British Open Masters Squash Championships 2024

Wednesday 5 June - Sunday 9 June 2024

General Info:

British Open Masters Squash Championships 2024
5 - 9 June 2024

Registration Closes: REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED (Closed 6 pm Friday 17th May 2024 (British Summer Time (BST))) 

Players may still register after registration closes but your entry 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.

Event Constraints: 

- The maximum number per age group is 64
- The minimum number per age group is 4

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.

Event Venue:

Two venues will be used for this event which are located close to each other southeast of Birmingham city centre (approximately 9 miles) and to the southwest of Birmingham International Airport (approximately 7 miles).  The venues are:

Solihull Arden Club - Primary venue used for all main draw matches where possible.
         Address:  Sharmans Cross Road, Solihull, B91 1RG,   Website LinkMap Link
West Warwickshire Sports Complex - Secondary venue used for the majority of early plate rounds and some main draws matches if necessary.
         Address:  78 Grange Road, Solihull, B91 1DA,  Website LinkMap Link

Scheduled Start Days

Players are only required to play one match per day in the main draw. Therefore, the draws will start depending on their size as follows:

  • 32 or 64 draw – Wednesday 5th June
  • 16 draw – Thursday 6th June
  • 8 draw / 4 Pool / 2 x 3 Pool with play-off – Friday 7th June

Note higher-seeded players with first-round byes in draws will start a day later.

Terms and Conditions for Players Entering the British National Masters Championships

Click here for the terms and conditions.

Prize Fund

Sponsor Prizes

Winners and runners-up in each of the Championship main age groups draws will receive a trophy and vouchers/prizes (vendors TBC) as follows:

  • Winner £150
  • Runner-Up £75

Prize Money

The following prize money will be awarded, subject to the conditions detailed below:

  • MO35 and WO35 - Winner £400, Runner-Up £200
  • MO40 and WO40 - Winner £300, Runner-Up £150

The prize money will only be awarded to the respective age groups in the Championship main draws detailed above if the respective group has 8 or more active players at the time the event starts.  Therefore if one of the age groups falls below 8 players when the event starts the prize money for that age group will be withdrawn.

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, login 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.

Event Poster

2024 British Open Masters To Take Place Alongside Platinum-Level PSA Event in Birmingham

Communication Release - 15th December 2023

The 2024 British Open Masters Squash Championships will take place alongside the PSA World Tour Platinum-level British Open in Birmingham next year between June 5-9.

The bulk of the action will be held at the Solihull Arden Club, with matches from the earlier rounds also due to be played at the West Warwickshire Sports Complex.

Masters events are for players aged 35 and over and cater for both male and female entrants, beginning with the over-35 tournament all the way up to the over-80 event.  The British Open Masters Squash Championships is the oldest and most established tournament in masters squash and is widely considered to be one of the two most prestigious tournaments, alongside the World Masters.  It is anticipated that over 350 masters players will compete across the age categories. The event will become the latest top-class squash event to be held in the Birmingham region following on from the British Junior Open, which will be held in the second city between January 3-7, 2024, and the British Open PSA event, which will be held at The Rep Theatre and Edgbaston Priory Club between June 2-9, 2024.

"We are delighted to see the British Open Squash Masters run alongside the Platinum-level British Open in a week that will see world-class squash light up the Birmingham region once again," said PSA Chief Executive Alex Gough. "Birmingham is fast becoming one of the premier destinations for squash in the United Kingdom. The addition of the British Open Masters to the programme alongside our PSA Tour event - as well as the British Junior Open taking place in the city next month - means that the region will have hosted the very best the squash world has to offer across all age categories.
"I'd like to wish all competitors the best of luck and look forward to watching the action unfold next June."

England Squash Masters Chairman Stuart Hardy said: "The British Open is the most iconic tournament in world squash and many legends of the game have also been British Open Masters champions. England Squash Masters is delighted to work with the PSA and again run the Masters event alongside the professionals."

The Masters event will be organised by England Squash Masters in conjunction with the PSA and further information on entries, draws and schedules will be available at www.englandsquashmasters.co.uk

Tickets for the PSA event are on sale now. For more information on the British Open 2024, please visit the official tournament website or follow the event on X.

    Registration Fees:

    Entry Fees:

    Early Bird Rate 
      Available from 16 February - 6 pm 3 May 2024 (British Summer Time (BST)) 
    Standard Rate
      From 6 pm 3 May 2024 (British Summer Time (BST)) 

    Event participants will receive:
    • a minimum of two matches, but hopefully 3 or more matches where the schedule allows.
    • a free gift from the event sponsor (to be confirmed).
    • an event t-shirt.
    • discounted tickets to the British Open Squash 2024 taking place at the Birmingham Rep (subject to availability)
      3rd - 5th June : 20% discount online or via box office.
      6th – 9th June : 10% discount online or via box office. (some dates already sold out)
      Discounts not applicable to hospitality.
      Contact Brian Brock, Event Manager for the discount codes
    Age Groups:

    Men's Over 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85
    Women's Over  35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75 

    Note:  Ideally there must be a minimum of 4 players in an age group to create a viable age group draw.  However, in some cases, in particular, for the older age groups, the tournament director may allow a smaller draw.

