The first Norfolk Junior Squash Grand Prix of 2018 took place at Harleston on Sunday 22nd April and contained players from all round the county, including an impressive 8 players playing their first ever Grand Prix event.
In Group 1 strong favourite Jack Pritchard from the home Club, had a fairly comfortable day winning all 3 matches without dropping a game. Ross Wilson, our National U16 Racketlon Champion gave Jack a tough first game in the group 1 Final before Jack took control with an 11/8, 11/6, 11/3 win. Local girl Ella Hall, now based in Suffolk, who plays for the East Region and Norfolk U15 girls Team finished 3rd, and another first time entry Walter Buttery from Norwich finished 5th.
Group 1 Final Positions:-
1.Jack Pritchard (Harleston), 2. Ross Wilson (Lowestoft), 3. Ella Hall, 4. Chris Nixon (EATSC), 5. Walter Buttery (EATSC), 6. William ‘Billy’ Riches (Broadland)
The home club also featured well in group 2 with brothers Ryan & Jake Jackson playing alongside Keira Martin, who had made the dash up from Surrey that morning following a cancelled match in a National junior Tournament. Keira was on court straight away to win both of her first round matches & progress to the group 2 final, whilst Club mate Ryan Jackson did similarly to set up an all Harleston Final. It was also nice to see Loddon Squash Club represented in the form of Joe Wicks, and the enthusiastic Harry Cox present from Heywood, Diss.
The final series of matches for position produced a cracking series of battles. MillIe Cunningham from Broadland, swelling the number of female players to an impressive 8, beat Joe Wicks 11/8, 7/11, 12/10, 7/11, 11/7 to finish 5th. Harry Cox beat Jake Jackson 12/10, 9/11, 7/11, 11/2, 11/8 to finish 3rd, and Ryan Jackson beat Keira 7/11, 11/3, 11/7, 5/11, 11/7 to give Harleston their second group win of the day.
Group 2 Final Positions:-
1.Ryan Jackson (Harleston), 2. Keira Martin (Harleston), 3. Harry Cox (Heywood, Diss)
4. Jake Jackson (Harleston), 5. Millie Cunningham (Broadland), 6. Joe Wicks (Loddon)
In group 3 Broadland were well represented with 3 female players competing against boys from Harleston & EATSC, Norwich. Group A produced a clear cut set of results which saw top seed Abi Cramer record 2, 2-0 wins to go through to the final & Luc Davis beat Becky Henden to proceed to the ¾ position playoff. Group B was however far from clear cut, with each of the 3 players winning and losing to each other by a score of 2-1. This meant that each player finished with an identical playing record of 1 match win, 3 games won and lost each. Tournament promoter Jamie Goodrich was then given the high pressure task of adding up all of the players points totals, to decide who would play for the final positions. Fortunately no player had an identical points total, and saw Gabriel Escalera end on +9 Pts, Freddie Kirk on +2, and Mia Chase in her first ever Tournament on -11.
The final set of matches saw some very competitive games with Abi Cramer justifying her No. 1 seed by beating Gabliel 3-1, whilst Freddie Kirk, using height very effectively during his rallies, also beat club mate Luc Davies 3-1, & Mia went on to gain additional much needed match experience with a 3-0 win against Becky Henden.
Group 3 Final Positions:-
1. Abi Cramer (Broadland), 2. Gabriel Escalera (EATSC), 3. Freddie Kirk (Harleston),
4. Luc Davies (Harleston), 5. Mia Chase (Broadland), 6. Becky Henden (Broadland)
Group 4 contained 5 players playing in their first ever tournament, gaining invaluable match and marking experience. All of the players gained in confidence during the mornings matches, and will be able to build on this experience for future tournaments. Twins Constance & Isobelle Harris from Rossis proved to be a little too strong for the other newcomers on the day, and proceeded through to the group final to play each other in the final. Connie eventually getting the upper hand to win 3-1, 11/6, 5/11, 11/8, 11/0. Promising Alexander Harrison beat the improving Noah Burrows from Warwickshire, 11/6, 11/4, 13/11, & James Walsh finish with a 3-0 win against the plucky Jack Waring.
Group 4 Final Positions:-
1.Connie Harris (Rossis), 2, Isobelle Harris (Rossis), 3. Alexander Harrison (EATSC),
4. Noah Burrows (Warwicks), 5. James Walsh (Broadland), 6. Jack Waring (EATSC)
A. G. Henden