NORTHERN JUNIORS EXCEL AT COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIPS
The last weekend of September is traditionally the time for the junior county championships and this year 100 juniors from around the county descended onto Jesmond squash club for their chance at county glory. Northern juniors went into the weekend with high hopes of doing well especially as many of our players were highly seeded. In the under 9 mixed competition , two Northern players battled it out in the final with Dan Toole coming out on top over Will Ponente. Watch out for these two stars of the future. Northern's Zoe Shipsey was the one seed in the under 11 girls event and became champion with a comfortable 3 – 0 over Mia Smith from Newbiggen. Katie Barker and Rebecca Grogan are training partners at our early morning squad , so it was ironic that they should both make it to the final of the U13 girls competition. Katie was a clear favourite and although she had a slight wobble when Rebecca won the third game, she then justified that favouritism with a 3 – 1 win. Sion Gittins also attends before school squash and he made it to the final of the U13 boys event by beating his training partner Milan Stach in the semi final. In that final he played Tom Walsh from Tynemouth who was in awesome form and took out Sion 3 – 0. Andrew Shipley made yet another county final, this time at U15 boys level , but there he met his nemesis , Max Forster of Jesmond. Andrew is a class act and members will be able to watch him playing for the men's 2nd team this year but he had no answer for Max's relentless accuracy in the final and went down 3 – 0. Megan Evans and Harriet Wight are both Northern players , who will play 1 and 2 for the county this season at U15 girls and they duly made their final positions as seeded. Harriet had never even taken a game off Megan before this match but she played out of her skin to reel off three games in a row after narrowly losing the first , for a momentous 3 – 1 victory. Erin Vitty caused an upset in the girls U17 event , taking out no. 2 seed Emma Rowell to make the final where she met fellow giant killer Lowri Waugh from Jesmond. Lowri was too strong for Erin and ran out a comfortable 3 – 0 winner. Both U19 events proved to be a success for Northern players with Michael Mattimore and Josie Barker adding more county championships to their considerable hauls! Michael and Josie only have one more chance to win next year before these trailblazers of Northern Junior Squash disappear off to university. We also had success in the plate competitions where Tom Porter, Bertie Lamb , Ewan Strathdee , Felix Fletcher, Katie Barker, Talia Tiryaki, Abbie Ainsworth and Grace Moore all made finals. 6 Champions , 6 Runners / up and 6 plate winners .... is this as good as it gets?