CLINICAL HERRIEVEN REGAINS HIS TITLE
Twenty eight year old Ben Herrieven, the No.1 seed, regained his title in Cromer Squash club's annual club championships on Friday evening when he defeated the current club veteran's champion, Matt Copeman, seeded No.2, 9-1 9-3 9-5 turning in a display of ruthless efficiency.
Herrieven, who won the title in 2012 was appearing in his fourth final and Copeman, who was runner-up in 2011, his second, and the final was a repeat of the 2011 semi-final in which Copeman came out on top. However, straight from the start Herrieven made sure there was no chance of this result being repeated as he stormed through the opening game in one hand with a series of powerful ground strokes and volleys into the back corners.
Copeman did start the second game much better until, with neither player able to take control, Herrieven won four consecutive rallies to open up a 5-2 lead which he subsequently increased to 8-2 before closing out the game 9-3. Copeman had got drawn into Herrieven's hard hitting game but in the third game he did try and slow the game down and a series of deft touches enabled him to open up a 4-1 lead. The respite, however, was only temporary as Herrieven surged ahead 5-4 and after a brief exchange of rallies took the last four points to win the game 9-5 and the match 3-0.
In the semi-finals Herrieven had beaten the club's team captain Martin Sanville in straight games while Copeman had a much harder match against the 2013 champion, Stephen Watts, coming out on top 3-1.
Afterwards Herrieven said: "I made a big mistake in being away from the club and not entering last year's tournament so I was determined to put that right. It is a special feeling to see your name up on the club honours board." Copeman in turn said: "All credit to Ben. I have no excuses and was completely outplayed."
Technical Director Barry Starling, who was one of the large crowd watching from the balcony, said: "It is good to have Ben back playing at the club and he thoroughly deserved his victory. I know it is easy to play from the balcony but I thought that if Matt, who is a very good player, had been able to slow the game down earlier he could well have made it a closer match."
The plate competition for those who lost their first round matches was won for the second time in three years by Matthew Jordan, who lost to Herrieven in the first round and went on to beat the less experienced Steve Price, who after losing to Stephen Watts, played well to reach his second successive plate final, 9-5 9-6 9-1.