Report by David Harris, ESRA Tournament Organiser

Club Kingswood played host to the belated 2014 Senior Essex Closed last weekend attracting over 50 entries across Category A, B and C levels backed up with Over 35, Over 45 and Over 55 events.

In the Men’s A , four of our top players in Essex were seeded to do battle in the semi finals. Early rounds went as expected which set up semi finals between number two seed Scott Legg and Paul Wallace (4) and Rory Pennell (1) against Elliot Selby (3).

Both of the higher seeds won their semi final matches 3-0 to deliver a mouth watering final . On the day, Rory proved why he had been given number one seed as he downed Scott 3-1, 11-7, 12-14, 11-6, 11-6 . Some of the squash was quite breathtaking at time and the watching crowd were certainly engrossed in a highly entertaining battle which was impeccably handled by tournament referee Paul Clarke.

In the highly competitive Men’s B category, seedings again went as planned with the final being contested between number one and two seeds, Richard Horswill (Ongar) and Mike Aley (Club Kingswood). Both players had tough 3-2 wins in their respective semi finals but this did not deter either from playing out another great final. Richard, the Essex Junior Squash U19 player, gave his Club Kingswood opponent a worthy match with Mike eventually winning 12-10, 15-13, 9-11, 11-2.

In the Men’s C category Martin Cripps (Kingswood) defeated a higher ranked player on the way to the final where he faced number 2 seed, Alan Chan from Redbridge. Yet another highly competitive final, watched by a good partisan crowd from Kingswood contributed to an enthralling final. The home support spurred Martin to a 3-2 win 11-9, 5-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-4.

The Men’s O35 tournament was won by Marconi’s Dave Smith who defeated Paul Wallace (Clements SC) 11-4, 5-11, 5-11, 11-5, 11-4 while in the Over 45’s, England Masters circuit player Nigel Bacon from Marconi defeated the local Kingswood player, Pascual Dibattista 11-6, 11-3 11-5.  The O55’s final saw Essex stalwarts Wyn Edwards from Spring Health overcome John Smith (David Lloyd Gidea Park) 11-4 11-13 11-7 11-7.

The ESRA committee would like to thank all those players who entered and played over the course of the tournament weekend as well as Club Kingswood, Basildon for hosting the event, which we hope will continue to grow over the coming years.

The next Essex County Closed is scheduled to take place on the weekend of 26th/27th September this year. A move to earlier in the season calendar will hopefully increase the tournaments appeal to more and more players.

Further details will be on the Essex sra website over the coming months.