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The largest junior squash team event in the region took place at Exeter Golf and Country Club on Sunday 12th May. The inaugural South West Junior Team Championships featured 24 teams of 3 players each, coming from across the counties of South West England, including Dorset, Devon, Somerset, Gloucestershire and Cornwall. The ages of the players ranged from 8 years all the way through to 17 years old, so there was a great variety of playing levels and styles.
Due to the large amount of matches (72 team games and 216 individual player ties) the morning of the competition had to be split between Exeter Golf and Country Club and the Devon and Exeter Squash Club. All sides converged at Exeter Golf and Country Club on the Sunday afternoon for the final round of playoffs and Grade Finals. The Championship was graded from A – D in playing level, with the A Grade being top national-standard players, and D Grade being younger / less experienced players, some of whom were entering in their first team matchplay competiton.
The goal of this event was to bring together school and club sides in a competitive but fun environment, and to allow a wider variety of players to compete, who may not otherwise have the opportunity to play for their school or county. Often schools and clubs play in separate competitions, so this championship was a move to improve the standard across the South West by encouraging more juniors to play competitively.
Mike Harris, Head of Squash at Exeter Golf and Country Club said, The quality of play and also the effort levels of the juniors over the course of the day was brilliant, with some really tight matches all the way through the grades and some outstanding individual performances.”
D Grade: Runner Up: Wycliffe School D, Winner: Old Pats Squash Club Glos B. 89 team points to 56 the final score.
C Grade: Runner Up: Millfield School A, Wunner: Cheltenham Ladies College A. 80 team points to 64 the final match score.
B Grade: Runner Up: Newton Abbot Squash Club B, Winner: Old Pats Squash Club Glos A. 99 team points to 52 the final match score.
A Grade: Runner Up: Newton Abbot Squash Club A, Winner: Wycliffe School A. 75 team points to 72 the final match score (it came down to the last game of the last match, only a 3 point difference!)
It was great to see so many players of different ages and abilities mixing together and playing each other. It shows the strength in depth that Junior Squash in the South West has, and also the quality of Schools and Clubs in the area that are able to produce and look after such good players. Things are looking bright for Junior Squash in the region. Planning begins for next year’s event to make it bigger and better already!
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