Northern Cup 2019

Northern Cup 2019

At over 20 years old the Northern Cup is well established as a stand alone event, separate from the national junior competition schedule. It was created by some enthusiastic squash addicts who recognised the demand for more junior team squash in the north east of England. This year’s event took place at Grove Park Squash Club in Manchester.

Northumbria has been a keen supporter and this year was no different with the county sending four teams from the following year groups: Year 5, Year 6, Year 7/8 and Year 9/10. The official rules don’t allow any players who sits within the top 30 of their respective national rankings but as a county we prioritise juniors who haven’t yet represented the county in the given season. The hope is to give as many players as possible the experience of team squash, arguably the best way to play the sport!

Year 5 Team (Runners-up) – Duncan Rutherford, Will Young, Mateo Radley

The boys were placed against Cheshire and Merseyside in the group stage and notched up two solid 3-0 wins against both teams. Will had an epic 3-2 win against Cheshire and not to be out done Mateo put his family through the ringer with a 3-2 win against Merseyside. In the final Yorkshire proved themselves to be in another class but the boys went down fighting!

Year 6 Team (Runners-up) – Ethan Brown, Dan Toole, Matthew Ansell, Noah Herbertson, Ewan Herbertson

Four teams took part in a round robin with ourselves: Yorkshire, Cheshire and Cumbria. A 3-2 win against Cheshire followed with a comfortable win against local rivals Cumbria. Unfortunately again Yorkshire were way ahead in terms of strength meaning all the team suffered 3-0 losses in what was essentially the final! A valiant 2nd place though and all the players left everything on court (Matthew even snapped his strings for the first time ever!).

Year 7/8 Team (5th Place) – Joe Elliott, Tom Watts, Millie Evans, Ryan Cockett, Josh Gabra

Unfortunately a last minute injury to Joe Elliott stopped him from leading the team out but Tom, Millie, Ryan and Josh played some sublime squash throughout the day. Already being one player down meant any wins were going to be hard to come by. The competition were strong in Yorkshire and Cheshire and only Josh came away with a single game against Yorkshire. This meant a playoff for 5th and 6th and finally a change of fortunes for the team. Millie, Ryan and Josh all won 3-0 while Tom completed a quadruple with a monster of a match at seed 1.

Year 9/10 Team – Luke Radley, Ankur Sawant, Bertie Lamb, Eden Moore, Timmy Frankel

Only Luke had any county team experience in our year 9/10 team with debuts for Ankur, Bertie, Eden and Timmy. A tough group stage saw the lads lose out to Cheshire 5-0 and then get beaten in a close match against Cumbria 3-2. A play off for 5th and 6th lay in wait against Lancashire and despite fine performances by Eden and Luke the team went down 5-0. The team really got behind each other throughout the day and it was great to see them battle against opposition of a high standard.

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Thanks to all the players for representing Northumbria and all the parents/family who provided support throughout the weekend.

Liam Gutcher
Junior County Coach

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