THIRTEEN proved to be a lucky number for Malvern Squash Club veteran Nigel Long as he claimed his 13th club championship.
Long, who won his first title in 1996, defeated Paul Bullman who has also been a member at the club for more than 20 years, in a tightly-contested final.
For a second year in a row, the duo went toe-to-toe with each other in the final. After gaining a four-point cushion at 9/5, Long managed to get the next five points in a row.
Facing 10 match points it was a mountain for Bullman to climb. He countered well, but Long’s experience shone through as he hit a winner with an excellent backhand shot straight down the line from the front of the court.
The second game started with the same pattern, but Bullman seemed to flare up a previously injured knee when lunging for a shot.
Bullman was clearly in pain and could not counter Long’s excellent positional game as he conceded the match with the score at 14/5.
The runner-up final to determine third and fourth place was a high quality game with Dave Bray eventually out-running Mark Read on his way to a 3-0 win.
Vince Sneed, 47, won the plate final contested between the losers of the first round of the tournament. Sneed came up against teenager Luke Bray, who lost the first game on a tie-break.
The 15-year-old showed great maturity, hitting some excellent shots down the line to win the third game, but Sneed held firm to win 3-1.
Malvern Squash Club provides coaching for members of all ages. For more information, visit www.malvernsquash.co.uk