Wiltshire Squash

Over 35's Championship 2014/15

Saturday 7 March - Sunday 8 March 2015

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Draw Type 
Finalists / Top Two 
Men's Over 35 Championships 2014/152x5 Pool with Play-Off1st Nigel Rowe; 2nd Dave Ridgway3-0 (9/5, 9/2, 9/0)Details
The Wiltshire Over-35s Closed - Marlborough, 7/8 March 2015

This was a tournament with so much promise and by the end of February we had a healthy field of some 21 entrants. All the likely contenders - including the youngsters and the old boys; the best players in the county and some of the injured crocks. However at dawn on the Saturday we were down to just 11 and by the start at 10am we had dropped again to just 9.

I've run this tournament for many years and normally I can count on 3 people (probably the same three) to mess me about and then drop out. Not at all sure what happened this year but entrants were dropping like flies.

Never-the-less we had a great tournament with some keen pairings. On the Saturday we had two pools with everyone playing 3 or 4 games. With one pool of 5 and one pool of 4 we agreed on PAR scoring for the group of 5 and standard scoring for the group of 4. This gave us Plate and Main semi's and no surprises with the top 4 seeds ending-up in the semi's.

On the Sunday play was a little more traditional. Two great games in the morning between Rowe/Skull and Ridgway/Peirce. John Peirce had the excuse that he'd been on nights and was somewhat lacking in sleep! However, he made a good game of it - but Dave's accuracy and power was just too much to live with. In the other Semi it looked like Mark was going to have a seriously tough time after going down 9/1 in the first. He got to grips with Nigel's game in the second and caused more of a problem; by the third he'd covered much of the court and is old legs were starting to suffer.

Over in the plate we'd had a last minute withdrawal giving Mike Stannard a bye to the final. Meanwhile yours truly was matched against Nev Buckle to fight it out. I don't remember much of the match - but I do remember that the first game lasted forever. I think we got to 2-2 and then proceeded to hand-in and hand-out for the next 10 minutes with nobody progressing! After that Nev pulled away. I came back into it in the second and  took the game to level it. After that the mind had every shot covered, but sadly the body let me down - I was knackered.

The Plate final, on first, saw a fresh Stannard vs a 'warmed-up' Nev Buckle. I'm never sure where the advantage lies in these circumstances. Nev and Mike have played each other a fair few times. Most recently a couple of weeks ago when Mike came out on top. On this occasion Nev had the bit between his teeth  and made very short work of the three games. Just not allowing Mike to settle and always aware of the Stannard boast.  Plate title to Buckle - the new Plate holder for 2015.

Nige Rowe was in no mood to allow Dave Ridgway to settle at all. Dave is such a dangerous player - who can match the best for spells of play; Nigel wasn't about to let Dave get into his stride. Compared to all the other games we saw Nigel play yesterday or even earlier against Mark - this was a step up and it was very evident. Nigel can be a generous player - allowing his opponent to have a good run and feel like he was in the match. Not today. In the first game Dave's class was obvious. In the opening half of the game Dave was absolutely emphatic. He dominated, was accurate combined with furious hitting and speed around court. It was very much like Dave had hit a vein of form that may see an upset. Nigel just didn't have an answer for this opening from Dave. However, he started to get a toehold, tightened up his game and started moving Dave around the court. With the first game under his belt he was able to move Dave everywhere and stifle his shotmaking. By the third game Dave was fighting just to get a single point. Nigel in control and Dave scrabbling. In the end a superb display by Nigel of how to lift your game to another level and relentlessly keep the pressure on - in every shot. A display by Dave of the massive potential that we all know he has - his legs letting him down in the end - a very real threat that, on his day, is a real handful - we all want to see more of those days.

Mike Hyland - Organiser.

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