The finals of the Annual Tournament proved a fitting end to a successful season in the Sussex Squash Leagues in which most of the teams satisfactorily finished mid-table in tough divisions, with the second team avoiding relegation in the final tally-up.
James Sweeney retained his men’s trophy following a tough semi-final and a close match against Mark Wheeler, wrong-footed on a number of occasions as Mark came back to force a tie-break in the first game. Although tiring against Mark’s relentless retrieving, James started to anticipate the returns, finishing the victor in three. In the Ladies’ final, Sarah Naish retained her title after a testing three games of rallies against Emma Olby. Dave Jump faced Dave Cracroft for the Veterans’ title in what had proved to be a tough tournament. Jump clinically used his disruptive drops to win in three, despite Cracroft staging a recovery following a strategic adjustment of his shoe at match point.
Returning member Jon Liles beat newcomer Tom Knight in a hard hitting ‘B’ match. Winning the first in what he hoped to be a short, sharp win, Jon’s hopes were dashed as Tom made his trademark comeback to level the scores. However, Jon then won through with his better length shots, and, possibly helped by Tom’s shoe falling apart in the fourth, finished 3-1. After going to two tie-breaks, Paul Cox and Ben Nelson’s match for the ‘C’ tournament was too close to call, but it was eventually Paul Cox who found the winning shots to win 3-1.
Throughout the tournament another new member, David Child, had progressively improved, taking on the ‘D’ final against Keith Hawkins and winning in four as he wore down Keith in a number of long rallies. Finally in the new tournament this year, Henry Doyle continued his successes in tournament finals, beating John White in four games.