Father outlasts his daughter
Grant Craig took out his fifth Marlborough Squash Open men's crown on Sunday but not before being pushed all the way by daughter and women's champion Megan in the final.
The father-daughter duo met in the semifinals of the same event last year and Grant was made to work hard for a 3-1 victory on his way to the title. This year, though, Megan was able to avoid her top-seeded dad in the semifinals by being seeded third and advanced to the title decider with a 3-1 victory over second seed Evans Chileshe.
Last year's match between Grant and Megan was the most-watched match of the tournament and this year was even more entertaining, with Grant having to come from two games down to overhaul Megan in five.
Women's world No 46 Megan got off to the better start by taking the first game 15-13, though she was forced to hold her nerve after Grant won six straight points from 14-7 down. Grant bounced back and held a 12-8 lead in the second but Megan stepped up the pressure and claimed seven of the next eight points to win the game and take a 2-0 advantage. However, the tide slowly began to turn from there.
Grant won another close game in the third 15-13 to keep the match alive and looked on his way to the fourth with game ball at 14-10.
Megan fought back to force a tie-breaker but Grant kept his cool to prevail 17-15 and send the contest to a fifth and deciding game. From 10-8 ahead, Grant allowed Megan just two more points to take the game 15-10 and once again secure the men's competition silverware.
Despite that loss, there were few surprises Megan was a convincing winner of the women's title. The top seed came up against Greymouth's Erin Ellery in the final for the second straight year, Craig scoring a comfortable 15-4 15-4 15-4 victory.
In division one, Lwamba Chileshe won the title from Bryce McIntyre, while Raylene Wadsworth beat out Jenny Bromley for the women's title.
One hundred and twenty were involved in the four-day tournament. There were seven men's divisions, four women's divisions and two junior divisions, with players coming from Christchurch, Greymouth and Nelson.
Men's, open Winner: Grant Craig. Runner-up: Megan Craig. 3rd: Evans Chileshe.
Division one: Winner: Lwamba Chileshe. Runner-up: Bryce McIntyre. 3rd: Richard Stephenson.
Division two: Winner: Vic Prince. Runner-up: Sophie O'Connell. 3rd: Leon MacDonald.
Division three: Winner: Dorothy Boyce. Runner-up: John Hickman. 3rd: Lance Turrell.
Division four: Winner: Gene Bromley. Runner-up: Tom Kelly. 3rd: Simon Toneycliffe.
Division five: Winner: Michael Ford. Runner-up: Brendan Sutherland. 3rd: Finn Glover.
Division six: Winner: Keegan Graham. Runner-up: Liam Sommerville-Peterson. 3rd: Brett McKeown.
Open: Winner: Megan Craig. Runner-up: Erin Ellery. 3rd: Sophie O'Connell.
Division one: Winner: Raylene Wadsworth. Runner-up: Jenny Bromley. 3rd: Tosca Rowbottom.
Division two: Winner: Kim Verbakel. Runner-up: Yvette Ridder. 3rd: Sonia Millard.
Division three: Winner: Kaylee Ford. Runner-up: Kate Roughan.
Division one: Winner: Connor Guillemot. Runner-up: Tom Lankshear. 3rd: Tom Marshall.
Division two: Winner: Charlie Prince. Runner-up: Sam MacDonald. 3rd: Tobi Hegglun.
The Marlborough Express