PIC: (Left to right): THE FINALISTS: Wayne Cox, Stuart Dunlop, John Secker, Colin Fisher, Gary Fitzsimmons, Mujeeb Pervez, Patrick Hildred, Mark Hildred, Tina Favell, Bob Pearson, Chris Clements, Andy Baxter, Gary Williamson, Ruth Simpson, George Cooper, Pete Andrews, Ady Proctor, Edy Goddard. (Photo taken by Andy Mitchell)
Over 70 players took part, but on Saturday night there were 6 different winners of the main competitions in Boston Squash and Racketball Club’s annual Club Championships - with Mark Hildred winning the main Buchner Open 30 years after first winning it at the age of 16 in 1981.
Mark Hildred, Pete Andrews, Ady Proctor, Bob Pearson, Ruth Simpson and Patrick Hildred were all victorious in their respective categories, while Stuart Dunlop, Wayne Cox, Mujeeb Pervez and Gary Williamson succeeded in the plate competitions.
In the squash tournaments, the Buchner Open, Over 35s and Over 45s titles were all retained by Mark Hildred, while Pete Andrews won the Over 55s tournament. Ruth Simpson once again took the prize in the Ladies’ category and Patrick Hildred won his third consecutive junior title. In the Racketball Open, Ady Proctor ran out as champion with Bob Pearson succeeding in the Racketball Over 45s.
Finals night started with the junior final. It was the last year in the junior tournament for both of the finalists - Edy Goddard and Patrick Hildred. The latter took the first game 9/6, before Edy bounced back 9/4 to level the games at 1-1. Despite the setback, Patrick went on to come from behind in both of the last two games to win the final 9/6, 4/9, 9/4, 9/6.
In the Racketball Over 45s Bob Pearson beat Andy Baxter over the course of five games. Ady Proctor managed to come from 2-1 down to beat John Secker 3-2 in a competitive Racketball Open final. Back in the squash, the Ladies’ final saw Ruth Simpson overcome Tina Favell 3-0 to win the event for an impressive 8th straight year. One of numerous five-setters from throughout the night occurred courtesy of the over 55s final. Pete Andrews sealed a 3-2 win against Bob Pearson despite the latter’s efforts to climb back to 2-2 having been 2-0 down.
In the over 35s squash tournament Ady Proctor conceded the final to Mark Hildred due to injury, and this was perhaps fortunate for Mark who still had to compete in two finals. The first of these was in the over 45s event where he beat Colin Fisher 9/3, 9/2, 9/3. The second was the final of the main competition - the Buchner Open.
Chris Clements had secured his place in the final the previous night with a 3-0 win over Ady Proctor, while Mark Hildred had progressed following a walkover against Dave Stones. Mark was the strong favourite ahead of the match but it proved to be the closest final in many years. He narrowly nicked what had built up to be a crucial first game 10/9, before winning the next game 9/2 to take a 2-0 lead in games. However, the third game shook things up in front of the large crowd that had gathered to watch as Chris took it 9/4. It was the first time in recent memory that Mark had dropped a game in the Buchner Open final, and this was a tribute to Chris’ outstanding performance, which consisted of countless winners on the backhand side. Despite this, Mark drew on his ability and overcame his fatigue to fight back admirably in the fourth game to win the match and the title of club champion for the 24th time; 10/9, 9/2, 4/9, 9/6. The entertaining nature of the match was somewhat backed up by the statistics. The final lasted for 70 minutes which was reflective of the long and competitive rallies.
In the plates, Stuart Dunlop beat Stuart Garner 9/6 in the fifth in a closely contested main plate final, while in the racketball plate Gary Williamson beat John Payne 3-1. Back to the squash, the plate over 35s was handed to Wayne Cox who beat 2010’s winner Gary Fitzsimmons 3-0. Finally, in the combined plate over 45s/55s Mujeeb Pervez beat George Cooper 3-0.
The most improved player award, chosen by club steward Paul Smith, was awarded to Jamie Adams. He is the third junior to have won the prize since 2004.
At the presentations ceremony after the final, tournament organiser Ady Proctor said, “I’d like to thank everybody that took part once again, the number of entries seems to grow each and every year which is great. With the racketball coming onboard in leaps and bounds the competition there is now as fierce as it is with the squash.”
Ady announced that it was his last year of running the championships having done so for a number of years. Club Chairman Mark Hildred thanked Ady on everybody’s behalf for running the event, before adding: “I’d like to thank Paul Smith for his efforts throughout the year - he’s ever-present at all the events we have. Also, many thanks to the irreplaceable Peter Tait (club treasurer) who has presented the new annual racketball trophy.”
“I think it was a great crowd tonight, and it’s always nice to play a final where there’s a lot of people there so I’d like to thank you all for your support,” the Buchner Open winner concluded.