Cornwall's future stars battle it out for Championship crowns
TRURO Squash and Racketball Club played host to this season's opening junior event, the Cornwall County Junior Closed Squash Championships 2012.
The competition saw nearly 60 juniors from all over the county wrestling for trophies with some great crowd-pleasing highlights, exhibitions of racket-skill and never-say-die determination.
The flurry of entries reflects the growing popularity of this exciting, 'play once and you're hooked' racket sport.
U11 girls and boys events were hotly contested with some impressive squash, resulting in wins for Falmouth Shark Claire Spouse, who beat fellow club mate Netty Banfield to win the Girls Championship and Josh Chapman of Truro Squash and Racketball Club, who clinched a 3-1 victory over Truro junior Ras Masden.
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The Boys U13 category saw some outstanding performances, especially from the No.1 and 2 seeds, Truro's Ethan Elwell, County U11 Champion and the talented Bude Striker, Finlay Fry, both winning through convincingly to the Final. The five setter saw Ethan take the U13 title.
The drive to encourage participation of girls is proving challenging, but it was rewarded with a larger than expected entry for the U13 category.
The round-robin was dominated by Truro girls, who took the first three places, with some quality racket play and court awareness.
Winner, Marie Masden won the group without dropping a game.
Talented racket player Anya Gough (runner-up) and youngster of the trio Shannon Rowland, went on to win 'Up and Coming Girl Award 2012'.
Boys' U15 first round games proved a battle for Falmouth youngsters Cameron Briggs and Oscar Lloyd-Laney.
They fought through only to face the top seeds in the semis.
Cameron took the first game against No.1 seed, county champion and Truro Club junior, Zefran Counter but went on to concede 3-1 against the experienced Zefran.
Oscar won through to the semis with a convincing 3-0 first round notch-up, only to meet his old Bude adversary, No.2 seed, Tremaine Fry.
It was all to play for at 1-1 and Tremaine had to battle for the third, 11-9 but the fourth came a little easier for him and took the match 3-1.
In the U15 Final, Zefran was 1-1 against Tremaine but drew on experience and determination to end the match with a convincing 11-3 score line in the fourth and a 3-1 victory to win the title.
Truro Club's Ladies Champion and Falmouth junior Katy Brickell won through an U17 Girls round-robin event to clinch the U17 Championship title for the second time, beating Bude players Veronica Munks and Emily Fanson without dropping a game.
Katy was also awarded 'Most Deserving Girl' for her dedication, efforts and achievements over the last season.
The penultimate event of the weekend, the Boys U17 event attracted players from Bodmin, Bude, Newquay and Truro who all fought hard to stay in the main event, winning through the first rounds.
James Bourne and youngster in the event, Zefran Counter, both ¾ seeds, played No.1 and 2 seeds Newquay's Jared London and Bude's Sam Fanson.
In a five-set thriller which often included exhaustingly long rallies and unbelievable retrieving from both players, Jared claimed a victory, taking the U17 title for the second time, 11-6,9-11,6-11,11-5,11-8.
The tournament closed with the final of the Boys U19 in front of a packed house. No.1 seed 18-year-old Joel Brickell, playing in the last county event of his junior career underlined his superiority and took the match 3-0.
Other awards of the year: Most Deserving Boy: Jared London/Zefran Counter, Most Improved Boy: Ben Angilley, Most Improved Girl: Nicola Hardwick (Bude), Up- and-Coming Girl: Shannon Rowland; Up-and Coming Boy: Owen London (New).
Cornwall Juniors will be in action again soon when they begin this season's Grand Prix events, the first of which is at Newquay Sports Centre on November 3. Entry forms out now.
The Junior Squash Committee would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to all who supported them over the last season, NGBs, sports partnerships, sponsors, coaches, clubs, parents and players as they look forward to another successful season ahead.
They especially thanked the Truro Squash and Racketball Club for their continued support and their hosting of County junior events.
Thanks went to Dunlop for their County Programme which provides equipment for juniors and to Truro/Penwith Colleges and Whirlwind Sports for supporting junior squash and racketball in the County.
The committee also added: "Finally, a very big thank you to Ian Thomas, Head Coach from Millfield Academy in Somerset and Cornwall County Junior Coach who presented the trophies, for giving his time to support the event."