Cromer Lawn Tennis & Squash Club

01263 513741

There was a packed balcony at Cromer Squash Club on Friday evening where a large and appreciative crowd enjoyed yet another in a long line of classic finals in the club’s annual handicap tournament.

The tournament was being held for the 28th time and the final featured two long serving club members, Peter Foster (7) and Martin Sanville (2), both of whom are in the large squad of second team players, but neither of whom had previously appeared in the final of the prestigious club handicap tournament .

At the end of the evening the veteran driving school proprietor, Peter Foster, proved himself to be the “Peter Pan” of the squash courts as he completed a unique hat-trick of firsts. Not only did he win the title for the first time but he also became the oldest player to be crowned as champion since the tournament’s inception in 1981 and since his son, Alex, was champion two years ago he became one half of the only father and son duo to win the title.

Both finalists were playing off the same positive handicaps they held last year and the six point advantage which the elder Foster had as a result of the handicapping system proved to be decisive. In a cagy opening game Foster took three important consecutive points to go 14-10 ahead and eventually take the game 15-11 but Sanville responded in the second game by taking six successive points of his own to lead 12-10 before drawing level as he won the game 15-11.

The key game was the third. Sanville was trailing 10-11 when he made two successive unforced errors to go 10-13 behind and although he saved game ball at 11-14 and drew level at 14-14 the wily Foster then opted for a sudden death point which he won to take the game 15-14 and open up a 2-1 lead. The match looked to be heading for a fifth game when Sanville won eleven of the first fourteen points to go 11-9 up in the fourth but Foster then had a run of five points to hold match ball at 14-11 before taking the game 15-12 to win the match on his second match ball and become the twenty third player to have his name perpetually inscribed upon the winners’ board which is on display in the club house.

Sanville was gracious in defeat saying: “I have got no complaints. Peter took his chances on the night and fully deserved his victory. I probably made too many mistakes but the handicap committee got the handicaps about right although if I had received a couple more points it could have been interesting!”

In the semi final Foster, who had a first round walk-over, had defeated his son, Alex (-15), the 2008 champion, after earlier victories over Jean Spruce (8) and Alec Burrows (-8) while Sanville scraped through in his semi-final against assistant tennis coach Richard Keeble (-8) after previously beating Terry Broughton (11), Matthew Jordan (8) and the 2003 champion Michael Holdom (-4)

The plate competition for first round losers was won by the 2007 champion and current first team captain Ben Herrieven (-15) who needed all his powers of concentration, winning the first seventy four points of the match and then the last 30, to beat one of last year’s beaten semi-finalists, Sue Guest (12) 15-12 15-12 1-15 5-15 15-12. In the semi final he beat the 2004 runner-up, John Pelton (6) while Guest beat David Young (5)