St George's 2010

Legends of Squash .... rivalries never die

9-Telecom Legends of Squash, 03-06 Sep 2010, St George's Hill

9 Tel Launched ] Power Cranked Up ] White Whirls in ]

Mon 6th, Finals:

Peter Nicol bt Jonathon Power  11/9, 12/10, 12/14, 11/5

3rd/4th: Simon Parke bt John White 9/11, 11/5, 11/9

Peter the Great

Peter Nicol took the Nine Telecom Legends title with an impressive performance against arch rival Jonathan Power at St George's Hill.

After a mesmeric opening rally of more than 70 strokes Power started brightly, leading in the first before Nicol managed to squeeze a couple of errors from the Canadian's racket.

Looking slightly demoralised Power got off to a poor start in the second but seemed to give himself a talking to before launching himself back into the match with trademark kills and deft drops. However, an overhead volley that clipped the top of the tin saw his game point slip away and Nicol took full advantage to close out the crucial second.

The quality of the squash was world class and as one observer commented they looked five years younger than when launching the tour back in January at the Tournament of Champions. Power lost that day and, clearly keen to avoid a repeat, he upped the pace in the third to pull one back.

Nicol sensed the danger and responded in kind, forcing Power into taking risks. His movement and quality eventually paid dividends and Nicol clinched the title after 60 minutes of pulsating squash.

Next stop on the Legends Tour is Baltimore in mid October.

The success of the event prompted sponsors Nine Telecom to confirm their backing for next year’s event to secure the future of the tournament at St George’s Hill.

“This is the culmination of two years hard work to create a squash hub in the south that can rank with anything in the country,” said Danny Lee, the club’s squash manager.

“Staging an event like this is a first for us. We didn’t know how the tournament would turn out but the whole weekend has proved a major success and provides a firm foundation to build on.”

The England Commonwealth Games squash squad will use the new court for training later in September before departing for India but before then it will see qualifying play for the Saudi World Open and Kuwait Open.


Sun 5th Sep, Day Three:

Peter Nicol bt John White                3/11, 11/9, 11/9
Jonathon Power bt Simon Parke      11/7, 11/6
Dave Evans bt Tim Garner              14/12, 11/13, 11/5
Stacey Ross bt Paul Gregory           11/5, 11/5

Dream final at St George's

In the final pool match of the inaugural Legends event, Peter Nicl beat John White to set up the dream final - Nicol v Power - winning an exhilarating match.

White was devastating in the first, smashing in winners that had Nicol as well as the crowd gasping! The pattern continued in the second but Nicol somehow weathered enough of the storm to start getting points on the board.

Nicol sneaked the second to set up a tantalising decider. The high paced squash continued in the third and at 7-7 it could have gone either way before Nicol finally put the match to rest and both players left to a standing ovation.

Day Two:
Top seeds power through

Peter Nicol bt Stacey Ross              11/9, 11/8
Simon Parke bt David Evans           11/7, 11/2
Jonathon Power bt Tim Garner        11/5, 11/6
John White bt Paul Gregory             11/6, 11/7

Day 2 of the Nine Telecom Legends at St. George’s Hill started off with Simon Parke once again demonstrating his intent. Despite being worked hard by Welshman Dave Evans Parke kept the tempo up and the quality of the shot high, eventually forcing the former British Open Champion into making an error. A competitive first game was followed by a comfortable second.

A play-off for the final spot was confirmed when Jonathon Power beat Tim Garner in straight games. The best reception of the weekend greeted the local player and one of the most talented players to ever wield a squash racket, and the crowd was disappointed as the latter opened up with kill millimetres above the tin. The match then followed a fairly consistent pattern as Power controlled the ball and Garner worked hard trying to work out where the ball was going and then getting it back!

Afterwards Garner highlighted that although Power is known for his silky skills at the front of the court it is the quality of his length that sets up the opportunities to use those skills. Power's win means that he will face Parke on Sunday with the winner progressing from the Harrow Group to the Monday’s Grand Final.

Surrey’s Stacey Ross was involved in another tough encounter, this time with ex-World no.1 Peter Nicol.

Both players played at a high face probing for weaknesses and using all the court to try and work an opening. The rallies were long and demanding and Nicol will have been relieved to have edged both games to set himself up for a tilt at a final spot.

Peter Marshall’s injury had not cleared up overnight so the organisers brought in former British Champion Paul Gregory as a late replacement. Despite having had little warning Gregory acquitted himself well against the World’s hardest hitter John White and indeed managed to build a 7-1 lead in the second. However, at that point

White stepped up a gear and started smashing the ball into the nick at will. His straight games win means that the Prince Group will also be decided on Sunday evening with a mouth-watering clash between White & Nicol.

Day One:
Legends Assemble

Simon Parke bt Tim Garner             11/4, 12/10
John White bt Stacey Ross               7/11, 11/6, 11/8
Jonathon Power bt David Evans        11/4, 11/6
Peter Nicol bt Peter Marshall             11/5, 2/0 rtd

All the stars of the Nine Telecom Legends at St. George’s Hill arrived safely from as far afield as Toronto & Philadelphia to kick off the inaugural event on the tour.

Ex-World no.3 Simon Parke demonstrated his intent coming out of the blocks firing and jumping to 10-1 in the first against wildcard and event promoter Tim Garner using his trademark speed to good effect. Garner started to get back into the match and indeed could have sneaked the 2nd. Leading 10-9 he put in a tight backhand drop that Parke did well to reach, and managed to jag it off the frame for a lucky winner.

