The penultimate round of 2015/2016 Essex Junior Squash Grand Prix series headed across the border into Hertfordshire on Sunday with Round 6 at the Bishops Stortford Squash and Racketball Club.

The volunteers of Essex Junior Squash Committee had their work cut out today when, due to illness, 3 players had to withdraw last minute. Despite this, Karen Selby weaved her tournament management skills to good effect to ensure the schedule was disrupted as little as possible and that all who played were given a competitive day’s squash.

The Essex Junior Squash Grand Prix series is designed to provide competition for the next generation of young players. Aimed at youngsters who have yet to wear county colours, the Grand Prix competition is being staged over six months at seven different venues with points from each event counting towards an overall total and the fifth round provided proof of this popular series.

The level of competitiveness seen is this year’s EJS GP series has surprised the event organisers and today saw the addition of a number of new faces to the regulars in attendance.

In the Girls Year 6 & Under, the ongoing season long battle between Emma Logan and Lara Newton continued with the two girls swapping GP wins almost every round whilst the ever improving Deeya Ranu and Manuela Horscroft were determined not to let the two main contenders take all the spoils. Despite the best efforts of the other 4 girls in this category, Lara showed her ever growing confidence on court by taking all her match 2-0 In the chase for runners-up spot, Deeya Ranu beat our GP5 winner Emma Logan 2-1 in one of the games of the day 11/4 8/11 11/9.

13325558_1732336387005408_2383070318063356297_nIn the Girls Year 8 group, Jessica Baxter (left) proved to be the player to beat. With current series leader Daisy Newton away on a school trip, Jessica took advantage and playing only her third GP she took her second win of the season with Henna Ranu taking runners-up spot. With one round to go, our top 3 girls are separated by just 13 points!

In the Boys Year 6 Group the players were split into two groups. The orange group featured the top 4 boys in this category and winner from Group 2 at Connaught, Jack Tooley. As expected the three main protagonists in this group, Armaan Sattar, Sebastian Waugh and Antony Yip fought hard throughout the day with Jenson Deville and Jack Tooley battling with the top three.

In the end, Armaan Sattar triumphed to take his 4th win in 5 in the series whilst Jenson Deville took 2nd from Sebastian, despite both finishing on the same total of points, thanks to his 2-1 over the lad from Woodford. This was one of the top three matches of the day with Jenson winning 12/10 3/11 12/10 in a topsy turvy match that could have gone either way throughout.

13332752_1732336470338733_2994472439006248663_nIn the Blue Group, GP regulars Max Newton, Jamie Brown and Palmer Deville were joined by debutants George Sweeting and James Sydenham. James found the level of competition tough finishing 5th in the group whilst George took a creditable 3rd place with 2 wins and 2 loses. At the top Palmer Deville (right) in only his second outing in the series won the group thanks to victory over second place Jamie Brown 2-1, 8/11 13/11 11/5.

The boys Year 8 group regulars were joined by Freddy Cooke (Green Group) and Richard Hadley (Red Group) and both debutants proved to be the players to beat in both goups. Freddy Cooke won his group without dropping a game, in the process defeating series leader Akash Shah whilst in the Red Group Richard Hadley won 2 of his 3 matches 3/0 whilst Henna Ranu was his closest competitor as she lost out 2/3 to Richard. Henna joined the boys group after a last minute withdrawal.

In the Boys Year 10 Robert Hadley made his debut and again prove the strength in depth of squash at Felsted School by taking a solid 2nd place to Callum Hibbard with Nils Carter de Jong finishing 3rd.

I would like to thank Andrew and Catherine Mulvey for allowing us to take over Bishops Stortford Squash club for the day and to the volunteers of Essex Junior Squash who gave up their Sunday to run another successful Grand Prix.

Thanks to Karen Selby for her fantastic proactive management of the schedule as always, also to Paul Selby, Alice Green and a host of other parents for marking the majority of matches during the day.

A big thank you to the parents for bring their Juniors along , I hope you enjoyed the day and that we were able to shed some light on how to get on in the game of squash.

Final Results:
Girls Year 6 – 1st Lara Newton, 2nd Deeya Kaur Ranu, 3rd Emma Logan
Girls Year 8 – 1st Jessica Baxter, 2nd Henna Kaur Ranu
Boys Year 6 Orange – Armaan Sattar, 2nd Jenson Deville, 3rd Sebastian Waugh
Boys Year 6 Blue – 1st Palmer Deville, 2nd Jamie Brown, 3rd George Sweeting
Boys Year 8 Green – 1st Freddy Cooke, 2nd Akash Shah, 3rd Ronan Caruana
Boys Year 8 Red – 1st Richard Hadley, 2nd Sebastian Dove, 3rd Gabriel Mifsud
Boys Year 10 – 1st Callum Hibbard, 2nd Robert Hadley, 3rd Nils Carter de Jong

The final round of the series takes us to the Colchester Garrison, home of the Off The Wall Squash Academy on Sunday 3rd July 2016.

We look forward to seeing you all then.
David Harris – EJS Chairman

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