World Masters Squash 2012 - Birmingham

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Day SEVEN - The Finals

World Masters 2012, The Finals

M50: [3/4] Willie Hosey (Irl) 3-0 Dominic Hughes (Usa)
             11/1, 11/7, 11/4 (20m)
W45 [1] Michelle Martin (Aus) 3-1 [2] Sarah Nelson (Aus)
              11/8, 5/11, 11/6, 11/6
M70:  [1] Adrian Wright (Eng) 3-0 Brian Phillips (Wal)
                11/6, 11/7, 7/11, 11/2 (26m)
M75: [2] Pat Kirton (Eng) 3-1 [3/4] Malcolm Gilham (Eng)
                11/8, 11/7, 9/11, 11/5 (31m)
M80 [1] Peter Fahrenheim (Rsa) 3-0 [3/4] Alex Hamilton (Sco)
                11/2, 11/2, 11/7 (14m)
M45: [1] Craig van der Wath (Rsa) 3-0 [5/8] Yawar Abbas (Eng)
                11/9, 11/5, 11/6 (30m)
W40 [3/4] Simone Korell (Ger) 3-0 Linda Shannon (Rsa)
                11/8, 11/7, 11/5 (21m)
W60: [1] Sue Volkze (Aus) 3-2 [3/4] Faith Sinclair (Sco)
                11/4, 10/12, 7/11, 11/5, 11/2 (40m)
W65: Ann Manley (Eng) 3-0 [3/4] Bett Dryhurst (Eng)
               11/7, 12/10, 12/10
W70: [1] Barbara Sanderson (Irl) 3-1 [2] Glenda Erasmus (Rsa)
              10/12, 11/2, 11/5, 11/5 (22m)
M40 [2] Craig Rowland (Aus) 3-1 [3/4] Nick Taylor (Eng)
              11/6, 11/5, 5/11, 11/7
W50: Susan Lawrence (Jam) 3-0 [5/8] Theresa Elliott (Zim)
              11/8, 13/11, 11/8 (25m)
W55: [1] Julie Field (Eng) 3-2 [3/4] Anne Richards (Aus)
               11/7, 4/11, 3/11, 12/10, 11/9 (33m)
W35 [1] Sabine Schoene (Ger) 3-1 [2] Wendy Maitland Jones (Sco)
              11/3, 11/4, 9/11, 11/3
M55: [2] Pierr Roodt (Rsa) 3-0  [1] Peter Alexander (Eng)
              11/6, 11/8, 11/8
M60: [9/16] John Macrury (Cay) 3-1 [1] Keith Jones (Eng) v
              3/11, 12/10, 11/1, 11/3 (31m)
M65: [1] Philip Ayton (Eng) 3-1 [5/8] Roy Plumstead (Rsa)
              11/5, 11/9, 10/12, 11/9 (33m)
M35 [2] Renan Lavigne (Fra) 3-1 [3/4] Stefan Leifels (Ger)
             14/12, 7/11, 11/7, 11/8

Over 750 started out,
only 18 were left standing

M50: [3/4] Willie Hosey (Irl) 3-0 Dominic Hughes (Usa)
         11/1, 11/7, 11/4

Hosey too quick for Dominic

Our first World Masters Champion is Wille Hosey, who proved too quick and too accurate on the day for Dominiic Hughes, perhaps understandably given their differing routes to the final with Hosey generally winning quickly while Hughes survived a series of marathons.

Hose went 10-0 up in the first, 7-1 in the second, and 7-0 in the third, and try as Dominic might, there was no coming back from that - when your interceptions are intercepted you know you're onto a loser ...

"I told you I'd win it on day one!" [he did, he really did]

"It's been a great week here, and it was lovely to play my good friend Dominic in the final.

"I told him yesterday that 'enough is enough', those marathon matches took the sting out of him today.

"It's been an exhausting week but I'm very happy, very happy indeed!"

Willie Hosey 


W45 [1] Michelle Martin (Aus) 3-1 [2] Sarah Nelson (Aus)
          11/8, 5/11, 11/6, 11/6 (25m)

Another one for Michelle

Not that the former world champion and number one needs any more trophies, Michelle Martin added the World Masters O40 title to her collection with a four-game win over Australian training partner and team-mate Sarah Nelson, who apparently persuaded Michelle to enter this event.

