Karakal South of England Masters 2023-24

Friday 29 September - Sunday 1 October 2023

General Info:
Registration Closes: REGISTRATION CLOSED (Closed 6 pm Friday 15th September 2023)

Event Constraints: 

- The maximum number of event participants is 200
- The maximum number per age group is 32

Players may still register after these limits are reached, but impacted players will be moved to the reserve list and will only be allowed to participate if an age group player withdraws within the correct seeding range.

Guidance Notes for Players Entering Regional Tournaments

Click here for the guidance notes.

Event Registration

Step 1 - Player Profile Account

In order to register for this event, you must have an active player profile account for this website with England Squash Masters.
If you have not got an account click on the link below. If you have an account proceed to Step 2.

Step 2 - Event Registration

Once your account has been created, log in to this website using the login button towards the top right of this webpage.
Once logged in, register for the event using the link below.

Step 3 - Entry Fee Payment

Once you have registered for the event, follow the instructions provided to pay the event entry fee.
Please see the registration fees at the bottom of this page and note new female members have free entry to the first event this season.

2023-24 Season T-Shirts or Women's Vests

As a result of their sponsorship for the circuit t-shirts by iPROSPORTS for the 2023-2024 season, iPROSPORTS and ESM are offering one free t-shirt, or vest alternative for the women, for the season.  To qualify for the one free shirt players must compete in any one of the regional events this season.

Ordering Procedure:

  • To apply for the one free t-shirt or vest for this season apply the coupon code esmr2023 at checkout. Also, after you enter your billing and delivery addresses ensure you select the free postage option otherwise, you will be charged for delivery. Note the coupon code is only valid for one purchase, any additional shirts ordered must be paid for by the player at the cost of £20 each.
  • Free t-shirts or vests will only be dispatched after the closing date for the tournament entered to prevent shirts from being sent to non-participating players. Shirts will be dispatched immediately to those who buy them.
  • It is the responsibility of players to order their shirts before the relevant event registration closes if they want them to be dispatched to arrive before the event.

Event Posters:

If you would like a copy of the event poster please click the link below:

Event Poster PDF Format
Event Poster PDF Format A2 High Resolution

Registration Fees: £20.00 for ESM Members.

£15.00 for members of Nuffield Health St Albans.

