The 2023 HCSC 20-Minute Champions have been crowned and there were fantastic finals across the board!
Mark Cousins and Dave Parker got things started in the squash plate final. Tasked with the challenge of chasing down an +18 point deficit to start, Mark was on top form, managing to level and sneak ahead with a few minutes to go. Dave then had an excellent run of points before being denied completing the comeback by the clock! Fantastic match to kick-off the night, Mark taking the win 45/43.
The racketball plate final was between Billy Bremner and Andrew Donlon, who started the match with a +38 lead. Andrew got off to a good start and, with a few uncharacteristic errors from Billy, the points were split evenly over the first quarter of the match. Billy picked up the pace and hit some great winners to begin chipping away at the lead from the halfway stage. With ten seconds to spare, Billy caught up and the match was poised at 61 all. There was then a let which meant that time was up, and it was all down to a sudden death rally. Billy served; Andrew flicked back cross-court, catching Billy out and passing his racket on the volley by millimetres to seal the win for Andrew. Cracking match and the narrowest of victories for Andrew 62/61.
Next up was the eagerly anticipated racketball final between Jason Monk and Jonny Williams. Rumours had been swirling around the squash club about the handicap for this one, with both players looking strong in the earlier rounds. Jason started on +9 and started the match strongly, maintaining a lead up until about halfway. The work Jonny was putting into Jason’s legs with some trademark touches at the front then started to show and a few errors started to creep in as Jason tried to find a way to win the rallies. Very entertaining match and JW a worthy winner 37/28.
The last final of the night saw defending champion Bertie Thackeray vs David Chapman. A tough one to call as Bertie took a +27 point head start but David had showed great form all week and his fitness is legendary. It was a promising start for David as he forced a few errors from the youngster, but Bertie kicked into gear to find a level surpassing his earlier performances in the event, playing some fantastic squash and slotting winners from all areas of the court. Dave managed to tire Bertie slightly towards the end but it was ultimately too late and Bertie retained the title with a decent margin 57/37.
A huge thank you to everyone who took part in the competition, those who helped with the refereeing, Billy for keeping everyone updated, the HCSC committee, Martin Halliwell (Inscribed Gifts) for the trophies and to everyone who came down to watch. The 20-Minute is a great competition for all levels and hopefully the event can be even bigger next with a few more entries from those of you who didn’t play this year!