Thrilling Squash Finals Keep Crowd on Edge

26 May 2023

We were treated to some amazing and thoroughly entertaining squash during our Club Championships Finals last Sunday, with some extremely close matches.

In the A-Grade final, reigning champion Steve Davies faced new challenger Steve Evans and it turned into a 1 hour 15-minute epic. Davies established a commanding two game lead with some brutal hitting, combined with some quick boasts, and looked destined for a comfortable win. Evans had been on the back foot, seemingly unable to gain a toehold in the match, but in the third he forced himself up the court, taking the ball earlier and putting more pressure on Davies. 2-0 gradually became 2-2 after some long and draining rallies, with Evans taking the 4th game 15-9 and looking in control.  In the 5th, it was anyone’s match, with both players giving everything to gain an advantage. There was rarely more than 1 point in it and at 12-12 it was impossible to call the winner. Davies eventually dug in and took the final game 15-13 to retain his title, but it was a match that neither player deserved to lose.

The Ladies’ final between Rachel Kirkby and Juliet Johnson was nearly as close and just as dramatic. After sharing the first two games, the key game was the third. Juliet built a 10-6 lead but Rachel fought back to 12-12. The players then traded points, with some fine squash being played. The tension was unbearable as both had multiple game balls before Rachel eventually won the game 21-19. Juliet fought back to take the 4th game 15-8 but Rachel kept her composure and managed to keep ahead in the final game – taking it 15-9 to win the title.

In the B-grade final, Daryl Brooks was facing Edward Bogira and looked a strong favourite given their relative league positions. In the event, Edward put up a fighting performance but could not cope with the power and speed of Daryl when he was at the front of the court; Daryl eventually winning 3-0.

In the plate finals, there was also some great squash on display. In the A Plate final, the experienced Phil Jenkins was playing up-and-coming youngster Jonathan Towers and it turned into quite a tussle. Phil took the first game easily but Jonathan showed his battling qualities as he won the last five points of the second game to take it 15-10. Phil ran away with the third 15-6 but the 4th was a real battle, with Phil just managing to close it out 15-12 to take the title (before admitting afterwards he was on his last legs!)

The B Plate final saw Alex Buckhurst taking on Sean Matheiken, and seemingly a strong favourite. However, Sean came out of the blocks fast and surprised Alex with his speed around the court and tricky drop shots, taking the first game by a very tight 16-14 scoreline. The next two games were both close, but Alex’s greater experience was crucial in the tight moments, and he managed to win them both, 15-13, 15-12, before closing out the match 15-10 to take the title as Sean tired slightly towards the end.

A great afternoon of squash! Many thanks to all of our markers, Tony, John and Phil, and especially to all who came to watch and support and help make the afternoon so memorable.