Daily reports and updates from the ECC Squash
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.
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
Helsinki 2-2 Middlegate
Nottingham 4-0 Fitzwilliam
Newlands 3-0 Kahuhna
Vaduz 4-0 Harfsjfjord
Fitzwilliam 1-2 Espoo
Newlands 3-0 Malaka
Neersquash 1-2 Nottingham
Mulhouse 3-0 Pontefract
Worms 3-1 Middlegate
Mulhouse 4-0 Vaduz
Paderborn 3-1 Nottingham
Colets 4-0 Newlands
ALL ABOUT WHO IS WHO IN NOTTINGHAM
Another world hey…
“It’s a team of passionate players”, smiles
“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!
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
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…
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!”
DAVIDE'S GOING TO SUFFER TOMORROW....
Mathieu Castagnet 3-0 Davide
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!
11-3, 16-14, 11-8 (28m)
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
4-11, 11-6, 11-7, 3-11, 11-6 (41m)
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
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.
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!
Handley 3-0 Christian Donnellan
11-2, 11-3, 11-2 (20m)
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
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
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!!!....
my age… this is not reasonable… It’s for the day after tomorrow
that I’m worried about!!!!
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)
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.
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
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.
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….
LAST POOL MATCHES
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.
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.
Top seeds confirm, Espoo
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.