Taking the game 12-10 he then informed the crowd in the post-match interview that the Legends tour has given him a new lease of life to put in a little training and was looking forward to the challenge.

The most competitive match of the session was between Ex-World no.1 John White and wildcard Stacey Ross. The latter got off to an excellent start and took the first forcing White in to making errors with sweetly struck drives inter mingled with deft drops. However, White was in no mood to lie down and came back to level it at 1-1. The deciding third ebbed and flowed both ways, leading one of the watching Legends to suggest "Looks like the tour is back on!"

Despite being down for most of the game, White eventually got the upper hand and the win.

The brand new McWIL all-glass court was then officially opened by Peter Nicol & Jonathon Power, who then played a rally to mark the occasion.

Mercurial Canadian Power followed on from the ceremony by showing he can still play at the highest level with a straight games win over Ex-British Open Champion Dave Evans. The Welshman looked a little rusty and ex-World no.1 Power was in no mood to hang around as he worked Evans around the court before clinically finishing the rally, often with a trademark hold & flick.

The final match of the session saw Ex-World no1 Nicol take on former rival Peter Marshall. Renowned for his two handed style Marshall reached number 2 in the World behind Jansher Khan. The rallies were tough, but Nicol always seemed to have the edge and took the first relatively easily. At 2/0 in the second Marshall pulled up as his calf muscle spasmed and despite taking a time out he was unable to continue, rather ironic given he is now a qualified Physio!

After an evening of high quality entertaining squash the players then donned their Dinner Jackets for the St. Georges Hill Club’s Dinner & Dance. The charity auction in aid of the Sam Beare Hospice raised over £5,000 and everyone was then entertained by the Danny Lee Band.

Legends meet the Juniors ...

Power & Nicol line-up in
9Telecom Legends at St. George’s Hill

Eventis Sports Marketing has announced that the Legends of Squash Tour will officially launch with the 9 Telecom Legends of Squash at St. Georges Hill in Weybridge, Surrey.

The Gold Tour event will take place from 3rd-6th September and will coincide with the club’s grand opening of its brand new all-glass McWIL squash court in St. George’s fantastic new auditorium.

Headlining the event will be arch rivals Jonathon Power & Peter Nicol, who will go up against each other in a competitive event for the first time in nearly five years. Power & Nicol dominated the World rankings and major championships for over a decade in the late 90s, but will be severely tested in the form of ex-World no.1 & world’s hardest hitter John White and ex-World no.3 Simon Parke. The exciting line-up of Legends will be completed by ex-World no.2 Peter Marshall and the former British Open Champion David Evans.

Peter Nicol, director of Eventis, promoted the Legends of Squash Tour with exhibition matches against Power in Grand Central Station in January and then Parke at Canary Wharf's East Wintergarden in March.

However, there will be a much more competitive edge to proceedings this time around as Nicol points out -  "Everyone who is competing on the tour has kept themselves in reasonable shape and this will simply motivate them to get ready for a very competitive opening event. Most of the guys are still playing in the Premier Squash League and Jonathon even represented Canada at last year’s World Team Championships, so I will have to be ready!"

He also highlighted why St. George’s was chosen as the first port of call on the new tour - "St. George’s Hill was the ideal venue for the first full tour event given their forward thinking approach to the sport and we are delighted that the event can form a pivotal part in the opening of the stunning all-glass court. The support of the Nine Telecom Group has enabled us to kick things off with a truly world class field."

Miles Hill, Club Manager, welcomed the chance to host such an exciting event explaining, "it made perfect sense when Head Squash Professional Danny Lee highlighted the opportunity to host a Legends event here and to build it into the court opening. The club has always prided itself on being one of the best at what it does and the 9 Telecom Legends event along with the fact that we now have a state of the art court, will continue to build on this reputation.

"The all-glass court also boasts the ability to be expanded into the larger version that is used in international doubles competitions, and we are hoping that it will be utilised by the players who will be competing in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi."

9Tel Legends of Squash, 03-06 Sep,
St. Georges Hill, Surrey

Group A
1. Jonathon Power
2. Simon Parke
3. David Evans
4. Tim Garner (w/card)

Group B
1. Peter Nicol
2. John White
3. Peter Marshall
4. Stacey Ross (w/card)

Friday 3rd September
5.00pm: Parke v Garner
5.45pm: White v Ross
7.00pm Ribbon cutting to mark opening of new court.
7.15pm: Power v Evans
8.00pm: Nicol v Marshall
8.45pm Opening Dinner
Auction in aid of Chase Children's Hospice

Saturday 4th September
4.00pm: Parke v Evans
4.45pm: Power v Garner
6.00pm: Nicol v Ross
6.45pm: White v Marshall

Sunday 5th September
4.00pm: Evans v Garner
4.45pm: Marshall v Ross
6.00pm: Power v Parke
6.45pm: Nicol v White

Monday 6th September
7.00pm Doubles
7.30pm 3rd/4th
8.15pm Grand Final
9.15pm Presentation

Pool matches and 3rd/4th best of 3, Grand Final Best of 5

St George’s Hill LT & SC
Weybridge, Surrey KT13 0LL

More Info:

Tickets: 01932 843541

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St George's 2010

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