Essex junior teams shine at Southern and Eastern Grand Prix

Last weekend saw the final round of this season’s Southern & Eastern Counties Grand Prix season with 12 teams descending on the Northwood club in Middlesex. Six teams in each of the U11 and U13 groups meant a full day of squash with 60 players and 150 games.

The S&E Counties series is designed to provide competition for U11 and U13 players who have yet to gain any experience or exposure to Inter County Squash. In the U11 category, Essex A team of Zain Mughal, Mason Miller, Jack Tooley, Manuela Horscroft and Ruby Hester were up against their compatriot B team of Samuel Thickbroom, Henry Marshall, Finlay Terrell, Felicity Halim and Imogen Fincken as well as teams from Kent (A&B), Middlesex and GP3 winners Surrey.

Both teams played some great squash considering their inexperience at Inter County level. With Essex A beating Kent A (4/1), Kent B (5/0), Middlesex (4/1) and Essex B (5/0) the deciding match of the competition in this category came down to the Essex A v Surrey clash. Unfortunately for the Essex team they found Surrey in commanding form and eventually went down 5/0. For the second GP in a row, Surrey took 1st place with Essex A in second.

Meanwhile our B team battled to wins over Middlesex (4/1) and Kent B (3/2), with losses to Kent A (2/3), Surrey (0/5) and of course, Essex A to finish a creditable 4th.

In the U13 event, Essex A team of Luke Scott-Stevens, Jamie Brown, Jenson Deville, Deeya Ranu and Alice Lindsay again delivered victory. Following on from their triumph in GP3 the team defeated Surrey (5/0), Middlesex (3/2), Kent A (4/1), Kent B (4/1) and Essex B (4/1).

This was an excellent set of results for a group of players who are developing rapidly. For the Essex B team of Armaan Sattar, Oliver Harris, Jamie Smith, Renitha Srindran and Manuela Horscroft (yes, she played in both categories) the day was a tough learning curve with some narrow defeats against Surrey (2/3), Middlesex (2/3), Kent B (1/4) and Essex A (1/4) but an encouraging win over Kent A (3/2). This left the team finishing in 6th place only a point of 5th and 5 points off 4th place.

Overall the effort and commitment from all 4 Essex teams was excellent and we look forward to these players progressing further in future Inter County matches. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the parents for bringing their juniors along to this event and to Ash and all his staff at the Northwood Club for making us so welcome. David Harris Essex junior squash chairman