Generally in control, Martin couldn't pull back the 8-1 lead that Nelson built in the second on the back of a series of winners - some meant, some not - but shrugged that off to take the three games she needed.

"She stepped it up when she had to," admitted Sarah, "but it was great fun and a great experience, I really enjoyed it."

"It's been a great week, and a good chance to catch up with so many of the old faces in the UK who helped me through my career.

Michelle Martin

M45: [1] Craig van der Wath (Rsa) 3-0
[5/8] Yawar Abbas (Eng)                11/9, 11/5, 11/6

Craig collects a fourth

South Africa's Craig van der Wath collected his fourth World Masters title with an impressive performance against home favourite Yawar Abbas.

Van der Wath, moving as silkily smooth as ever, took the last two points of a close first game before establishing winning early leads in the next two games.

"I first played Yawar when I was based in Manchester," said the champion. "We were both 18 then, we're in our twenties now so things have moved on a bit!"

W40 [3/4] Simone Korell (Ger) 3-0 Linda Shannon (Rsa)
                11/8, 11/7, 11/5 (21m)

Simone keeps the title

Defending champion Simone Korell, probably incentivesed by being seeded 3/4, kept the women's O40 title in German hands as she overcame unseeded Linda Shannon in straight games.

The South African ran willingly, but made too many unforced errors as Korell won two tight first games, then pulled away from 4-all in the third to her, and the German entourage's, delight.

"I won the title in Cologne, but I knew it was going to be more difficult coming away to Birmingham.

"Linda is very fast, and plays such a lot to the front, I had to be very careful and keep concentrating all the time.

"It's a very good day, and it's been a very good week, we've all had such fun here in Birmingham!"

Simone Korell 

M40 [2] Craig Rowland (Aus) 3-1 [3/4] Nick Taylor (Eng)
              11/6, 11/5, 5/11, 11/7

Craig crowns a tough week

Australian second seed Craig Rowland looked as though he was going to have - for one - a relatively quick and straightforward match as he took a two-game lead over local favourite Nick Taylor.

Rowland stretched away at the end of the first, and took the second comfortably with Taylor looking dispirited.

The Manchester-cum-Jersey man stormed back in the third, playing solid and determined squash, and the fourth was nip and tiuck, at times contentions but always hard fought, up to 6-all.

It was Rowland who played the better end game though, as he delightedly clinched the title.

"I've played Nick a few times over the years so I knew it would be tough. It's been a really hard week, I've had a few tough games but I'm ecstatic to win.

"When I heard the event was on here in the UK I was keen to come, and it's been a great couple of weeks, I'm staying on for a couple more weeks to enjoy it all."

Craig Davenport  

W35 [1] Sabine Schoene (Ger) 3-1
[2] Wendy Maitland Jones (Sco)        11/3, 11/4, 9/11, 11/3

Sabine does the Double too

Sabine Schoene did a Simone Korell in the last women's final of th day as she retained the title she won two years ago in Cologne.

Comfortable in the first two games, the former world number five was pegged back by a determined third-game performance from Wendy Maitland-Jones, but stepped on the gas again in the fourth, opening out to 7-1 and shortly thereafter claiming a second World Masters title.

"I was on the circuit for many years but I really didn't like the travelling, so when I retired I didn't play events like these. But when it was in Germany two years ago I really had to enter, and I had to defend the title here, didn't I!

"It's so different from playing normal matches, where even after a hard game your body feels ok afterwards. Here, even though my first matches weren't too difficult or too long, I was really stiff the next morning, it's just a different level of intensity.

"It's been a such a fun week here, and I'm thrilled to win the title again."

Sabine Schoene 

Sabine gave the audience the biggest laugh of the week when explaining the after so many years as Germany's number one she stopped playing with the girls because she wanted to play for fun with the boys ... sorry Sabine, we couldn't not mention it!

M35 [2] Renan Lavigne (Fra) 3-1 [3/4] Stefan Leifels (Ger)
             14/12, 7/11, 11/7, 11/8

And finally, Renan

Seven days and 3000+ matches after it began, the last match was one of the toughest of all, as it should be. Renan Lavigne and Stefan Leifels have known each other since they were eight, and they fought out a five-game battle in the European Masters final a few months ago.

Frenchman Lavigne was the winner then, and so he was this time too, but once again it was far, far from easy, particularly the long, long first game.

Having lost that Leifels struck back immediately to level, but Lavigne bounced back to regain the lead.

