This weekend some of the keenest junior players from all around Northland gathered at the Kamo Squash Club and put on a fabulous display of squash. This was the second in the 2016 Black Knight Junior Player Series of tournaments.
The top seeds won the day in the Boys divisions one and two, Girls division one, and the Mixed division one; but none of these came easily so there were some great finals along the way.
Devlin Gurr reigned supreme in the Boys Division One, winning all of his matches in three sets. Runner up Cory Ferguson took five sets to scrape through Friday nights game with Seany Thomas to qualify for the championship draw, before beating Jade Stewart in a tough four set match, and then giving Gurr his hardest workout of the weekend.
Ella Holwell and Pippa Saunders had the crowd on tenterhooks in the Girls Division One semifinal on Saturday – with Saunders winning the first two games, before Holwell scraped up a 17/15 win in the third to stay in the match. The fourth and fifth games continued to be closely fought, with Holwell coming away with the victory and a spot in Sunday’s final. Anna Moselen won this finall, in a tough four set match. Finals day match-ups in this division were so close that the Special Plate, Plate, and Consolation Plate final matches all went to five sets.
In the Boys Division Two Maz Saunders battled with his Manaia clubmate Campbell Griffin for a four set win. There was a huge battle in the plate round between Kamo’s Liam Chapman and Whangarei Squash’s tournament newcomer Jake Sentch – the game scores of 14/16, 15/4, 15/11, 13/15, 15/10 to Sentch, tell the story.
The top seeded player was yet again the victor in the Mixed Division One, where Luca Smith beat his clubmate Abby Griffin in four sets. It was nice to have three entrants from the Wellsford Squash Club in this tournament – and two of them – Matthew and Rachel Came, had to play each other on their way to their third and sixth placings in this division.
In what is becoming a habit, Chelsea Traill and clubmate Jordyn Chapman battled right to the wire in their Division Two semifinal, impressing onlookers with their composure, ever improving court craft, and competitiveness. Traill won the fifth game of this encounter 16/14, for the right to play top seeded Ruby Collins in the final. In Sunday’s final, Traill played some more outstanding squash to take a two nil lead, before Collins powered her way back into the match to win the third. The fourth game was closely fought, but Traill got on just enough of a roll to take the match and the Division Two girls title, having beaten both the first and second seeds in the process.
Fourth seed Oscar Waldegrave proved to be the giant-killer in the Boys third division, displacing number one seed Jacob Turner in the semifinal, before succumbing to second seed Daniel Ackroyd in a four set final.
In the Mixed Division two final the first and second seeds swapped places, with Hayley Rhodes outlasting Brady Wright in a long five set battle with an impressive score of 15/2, 15/12, 10/15, 3/15, 15/7. Noteworthy in this draw, were the first tournament wins for some of the tournament’s littlest entrants, Manaia’s Montana Vette-Blomquist and Mid-Western’s Emmie Ferguson.
Thanks to McCoy and Thomas Sports for the generous sponsorship, Mike and Hazel Smith of Number Works’n’Words for the drink bottles, and Huanui Orchard for the lovely fresh fruit which was enjoyed throughout the weekend.
The next tournament in the Black Knight Northland Junior Player Series is at the Whangarei Squash Club – a one day tournament on Sunday 22 May.
Mixed Division One
Winner: Luca Smith (Manaia), Runner up: Abby Griffin (Manaia), Plate: Matthew Came (Wellsford), Consolation Plate: Hugo Waldegrave (Kamo)
Mixed Division Two
Winner: Hayley Rhodes (Manaia), Runner up: Brady Wright (Kamo), Plate: Tane Traill (Kamo), Consolation Plate: Emmie Ferguson (Mid-Western)
Girls Division One
Winner: Anna Moselen (Kamo), Runner up: Ella Holwell (Kamo), Special Plate: Pippa Saunders (Manaia), Plate: Amy Brown (Mangakahia), Consolation Plate: Tamara Marshall (Wellsford)
Girls Division Two
Winner: Chelsea Traill (Kamo), Runner up: Ruby Collins (Kamo), Special Plate: Jordyn Chapman (Kamo), Plate: Hannah Thomas (Kamo), Consolation Plate: Olivia Rhodes (Manaia)
Boys Division One
Winner: Devlin Gurr (Mid-Western), Runner up: Cory Ferguson (Mid-Western), Plate: Brad Moselen (Kamo)
Boys Division Two
Winner: Maz Saunders (Manaia), Runner up: Campbell Griffin (Manaia), Plate: Paddy Ferguson (Mid-Western)
Boys Division Three
Winner: Daniel Ackroyd (Manaia), Runner up: Oscar Waldegrave (Kamo), Plate: Jacob Turner (Whangarei), Consolation Plate: Liam Froggatt (Mid-Western)