Future Squash Stars in Action at Beds County Closed
More than 30 enthusiastic squash juniors descended on the Club last Sunday from across the County to take part in the Bedfordshire County Closed – the premier event for junior squash in Bedfordshire – and what a wonderful afternoon of squash it turned out to be.
The day kicked off with the Mixed U9 event, with two siblings playing each other – Anoushka and Natalya. Both concentrated really hard, and there were some lovely rallies, with Anoushka coming out on top 11-3.
In the Boys U11s, all of the players were involved in their first competitive tournament and acquitted themselves brilliantly. There were some tough battles (and a few tears!) at the group stage, and it all came down to the final match between Alex and Ryan. Alex took the first game comfortably, but Ryan battled back and led the second game 9-5, before eventually going down 13-11 in a nail-biting finish.
In the Girls events, there were also some hard-fought matches, with plenty of quality on show, and both finals needed a deciding game to sort out who would take home the trophy. The U13 event came down to a showdown between the two sisters – Annabel and Charlotte (BMS/Club Towers). This is a match-up that seems certain to be repeated a few times over the years! On this occasion, Charlotte took the honours in three tight and gruelling games: 11-8, 10-12, 14-12. It was an absorbing and entertaining match!
Charlotte then took to the court again to play Chloe from Biggleswade Squash Club in a see-saw U17 final. After losing the first game 11-3, she battled back wonderfully to take the second 11-1 before finally running out of steam in the third; Chloe taking the final game 11-1 and a deserved title.
The Boys U13s had the biggest entry and some of the closest matches. Bedford School provided three of the quarter finalists (George, Harry and Oliver), with the other being Milo from BMS/Club Towers. Both semis finished 2-0, with George and Milo taking unbeaten records through to the final….. and what a final! George took the first 11-5, but then Milo started to find his range to the back of the court, eventually applying enough pressure to take the second 11-9 and a nail-biting decider 13-11.
The Boys U15 saw No 1 seed Robbie facing a challenge from Biggleswade Squash Club compatriot Christian, from Matthew (BMS/Club Towers) and from Alex and Lewis (Bedford School). Robbie played quality squash all afternoon and took the title with some ease, not losing a single game. The battle for the runners up spot was interesting, with three players finishing with the same number of wins, but Christian finally taking second spot by dint of his head-to-head record against the other two players.
In the final event, the Boys U19s, we were treated to some high-quality squash and all the players acquitted themselves remarkably well, with some only just having turned 15. The tournament result was decided by the match between Scott (Bedford School) and Jonathan (Club Towers). Jonathan started confidently, taking the first 11-6, before Scott battled back brilliantly to take the second 11-5. Into the decider and Jonathan’s better length and greater match-play experience proved decisive as he ran out 11-3 winner. Louis took the Runner-Up spot after beating Scott in an all-Bedford School decider.
Special mention to all of the parents, coaches and friends who supported and helped to referee the games, and to all of the juniors who turned up, competed hard but won nothing. There is always next time!
Next up for our junior squash players will be the Northants Grand Prix event on the 4th December, followed by the Club Towers Junior Club Championships next Spring. These tournaments provide an excellent opportunity to develop match-play skills and put all of that coaching into practice.
If you want you child to experience squash, we have some excellent coaching groups running for our junior members (aged 4-5 and up) on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings. To enquire please drop Steve an email on [email protected]
Until next year…… !