Hosts England to Contest World Masters Finals

Birmingham – GBR, July 27, 2012: English players will contest nine of the 18 finals in the World Masters Squash Championships in Birmingham, with the hosts guaranteed both the Men’s Over-75 and Women’s Over-65 trophies.

More than 750 players from 47 countries began the quest for success in the World Squash Federation championships which boast 18 different events from Men’s and Women’s Over-35 championships to a Men’s Over-80 event – climaxing with most of the finals taking place on a new state-of-the-art all-glass ASB showcourt erected in the Bramall Music Building at the University of Birmingham.

Malcolm Gilham had to upset fellow Englishman and top seed John Woodliffe to give himself the chance of defending his title in the Men’s O75 event. The 77-year-old from Suffolk defeated former World O70 champion Woodliffe 14-12, 11-6, 13-11 to set up an all-English final against Patrick Kirton.

Reigning British Open O75 champion Kirton, the No2 seed from Surrey, beat fellow countryman Lance Kinder 11-6, 11-7, 11-2 in just 17 minutes.

British Masters stalwarts Ann Manley and Bett Dryhurst will contest the Women’s O65 climax. Unseeded Manley, a former World O60 champion from Bristol, upset former champion Jean Grainger, a 3/4 seed from South Africa, 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 7-11, 11-4.

Dryhurst, the reigning British Open O60 and European O60 champion, reached her fourth World Masters final after beating New Zealand’s unseeded Kaye Jackson 11-9, 11-7, 4-11, 11-4.

England’s Nick Taylor, who reached a career high of 14 on the PSA World Tour, caused an upset in the Men’s O40 event by beating Ireland’s No1 seed Derek Ryan, the defending champion, 11-6, 11-8, 11-7.

Jersey-based Taylor will now face second seed Craig Rowland, a 41-year-old former world No7 from Australia who defeated South African Michael Tootill 14-12, 3-11, 11-6, 11-5.

“To beat a player like Derek who has got 200 caps for Ireland is amazing,” said Taylor. “He’s a tough player to beat so I am very pleased to be in the final.”

Ryan wasn’t the only number one seed to fall: One of the day’s biggest shocks took place in the Men’s O35 event where Egypt’s hot favourite Omar Elborolossy lost out in five games to Stefan Leifels of Germany.

Leifels, 39, now faces 37-year-old Frenchman Renan Lavigne, the defending champion who brushed aside Italian Mirko Pareccini 11-3, 11-5, 11-3.

“I am delighted to be in the final,” said Lavigne, a former world No17 from Marseille. “You always want to defend your title, but against Stefan it will be tough as he plays regularly in leagues and is match fit, also he’s just beat the number one seed!”

Australian squash legend Michelle Martin, a three times World Open champion and former world number one, also secured her final spot with a 3/0 victory over Canadian Louise Lefebvre in the Women’s O45 championship.

“It was hot today so I’m happy that the match went to plan,” said the 45-year-old from Sydney who has not yet dropped a game. “I still really enjoy playing and it has been great catching up with friends that I have known for years so although it’s not quite the same as the World Open, I’m really happy to be in the final.”

Martin faces compatriot Sarah Nelson after the No2 seed beat England’s Nicola Horn.

“I had never played Nicky before so I didn’t know what to expect – I wanted a good quick match so I’m really pleased,” said Nelson, a former World O40 champion who has also yet to drop a game. “I’ve been training with Michelle in Sydney and we were hoping to be in opposite sides of the draw so we could have an all-Aussie final.

“We play together heaps and she has been really helping me so that I could get to the final; now we’ll just have to see what happens!”

The Women’s O35 final will be played out by the top two seeds, with German favourite Sabine Schoene looking to retain her title by overcoming Scotland’s Wendy Maitland Jones.

England’s Yawar Abbas battled to an epic 3/2 victory over Frenchman Jean-Jacques Pineau in the Men’s O45 semi-finals.

“It was such a tight match, at times I had to go back to basics and play straight to try and frustrate him,” said a relieved Abbas after his 11-7, 6-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-6 victory in 56 minutes.

“I am so happy to be in the final, this is my first World event so I’m pretty excited about playing tomorrow,” added the 46-year-old from Manchester who now faces top-seeded South African Craig van der Wath, a former World O35 champion.

The Men’s Over 55, 60 and 65 events all feature top seeds from England, with Suffolk’s Peter Alexander facing second seed Pierr Roodt of South Africa in the O55 climax; Keith Jones meeting surprise Cayman Islander finalist John Macrury in the O60; whilst the O65 final will be contested by England’s Philip Ayton and South African Roy Plumstead.

Over 60’s finalist Keith Jones said: “It means a lot to be in the final, I’m the holding champ but to get to this level you have to beat some very good players so I won’t be taking anything for granted.”

Opponent John Macrury added: “There’s only one club in the Cayman Islands, so we obviously have a very small team. It’s great for me and the country to have a finalist and I’m so pleased. I hope I get to be interviewed again after the final!”

After dropping the opening game, Yorkshire’s Julie Field took control of her Women’s O55 semi-final match, beating Karen Hume 9-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-5 in 26 minutes.

An epic battle in the opposite side of the draw saw England’s unseeded Jacky Gardner ending up on the wrong end of a dramatic 14-12 final game against Australia’s Anne Richards.

