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

TODAY  - Daily reports and updates from the ECC Squash

ON THE BLOG: Paderborn's Norman Farthing ... Finnish Delight .... Terry Dudley ... David Bianchetti ... Fitzwilliam : Derek Ryan  ... Colets : Jonathan Kemp ... Mulhouse : Isabelle Stoehr ... Worms : Greg March ... Colets : Dave Peck ... Fitzwilliam Aisling Blake ... Back to the Mill
Thu 4th, Day TWO 

Day two was all about the last sets of pool matches, and then it was down to the men's quarter-finals in the evening

Worms and Mulhouse through to semis

Defending champions Worms, despite dropping a tie to Middlegate as Dylan Bennett beat Greg Marche 3-2, went through to the semis safely enough, and they'll meet Mulhouse, who beat Vaduz 4-0, in Saturday's semi-finals.


Joined by Paderborn and Colets

The semis will be contested by the top four seeds, but while Colets beat Newlands 4-0, Paderborn were given a real scare by hosts Nottingham.


Day TWO Matches

Men's Pools:
Helsinki 2-2 Middlegate
Nottingham 4-0 Fitzwilliam
Newlands 3-0 Kahuhna
Vaduz 4-0 Harfsjfjord

Women's Pools:
Fitzwilliam 1-2 Espoo
Newlands 3-0 Malaka
Neersquash 1-2 Nottingham
Mulhouse 3-0 Pontefract

Men's Quarter-finals

Worms 3-1 Middlegate
Mulhouse 4-0  Vaduz
Paderborn 3-1 Nottingham
Colets 4-0 Newlands

Blog Articles:

QUARTER-FINAL REPORTS - Paderborn tested ...
Ollie Holland got Nottingham off to a great start, coming from a game down to beat Lennart Osthof 3-1.

Meanwhile on the showcourt home favourite  Lewis Walters was coming from 0-2 down to force a decider against Chris Simpson, and with Mark Fuller taking the first game against Raphael Kandra it was looking decidedly dodgy for Paderborn.

Simpson got a good start and took the fifth to raise the German spirits, and Olli Tuominen followed on to beat Chris Fuller in three tough games to put Paderborn in an unassailable position.

That didn't stop Mark, who was still going strong after narrowly losing the fourth, fighting back to force a decider - which Kandra won to give Paderborn a slightly flattering 3-1 scoreline.

Another world hey…

“It’s a team of passionate players”, smiles Ben Hubert.

“Normally, during the season, we have other professional players, Steve Finitsis, Sebastiaan Weenink and Rick Penders, plus one of the club members that rotate for the 4th place. But in this instance, we are only club players, plus Dylan!

"Funny, we actually were playing a lot of squash, stopped for a while, and then started again! For example, I was playing junior squash, U17, then a bit for the National Junior Team, then went to university, got married, did nothing sport wise, but having two kids. And now I’m back. And the other three guys are about the same!"

Actually, having Dylan in the team was a good investment, as he beat Worms number one Grégoire Marche 3/2. Yes, Grégoire was injured (see the blog about the Frenchman yesterday) before Hong Kong, and is having troubles in his lower back – probably the compensating with the calf injury. But you still had to take it from Greg, as he was not going to give it cheap…

"At the end, there was something wrong with his back. But there was nothing wrong in the first four games. He was moving very well. But I’ll take it! I’ll put it in my pocket!

"I live in Eindhoven, and for two months now, I’ve been running one of my parents’ two squash clubs with my girlfriend. So I’m going to have to cut down on the leagues (I was playing 7) to only Dutch, Germany and Belgium. And if I’m good enough, I’d like to make it in the National Team. I managed to play this year, would be nice to do it again next year.

You know, when I was playing in the PSA, I was always stressed, trying to make a living out of it. But now, there is no pressure whatsoever. I just love the game to bits, I’m playing freely, and it even seems to work now and then…"




“I was down 10/5 in the second! That didn’t happen to me since the French Nationals in Grenoble a few years back, against Christophe André, where I was 10/3 down and took it 12/10!”


