MARTIN Geear of Market Harborough SC rounded off a successful season by representing triumphant England in the over-45 home international matches.
The selection process for the Masters team is based on points gained from playing in five regional tournaments as well as the British open and British closed competitions.
Having missed the first two events, the Open and the North of England, Geear was playing points catch-up with the other hopeful players for the rest of the year.
The regional events are held about every six weeks from September through to February.
In the first event in Exeter, Geear reached the quarter-finals where he went out in an epic match to the fourth seed 10-8 in the final game. The next two regionals at Bury St Edmunds and Broxbourne saw Geear gain good draws and he again made it through several rounds before losing to the top seeds.
In the local event, held at Coventry, Geear reached the semi-finals.
In another epic match he came back from two games to one down to have match ball against the top seed. At a crucial point the ball burst and after a few minutes break and a livelier new ball favouring his opponent’s style, Geear eventually lost 10-9 in the final game.
Going into the final event of the season, the national championships at Manchester, Geear was in seventh place in the ranking points and still short for team selection. Geear had a good win against a former over-35 national player to put him through to the quarter-finals where he went down in straight games in 50 minutes to Murray Scott. Fourth seed Scott eventually went on to defeat the top seed in the final. Geear had, with points from this tournament, moved up to fifth place in the rankings and now qualified for selection to the England team.
The focus then switched to the Squash Masters Home Internationals at Cardiff. The matches there started on Friday afternoon and, playing at number four against Ireland, Geear had a comfortable warm-up match against Tony Maher, winning 9-4, 9-2, 9-1.
On Saturday the first match up was against Scotland. Geear got off to a shaky start against Tom Adam, trailing 6-1 to the delight of the Scottish supporters, before regaining his focus to pull though 9-7. After that it was plain sailing as he took the next two games 9-2, 9-0.
The highlight of the weekend was the much anticipated match between Derbyshire’s national champion Murray Scott and Scotland’s No 1 Frank Ellis. In their last meeting in the West of England regional final Ellis had come out on top 3-0. This time around Scott was on fire. He is one of the hardest hitting players around and Ellis didn’t get a look-in as the England player barely missed a shot, firing in winners from all over the court. Scott crushed the Scot 9-3, 9-1, 9-1.
In the end the England team had comfortable 5-0 wins over Scotland and Ireland. The match against Wales was much tighter but England won all ties for the loss of just four games.
A delighted Geear said: “The weekend was rounded off nicely with a celebration dinner, awards presentations and some entertaining speeches.”
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Weather for Market Harborough
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 14 C to 23 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 12 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: East