SIX OF THE BEST FOR NORTHERN JUNIORS AT COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIPS
Last weekend saw the hosting of the annual junior county championships at the Northumberland Club in Jesmond and Northern
s juniors were out in force to take the competition by storm.
The youngest age group available is a mixed U9 competition, which was dominated by Northern juniors. Leo Blackett won the final against fellow Northerner Wil Ponente and an unlucky Aidan Mahoney was third after only losing to Leo by one point in the semi final !
Next up were the U11 boys and girls competitions and Northern was well represented in both events. Shae Paterson won the final of the U11 girls event against Sian Tuck from Jesmond , with Northern twins Ava and Kate Naisbitt in 3rd and 4th.
Another Ponente made the final of the boys U11, with Wils brother Sam beating another Northern junior , Ryan Cockett in the semi final. In the final , he faced Tynemouth
s Ethan Brown and won 3 – 0.
In the very strong U13 boys we had some strong performances with Will Johnson, Oisin Gorman, Ben Tudor , Matthew Mahoney , Joe Elliott , Dylan Newton all performing creditably but Ankur Sawant was our only player to make the semi final , where he lost to the eventual winner Lewis Cruz from Tynemouth. We did better in the girls U13 , where Evie Paterson won a very close semi – final against clubmate Zoe Shipsey 3-1. She went on to meet Anabelle Satow from Hexham and lost 0 – 3. Zoe Shipsey beat Mia Smith from Newbiggin in the 3rd / 4th play off.
The boys and girls U15 events were a Northern juniors squash fest! In one boys semi final John Thompson had his first ever win over Tom Walsh from Tynemouth and he was joined in the final by his twin brother Matthew , who had a comfortable win over Matthew Dyter of Jesmond. It was a titanic final , going right down to the wire with John just prevailing 11 - 9 in the fifth to win his first county championship.
It was a battle of the Northern Katies in the girls U15 with Katie Barker meeting Katie Merlane in the final. The first two games were really close and Katie Barker had a game ball to go 2 – 0 up but Katie Merlane won that game and ended up champion with a 3 – 1 win. Naomi Appleby had a good win over Beth Dean of Jesmond to finish 3rd.
Katie Barkers big sister Josie signed off at the county junior champs with her third title in a row by beaten both Tynemouth
s Rowell sisters in the U19 event and Megan Evans made the final of the U17 girls event where she met Lowri Waugh from Jesmond. The two girls are county number 1 and 2 and they went toe to toe until it was 9 – 9 in the fifth. Lowri hit two outright winners to take the title.
Northerns Andrew Shipley and Jesmond`s Max Forster were the finalists in both the U19 AND U17 boys competitions. Not only that but they had to play both games within an hour of each other on the Sunday afternoon. Current English champion Max , had too much for Andrew , winning both games 3 – 0.
There was some consolation for Andrew , however , when he was awarded the prestigious John Dale trophy at the presentation ceremony. This trophy is awarded to the player who is deemed by local coaches to have represented our county in competitions around the country with tremendous attitude , both on and off court. Andrew is a worthy winner.
There were also plate final appearances for Beth Tudor, Abigail Bedford, Shae Paterson, George Gray, Sam Ponente, Ben Tudor and Dylan Gittins.
All in all an incredible weekend for Northern Squash club juniors. Six county champions and seven runners up .... a great way to start the season!