Another six players made their debuts in the Junior Squash Grand Prix held at EATSC, Norwich on Saturday 16th June. Demonstrating the healthy growth in new participants, with squash clubs from Fakenham, Harleston, Heywood Health & Fitness in Diss, and Broadland Sports Club being particularly well represented. Thirty-eight players competed in 5 seeded groups, and produced many close matches, with winners coming from a wide range of clubs. All 56 matches were played as best of 5 games, giving everyone great match experience and opportunity to improve their game.
In group 1, Alex Hagag from Fakenham, again proved to be slightly stronger than the rest of the field, but was given some long and testing rallies by Jodie Dowe in his 11/5, 11/5, 11/5 group final match. Elsewhere Sebastian Marsh-Fiele finished in the top 4 on his debut and Billy Riches performed above his seeding to finish 5th. Ryan Jackson playing in group 1 for the first time played in the closest match of the day narrowly overcoming Jasmine Thirst 15/13 in the fifth game before going on to push Billy to 4 games to finish 6th.
Group 1 Final Placings
1. Alexander Hagag (Fakenham), 2. Jodie Dowe (Broadland), 3. Chris Nixon (EATSC),4.Sebastian Marsh-Fiele (Heywood, Diss), 5. William Riches (Broadland), 6. Ryan Jackson (Harleston), 7. Jasmine Thirst (Broadland), 8. Oliver Thouless (Fakenham).
Group 2 contained players from 6 different clubs, and resulted in 12 matches between opponents who had not previously met. As in group 1, Keira Martin from Harleston proved to be slightly stronger than the rest of the field in winning the group without dropping a game. However, seven of the remaining 9 matches finished 3-1 to show just how close and competitive the rest of the group was. Logan Caffell (Broadland) and Connie Harris (Rossis) both gained 2 wins from 3 matches to finish well above their seeded positions.
Group 2 Final Placings
1. Keira Martin (Harleston), 2. Logan Caffell (Broadland), 3. Harry Cox (Heywood, Diss), 4. Jordan Rumbles (Fakenham), 5. Constance Harris (Rossis), 6. Evan Lagrange (Fakenham), 7. Jake Jackson (Harleston), 8. Maddie Smith (Barnham Broom).
Group 3 also included players from 6 different clubs, and again provided a very close series of matches. Alex Ford from Heywood, Diss stole the show in his debut Grand Prix by twice coming from 2-1 down to best Garbiel Escalera and Tom Daley in back to back matches to clinch the group win. A very impressive first tournament from Alex. Tom Daley (Harleston), Millie Cunningham and Mia Chase (Broadland) all gained 2 wins from 3 matches to finish in strong positions.
Group 3 Final Placings
1. Alex Ford (Heywood, Diss), 2. Tom Daley (Harleston), 3. Millie Cunningham (Broadland),
4. Gabriel Escalera (EATSC), 5. Mia Chase (Broadland), 6. Rosie Green (King’s Lynn), 7. Luc Davies (Harleston), 8. Isabelle Harris (Rossis)
Group 4 contained a strong contingent from Fakenham competing against 2 players from King’s Lynn, and 2 more newcomers from Heywood, Diss. Again, another very close series of matches took place with 10 of the 12 pairings finishing 3-1 or 3-2. The Fakenham duo of Charlie Smith and Thomas Howlett made it through to the final where Charlie continued his progress with a 3-1 win.
Group 4 Final Placings
1. Charlie Smith (Fakenham), 2. Thomas Howlett (Fakenham), 3. Freya Botting (KL), 4. Alden Botting (KL), 5. Thomas Allen (Heywood, Diss), 6. Luke Grennard (Heywood, Diss), 7. George Rivett (Fakenham), 8. Ben Abram (Fakenham).
Group 5 saw 3 juniors from Broadland take on 2 players from Fakenham, and the enthusiastic Poppy Nosedar from Heywood playing her first tournament. Playing best of 5 matches, their confidence and play improved throughout the day and should provide plenty of encouragement for future events. After narrowly beating Max Ewing 11/9 in the fifth, a delighted William Mack (Broadland) went on to gain 2 more victories for his first group win after several attempts. Poppy Nosedar finished a strong second and looks a great prospect for the future, and Euan Fryer came back to win both his last 2 matches 3-2 to finish 4th to complete an excllent days play.
Group 5 Final Placings
1.William Mack (Broadland), 2. Poppy Nosedar (Heywood), 3. Thomas Smith (Fakenham),
4. Euan Fryer (Broadland), 5. Max Ewing (Fakenham), 6. James Walsh (Broadland)
Many Thanks to Tracy Allen and Jamie Goodrich for assisting with the Tournament organisation, and for EATSC for providing the venue, and hosting the event.