The annual Forbes Squash Open has drawn top competition from as far afield as Sydney and Melbourne to our local courts.
A total 76 players from across NSW and Victoria converged on the club on the weekend for a full weekend of play across four grades in men’s and ladies.
Shepparton’s Benjamin Ratcliffe won the men’s open division, taking out the title from the competitive Michael Bolton of Bankstown in a three-nil final win.
“This was the first time Benjamin had made his way to Forbes to attend our open and he displayed a high level of squash and incredible court movement to secure the title,” Forbes Squash Club president Darryn Piper said.
“We are extremely fortunate to have players of this capability in our Open.”
Bolton – who has four Forbes Open titles to his name – this year had to be content with runner up and Mitch Beer from Cowra won the Open Consolation Plate.
Bankstown’s Jenifer Condie and Australian age Number 1 Amelie Guziak from Melbourne – two of the strongest women’s players to attend this tournament – met up in the women’s open final.
“Amelie displayed an amazing amount of talent and effort at just 14 years of age, Jen was just a little too classy this year,” Piper said of the three-nil final scorecard.
Between Forbes and Parkes, three local players finished in the top five of the men’s open division.
Club president, Darryn Piper, was the highest placed local in the top grade with third placing, NSW number 1 and former 18 years Australian champion Lockie Miller finished fourth, and Parkes squash club owner Jay Kross fifth.
Honourable mentions go to Parkes’ Shanna Nock who took out the ladies A grade and her opponent Belinda Thurtell of Molong; and Louise Webb of Forbes who finished runner up to Young’s Chloe Lanham in B grade.
Another worthy of mention is 12-year-old Henry Kross from Parkes – Australian Under 13s number 1 – who plays in both Forbes and Parkes competitions and stepped up from B Grade to to men’s State grade where he placed third.
He played extremely well, and Piper is sure it won’t be long until we see him matching it in the Open division.
This year marked the 13th year of the Squash Open, which is sponsored by Forbes Shire Council, Forbes Golf and Sportsman’s Club, Forbes Bakehouse and Bernardi’s IGA.
Two players – Forbes’ own Dennis Haynes and Springwood’s Tim Toohey – have attended all 13 tournaments.