Karakal East of England Masters 2023-24

Friday 8 December - Sunday 10 December 2023

General Info:
Registration Closes: REGISTRATION CLOSED (closed 6 pm Friday 24th November 2023)Players may still register after registration closes, but you will be added to the reserve list.

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

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.

Event Registration

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 within 2-3 days of ordering for 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.

Click here for the guidance notes.

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 Grantham Squash and Fitness

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 358 DrawJames Snell bt Daniel West 3-0 (11/7, 11/3, 11/5)
Men's Over 4016 DrawMartin Gibson bt Jamie Goodrich3-1 (11/1, 11/7, 9/11, 11/9)
Men's Over 4516 DrawPaul Warner bt Nick Freer3-2 (11/4, 11/4, 5/11, 5/11, 11/9)
Men's Over 5016 DrawNick Wall bt Wayne Beglan3-0 (11/5, 11/8, 11/8)
Men's Over 5532 DrawGavin Roger-Lund bt Stephen McLoughlin3-2 (11/2, 7/11, 11/7, 8/11, 11/6)
Men's Over 6032 DrawAlex Betts bt Darren Withey3-0 (11/8, 11/6, 11/8)
Men's Over 6516 DrawAllen Barwise bt Nick Gollaglee3-0 (11/2, 11/2, 11/8)
Men's Over 7032 DrawJohn Hithersay bt John Goodrich3-1 (11/3, 11/5, 12/14, 11/4)
Men's Over 7516 DrawBarry Featherstone bt Larry Grover3-2 (11/8, 11/3, 8/11, 1/11, 11/3)
Women's Over 35/403 Pool1st Michelle Knight; 2nd Natalie LawrencePool
Women's Over 458 DrawCatherine Ruffle bt Kate Bradshaw3-0 (11/5, 11/1, 11/8)
Women's Over 502x3 Pool Rachel Calver bt Sarah Parr3-0 (11/3, 11/9, 11/5)
Women's Over 554 Pool1st Mandy Akin; 2nd Fran WallisPool
Women's Over 604 Pool1st Karen Hume; 2nd Julie-Anne PegramPool
Men's Over 35 Plate 1Final OnlyNicholas Bradley bt Clive Marr3-0 (11/4, 11/3, 11/7)
Men's Over 40 Plate 14 DrawDarren Rix bt Mark Campen-Howarth3-0 (11/4, 14/12, 11/6)
Men's Over 45 Plate 1Final Only1st Bruce Hopkin; 2nd Dan Willets Pool
Men's Over 50 Plate 13 Pool1st Colin Gebhard; 2nd Dave Richards Pool
Men's Over 55 Plate 18 DrawTim Smith bt David Weston3-2 (6/11, 11/9, 11/6, 3/9 DW retired injured)
Men's Over 60 Plate 13 Pool1st John Fuller; 2nd Russell HaythorpePool
Men's Over 65 Plate 18 Draw1st Gordon Noel Benbow; 2nd Ripley Oyler3-0 (11/5, 11/8, 11/7)
Men's Over 70 Plate 18 DrawPeter Quarman bt Tony Pensom3-2 (3/11, 13/11, 11/9, 9/11, 11/3)
Men's Over 75 Plate 18 DrawAllan Whittow bt Leo Kingston3-1 (11/7, 11/9, 8/11, 11/8)
Women's Over 45 Plate 14 DrawHelen Knowles bt Diane Fenwick 3-0 (11/5, 11/9, 11/7)
Men's Over 50 Plate 2Final OnlyJeremy Baker bt Damian Jay3-2 (6/11, 11/8, 12/14, 11/8, 11/4)
Men's Over 60 Plate 24 DrawIan Portas bt Graham Hooper 3-0 (11/7, 11/3, 11/5)
The England Squash Masters Circuit returned to Grantham Squash Club for the Karakal East of England Masters Open. A good entry of about 170 was reduced by late injuries but still a very competitive weekend with some of the top Masters players in the UK was had.

Women’s Over 60: Karen Hume (KNT) has 2 World Opens and 14 Regional titles and so was favourite in this round-robin group. She had a tight match with Julie-Anne Pegram (SFK) but her experience carried her through and two other wins saw her claim her 15th Regional title.

Women’s Over 55: Karen’s good friend Mandy Akin (KNT) also a World, British Open and National Champion was also on 14 Regional titles and once again had to play the athletic Fran Wallis (LCN) who has a record of 26 Regionals to her name. On the day Akin found her top game and produced a series of great rallies to keep Wallis out of the match. A 15th Regional for Akin in straight games.

Women’s Over 50: A strong group, getting stronger, with Rachel Calver (LEC) former National and Open Champion arriving and looking to improve on her 7 Regionals. In the final she met Sarah Parr (BRK), a former National Champion who overcame 2nd seed Louisa Dalwood (HFD) in five action packed games. Calver was in great form and in spite of a close second stayed ahead through the match to take her 8th Regional in straight games.

Women’s Over 45:  British Open Champion Catherine Ruffle (KNT) has been dominant in this group but Kate Bradshaw (CBE), herself a two-time Regional Champion has come in to challenge and they met in the final. The Kent girl, showing her speed and high energy game, proved to have too much for Bradshaw and took the final in straight games. It’s difficult to see anyone beating her in this group at the moment. A fifth title for Ruffle.

