Bognor’s big night of squash is a winner

The Bognor finalists
The Bognor finalists

At Bognor Squash & Racketball Club’s annual finals and presentation night, a good crowd were entertained with excellent matches which club chairman Colin Rogers said were played in a really sporting spirit.

The evening was also notable for a new racketball doubles trophy in memory of long-standing member Iain Fraser, who passed away in 2016.

A successful season in team competitions during the year was marked when Jon Corke was voted by his peers as best team player.

The new cup and associated honours board were kindly provided by friends of Iain in Canada, the Sons of The Voyageurs Canoeing Group of Toronto and the trophy was presented on the night by Iain’s daughter Annie and grandson Rupert.

On court it was almost a re-run of last season when major honours were won by the effervescent Greg Jansz, firstly in the men’s singles when he was just too strong for challenger Pat Jones, winning 3-0.

Jansz again figured in probably the most entertaining match of the evening, a repeat of the 2016 doubles final as he and Will Burley just had the edge over Bognor club captain Steve Carruthers and Jon Corke. It was played at a high tempo with some demanding rallies and excellent reactions from four talented players and at 2-2 matters could have gone either way but the 3-2 victory finally went to Jansz and Burley.

In the veterans’ competiton, played this year under handicap rules, Steve Darlington overcame a deficit to beat the determined Ken Norman 3-0.

However in the plate competition for first round losers, Darlington was unable to take a second title, losing 3-1 to Steve Carruthers.

Carruthers also picked up the handicap trophy when he beat improving junior George Porter in an intriguing encounter.

Just having played the long squash doubles, Carruthers looked to be on his way when he went 2-0 ahead but George had other ideas and took full advantage of his handicap and opponent’s tiring legs to level at two-all before Carruthers changed tactics slightly forcing errors from Porter and took the decider to win 3-2.

In racketball, the singles final had been played earlier in the week with Jansz retaining his title when he beat Steve Porter 3-0. Steve Carruthers, in his third triumph of the evening, this time partnered by Rod Everett, became the first winners of the Iain Fraser trophy when they beat Ken Norman and Bob Howes 3-0 in a keenly-contested doubles competition.

Other awards were for most improved player, Ben Skinner, and best junior was Sussex under-nine champion Callum Porter.

A successful season in team competitions during the year was marked when Jon Corke was voted by his peers as best team player.

Chairman Rogers paid tribute to all club members who had made a contribution to a successful season. Other trophies were presented by former Sports Club chairman Ray Kidd and the evening concluded with a buffet.

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