Bega squash comes to the crunch

The Bega Squash club had a great finale to its Top Video competition Thursday night.

Division one saw a clash of the titans between the two dominant teams, led by two stellar captains. 

Malcolm Slater finished minor premier, but spent the entire competition looking over its shoulder at Top Video who just kept coming. 

This proved to be the case again on grand final night. 

Matt Emerton was shell-shocked early by Lachlan Heffer, losing the first two games in quick succession before fighting back to win in five. 

In an effort to repeat the tactic that worked so well in the semi-final Troy Northey played next. 

Despite some brilliant play from Jeff Row, Troy inspired his team with a polished display of power squash to win 3-0 edging Top Video ahead 5-3. 

Blake Dowling took advantage of a “winged” Nicholle Cooke, playing some very mature squash he put Slater’s ahead 6-5. 

It was all-or-nothing as Cathy Murray fought desperately against Ros Halligan,  but three close games all went to Ros giving the premiership to Malcolm Slater’s 9-5 with a dead rubber to go. 

Maybe nobody told Joanne Gehrig or Abbey Tarlinton who both played like their lives depended on the result. 

Abbey got up 3-2 but the cause had already been lost as her win just lifted Top Video to a 8/11 loss.

Division two was the closest fought of all the grades with five teams in contention. 

The grand final was always going to be tense. 

Austbrokers had won Tuesday’s semi-final and were eager to get at the minor premier Mr Pizza.  

Mr Pizza opened with its trump card Mark Tandy who was unsettled early as Dick Ruse used his 50 years of experience to upset the young gun. 

Tandy regathered himself after the initial onslaught to win 3-1. 

The pattern of the night had been set as Shaun Row met a very determined opponent in Nicole Thomas. 

After several long games Row eventually fought off a tough challenge with his 3-1 leaving teams four-all. 

Little was resolved in the third match as Adrian Day and Annette Nichols slugged it out in a very entertaining match. Both players fought back from the brink before Day got on top in the final game to win 3-2.  

Captains, Kevin Johnson and Adam Balcomb, had their team’s fate in their hands. 

Johnson had had a much better season than Balcomb and was strongly favoured to wrap up a win, but Balcomb had his own ideas. 

 It came down to a fifth and deciding game. 

Balcomb won the game and the match only to suffer the disappointment of realising his team had squared the ledger at nine games each, only to find they had lost on points at 232 to 221.

Division three’s grand final saw the night’s biggest score blowout as Pell Rixon swept aside V&H Motor Repairs 10-3. 

Things began well for V&H  as the much improved Gemma Hanscombe played inspired squash to beat Robert Charlesbois 3-1.

From there it was all downhill as the club’s most improved player Jake Byrne completely shut out veteran Frank Scott to win 3-0. 

It seemed Pell Rixon was loaded with players who had lifted during the season and Stephanie Pearce was another to show she is on the rise with a 3-0 win over novice Kim Meyers.

Kyle Campbell beat Tony Hanscombe 3-0 in the dead rubber.

The final of the division four series was played between minor premier Bega Newsagency and a stern challenge from Shirley Hannon’s Turingal. 

Turingal’s “super sub” Feresh Chamasemani gave them the early lead with an inspiring 3-1 win over Monique Moon. 

The Newsagency returned fire with Zac Willis who had a torrid match with Andrew Tremblay Birchall.

The 3-1 scoreline mirrored the first match and teams were all square at the halfway mark. 

Alan Madden was a man on a mission having lost his undefeated record in the final round of the season and it was Sarah Eastman who faced the brunt of his disappointment. 

Madden’s 3-0 win had given his team a handy lead, with a decent break on points taking the pressure off his captain Michael Haigh. 

Haigh went into his match with Peter Bolst needing only to score reasonable points to secure a win.

The pressure showed for Peter, who won the first two games before dropping the third to hand the title to Haigh’s team. 

Bolst won the fourth game, but by then the result was decided. 

Bega Newsagency defeated Shirley Hannon’s Turingal 8-7.

Presentations were made after the matches. 

Veteran Gerry Tarlinton won the prestigious Peter Eaton Award. 

Club members voted Cliff Pistorius the Club Person of the year. 

Sarah Eastman was the player of the semi-finals, while the player of the finals was Adrian Day. 

The most improved player was very hotly contested and Jake Byrne took the honours. 

Jeff Row won the Karen Jameson memorial “Over the Bridge Trophy” that was presented to Jeff by Karen’s son Clint. 

2014 had been a watershed for the club with five newly promoted juniors and six people playing their first year of competition squash featuring in the grand finals teams.          

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