Another successful Squash Open Doubles tournament took place at East Glos last weekend, with several current and former world-ranked players taking part.
Now in its second year, the tournament was organised by 21-year old professional squash player and club member Tom Ford.
The winners of the professional event were Robbie Temple and Tom Richards, and the runners up were Mike Harris and Chris Fuller. Father and son pairing Ian and Jack Bloomfield were the runners up in the Plate event, with Matt Bedwell and Alex Lane winning the title.
Club President Margaret Pedrette said: “Congratulations and thanks to Tom Ford for organising the very successful tournament. The standard of play was stunning and I would encourage everyone to witness the intensity of doubles play. A very well attended barbecue was held on the Saturday evening which helped to raise the profile of Squash at East Glos. The professional players advised and went on court with many of our juniors and the whole weekend was a great success thanks to Tom’s efforts, which are much appreciated”
Scroll down for video, photos and a full report from Tom Ford.
Report from tournament organiser Tom Ford
This year’s East Glos Doubles Tournament proved to be an even greater success than last year, with 15 pairings from Gloucestershire alone. We had the privilege of hosting four former top five in the world players, as well as eight current PSA players, the highest ranked at 30. This made for a highly entertaining weekend, inspiring for members and participants young and old.
The format of the draw was the same as last year where the first two rounds are split so that the amateur pairings have a chance to compete against a top pairing that they would not necessarily get to play with normally. This was great to see as regardless of the standard difference the games were played in a wonderful manner and it was clear the enjoyment was shared by all.
This helped to create the plate event made up of 16 amateur pairings, with the eight professionals progressing to the quarter finals of main draw. Prior to the quarter finals, the juniors from the club had the opportunity to play with the professionals. A huge thank you goes to all the professional players who gave up their time during the tournament to inspire this enthusiastic group of children. It was an exciting development to an already successful tournament and one which we hope to progress further next year.
The quarter finals of the main draw were close, although all seeds won their matches without dropping a game. It was a similar story in the plate event, however ex-World number 5 Fiona Geaves and her partner Carys Jones triumphed against local pairings to reach the semi-final on the Sunday.
Players enjoyed an excellent barbeque in the evening sunshine courtesy of Richard Bywater, catering manager at the club, followed by the exhibition match featuring the only mixed pairing in the event. (Danny Hockborn and Alison Thompson vs myself and Taylor Flavell). Sadly Taylor had to withdraw in the third game due to an injury to her foot, leaving me to finish the match alone! Everyone enjoyed the drama and I hope it encourages more mixed pairings for next year.
After an enjoyable night out in Cheltenham, everyone returned late on Sunday morning for the semi-finals. The main draw semi-finals were surprisingly one sided, with youth prevailing over experience in both cases! Robbie Temple and Tom Richards showed their class against Simon Spencer and Peter Marshall whilst Mike Harris and Chris Fuller upset the number two seeds Alex Gough and Simon Parke with a wonderful combination of consistency and flamboyance.
The plate event included some exciting matches with young pair Alex Lane and Matt Bedwell defeating last year’s champions Simon Firkins and Jon Griffin 2-1. Father and son duo Ian and Jack Bloomfield ended Carys and Fiona’s run to make the final for a second year running.
After defeating last year’s champions, Alex Lane and Matt Bedwell went on to defeat the Bloomfields, bringing us to the eagerly anticipated main draw final which did not disappoint. Play was of an exceptionally high standard with Mike and Chris starting well and dictating the game in the early phases. However Tom and Robbie continued to improve resulting in them winning 2-0 with an incredible amount of outright winners considering the court size and tin height.
Finally, positive feedback shows the event was a great success. However it would not have been possible without the generosity of East Glos as hosts and the 11 sponsors for supporting the event and providing to the impressive prize pot and other prizes. Lastly, thank you to all of the participants who made the tournament so enjoyable and entertaining. We hope you join us again next year!