Henley Squash Club

Henley Leisure Centre, Gillotts Lane, Henley-on-Thames, Oxon, RG9 1PA
March 2024

Jill wins RAC Vintage tournament

Jill Campion, the reigning European and British over 65s squash champion, has won the prestigious Royal Automobile Club’s (RAC) Vintage squash tournament for the third time, beating Dr. Keith Bush, a highly experienced player and former RAC Open, Handicap, Veterans and Vintage title-holder. The tournament is open to men over the age of 65 and women over the age of 60 who are members of the RAC.

Jill, who lives in Bix and is also a member of the Henley Squash Club, said: “I played Keith in my first final in this tournament, when, unfortunately, he pulled a calf muscle when I was leading 2 games to 1. I knew this year would be different as Keith had been doing some serious training in the run up to the final and had had a very good semi-final win.

“My aim was to take the ball early and drive him to the back of the court, putting him on the defensive which would hopefully give me the opportunity to play the ball short. I knew that I had to be unpredictable, and vary the pace. This seemed to work and so I stuck to the game plan using variety to make Keith wish and turn. I won the first game 11-6. In the second game my nerves settled and I continued to use variety and pace to wrong-foot Keith, winning it 11-5. Keith struggled to get into the third game and I kept to my strategy, winning it 11-4. I was absolutely thrilled to win this title for the third time, in a match that was mentally a lot tougher than the score line would lead you to believe.”

After her match, Jill had just enough time for a quick shower before going back on court to play the final of the Ladies’ tournament, in a repeat of the three previous finals of this tournament, her opponent was Shane Ballie, who, like Jill, plays international masters squash.

“Shane has always been a better player than me, plus she is 15 years younger, so the odds are always against me in this one! Last year I got a game off her and that was my target this year. But it was not to be. Shane was on top form, hitting the ball hard and accurately. She won the first game relatively quickly, I had my chances in the second but as usual Shane powered through and kept the momentum going in the third to win 3-0.”