    Website: Website Link
    Map: Map Link
    Draw Type 
    Finalists / Top Two 
    Men's Over 3532 DrawJames Snell bt Tim Vail3-0 (11/8, 11/2, 11/6)
    Men's Over 4032 DrawPhil Rushworth bt Tim Richards3-0 (11/9, 11/9, 11/4)
    Men's Over 4532 DrawMatt Holland bt Mick Biggs3-1 (8/11, 11/4, 15/13, 11/8)
    Men's Over 5032 DrawNick Staunton bt Dara O'Flynn3-0 (11/7, 11/4, 11/4)
    Men's Over 5532 DrawGavin Roger-Lund bt Steve Evans3-0 (11/5, 11/2, 11/6)
    Men's Over 6064 DrawEamonn Price bt Darren Withey3-0 (11/2, 11/5, 11/5)
    Men's Over 6532 DrawNick Gollaglee bt Allen Barwise3-2 (3/11, 11/7, 11/9, 7/11, 11/9)
    Men's Over 7032 DrawStuart Hardy bt Ian Graham3-0 (11/8, 11/5, 11/2)
    Men's Over 7516 DrawIan Ross bt Larry Grover3-0 (11/6, 11/7, 11/3)
    Men's Over 804 Pool1st Anthony Clifford; 2nd Leo KingstonPool
    Women's Over 355 Pool1st Leonie Holt; 2nd Kirsty WestPool
    Women's Over 405 PoolNatalie Davenport-Husdan bt Selina Harper3-2 (11/1, 11/8, 3/11, 11/13, 11/7)
    Women's Over 4516 DrawJoannah Yue-Hitch bt Catherine Ruffle3-0 (11/8, 11/6, 11/5)
    Women's Over 5016 DrawRachel Calver bt Louisa Dalwood3-1 (11/7, 12/14, 19/17, 11/8)
    Women's Over 558 DrawHelen Barnard bt Izzy Bramhall3-0 (11/6, 11/4, 11/3)
    Women's Over 605 Pool1st Mandy Akin; 2nd Sari NiemistöPool
    Women's Over 6516 DrawJill Campion bt Karen Hume3-0 (13/11, 12/10, 11/5)
    Women's Over 704 Pool1st Pauline Douglas; 2nd Catherine WoodhartPool
    Men's Over 35 Round 1 Plate4 DrawDuncan Higgins bt Jason Chidwick3-2 (16/14, 14/12, 8/11, 5/11, 11/7)
    Men's Over 40 Round 1 PlateFinal OnlyEirian Crabbe bt Dale Mccarter 3-1 ( 5/11, 13/11, 11/7, 11/2)
    Men's Over 45 Round 1 Plate4 DrawJames Harrington bt Francis Stanley 3-0 (11/8, 12/10, 11/9)
    Men's Over 50 Round 1 Plate3 Pool1st Thomas Grübel; 2nd André HübscherPool
    Men's Over 55 Round 1 Plate16 DrawDavid Weston bt Tony Hannington3-2 (6/11, 6/11, 11/9, 5/5) Hanningto retired
    Men's Over 60 Prelim Plate3 Pool1st Thomas Adams; 2nd Neeraj Prasad Pool
    Men's Over 60 Round 1 Plate8 DrawAndy Hall bt Peter Call3-2 (12/10, 4/11, 11/13, 11/9, 11/8)
    Men's Over 65 Round 1 Plate16 DrawJohn Petruschke bt Tim Luker 3-2 (12/11, 7/11, 11/7, 5/11, 11/6)
    Men's Over 70 Round 1 Plate4 Pool1st Robert Garvin; 2nd Terry JamesPool
    Men's Over 75 Round 1 Plate4 DrawJonathan Bomford bt Robert Smith 3-2 (7/11, 8/11, 11/8, 11/7, 11/2)
    Women's Over 45 Round 1 Plate3 Pool1st Caroline Hazlewood; 2nd Natalie TownsendPool
    Women's Over 50 Round 1 Plate3 Pool1st Kate Smith; 2nd Jane Armstrong Pool
    Women's Over 55 Round 1 PlateFinal OnlyKath Gray bt Deborah Rogers 3-0 (11/6, 11/3, 11/6 )
    Women's Over 65 Round 1 Plate4 DrawMaureen Duke bt Eunice Bond3-0 (15/13, 11/9, 11/6)
    Men's Over 35 Round 2 Plate8 DrawDavid Palmer bt Simon Roach 3-0 (11/9, 11/6, 11/6)
    Men's Over 40 Round 2 Plate4 DrawTony Webb bt Paul Wallace3-0 (11/8, 11/4, 12/10)
    Men's Over 45 Round 2 Plate4 DrawAndy Duckworth bt Dean Newberry3-2 (10/12, 11/9, 9/11, 11/8, 11/6)
    Men's Over 50 Round 2 Plate4 DrawRichard Chin bt Stuart Hargreaves 3-2 (9/11, 5/11, 11/5, 11/9, 14/12)
    Men's Over 55 Round 2 PlateFinal OnlyPeter Lonsdale bt Rahul Nayar 3-0 (11/5, 11/9, 14/12)
    Men's Over 60 Round 2 Plate4 Pool1st Mike Leonard; 2nd Lluis Suarez Pool
    Men's Over 65 Round 2 Plate4 DrawRipley Oyler bt David Matthew 3-2 (12/14, 10/12, 11/7, 11/7, 11/6)
    Men's Over 70 Round 2 Plate3 Pool1st Richard Kellagher; 2nd Tony PensomPool

    Day 1 - Wednesday 5th June

    The British Open Masters supported by the PSA and Dunlop started at Solihull Ardern Squash Club in the West Midlands. From an initial registration of some 300 players nearly all the mens groups were in action today and already there has been some fantastic squash.

