RISING Alnwick squash star Chris Wiggins recently travelled to Manchester for the British Closed Championships.
Chris, ranked 35 in the country, had to fight his way through pre-qualifying to make the main draw for the championships and duly succeeded without too much fuss.
In the first round proper, he played Ewen Howard from Gloucester, ranked 12 in the country, and after a long and tight match lasting 48 minutes produced a fine performance winning 3-2, convincingly 11-6 in the fifth game.
The second round was a further step up against number six-ranked Bradley Masters from Kent. Having lost a tight first two games, Chris managed to up the tempo in the third, taking it 12-10. The effort, however, had taken its toll and he lost the fourth game and match 3-1.
Next up were Jack Martell of Sussex, ranked 21, and Harry Falconer, ranked seventh. Chris, gaining in confidence with every match, beat Martell in a fairly tight match 3-1, before going on to dispose of Falconer 3-0, in only 27 minutes.
In the last game to decide whether he finished ninth or 10th overall, Chris played Tom Kirby, ranked fifth.
Despite an excellent first game, the previous matches had taken their toll and Kirby ground his way to a 3-1 success.
This was an excellent effort against players who were all ranked considerably higher than himself and should push his ranking much higher than present and give him confidence for the next ranking tournament.