Women's Over 35/40:  Top seed Michelle Knight (NHM) who already has one Regional this season took on former National and Open Champion Natalie Lawrence (SOM). In the final Knight looked the more fired up and played a very powerful game while Lawrence looked a little behind the pace. She battled hard however but it was Knight who found the right shots and took her second Regional in straight games.

Men's Over 75: After a sensational entry to the age group where Larry Grover (HPH) took the North title beating Ian Ross and Barry Featherstone, the final between him and Featherstone (HPH) was eagerly awaited. Grover is a four-time Regional Champion and a very tidy player but Featherstone, with 34 Regionals, is second on the all-time list and showed why by powering through the first two games before Grover found his range. Grover worked his way back, taking the third and then the fourth 11-1. A stern word from Featherstone's coach re-set his game and he took the first 7 points of the fifth to run out a comfortable winner in the end.

Men's Over 70:  John Hithersay (NHM) has been a revelation this year and looking leaner and fitter he has dominated the 70s, winning the last two Regionals. He won a semi-final battle with Geoff Redfern (WKS), now looking to be back to his normal levels, and in the final met John Goodrich (SFK), Goodrich having won his semi-final against Robert Houldsworth (LNH) in five competitive games. In the final Hithersay was too strong on the day although Goodrich took the third having squandered five game balls. Hithersay powered through the fourth to take his third Regional for this season.

Men's Over 65:
There was an amazing semi-final between top seed and double National Champion, Allen Barwise (CBA) and South of England Regional winner Gordon McManus (KNT). McManus used immaculate range on his fading boasts to pull Barwise around the court but Barwise stuck to his task, covering immense amounts of court and winning 15-13 in the fifth. In the other semi-final, Tom Burton (HFD) looked home and dry at 2-0 up but the touch game of Nick Gollaglee (SOM) kicked in and after squeezing the fourth 12-10 to level Gollaglee pushed on and won in five. A different Barwise played on Sunday as he powered through the first two games and, in spite of a fightback from Gollaglee in the third, quickly clinched his fourth Regional.

Men's Over 60: Alex Betts (MDX) was another player looking for a hattrick of Regionals from the three events so far this season but in a strong draw which included former World Top 10 player Brian Beeson (NLD) it was always going to be tough. The match of the group was probably Beeson against Darren Withey (BUX). Withey, a five time Regional winner with some superb athleticism, won through in three very competitive games. Betts was in sparkling form in the final however, not letting Withey play as he wanted and taking a 7th Regional in straight games.

Men's Over 55:  British Open Champion Stephen McLoughlin (HPH) was top seed here but had a tough quarter against Karl Hardy (CHS) which he came through in five. In the other half of the draw, Gavin Roger-Lund (BUX) eased through a tight quarter against Steve Dodridge (BRK). In the final Roger-Lund started better, taking the first comfortably and the third to go 2-1 up. McLoughlin struck back and levelled at 2-2 but Roger-Lund held his nerve and form to take the fifth for his second Regional title.

Men's Over 50: Top seed Nick Wall (YKS) with 3 National, 2 Opens and 12 Regionals is a top Masters player – he was always the man to beat. In the semi-final Chris Lynam (HFD) got close going 2-1 up before Wall pegged him back to win in five. Meanwhile, in the other semi-final the ever-improving Wayne Beglan (SRY) illustrated his fine form this year with a 3-2 win over second seed Matthew Stephenson (YKS) to secure his first final spot. In the final Wall showed his class and in spite of some excellent squash and great retrieving just had too much game. Another title to Wall.

Men's Over 45: The top two seeds in this group both fell to the 3/4 seeds in the semi-finals with Paul Warner (BUX) removing Tim Burrell (BRK) in straight games while Nick Freer (MDX) accounted for James Greenhead (SRY) in four. Freer has been in one Regional final before but it was a new experience for Warner. Warner, though, started brilliantly going two games up before Freer found his range and took the third and fourth just as convincingly. With both players trying to win their maiden Regional title the fifth was a dog fight before Warner found the shots he needed to edge home 11/9.

Men's Over 40: Top seed here was Martin Gibson the Grantham Club professional. He reached the final without any problems and there met Jamie Goodrich (NOR), again playing two age groups out of his own (10 years since winning the Open Over 40) and with an incredible record of 24 Regional Championship wins. Gibson, a tall left-hander, took the first two games and gave Goodrich all sorts of problems in the process. Goodrich struck back to take the third before a point for point fourth saw the home player take it 11-9 for the title much to the delight of the crowd.

Men's Over 35: This was somewhat depleted by injury but the top two players, both playing an incredible standard and around 20,000 in Squash Levels, took their places in the final. David Palmer (DVN) had had a fine win against Gurbhaj Kahlon (BRK) to set up one semi-final with his county teammate and Open Champion James Snell (DVN). Meanwhile Daniel West (SSX) eased through to the final from the bottom half of the draw. In spite of some incredible hitting and shot play West could find no way to break down Snell in the final. A second Regional this year for the Open Champion.

At the presentation thanks were made to our sponsors Karakal, Grantham Squash and Fitness Centre, referees and the catering and bar staff who had all worked very hard over the weekend. There were 171 registered players and 191 matches through the championship and plate events over the weekend. The next event will be the Karakal West of England Masters at Wolverhampton 12-14 January. Registration closes 6 pm Friday 29 December.

Stuart Hardy

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