BARNETT DEFENDS , BEECROFT GETS UPSET WIN.
The county closed took place at Tynemouth Squash Club with the usual Mens and Ladies events being joined for the first timewith Masters events. With around 90 entrants competing it was a great start to squash in 2013 and the finals were played in front of a packed house despite the severe weather
The Mens draw was headed by defending champion Dave Barnett with Paul Lord and Liam Gutcher his main opposition. The early rounds went to seeding with the top 3 seeds sailing through to the semi-finals without dropping a game and they were joined in the semis by Jon Evans who narrowly beat Sunderlands Chris Clinton 3-2. Barnett continued his smooth run with a 3-0 win over Evans to get to his 13th successive final and was joined there by Gutcher who was in his first after a upset 3-2 win over Paul Lord.
In the final Barnett started fast and took early control winning the first 2 games quite comfortably with Gutcher looking like he was tired from his tough semi-final. The third game however was very tight with Gutcher upping the pace and led most of the way through the game but just came up short as Barnett edged it 12-10 to win his 10th successive County Title.
From when the draw was made the ladies event was always looking like a repeat of last years final between Tynemouth Girls Sam Ward and Lucy Beecroft. Ward had won the last 2 years and sailed through to her 3rd final beating Emma Barnett 3-0 in the semi-final, Beecroft was just as comfortable in her semi-final against Northerns Karen Heron and set up the expected final.
Beecroft has been in good form in the recent British Junior Open where she finished a veyr impressive 6th place and this form looked to be too hot for Ward as she took a comfortable first game. Ward however from then on competed much better and after a close loss in the second Ward won the 3rd and it was looking like a 3rd title could happen, Beecroft had other ideas though and took control again in the 4th and won her first County Title at the young age of 16!
For the first time Masters events were included in the county closed and they proved to be a great success with some great matches.
The O45 event had 15-time county champion Bryan Beeson topping the draw but it wasn’t to be another title as Glenn Ward played a blinder to take him out in the semi-final 3-1. Ward then played equally well to beat Alnwicks Russell Hunter 3-0 in the final to take the title.
The O55 event was led by number 1 seed and ex-county player Ronnie Freeman from Alnwick. Freeman was the big favourite and duly made the final with 3-0 wins, he was joined there by Eldon’s Alan Coates who squeezed past organiser Jim Douglas 12-10 in the 5th! Freemans dominance continued in the final with a 3-0 win but coates put up a fight with the 3rd game going to14-12.
The Ladies O40 event was won by Sue Beecroft to make it a Beecroft double over the weekend, she seen off Tynemouth team mates Nicky Dobson and Louise Robertson.
There were mens ‘B’ and ‘C’ events with players from varied clubs and standards competing. The ‘B’ event was an all junior final with Cai Younger beating Northern team mate Alex Robertson 3-0 in the final. The ‘C’ event was an all Westoe affair with Steve Robson beating Ryan Hall in a very close 3-0.
Great event, a big thanks to Tynemouth Squash Club and all event organisers.