Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Squash Tournament Report, September 2016

Aberdeen Squash Racquets Club – September 24th/ 25th – Men’s PSA Satellite Event and Ladies Open

Markers set down, left, right and centre

It was a wise sporting icon who told us, “Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind.” With this in mind, the weekend’s smorgasbord of excellent squash at Aberdeen Squash Raquets Club offered up age-free displays of skill and commitment. The progressive chiefs at Scottish Squash accorded the event PSA Satellite status, and the initiative was rewarded with a strong turnout of Scotland’s best Men and Women. By the time proceedings concluded, Kevin Moran had triumphed in the PSA event, and 15-year-old Georgia Adderley romped home to win the Ladies Open.

Given the entry in the Men’s event, it was no surprise that every point was contested from the start. To win, Kevin had to see off a series of battling opponents – Michael Ross, Jack Orr, Stuart George (11-7,11-8,11-6) and Rory Stewart (11-7,11-7,11-6). The level of play tested everyone’s court management, and especially accuracy of touch. 3-0 scorelines, as we know, don’t necessarily mean a one-sided affair, and this was certainly the case here, where, especially against Rory and Stuart, Kevin had to sustain prolonged attacks and apply pressure in all corners of the court to win through. Skilled use of the hold and characteristically impressive movement meant that he justified his No. 1 seeding. But with Jamie Henderson, Chris Leiper, Richard Hollins and young Alasdair Prott all pressing throughout the weekend, and others not too far behind, the event really forced players to show their mettle and set down markers for the competitive and representative schedule ahead.

“I am delighted we got such a strong turn-out,” commented National Coach Paul Bell. “This was a great opportunity to see many of the country’s top players on court against each other, rather than training together. And to have it at a great club like ASRC is a bonus – too often our players have to put in huge travelling for PSA events. So this and the other Closed Satellites we’ve got coming up this season will help us take the sport forward.

Similarly, with only Elspeth Young absent from amongst the top Women players, and a welcome return from Robyn Hodgson, the Ladies Open saw much jostling for position in a group which becomes increasingly important, as the National Women’s Team has the major challenge of the European Team Championships Division 2 to look forward to in the spring. Endeavour and excellence were the order of the day. Claire Gadsby, No. 1 seed, had a major battle in the semi-final against Robyn, but was unable to rise to the same level in the final against the force of nature that is Georgia Adderley of Edinburgh. A straight games 11-6,11-4, 12-10 win for her, after an earlier defeat of Carrie Hallam, really indicates her continuing development, and promises much. And below that group who will contest international places, other young women showed the fruits of their hard work and progress, to assure the watching crowds and coaches that there is a bright future ahead on the women’s side too.


For everyone, the weekend ensured new targets for players and coaches. The Senior Ranking and Graded Junior B Tournament, running in parallel, also saw all Divisions well-contested. Complementing the successful PSA Satellite and the Ladies Open, this showed the popularity of both the venue and the sport. Full marks all round.

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