Mathieu Castagnet 3-0 Davide Bianchetti
                                       11-3, 16-14, 11-8 (28m)

Bless Mathieu and Davide, as they gave us a nice show to watch. First game was quick enough, 11/3, but the Italian was able to impose his accurate and clever game to Mathieu in the second, leading 10/5. That’s when the Mulhouse Captain decided to fight to keep that game, and Davide suddenly found the legs he forgot he had!

A few long/intense/gorgeous rallies later, Mathieu took the game 16/14. It was a superb display of fighting spirit for Davide – running on fumes doesn’t even describe his level of fitness at that point of the match, while Mathieu, as usual, weathered the storm and run it off. Typical Iceman…

“Oh man, this is going to hurt in the morning. I just got carried away. I’m an IDIOT!” 


Nicolas Rohmer 3-2 Marcel Rothmund
                                  4-11, 11-6, 11-7, 3-11, 11-6 (41m)

It’s not every day that a club player manages to not only play for a European Champs for his club, but to get a win, in front of his own dad!

Nicolas Rohmer, son of Christophe Rohmer, Mulhouse Squash Club owner, did his dad proud today, playing a superb match against Marcel Rothmund, 3/2, taking the 5th 11/6.

I know it was “only” a club style match, but I guess that what made it so interesting, both players giving it all and more. Marcel has got a superb redrop counterattack kind of game, while Nico possesses a backhand crosscourt lob that allowed him to slow down the pace when he needed to breathe, and he needed to do that a lot!

Advised by Thierry Lincou, encouraged by a large number of Mulhouse supporters behind the glass, Nico managed to get his second win of the week, allowing Sir Simon Parke to spend a whole day with Jane and the baby to come…


A very good encounter between Scottish Newlands and Surrey Colets, with Colets A Team as Mark Cairns noted “Full squad today, no old age pensioner!!!”.

If the result was not too much of a suspense overall (number 3 and 4 are a bit less strong for Newlands), we were served with two really good matches, and two very good spirited ones!

Scott Handley 3-0 Christian Donnellan
                                  11-2, 11-3, 11-2 (20m)

First on court, 20 years old Colets representative Scott Handley. Scott is like Mark Cairns, Tim Garner and many others I’ve been reporting on this week. A permanent figure of the Clubs Champs, heart of gold, experienced, good fitness, but most of all, a squash passionate.

Today he didn’t make too many gifts to Christian Donnellan, fit enough but not moving forward as much as he would have like I guess. And Scott took full advantage of it. Still, nice great rallies, and Christian was truly enjoying the game. We did too.

I still love playing, I play a few Leagues, PSL, Surrey, I coach a lot, I play Club Champs. I don’t train as much as I used to, but still, I just did a fair amount of that this summer while I was away, and I think I have a good balance of coaching/playing.

I have now two kids, Thomas (9) and Adela (7). My wife Ralucca is still speaking 5 languages and still a computer scientist! I’m a lucky boy, I know…

I have been playing for 20 years now (voice of Manager Jordan Orsini in the background “annnd that’s why it’s his last year!!!!), and that’s why they made me Captain!!!....

At my age… this is not reasonable… It’s for the day after tomorrow that I’m worried about!!!!

"8/2 up and losing the game… That’s a new record I think…

No, I have been training very hard since the end of the Games, and yesterday was my first competitive match since the Doubles. So, I was not mentally all there today. You know that nothing can substitute to a competitive game, no matter the amount of hard training you can do.

Greg is such a dangerous player. Sometimes, you could feel that he is not trying but he is; and that’s when he is the most dangerous. Because he plays strange shots from strange angles. He plays such a non traditional game, such an unorthodox squash. He can break your rhythm, your movement.

I’ve been working on taking more the initiative, but after I lost count of the errors I played in the 4th and 5th, I decided to take a margin a bit higher, and that’s when I was able to counter-push an attack.

It was not a physically testing match, but mentally testing. After a few matches, I’ll be tip top."

Adrian Grant 3-2 Greg Lobban
                    2-11, 11-7, 11-4, 9-11, 11-5 (62m)

Meanwhile, Adrian was playing against one of the last CWG home heroes, Greg Lobban. I could see that the Colets Camp was a bit worried when the Scot took the first game 11/2!