Free to all new female members - Thanks to England Squash's support, we can offer all new female members free entry to their first regional event this season. This is part of the initiative between England Squash and England Squash Masters to increase female participation in our regional events.  (Please help us to promote this initiative to your Club and County female players).  To claim your free entry email [email protected] after you register, stating your name as registered.
Age Groups: Men's O35 O40 O45 O50 O55 O60 O65 O70 O75
Women's O35/40 O45 O50 O55 O60 O65 O70
Website: Website Link
Map: Map Link
Draw Type 
Finalists / Top Two 
Men's Over 3516 DrawJamie Douglas bt Daniel West3-2 (9/11, 11/5, 6/11, 11/5, 11/7)
Men's Over 4016 DrawMick Biggs bt Tony Webb3-1 (11/3, 11/4, 10/12, 11/4)
Men's Over 4516 DrawMatt Holland bt Alistair Coker3-0 (11/6, 11/3, 11/6)
Men's Over 5016 DrawMatthew Stephenson bt Chris Lynam3-0 (11/9, 11/9, 11/6)
Men's Over 5532 DrawGavin Roger-Lund bt Andrew Eilfield3-2 (8/11, 12/10, 11/6, 9/11, 12/10)
Men's Over 6032 DrawAlex Betts bt Eamonn Price3-1 (9/11, 12/10, 11/5, 11/4)
Men's Over 6532 DrawGordon McManus bt Tom Burton3-1 (11/6, 13/15, 12/10, 11/8)
Men's Over 7016 DrawJohn Hithersay bt Robert Houldsworth3-0 (11/9, 11/5, 11/6)
Men's Over 7516 DrawBarry Featherstone bt Chris Ansell3-0 (11/5, 11/8, 11/2)
Women's Over 35/402x3 Pool Michelle Knight bt Sophie Beake3-2 (9/11, 7/11, 11/6. 11/5, 11/4)
Women's Over 4516 DrawCatherine Ruffle bt Louisa Dalwood3-0 (11/8, 11/9, 11/9)
Women's Over 5016 DrawRachel Calver bt Christine McMullen3-0 (11/8, 11/8, 11/8)
Women's Over 558 DrawRose Bamber bt Helen Barnard3-1 (9/11, 11/7, 11/8, 11/5)
Women's Over 45 Plate 13 Pool1st Helen Knowles; 2nd Kate SmithPool
Women's Over 50 Plate 13 Pool1st Vivienne Berkemer; 2nd Alison GoyPool
Women's Over 55 Plate 1Final OnlyJulie-Anne Pegram bt Colette Webster3-0 (11/4, 11/4, 11/3)
Men's Over 35 Plate 14 DrawChris Wood bt Stuart Burnett3-1 (11/9, 10/12, 11/0, 11/2)
Men's Over 40 Plate 1Final OnlyGary Nisbet bt John Hall 3-2 (3/11, 12/10, 9/11, 11/7, 12/10)
Men's Over 45 Plate 18 DrawAndy Duckworth bt James Clyne3-2 (11/4, 7/11, 8/11, 11/4, 11/9)
Men's Over 50 Plate 18 DrawJason Burgon bt Thomas Ison3-1 (11/4, 9/11, 11/3, 11/3)
Men's Over 55 Plate 13 Pool1st Neeraj Prasad; 2nd Thomas GarlichPool
Men's Over 60 Plate 13 Pool1st Richard Bishop; Russell Haythorpe Pool
Men's Over 65 Plate 1Final OnlyKeith Ragg bt Paul Drakes3-2 (10/12, 11/3, 11/8, 8/11, 15/13)
Men's Over 70 Plate 18 DrawPeter Quarman bt Andrew Edmondson3-1 (8/11, 11/7, 11/7, 11/7)
Men's Over 75 Plate4 DrawKen Reid bt Leo Kingston3-0 (14/12, 11/8, 11/9)
Men's Over 35 Plate 23 Pool1st Jason Varrie; 2nd Mark McEwenPool
Men's Over 55 Plate 28 DrawMartin White bt Michael Wardle 3-0 (9/11, 12/14 Wardle retired injured)
Men's Over 60 Plate 23 Pool1st Rob Reid; 2nd Peter Call Pool
Men's Over 65 Plate 28 DrawAdrian Lindfield bt Julian Craxton 3-2 (4/11, 11/5, 13/11, 6/11, 11/6)
The England Squash Masters season of Regional Championships got underway with the Karakal South of England Open at the excellent Nuffield Health Club at St. Albans, Herts. A good entry of 185 registered players meant that it was going to be a busy weekend with 13 events and the same number of Plate events giving everyone plenty of Squash.

Women's Over 55:  A good entry but the top two, British Open Champion Rose Bamber (AVN) and Wales No. 1 Helen Barnard were the outstanding players and they produced an excellent match. Helen went one up forcing the errors but Bamber dug in, reeled her back and proved just too consistent. 3/1 and a fifth Regional for the lady from Avon.

Women's Over 50:  Top seed was Rachel Calver (LEC), just into the group, and she continued her great form. She took out the European Champion Sarah Parr (BRK) in a close match after Sarah had scrambled past Vivienne Berkemer (BRK) in five. Meanwhile, Libby Montgomery (HFD) won a tough five gamer with Sam Mueller (BUX) but then fell to National champion Chrissie McMullen (MSY). In the final, Chrissie had no answer to Calver's game and it was a seventh title for Rachel.

Women's Over 45:  Catherine Ruffle KNT) is the top player in this group at present and won the British Open in June. She continued her great form here and England player Louisa Dalwood (HFD) couldn't find a way through as the very mobile Ruffle completed a close run straight games win with only a few points in it. A third Regional for Cath.

Women's Over 35/40:  An incredibly competitive group where the women are all capable of beating each other. Perhaps the closest group of players in the Championships with several five game contests. The top two seeds fell - Natalie Lawrence (SOM), the British Open winner to Sophie Beake (BRK) and Heather Joy (BUX) to Scotland no. 1 Mhairi Gritz. The final was a terrific match between Beake and Michelle Knight (NHM), both looking for their first Regional Championship. Knight took the honours coming from two games down to take the title.

