GIRLS U17 FINAL Yorkshire v Gloucestershire
Gloucestershire have a strong line up with little to choose between all 5 players and it was no surprise when Beth Parker got drew first blood in this final, beating Jess Beachill 3-0. A tight game took place between the 4th strings Jade Rothman of Glos and Lucy Ward of Yorkshire. Rothman took the 1st 11-7, back came Ward 11-7, the score line carried on at 11-7 with Rothman taking the 3rd and 4th to put Glos 2-0 up.
The pressure was then on Yorkshire number 1 string Megan Kaye to prevent Gloucestershire reaching an unassailable position. Despite Amber Peacy taking the first game 11-3 for Gloucestershire, Kaye withstood the pressure to take the next 23 11-7 11-6 11-5. 2-1 to Glos. A brilliant 3rd string match went to the wire. Zoe Kaiser of Yorkshire was always in front in the first game, taking it 11-4. The second was tighter, this time with Gloucesterhire in front and Smith taking it. 11-8 Kaiser came back in the 3rd to take it 11-8, Smith ran away with the 4th 11-4.
So it boiled down to the last game, which Smith looked in control of, racing to a 6-3 lead. Kaizer gradually came back to level at 7-7 and then came out the winner for Yorkshire 11-9 to put them 2-2 in the tie. The 2nd string match between Charlotte Fish and Elin Jones was the decider and a delighted Jones won 3-0 to keep the title in Gloucestershire for another season. Result Yorkshire 2 Gloucestershire 3
GIRLS U19 FINAL Gloucestershire v Surrey
The no3’s kicked of this final with Gloucestershire’s Joely Bennett taking the first 2 games. Jodie Koep battled hard in the 3rd and edged it 12-10, but Bennett was the stronger player taking the 4th 11-4. This meant that Surrey no 2 Alison Thomson had to win against Ellie Lake to keep their championship hopes alive.
A cracking match saw Thomson take the 1st 11-6, then Lake the 2nd also 11-6. Thompson took control in the 3rd winning 11-3. Knowing that a victory would give Gloucestershire the title, Lake started well in the 4th going 5-2 up, the 7-4 and 8-5. Thomson is a tenacious player however, and under extreme pressure came back to take the 4th 12-10, and Surrey were still alive.
Down to the 1st strings then… the atmosphere was tense courtside and on court, with Kip Quiney just edging out Katie Wilson 13-11. Wilson was unfazed as she took the next game easily 11-2, always ahead in the 3rd; she took it 11-6. The 4th game was nip and tuck throughout but Wilson pulled away at the critical moment taking it 11-9. A delighted Surrey had retained their crown Result: Surrey 2 Gloucestershire 1
BOYS U17 FINAL Surrey v Hampshire
Surrey’s 5th string Aiden O’Brien made an excellent start beating Hampshire’s Will Vaughn in a tight match 3-1. Surrey then took the 3rd string match 3-0 with Matthew Broadberry comfortably beating Cameron Ward 3-0, to put Surrey in touching distance of the title. Knowing this Hampshire’s first string Robbie Keefe played a controlled first two games against Ben Windle, taking them 11-3 11-5. Windle took the 3rd 11-8 and then went 8-5 up in the 4th, but Keefe retained his composure to take the 4th 11-9 and Hampshire were still in with a shout.
A superb match then unfolded between the 4th strings Surrey’s Jonathan Camfield and Hampshire’s Adam Corcoran. Close all the way through the 1st game until 10-10 when Corcoran took 2 straight points to win it 12-10.Camfield played some great squash and was rewarded with the 2nd 11-7. The 3rd went Corcoran’s way quite comfortably 11-4.
The 4th swung back Surrey’s way as Camfield came through 11-6. Corcoran was ahead throughout the 5th however and he took it 11-6 to win 3-2 and make the 2nd string match the decider, and what a match it was. 77 minutes of scintillating squash with guile, strength, technique and sportsmanship shown by both players, who are two of England’s hottest young prospects; Charlie Lee of Surrey and Kyle Finch from Hampshire. Finch took the first 11-6 playing controlled squash.
