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Palmer supports the local squash tournaments

Published: 08 Aug 2008 - 07:26 by rippa rit

Updated: 11 Aug 2008 - 06:51

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It is a big boost for squash locally to see David Palmer entering firstly the Australian Open, now the Qld Open; together with a small contingent of players who have taken this opportunity to visit their families. With the much better  prize money overseas it is not too often our pros play in the Aussie tournaments (too far to travel, and prizemoney not good enough to justify the expense) giving the locals the opportunity to witness really good squash and meet and greet the champs.

Well done David and Brad Hindle for the support.

The Qld Open is being held this weekend at Wavell Squash Centre, Brisbane.

 

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From rippa rit - 11 Aug 2008 - 06:45   -   Updated: 11 Aug 2008 - 06:51

Mike - I was the lady who kept bumping you on the right shoulder as I glanced to view the corners of the court...and was also talking to Brad's Mum and giving the odd clap or two.

We need more of this type of competition to encourage the players back to the game and take the standard higher overall.   Most of those juniors are to compete in the Australian Junior Titles and the canteen was being run by the parents to raise funds for the kid's expenses. Having graded divisions also helps the underdogs without fear of the Open Pros giving them a hiding in the first round.

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From mike - 10 Aug 2008 - 22:21

 I was to the right of the referee..the one announcing the score (red head). I didn't hear your comment about Geoff Hunt though. The ref was relatively quite, mostly edudicating on interference.

I also saw most of that match with Damien Bourke, and the final point. A good slide can be unconventional enough to have deceptive qualities and that probably helped Damien stun his opponent into stillness.  I wonder what the call would have been if a return had been possible? Lying in front of the tin he couldn't be blocking access to the front wall, but probably not safe to play. A let I guess?

 

The number of young players (< 18 by appearance) at high levels is also something I haven't seen so much of. A lot of the Premiere, A and even upper-B level were juniors playing very well. Two of them in one of the men's A matches on Saturday were quite entertaining when after about the fourth counter drop they both decided to keep playing backhand drops, with both players in the front corner, until somone lost. Eventually one hit a tin after about 8 consecutive drops. Funny.

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From rippa rit - 10 Aug 2008 - 21:10   -   Updated: 10 Aug 2008 - 21:25

Mike - actually I spoke to you I think.  I had looked for you in the crowd but was not sure who I was looking for and the draw had not been filled out for subsequent winners. Kim even tried to look it up for me on his computer.

Back to the match.  I was the person who said after the first rally "has Geoff Hunt returned" and the Marker, I think it was, replied "I don't know that much about squash"...that may have been you?  I was standing to the right of the Marker/Ref (right behind the guy on the right who I think was the ref) unless that was you marking? Funny co-incidence.  I might catch you another time.

Talking about good matches. This point could have been one of the all time videos, but there was no camera to be seen.   I kept flexing around and kept an eye on Damian Bourke (who was a Qld Open Rep player back in the 80's and he is now 52) and apparently back in training and he was running well too.  The match went about 40 mins and on match ball there was this all out rally with all these drops, and length, happening and in reply to a backhand drop Damian lurched so far forward to hit this drive down the line he did a sideways roll as he hit the ball (a beautiful shot) that left his opponent stunned in the middle of the court wondering where the ball went; meantime Damian was lying on his back on the floor, head against the tin and corner of the front wall, legs spread, and face looking up at the spectators and ceiling with a huge grim - that point won him the match...the crowd roared.

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From mike - 10 Aug 2008 - 18:46

The Hindle-Finitsis match was really good. Interesting to read your bigger-picture observations Rita.  I was marking that match so I was a little more focused on the details (down/ out/ double bounce) but no one could miss that huge first rally. It felt like about 3-4 minutes.

One overhead kill by Steve also stood out in my mind. He jumped a little and hit the ball as hard as any ball has been hit and put it firmly into the nick. Very authoritive.

Samantha Davies beat Peta Hughes in the Womens Open final today. I didn't see any of this match, but I don't think it was overly long.

The Tournament was very good. Kim said it was the first time they've required two A grades and two B grades for the mens comp.

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From rippa rit - 10 Aug 2008 - 08:39   -   Updated: 10 Aug 2008 - 08:51

Just talking squash.

Yesterday I popped over to the courts at Wavell, said hello to David Palmer, and most of all I watched Brad Hindle who is visiting from his base in Amsterdam, and Steve Finitsis who has won a few Open tournaments in Australia this year.  I really enjoyed the match. 

The first game was very close, and started out with long deep rallies, as the players settled down, and my first thought was "how boring" if this continues like this.  Steve does like straight and deep and is more comfortable in that rhythm.  Then about mid-way Brad started to bring in a few boasts and volleys which then brought about a few drops and lobs, and much more physical movement from front to back. It was a close game and Brad won.

The second, Steve (being down one) came back strong with better length, and Brad got a bit impatient and was going for his shots too soon, at the wrong time, forcing errors. Steve took that game comfortably. 

The third, was back to more length, and Brad made sure this time he got length before trying to do too much with the ball, and that put more pressure on Steve; great recoveries by both players, more attack, better control, and really good squash by both.  It was Brad who took the initiative, and when Steve tried to also play more touch it seemed to break him up and his confidence started to slip. Good play by Brad to keep to his plan (the one that really helped win the first game).

The fourth, Brad continued, remained patient, seemed very confident, started to do a bit of delay from the front of the court, then drop off drop, nice high lobs as alternatives, and that is what made the difference in the end.  Steve got frustrated after putting in so much effort and losing the point, mostly finished by a drop in the end, when the players were getting a bit worn out.

Well played Brad, bad luck Steve.

PS: Steve is probably lacking in this really top competition, as with our players being mostly overseas, the local top players lack the constant fierce competition. What a boost it is to a tournament having these players involved too.

PSS: Had a good chat to Peta Hughes, recently retired from AIS, and decided to quit the goal of being a pro player.  Why?  I had a long way to go as the ranking showed, a lot of training to get to the top, wanted to change, had a break and did not miss it at all......presently she is going through an induction course to work in the mines.  plays squash for fun.  Good luck Peta.

 

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From mike - 08 Aug 2008 - 11:47

Absolutely. Having these players make the trip from the northern half of the world helped convince me to make the trip to Brisbane to watch and play.

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