wins in pools C and D.

2. Women's under way

In the opening round of women's matches Mulhouse and Newlands both recorded resounding 3-0 wins, Pontecraft bounced back from losing the first to beat Espoo 2-1, and Malaka did the same to beat Fitzwilliam.

3. Top four seeds top groups

Paderborn continued their winning streak in the 15.00 matches with a 4-0 win over Middlegate and Worms picked up the pace as they beat Fitzilliam by the same score, putting the two German teams firmly at the top of their groups and into tomorrow's quarter-finals.

Mulhouse and Colets both won 4-0 to top their groups, Colets quickly despatching  Harsrsfjord, but Mulhouse had to fight back from 0-2, 0-2 in the first pair of matches, Joan Lezaud and Mathieu Castagnet both winning 3-2.

4. Espoo upset the applecart

The final batch of matches saw all the women's teams in action again, with Mulhouse, Pontefract and Newlands all winning again to put themselves through to the semis.

The drama came in Pool B where Espoo delighted themselves and the Finnish support as they beat Malaka to put themselves in with a great chance of making the semis.

Day ONE Matches

MA: Worms 2-2 Nottingham (9-6)
MB:  Paderborn 4-0 Helsinki

MC:  Colets 4-0 Vaduz
MD:  Mulhouse 4-0 Kahuna

WA:  Mulhouse 3-0 Nottingham
WA:  Pontefract 2-1 Meersquash
WB:  Newlands 3-0 Espoo
WB:  Fitzwilliam 2-1 Malaka

MA:  Worms 4-0 Fitzwilliam
MB:  Paderborn 4-0 Middlegate

MC:  Colets 4-0 Harsrsfjord
MD:  Mulhouse 4-0 Newlands

WA:  Mulhouse 3-0 Meersquash
WA:  Pontefract 3-0 Nottingham
WB:  Newlands 2-1 Fitzwilliam
WB: Malaka 1-2 Espoo

Lots of interviews and stories on the BLOG

Lots of interviews and stories on the BLOG

Match of the Day


Yes. Some people go to the SeaSide to have fun. Some go to a nightclub and get sloshed. Some sleep their head off. And some just go and watch a squash match.

The fact that Thierry Lincou was playing is, I have to confess, the main reason I chose that encounter between French Mulhouse (Castagnet/Lincou/Parke/Lezaud) against Scotland's Newlands (Lobban/Ford/Bell/Donelan).

The order of play meant Mathieu Castagnet and Joan Lezaud were first one against Greg Lobban and Paul Bell respectively. Mathieu has been a bit under the weather recently, wrist troubles, out of match fitness and more important, out of mental confidence in himself (which has always been his main trouble).

“I didn’t play at all for the three weeks before HK, I arrived there, played only one match against Dessouki, and that the only match I’ve played in three weeks! The wrist is playing on my mind, and today, Greg was playing superbly. He took his chances, and I really had to dig in deep to win.” said the French number 1.

I arrived as Scotland was basically 2/0 up on the two courts! And Thierry Jung, Mulhouse manager and squash passionate – look in the dictionary, and under Squash Fan, you’ll find his name – was basically of all the 50 shades of Green. “That’s no good” I said to him. “That’s not good AT ALL” he mumbled.

Bless him.

Two others that weren’t that happy about the situation were Old Guard Simon Parke former world number 3 and Thierry Lincou, former World Number one and World Champion. “No pressure” I smiled. “Better try and move our butts then….” I heard Thierry say to Simon. Yes, you’d better….

But as squash is never over until it’s over – as Jenny Duncalf mentioned on SquashTV after her defeat against Camille – the two Frenchmen turned the tables round: Joan a bit helped by Paul being a bit short physically, and Mathieu giving everything to finally come back and win 11/9 in the 5th, 73m! Simon quickly closed his match, 20m, 4, 4, 5.

While I watch my first/only match of the day: young Tom Ford against Old Timer Thierry Lincou. “It was an amazing experience” smile a bit rosy on the cheeks Tom after the encounter. And it was a lovely match to watch.

Thierry played a good solid first match of his Nottingham trip/first appearance for Mulhouse in the ECC. He felt good physically, but a bit short breathing wise he told me. He only arrived yesterday from Boston, and flight/jetlag was not that easy on his old bones…

I so enjoy watching the Guv move on the court. At nearly 40, Titi is still a superb mover, and as Ramy used to say “he makes you believe he owes the court”. And I absolutely adore young Tom Ford. There is not one inch of nastiness in the Englishman.

He has got a clear, accurate game, that he tried to change a bit today – he’s been playing a lot with Marwan (!) playing faster and hitting harder. It could have been a good idea to try twist and turn the Frenchman if he had backed it up with his normal length game. But he played a bit too short too early, and Thierry just counterdropped him far too easily.

Still, some superb rallies, fast pace, lovely cat/mouse squash. “I’m really happy with the way I played for my first game” said Thierry. “A perfect first match, I was right not to underestimate this young talented player. Now, I can only hope I’m going to play better and better, to try and deliver the crucial points when I’ll be needing to”.

A good intense/suspense encounter that ends up with a 4/0 victory. Trust me, from 2/0 down on two courts, that didn’t look the logical ending…