English 2013



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[5/8] Ciara Richards (Wal) 3-1 [3/4] Sana Mahmoud (Egy)                   11/13, 11/7, 12/11, 9/11
[5/8] Moustafa Elserty (Egy) 3-0 [2] Roko Voncina (Cro)
                   11/6, 11/8, 11/8
[5/8] Nada Ehab Aly (Egy) 3-0 [1] Cindy Merlo (Swi)
                   11/4, 11/7, 12/10
Adhitya Raghavan (Ind) 3-1 [1] Jules Cremoux (Fra)
                     13/11, 11/5, 14/16, 11/4
[3/4] Elin Harlow (Wal) 3-2 [1] Jennifer Haley (Wal)
                    11/4, 11/7, 6/11, 8/11, 11/8
[1] David Ryan (Irl) 3-1 [3/4] [5/8] Michael Craig (Irl)
                     11/5, 8/11, 11/6, 11/6 (64m)
[2] Lucy Beecroft (Eng) 3-0 [1] Victoria Temple-Murray (Eng)                  11/9, 11/7, 11/7 (30m)
[1] Ritchie Fallows (Eng) 3-0 Daniel Poleshchuk (Isr)
                           11/6, 11/6, 11/4

[2] Lucy Beecroft (Eng) 3-0 [1] Victoria Temple-Murray (Eng)
                     11/9, 11/7, 11/7

Well, a bit of a suprise from my end, as Victoria Temple-Murray dominated the competition so well, barely losing points throughout, to lose 3/0 to ecstatic compatriot Lucy Beecroft! It was a close encounter, but I guess Newcastle girl Lucy found the good tactic, not giving anything in the centre to her opponent. It worked...

I can't believe it!

I had to make sure I played tight because anything in the middle she'll attack and volley, so I had to be accurate and try and make her move at the same time. And it kind of worked for me, she made a few unforced errors as well!

Very happy indeed and a little hello to Cubs back in NewCastle...

I am truly delighted to win the French junior open, it was totally overwhelming as I never dreamt I would beat Tory. Although I have never played her before I knew she was a really strong opponent so I went on to try and get the best result I could.

I felt completely relaxed and was therefore able to play to my full potential. I have been training to improve my fitness over the last few months and due to this I felt I could keep up with the fast pace of the game. I also made very few errors throughout the tournament, which helped me gain confidence and resulted in me not dropping a game throughout the weekend.

This is my best result to date and I am so happy. Hopefully I will maintain this performance in the English Junior Championships this weekend where I will have more tough matches.

On a more serious note, I would like to dedicate my victory to Harry Faulkner, everyone knew he was such a great talent and even though I'd only spoken to him a few times it was clear what a nice person he was.

It was such tragic news and I don't think anyone could believe it had happened to one of our own in the squash family that we are. I thought it would be nice to dedicate my win to him on behalf of me and all other English players to show that we are all thinking about him and his family, he'll never be forgotten.


[1] Ritchie Fallows (Eng) 3-0 Daniel Poleshchuk (Isr)
                           11/6, 11/6, 11/4

As it says on the Tshirt, Ritchie dedicated his victory to Harry Faulkner.

Snowing in Lille..

[1] David Ryan (Irl) 3-1 [3/4] [5/8] Michael Craig (Irl)
                     11/5, 8/11, 11/6, 11/6 (64m)

A long match that one was, with apparently a lot of attacks from Michael Craig, but a stunning defence from his compatriot David Ryan, who managed to not only contain, but frustrate and tire Michael.

Always looking for the perfect length/width, David managed to win the 4th, 11/6, but a good game between the two Irish.

[3/4] Elin Harlow (Wal) 3-2 [1] Jennifer Haley (Wal)
                    11/4, 11/7, 6/11, 8/11, 11/8

A superb All Welsh final for that age group - when was the last time that happened - full capacity crowd, and a dream of an organiser final! Two very well behaved girls, playing superb squash, and in 5!

Elin Harlow started very well indeed, slowing down the pace, controlling the rallies, and putting seed 1 Jennifer Haley under heck of pressure.

But for some reason, she seems to speed it up in the third, maybe trying to finish too early? Jennifer used it to her advantage I'm told, and felt more comfortable, taking game 3 and 4.

But again Elin slowed down the pace in the 5th, regain control, still a very disputed game, but it's the underdog that takes it, 11/8 in the 5th.

Adhitya Raghavan (Ind) 3-1 [1] Jules Cremoux (Fra)
                     13/11, 11/5, 14/16, 11/4

An very mature performance from Adhitya Raghavan, who played very cleverly, especially in the first two games, imposing his attack game to the French boy who lost his on the way.

No real rallying, not much pace or rhythm, and no chance for Jules Cremoux to develop his normal lengthy and accurate based squash.

