Broadland’s James Pickles Norfolk champion for the first time in Technifibre sponsored Norfolk closed squash championships
It has been a remarkable week for James Pickles of Broadland who, in the Technifibre sponsored Norfolk closed squash championships, upset the seedings not just once but three times to become Norfolk champion for the first time.
The unseeded Pickles, who was Norfolk junior champion back in 2002, clinched the title in style at Lime Tree Road, Norwich, on Sunday evening when he beat another former junior champion – 1996 winner Liam Nolan of East Anglia, who was seeded No 3, 13-7 13-5 13-9 in the final.
Pickles beat his club mate, the No 1 seed and former champion Ian Cox 3-2 in an enthralling second round match and the No 4 seed Dave Gouldby of East Anglia 13-10 13-11 8-13 13-10 in the semi-final.
Nolan reached the final by defeating another former champion, Matthew Bolt of Barnham Broom, who was seeded No 2, 11-13 13-1 6-13 13-6 15-13 in the semi final having fought his way back from 5-11 down in the fifth game.
This marathon effort seemed to have taken its toll on Nolan who at times looked a little laboured in the final as the relentless power of the younger Pickles proved too much as he stormed to a straight game victory.
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Suzanne Scarlett of East Anglia retained her ladies title and became champion for the fourth time as she came from 1-2 down to beat Nicky Green, who was champion in 1994, 5-9 9-1 7-9 9-5 9-1.
After three facile victories in the last three finals Scarlett had to work hard for her fourth victory as Green's racket skills came to the fore but in the end Scarlett's athleticism on the very warm Lime Tree Road courts proved to be decisive in the last two games.
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Having missed last year's tournament through injury John Cordeaux, who won seven Norfolk titles back in the 1970s and 1980s, won his fourth veterans title as he beat defending champion Robin Chipperfield 9-6 9-1 9-1 while the newly-qualified Peter Scott, who is now playing for North Norfolk, won the Vintage title as he beat the reigning champion John Paling 6-9 9-5 9-3 9-6.
Paling made amends in the Over 60s event when he comfortably beat Martin Pearse 9-0 9-5 9-1 while Pearse in turn was a 3-0 winner against Cromer's John Chandler in the Over 65s. The current Norfolk junior champion, Jordan Creed of Bannatyne's retained his Under 23 title as he beat Adam Sinkins of Fakenham 13-9 13-4 13-7.
The B event for those who play their Norfolk league squash outside the top division was won by Andrew Trim who beat the 1996 and 1997 champion Johnny Edwards 9-3 9-5 9-3 while Nick Stringer of East Anglia won the C event beating Paul Harvey 9-0 9-5 9-4.