Noah Browne still on course for successful title defence
Noah Browne kept his title defence on track after securing his spot in the Men’s Open division final of the National Squash Championships at the Bermuda Squash Racquets Association last night.
The No 1 seed overcame No 4 seed Anaya Smith 11-7,11-6, 12-10 in the night’s opening semi-final contest on Court 2.
Smith put up a good fight but ultimately paid the price for a series of errors at crucial stages of the best-of-three match.
He was tied at 7-7 in the opening game before Browne won the next four points to complete the win and take early control.
The second game also hung in the balance at 6-6 before a combination of costly errors by Smith and clinical execution by Browne saw the latter win the next five points to come away with victory.
The third match proved to be the most evenly fought with Browne looking to clinch the series at the earliest opportunity and Smith trying to force a fourth match to keep his hopes alive.
The exciting affair saw ten lead changes before Browne won the last four points to leave Smith stranded on match point in a hard-fought match-clinching victory.
“I was nervous at the end there when he went up 10-8,” Browne said.
“I thought I’m not going to let this go to four games. I can’t hang for that so I was happy to get it down in the end.
“For me, experience won out over youth. I felt pretty good, able to kind of hit my targets, and that took me through.”
The other semi-final saw No 2 Micah Franklin romp to a comfortable victory against fellow former champion and No 3 seed Nick Kyme.
Franklin won the opening game 11-3 and was even more dominant in the second in which he dropped only one point on the way to a 11-1 win to move on the verge of clinching the best-of-three match.
Kyme offered more resistance in the third game but it still was not enough as Franklin went on to secure an 11-8 victory to advance to the final.
“It’s great to be back on court playing at a high level, especially against Nick who I have played so many times over the last ten years,” Franklin said.
“I just felt happy out there and feel like the best squash is played when you are enjoying yourself.
“I think that was a good reflection of how I played; I just enjoyed my time out there and because of it I played better.”
Browne and Franklin will do battle in the final for the fifth successive time tonight.
“This is my sixth final now and I’ve lost three and won two so I’d like to balance it out,” Browne said.
“It’s always a tough match and I’m excited more than anything else.”
Franklin is also up for the big occasion.
“Win or lose, I’m sure Noah and I are going to leave it all out there as we always do,” he said. “I look forward to it and may the best man win.”
In the only Women’s Open division semi-final last night, No 3 seed Emma Kean beat No 2 seed Eilidh Franklin.
Kean dominated the match which saw her opponent pay the price for a plethora of errors.
She jumped out to a commanding 5-2 lead in the opening game and never looked back on the way to a 11-5 win.
Franklin put up a better fight in the second game before squandering a 9-5 lead as Kean came from behind to secure a hard-fought 11-9 win to tighten her grip on the match. It was virtually all one-way traffic in the third game as Kean stormed out to a 7-0 lead and kept her foot on the throttle to come away with amatch-clinching 11-5 win.
“Eilidh is in very good physical shape and she definitely pushed me,” Kean said. “I was looking to keep up and when you play at the standard we are playing on every shot counts.”
Kean will face defending champion and No 1 seed Rachel Barnes in the final tonight.
Former champion Barnes received a walkover through to the final after her semi-final opponent tested positive for Covid-19.
Men’s Open Semi-finals
Noah Browne bt Anaya Smith 11-7, 11-6, 12-10
Micah Franklin bt Nicholas Kyme 11-3, 11-1, 11-8
Men’s Open Plate
Armin De Weerdt bt Peter Cooper 11-5, 11-8, 11-5
Nick Leach bt Daniele Bortoli 11-7, 11-7, 6-11, 10-12, 11-6
Men’s Open Classic Plate
Anthony Fellows bt Neil Pohlman 11-7, 11-13, 11-9, 11-2
Women’s Open Semi-finals
Emma Keane bt Eilidh Franklin 11-5, 11-9, 11-5
Women’s Open Plate
Shannon Mann bt Hailey Moss 8-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-6
John Fletcher bt Peter Cooper 11-6, 11-6, 11-3
Thomas Sherratt bt Nick Leach 11-2, 11-4, 11-3
Men’s Over-45 Plate
Greg Fitzgerald bt Stephen Young 11-5, 11-3, 12-10
Men’s Over-45 Classic Plate
Rhys Puddy bt Tony Muldoon 11-3, 11-7, 11-3
Shannon Mann bt Asa Zuill 11-8, 11-3, 11-9
Suzanne Rose bt 11-9, 11-3, 11-3
Women’s Veterans Plate
Asa Zuill bt Terrie Greenslade 11-4, 11-4, 9-11, 11-7
Eugene Bothello bt Jeffrey Ingelman 5-11, 11-4, 12-10, 11-7
Jan Brewer bt Edwin Wickham 11-6, 11-6, 11-5
Men’s Over-55 Plate
Adam Hawley bt John Stout 11-13, 11-5, 11-8, 9-11, 11-7
Tony Riker bt Canty Corbin 11-1, 11-8, 11-4
Suzanne Rose bt Michelle Tremblay 11-1, 11-0, 11-1
Jennifer Bielby bt Gabby Turchiaro 5-11, 4-11, 6-10 ret
Elijah Simmons bt Andrew Cox 11-7, 6-11, 11-6, 9-11, 11-8
Jeffrey Ingelman bt Jeffrey Olson 10-12, 11-13, 12-10, 11-6, 17-15
Men’s B Plate
Jamie Ball bt Graham Moss 11-2, 11-4, 12-10
Brett Murray bt Kevin Gillespie 11-3, 11-5, 11-2
Men’s B Classic Plate
Adam Hawley bt Jody Feldman 11-6, 11-9, 12-10
Eli Carpol bt Jason Savoury 11-8, 11-2, 9-11, 11-5
5pm: Nick Southern v Sam Dallas, Greg Fitzgerald v Brain Rosorea.
5.30pm: Suzanne Rose v Jennifer Bielby, Renee Parker v Asa Zuill.
6pm: Jamie Ball v Brett Murray, Suzanne Rose v Shannon Mann, Eli Carpol v Jody Feldman, Jennifer Bielby v Asa Zuill.
6.30pm: Elijah Simmons v Jeffrey Ingelman.
7pm: Robert Simpson v Rhys Puddy, Eugene Bothello v Jan Brewer, Jeffrey Ingelman v Edwin Wickham, John Stout v Tony Riker.
7.30pm: John Fletcher v Thomas Sherratt, Nick Leach v Armin De Weerdt.
8pm: Rachel Barnes v Emma Keane.
8.30pm: Noah Browne v Micah Franklin, Stephen Smith v Anthony Fellowes.