Ladies O50s

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Last Sunday saw the Kent ladies O50s team (les Dorrises) begin their quest to retain their national title won last year.

So far so good- one match played against Cambridgeshire and one victory duly recorded.

First on was captain Karen Hume, who nursing a flourishing cold, managed to record a 3/0 win over Rebecca Moore.  She was followed by number one string Mandy Akin, who despite having a swollen thumb following a fall from her bike, sustained victory over England international, Sarah Howlett, by the same score. Finally Candy Wilton, exhibiting all the flair and grace that we have come to expect from her, completed the hat trick of 3/0 victories for the team.

The second stage of the event will be held at Nuffield Health Bromley on Sunday November 26th, with Kent playing at 10 30am and 3pm and we look forward to seeing you there should you wish to come along and support.

Karen Hume

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

Ladies O 50 show class

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The Kent Ladies O 50 team are The Inter County Champions for the second time in three years following their victory in Leicester this weekend

The semi – final against Avon was a tense affair- the match was poised at one tie all when number 2 string Candy Wilton went on court. She went 2- nil down before imposing her superior court craft on her Avon opponent and took the next three games for the loss of a handful of points. An audible sigh of Kent relief reverberated around the balcony!

The Sunday morning final saw Captain Karen Hume on first to face Yorkshire’s Julie Field- holder of numerous squash titles. Never having beaten Julie, Karen faced a difficult task. Playing ‘her best squash ever’ (quote from her husband and team Guru Robert Smith), Karen astounded the onlookers – and herself- by taking the match 9-2, 9-2, 9-4.

This match was followed by Mandy Akin achieving a hard fought 3-1 victory against Yorkshire’s number one Kate Fisher, giving Kent an unassailable lead. Candy, relieved not to have the outcome resting on her once again, proceeded to emulate Mandy’s performance winning another tense match 3-1. Referee, Linda Davie, commented that she felt privileged to have presided over such a highly competitive and skilful final.

Congratulations to the team and our thanks to Sue Giles who played in an earlier round to help Kent reach the final.

Ladies O50s County finals

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Last weekend the Over50s county champions of 2014 headed to the County finals in Wolverhampton in a bid to retain their  title- a difficult task with their captain just returning to playing following knee surgery in October, as well as the team being positioned in a strong round robin box.

The first match was a rerun of last year’s final, a match against arch rivals, Surrey.  First rubber Sue Giles lost 3-0 to whirlwind Kim Rix.  Number one Mandy Akin, current National O50s champion, then evened up the score with a convincing 3-0 win over Claire Baker. It was left to Karen to try and replicate her victory of last year, but unfortunately it was not to be and she went down 3-1.

Karen found herself in the same situation in the second match against S.E.Wales- only a victory would ensure a fighting chance of proceeding to the final. Sue played well and only just lost 2-3 to Welsh International, Lynne Davies and Mandy scored another definitive 3-0 victory. Having only beaten ex pro Sian Johnson once before, Karen faced an uphill battle, but eventually took the tie 3-2, 9-7 in the fifth in an entertaining gruelling match.

The resulting situation was similar to the six Nations Rugby scenario, where who took the crown was dependent on points gained in the last match, Surrey v S.E. Wales. A 2-1 Surrey victory saw them in the final with Kent in 3/4th place play off and destined to meet a strong Yorkshire team.  First on was Sue, who went down 3-0, fighting hard to the bitter end.  Mandy had a further convincing win at one, so once again it was down to Karen to try to secure victory.  At 1-1 , it was apparent that three matches in two days was a bridge too far for her current level of fitness, eventually going down  a spirited 1-3- not the result that the team had hoped for, but there is always next year!  Many thanks to Becky Czuczman (National Champion O60  and 65) for being a fantastically supportive travelling reserve.

Kent have two British Open 2014 over 50s champions

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Colin Payne and Mandy Akin win the over 50’s British Open 2014 in Hull.

Reports from the weekend (British Open website)

Colin was in form in the 50’s this year and he moved through the rounds without dropping a game. The final was no different as he flew out of the blocks, going 7-0 up against Fredrik Johnson in the first before taking it 9-4. The second was more evenly contested but at 5-4 Colin put the pressure on to take the next 5 points to close it out and took that momentum into the third where he pushed on to take it 9-3 and with it the O50 title. (Mandy Akin says – I have never seen anyone beat Freddi Johnson!).

There was no stopping Mandy Akin in her semi final against Fran Wallis as she romped to a 3-0 win in 25 minutes. Akin started fast out of the blocks and took the first game 9-0, the second and third games saw Wallis compete early on but Akin soon pulled away in each to seal her place in the final.

Mandy retained her Open title with a hard fought battle against Fiona McLean. Akin took the first relatively quickly but the second was contested far better once McLean got herself into the match, taking it 10-8. The second and third were similar and very evenly matched as each took it in turns to have good spells and score points but Akin closed them out when it mattered to take them both and keep her O50 title for another year.

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 Posted by Mandy Akin on May 20, 2014 at 7:44

 

Kent Ladies O50s County Champions

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Kent Ladies look 10 years younger as they battle for over 50s County Championship

 Alison Henley of England Squash commented when she introduced Sue Meadows the acting CEO of England Squash to present the Ladies trophy that you could be forgiven for assuming it was an under 40s final, so hard and demanding were the matches. How often is it that the Men’s Over 35 Tournament finishes first but this time it was the men  watching and applauding the long rallies in the last key Ladies match, which decided the winning side-Kent.

Edgbaston Club is truly a magnificent venue for squash having recently been completely refurbished and extended to provide a new set of excellent squash courts. So with every intend of wresting the trophy from Surrey the other expected strong contender the four Ladies made their way up to Birmingham, Many Akin, Karen Hume (Captain), Sue Giles and Becky Czuczman. Every one played a part as they beat both the pool teams of South East Wales and Hertfordshire.

The final inevitably was against their arch rivals, Surrey.

Sue Giles fought hard in the first match but was out-powered by her opponent in a close fought battle, Kent was one down. Mandy Akin 2014 Over 50’s National Champion and unbeaten, calmly put the record straight and the match was finely balanced at one all. Karen Hume , the Captain, then faced Julia Ledger who only a few week s ago had beaten her . She went one nil down quickly with hardly a point to her name, but fought back to two one up, only to lose a close fought fourth game. The last game was a nail biting time- it was close at 5 all, and, following a surge of long testing rallies Karen broke through to take the game 9/5 to a resounding cheer from her team mates.

Kent is O50s Ladies County Champions -the first age Ladies group event won by the County.

Posted by karen hume on March 7, 2014 at 16:33

Another national title for Mandy

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Kent’s Mandy Akin added another National Championship title to her collection as she won the Women’s Over-50 final in Manchester at the weekend.

She beat Scotland’s Fiona McLean 4-9, 9-4, 7-9, 9-4, 9-4 in a tough final match lasting 51 minutes.

Mandy had looked in fine form during the semi-finals as she dropped just one point in powering her way past Lesley Sturgess (Derbyshire) in just 20 minutes.

Mandy said: “I love this picture (below) so much because it sums up perfectly just how much that win meant to me. I had to work hard for it and I think that shows in the photograph!”

Kent’s Colin Payne finished runner-up in the Men’s Over-50 final, going down 3-9, 9-5, 9-2, 9-7 to Eamonn Price of Hertfordshire.

mandywin

colin50

Posted by Alan Thatcher on February 21, 2014 at 9:51