Over 60 Women Match Report. Edinburgh 2024. - Squash Wales

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Over 60 Women Match Report. Edinburgh 2024.

With England looking strong – Mandy Akin current European Over 60s champion playing second string and Hilary Kenyon current British National over 60s champion playing one – winning was going to be tough. We set our sights on second place. With j just three players in the team, we all needed to be at the top of our game. Our first match against Scotland, the home side, got off to a reasonable start with Wels number 3 Fiona Curthoys, who got her first Welsh cap in 2023, losing in a tight 5 setter to the experienced Jennifer McArtney. Jill Campion then went on at number 1 to beat Rosie Wilson 3-2 in a tight match, with Jill managing to regain the edge in the fifth. The final match came down to Sian Johnson, who has been struggling with injury for the past two seasons. She failed to settle against Pauline Douglas and was clearly struggling with her movement, losing 3-0. So second place was already looking unlikely.

Saturday morning and apll to play for v England. The high ceilings on this court suited Fiona’s game and she quickly found her length and height against Tammy Bennett, often following up with a deft drop or volley drop to the front. She went two love up, both tight games, lost the third in an equally close fight, and then went on to win 3-1. A great win against a hugely experienced and technically strong England player. Jill has beaten Hilary but not for a few years now. She needed to be on top form and super accurate. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. Hillary used her devastating volleys to good effect throughout the match, winning comfortable 3-0. So the match rested on Sian v Mandy. Despite having a knee injury, Mandy was sharp and played tight squash, not giving Sian the time or space she needed to play her usual amazing array of shots, and won in a comfortable 3-0.

The final match against Ireland was in effect for third/fourth place. Fiona had a great match against Dympna Reardon, who uses drops and volley drops with devastating effect. It was a question of whose game style would dominate. After losing the first game, Fiona got her tactics sorted, losing the second in a close 11-13, winning the third 11-7. The fourth game was again neck and neck with Dympna pulling through 21-10 in a somewhat tense finish. Jill player Rosie Barry, President of Irish Squash and longstanding masters player. Looking more comfortable on court than she had against England, Jill used accurate serves and tight lengths to win the first game comfortably. Rosie took the second 11-9 thanks mainly to taking the ball earlier on the volley. Jill then got back into her stride to win 3-1. So once again it was all down to Sian. Against Mureen Duke, who seems to be able to play a winning drop shot from anywhere on court, it was always going to be a question of keeping the ball very deep and keeping Maureen guessing. With Sian playing her best squash of the weekend, the first two games were very close and the score was one game all. Sian seemed to be struggling with her movement in the third and fourth, losing 3-1.

Edinburgh Sports Club did a fantastic job hosting the event and there was great camaraderie and encouragement between and across the various teams competing. It was particularly enjoyable – and nerve-wracking to support the Welsh over 35/40s women’s team who did so well in their nail-biting matches to finish second.

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