Junior Inter County Championship Finals – A weekend of what could have been for Northumbria Under 15s
Both our boys and girls under 15 teams travelled to Pontefract to compete in the Junior Inter County Championship finals on the 14th and 15th of January. After successful qualification campaigns through stage 1 and 2, both teams were fired up and ready to bring back some silverware.
The girls team made up of Megan Evans, Harriet Wight, Beth Tudor, Lucy Anderson, Katie Merlane and Beth Dean were first up against an unknown Buckinghamshire side.
Katie got the team off to a great start with a 3-0 win at string 5 and although Beth (Tudor) lost to a tough opponent at string 3, Northumbria were put in a great position by Lucy Anderson who took a fine 3-0 win at string 4. Megan Evans had the unenviable task of taking on England no2 Katie Maliff but put up a great fight in a 3-0 loss which meant the match came down to Harriet’s match. 2-2 in the match, 1-1 in games, 9-9 in the score, the Northumbrian parents were having heart attacks on the gallery! Unfortunately a few things didn’t go Harriet’s way and she lost 3-1 despite giving it everything meaning a gutting 3-2 loss and the 3/4 play off for the girls.
The boys team for the finals weekend was Nathan Dobson, Harry Little, Matthew and John Thompson, Sam Aiston and Matthew Dyter although a special mention goes to George Frewing, Kieran Mahoney and Sion Gittins who have all played their part in the previous stages.
Again the boys had an unknown quantity in the form of Somerset. John who has been in fine form of late showed no sign of slowing down with a 3-0 win at string 5 whilst his brother Matthew found the going tough against a 6 foot 4 opponent with size 14 feet. Unfortunately he lost in a close 3-0 battle and the boys knew the next games would be crucial. Sam Aiston stepped up and had to deal with a typical lefty while Nathan Dobson set about taking down the number 1 seed. Sam went down 3-1 to the team’s dismay and Nathan lost 3-1 despite a spirited performance and a shoe disaster, with Scott Little coming to the rescue. Harry won 3-0 at string 2 to cap off another 3-2 loss, heartbreak!!
After a much needed Nandos meal and a few alcoholic beverages (for the adults) both teams set to work again the next morning to try and capture third place.
Into the teams came Beth Dean and Matthew Dyter, out went Katie and Harry. The boys were first to get started this time against Warwickshire with Matthew setting the team up with a 3-0 win.
Form player John glided to another victory to put the team 2-0 ahead while Sam Aiston found some form to push Abdullah Eissa nearly all the way, losing out 3-1. Matthew again had to face another player over 6 feet (no luck) and lost out 3-0 putting up a spirited fight. It all came down to Nathan who showed real resilience against a talented and unorthodox opponent but still lost in the end, 3-1. So another 3-2 loss with the knowledge that Somerset went on to win the title. So close boys…
The girls took on Kent with young Beth Dean playing out of her skin at string 5 against an older opponent but losing out in the end. Beth Tudor had an epic on the adjacent court finally bowing out 3-2 but showing that when she moves well she’s a force to be reckoned with. Lucy met her match physically at string 4 and lost 3-1 while Harriet didn’t show her best squash losing at string 2. The team desperately wanted to finish the weekend with a win; up step Megan Evans. Against a talented no1 she played disciplined and gritty squash to set her match up at 2-2, taking the final game in style. Well done girls, you’ve done yourselves proud!
The under 15s weren’t the only ones involved in a final though as we had our girls under 13 team fighting it out for the Trophy in the mutual venue of Nottingham against Sussex and Essex.
The four player team made up of Katie Barker, Emily King, Annabelle Satow and Talia Tiryaki came so close against Sussex first of all.
Katie won 3-0 while Emily lost in the same score. Annabelle came back from 2-0 down but just didn’t have enough to seal the win, losing out 3-2.
The girls went on to beat Essex with 3-2 wins for Katie and Emily but unfortunately ended up in third place at the end of the day due to the results from the other teams.
Great effort girls, no luck!
Thanks to all the parents, friends and family who came down to support, without your help and cooperation this wouldn’t be able to happen.
Bring on next year!
Liam Gutcher (Northumbria Junior Coach)