Essex players delivered magnificent displays in the Inter-County Cup at the weekend with all four of our teams booking their places into the second round stages.
The event, designed for emerging players who have yet to represent their county, gave a snap-shot of the strength in depth of Essex Squash as three of our four teams emerged outright winners, while our Under-17’s still qualified for round two finishing second in their group.
Essex even managed to field two teams at Under-13 level with both squads dominating the opposition.
The Essex Under-13 A squad hosted Kent and Suffolk at Lexden and were in impressive form. The squad of Hattie Callen, Calum Ewens, Ruby Mae Hudson and Brandon Higgins-Pearce first overcame Kent 3-1 and went one better against county neighbours Suffolk recording a 4-0 victory.
The Essex U-15’s (Charlie Bacon, Alex Walton, Amy Aspinall & Elli Barrott) and Essex U13’s B team (Aiden Cahill, Max Chilver, Poppy Smee-Hotene and Libby Connor) travelled to Biggin Hill to play against Kent and Middlesex.
Essex Committee member Tim Barrott reports:
Everybody in the U13’s B beat their Middlesex opponent, dropping only two games to win 12-2. It was very pleasing to see Libby win her first match in a tournament and Poppy, Aiden and Max secure convincing wins.
In the Kent team, the number one girl felt ill and had to withdraw, which meant that Libby got a crucial walkover, winning 3-0. Although Max and Aiden lost their matches, most of their games were really close. With Poppy winning her match 3-1, it meant that the fixture was tied at 7-7 in games and therefore it was out with the calculators to work out the points won. Essex came out victorious at 130 points to 105 points
For the U15’s against Middlesex, both Amy and Alex went down 3-1, but there were only a few points difference in every game. Charlie won 3-0 (with two of the games being straightforward wins), as did Elli, who dropped only two points in her 3-0 victory. Essex won 8-6.
The U15’s match against Kent was nerve-racking and went right down to the wire – and it was left to Amy and Elli to produce the victory. Charlie and Alex both narrowly lost their hard fought matches 3-2, but they both had some very close games. Elli came from 2-1 down to beat her opponent 3-2 and Amy, by winning 3-1, made the difference between the teams as Essex came out victorious 10-9.
A very successful – and enjoyable – day against strong opposition, with all players producing some excellent squash, supporting each other in their matches and developing a strong team spirit, which can only help in future matches. The teams were supported by a large group of enthusiastic parents who played a big role in coaching and encouraging the players before and during matches.
Our Under-17 team(pictured below) of Will Salmons, George Rapley, Laura Burr and Paige McCoy were involved in an incredibly competitive clash against Middlesex and Kent with all three teams finishing with a win apiece.
SYLVIA McCOY REPORTS
Essex finished second overall after beating Middlesex 3-1 and losing to Kent by the same score. Kent then toppled Middlesex 3-1 so it was down to the calculators again with Kent finishing top, Essex second and Middlesex third.
Team spirit was high as Laura Burr was the first to win her match against Middlesex ( 3-1) , closely followed by Will Salmon who brought home a powerful 3-0 victory. The second strings, Paige McCoy and George Rapley took 3-0 and 1-3 respectively from their Middlesex opponents.
Although Kent 1 proved to be a formidable challenge, George delivered a series of stylish nick shots and robust drives to claim a 3-1 victory. Paige, hindered by a head-on collision with her opponent’s racket narrowly lost 2-3, whilst Laura and Will both went down 1-3. Essex can now look forward to the final in April. Well done to the team.