North of England Masters 2011-12

Friday 23 September - Sunday 25 September 2011

General Info:
Registration Fees:
Age Groups:
Website: Website Link
Map: Map Link
Draw Type 
Finalists / Top Two 
Men's Over 3516 DrawNick Wall bt Jamie Goodrich3-0 (11/2,11/8,11/9)
Men's Over 4016 DrawAndrew Cross bt Glen Ragou3-1 (7/11,11/6,11/6,11/6)
Men's Over 4516 DrawMurray Scott bt Marc Aldridge3-0 (9/3,9/0,9/0)
Men's Over 5032 DrawJon Evans bt Steve Bateman3-1 (9/2,3/9,9/2,9/0)
Men's Over 5532 DrawSteve Johnson bt Colin Shields3-0 (9/3,9/5,9/1)
Men's Over 6032 DrawBarry Featherstone bt Allen Brown3-1 (4/9,9/2,9/3,9/6)
Men's Over 658 DrawMartin Pearse by Mike Clemson3-2 (4/9,7/9,9/5,10/8,9/5)
Men's Over 702x3 Pool Adrian Wright bt Andrew Beeston3-0 (10/9,9/1,9/5)
Women's Over 35/405 Pool1st Beverly Mackay; 2nd Andrea SantamariaPool
Women's Over 452x3 Pool Nicky Horn bt Bea De Dreu-Spitse3-2 (9/0,9/4,6/9,8/10,9/7)
Women's Over 503 Pool1st Susan Pynegar; 2nd Tamsin BennettPool
Women's Over 553 Pool1st Carolyn Roylance; 2nd Susan MeadowsPool
Men's Over 50 Plate8 DrawStephen Blacksell bt Chris GildersleeveChris withdrew
Men's Over 55 Plate3 Pool1st Geoff Wilcock; 2nd Steve EverittPool
A surprise to a lot of people that the scheduling of venues had been freshened up this season. So instead of basking in the sun in East Suffolk, we did exactly the same in West/South Yorkshire!  Pontefract is billed as Britain’s friendliest family club and with updated andfactory fresh courts, lovely and hot, what more could the elderly participant require?

In addition, and for the first time ever in Masters Squash, we had Sky Sports outside broadcast in attendance,Richard Graves, Reporter for the North East Region and England Cricket TV Cameraman, Jacob, travelling to India this week to film the one day series!

As some of you are aware, Sky have been filming the National Over 60 Cricket Team (www.60cc.co.uk) in our Test Series vs Australia.  Yours truly is Chairman and as a natural progression,following a pathway that sport for ‘past Masters’ is entirely beneficial to individual health and the NHS, filming a World Champion who has had a heart attack on court and made a full recovery, was a good place to start!!

Of course, Lance Kinder needs no introduction and although there was no make up girl in attendance, his kit and appearance put some of the youngsters to shame! Sky interviewed him and his opponent World Champion O75 Malcolm Gilham and then filmed the match – which of course went on much longer than anticipated –Lance retrieving a lost cause to equal 2-2, and going on  to win (tothe younger man) 3-2.

Also filmed were the Ladies O45 finalists European Champion Bea de Dreu Spitze and Yorkshire No 1 Nicky Horn. So a good cross section and a promise from Richard that there will be a repeat. They met Sir Malcolm (Willstrop) and learnt (not from Malcolm) that if the LTA had MW in charge, English Tennis would have had a fewdecent players winning World Titles rather than a big fat zero. And of course Pontefract was buzzing, as per usual.

To the Squash itself-

125 entries saw the Women’s O55 event in a Round Robin won by Carolyn Roylance who beat Susan Meadows 9/2 9/1 9/7 and June Hill 9/2 9/7 9/3.

In the O50, Tammy Bennett beat Sue Pynegar 3-0 and in theO35/40 event a big surprise. Andrea Santamaria was the first to find out that Beverley Mackay’s change of name and extra training made her much tighter than last season. A 9/7 9/4 7/9 3/9 9/5 victory over the local girl preceded a  defeat over Isabelle Tweedle 6/9  9/4  9/1 9/4  and another over Lucy Murphy 9/3  9/2  9/2. So Beverley up wrapped up the title convincingly with Andrea coming second, beating Tweedle9/3  9/1  9/2.

