Squash: Jordan beats Sanville to land Cromer’s Handicap Trophy

Martin Sanville (left) and Matthew Jordan pose for a picture after their final, which Jordan won 3-0

Martin Sanville (left) and Matthew Jordan pose for a picture after their final, which Jordan won 3-0. Picture: Club - Credit: Archant

Three years ago, playing off a handicap of +3, Matthew Jordan was runner-up in Cromer Squash Club's annual handicap tournament.

Last week, with his handicap increased by seven points to -4, he became the 29th different player to lift the prestigious trophy.

He overcame a four point handicap differential to beat Martin Sanville, who was contesting his fourth final in the past nine years, 17-15, 15-12, 15-9, in an absorbing match.

To just say that Jordan won in straight games would be doing the older Sanville a disservice as the two opening games could have gone either way. The match was full of good long rallies, many of which Sanville dominated, but Jordan's anticipation and speed around the court proved decisive as he ensured he stayed in the rallies without giving Sanville the chance to play a winning shot. He covered all four corners of the court brilliantly and Sanville was forced into errors at decisive times.

Sanville did save game balls in the first game and pulled the score back from 12-14 to lead 15-14 and have a game point of his own but Jordan took the next three points to take the game 17-15 and from then on he never really looked back. The second game was equally close but at 12-12 Jordan won three successive points to win the game 15-12 and as Sanville tired from his efforts Jordan took control of the third game, winning it 15-9 to clinch his first title.

Earlier in the tournament Jordan had come through a difficult quarter-final against young Henry Baker, to whom he was giving 13 points, and then in the semi-final he beat the rapidly improving Ross Murray 3-1.

Sanville had a hard week's squash. He played brilliantly to beat the four times champion John Baker in the first round as he took full advantage of an eight point advantage in the handicap and then won two close matches against Eamonn North (7) and Matt Moore (6).

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Technical director Barry Starling was among the large crowd who took advantage of watching the final from the new glass fronted viewing gallery on the balcony and said afterwards: 'By my reckoning Jordy is the 29th different player to have won the title. It just goes to show what a great leveller the handicap tournament is and the final never fails to disappoint. Once again the handicapping committee got things right.'