Hongi Laing and Fiona Moselen are the Northland Masters champions for 2015, following a weekend of over 35’s squash at the Kamo Rugby and Squash Club.
The Stirling Sport Northland Masters tournament featured a number of players in their sixties, including the super fit overall champion Hongi Laing from Kaitaia, Bream Bays Bob Mackenzie, and Kamo stalwarts Pat Schreurs and Malcolm Hawthorn. For both Schreurs and Hawthorn the event was a family affair, with offspring Michele Salmon and Craig Hawthorn also competing.
The mens division one final between Whangarei’s Ari Welsh and top-seeded Laing, was a great spectacle for the Sunday afternoon crowd.
Welsh had earned his finals position by grinding out a 15/8, 7/15, 15/11, 14/16, 15/13 semifinal win against Kaiwaka’s Phil Tana.
In the final, Welsh got off to a great start winning the first two games, before Laing made a comeback to win the third, fend off match ball in the fourth, and eventually take out the closely fought fifth game. The full scores – 13/15, 8/15, 15/11, 17/15, 15/10.
Vicki Ferguson (Mid-Western) upset two higher seeded opponents on her way to the ladies division one final, where she put up a determined fight but was defeated by defending champ Fiona Moselen (Kamo).
In the Mens division two round robin, matches were neck and neck throughout the weekend, with all but two matches going to the fifth deciding set. Craig Hawthorn and Doug Mills (Bream Bay) were the last men standing, with the younger of the Hawthorn clan the victor in five gruelling sets.
Catherine Powdrell and Rochelle Bekker have a history of closely fought battles this season, and their Ladies second division final on Sundaywas no different – another five set match.
Top seeded John Tito from the Mangakahia Squash Club just managed to fend off Gary Saunders to win the mens third division.
In the ladies division three round robin third seed Annette Maley won all of her games, while a count back was required to find the runner up. The maths done, Pat Schreurs was declared the second placegetter – appropriate considering that the ever competitive sixty-something Schreurs had come the closest to toppling Maley, with their Saturday scores of 18/16, 11/15, 15/9, 15/11, 13/15 in Maley’s favour.
A group of mainly Kamo ladies in their first or second season of squash contested the Ladies Division four, which Jo Mason won over Bernadette Norman. The majority of these ladies form a team contesting the F Grade ‘Superchamps’ – a national teams competition to find the country’s best club team in each grade – in September.
Local Toni Wright went home smiling, having won the lucky cash prize donated by Squash Northland supporter Angus MacDonald ofangus.kiwi.nz.
Northland’s junior squash players will find their champions at the end of the month, when the Maungaturoto Squash Club host the 2015 Northland Junior Championships.
Full results of the Northland Masters:
Mens Div 1
Winner Hongi Laing (Kaitaia), Runner up Ari Welsh (Mangakahia), Special Plate Gordon Pryor, Plate Gary Traill (Kamo), Consolation Plate Nicol Bekker (Manaia)
Mens Div 2
Winner Craig Hawthorn (Kamo), Runner up Doug Mills (Bream Bay)
Mens Div 3
Winner John Tito (Mangakahia), Runner up Gary Saunders (Manaia), Special Plate Paul Chapman (Kamo), Plate Malcolm Hawthorn (Kamo), Consolation Plate Mark Thomas (Kamo)
Ladies Div 1
Winner Fiona Moselen (Kamo), Runner up Vicki Ferguson (Mid Western), Special Plate Penny Frogatt (Mid Western), Plate Annie Greene (Kamo), Consolation Plate Fiona Hailes (Maungaturoto)
Ladies Div 2
Winner Catherine Powdrell (Kamo), Runner up Rochelle Bekker (Manaia), Special Plate Michele Salmon (Kamo), Plate Debbie Pou Tito (Mangakahia), Consolation Plate Toni Wright (Kamo)
Ladies Div 3
Winner Annette Maley (Mangakahia), Runner up Pat Schreurs
Ladies Div 4
Winner Jo Mason, Runner up Bernie Norman, Special Plate Theresa Chapman, Plate Diane Holwell, Consolation Plate Rachael Stratton (all Kamo)