    Men’s Over 70: In an early upset Sam Balsdon proved too mobile for John Duckworth and won through in straight games. His reward is a tie with top seed Stuart Hardy who is just into the age group. Richard Lowe of the home club won through against Albert Akin of Kent in four close games. Former England Captain Paul Reader also beat South African opposition in Chris Hughes and now faces 3/4 seed John Hithersay. Keith Ragg beat Irish International Robert Garvin in four and will meet former champion Nick Drysdale in the next round.

    Men’s Over 65: Ripley Oyler upset the seedings with a five game win over David Stones and now meets Bruce Gordon of the USA. Mohammed Zaman eased through against Collis Sheik and recent England National David Kirk now meets Robert Warner who disposed of the dangerous John Petruschke. Alistair Lloyd looked comfortable against South African Alf Close easing through in straight games and is rewarded with a match against No 2 seed Tom Burton.

    Men’s Over 60: The top seed here is Freddie Johnson of Sweden, a World and European Champion, and he made short work of Keith Winfield to progress. Lluis Suarez of Spain eased through in four against Ian Russell while David Gray did the same against Andy Hall of Yorkshire. Mike Leonard was in control against Domingo Mihovilovic of the USA and all the other seeds progressed through the draw.

    Men’s Over 55: Some good early round battles here with Karl Hardy beating Tony Hannington 12-10 in the fifth. Defending champion Stephen McLoughlin was too good for Ville Leppanen of Finland and eased through in straight games. Wales No 1 Steve Evans took four games to dispose of David Harris and Sam Hanbury struggled to overcome a former champion in Andrew Cross eventually getting through in five. Marvin Rust upset the seedings with a solid win against James Piddington and Simon Spencer and Adrian Leeson also progressed. There was a thriller that saw Rob Vivian come through against a very good German opponent in Andreas Omlor 12-10 in the fifth. His reward is the Wales No 1 Steve Evans.

    Men’s Over 50: The Men’s 50s is particularly competitive with a fantastically strong top eight. John Simpson claimed a spot against fellow Yorkshireman Matt Stephenson by beating Craig Webb in three good games while Chris Lynam overcame Andre Hubscher also in three. England International Adam Dominey survived a 12-10 fourth game to win in five over Jason Burgon. Julian Beckett had a tight match with Courtney Downing but emerged the stronger in the fourth. He now faces second seed and former champion Paul Boyle. The match of the round was probably Javier Gonzalvez Fernandez of Spain recovering from two games down to squeeze home 11-9 in the fifth against Thomas Grubel of Germany.

    Men's Over 45:  Matt Holland will meet a talented Pakistan player, Alif Siddiqi who proved too good for Jez Gowers-Cromie winning 12/10 in the fourth. The other seeded player took their allotted places so some competitive matches in prospect.

    Men's Over 40:  The Wimbledon pro Phil Rushworth is a twice British Open finalist and top seed here. He starts his campaign against Nathan Miller who had a thriller against Peter Barton winning 14/12 in the fifth. Again the seeded players emerged the stronger with Richard Colman winning in four over Robert Dale and Mark Campen-Howarth setting up a match with a very good German in Julian Wollny.

    Men's Over 35:  James Snell was the Player of the season last year winning the Open, Nationals, two Regionals and leading England to victory. The man to beat. The uniquely talented Gbenga Adeyi won through for the right to try, being too good for Gary Snowden. Dale Diment earned a crack at a former Champion, Tim Vail the No.2 seed and National finalist Chris Hall gets his campaign underway against Mark McEwan who beat Duncan Higgins in three straight.

    Day 2 - Thursday 6th June

    The second day of the Masters sees the big seeds starting their campaigns and another full day of competitive squash in prospect.

    Women’s Over 65: In the first match in this event Eunice Bond of Scotland played some excellent squash to stay in charge of her match against Wendy Norris of Wales winning 3-1.

    Women’s Over 60: This event got under way with World Champion Mandy Akin still showing great form overcome a skilful opponent in Tamsin Bennett always managing to just stay ahead in a 3-0 win.

    Women’s Over 50: An early match in this draw saw Jane Armstrong prove too experienced for Wendy Hiscox and producing a very solid game winning in three. She goes on to meet defending champion Rachel Calver. Meanwhile, Kate Smith caused a minor upset when she came back from two games down against Sam Mueller to win a hard hitting action packed five game match. She goes on to meet No 2 seed Christine McMullen.

    Women’s Over 40: Top seed Selina Harper from Cumbria got her campaign under way with a win over Army star Elaine Radcliffe. This will be a round robin group and some interesting match ups are in store.

    Men’s Over 75: John Culverhouse earned a match against top seed and defending champion Ian Ross of Scotland by overcoming David Grant of Wales while Wales No 1 Stephen Evans will take on a former World Masters Champion in Chris Ansell who won a competitive match against Jonathan Bomford. Tibor Szolnoki beat Robert Smith in four to match up with National Champion Larry Grover while Roger More looked impressive in his win over Russell Foster and now meets former champion Barry Featherstone, the No 2 seed.

    Men’s Over 70: Stuart Hardy opened his account with a win over Sam Balsdon and now meets England International Robert Houldsworth in the last eight. Local Club Chairman Richard Lowe edged Jakey Musson in five to set up a tie with the powerful hitting John Hithersay who just kept ahead of Paul Reader. In the bottom half there was a major upset as Nick Drysdale returning to the Masters after an absence and a former British Open and European Champion went down in five to Keith Ragg. He will meet another International regular in Geoff Redfern who comprehensively beat Richard Kellagher. The last quarter will be Ian Graham, the No 2 seed and a former champion, against Andrew Edmondson.

