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FRIDAY FINALS: Nicol Takes Boswell in Four Games and 90 Minutes.
NICOL PERSISTS IN WINNING
The difference between first and second in the YMG Classic was about six years; Peter Nicol, 28, beat the Australian Stewart Boswell 3/1, not because he was miles better but because he has been on the circuit six years longer. His body is used to the demands of four or five matches in as many days. He knows how to persist just that little bit longer and fight that little bit harder for the big points. The 22 year old native of Canberra lost, but it was a noble and praiseworthy loss, because throughout the match there was always the possibility that he might create an almighty upset by beating the Scot -turned-limey.
THE BEST OF THE BEST
It was a the best sort of final in the one of the best of venues and promoter John Nimick will go back to Boston very pleased with this tournament, already running smoothly in only its second year. The two players had only the occasional brief discussion with the officials, were polite to each and there was no body contact between them in 98 minutes of top class squash. The constant 'letting' that mars so many matches between competitive players was absent. This meant that both players were there to play squash and win points with their racquet rather than with their tongue.
NEVER MIND THE FANCY STUFF, FEEL THE LENGTH
Having done lengthy profiles on both players, I can state categorically that they both claim that they have a very good basic game. This resulted in squash that had very little fancy stuff; I would say that 95 percent of the shots were played to length. But my! What length. This match should be made into a training video to demonstrate to the fullest extent the value of good, tight length, which, added to the pace at which this match was played, is attacking squash of a different sort from the dead kills and slam dunk nicks. The theory is that you play it tight into the back corners often enough and you will get a weak response, which is when you go for the kill. And this is what happened for most of match.
THE WIZARD OF BOZ
Boswell is virtually emotionless: it is extremely difficult to read him because he never changes expression. He gets on the court to play squash and he gets off the mark quickly. He led the first game 7-2, catching Nicol a couple of times with his precise backhand drop. Nicol pulled back to 8-8 and then it was pretty even all the way to 14-14. Still neither would give an inch and so it was 15-15 and then 16-all. Finally Boswell won a dropping duel at the front right and got his 17th point. The game had last 31 minutes which gives a very good idea just how long the rallies were. Nicol would have seen the loss as a mere blip - 17-16 is hardly a score to worry or encourage either player. But Boz's length and consistency might have caused the world champion a little concern.
PLAY IT AGAIN SAM
They continued in the same vein in the second with Nicol just managing to keep ahead and then getting to game ball at 14-9 when he committed two errors to put Boz's hopes up only to kill them dead with his perfectly disguised forehand cross court clip that catches out all his opponents who are expecting a straight drive. The game was just over 16 minutes and the short shots were increasing. A sign of fatigue?
PETE THE COMEBACK MAN
In the third the ball was still scraping paint and doing a lot of travelling. Boswell led 3-0, 8-6 and 10-8 and each time Nicol came back finally to push to game ball and then winning the next point amid some confusion. He was out the door and then called back when the stroke decision was disallowed. They played on and finally Nicol got the 15th point on a stroke to win 15-11 after 20 minutes. So fatigue was not a factor. Indeed on many points luck played a great deal in the outcome. Boswell was not finished - far from it and there was the consideration that Nicol may be the first to tire considering his punishing match with Power the night before.
FRESH AS DAISIES
The fourth game was an absolute cracker, played at the same pace as the first with some huge, long, lung-bursting rallies. Boz will curse himself for tinning vital drops after superb work in the preceding long rally. But he wiped it from his mind immediately and went to work, keeping the ball deep, although there were more instances of Nicol taking centre court, volleying everything and being in total charge. But he could not keep this up and Boswell would be back in, giving as good as he got.
Nicol got to match ball 14-10 and still Boswell would not lie down. Two strokes against Nicol and it was 12-14. They then fought the best rally of that match with incredible retrievals and unbelievable court coverage despite having been playing for over 90 minutes. It ended with Nicol putting a backhand into the tin after some wonderful fireworks at the front of the court. A huge cheer from the crowd, whistles followed by more cheers. And rightly so. Boswell was now 13-14 and surely ready to steal the game from Nicol but his backhand drop was picked up by Nicol who again played his patented forehand cross court flick and the point, game and match was his. Five minutes of applause and both players deserved every second. Nicol took another title and Boswell served notice once again that he is headed for the top.
Nicol said he wasn't tired. "I was frustrated because he pinned me back. There were times that I dominated the game, but then I would let him back again. He is playing at a much faster pace and improving. He is certainly headed for the top four," Nicol said.
Boswell was a little disappointed but knew he performed well. "Nicol seem to have an answer to everything I did and I did feel a bit tired towards the end," he commented, which was not surprising having played in overdrive for one hours and 38 minutes.
YMG Capital Classic - Finals
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