Martin wins Over 50s title

Players from all corners of Yorkshire headed to Abbeydale for this year’s Yorkshire Over 50s tournament.

From North Yorkshire the redoubtable Ray Burke.
From West Yorkshire Prem Sispal and Andy Heap.
From the East Riding, Steve Forster.
From South Yorkshire, Steve Blacksell, Ged Martin, and Guy Grayson.
And from the Peoples Republic of Barnsley, Phil Wakefield.

The format was two leagues of 4 – the Nick Mathew League and the James Willstrop League. PAR scoring to 11 – best of 3 games.

Ged and Ray proved to be the strongest players and cruised through their respective leagues with neither losing a game. The battle for places in the Nick Mathew league couldn’t have been closer with Andy getting 4 points with a 2-1 win over Guy, but losing 2-0 to Ray and Phil, and with Guy and Phil both amassing 5 points, with Guy beating Phil 2-1, so Guy, having beaten Phil, went through as runner up.

In the Willstrop league Steve Forster was fast out of the blocks taking the first game against Blacksell comfortably, but Blacksell dug in and with Forster running out of gas, managed to win 2-1. Prem, fresh from a level 3 coaching course hit the ball superbly and had too much for Forster, but couldn’t make headway against Blacksell’s retrieving so Blacksell finished as runner up in the Willstrop League.

So the semi finals were between the winner and runner up in the two leagues – Ray played Stephen and Ged Played Guy. Both matches were competitive but Ray and Ged eventually overcame their opponents in well fought and close(ish) 2-0’s.

The Grand Final was between Ged Martin – shortly to play for England (again) in this years Home Internationals and the new over 50 on the Block, Ray Burke MBE. The pace was fast and furious and the hitting ferocious as the ball pinged around the Court. Ged used all his experience and kept it that little bit tighter in the key moments and managed to close out the match in two hard fought ultra competitive games.

The magnificent Yorkshire Over 50 Closed trophy (so magnificent that Mrs Blacksell had refused it house room last year) was awarded to a previous custodian, Ged for a further years safekeeping. Blacksell won the 3rd and 4th place play off against Grayson 2-0, Prem beat Phil and Andy beat Steve so the finishing order for the day was 1. Ged, 2. Ray, 3. Blacksell, 4. Guy, 5. Prem, 6. Phil, 7. Andy, 8. Steve.

Thanks to all for entering. Thanks to Abbeydale and Neil Guirey for allowing us the use of the Courts. Thanks to the Sports Club for our sandwich lunch.

And thanks to Yorkshire Squash (and their sponsor Allam Marine) for their financial contribution, and in particular Mike Clemson without whose gentle encouragement the event wouldn’t have happened.

Until next year.

Stephen

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