Junior County Closed 2013 – Report

WINNERS ONE AND ALL: All the county champions: back row - Georgia Webster (U15&17), Maria Bainbridge (U19), Chris Wiggins (U19), Jamie Todd (U17), Michael Mattimore (U15); front row - Katy Merlane (U11), Erin Vitty (U13), Ollie Forster (Mixed U9), Tom Walsh (U11), Max Forster (U13)

ALNWICK’s rising star Chris Wiggins had to dig deep to clinch the showpiece Boys U19 final of the Northumbria County Championships in front of a packed crowd.

Wiggins fought superbly to triumph 3-2 after an epic encounter on Court 1 at Jesmond’s Northumberland Club, rounding off a superb weekend of squash.

He trailed 1-0 and 2-1 before clinching the last two games against force-of-nature Cai Younger. A real clash of styles, this one, with Wiggins’ smooth drives and clinical kills just overcoming the athleticism and shot variation of his Northern-based rival.

“It was a great tussle that went to and fro,” said County coach Dave Barnett, after over an hour of rich entertainment for the crowd. “It was a long, physically tough game and both juniors played a very mature match. This is Chris’ first junior county title – I know how hard he works for it and it is richly deserved.”

The weekend tournament – jointly sponsored by DB Glaziers and Dunlop – showed the great strength in depth of county junior squash at the moment – but really, there is nobody quite like Maria.

Bainbridge, that is, whose wristy flicks and fading drops from deep are joy to behold for everyone – apart from her opponent, that is.

The Northumberland Club player, who also helped run the event, yet again proved too strong for her rivals and cruised home 3-0 in the final of the Girls U19 category – ahead of clubmate Charlotte Cooper, whose hard-hitting style helped her to runners-up spot.

Tynemouth’s top male junior, Jamie Todd, so quick and very possible made of elastic, was again to the fore in the Boys U17 section, seeing off ‘The Broughtinator’ (Northern’s fast-improving Sam Broughton) 3-0 in the final to clinch another well-deserved trophy to add to his collection.

It was double glory in the girls U15/U17 where strong opponents one and all were caught like flies in Georgia’s Web(-ster). The steely-eyed Jesmond starlet really found her form to beat Charlotte Cooper 3-1 in the final of the U17 event (11-8,11-5, 8-11, 11-6) – a superb match with some long, hard-hitting rallies . . .

Then had a short nap (possibly) before clinching the U15 title, 3-0 against Tynemouth’s smooth shot-maker Laura Neill.

Northern’s flame-haired dynamo Michael Mattimore takes some stopping at any age level – let alone U15. As strong as an ox (but like a really fast, agile one . . . who can hold a squash racket), he again proved too much for the competition, clinching the county title 3-0 in the final ahead of the ever-improving Angus Forster, eldest of the unstoppable Forster squash clan.

Middle brother Max proved too much for the competition at U13s – emerging triumphant 3-0 ahead of Northern’s Andrew Shipley in a hotly-contested final – the sort of match which shows the future of county squash is in safe hands . . .

While baby bear Ollie Forster was not to be outdone, lifting the Mixed Under 9 title with some aplomb.

The younger girls age groups is thriving these days; Northern’s Erin Vitty showed a cool head and silky racket skills to clinch the U13 trophy, with a 3-1 win over Lowri Waugh, while Katie Merlane of Northern and Beth Dean (Northumberland Club) produced an enthralling battle in the final of the U11s, with Katie edging home 11-6, 11-9, 11-5.

And in the Boys U11 section, Tynemouth hotshot Tom Walsh proved top dog, seeing off strong competition from the fast-improving Dan Neill – 3-0 but a real nail-biter, this, 11-9, 11-9, 11-8.

RESULTS (top four):

BOYS U19: 1) Chris Wiggins; 2) Cai Younger; 3) Jamie Todd; 4: Dan Wareing
GIRLS U19: 1) Maria Bainbridge: 2) Charlotte Cooper: 3) Tegan Younger: 4) Caitlin Vitty
BOYS U17: 1) Jamie Todd; 2) Sam Broughton; 3) Dan North; 4) Tom Wight
GIRLS U17: 1) Georgia Webster; 2) Charlotte Cooper; 3) Tegan Younger; 4) Ellie Watling
BOYS U15: 1) Michael Mattimore; 2) Angus Forster; 3) Joe Wareing; 4) Mattew Carr
GIRLS U15: 1) Georgia Webster; 2) Laura Neill; 3) Josie Barker; 4) Emma Rowell
BOYS U13: 1) Max Forster; 2) Andrew Shipley; 3) Tom Cornell; 4) Lewis Follin
GIRLS U13: 1) Erin Vitty; 2) Lowri Waugh; 3) Aanya Hamilton; 4) Lucy Anderson
BOYS U11: 1) Tom Walsh; 2) Dan Neill; 3) Alistair Little; 4) Oliver Forster
GIRLS U11: 1) Katie Merlane; 2) Beth Dean; 3) Naomi Appleby; 4) Katie Barker

SHOW OF STRENGTH: All the main tournament winners, runners-up, and Plate winners and runners-up
SHOW OF STRENGTH: All the main tournament winners, runners-up, and Plate winners and runners-up

1 Comment

  1. Haha, another entertaining write up Dylan. ‘Flame haired dynamo’ and ‘Broughtonaitor,’ good nicknames!!

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