Don’t worry” I said. “as long as Adrian loses the first two games, you’ll be fine. Now, if he was to win the first game, THEN you would be in trouble….”

I was not too far off.

Ad took the next two games, 7, and 4. Then did a typical Granty, up 8/2 in the 4th, losing the game 11/9, on numerous tins… It has to be stressed that if Greg seemed to lose the plot slightly in the third, losing his length completely, no game plan or logic, just running everywhere with no direction whatsoever “How do you say headless chicken in Scottish”, I thought, he really played a much more structured game in the 4th and 5th.

At 2/2, Adrian seemed to have learned his lesson, 6/2 up, but tin tin tin tin, and tin again, and we are 5/6! Greg is ready for the fight, but Adrian finds his shots and keeps the best for last, 11/5 in 62m.

Richie Fallows 3-0 Mark Ford             12-10, 11-8, 11-3 (26m)

A bit of a slow start for Richie, who was not in the right frame of mind at the start of the match. Mark was though!

A very intense first game, lots of running, pretty pleasant really.

Mark still pushed the young player in the 2nd, but no miracle in the 3rd, legs not as young as they used to be hey Mark…

It’s an unbelievable experience, I can’t explain how amazing it is to get on court with these guys, and not only in training (like I did a few times with Jonathan), but in a competitive environment. I wanted to make it last as long as possible, and to stay on there as much as I could. I didn’t want it to end, and I would like to do it every day. Mind you, I’m not sure how long I would last if I was to do that every day!

I moved to Bristol right after I turned full time. I work with Hadrian Stiff, who changed everything for me. The way I play, the way I think about squash, everything. I’m lucky enough to play with Mohamed and Marwan as well.

I enjoy the game, I enjoy the travelling, the training, everything about the game. I try and not forget how lucky I am to live such a life. It’s easy to lose track of that sometimes. I try and not do that.

It’s the best start of the season ever! Such a treat after such hard work this summer…

Jonathan Kemp 3-0 Tom Ford 11-9, 11-5, 11-8 (27m)

Tom Ford is a fraud.


But still. There you have a young player, willing, dying to learn, who gets paid to play yesterday against Thierry Lincou, a Legend in his own right, and today Kempy, another style of a Legend!


You could see that Tom was avid to play. He was having the time of his life on there. And Kempy, same old same old. “Hitting his targets” nicely – as it’s fashion to say at the moment I hear, bombarding the front corners (in particular their backhand ones – both lefthanders) with great efficiency. A few tins, but then again, if he was not hitting tins once in a while, we wouldn’t know it’s Kempy now, would we.

Tom nearly took a game (the third). He came back pretty close after Jonathan went on the tinning spree. But experience paid off for the future Qatari Coach….



MEN: Nottingham and Middlegate make the quarters

The first pair of men's matches will determine who joins Group A and B winners Worms and Paderborn in tonight's quarter-finals, with the home crowd willing Nottingham on against Fitzwilliam.

WithJosh Taylor winning 3-2 and Lewis Walters 3-0 Nottingham were quickly through to the quarters where they will face Paderborn tonight. Meanwhile Middlegate went 2-1 up against Helsinki - Dylan Bennett coming back from 0-2 down - to seal their place in the last eight.

MEN: Newlands and Vaduz join them

The men's quarter-final lineups were completed as Newlands and Vaduz claimed second spots in Groups C and D.

WOMEN: Top seeds confirm, Espoo delighted

In the final round of women's pool matches top seeds Mulhouse and Newlands confirmed their status as group winners with wins over Pontefract and Malaka.

Pontefract were already through to the semis despite losing to Mulhouse, but Espoo are the surprise semi-finalists after beating Fitzwilliam 2-1. Their reward is a semi-final agaisnt Mulhouse - who have yet to play Laura Massaro - while Newlands meet Pontefract in the other semi.

ON THE BLOG: Paderborn's Norman Farthing ... Finnish Delight .... Terry Dudley ... David Bianchetti ... Fitzwilliam : Derek Ryan  ... Colets : Jonathan Kemp ... Mulhouse : Isabelle Stoehr ... Worms : Greg March ... Colets : Dave Peck ... Fitzwilliam Aisling Blake ... Back to the Mill