Herunga and Fernandez shine in Wanderers Club’s doubles open
Although Wanderers squash club’s doubles open has lost its sponsor, last week’s tournament was spectacular and saw the experienced Nelson Herunga and Nancy Fernandez beat the much more fancied, and one of the tournament favourites, Max Endjala and Adri Lambert in the round robin faze.
Fernandez was making her first appearance in over a year after succumbing to a serious knee injury.
“The tournament was expected to be a lot smaller than in the last two years, but thanks to the last three years of hosting such a great event, the entries in the men’s and mixed doubles surpassed that of the last three years, and the tournament saw the strongest team entries over the past few years, making the 2018 edition the toughest one seen in quite some time,” said club chairperson, Steve Berry.
This meant that the semi-finals were then set-up for the 2017 runners-up, Steven Berry and Isabel Schnoor to take on Endjala and Lambert, with the other semi-final taking place between Morne Pretorius and Carla Nortje versus Herunga and Fernandez.
Berry and Schnoor booked their place in the finals by beating Endjala and Lambert 3-0, while Herunga and Fernandez also won their semi-final 3-0.
The final of the mixed division was a dominant affair, where Berry and Schoor ended up taking the Cup 3-0.
In the men’s division, it was an incredible draw, with tournament favourites and defending champions, Andrew and Jason Forrest topping the list, closely followed by the defending Coastal Doubles champions, Trevor and Brandon Grane, 2016 Champions and 2017 runners-up, Steven and Nicholas Berry, and then the vastly experienced duo of Herunga and Endjala.
Along with these four teams, there were numerous other strong teams that entered that could just as easily have pulled off a surprise or two, but in the end the four strongest teams did make it through to the semi-finals, and they certainly did not disappoint.
The first semi-final between the Grane and Berry brothers was a very closely contested match, as the Berry’s took the early lead of 8-3, before the brothers from the coast found momentum, and won the first game17-15.
In the second game, the Berry’s again took the lead 11-7, but again failed to follow through, as the Grane brothers took the game 15-13.
In the third game, the Berry’s for the third time in the match, had a good lead of 11-7, but again failed convert, as the Grane brothers showed their experience and composure, by pulling off another comeback to take the third set 16-14 and thus booking themselves into the final.
The other semi-final took place between the Forrest brothers and Nelson Herunga and Max Endjala.
Endjala and Herunga took everyone by surprise, when they flew to a 2 games to 0 lead.
However, Namibian number’s 1, Andrew Forrest and his brother Jason clawed their way back into the match, eventually coming back to take the 5th set 15-12.
The final between the Granes and Forrests was a great game of pace and skill.
In the end, however, the Forrests proved to have too much for the Granes to handle, as they took the match 3-0.
The next tournament will be the Wanderers Squash Closed, which will take place on the 27th and 28th of April at Wanderers Squash Club.
Plate winners: Dries Tredoux & Julie Rusch
Cup: Third: Max Endjala & Adri Lambert, second: Nelson Herunga & Nancy Fernandez, First: Steven Berry & Isabel Schnoor
Plate Winners: Gerdus Louwrens & Henco Serdyn
Cup: Third: Max Endjala & Nelson Herunga, Second: Trevor Grane & Brandon Grane, First: Andrew Forrest & Jason Forrest