    Men’s Over 65: National Champion Allen Barwise is top seed here looked in devastating form as he despatched Gordon Benbow in straight games. He will meet Keith Connors who was too much for Dave Matthew. Ripley Oyler’s giant killing ended abruptly has he went down to Bruce Gordon of the USA, the second game 14-12 being pivotal. Gordon will meet Jonathan Potter who upset the form back completely to beat the 3/4 seed Gordon McManus in five see-sawing games. Nick Gollaglee, the other 3/4 seed, won a lob fest and will now meet Scottish Champion Peter Shivas who had a tight one with Mohammed Zaman. The No 2 seed Tom Burton continued his progress and will meet Robert Warner who upset the seedings by beating David Kirk in five.

    Men’s Over 60: Eight time British Open Champion “Fast” Freddie Johnson, the top seed had too much energy for Rob Reid and will now face Tony Griffin of New Zealand who beat Syed Jafry. Ray Burke had too much fire power for David Gray and Darren Withey showed his class defeating Lluis Suarez of Spain in straight games and they will meet in a quarter. Alex Betts had too much for Paul Clark and proceeds to meet John Parkes, another former winner of this event who had a great game with Mike Leonard winning in four good games. Steve Calvert had no serious problems getting past Steve Martin in four and will now meet Eamonn Price, a former champion and No 2 seed, who was too controlled for Irish International John Dineen.

    Men’s Over 55: Former British and US Champion and top seed John Musto of the USA will meet Andrew Eilfield who had a remarkable 3-0 against Karl Hardy winning 15-13, 11-9, 13-11! Steve McLoughlin, the defending champion, removed Rahul Nayar of the USA and meets Wales No 1 Steve Evans. In the other half Gavin Roger-Lund looked in great form as he took out Peter Lonsdale but will have a sterner test against Adrian Leeson who put together some lovely squash to remove 5/8 seed Simon Spencer. Sam Hanbury had too much for Marvin Rust and will meet former England player Steve Dodridge who caused a sensational upset beating No 2 seed from Germany Predi Fritsche in four games where Dodridge’s attacking style was very much on song.

    Men’s Over 50: This group is packed with top class players. A lot of groups are but this group particularly is exceptional. Top seed David Ayerst of Ireland leads the way and went through comfortably to meet countryman Nick Staunton who beat 2022 Open Champion Stuart Hargreaves in four entertaining games. A superb match between Chris Lynam and Jonathan Gallacher of Austria saw Gallacher power to two games up but Lynam dug in and flying around the court slowly took the ascendancy and the next three. Richard Chin of the USA was looking great against England player Wayne Beglan. Two games up but Beglan stuck to his task and proved to be the stronger winning in five. He will now meet another Irish International in Dara O’Flynn who combining tremendous power and winning shots to overcome Javier Fernandez of Spain in a passionate match. The next round will be an intriguing match up between O’Flynn and second seed and former champion Paul Boyle.

    Men’s Over 45: Having won the last two British Opens Matt Holland is favourite and top seed here. He started his campaign very positively with a straight games win over Atif Siddiqi of Pakistan. There was an upset result as Matt Whitehead beat 5/8 seed Domagoj Spoljar of Croatia having been 2-0 down but produced some fantastic shots to turn the tide. He now meets Holland. The 3/4 seed is Armin Hameed of Germany and he eased through to beat Paul Warner, the 5/8 seed, in that quarter final. In the other half things went to form with Alistair Coker and James Greenhead taking their places without fuss. The last quarter will see No 2 seed Mick Biggs take on an old rival Tim Burrell after both went through without a problem.

    Men’s Over 40: Top seed Phil Rushworth progressed after an unfortunate injury removed his opponent but he will meet Steven Davies who had a good win over 5/8 seed Tony Webb to progress. The next quarter will see Neil Cross play 3/4 seed Jason Varrie after both scored fairly comfortable straight game wins. Tim Richards, a former National Champion, is the No 2 seed and he will face Ross Gore after both dominated their matches. The other quarter final will be between the 3/4 seed Julian Wollny of Germany and Ross Kneller who had a long and hard four game win over Paul Wallace.

    Men’s Over 35: Top seed James Snell started the season as he finished the last in devastating form with master class squash to remove Gbenga Adeyi in straight games. He meets Gordon Harpur who beat Pasquale Ruzicka of Germany in a tough straight game. There was an upset when England Captain David Palmer went down in four top class games to Ryan Atherton in just under an hour. Atherton will meet 3/4 seed Jamie Douglas in the quarter. Chris Hall was dominant in his match as was Gurbhaj Kahlon and he now meets No 2 seed Tim Vail, a former champion, who also progressed without too much concern and will play John Welton who beat Wales International Damian Burgess.

    A fantastic day of Masters Squash and the matches are just getting tougher. Along with a full plate programme the British Open Masters Quarter Finals will all take place tomorrow with some of the very best players in the various age groups competing. Spectators are always welcome at Solihull Ardern SC. Play starts at 10.00am.

    Day 3 - Friday 7th June

    Day 3 and the heat rises at Solihull Ardern for the British Open Masters. All the seeds are in action and the going is getting tougher. Some great Masters Squash from the Men and Women in all the age groups competing for a place in the semi finals.

    Women’s Over 70: Multiple World Champion Pauline Douglas of Scotland is the red hot favourite here and opened her account with a straight games win over Susan Wastie. Second seed Catherine Woodhart outlasted Maureen Carroll of Scotland over four good games. The pool continues tomorrow.