But in the third, the Frenchman managed to get in front better, got more assertive, and pushed his opponent in the back right corner better (the Indian boy is lefthanded), and the match became far more intense, crowd wise!

Jules saved three match balls to finally clinch the third, 16/14, but left all his had in that battle, and was a bit flat in the 4th. And all credit to  Adhitya, he took full advantage of it, making sure he didn't give an inch to his opponent in this one.

A beautiful performance all around.

[5/8] Nada Ehab Aly (Egy) 3-0 [1] Cindy Merlo (Swi)
                   11/4, 11/7, 12/10

I didn't get a chance to get a glimpse at the girls match, but I'm told that Cindy Merlo played a very courageous match, as she was injured, and tried very hard anyway.

But playing clever and accurate Nada Ehab Aly is bad enough when you are completely fit!

[5/8] Ciara Richards (Wal) 3-1 [3/4] Sana Mahmoud (Egy)                   11/13, 11/7, 12/11, 9/11
[5/8] Moustafa Elserty (Egy) 3-0 [2] Roko Voncina (Cro)
               11/6, 11/8, 11/8


Roko Voncina had to do an awful lot of work yesterday against yet again another gifted Egyptian. Physically first, but most of all mentally, as he kept coming back from behind. He got the victory eventually, but I bet  you he felt it this morning.

Again against talented, clever, mature Moustafa Elserty, he was systematically behind in the score, and clawed back to 8/8 in the last two games, but a bit of lack of concentration, plus that little devil that varies the pace so beautifully, lobbing perfectly already!

Moustafa is an extremely mature young boy, who like Roko, doesn't go for the easy shot, but builds up and constructs. Amazing stuff.

Shame that he had to be warned for dangerous game, like Omar Ashraf Adly was yesterday. Maybe something the coaches have got to seriously look at....

As for Ciara Richards from Wales, against Sana Mahmoud from Egypt, well, it was a very disputed one, with a lot of support from both camps, and a lot of people to watch!

An undecided match till the end, but Ciara taking the cake 3/1...


[1] Victoria Temple-Murray (Eng) 3-0 Océane Wadoux (Fra)                       11/1, 11/6, 11/3 (24m)
[2] Lucy Beecroft (Eng) 3-0 Marie Stéphan (Fra)
                       13/11, 11/6, 11/9 (32m)
[1] Ritchie Fallow (Eng) 3-0 Baptiste Mazotti (Fra)
                       11/7, 11/8, 13/11 (41m)
Daniel Poleshchuk (Isr) 3-2 [2] Angus Gillams (Eng)
                      11/ 6, 11/9, 8/11, 0/11, 11/7

Victoria Temple-Murray and Lucy Beecroft are yet to lose a game in this tournament, although Lucy came close tonight, saving a game ball in the first at 11/10.

Losing the first game was a big boost for the English girl Marie Stéphan, but hard for the French, who took about half the game to recover both physically and mentally.

The third again was very close, at 9/9 everything is possible, but the French girl lost a bit of focus while discussing with the ref - never such a great idea unless your name is McEnroe probably. But a good game from Marie, who I'm sure learned from it, and hopefully will learn from the mistakes.

Victoria didn't have too many troubles with her other French opponent, Océane Wadoux, who took a bit of time to get used to the English girl's pace, got better in the second, but just bowed gracefully to a better player in the third.

Meanwhile, Richie Fallows gave the French crowd some hope when he offered him two game balls in the 3rd, but no, it was short lived, Ritchie takes it 3/0 against Baptiste Masotti.

And Daniel Poleshchuk from Israel confirms his history making journey. He was the first Israeli to reach a final of the FJO when he won the U13 category, and here he is again, making the final of the U19. He was a happy bunny..

"In the first two games, I was happy with the way I played, I didn't do many errors, and managed to play my game.

"In the second, it was very close up to 8/8, but I seemed to have a lost a bit of concentration and all credit to him, he played very well.

In the 4th, I didn't try too hard, I wanted to rest and make sure I had a bit more left in the 5th. And I did gave it all in the decider, remembering what my coach Jonah Barrington said to me "never give up until the last point". And that's exactly what I did.

So, thanks to Jonah and Ian Thomas as well, who are my coaches in Millfield.

Sarah M


GU17 (Wam)
[1] Jennifer Haley (Wal) 3-0 Sarah Mekhalfi (Fra)
                     13/11, 12/10, 11/4 (39m)
Elin Harlow (Wal) 3-2 [2] Lowri Roberts (Wal)
                      6/11, 11/4, 11/5, 7/11, 11/5 (39m)
[1] David Ryan (Irl) 3-0 Edmon Lopez (Esp)
                      11/2, 11/4, 11/3 (25m)
[5/8] Michael Craig (Irl) 3-0 [5/8] Enzo Corigliano (Fra)
                      11-5, 11/5, 11/9 (27m)

Proud to be Welsh!!
by Andrew Evans

The Welsh flag has been flying high at this year's French Junior Open. With 13 players and two coaches , a chaperone and some parents it has been a successful event for us. We have had 6 quarter finalists, four semi finalists and three finalists.

