Friday was Quarter Finals day for the Masters and there were some eagerly awaited matches.
The ever-inspirational over 80s were on court and the two matches went to five games. All the players are Champions multi – times in British, European and World events and it is a pleasure to see them. For the record, Pat Kirton (SRY) beat John Woodliffe (GLR) and Vincent Taylor the Canadian based Scot beat current World Masters Champion Lance Kinder (HPH). In the Men’s 75s the seeded players progressed and four time World Champion Adrian Wright (YKS) now meets Nigel Belle (KNT) while top seed Mike Clemson(YKS) plays Ken Reid (SCO) in the semi finals.
Phil Ayton (SSX) has been GB no. 1 and won a host of Masters titles but he nearly went home today. Guernsey star Larry Grover has won two Regionals this year and beaten the best in England. He went two games up but Ayton has not been a World Champion for nothing and he pulled it back to win in five.
He now meets Scotland’s top seed Ian Ross. In a repeat of the British Open final Howard Cherlin (MDX) beat Aubrey Waddy (BUX) 3/2 while defending Champion and no. 2 seed Barry Featherstone (HPH) beat Scotland’s Alex Sinclair 3/1.
The 65s has been interesting so far, and continued to entertain! Judge John Goodrich, (SFK) the defending Champion had two match points against Richard Whitehouse (SFD) but lost them to lose 16/14 in the fifth. Amazingly, the second 16/14 in the fifth for Whitehouse in two days. Top seed Steve Johnson (LNC) overcame the dangerous John Howie of Scotland 3/1 and 2nd seed Geoff Redfern (WKS) overwhelmed Joe Richardson ((BKS) after his wobbly yesterday.
The 60s went to form as Avon’s Jeremy Goulding, unbeaten this season powered through Tom Burton (HRF) and now meets defending Champion Allen Barwise (LNS) who beat club mate Ian Bradburn 3/1. In the other half, the silky skills of Gordon McManus (KNT) accounted for Simon Evenden (NHT) while Jon Evans the Wales no. 1 stopped Mark Cowley’s comeback from injury.
The 55s are lining up well with defending Champion Mark Woodliffe (GLS) powering through to meets Queens Club’s Alex Betts. In the other half second seed Eammon Price went down in five to Steve Calvert (NHB) who will meet Greg Loach who ended Darren Withey’s run.
The Men’s 50s continues to confuse. After beating the top seed Duane Harrison (KNT) went down to Stuart Milton( BKS) who will now meet Phil Yerby (BUX) who put out Hampshire’s Steve McLoughlin, a former National and Open Champion. Matthew Oxley of Notts looks dangerous in the other half beating Rick Weatherley 3/0 and will now face multiple Champion Yawar Abbas (DCL) in a semi.
The 45s will see a new champion as Nick Staunton (WKS) went down in five to Jonathan Gallagher (DVN). He now faces top seed Mike McLaughlin (MDX), while county colleague Paul Boyle faces Jonathan Gliddon (DVN) who stunned second seed Nick Wall (YKS).
Jamie Goodrich (NFK) continued through the 40s at the expense of Nick Hargreaves ((NOT) and will play Scotland no. 1 Stuart Ayton. The talented Matt Marshall (BUX) takes on Wiltshire star Adam Giles who has removed a 5/8 seed and then a 3/4 seed in the form of Mike Potter (CHS). Double handed legend Peter Marshall (NOT) continued his charge in the Men’s over 35 demolishing Keith Timms (HFD) but in the other half Darren Lewis (LEC) threatens and meets Surrey’s Phil Nightingale in the semis.
To the Women’s events. There were wins for Rebecca Czuczman (KNT) and Sheelagh Shane-Carter( LEC) in the 65s and in the 60s a World Class draw pits British Open Champion Sian Johnson of Wales against former World Champion Karen Hume (KNT), while double World Champion Julie Field (YKS) meets current World Champion Jill Campion (MDX). Great squash in store!
The top four in the 55s came through and Many Akin (KNT) will play Lesley Sturgess (DBY) who had a tough match with Avon’s Pippa Green. In the other half second seed Fiona McLean of Scotland is looking to reach the final at the expense of Hilary Kenyon of Cheshire. The Akin / McLean rivalry has produced some of the most competitive matches in the Masters events.
The 50s has been predictable so far with the top four reaching the semis. Rachel Woolford (WKS)the defending Champion will play second seed Nikki Fowler (CHS) while top seed Andrea Santamaria (YKS) will take on Wales no. 1 Helen Barnard for a place in the final.
The 3/4 seeds in the Women’s 45s had tight matches but both got through. Isabelle Tweedle (SRY) a former European Champion now plays top seed Rachel Woodward (NOT) while Sam Mueller (BUX) meets Rachel Calver ( LEC) in semi finals.
In the 40s Nicki Green (NOR) upset the seedings taking out Kate Bradshaw (CBE) and now meets British and European Champion Keeley Johnson in the semis. The 35s saw the top seeds all arrive in the semi finals but the favourite is former World Ranked star Lauren Briggs (ESX) the British and European Champion.
The semis will provide some great squash and spectators are welcome at Nottingham Squash Club to view some World Class Masters Squash.