Karakal East of England Masters 2019-20

Friday 4 October - Sunday 6 October 2019

General Info:

Registration for this event has closed.

Guidance Notes for Players 

The current version of the Guidance Notes for Players, as issued on 20 June 2019 is linked below:

Regionals Events Guidance Notes for Players v4.0

Plate Match Venue

The venue for the majority of the plate matches on Saturday 5th October will be:

Grove Squash Club
Newark Sports & Fitness Club
NG24 4FH
Map Link

Draw and Schedule Amendments

Amendments to the draws or schedules will be listed below:

Date/Time Amendment
 01 Oct / 21:30   MO65 - Edward Winter [9-12] withdrew, impacting on R1-M7 & R1-M14.
 02 Oct / 19:00   MO35 - Michael McDonald [9-12] withdrew, opponent awarded a bye.
 03 Oct / 13:15   MO45 - Simon Gittins [5-8] withdrew, draw changed to 16 draw, impacting on R1-M1 & R1-M6.
 03 Oct / 21:00   MO55 - Ian Portas [13-16] withdrew, replaced with a reserve player.
 04 Oct / 08:00   MO55 - John Parkes [3-4] withdrew, impacting on matches R1-M5, R1-M7, R1-M8 & R1-M11.
 05 Oct / 08:00   MO70 - Alastair McMeckan [5-8] withdrew, draw changed to an 8 draw.

Reserve Players List

The following players are on the reserve list and are permitted to enter the draw to replace a player in their age group of a similar or better seeding: 

Age Group Player
MO60  1.  Ron Freeman (Northumbria)  

Registration Fees: £15.75* for ESM Members.
£10.56* for members of Grantham Squash Club.
Age Groups: Men's O35 O40 O45 O50 O55 O60 O65 O70 O75
Women's O35 O40 O45 O50 O55 O60 
Website: Website Link
Map: Map Link
Draw Type 
Finalists / Top Two 
Men's Over 3516 DrawMatt Bolt bt Martin Gibson 3-2 (11/8, 6/11, 12/10, 9/11, 11/9)
Men's Over 4016 DrawMatthew Stephenson bt Mick Biggs3-2 (13/11,15/13,12/14,6/11,11/7)
Men's Over 4516 DrawIan Cox bt Paul Thomas3-0 (11/3, 11/5, 11/5)
Men's Over 5032 DrawYawar Abbas bt David Youngs3-1 (11/8, 1/11, 11/8, 11/7)
Men's Over 5532 DrawEamonn Price bt Alex Betts 3-2 (13/11, 7/11, 12/10, 4/11, 11/5)
Men's Over 6032 DrawJeremy Goulding bt Neil Harrison3-0 (11/6, 11/4, 11/5)
Men's Over 6532 DrawStuart Hardy bt Geoff Redfern3-2 (11/6, 9/11, 14/12, 7/11, 11/3)
Men's Over 708 DrawBarry Featherstone bt Larry Grover3-0 (11/7, 11/9, 11/5)
Men's Over 754 Pool1st Allan Whittow; 2nd Leo KingstonPool
Women's Over 35/408 DrawKeeley Johnson bt Vix Smith3-1 (11/7, 4/11, 11/9, 11/6)
Women's Over 458 DrawRachel Calver bt Sam Mueller3-2 (11/2, 5/11, 8/11, 11/7, 11/4)
Women's Over 5016 DrawMandy Akin bt Izzy Bramhall3-1 (3/11, 11/8, 11/9, 11/8)
Women's Over 554 Pool1st Fran Wallis ; 2nd Pippa GreenPool
Women's Over 608 DrawLesley Sturgess bt Karen Hume 3-2 (11/13, 11/8, 11/9, 1/11, 11/6)
Men's Over 35 PlateFinal OnlyBarrie Mclelland bt Gary Flockhart3-1 (11/2, 11/9, 5/11, 11/8)
Men's Over 45 Plate8 DrawSteven Cadwell bt Nick Whitehurst3-1 (6/11, 11/2, 11/5, 11/1)
Men's Over 50 Plate4 DrawNeil Counter bt Tim Smith3-2 (2/11, 11/8, 2/11, 11/7, 11/7)
Men's Over 55 Plate8 DrawDavid Fan bt Kevin Belcher3-2 (6/11, 3/11, 11/7, 11/6,, 11/9)
Men's Over 60 Plate4 DrawRipley Oyler bt Mark Sissons3-1 (6/11, 11/4, 11/8, 11/3)
Men's Over 65 Plate2x3 Pool John Goodfellow bt Ian Lennox3-1 (11/6, 11/1, 10/12, 11/4)
Men's Over 70 PlateFinal OnlyAlistair Swift bt Rodger Holroyde3-0 (11/6, 11/9, 11/3)
Women's Over 35/40 Plate4 DrawKate Bradshaw bt Reka Gay3-0 (11/6, 11/8, 11/4)
Women's Over 45 Plate4 DrawLinda Pritchard bt Alison Goy3-0 (11/4, 11/6, 11/6)
Women's Over 50 Plate3 Pool1st Bev Vatcher; 2nd Sharnine ColemanPool
Women's Over 60 PlateFinal OnlySusan Pynegar bt June Hill3-0 (11/7, 11/7, 11/9)
The England Squash Masters Circuit returned to Grantham for the second Regional Open Championship of the season. We were last at Grantham over twelve years ago and the Club Officials, Staff and members have got the Club itself in great shape and the 167 entries plus numerous others were made to feel very welcome.

