The main event was between Nick Matthew and Nafiizwan Adnan – two players who will be representing Warrington this season in the North West Counties Squash League – the biggest and longest running squash league in the world! Built as the Commonwealth Games Re-Match – a match in which Adnan won 3-2 before going on to claim the bronze medal for him and Malaysia. The Commonwealth Games was a huge event for both players, especially for the 3-Time World Champion, and former World Number 1 Matthew. It was one of his last tournaments before retirement. A tournament he deary wanted to win another Gold medal in. Unfortunately for Nick, Nafiizwan (affectionately known as Wan) played the match of his life and won the encounter, ending Nick’s hopes of the gold medal.
This exhibition gave Nick his first opportunity for revenge over the ‘Malaysian Komodo’.
This free exhibition was the first of it’s kind in the north west and tickets were offered to every club in the north west. I’m sure you can imagine these tickets were like gold dust among the squash faithful. After only an hour since the initial invites went out, we had over 300 requests for tickets, with only 175 spaces available! Requests continued to pour in over the next few weeks and eventually we had narrowed the list down to the lucky 175 people we could cram in.
The evening was absolutely fantastic. It began with a warm up match – a best of three shootout between two regular Warrington first team players, the all time North West Counties League Number 1 player, Andy Whipp, against the very tricky Adam Taylor who is capable of testing any top pro. The match was much fun with Andy chasing down as many nick attempts as he could from Taylor, with Whippy just prevailing to maintain the Warrington order.
Now on to the main event – The Rematch. Nick was bang up for this; he didn’t want to lose again to restore order to the squash world! Wan most definitely had a more relaxed approach to the evening which made for some awesome watching. Wan’s relaxed arm was in full swing feathering in the most delicate of drop shots time after time, making Nick do some brutal court sprints. After 10 minutes of tiresome lunges over and over again, Nick must have been feeling the pain, but as ‘The Wolf’ so regularly has done throughout his illustrious career, he continued to retrieve and retrieve until he started to find himself controlling the rallies. After an hour of much enjoyment, and many “Oooooh’s and Arrrrrh’s” from the crowd, Nick had his revenge, 3-1.
Seeing a squash arena rammed full is a delightful sight as a squash fan. The atmosphere was superb, and definitely had a special feel as it was all offered for free. Given the success of this night, there will most definitely be more AWsome Sports exhibition matches at Warrington Sports Club in the near future – in-fact with another one planned for April 2019.