2024 Men’s O45 County Closed Summary

This year’s O45 County Championship was again held at Wellington Sports and Fitness Centre, continuing with their history of support for County squash which is greatly appreciated by all plyers and the County body.

With a small but strong draw the O45s tournament promised to be an interesting and competitive tournament. And it didn’t disappoint.

Finalists (L to R): Richard Bodkin, Peter Call, Dave Weston & Paul Johnson with Andrew Burrell

Having had strong tests in the quarter-finals in the top half of the draw, both Jeremy Baker and Paul Johnson faced off in the semi-final. After three long tough games Paul found himself 2-1 up and pushing hard for an early finish. But Jeremy no doubt had plans to make Paul work hard from the off. Unfortunately, only a few points into the 4th game Jeremy pulled up injured. So Paul was through to the final.

In the other half of the draw Dave Weston had a tough quarter-final against Richard Bodkin, and found himself 1-2 down and staring at potential defeat. He seemed to find his game at the start of the 4th and having upped the tempo eventually ran out a 3-2 winner.

He then faced a focused Michael Wardle in the semi-final. Having narrowly won the first game 13-11 Dave found himself 2-0 up and leading in the 3rd when unfortunately Michael pulled up with a calf injury. The stage was set for a close final with Dave and Paul to play with only a 1.5 hour break.

Prior to the main final the Plate final got under way with Richard Bodkin taking a hard fought 3-0 win over Peter Call. Richard’s aggressive tempo seemed a bit too much for Peter on the day. Well done Richard!

With a packed gallery the main final promised to be an interesting mix of Dave’s pressure game against Paul’s renowned racket ability having been a pro some years ago. And so it proved to be with Dave’s high tempo from the off not giving Paul a chance to dominate with his skill. After two close games Dave found himself 2-0 up and looking to close out the match in the 3rd game. Paul had other ideas and taking advantage of all opportunities managed to secure the 3rd.

Both players seemed to be fully focused at the start of the 4th and in an incredibly close game with numerous game and match balls Dave eventually won the game 15-13, and with it the match 3-1. This secured his 2nd O45 Championship victory, 9 years since his first! Congratulations Dave!

At the presentation Desiree Schalkwyk, the tournament organiser, and all volunteer markers were thanked by the players for their efforts in ensuring that another great tournament had taken place. Here’s looking forward to next year’s event!

Prize winners

The Final

Other matches…

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