RESULTS: World Masters Squash Championships, Birmingham, England

Men’s O35 semi-finals:

[3/4] Stefan Leifels (GER) bt [1] Omar Elborolossy (EGY) 6-11, 11-6, 6-11, 14-12, 11-7 (60m)

[2] Renan Lavigne (FRA) bt [5/8] Mirko Pareccini (ITA) 11-3, 11-5, 11-3 (23m)

Women’s O35 semi-finals:

[1] Sabine Schoene (GER) bt [3/4] Karen Meakins (BAR) 11-4, 5-11, 11-8, 11-3 (25m)

[2] Wendy Maitland Jones (SCO) bt [3/4] Laura Mylotte (IRL) 11-3, 11-9, 3-11, 12-10 (35m)

Men’s O40 semi-finals:

[3/4] Nick Taylor (ENG) bt [1] Derek Ryan (IRL) 11-6, 11-8, 11-7 (51m)

[2] Craig Rowland (AUS) bt [3/4] Michael Tootill (RSA) 14-12, 3-11, 11-6, 11-5 (55m)

Women’s O40 semi-finals:

[3/4] Simone Korell (GER) bt [1] Senga Macfie (SCO) 11-6, 6-11, 11-6, 12-10 (26m)

Linda Shannon (RSA) bt Yoriko Michishita (JPN) 12-10, 11-7, 11-5 (21m)

Men’s O45 semi-finals:

[1] Craig van der Wath (RSA) bt [5/8] Frank Ellis (SCO) 10-12, 11-7, 11-6, 11-3 (43m)

[5/8] Yawar Abbas (ENG) bt Jean-Jacques Pineau (FRA) 11-7, 6-11, 11-7, 7-11, 11-6 (56m)

Women’s O45 semi-finals:

[1] Michelle Martin (AUS) bt Louise Lefebvre (CAN) 11-3, 11-7, 11-5 (18m)

[2] Sarah Nelson (AUS) bt [3/4] Nicola Horn (ENG) 11-6, 11-6, 11-3 (18m)

Men’s O50 semi-finals:

Dominic Hughes (USA) bt [5/8] Zainal Abidin Ab. Malik (SIN) 7-11, 11-9, 4-11, 12-10, 11-8 (44m)

[3/4] Willie Hosey (IRL) bt [2] Trevor Wilkinson (RSA) 11-5, 11-9, 11-4 (23m)

Women’s O50 semi-finals:

[5/8] Theresa Elliott (ZIM) bt [1] Mandy Akin (ENG) 12-10, 6-11, 11-9, 11-9 (30m)

Susan Lawrence (JAM) bt [2] Lisa O’Grady (RSA) 11-3, 11-6, 12-10 (21m)

Men’s O55 semi-finals:

[1] Peter Alexander (ENG) bt [3/4] Udo Kahl (GER) 1-11, 11-8, 11-0, 11-6 (24m)

[2] Pierr Roodt (RSA) bt [5/8] Rustom Bativala (ENG) 11-2, 11-2, 11-4 (20m)

Women’s O55 semi-finals:

[1] Julie Field (ENG) bt [3/4] Karen Hume (ENG) 9-11, 11-7, 11-4, 11-5 (26m)

[3/4] Anne Richards (AUS) bt Jacky Gardner (ENG) 7-11, 9-11, 12-10, 11-4, 14-12 (45m)

Men’s O60 semi-finals:

[1] Keith Jones (ENG) bt [3/4] Moussa Helal (ENG) 17-15, 11-13, 11-8, 11-7 (40m)

[9/16] John Macrury (CAY) bt [3/4] Gordon Daniel (RSA) 11-9, 11-8, 11-3 (25m)

Women’s O60 semi-finals:

[1] Sue Volkze (AUS) bt [3/4] Sue Vine (ENG) 11-7, 11-4, 11-9 (18m)

[3/4] Faith Sinclair (SCO) bt [2] Laura Ramsay (CAN) 5-11, 11-1, 15-13, 11-6 (28m)

Men’s O65 semi-finals:

[1] Philip Ayton (ENG) bt [3/4] Rodney Boswell (ENG) 11-7, 11-6, 11-5 (22m)

[5/8] Roy Plumstead (RSA) bt [3/4] Chris Goodbourn (ENG) 11-4, 3-11, 8-11, 11-1, 11-7 (33m)

Women’s O65 semi-finals:

Ann Manley (ENG) bt [3/4] Jean Grainger (RSA) 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 7-11, 11-4 (34m)

[3/4] Bett Dryhurst (ENG) bt Kaye Jackson (NZL) 11-9, 11-7, 4-11, 11-4 (20m)

Men’s O70 semi-finals:

[1] Adrian Wright (ENG) bt [3/4] Mo Khalifa (ENG) 7-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-6 (28m)

[2] Brian Phillips (WAL) bt [3/4] Michael Gough (USA) 8-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-9 (26m)

Men’s O75 semi-finals:

[3/4] Malcolm Gilham (ENG) bt [1] John Woodliffe (ENG) 14-12, 11-6, 13-11 (26m)

[2] Patrick Kirton (ENG) bt [3/4] Lance Kinder (ENG) 11-6, 11-7, 11-2 (17m)

Men’s O80 semi-finals:

[1] Peter Fahrenheim (RSA) bt [3/4] Diarmuid Swan (CAN) 11-4, 11-8, 11-9 (17m)

[3/4] Alex Hamilton (SCO) bt Michael McKean (ENG) 10-12, 11-6, 11-7, 11-5 (27m). —- WSF

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