Northumbria County Closed 2024 – Results

This year’s Northumbria Senior County Closed was held at Tynemouth Squash Club, where we witnessed a week of intense battles and remarkable performances, cementing the tournament’s reputation as a premier event in the region’s squash calendar. With participants competing across 7 categories, the tournament brought together the best of Northumbria’s squash community.

We can’t talk about this week without mentioning the distressing scenes on Thursday night when county chairman John Thompson was rushed into hospital after a medical emergency which saw people at the club jump to John’s aid. John has since made a strong enough recovery to return home and says “I hope to see everyone soon, huge thanks again to all those who helped to save me on Thursday night”. We’re all thrilled to hear John is doing well and wish him a full and speedy recovery.

Men’s Event
In the men’s event, Michael Mattimore completed his title defence by beating 2-time champion Liam Gutcher 3-0 (11/9 – 11/6 – 11/7) in a tense and testing final. Michael now has an impressive 100% win rate from his 3 county men’s finals and has beaten a different opponent on every occasion, but he still has a while to go to catch Dave Barnett’s 13 consecutive wins.

Women’s Event
The women’s final saw a new finalist in Mia Smith, the current GU19 county champion, who faced the current champion, Hannah Cliff. Mia represented herself excellently in the final, being involved in some awe-inspiring rallies, but Hannah used all of her skill and experience to come out on top and win her 3rd women’s title in 8 years (11/5 – 11/4 – 11/6).

Racketball Event
Tom Cornell returned to defend his racketball title, but 1 seed Alex Cahill proved too strong and prevailed in the best-of-3 final (11/3 – 11/4) to win his 1st title.

Doubles Event
In the fast and frenetic final match between Emma Turnbull/Jonathan Wright and Chris Wiggins/Alex Cahill, the latter emerged victorious with a score of 11/6 – 11/6, thanks in-part to Cahill’s confidence following his early Racketball win. This win helped Wiggins regain the title he previously won with Ryan Doran in 2022.

Masters Events
Simon Long upset the seeding in the MO45’s final to win his maiden title after beating the favourite and no.1 seed Peter McCleod 3-2 (11/8 – 11/8 – 4/11 – 6/11 – 11/6), bringing Peter’s reign over this category to an end after 5 years.

In the MO55’s Richard Bradley reached his 2nd final in as many years, but his opponent Steve Calvert proved too much as he won the event in 3 games, despite an edgy final game tiebreaker (11/8 – 11/1 – 15/13).

The MO65’s also saw a first-time winner, as Steve Ross overcame a 2-game deficit to defeat Alan Coates 3 games to 2 (11/13 – 9/11 – 11/3 – 11/6 – 11/4) and claim the trophy.

Graded Events
There were a host of upsets in the B event, which led to 3/4 seed Matt Lilley facing off against unseeded Eric Mok in the final. Eric got off to a clinical start to lead 2-0, but Matt never gave up winning the 3 remaining games, all of which went to a tie-breaker (8/11 – 8/11 – 13/11 – 12/10 – 12/10).

The C event also had a surprise finalist, no.1 seed Ian Morton played Alex Warren who had recently returned from a long hiatus from squash and reached a final in his first event back. Ian just had enough to edge past Alex and won 3-1 after a mammoth 1st game (17/15 – 11/8 – 10/12 – 11-9).

Top seed Amanda King reached the final of the D event without dropping a game while her opponent Paul Tiffin needed 5 games to win his semi-final. Amanda continued her fine form to beat Paul by 3 games to 1 (9/11 – 11/8 – 11/6 – 11/9).

Plate Events
There was a whole host of plate finals that were fiercely contested:

A Plate
Chris Thompson bt Tom Cornell (11/5 – 11/8 – 11/9).

B Plate
Ben Tudor bt Ross Mazzucchi (11/8 – 11/5 – 10/12 – 11/9).

C Plate
Paul McAdam bt Joel Birch-Machin (11/9 – 11/5 – 7/11 – 9/11 – 11/8).

D Plate
Stuart Mitchell bt Joric Gebhard (11/7 – 11/8 – 11/4).

Women’s Plate
Katie Barker bt Zoe Shipsey (11/3 – 11/9 – 11/4).

MO45 Plate
Paul McAdam bt James Gilbert (11/8 – 11/7 – 11/9).

MO55 Plate
Steve Brown bt Stuart Mitchell (11/5 – 9/11 – 11/2 – 11/4).

MO65 Plate
Ken Willis bt Steve Cubbins (11/6 – 11/6 – 11/6).

Racketball Plate
Tom Mulligan bt Steve Brown (12/10 – 11/8 – 11/6).

Congratulations to the winners, runners-up and everyone who participated in the tournament and a huge thank you to Steve Cubbins, Louise Robertson, Dave Armstrong and all those who volunteered their time to make this event a success.

Adam Coates

More photos courtesy of Steve Cubbins.

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