Squash Tournament 2023

New winner Jamie Butler takes 2023 Hythe Open Squash title

The Squash finals took place on Friday 12th May  at HCSC and provided a feast of entertainment for the spectators present. There were more entrants than in recent years and a number of new players that have not featured before.

Throughout the recent squash season the top players at the club have been vying for premier position. After some close matches in the Open tournament, the final came down to a match between No 2 seed Jamie Butler and No 3 seed Sam Conebar. The first game saw Conebar take a lead and then close out the game with a display of power play. However, Butler was not to be outdone and came back strongly in the second, using a combination of disguise and good line and length to force errors from his opponent and win the game. This pattern continued and although close, Butler won the third and fourth to take the match 3-1.

In the ladies tournament, Mel Booth took on one of the junior members who was in her first senior club tournament. Although the teenager played well and made the first two games close, she was unable to match the consistency of Booth who ran away with the third game to win 3-0.

In the other finals, the Plate resulted in a keenly contested battle between wily old campaigner Tom McCorkindale and the improving Dan Large. Despite an array of inch perfect drops and serves from McCorkindale, Large kept the rallies hard. After 2 close games, McCorkindale wilted in the third and Large won 3-0.

The Veterans (045) final featured Gary Hollamby against the ever nimble Bill Lightfoot. In a fast moving game Hollamby stayed on top throughout and despite some excellent retrieving by Lightfoot, Hollamby ran out the winner 3-0. In the Supervets (O55) final, former Open champion Ray Semadeni took on Tom McCorkindale returning for his second final of the night. Semadeni, with a steely stare, was in no mood to take prisoners and despite the best efforts of the courageous McCorkindale, took the match 3-0.

The Handicap final featured crafty racqueteer Darrel Moyle and club captain Gary Hollamby in his second final of the night. Moyle won the first game with ease but Hollamby came back strongly to take the second. The third and fourth games were fiercely contested with a wide array of shots from Moyle bamboozling the usually consistent Hollamby and triumphing 3 games to 1.

Some of the club’s up-and-coming juniors were also able to showcase their talents during the evening, with three finals taking place. The competitors played with confidence and good sportsmanship, treating the spectators to some exciting rallies.

A presentation followed the matches with Squash Section Chairman, Glenn Mousley, handing out the prizes to the worthy winners and runners-up.

The doubles final – which took place a week later – saw Tristan Blackwell and Matt Day take on Glenn Mousley and Tom Ash. The match featured some lengthy, fast-paced rallies. After a close first game, which Blackwell and Day won 15-10, the pair continued to play consistently well, winning the match 3-0.