    Women’s Over 65: Former World and British Champion of Wales, Jill Campion, is top seed here and was too good for Eunice Bond of Scotland and will now meet English International Lesley Sturgess who beat Maureen Duke of Ireland in straight games. Lynne Davies and Sian Johnson both of Wales have played each other and in teams together numerous times and of late it is Lynne who has held the upper hand. So it was here with a 3-1 win. She will meet Karen Hume, another former World Masters Champion, who beat Julie-Ann Pegram 3-0.

    Women’s Over 60: Being played in a round robin of five Mandy Akin, the World Champion, is the favourite although Netherlands Bea Spitse has always run her close. Bea beat England International Tamsin Bennett in four competitive games,11-9 in the fourth, and Akin beat Polly Woodward, her England Captain, in straight games. In an incredibly tight match Sari Niemisto of Finland recorded an 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 win over Bea Spitse with some great squash being played by both women. In another pool match Tamsin Bennett gained some revenge for an earlier defeat by Polly Woodward and after sharing the first two games hinged on a 12-10 third game that went to Bennett and she went on from that to win the fourth.

    Women’s Over 55: Only a small draw in this event headed by Wales Champion Helen Barnard. She had a bye today and will face Brynn Jafry of the USA who proved to be too good for Sue Smith. In the other half Marja Vainio of Finland comfortably Deborah Rogers 3-0 and will face second seed Izzy Bramhall who went through in straight games against Kath Gray.

    Women’s Over 50: Former Champion Rachel Calver is the favourite here and she eased through in four games against Jane Armstrong. She will now face Debbie Locke who was too good today for Sarah Parr, herself a former National Champion. Current National Champion Louisa Dalwood was too powerful for Libby Montgomery and second seed Chrstine McMullen won a vital first game 14-12 against Kate Smith who then took the second but faded as McMullen won 3-1.

    Women’s Over 45: Catherine Ruffle is defending champion and top seed here and started impressively with a straight games win over the talented Irish woman Saoirse O’Sullivan. In the semi final she will play Katy Temple of Scotland who was too good for Natalie Townsend winning 3-0. In the other half 3/4 seed Kate Bradshaw was impressive in her match against Kate Fuller and in her semi final will face Joannah Yue-Hitch of Singapore who after sharing the first two games with Caroline Hazelwood powered through to take the match 3-1.

    Women’s Over 40: Selina Harper had a tough match against Natalie Lawrence which ended in the former’s favour 12-10 in the fourth after some great hitting and athleticism from both players. Natalie Davenport-Husdan, the second seed, had a great contest with Ria Gelderblom taking the first two games 13-11, 12-10 before Ria struck back in the third. But she could not maintain it and the second seed clinched the match in four.

    Women’s Over 35: Top seed Leonie Holt got her campaign off to a solid start beating Keeley Peacock in straight games while second seed Kirsty West recorded exactly the same score over Gemma Barber. West then continued her fine run with a three game win over England player Michelle Knight.

    Men’s Over 80: The elder statesmen of the game, the men’s over 80s started today and National Champion Anthony Clifford again showed good mobility and shots beating Nigel Belle in straight games. Meanwhile Leo Kingston overcame Ken Reid of Scotland after sharing the first two games and re-taking the third 12-10 he just failed to convert the fourth before Kingston won in five.

    Men’s Over 75: The big guns entered the fray today and blasted through the draw. Defending champion Ian Ross of Scotland won through 3-0 as did former champion and second seed Barry Featherstone. They were soon joined by National Champion Larry Grover. The best of the quarters was with Wales No 1 Stephen Evans who squeezed home against former World Masters Champion Chris Ansell in five.

    Men’s Over 70: Some normality was restored to this group as the seeded players reasserted themselves. Stuart Hardy, the top seed, powered through Robert Houldsworth although John Hithersay, the 3/4 seed, had a struggle with Solihull player Richard Lowe getting through 11-9 in the fourth. England star Geoff Redfern ended Keith Ragg’s run and second seed former champion Ian Graham edged three tight games against Andrew Edmondson.

    Men’s Over 65: National Champion Allen Barwise is looking in menacing form as he again powered through in straight games, this time against Kevin Connors. In the quarters he will meet American star Bruce Gordon who removed Jonathan Potter in four. In the other half Nick Gollaglee found his high risk game working as he sneaked home 11-8, 13-11, 13-11 against Scottish Champion Peter Shivas. In another upset Robert Warner continued his fine run and removed second seed and England Captain Tom Burton in four games.

    Men’s Over 60: Four matches and three of them incredibly tight and hard fought. Top seed Freddie Johnson was pushed all the way by New Zealander Tony Griffin and eventually emerged a winner in five while Darren Withey had an incredible tussle with Ray Burke recovering from two games down to get through in five. In the other half Alex Betts found himself 2-1 down to previous champion John Parkes but somehow saved the fourth 12-10 before taking the fifth and the match. A slightly more routine win for second seed Eamonn Price who controlled the power of Steve Calvert beautifully and crafted a 3-1 win.

    Men’s Over 55: John Musto is a several time USA Champion and when he visits the UK is usually successful. He had a competitive match with England star Andrew Eilfield and had to rely on his resilience to come back from 2-1 down to clinch it in five. Steve McLoughlin won this title last year and is renown for his fitness but Wales No 1 Steve Evans outlasted him in this gruelling encounter winning in four. Gavin Roger-Lund continued his dominant form against Adrian Leeson and Steve Dodridge who seems to have two modes devastating or injured continued to devastate removing another seed Sam Hanbury in straight games.

