Whitchurch ten do battle on squash finals' night

Biffer Gibson, Nathan Routley and Erdogan Ince

Biffer Gibson, Nathan Routley and Erdogan Ince

First published in Other Sport

Whitchurch Squash Club KO competitions featured 70 entrants from the first round in February which was whittled down to ten for finals night.

The first matches were the Handicap KO semi-finals, Alex Melkonian starting on one played Glenn Damen (14) in the best of five to 25 points. Alex proved himself better than the handicap despite the fitness and endless running from Glenn winning 3-1. In the other semi defending champion Nathan Routley, starting on five, played Ben Train off ten. The first game was both long and competitive narrowly won by Nathan who then easily won the next two with Ben's lack of court time telling.

The club championship saw current champion Brett Farmer against Vets’ captain Rob King, which despite the gulf in both years and energy was close with Rob playing some intelligent shots to win the second game. Brett eventually triumphed 3-1 but King's competitiveness made sure all games were keenly fought. In the other semi Alex Melkonian faced top Vet Erdogan Ince, but the combination of his earlier excursions and the guile and match skills of Ince produced an upset with Ince winning 3-1 in a gruelling contest.

The first ever Racquetball final was a one-sided contest with Biffer Gibson out hitting a tired Rob King for a hollow victory.

In the Handicap final Nathan Routley repeated last year’s win against a enthusiastic but exhausted Alex Melkonian. Nathan covered the court and returned everything and in the end won very convincingly. He is still clearly improving and needs to set his sights higher for next season as this competition certainly brings out the best in him.

The Club Championship final of Farmer v Ince was a rerun of last year which Brett had won easily 3-0 and this turned out to be the match of the night. Farmer youthfully powered his way to a 2-1 lead and looked favourite but Ince, sensing an opportunity, outwitted Farmer to level the match 2-2. The desire to win would decide this equally balanced contest and Ince's inbuilt competitiveness and determination somehow overcame the 30-year age gap to reverse the rankings for a brilliant and deserved win.

The evening was well supported and all the matches were played competitively but fairly a credit to the sportsmanship of all the finalists.

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