Fierce clashes in final Londt Park matches

Neale Emslie

POTCHEFSTROOM squash player Christo Potgieter showed a high level of skill and pace to quell a determined challenge from KwaZulu-Natal’s Gary Wheadon in the final of the Frontline Underwriting Managers Londt Park Open at the weekend.

In the women’s final, Eastern Province No1 Lizelle Goosen continued her mastery against home opposition when she defeated Londt Park teammate Jacqui Ryder 3-0.

The Londt Park tournament made a return to the EP calendar this year after not being held since 2008. The response from all concerned suggests that it should again become a major event in the local season.

The second-seeded Wheadon enjoyed a good start to the men’s final, benefiting from several Potgieter errors to shoot to a 6-0 lead and comfortably cruised to a 1-0 advantage.

Potgieter was the more willing to employ a variety of shots and he was quick to level matters by grabbing the second game 11-2.

The match now entered the critical stage and it was the top seed who stamped his mark on the proceedings. Taking the ball as early as he could to keep the pressure on Wheadon, he won the game 11-6.

Wheadon, though, is a determined player and his refusal to give in was revealed in the fourth which was in the balance when he led 9-8. But then, after conceding a stroke, the Natalian twice found the tin to give Potgieter a hard-earned win after 33 minutes.

The women’s final was also well contested. Ryder showed her array of shots to make sure there was no easy path for Goosen, but the top seed’s excellent length and the pace she generated on any loose shots always put her one step ahead.

She eventually won 11-5 11-7 11-5.

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