Northern Squash Club in Newcastle recently held its annual Dunlop Junior Open sponsored by Lawson & Thompson Solicitors and this year home players were able to match the achievements of the star studded players who entered from around the region.
It all started with the Girls under 11 event where Northerns Zoe Shipsey continued her recent run of good form by beating Abbie Kelliher from Northumberland Club in the Final. Talia Tiryaki was the home clubs best performer in the Under 15 girls’ event, finishing a creditable fifth but she couldn’t match the standard of Lexie Ogram from Yorkshire who beat Jessica Weatherspoon (Durham) in the final. The Under 15 girls’ final proved to be an all Northern affair with County Champion Harriet Wight renewing her rivalry with County Championship runner-up Megan Evans. This time it was Megan who prevailed in front of a huge crowd. Michelle Tang from Cumbria and Erin Vitty, daughter to Northerns Head Coach, Richard Vitty, progressed serenely to the final of the Under 17 girls event where Michelle’s journey wasn’t in vain as she beat Erin 3:0. The final of the Under 19 girls included Josie Barker, daughter of Tim from lead sponsors QS Lawson & Thompson, where she faced off against Amy Rowell of Tynemouth. Josie proved too strong with a 3:0 win. As always the boys’ events proved to be very competitive and Northumbria County number one, Tom Jepson of Hexham, got proceedings off to a flying start by beating Joseph Billany from Durham in the final of the boys Under 11 event. The Tomlinson brothers from Rotherham stormed to the semi-finals of the Boys under 13 event, but then Alec in the semi-final and Sam in the final were both beaten by Northumbria County Player, Sam Sweeney from Primrose. Another Northern player, Matthew Thompson, made it to the final of the boys Under 15 competition, where he would have the chance to avenge his twin brother John, who was beaten by Tom Walsh of Tynemouth in an earlier round. Tom couldn’t be stopped however and won a close encounter 3:1. This was a remarkable achievement for young Tom who is still only 12 and yet, on his way to victory, he beat three of the Northumbria County under 15 team that recently made it to the National Inter-County Finals! The Under 17 boys event was probably the strongest line up of the weekend with 16 top quality players from around the region competing. All the stranger then that the two players who made it to the final should not only be Northumbria County Team mates but they also attend Gosforth Academy together and have helped the school reach the National Schools Finals next month. On this occasion Andrew Shipley provided another win for Northern by beating team mate Harry Little 3:1.
The last final played was the boys Under 19 and it was a spectacular display of shot making and retrieving. Home player Michael Mattimore found James Wilkinson from Cumbria to be a hard nut to crack but he finally won out 3:1. There was also lots of local success in the Plate events: Plate Winners: Ben King (Tynemouth), Callum Howie (Northumberland), Mathew Dyter (Northumberland), Liam Kahn (Northern), Kate Naisbitt (Northern), Libby Foster (Northern), Olivia Steanson (Primrose), Aanya Hamilton (Northern) Plate Runners up: Finlay Wallace (Northern), Ethan Veitch (Tynemouth), Thomas Moore (Northern), Ava Naisbitt (Northern), Evie Paterson (Northern), Annie Anderson (Hexham), Emma Delgaty (Northern) Tournament organiser and Head Coach at Northern, Richard Vitty, was delighted with the success of the tournament. “That is the seventh year in a row that we have had over 100 entrants” said Richard, “It is great for our juniors to have the opportunity to test themselves against the best the region has to offer and it is only possible because of our sponsors QS Lawson & Thompson, Dunlop, Sport Newcastle and Northumbria Police Federation”. Anyone requiring more information about junior squash at Northern can ring Richard Vitty on (0191) 2859712.