In the quarters Emyr Evans in the u-17 boys had a long hard 5 setter and was beaten by Edmon Lopez of Spain who did remarkably well to come back from 2-0 down and 8-5 down to win a tremendous match.

In the u-15 girls Tyra Beattie went out 3-0 to the Ukrainian 3/4 seed.

In the semi finals u-13 girls Ciara Richards seeded 5/8 has reached the final taking out two quality Egyptian girls 3-0 and has played some top squash to reach her first super series final.

In the u-17 girls Jenny Haley reached the final with a 3-0 win against Sarah Melkhafi of France 3-0 in the semi with the first two games being very tight.

The other semi was between two Welsh girls with Elin Harlow just edging out Lowri Roberts in a five setter. So Jenny against Elin tomorrow for an all Welsh final!

Another two players playing for top 8 finishes with u-13 girls Layna Beattie and Kate Workman in 5/8 play offs and three others in 9/16 play offs with Joel Makin u-19 boys and Elliot Morris- Devred and Dan Christopher in u-15s.

Well done to all the Welsh players and we won today in the rugby to follow our last win against France! And thanks to Karen Beattie chaperone and supporting parents.

GU15 (Wam)
[1] Cindy Merlo (Swi) 3-0 [3/4] Nadia Usenko (Ukr)
                              11/7, 11/4, 11/6 (25m)
[5/8] Nada Ehab Aly v (Egy) 3-0 Fanny Segers (Fra)
                             11/0, 11/5, 11/4
Jules Cremoux (Fra) 3-0 Oisin Dunne (Irl)
                            11/7, 11/8, 11/6 (24m)
Adhitya Raghavan (Ind) 3-0 Rohan Mandil (Fra)
                            11/5, 11/1, 11/5 (9m)

Cindy Merlo, even with a strapped hamstring, played extremely cleverly, and the Ukrainian Nadia Usenko just couldn't do much today. Too good. 

And that applies to the other semi as well, Nada Ehab Aly completely dominated the French Segers, although Fanny tried and gave her best in the 3rd.


GU13 (Wam)
[3/4] Sana Mahmoud (Egy) 3-0 Mayar Elserty (Egy)
                     11-9 11-7 12-10 (36m)
Ciara Richards (Wal) 3-0 Farah Shehata (Egy)
                     11/7, 13/11, 11/8
BU13 (Wam)
[5/8] Moustafa Elserty (Egy) v [9/12] Aly Eltokhy (Egy)             11-6, 8-11, 11-9, 11-9 (57m)
[2] Roko Voncina (Cro) 3-2 [3/4] Omar Ashraf Adly (Egy)            10/12, 11/4, 7/11, 12/10, 11/6               


A very close match for the Sana Mahmoud/Mayar Elserty, a 3/0 but that doesn't reflect the intensity of the encounter. A match that started very late as we had Moustafa Elserty and Aly Eltokhy that decided to play the match of the tournament apparently, people were standing on chairs to glimpse bits of it - no,  I couldn't get close!

As she walked away from the court after Moustafa's victory in an hour, one lady smiled "Ils sont fous, ces Egyptiens! Au moins, ils savent faire le spectacle!" "Those Egyptians are just mad, and they know how to entertain!" a very famous quote from a French cartoon, Asterix...

Apparently then, a match between two great lunatics that needed a winner, as ever...

Ciara Richards was delighted to grab a seat in the final.

"I'm not sure, I think it's the first time I reach the final of an international tournament", she laughed.

"I play in Aberdale, in North Wales, and I work with Greg Tippins".

Ciara is 12, and when asked what she wanted to achieve in squash, "the best I can", she replied. Good girl.

But the best drama was still to come from the Croatia camp. The Roko Voncina / Omar Ashraf Adly hold its fiery promises, with Roko having to come back from behind again and again against an Egyptian having nothing to lose.

He lost the first game 10/12, takes the second easily 11/4, but then is outplayed for two games, to find himself down match ball 10/7 in the 4th. He just goes for everything, a gutsy performance that I manage to glance at, and clinches the game, not sure how, 12/10!

The crowd is behind him now, the atmosphere is very loud. At 9/5, a dangerous game is penalised against Omar, a strong response to a leg left out that was judged dangerous.

The Croatian boy receives a quick treatment from his dad on court, the ref goes in to check if everything is alright, but suddenly, three egyptians actually stepped on court as well!

A bit of a rumble, Tournament Boss puts a bit of order and makes sure that everybody stays where they should be, and penalty point is awarded to the Seed 1. 10/6, Match ball, and match to Croatia.

A very unlikely victory, what a gutsy performance from Roko.




English 2013

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