    Men’s Over 50: In an all Ireland battle David Ayerst, the top seed, took on former National Champion Nick Staunton. Staunton continually amazes with the quality of some of his squash and although he always seems knackered he keeps on producing the goods. Against the form he won a contentious match 3-1 to progress to the semis. He will there meet England star Matt Stephenson who after a 19-17 first game outlasted Chris Lynam. In the other half the other Staunton, Rob, was too solid and controlled for Wayne Beglan who must have been feeling some effects of his battle of yesterday but the Irishman was in great form to dispose of him in straight games. Rob will meet fellow Ireland International Dara O’Flynn after he recorded a superb 11-9, 11-9, 11-9 win over former champion and England Captain Paul Boyle.

    Men’s Over 45: Double British Open Champion Matt Holland is the player to beat in this age group and he was in imperious form as he despatched Matt Whitehead in straight games. It will be an interesting semi final as Armin Hameed of Germany beat Paul Warner fairly convincingly to underline his form and could challenge the champion. In the other half Alistair Coker had too much for James Greenhead today and just stayed ahead in all three games. Coker will meet Mick Biggs as the tall Middlesex left hander once again managed to get past Tim Burrell in five hard and competitive games.

    Men’s Over 40: Phil Rushworth, the Wimbledon pro, oozes class on the squash court playing beautifully constructed rallies. Steven Davies is a fine player and an England International but had no answer to the problems that Rushworth posed, 3-0 to the Surrey man. 3/4 seed Jason Varrie beat Neil Cross 3-1 in a competitive match and will now face Rushworth. In the other half the big German Julian Wollny who hits a ball harder than anyone I’ve seen recently unfortunately retired with a leg injury in the fifth game of a fantastic contest with Ross Kneller that had pace, power and shot making in abundance. Kneller now has to face former National Champion Tim Richards who came from 2/1 down to outlast Ross Gore in a very good contest. 3/2 to Richards is 48 minutes.

    Men’s Over 35: Top seed and current British Open Champion James Snell put together another masterful display as he went to work on Gordon Harpur who is no slouch himself but it was 3-0 to Snell in just over half an hour. He will meet Jamie Douglas in the semi final after he proved too strong for Ryan Atherton who had done his giant killing the day before. National finalist Chris Hall, the Warwickshire pro, produced a fantastic display of all court squash to overcome the spirited challenge of Gurbhaj Kahlon. No 2 seed Tim Vail is a former champion and although out of the age group age wise is more than a match for virtually every 35 player. He again showed his silky smooth skills controlling a powerful opponent and taking out John Welton in three close games. The Hall/Vail match is eagerly anticipated.

    So a terrific day of squash with wall to wall action and some superb skills, some triumph and heartbreak but the stage is set for some fantastic semi final match ups tomorrow. Spectators are welcome at Solihull Ardern SC and West Warwickshire Sports Complex.

    Day 4 - Saturday 8th June

    Semi-finals day at the British Open Masters and the players competing for that coveted place in a British Open Final. All to play for and the chance of glory if one reaches the Final so lots of passion and commitment from the players throughout the age range.

    Women’s Over 70: Top seed and former World Champion Pauline Douglas of Scotland is the outstanding player in this group and in the pool, she beat fellow Scot Maureen Carroll in straight games. Catherine Woodhart, the No 2 seed, kept her run going beating Susan Wastie in straight games but the second was a mammoth 17-15 to Woodhart. The final of the group between Douglas and Woodhart is tomorrow.

    Women’s Over 65: World Masters Champion Jill Campion of Wales had a close battle with England’s Lesley Sturgess winning the first two games 12-10 before running out a winner in the third. She will meet another World Masters Champion in Karen Hume who after a close 12-10 first game overpowered Lynne Davies of Wales with her strong hitting game. A much anticipated final between these two World Champions.

    Women’s Over 60: Top seed Mandy Akin continued her fine run and had too much variety in the game for Sari Niemisto of Finland and in the best match seen in the group so far won through in four games with the two middle games going to nine each way. In another pool match England Captain Polly Woodward put in a great performance to overcome talented Bea Spitse of the Netherlands in four games after losing the first. Sari Niemisto was again in action against Tammy Bennett and took the first but was then 5-10 down in the second but staged a remarkable comeback to win it 12-10. She was then 10-6 up in the third but Bennett came back to 10-10 before the Finnish player steadied herself to clinch it 12-10.

    Women’s Over 55: Wales champion and No 1 Helen Barnard played an excellent match against Brynn Jafry of the USA and never allowed her to settle. A straight games win for her and and a final against Izzy Bramhall who overcame Marja Vainio of Finland after a point-for-point first game ran away with the next two. A good final in prospect.

    Women’s Over 50: Former Open Champion Rachel Calver was in great form for her semi-final against Debbie Locke and wasted no time in imposing her elegant game on her opponent. 3-0 to Calver. Louisa Dalwood is the current National Champion and played a champion’s match to overcome Christine McMullen, the No 2 seed. From the start it was top squash with Dalwood winning the first 12-10 and McMullen the second 13-11. And then the third but Louisa struck back 11-9 before running out 3-2 winner.

    Women’s Over 45: Top seed and defending champion Catherine Ruffle is obviously the favourite here but she was forced to play her top squash by talented Katy Temple of Scotland who won the second game eventually going down 3-1 with some lovely squash from both players. Johannah Yue-Hitch from Singapore is obviously a very fine player. She took the first game against Kate Bradshaw 11-0, a rare event indeed and then went two up. Bradshaw fought back and took the third well but could not maintain the momentum and Yue-Hitch went through in four games.

