Bloemfontein claims the bragging rights

The youngster, Keagan Waugh (in black), showed moment of absolute brilliance to put pressure on the more experienced Tremayne Mcdonald (in maroon and blue) during their Vivian Welsh trophy match at the Saint Andrew's squash club. PHOTO: MORGAN PIEK

Bloemfontein claimed the bragging rights and the Vivian Welsh squash trophy on Monday evening by comprehensively beating a strong Welkom Rovers team at the St. Andrew’s School Squash Courts.

The invitational team from the City of Roses only dropped two matches on the evening to beat the visitors from the Northern Free State by 7-2.

Traditionally the Vivian Welsh trophy was contested between Bloemfontein and Kimberley, however, this sadly died due to the team from the neighbouring province not being able to field a side anymore. The Vivian Welsh Trophy was contested to improve and maintain ties with the squash fraternity in the Northern Cape.

Thanks to the efforts of Garrett Amm the tournament was revived and hopefully this will lead to rich tradition for future generations of top squash players.

While a total of nine games were played on Monday evening, the final two matches of the evening provided for some riveting squash.

Amm took on Ian Charters of Rovers in the penultimate game and earned a hard fought 3-1 victory. Amm raced through the first set to take the ascendancy, however, with smart play Charters managed to level by winning the second set. Amm, who plays with one of the most relaxed styles one can hope to see on a squash court, remained composed to outsmart his opponent for the win.

The final game of the evening saw the top youngster in the Free State, Keagan Waugh of Rovers facing Tremayne McDonald, who played out of the Ramblers club. McDonald, the much more experienced player, took the first two sets with relative ease. It seemed as if he would claim the third set for a straight set victory, however, the youngster, Waugh, dug his heels in to fight back.

Waugh took the third set 16-14. Ultimately the newly married McDonald banked on his experience to beat the cool, calm and collected Waugh.

McDonald, who coaches the sport for a living told Voice that the fight that Waugh showed is exactly what he as coach wants to see.

“That digging deep and that grit in a squash match is one of those things that is awesome to see, because can’t teach that,” McDonald said of Waugh.

“A lot of kids these days don’t have it, so I’m happy to see a Free State youngster with it. That’s the sort of thing that takes you far.

“Squash is that sort of sport, experience plays a big part. The younger up and coming kids, U16, U19 and even U23 tend to be very fit and strong, but mentally and tactically they are not always quite there yet.”

Earlier in the evening, Waughs’ brother, Jordan, came from behind to beat the much more experienced Nico Dreyer in another highly entertaining game.

Full results: Tremayne McDonald beat Keegan Waugh 11/6, 14/12, 14/16, 11/3; Garrett Amm beat Ian Charters 11/6, 5/11, 11/6, 11/5; Richard Rodrigues beat Ivor Thompson 11/4, 11/8, 11/9; Alexander beat Brett Taylor 11/8, 11/4, 11/9; Johan van Rooyen lost to Riaan Knoetze 11/2, 5/11, 9/11, 3/11; Nico Dreyer lost to Jordan Waugh 11/9, 6/11, 1/11, 2/11; Heinrich Terblanche beat Frikkie Knoetze 11/3, 11/2, 11/7; Michael Deutschmann beat Jeff Bothma 11/2, 11/7, 11/6; Tristen Lourens beat Nateska Kretzmann 8/11, 9/11, 11/9, 11/7, 11/8. MORGAN PIEK