Newcastle Northern Classic 2015
There was a great weekend of squash at the Newcastle Northern Classic closed satellite competition on the weekend of 24/25/26 October. A bumper entry of local players, including 18 juniors, were there to test themselves in an A, B and C competition. The A event also included some pros who had travelled from as far afield as Hertfordshire, Manchester and Liverpool.
For some of the juniors it was their first taste of playing in an adult graded event and they acquitted themselves very well. There were notable victories against seeded opponents for Tom Cornell (Northern), Liam Kahn (Northern), John Thompson (Northern) and Matthew Walsh (Tynemouth).
The C event final proved to be a real Northumberland affair with Paul Bell (Newbiggin) facing off against Simon Broach (Ashington). Simon`s hard hitting style helped him snatch the first game but Paul`s experience held him in good stead and he ran out a 3–1 winner. Conner Lawless (University) beat Dave North (Northern) in the plate final.
The B event final was a massive contrast in styles with the shot selection and accuracy of Emma Gregson (Jesmond/Northern) against the dogged determination of Martin Bone (Eldon Square). Martin ran himself to a standstill but Emma had just too many nicks in her repertoire and ran out a 3–1 winner. Eric Mok (Eldon Square) won a one sided plate final against John Armstrong (Newbiggin).
The A event saw our best local players testing themselves against the visiting pros from around the country. One of the matches of the tournament pitted our county champion Dave Barnett against number one seed and defending champion NicK Mulvey. Nick raced to a 2-0 lead but then Dave pulled it back to 2–2 and with the help of a partisan crowd took an early lead in the fifth. It wasn`t to be, however, and Nick pulled away to take the match.
Nick Mulvey (Herts) and second seed Julian Tomlinson (Lancs beat Connor Sheen (Merseyside) and Northern`s own Cai Younger in the semi finals before facing off in the final… and what a marathon it proved to be, 80 minutes for a 3–0 win!
Tomlinson tried to nullify Mulvey`s attacking game with his attritional style and he got so close but he couldn`t quite close out the important points at the end of each game and Mulvey triumphed 12–10, 12–10, 13–11. Can he make it three in a row if he returns next season?
The sponsors for the event were Prestwick Care, Coffee Quarter, Sabre Sports and Northumbria Squash. Northern`s Coaches, Liam Gutcher, Matt Hardy, Cai Younger and Richard Vitty worked hard throughout the event to make it a success.
Some photos from the weekend to share.
Richard Vitty/Liam Gutcher