Squash ace Tim lands British masters title

Tim Vail, head squash and racketball coach at Chichester Racquets and Fitness Club, has won the over-35 British open squash masters title.

Tim Vail, right, with Pete Cossey from Karakal
Tim Vail, right, with Pete Cossey from Karakal

It’s the latest in a series of successes for Vail, who has also won the British open racketball championship and coached four juniors to become national champions.

Vail was again No1 seed for the over-35 event having won it in 2018. His first match was against a very tall South African who liked to volley across the middle.

Vail dealt with this well by getting the ball into the back corners and won comfortably in 23 minutes.

His semi-final was against Rory Pennell. Pennell had managed to come back from 10-2 down in the fifth in his quarter-final to win 12-10. Vail has never lost a competitive encounter against Pennell, so mentally as well as physically it was tough for Pennell.

It was played in a great spirit with both players smiling and joking. But Vail proved too strong and won 3-0 in less than 25 minutes.

The final pitted Vail against Gary Hinton, the head professional from Winchester. Hinton beat No2 seed Phil Nightingale in the semi-final 11-8 in the fifth, a great win for him.

Vail knew he was tired and set off at a fast pace in the first game, taking it 11-1. Hinton pushed harder in the second and took a 4-0 lead. Vail upped the pace again making Hinton work hard for every point before finishing it 11-7.

The third saw Vail tighten up and use his skills to take it 11-8 in 24 minutes.