SQUASH: Giles regains Wiltshire county crown
SWINDON’S Adam Giles recaptured the Wiltshire county title he won in 2011 as he defeated Rory Birtwhistle 3-1 in the final at South Marston Hotel.
The hard-hitting rallies appeared to favour Bibury’s Birtwhistle in the opening game, which he edged 11-9.
After that, Giles dug in against the Irish international and his exceptional retrieval helped him to take the next two games 11-8 and 11-9.
He showed few signs of nerves in the fourth, winning it 11-6 to wrap up victory and the overall championship.
It was a thrilling end to a tournament that saw a large field of 46 players descend on South Marston for three days of relentless action.
The preliminaries took place on Friday night with 30 players fighting to get through to Saturday morning’s first round.
And the strength of the county’s younger players was shown by the fact that three teenagers - Callum Ray, Dan Burns and Joshua Watkins - made it through.
Julian Beckett, a previous champion, only just edged through round one on Saturday with a final-game victory over Martin Sadler, triumphing 11-3.
He had a tough time in winning 3-1 against John Peirce in the last 16, while Nigel Rowe came through a five-game thriller against Simon Lucas 3-2 at the last.
The four top seeds - reigning champion Jason Pike, Giles, Birtwhistle and South Marston pro Paul Clark - were in imperious form and all came through their quarter-final matches, although the latter only just progressed with a 3-2 win over Rowe.
The semi-finals were played on Sunday and Giles proved just too strong for Clark, getting the ball back time and again against the experienced competitor.
The other last-four clash was a brutal encounter between Salisbury’s Pike and Birtwhistle. Pike snatched a 15-13 victory in the opener but Birtwhistle reeled off three games in a row to set up a final with Giles.
Wiltshire Squash wishes to thank the players, spectators, South Marston Hotel and Brian Brock.
Round one: Jason Pike 3 Mark Cains 0, Steve Wakefield 3 Dan Burns 0, Anthony Dennington 3 Callum Ray 0, Richard Catt 0 Phil Croager 3, James Ryan 3 Chris Hardy 0, Josh Watkins 1 Gary Preston 3, Dave Ridgway 3 Rich Holdway 0, Russ Bothwick 0 Rory Birtwhistle 3, Paul Clark 3 Nev Buckle 0, Steve Urda 2 Mike Hyland 3, Helen Browning 0 Simon Lucas 3, Simon Oliphant 0 Nigel Rowe 3, Julian Beckett 3 Martin Sadler 2, Mark McGuinness 0 John Peirce 3, Pat Carty 2 Mike Partner 3, Steve Besant 0 Adam Giles 3.
Round two: Jason Pike 3 Steve Wakefield 0, Anthony Dennington 0 Phil Croager 3, James Ryan 3 Gary Preston 0, Dave Ridgway 0 Rory Birtwhistle 3, Paul Clark 3 Mike Hyland 0, Simon Lucas 2 Nigel Rowe 3, Julian Beckett 3 John Peirce 1, Mike Partner 0 Adam Giles 3.
Quarter-finals: Jason Pike 3 Phil Croager 0, James Ryan 0 Rory Birtwhistle 3, Paul Clark 3 Nigel Rowe 2, Julian Beckett 0 Adam Giles 3.
Semi-finals: Jason Pike 0 Rory Birtwhistle 3, Paul Clark 0 Adam Giles 3.
Final: Rory Birtwhistle 1 Adam Giles 3.