The title looked to be heading to France as Renan went 5-1 and 6-2 up in the fourth, but a couple of errors gave Stefan renewed hope, and he closed in, getting to 7-6 before a tin of his own with the court gaping gave Renan a cushion again.

At 10-7 Renan thought he'd won it and let out a roar, only to heat a let called. The stay of execution lasted a solitary point though, and at 10-8 the Frenchman watch his opponent's shot sail out of court and the real celebrations could begin.

"I expected a tough battle against Stefan in the final and that’s exactly how it was. Everyone from around the world comes together every two years hoping to become World Masters Champion, you can't expect it to come easy.

"As you saw from my celebrations after the last point, I am extremely happy to win the title.

"It's been a really doog week, very well organised and a great pleasure to compete and be involved with."

Renan Lavigne 

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Eighteen Masters Champions Crowned in Birmingham

The 2012 World Masters Squash Championships in association with SUBWAY reached a climax today as eighteen players were crowed World Champions, including five titles won by English players, after the week long international event.

More than 750 competitors from 47 nations competed for the prestigious titles across age groups ranging from Over 35 to Over 80, with thousands of matches taking place across Birmingham throughout the week, including finals on the state-of-the-art glass showcourt in the Bramall Music Building at the University of Birmingham.

The 2012 Championships, for the first time in the history of the tournament, included an Over 80 category.

South African Peter Fahrenheim took the historic first title and an incredible fourth World Masters title, with a 3-0 victory against Scotland’s Alex Hamilton.

“I felt a bit lucky! No, I was fortunate to catch Alex on an off day. I watched him on Tuesday and thought I didn’t stand a chance of beating him. It has been a fantastic tournament and a pleasure to be involved,” said Fahrenheim.

English players dominated the Men’s Over 70 and 75 categories, with Adrian Wright and Pat Kirton victorious for the home nation whilst there was also an all-English final in the Women’s O65 with unseeded Ann Manley playing a faultless tournament to take the title against Worcestershire’s Bett Dryhurst.

Newly crowned Over 70 champion Wright commented: “It was a very tough game, I thought for a moment he was going to come back in the third, so pleased with the win though.”

Women’s O65 Champion Manley added: “I had a difficult match considering my racket completely snapped in the second game! I was ready to get it restrung for the fourth but fortunately this wasn’t required. It was a very tight game despite the 3/0 score line.”

The Women’s O45 was an all-Aussie affair with former World Champion Michelle Martin managing to clinch a 3-1 victory against teammate and friend Sarah Nelson.

The 45-year from Sydney commented: “It’s always great to win but it’s amazing to catch up with some old friends. Some of them I’ve not seen in years so that’s the best part for me.”

In the Men’s O45 number one seed Craig Van Der Wath proved to be just too strong for England’s Yawar Abbas who was in his first World Masters event, winning 3-0.

The South African said: “Playing Yawar is tough and I’ve managed to beat him today and defend my title. I know Yawar so well, he’s a good friend, and we’ve played in a league together for many, many years and I always enjoy playing against him. Delighted to have won today and happy with the way I played.”

Yorkshire’s Julie Field claimed the Over 55 title after an incredibly close match against Australian Anne Richards. Field was 2-1 down before clinching the fourth 12/10 to take it to a fifth, in a tense last game Field managed to remain composed, taking the game 11/9.

There were a few surprise winners with unseeded Jamaican Susan Lawrence coming out on top in her final against Zimbabwean Theresa Elliot in the Women’s O50 and Cayman Islander John Macrury beating home favourite Keith Jones in the Men’s O60.

There was more good news for the host nation in the Men’s O65 as Phil Ayton justified his number one seeding with a 3-1 victory against Welshman Brian Philips.

Manchester’s Nick Taylor couldn’t manage another upset in his O40 final against Craig Rowland. Two games down, Taylor battled back to win the third 11/5 before his opponent found his rhythm again to take the Men’s O40 title back to Australia.

The tournament concluded with the Men’s O35 with second seed Renan Lavigne, up against German Stefan Leifels – whose route to the final included beating the number one seed.

Lavigne was not to be beaten today though, and he took the match 3-1, giving the Frenchman a well-deserved Over 35 World Masters title.

The ecstatic winner commented afterwards: “I expected a tough battle against Stefan in the final and that’s exactly how it was. As you saw from my celebrations after the last point, I am extremely happy to win the title.”