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London and Flavell conquer Ballarat Open

Photo: Taylor Flavell (left) and Steven London (right) share the spoils of victory as the respective Ballarat Open Women’s and Men’s champions.

STEVE London and Taylor Flavell have both taken out their maiden wins of the 2017 Victorian Grand Prix Squash Circuit season at the Ballarat Open Squash Championships. Held at the Ballarat Squash & Racquetball Centre, the fourth event on the 2017 circuit attracted 99 players across the two open divisions and seven graded sections.

In a tightly contested Men’s Open, top seed Steve London emerged from the preliminary round robin matches as the heavy favourite with wins over Corben White, Maaz Khatri and Nathan Lindner. Equally impressive in his initial matches however on the other side of the draw was the number two seed, Darcy Walsh, who progressed to the Men’s Final by accounting for Jason Holmes, Ben Ratcliffe and Mark O’Brien. The final was a genuine armwrestle, with London winning the first two games before Walsh responded by taking out the next two. In a thrilling final game, it was the Englishman in London who came out on top to record an 11/5, 11/6, 7/11, 8/11, 11/6 victory.

In the Women’s Open, Taylor Flavell entered her final against Peta Murphy undefeated in her round robin matches.

Flavell did not drop a game in her first three round robin matches, and only proceeded to lose one in the final. The experienced Murphy had her moments, but it was the rising star of Flavell who emerged victorious, winning 11/4, 11/7, 5/11, 11/5. It was a welcome breakthrough for Flavell, who recorded two runner-up placings to Christine Nunn at both the Mountain District and Geelong Opens. In the graded events, Jason Chen took out the Division 1, defeating Joshua Boyte 11/9, 11/8, 11/7, while Rivi Liyanage was too strong for Charlie Robertson in Division 2, securing the win with an 11/7, 4/11, 11/7, 11/8 victory.

The Division 3 trophy was taken out by Mark Thurkle against Robert Greenwood, while the Division 3B title was secured by Scott Douglass in a straight game triumph over Lochlan Kent. Terry Mann’s Division 4 deciding match up with Michael Bruce went the distance, with Mann winning in five games.

Amber Chen defeated Linda Wing in the Division 5 final, while Jordan Gillick proved too good for Greg Hart in Division 6.