    Women’s Over 40: Continuing the round-robin group in this event Ria Gelderblom played a very solid match never leaving her opponent Elaine Radcliffe many chances. A 3-0 win to Ria although it may have changed things if Elaine could have pinched the very tight second game. No 2 seed Natalie Davenport-Husdan had a cracking match with Natalie Lawrence and after going two up lost the fourth 13-11 for Lawrence to level the match. Natalie D-H re-asserted herself and hung on to take the fifth 11-8. The final match with Selina Harper promises to be of top quality.

    Women’s Over 35: The top seed Leonie Holt was in action twice today as she first of all proved too strong for Gemma Barber winning 3-0 and then again overpowered Michelle Knight. Knight returned to the court later and overcame Gemma Barber in straight games without any fuss. The final pool match will be a final between Leonie Holt and Kirsty West.

    Men’s Over 80: The round robin continues with Ken Reid of Scotland recovering from losing the first to take the next three against Nigel Belle who almost had the fourth as well but a 3-1 for the Scot. National Champion Tony Clifford dropped the first game to Leo Kingston and squeezed through the second 11-9 before asserting his game and winning through in four. A final tomorrow against Reid.

    Men’s Over 75: Ian Ross has won the British Open and the European Championship and is looking determined to add another Open. He gave Wales No 1 Steve Evans little opportunity and went through in straight games. The other side of the draw was potentially very close but twice Open Champion Barry Featherstone did not perform to his usual level giving far too many opportunities to National Champion Larry Grover who gobbled them up gratefully. 3-0 to him.

    Men’s Over 70: Stuart Hardy is top seed but was pushed hard by John Hithersay who won three Regional Championships last season. Hardy managed to keep the pace up and had the variety of shot to keep ahead and won a close 3-0. In the other semi another former champion Ian Graham, the No 2 seed, had too much game for Geoff Redfern who was forced into errors by Graham’s steady play. 3-0 to him.

    Men’s Over 65: National Champion Allen Barwise again showed his class as he overpowered a very good American player in Bruce Gordon. Barwise playing his high pace, high energy game was too much of a handful for Gordon. Straight games to the Cumbrian. In the other half Robert Warner had caused a series of upsets but had to contend with the outrageous lob and drop game of Nick Gollaglee. Gollaglee found his range and covering the court well and playing some lovely squash came through in four games.

    Men’s Over 60: With a World Masters title, European title and eight British Opens Fredrik Johnson of Sweden was top seed and favourite here. Darren Withey, the Queens Club coach, had a win over Johnson in last year’s Europeans and thought he could do it again. He could. In a fantastic match that belied the age of the players Withey came through in five games of superb squash. In the final he will meet former champion Eamonn Price after he won the latest episode in the long standing series of battles with Alex Betts of Queens Club. Price forced the errors and won through in four, 13-11 in the fourth.
    Men’s Over 55: American No 1 seed John Musto lost out in a ferocious five game match to Wales No 1 and 3/4 seed Steve Evans in a match full of great rallies and attacking shots. Musto was 2-1 up but was pegged back and was edged out 9-11 in the fifth. In the final Evans will meet Gavin Roger-Lund who had too much control for Steve Dodridge’s dynamic shot making. Dodridge took the first but Lund hit back with the next two before taking the fourth 11-9.

    Men’s Over 50: Nick Staunton of Ireland continued his stunning shot making and court craft to nullify the athletic prowess of Matt Stephenson in this semi final. Stephenson was unable to get his hard hitting rallying game going as Staunton used every inch of the court to conjure a straight games win. In an all Irish semi final Nick’s twin Rob took on Dara O’Flynn and produced a cracking match. The scores speak for themselves – 12-10, 9-11, 11-9, 9-11, 6-11 – match to O’Flynn in five games of great squash in just under an hour.

    Men’s Over 45: In the last couple of years we have not seen Matt Holland lose very often and he has won British Opens and National Championships. Here he was playing a very talented German in Armin Hameed who won the first two games with some astounding winners. Holland hanging on for his life squeezed through the third 11-9 and slowly established the ascendancy running out a winner in five very entertaining action packed games. England team mates Mick Biggs and Alistair Coker played a very competitive match which seemed to have Coker having edged the third and being 2-1 up in control but Biggs is a strong athlete and forged through the next two to book his place in the final.

    Men’s Over 40: Phil Rushworth displayed all his skills and prowess subduing Jason Varrie’s attacking game and running out a 3-0 winner. Playing beautifully controlled squash the Wimbledon pro gave a masterclass and takes his place in the final. He will face former National Champion Tim Richards who overcame Ross Kneller in straight games although Kneller almost had the second going down 10-12 but Richards overall was in charge.

    Men’s Over 35: Defending champion James Snell of Devon unfortunately did not have a match as his opponent Jamie Douglas had to pull out suffering from a trapped nerve in his back. So straight through to the final for him where he will meet Tim Vail who played with Chris Hall, one of the finest matches seen in the British Open Masters in recent years. It was cut and thrust with superb skills on show from both players with devastating power, incredible movement and sublime squash making. In the end Vail came through in five games. One can only hope it hasn’t taken too much from him before facing Snell tomorrow.

    So the finalists are decided after days of incredible squash and we have reached the finals for the iconic and coveted British Open titles. Play will start on Sunday at 10.00am at Solihull Ardern SC and as always spectators are welcome to watch some wonderful age group squash.

    Day 5 - Sunday 9th June

    The iconic British Open Squash Championships were instigated in 1930 and from 1965 started Masters (or age group events) adding five year groups until the current over 35 to over 80 events were established. This year the Masters events had Men's Championships from 35 to 80 and Women's events from 35 to 70.