Men's Over 75:  The outstanding Barry Featherstone (HPH) was head and shoulders above the opposition in this group. A recent European silver medallist he wasn't pushed at all and a series of 3/0 wins took his Regional tally to 34 chasing Adrian Wright's record of 37. In the final he overcame the wily skills of former World Champion Chris Ansell (BRK).

Men's Over 70:  The top seeds here perished as John Hithersay (NHM), looking fit and lean, beat Open Champion Terry Belshaw (CBA) in four in one semi-final having previously beaten former England star Larry Grover (HPH) in five. In the other half Robert Houldsworth (LNH) was upsetting the form book removing the 2 and 3 seeds Geoffs Redfern and Walton. It was Hithersay in the final, however, and a first Regional in straight games.

Men's Over 65:  Some new faces in this group getting mixed results. Top seed Nick Gollaglee (SOM) fell to Gordon Benbow (CNL) who then lost out in a battle of the Gordons to Gordon McManus (KNT). Meanwhile new in the group and European Bronze medallist Tom Burton (HFD) came through against last year's Champion Stuart Hardy (WLT). Burton however found McManus too controlled in the final and went down in four. A third Regional for McManus.

Men's Over 60:  Always a competitive group made even more so with the arrival of the great rivals Eamonn Price (HFD), a former Open and National Champion, and Alex Betts (MDX). Nigel Bacon (ESX) scored a fine win over David Gray (CBA) to reach the semis but an injury stopped him from playing on. Meanwhile, Betts took out European bronze winner Darren Withey (BUX) to set up the inevitable final with Price who edged the first game. Betts moved into overdrive, however, and proved to have too much for Price, who it must be said, is well ahead in their personal head to heads. But a fine win and a fifth Regional Championship for the man in white from Queens Club.

Men's Over 55:  Yawar Abbas (DCL) was top seed and favourite - with a host of Open and National titles he looked a firm bet but injury took him out in the semi against Andrew Eilfield (HFD) who stormed through the draw. No. 2 seed Gavin Roger-Lund (BUX) was also looking very good and he duly took his place in the final, neither having been that far before. It was a great battle that viewers said was always destined to go to five. It did! Point for point until Eilfield found two great shots to earn two match points. They were saved and Roger-Lund took the match 12/10 for his first title.

Men's Over 50:  National Champion Paul Boyle (BUX) was top seed here but in the semis had to withdraw with an injury leaving Chris Lynam (HFD) in the final. Meanwhile, second seed and England Captain Matthew Stephenson (YKS), a recent European Bronze medallist, had some tough matches to get through including a 3/2 with Isle of Wight star Adam Dominey. Stephenson was more clinical in the final and after two 11/9 games clinched a straight games win and fifth Regional.

Men's Over 45:  Finally, a group where the players confirmed the seedings! Matt Holland (HPH) has probably been the outstanding Masters player of the last two years with two British Opens and National titles as well as five Regionals. He rarely loses. And so he continued here with the second seed, the excellent Alistair Coker (HFD) giving his all but no finding any way through. Regional No. 6 to Holland.

Men's Over 40:  Top seed Ross Gore (OFE) had an early scare as Steven Davies (BFD) stretched him to five in one quarter before 3rd seed Tony Webb (SRY) beat him in four in the semi-final. England colleague Mick Biggs (MDX), the no. 2 seed, took his chance, however and in spite of losing the third 12/10, won through the final in four for his fifth Regional Championship.

Men's Over 35:  The Blue Riband event of the Master's Championships had some of the greatest matches played at great pace and with some fantastic skills. Top seed Daniel West (SSX) had to battle past 3 seed Gurkhaj Kahlon (BRK) in five with two going to extra time while John Welton the two seed needed five games to progress against Mark McEwan (ESX). Welton then fell to 4 seed Jamie Douglas (NLD). Douglas then in an upset, came back from 2/1 down against West to clinch a five-game win in the final. A second title for him.

Thanks were made to the Sponsors Karakal for their continued support, Nuffield Club, the referees and the ESM Committee who organised the event, especially Ros Featherstone on the Event Desk and the incomparable Brian Brock, the Event Manager.

Stuart Hardy

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