Evans and Creed Continue Dominance at Karakal Welsh Closed Championship.
Among a field of more than 70, there were a couple of familiar faces on top of the podium at the culmination of the Karakal Welsh Closed championship 2019, as Tesni Evans and Peter Creed claimed their respective ‘A’ titles at the Sport Wales National Centre in Cardiff on March 17.
As the men’s national rugby union team secured a Six Nations Grand Slam across town, Wales’ elite squash players were going about claiming silverware of their own, with the Karakal Closed crowns representing the seventh and ninth times the tournament has been won by Evans and Creed respectively.
Creed was made to work to the very last during a mammoth tussle with Emyr Evans in the men’s ‘A’ final – eventually coming out on top (8/11, 11/5, 10/12, 11/9, 11/3); while Owain Taylor took third with a solid win over Elliot Morris Devred (11/7, 5/11, 12/10, 11/5).
It was slightly more straightforward for Evans in the ladies’ final, with a 3-0 victory over long-time on-court adversary Deon Saffery (11/5, 11/5, 11/6). Elsewhere, sixth seed Stacey Goodey exceeded expectations by beating Elin Harlow in a play-off to claim the bronze (11/6, 10/12, 12/10, 12/10).
In the ‘C’ class, Ben Skidmore performed remarkably to take the title ahead of Matt Clements in another barnstorming final (7/11, 11/4, 6/11, 11/7, 11/4) after previously deposing top seed Nick Dyer in the second round. James Smith took third in a walkover; while Olivia Stephens topped the ladies’ ‘C’ group.
Joshua Audsley defied the odds to come back from a seemingly insurmountable position and topple Gary Fry in the ‘D’ final (13/15, 9/11, 11/7, 11/4, 11/5); leaving the category’s top two seeds – Scott Wright (1) and Owen Heyes (2) – to fight it out for third, with Heyes prevailing (6/11, 11/3, 11/9, 11/8).
The men’s ‘E’ title was taken by Geraint Hodges, who overcame Oliver Cann (11/2, 11/6, 11/5); as Chris Baker beat Phillip Maybury to the last podium place (14/12, 9/11, 9/11, 11/6, 11/6).
As well as congratulating all participating players at the Welsh Closed Championship 2019, Squash Wales would like to thank title sponsors Karakal, along with partners Dunlop, Merchasylum and Bangor University.
Thanks also go to tournament staff and officials, with special mentions to Paul Thomas, Lynne Davies, Sarah Clode, Mike Howe, Nick Down and Ben Skidmore – who facilitated live streaming of the tournament over YouTube. All matches can be found at the Squash Wales YouTube channel.
Pictures from the tournament can be found by visiting: https://photos.app.goo.gl/7XWc5TgekRStyDoq8
Issued on behalf of Squash Wales by Thomas Owain Davies