National Schools Championships 2024

Several North East school teams from KS3, KS4 and KS5 participated in the England Squash National Schools Championships at Edgbaston Priory in Birmingham last week, taking on schools from across the country in boys & girls categories. 7 teams from Gosforth Academy, Gosforth Middle School Trust and Dame Allen’s made it through the qualifiers to reach the finals/plate finals.

KS3

Gosforth Academy Girls: Rebecca Little, Ebony Holmes, Holly Houghton, Syra Bhatt, Izzy Wright & Jocelyn Durham

Gosforth Trust Girls: Lucy Ulyatt, Freya Finnemore, Meera Jatania, Alice Pearsall, Hannah Tufton and Elizabeth Muldoon Smith.

On paper, the Academy Girls team looked to be one of the favourites but they lost narrowly in the quarter-final to Stowe School and finished up in 6th position.

The Trust team beat the no. 2 seeds Sevenoaks in the quarter-final and then the no. 3 seeds Epsom College to make it to the final against the no. 1 seeds and last year’s winners, Bedford Modern from London.

Gosforth Trust won comfortably at 3 and 4, but Bedford Modern then won comfortably at 1 and the 5-string match was incredibly close with Elizabeth Muldoon Smith having two championship balls at 10 – 8 in the third but then losing the match.

So it all came down to the number 2s, where Freya Finnemore went 1 game down but then played some of her best-ever squash to win 2 – 1 and bring the KS3 Girls’ title home to Gosforth Trust!

KS4

Academy Girls: Ava Naisbitt, Kate Naisbitt, Isla Cook, Sophie Cockett, Lexi Sweenie & Anushka Sawant

Academy Boys: Duncan Rutherford, Aidan Mahoney, Dan Toole, Matthew Ansell, Ethan Brown & James Ulyatt

Dame Allen’s Boys: Sam Tufton, Julian Burn, Luke Tufton, Jake Stoud, Jack Price & Ethan Pattinson

Gosforth Academy sent two very strong teams to the key stage 4 finals, while Dame Allen’s Boys were in the plate finals.

The Academy Boys met a top Epsom College team at the semi-final stage and lost 4 – 1, but then won their 3rd place playoff to take home the bronze medal.

The Academy Girls team also played Epsom College but this time in the final and although they lost 3 – 2 it was very close and a great 2nd place finish.

The boys’ team from Dame Allen’s won their opening plate match but lost in the semi-final to Tettenhall College, then lost the 3rd/4th playoff 4-1 to finish 4th in the plate event.

KS5

Gosforth Academy Girls: Shae Paterson, Zoe Shipsey, Grace Moore, Evie Paterson & Anna Morgan.

Dame Allen’s Girls: Sian Tuck, Millie Bond, Abigail Dresser, Zara Cartmel & Leah Pattinson.

Gosforth Academy Girls cruised through the first two rounds only to once again meet Epsom College in the final. Despite Gosforth having a strong team, Epsom had three international players on scholarships in their team and it was always going to be a difficult match-up, and Gosforth lost 4-1 to finish 2nd.

Dame Allen’s made it through to the plate final event, finishing 3rd overall.

Congratulations to all the teams involved and a special mention to the Gosforth Schools, coached by Richard Vitty at Northern, who have won an amazing 11 school titles in the last 10 years.

Full results.

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