Bega players show mastery in squash

Country's best: Sheep Thatcher and Baden Edwards with their respective shields from the Australian Masters Squash Championships in Ballarat over the weekend.

Country's best: Sheep Thatcher and Baden Edwards with their respective shields from the Australian Masters Squash Championships in Ballarat over the weekend.

Sheep Thatcher is enjoying a surprise Australian Squash win. 

Thatcher is competing at the Australian Masters Squash Championship and was shocked to find himself on top of his division after something of a “grudge match” with fellow NSW player Louis Lopez. 

Thatcher secured the match in four to secure the division four title in the 60-64 age group. 

Thatcher’s partner Kirsti Fristad – who won her division last year – said it was a shock result for Thatcher. 

“He’s been competing in the Australian championship for six years, but I don’t think he was expecting to win,” Fristad said. 

“Sheep and Louis have been ‘arch rivals’ of sorts for many years.

“The heat was certainly on and both players went into it pretty determined,” she added with a laugh. 

Thatcher got out to a two-game lead before Lopez rallied in the third to force a fourth game, but Thatcher claimed the result.

Bega player Baden Edwards also came close to the crown, finishing runner-up in the 50-54 division three men’s event. 

Fristad said it was a tremendous result for Bega, who have regularly sent a strong contingent despite being a regional club. 

“There were five of us competing in the singles last week, but we’ve now got seven people competing this week in the teams event,” Fristad said. 

“For a small club, we’ve really got a heap of us down here.”

Squash promoter Janelle Curtis commended Keri Blacker who was joining in to contest just her second ever masters tournament. 

Thatcher, Edwards, Fristad, Hans Cremerius, Robert Blacker and Janelle and Dennis Curtis will all be representing NSW in teams events this week as states vie for points in each age group and division.   

Fristad said masters events were a great opportunity for players to keep in touch with the game. 

“There are about eight stages on the NSW Masters’ tour alone and Bega was one of those stages in June as well,” she said. 

“So instead of getting wiped by all the young people, you can go and get wiped off the court by old people,” she added with a laugh. 

Next year’s Australian Championships will be held in Hobart. 

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