FANTASTIC START FOR CAMBRIDGESHIRE JUNIOR SQUASH
Aiming to build upon the past two seasons of good progress at county level, the five Cambridgeshire squash teams played across the eastern region in stage 1 of the England Squash Junior Inter-County Championships. 4 counties per group, 5 players per team, with 1st & 2nd placed teams securing qualification for the finals playoffs at Stage 2:
Our youngest team of Boys Under 13’s hosted stage 1 at Hunts County SC (Hemingford Grey), and played superbly to defeat all 3 visiting teams (Northamptonshire, Warwickshire & Yorkshire) and win the group. With such a young team containing two 10 year olds and two 11 year old players, this was a great performance and very positive for the future.
TEAM: Eden Spooner (Peterborough Town), Noah Thain (Hunts County), Oliver Ford (Hunts County), Callum McGurk (Peterborough Town) & Rawdon Prothero (Peterborough Town).
Following the youngsters into the playoffs were the Boys Under 19 team, who travelled to Suffolk (Moreton Hall SC, Bury St. Edmunds) and faced a tough challenge against the hosts & Essex to grab 1st or 2nd. Defeating Norfolk comfortably, the crucial match turned out to be Vs Suffolk……which the team managed to take narrowly 3-2. Dramatically the group finished with a single point splitting 1st & 3rd, with Cambs’ taking top spot on count back having drawn with Suffolk………incredible result for the boys.
TEAM: Scott Drewery (Peterborough Town), Ed Wheeler (Comberton), Josh Abbs (Cambridge), Josh Jenkins (Peterborough Town) & Mikey Sarkissian (Peterborough Town).
With two female teams entered into this seasons competition, both had aspirations of following the 2015/16’ Girls Under 19 team who finished 3rd nationally. The Under 15 side travelled to Warwickshire (Leamington Spa) and battled hard to secure 2nd place in the group beating both the hosts and Lincolnshire, but losing to a very talented Yorkshire team. Two of the team had never competed at county level previously, so another great team effort to qualify.
TEAM: Darcie Mounter (Hunts County), Ellis Miller (Comberton), Ellie Burgess (Hunts County), Sofia Pita (Hunts County) & Maya Hellin (Comberton).
Having set the benchmark last season, the Girls Under 19 side started their campaign in Northamptonshire (Diana’s Health & Fitness, Wellingborough). Unfortunately there were 2 withdrawals from their group, but focussed on progressing as group winners the ladies beat the hosts 2-1 (only 3 players per team in this category) and remain on course to reach the finals and go one step further than last year and reach the national final.
TEAM: Emily Fuller (Hunts County), Nadine El Refee (Hunts County) & Hannah Gingell (Fenland).
With the hardest task of the weekend with a young squad and extremely difficult group, the Boys Under 15 team came within a single game of completing a full house of qualification for Cambridgeshire. It all came down to the match against Suffolk, but unlike the BU19’s the boys narrowly lost 3-2 which just pushed them down into 3rd place. Their competition isn’t over, with the opportunity of reaching the Trophy Final and laying down a marker for next season when the whole team will still be eligible for the U15 category.
TEAM: Thomas Ramsay (Peterborough Town), Max Fenton-Stone (Hunts County), Harry Robson (The Leys), Oliver Ramsay (Peterborough Town) & Daniel Sarkissian (Peterborough Town).
November 19th & 20th are the Stage 2 dates, when the teams will travel farther & wider to compete against the other top county teams in England and Wales. With the county working hard to build the quality and consistency of junior squash, managing to get two teams to the Finals would represent a superb success, and something the players are capable of and ready for.
Colin Griggs – Cambs’ Junior Squash