|Dutch League Playoffs 2006
26/27 May, Utrecht
Fortis/Squash Utrecht 1
Didacticum/Victoria Squash 3
Michael Fiteni lost to Tommy Berden 11/4, 4/11, 4/11, 7/11
Renan Lavigne lost to Karim Darish 6/11, 8/11, 4/11
Gregory Gaultier beat Thierry Lincou 9/11, 11/4, 11/10, 11/9
Glenn Keenan lost to Joe Kneipp 3/11, 11/7, 5/11
Amstelpark Squash 2
All-In-Solo/Victoria Squash 2 (win on countback)
Nicol David beat Vanessa Atkinson 1/9, 9/4, 9/1, 9/1
Annelize Naude lost to Jenny Duncalf 10/9, 4/9, 2/9, 3/9
Aisling Blake lost to Dominique Lloyd-Walter 5/9, 1/9, 10/8, 8/10
Ellie Pierce beat Milja Dorenbos 9/1, 9/5, 5/9, 9/4
Double Dutch for Victoria
Two thrilling finals in Utrecht saw a double for Victoria Squash as they took the men's and women's titles. Thanks to Jeroen Baneman (squashweb.nl) and Jos Aarts for the photos
|Victoria go two better
In a repeat of last year's semi-final, Fortis/Squash Utrecht met
Didacticum/Victoria Squash, but this time in the final.
Despite last year's loss, Victoria started the favourites for the title, and it Tommy Berden who got them off to a good start, lengthening the rallies to wear down Michael Fiteni.
Victoria went two up when Karim Darwish won quite comfortably against Renan Lavigne, whose mind may have been on Manchester. Lavigne came close to taking the second but Darwish snuffed out the chance and went on to win in three.
Next up was an all-French matchup, which saw Gregory Gaultier against Thierry Lincou. They shared the first two games, and both had chances to win a high-quality third, but Gaultier won it on the tie-break and edged ahead at the end of the fourth.
So at 2-1, Joe Kneipp knew one game would be enough to take the title, and he won it quickly against Glenn Keenan. The celebrations were put on hold as they finished the now best-of-three match with Kneipp eventually winning to give Victoria a 3-1 victory.
Down to the wire
for the women
What a match. The crowd were anticipating the Nicol David / Vanessa Atkinson confrontation, but it was Ellie Pierce and Milja Dorenbos who started the final.
Pierce took the first two comfortably, and although Dorenbos fought back in the third it was a short-lived comeback. 1-0 to Amstelpark.
Next up was Annelize Naude and Jenny Duncalf. Naude started quickly, just about held on after leading 8/4 in the first, but as the match wore on made more and more mistakes as Duncalf put her under pressure, and the match was soon level.
The two best players in the world then took to the court. Atkinson had a super strong start, but as David found her way into the game the rallies became longer and Atkinson started to struggle with the hip injury she had sustained in the semi-final. The world number one quickly subsided as the world champion put Amstelpark 2-1 ahead.
In the last match Aisling Blake needed to win two games to give the title to Amstelpark. Up against Dominique Lloyd-Walter, some 30 places higher in the world rankings, it didn't look good as she went two down.
But amid mounting tension she fought back from 4/8 down to take a tense third game 10/8, and led 7/2 in the fourth. Now it was Dominique's turn to fight back, taking it 10/8 and giving the title to Victoria - two-all, eight-all, so it came down to points which were 106-103 in Victoria's favour.
What a match.
Reewoud/Squash Apeldoorn - Fortis/Squash Utrecht 1-3
Olli Tuominen - Gregory Gaultier 0-2; 6/11 9/1
Stacey Ross - Renan Lavigne 0-3; 9/11 3/11 8/11
Mark Rogers - Glenn Keenan 2-0; 11/6 11/9
Tatu Murronmaa - Michael Fiteni 0-3; 5/11 8/11 9/11
Didacticum/Victoria Squash - Punt & vd Weerdt/HSRC De Diepput 4-0
Thierry Lincou - Laurens Jan Anjema 2-1; 11/5 6/11 11/5
Karim Darwish - Ritwik Bhattacharya 3-0; 11/5 11/3 11/6
Joe Kneipp - Sebastiaan Weenink 2-0; 11/7 11/7
Tommy Berden - Glenn Keenan 3-0; 11/5 11/3 11/6
All-In-Solo/Victoria Squash - Hemubo/Squash Almere 3-1
Vanessa Atkinson - Natalie Grinham 2-3; 9/4 10/9 4/9 0/9 0/9
Jenny Duncalf - Latasha Khan 3-0; 9/6 9/1 9/4
Dominique Lloyd-Walter - Margriet Huisman 2-0; 9/1 9/6
Milja Dorenbos - Daphne Albada Jelgersma 3-1; 5-9 9/6 9/4 9/1
Amstelpark Squash – MeerSquash 3-1
Nicol David - Tricia Chuah 3-0; 9/1 9/2 9/0
Annelize Naude - Orla Noom 3-1; 7/9 9/0 9/3 9/1
Aisling Blake - Kim Hannes 2-0; 9/3 9/0
Leonie Holt - Suzie King 1-3; 2/9 9/5 2/9 6/9