Lee won the 2nd 11-6. The third was close 4-4, 8-8, 10-10 before Finch came through 12-10 to go 2-1 up. Finch went 6-3 up in the 4th, before Lee clawed back to 8-8 and took it 11-9. So 2-2 in the tie and 2-2 in the match, it was all on the next game. 3-1 to Finch, 5-3 to Lee, and then an exchange of points before Lee sealed it 11-7 to make Surrey the Champions this season. Result: Surrey 3 Hampshire 2
BOYS U19 FINAL Essex v Yorkshire
3rd string Jagpal Shembi got Essex off to a flyer as he won 3-1 against Tom Bamford. A gritty display from Yorkshire’s 3rd string Edward Stallworthy drew the white rose county level, as he beat Richard Horswill 3-1 in a close and entertaining match. Richie Fallows experience and strength was the key against the younger James Peach at 1st string. The first game was extremely tight, with a point separating the players throughout. Fallows eventually took it 17-15. Peach battled hard in the 2nd for Gloucestershire, but Fallows was always in control to take it 11-9 and put Essex 2 up.
A similar pattern in the 3rd saw Fallows win 11-7 and put Essex ahead in the tie. The 4th string match between Daniel Wheeler and Nathan Kaizer was stunning. Kaizer knew he had to win to keep Yorkshire’s title aspirations alive, and Wheeler knew that a win would give the Essex boys the crown. Wheeler took an evenly matched 1st 11-8, Kaizer seemed unruffled and levelled things up 11-4 in the 2nd. A huge and noisy crowd were cheering both players on and this added to the atmosphere and tension. Kaizer was always ahead in a close 3rd game, taking it 11-8 to put Yorkshire 11 points away from the title; but it was a determined Wheeler who got those points to win the 4th 11-8.
The 5th was extremely close with it level pegging until the mid-point of the game when Wheeler took a 7-5 advantage. Kaizer refused to lie down and crept 8-7 ahead. Wheeler took the next 3 points to get to match ball and left in the air with joy as he took the game 11-8 and the match 3-2. Both players were applauded off court. Essex took the dead rubber 2nd string match in an entertaining encounter between Owain Taylor and Jack Cooper. A dead rubber in all but name went to the 5th with Taylor taking it 11-7 for Essex. Result: Essex 4 Yorkshire 1
GIRLS U17 Play off S.E Wales v Northumbria
A good 3rd string encounter between Catherine Fields and Ellie Watling saw a tight first game going the way of Wales 12-10, and despite Northumbria taking the second game, S. E. Wales came through 3-1. Northumbria brought things level after the 4th string match between Ceri Burgess and Tegan Younger, younger winning 3-1. Georgia Webster beat Ciara Richards 3-0 to put the Tynesiders 2-1 up and 1st string Charlotte Cooper brought them home beating Sophie Alderman 11/6 in the 5th in a great encounter with Sophie Alderman. Josie Barker made it 4-1 in the dead rubber 2nd string match beating Lauren Williams 3-0 Result: Northumbria S. E Wales
GIRLS U19 Play Off North Wales v Kent
Kent started well with Bethany Seaman beating Lianne Kearney 3-0 in just 15 minutes. Kent wrapped up 3rd place through Georgina Kennedy’s 3-0 win against Elin Harlow. Kent completed the whitewash when 2nd string Amelia Henley beat Lowri Roberts 3-1 Result: Kent 3 North Wales 0
BOYS U17 Play Off Sussex v Yorkshire
Ben Robinson beat Max Ettinger 3-0 in the 5th string match to set Yorkshire on their way. The 3rd string match was with Peter Romo going 2 up for Sussex, he then seemed to run out of steam and Gavin Hogg took the next 3 games to put Yorkshire 2 up in the tie. Yorkshire sealed 3rd place with Robbie Studholme coming through a tight 3-1match with Josh Clarke 3-1. The northerners continued their impressive display in the 1st string rubber with Stuart McGregor running out the 3-0 winner against Jack Martell. In the dead rubber 2nd string match Danial Bray beating Peter Berkley 3-1in a great 55 minute match. Result Yorkshire 5 Sussex 0
BOYS U19 Play Off Merseyside v Gloucestershire
Merseyside got the first points in the board as Matty Boal comfortably beat Cameron Bryon in 30 minutes. Gloucestershire drew level in a tight 3rd string match with Callum Davidson holding his nerve to win the match 11-6 in the 5th versus Adam Pritchard. The West Country side then inched ahead after the 4th string encounter between Fred Peace and Luke Mercer with mercer coming back from 9-6 down in the 4th to take the game 11-9 and the match 3-1. Back came Merseyside in the top string match with Patrick Rooney (no relation..) beating Matt Bedwell 3-0. Sot it was down to the 2’s to decide the tie. Despite losing the 1st game to Kyran Young, Conner Sheen took the next three to earn a well-deserved place for Merseyside. Result: Merseyside 3 Gloucestershire 2
All in all a fantastic weekend of high level, intense squash played in a superb spirit squash, at a stunning venue.