To the Squash. The Women’s 60s saw a small upset as World Champion Karen Hume of Kent went down to Derbyshire’s England star Lesley Sturgess in five hard fought games. It underlines the competitiveness of the event when half the fourteen events ended in a five game final. Fran Wallis of a Lincolnshire does not play on the circuit as often as she used to but she is still the woman with the most Regional titles and she added to her tally here taking the 55s with her athletic brand of squash. Dr. Pippa Green of Avon took second place.

Mandy Akin of Kent is currently British National and Open Champion as well as European Champion. She dropped down an age group to the 50s and proved too good for the rest although Rackethon star Izzy Bramall (NOT) pushed her hard in the final. Rachel Calver (LEC) won the 45s overcoming the speed and mobility of Sam Mueller (BUX) over five games in the final after Sam had edged home in five against Sarah Parr (BKS)a recent European bronze medalist in the semi.

The Women’s 35/40 again matched up two of the best Masters players in the country with Vix Smith ((SRY) meeting serial Champion Keeley Johnson (KNT), a European Gold Medallist a few weeks ago. These two are both terrific players but Keeley again had the edge as she took the title with a four game win.

The Men’s over 75s were played in a Pool of four but the last match was a worthy final with Alan Whittow (BUX) overcoming Leo Kingston (LNH) 3/2 to take his first Regional title. Hampshire’s Barry Featherstone was the overwhelming favourite in the 70s and so it proved as he despatched all of his opponents in straight games. England Captain Larry Grover competed well for two games but could not stop the favourite from taking his second Regional of the season.

Stuart Hardy (MDX) recently came into the 65s and may have thought life would be easier for him but after a first round win he had to battle through three five game matches in 24hrs. to win the title. Both semis were decided in five games. Hardy beating Wales no. 1 David Wright and European bronze medalist Geoff Redfern (WKS) defeating last season’s England no. 1 Ian Holmes (NHM). The final was touch and go until Hardy powered through the fifth for his 16th. Regional title. In the 60s there was a fine win for Northants Simon Evenden as he beat Avon’s Mark Taylor 3/2, but he had no answer to Durham’s Neil Harrison who in turn had no answer to the questions posed by former Open Champion Jeremy Goulding (AVN). Phil Wakefield (YKS) continued his fine form and pushed the eventual champion hard in the semi final.

The Men’s 55s is a solid group with a number of good players. Alex Betts (MDX) of Queens Club has been a revelation on the Masters Circuit and won the North of England last month. His chief rival is former Open Champion Eammon Price(HFD) and their matches are always brutal. Betts had removed the dangerous Darren Withey (BUX) in one semi and was in good form, but Price patiently worked the rallies, always seemingly playing the right shot and emerged ahead in a five game thriller. His 16th. Regional win.

It could be said that the 50s has the most strength in depth in any of the groups. Certainly from the quarter finals onwards there are some fantastic matches. Top seed Steve McLoughlin (HPH) went down to Surrey star Andy Normile and he fell in five to the silky skills of David Youngs (NFK). Meanwhile the stylish Yawar Abbas (DCL) removed North of England Champion Andy Murray (WKS) and then proved too controlled for Young’s infinite variety of shots. A 3/1 win for the former Open and National Champion.

The 45s saw success for Norfolk’s Ian Cox. A powerful striker of a squash ball he dominated the draw and even top seed Paul Thomas (LNH) had no answer to him. Having lost five Regional Finals over the years, this was a first victory for the England player.

There was also a maiden title for Yorkshire’s Matthew Stephenson in the 40s. He had a battle royal with Mick Biggs (MDX) who in turn had only just survived a 12/10 in the fifth match with Nottingham pro Nick Hargreaves. Stephenson was within a point of 3/0 with all games going into extra time, but Biggs fought back to level the match before the Yorkshireman triumphed in the fifth in just under an hour.

The Men’s over 35 produced some of the best squash seen for a long time. Norfolk Champion Matt Bolt probably hits a ball as hard as anyone with a fantastic degree of skill.  His semi final against 20 time Champion Jamie Goodrich was a classic, one game going to 18/16 but the match going to Bolt 11/9 in the fifth. In the other side of the draw, club Pro Martin Gibson (LCN) was looking very impressive as he removed North of England champion Nick Wall (YKS). The final was yet another five game battle and again, Bolt came through 11/9 in the fifth for his first Regional title.

At the presentations thanks were given to all at the Club especially Chairman Simon Loveridge who presented the prizes, the catering and bar staff, the Referees and the irreplaceable Brian and Roz Brock, the Tournament Managers who ran another superb event.  A special thanks were also given to Karakal who have sponsored England Squash Masters Regional Circuit this year. Along with their support of the British Open Masters Karakal have been extremely supportive and they received enthusiastic applause from the gathering.

Announcements were made to confirm the National Championships in Nottingham from 11-16th February 2020, and the British Open in Hull from 26-31st May 2020.

Stuart Hardy
Vice Chairman

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