The O45 had a very strong draw in two sections.Section 1 saw Rina Einy beat Linda Winder 3-1 but then fall to Nicky Horn 3-1. So the last Round Robin saw Winder lead 2-0 over Horn until the Ampleforth Girls Head of Sport found her length and short game to return a 9/6 9/2 9/2 victory in the fifth.

Next door in Group B, the crunch match was between Fran Wallis and Bea de Dreu Spitze who are familiar with each other’s games. Bea, however, in matches, has enough all court craft to put Fran on the back foot, but as soon as (and it should be on her Christmas list) Fran starts playing straight drops, then the dynamic will undoubtedly be equalled up. Fran’s legendary retrieving and power needs help!

To the Final, and although only able to watch the last two games, an intriguing match.  Some amazing athleticism  and retrieving and in the end, Nicky got enough lead in the fifth to just stay ahead, sneaking it 9/0 9/4 8/10 9/7.

In the 5th and 6th playoff, Linda Winder’s victory over Michaela Fallows was even closer – 1/9 3/9 9/2 9/6 10/9 – a great comeback!


In the Men’s O75, soon to be seen on Sky Sports, TV star Lance recorded victory 2/9 9/4 9/0 4/9 9/2 over Malcolm Gilham.

In the Men’s O70, Adrian Wright had it all his own way, beating Andrew Beeston 10/9 9/1 9/5 and Lance 3-0.

A bigger, stronger draw in the O65’s saw Mike Clemson shade the tricky Graham Fisher 5/9 9/6 9/7 4/9 1/9 and then overturn World Champion Chris Ansell (for his first ever victory over the latter) 9/5 9/4 8/10 5/9 9/7, to enter the Final. In the other half, No 2 seed Martin Pearse took 75 minutes to overturn BFD, a slimmer Dave Hardern, who sesuperb touch took him into a 9/7 9/8 lead.  However, a fightback saw Pearse despite interruptions (accidental eye into elbow contact) record a 9/1 9/4 9/1  comeback.  And the final was identical, only this was just 57 minutes!  Clemson 9/4 9/7 for his first ever games off his opponent, but after advice from his corner, the Chairman remembered his instruction and came back 9/5 10/8 9/5  to win the title.

In the O60’s Andrew Edmonson nearly overcame seed Larry Grover, but didn’t! 9/3 3/9 2/9 9/1 9/2.  However, newcomer Mark Benyon did,beating Bob Robinson 7/9 9/4 93  9/1, whilst in the bottom half, the perennially injured Howard Cherlin, played the perennially injured Phil Godfrey with the former having been informed by his Medico, he needs anew knee.  He was 2/1 up before Godfrey’s hamstring twanged again. As did Cherlins in the Semi with the never injured Allen Brown who was leading – 10/9 9/5 5/0 – when Cherlin was forced to concede. Some people are lucky with injuries, others most definitely aren’t.  With anew body on the NHS, Cherlin would be unbeatable.

In the top half, Barry Featherstone had enough hard matches to condition himself properly, Nigel Giffin 9/10 9/1 9/5 9/5  and Mick Broomhall 9/2 4/9  9/1 9/4 and Mark Benyon 10/8  9/1  9/2  before meeting Brown.Brown started strongly 9/4, but Featherstone, who spends more time on court than anyone else (apart from Stuart Hardy) controlled the next three 9/2 9/3 9/6 to record his umpteenth Regional.

The O55 has gone from being somewhat under powered to being the strongest group, all in a few months. Cowley, Alexander, Adihetty and newcomer Steve Johnson are shoe ins for an International place, leaving the rest in a complete dogfight.  So Colin Shields, who has been training all Summer, gave himself a head start, beating Stuart Hardy 9/3 9/4 5/910/8 and Ronnie Bell 9/2 3/9 9/7 9/0 – I watched some of this match and for the 20  minutes I was there, Bell was in total control! But Shields has enormous physical reserve and came back from a lesson to hand one out himself. Steve Johnson’s match with Mark Cowley was well worth the admission money, Johnson leading 10/8 10/8 Cowley, of course, came back and equaled at 3/9  6/9. But Johnson the produced some incredible back hand hard volley nicks that even a World Champion couldn’t match on the day and emerged from a fascinating encounter 9/5in the fifth, a superb spectacle.