    Staged in conjunction with the Professional Squash Association Platinum event and with the support of Dunlop, the Masters were at Solihull Arden Squash Club and also West Warwickshire Sports Complex. It was a truly international event with nearly 300 players from 20 different countries. Five days of fantastic Squash culminating in The Finals, for the coveted British Open titles.

    Women’s Over 70. Played in a round robin the top seed Pauline Douglas of Scotland was a class apart. A twice World Masters Champion and five time British Open winner she swept all before her. Catherine Woodhart came second.

    Women’s Over 65. A group with two World Masters Champions and very competitive. Jill Campion of Wales plays a very measured game using height and length while Karen Hume is a powerful striker of the ball. They always have great battles and this was no different. The first two games went to Jill 13/11, 12/10. and then the third for her fifth Open.

    Women’s Over 60. Another World Masters Champion showing her class in this group was Mandy Akin of Kent. Played in a pool of players Akin was unbeaten taking her tenth British Open. The runner up from Finland was Sari Niemisto who beat a field of Internationals.

    Women’s Over 55. Wales No. 1 Helen Barnard was the player to beat and no one could. Multi-racket sport maestro Izzy Bramall recovering from injury could not stop the athletic Barnard in the final. 3/0 and another title to Wales. A first for Barnard.

    Women’s Over 50. A strong group where the players have wins against each other. The stand out player is Rachel Calver and she took on National Champion Louisa Dalwood. A fantastic contest won in four by Calver but the middle two game went to 12/14. 19/17. and it was all close with great squash from both players. A second British Open for Calver.

    Women’s Over 45. Top seed Catherine Ruffle was unbeaten last season and a 'Player of the Year'. But she could not make headway again Joannah Yue-Hitch of Singapore who played a flawless game to nullify her opponent's speed and retrieving. 3/0 and a first title to her.

    Women’s Over 40. Selina Harper is already a British Open winner but her match with Natalie Davenport-Hudson was always going to be a close contest. And so it proved, with one player gaining the ascendancy then the other. It went to the fifth and it was Natalie that prevailed for the title.

    Women’s Over 35. Leonie Holt the Warwickshire County Champion was top seed here and was unstoppable through the pool matches. Kirsty West nearly matched her but in the final match it was Holt who emerged the stronger on the day. A four game win and the title.

    Men’s Over 80. Our game's Elder Statesmen, the over 80s played in a round robin of four. Once again National Champion Anthony Clifford prevailed but was given a shock by Ken Reid of Scotland winning in five. Leo Kingston came second by virtue of his 3/2 win over Reid.

    Men’s Over 75. National Champion Larry Grover had removed former Champion Barry Featherstone and may have felt confident, but defending Champion Ian Ross the Scotland No. 1 had other ideas and playing intelligent squash dominated the match. A third British Open for him.

    Men’s Over 70. The England Squash Masters Chairman Stuart Hardy versus Veterans Club of GB Chairman Ian Graham, a former Open and National Champion. After a cagey first game, that went to Hardy, he powered through the next two to take the title - in his fifth British Open final.

    Men’s Over 65. Allen Barwise is the National Champion and was clear favourite here having beaten Nick Gollaglee comfortably last season. But Gollaglee's idiosyncratic lob and drop game was on song and with some incredible shots he came through 11/9 in the fifth for his first title.

    Men’s Over 60. Darren Withey once again had removed eight time Champion Freddie Johnson of Sweden and must have felt this could be his year. Former Open Champion Eammon Price is always the most efficient of players having once again edged out the all action Alex Betts in five, was in no mood for compromise. His ball control was superb and he allowed Withey nothing. 3/0 to the Hertfordshire man.

    Men’s Over 55. Some very tough matches all through this draw but the last two were England's Gavin Roger-Lund who played a lot of his Squash in South Africa, and Wales No. 1 Steve Evans who had removed defending champion Stephen McLoughlin. The Englishman was in superb form in the final and took the title in straight games.

    Men’s Over 50. It looked like any of the top eight could win this event. Five of them were Irish Internationals and two got through to the Final. Former National and Open Champion Nick Staunton is a superb player mixing up the game with clever angles and deception. Fitter than of late he nullified Dara O'Flynn's powerful hitting and ran out a worthy winner.

    Men’s Over 45. Two finalists here who have battled with each other numerous times. Top seed and Champion for the last two years Matt Holland met England Captain Mick Biggs. It is always a hard match but Holland has the edge. They shared the first two and Biggs went ahead in the third. But Holland found his range and sneaked it 15/13 before taking the fourth. A third British Open for the Colets player.

    Men’s Over 40. The Wimbledon Club pro Phil Rushworth has been in three British Open finals and this year, as top seed he was not going to lose another one. Playing beautifully controlled squash he just had a bit too much for 2023 National Champion Tim Richards. Two hard games to the Surrey man and then the third for the win.

    Men’s Over 35. Some absolutely superb squash in this group. The semi final between Chris Hall a many time Warwickshire Champion and Tim Vail was a classic. The sublimely skilful Vail took a brutal match in five. In the final Devon's James Snell was the defending Champion was also ESM Player of the Year. He had a walkover in the semi as his opponent was injured. In the final as he was just too good and Snell took the match in straight games.

    Thanks were made to the Professional Squash Association who had supported the event and sponsors Dunlop.

    Also, thanks were made to Solihull Arden Squash Club and West Warwickshire Sports Complex, the England Squash Referees, the ESM Committee who ran the event and the incomparable Event Manager Brian Brock.

    Stuart Hardy

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