Kent success at the European Squash Masters 2017 Wroclow, Poland

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The Kent ladies manage to pick up three medals at the Hasta La Vista Squash club in Wroclaw, Poland in the 2017 European Masters Championships last week. Keeley Johnson, Karen Hume and Mandy Akin travelled to Poland with high hopes and weren’t disappointed.

Keeley Johnson, current National and British Open over 40’s Champion was seeded No. 1 and played some tough games to get to the final, but came through them all 3/0 to set up an all English final against her recent British Open opponent Rachel Calver. After a tight first game, Keeley took control and continued the great form she has shown this season to take the European Over 40’s title 3/0 and the Gold medal. What a great season Keeley has had.

Mandy Akin was hoping to hold on to her current over 50’s European title from Malmo, Sweden in 2015 and was seeded at No.1 having just moved up to a new age group. She won the first three matches 3/0, to reach the semi-final, which proved to be a tough contest against Sian Johnson from Wales. Sian was playing some great squash and took the lead 2/1 and took a 9/3 lead in the fourth! Mandy staged a great come back to take the fourth game 12/10. The final game was closely contested, but Mandy manged to hang on and take the final game 11/9 to take her through to the final. The final was always going to be an epic match, particularly if it followed the form of the many previous meeting between this England / Scotland rivalry, with Fiona McClean ‘just’ winning their last meeting in the British Open final, taking the fifth game 19/17! As expected the match was closely contested throughout, with Fiona finally managing to pull away in the fifth and final game taking it 11/7, to secure herself the Gold medal in the over 55’s, leaving Mandy picking up the Silver!

Karen Hume, current World Masters over 55 Champion, had high hopes having just moved in to a new age group. She continued her recent good form and took control in her first four matches not dropping a game. This took her through to the final to meet her nemesis Julie Field, also current World Masters Champion in the over 60’s category. With many previous meetings under their belts and with each of them winning one of their last two meetings. Karen beating Julie 3/0 in a recent county match and then the last meeting, Julie beating Karen 23/21 in the fifth! Let the battle commence. The first two game saw both players showing some nerves, with Julie just managing to take the first two, but Karen settled and played some great squash to level the match at 2/2, so down to the fifth and final game, Julie played some great squash in this final game and edged away to take the match 3/2 and the Gold medal, leaving Karen to pick up the Silver.

One Gold and two Silver European Masters medals for Kent. A massive achievement and great that we’re keeping Kent on the map in 2017, as this follows on from the earlier success for Kent this year when these same three people were part of the ladies Kent County teams who took both the over 40’s and over 50’s county finals!

Mandy Akin

Wells Club is seeking further league players

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The Wells Squash Club, who play at the Tunbridge Wells Sports Centre are seeking a new number 1 and more league players to cover for their 1st team for the forthcoming leagues

Billy West, the clubs current number 1 who has developed as a junior through the club, will soon be off to study at university, leaving a big hole to fill. Billy who recorded 2500 Squash Level points before he left and a win rate of 80% in his last league will be sorely missed by the club and team. (Billy is at the far right in the photo)

For those wanting to play regular competitive squash please contact the club’s secretary, Mark Sykes, on 07563 559136 or email

World Squash Day. Saturday, 14th October 2017

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A wonderful day when every club on the planet can join together to promote our fantastic sport.
Attract new players (especially women and juniors)
Promote the health benefits of squash, the best sport for fitness
Make it fun, and make it free for newcomers to the game
Invite local celebrities
Invite local media to get involved
Support your favourite charity or squash project
Finish the day with a party!
Make sure YOUR club is part of squash’s big day.
Download the media pack and logos from the WSD Facebook page to make your own posters and T-shirts
Post news of your events on to the WSD Facebook page. After the event, post reports and pictures
Alan Thatcher
Chairman, The Mote Squash Club

Home hero Masters makes Mote final as Fallows falls to Makin

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Select Gaming Kent Open, presented by First Business Finance
The Mote Squash Club, Maidstone, Kent, England

Report by Alan Thatcher

Local favourite Josh Masters recovered from 2-1 down in games to beat US number one Todd Harrity to reach the final of the Select Gaming Kent Open, presented by First Business Finance.

A boisterous, partisan crowd at The Mote Squash Club in Maidstone, the county town of Kent, roared their encouragement as Masters fought back against his higher-ranked opponent.

Harrity, the world No.49, is seven places above Masters in the PSA world rankings. The two train together in Bristol and, despite being good friends, there was certainly no lack of competitiveness.

Harrity settled quickly and from 5-1 up he picked off the first game 11-4. Masters responded solidly in the second and from 7-7 he finished strongly to make it one game all.

After an even start to the third game, Harrity powered through to win it 11-6. The physical investment on a hot court began to take its toll as Harrity’s control faded in the fourth. Masters dominated to win it 11-4 and set up an intriguing battle in the fifth.

From 2-1 down, Masters constructed his best spell of the match to win seven points in a row. He hit some devastating nicks, tight drops and forced a tiring opponent into errors.

At 9-3 up, Masters tinned a volley that was too high even for his 6ft 3in tall frame, and then mis-timed a drop shot. His fans began to chew their nails as they feared a Harrity comeback, but Masters clinched victory with two outstanding winners as the crowd roared with a mixture of joy and relief.

“I was a bit slow to start,” he admitted. “I knew the match was going to be hard and I was relieved that Todd started to get a bit tired. I have been happy to hit a good patch of form when I needed it most in the fifth game twice this week.”

No.4 seed Harrity admitted: “I felt that although I was 2-1 up that Josh was controlling most of the match and I was certainly tired in the fourth and fifth games. I had put in a lot of work and he wasn’t making many mistakes. He played exceptionally well.”

Top seed Joel Makin eased past Richie Fallows in straight games, winning 11-4, 11-9, 11-8 with the No.3 seed from London losing the match on a penalty stroke issued for arguing.

It was not the way he would have wanted to celebrate his 22nd birthday, and even though the Mote members sang “Happy Birthday” to him at the tournament party he knew he should have done better.

Makin was solid, positive and playing controlled, error-free squash. He said: “I was happy with the way I played but Richie always seems to engineer breaks in the play, whether it’s a shoelace or wanting the court cleaned. It gets very irritating.

“This is a physical game based on continuous play and you don’t want these hold-ups.

“I am looking forward to the final very much. Josh is a talented player. He likes to go for winners and we have very contrasting styles, which should make it a great match.“

(Saturday June 17):
(1) Joel Makin (Wales) beat (3) Richie Fallows (Eng) 3-0: 11-4, 11-9, 11-8 (50m)
(4) Joshua Masters (Eng) beat (2) Todd Harrity (USA) 3-2: 4-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-4, 11-6 (63m)

(Sunday June 18):

3.30pm: (1) Joel Makin (Wal) v (4) Joshua Masters (Eng)