SOME of the hottest young talent in UK squash will descend on Newcastle this month, with the return of a traditional festive treat for fans of the sport across the region.
The 2021 Gosforth Classic returns to Northern Rugby and Squash Club in its traditional spot in the last weekend before Christmas – after a one-year Covid-inspired absence – and will feature three of the world’s top 100 players…
And one who is on the brink of the world’s top 30!
The tournament is a $2860 Professional Squash Association licensed satellite event – and again supported by long-term sponsors, Newcastle-based Lowes Financial Management.
24-year-old Patrick Rooney leads the seedings in the professional event. A sublime shot-maker, the Merseysider is at an all-time career high of 31 in the world rankings, and is an established England international.
But he will have to fight hard to wrest the title from the grip of reigning champion and World No 63, Richie Fallows. Another England player, the 26-year-old Londoner is an adopted Geordie with the Northern crowd, after thrilling them in recent years with his athletic and tenacious displays.
Two brothers from New Zealand – Lwamba and Temwa Chileshe – are also right in the mix for the top cash prize and precious pro ranking points. Lwamba, who beat Newcastle’s top player Max Forster 3-0 in an exhibition last year, is one year the senior at 22-years-old, and just two places higher than Temwa in the Kiwi rankings, playing for his country at No 2. With both ranked in or around the world’s top 100, they bring real pedigree and international flavour to the tournament.
Winchester’s Jared Carter is another contender; a former British Junior Champion, the 20-year-old is one of the fastest improving young players in the British game and will be desperate to make his mark at this level.
Scottish pro Martin Ross heads up a strong contingent from North of the Border in a tournament which is now attracting county standard players from across the country.
There is a biggest-ever entry in the graded (B & C) events, with 72 players of all ages taking part.
Attendance is free and spectators are welcome at a tournament which has rapidly become established as one of the most vibrant and well-attended tournaments on the North of England squash circuit.
Also a big thank you to sponsors Quality Solicitors Lawson & Thompson, CM Stringers, Northumbria Squash, Northern FC, CWS Double Glazing Repairs.
The Gosforth Classic runs from Friday Dec 17 to Sunday Dec 19 at Northern Rugby and Squash Club, McCracken Park, Gosforth, with play commencing at 6pm.