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Johnson gets revenge in battle of top two

Top performances: the winners and runners-up of the Conyers Dill and Pearman Squash Tournament at the BSRA courts in Devonshire

Kristen Johnson earned the bragging rights over Patrick Foster after defeating him in the final of the Conyers Dill & Pearman Squash Tournament in Devonshire on Saturday night.

For Johnson, the Courthouse professional, the closely-fought win was sweet revenge having lost to Foster, the director of squash at the Bermuda Squash Racquets Association, in the National Championships in March.

Johnson, who won 8-11, 11-8, 11-5, 12-10, 11-2, said that Foster had pushed him all the way to victory.

“It was a bit of revenge on a 120-degrees squash court,” Johnson, 29, said. “We’ve probably played each other seven times this year and he won the National Championships and that’s the big one.

“It was fun and you don’t get to play that quality of professional squash very often. It’s always close when we play each other.

“I was pleased with my performance and I felt as though I was moving well. Credit to Pat, though; it was a good game.”

Foster, 38, admitted it was tough to lose in his “own backyard” but commended Johnson on his impressive performance.

“He played great and played the big points really well and I made some uncharacteristc errors,” Foster said.

“It’s always close when we play; sometimes I sneak it, other times he gets on top.

“I’d have loved to have won but I’ve no complaints — he played great.”

Foster will join Runa Reta, the BSRA assistant director of squash, and 16 other Bermuda players at this month’s Caribbean Area Squash Association Championships in Cayman Islands.

He said that his energy-sapping match against Johnson had served as an ideal warm-up for the Championships, where he will play in the team event.

“I’ve been playing a lot, getting ready to play in the Caribbean Championships and I guess I was hoping for more from my fitness,” Foster said.

“I struggled in the heat tonight and perhaps four games in three days took more out of me than I expected.

“It was a good test and credit to Kristen, he plays a great game and moves me [around the court] a lot more than anyone else does in Bermuda.

“I’m never able to settle and control the middle of the court the way I want to. I’m often made to do more work than I’d like to and that hurts me in the heat.”

In the women’s final, Susie Lacey defeated Christina Sgobba 11-7, 11-5, 11-4.

More than 50 competitors took part in the inaugural tournament that included three divisions, featuring junior players as young as 12 up to experienced players in their sixties.