Johannesburg Country Club
Paul Atkinson and Diana Haynes capture 2 national doubles titles.
The Tswalu S A National Squash Doubles Championship – the 9th year sponsored by the kind donation of Mr Nicky Oppenheimer – was successfully completed at the extremely attractive and well appointed Johannesburg Country Club at the weekend. It was a pleasure to have Mr and Mrs Oppenheimer visit the championships on the Thursday evening.
180 players contested the 7 sections and the competition in a number of matches was extremely fierce – many matches were completed at 11-10 in the fifth !!!!!
A perturbing but interesting aspect is that for many of the finalists it was a definite case of dejavu !
Mike Tootill was runner –up in the men’s doubles in 1990 with Gary Zeller : again in 1994 with Zeller : in 1997 with Glenn Whittaker : in 2003 and 2010 runner-up with Paul Atkinson: in 2004,2005, 2007, 2014 Tootill and Atkinson were victorious and in 2015 they collect their fifth national title . In the Mixed doubles Tootill was runner-up in 1998, 2005, 2009, 2010: winner with Farrah Sterne in 2008 .
Angie Clifton Parks has appeared in 14 women’s finals !!! Runner-up in 1998 with Sjeanne Cawdry and then they were winners in 1999, 2000 and 2001. Clifton Parks together with Haynes( formerly Argyle) have contested 10 finals – a record which will take lot of beating. They were runners-up in 2003, 2008 and 2010 : winners in 2002, 2004, 2005, 2008 , 2009, 2011, 2012 and then triumphant again this year.
Atkinson and Haynes have also appeared in a number of mixed finals: 2007 and 2008 they were runners-up while in 2009 and 10 they were winners. In 20112 Haynes won the title with Andrew martin and in 2013 Atkinson partnered Cheyna Tucker to victory.
2015 saw Western Province’s Paul Atkinson and Diana Haynes of Central Gauteng capture two titles.Together they won their fourth mixed doubles title defeating Mike Tootill and Lume Landman by 3 games to 1 in the final.
The men’s doubles final saw Atkinson and Tootill collect their fifth national title when they outlasted Christo Potgieter partnered by J P Brits in a two hour long tussle.
Haynes, partnered by the experienced Angie Clifton Parks, combined to annex their eighth women’s crown by defeating the Landman twins, Elani and Lume in 4 games.
With the prospect of the Commonwealth Games being staged in Durban in 2022 squash should be included and doubles is one of the disciplines. Hopefully SASCOC will have different selection criteria – at present one has to be in the top 5 in the Commonwealth – and this will encourage and motivate more and more players to become involved .
( Rodney Durbach partnered by Natalie Grainger won a bronze medal at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur and Grainger collected a second bronze with Claire Nitch in the women’s doubles.)
Men : A Section : P Atkinson/M Tootill bt C Potgieter/J P Brits 3-2 ; 3rd Place: J Gouweloo/A McGuigan bt M Wood/S Nicholson 3-0
B Section : B Coetzee/R Abrams bt B Nieuwoudt/M Deacon 3-1
Masters Section : D Hector/A Waller bt D Venter/G van Rensburg 3-2
Women : A Section ; D Haynes/A Clifton-Parks bt E Landman/L Landman 3-1 ; 3rd place : A Weir/N Helwick bt J Usher/M Westmorland 3-1
B Section : M Kohne/J Dawson bt M Groenewald/H Korff 3-2.
Mixed Doubles : P Atkinson/D Haynes bt M Tootill/L Landman 3-1: 3rd Place : S Erasmus and A Pienaar bt M Dunn/E Landman 3-2