The Men’s O50 is also a very strong group, despite missing Richard Millman, Mark Woodliffe and Simon Rolington. The new ‘draw’ system didn’t work in favour of No 2 seed James Ockwell (random 5/8 as requested by ES) as he met former England star of circa 30 years ago, Steve Bateman. With a Malcolm Willstrop installed technique  programmed into your system, it only needs fitness and mobility to be the complete package.  So our Mr Bateman is still some way off but will no doubt get fitter and stronger as it was he who beat Ockwell 9/6  9/5  9/5 and Jeremy Goulding 9/6 9/6 9/7. And Goulding had beaten the flying Doctor (but slightly winged at present)Chris Harland 9/5 9/4 1/  9/5. The Junior Fox, fresh from coaching his drinking squad, (Ragou, Swift, Cadwell el al ) saw off Ged Martin 9/1 10/8 9/2 before losing 9/5 2/9 9/5 9/4 to Jon Evans the flying Welshman from Northumbria! In the Final Evans was too quick 9/2 9/3 9/2 over Bateman.

Men’s O45 – not so strong due to Peter Gunterbeing injured and Eamonn Price back into the limelight business wise with RBS.  Murray Scott (1) found random 5/8 Steve Evans lurking in the draw in the Quarter Final but after a 9/10 setback, cruised through 2 2 2 and then overcame a tired (night shift for 12 hours whilst we all slept) Peter Lonsdale 9/2  9/0  9/7.  In the bottom half, Peter Crossman beat Andrew Elfield 3-1 and then lost to Marc Aldridge 3-1. Aldredge was happy enough to get to his first final, overcoming Cliff Martindale 9/2 9/0 9/6, Crossman and Duane Harrison 9/5 9/0 9/4, however, Scotts power (extreme) blasted his opponent 9/3 9/  9/0 but 300+points is a good start for an England cap.

Men’s O40 saw newcomer Courtney Downing knock out 3/4 seed Andrew Murray 11/9 11/8 13/11, but than fall to Andrew Cross 11/3 11/9 12/10.  In the bottom half, Simon Street just edged Nick Jones in a match over an hour 5/11 13/11 11/7 9/11 12/10, before crashing out to our Southern Comfort sponsored Northern mile-eater (in his heated cab) Glen Ragou 8/11 8/11 11/13. Despite less on board than usual from 6pm to midnight,
Ragou found  Cross too strong in the Final – 7/11 11/6 11/6 11/6.

Men’s O35 saw Nick Wall on his home turf and 40+ Jamie Goodrich in the bottom half. Wall beat Barny Elworthy 9/11 11/7 11/6 11/5 after the latter had edged Mat Lowrey 13/11 12/14 9/11 11/8  8/11 in a fractious(from BE) encounter.  Barny taxes the patience of a saint sometimes and had cause to be donated BFD as Ref halfway through.  BFD doesn’t take prisoners when refereeing so it all ended quietly.  Thankfully.  In contrast, Jamie Goodrich’s 80 minute match with Malcolm Willstrop’s second protégé, Chris Donelan was a superb spectacle with not one single let.  The Referee, ahem, BFD, was enthralled at marking it. The younger age group are so fast, athletic and mobile, virtually every ball is retrievable, Goodrich won eventually 12/10  11/8 8/11 7/11 6/11. In the Final, Goodrich found Wall just too tight, 11/2 11/811/9  in 46 minutes.

Finally, many thanks as usual to Pontefract, Mick and Cindy Todd, Margaret Rotherforth for being in charge and Helen for the food.

Plus, as you all saw, Master of Ceremonies Brian Brock was in charge and you won’t get better, plus helping me out – it means AW can concentrate on crucifying his opponents on the squash court, not crucifying me for stressing him out!

Also thanks to Malcolm and Dave, EF Refs for the Sunday.

See you all at Exeter.

P.S. Lance/Squash is on Sky Sports News – intermittently – all Monday.

Martin Pearse

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