Round Three of the 2016/2017 Essex Junior Squash Grand Prix season headed off to a new venue for the series, Clements Squash Club, Clement Hall in Hockley, Essex where the event welcomed a reduce field due to the Regional Championships but a few new faces.
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 2016/2017 Grand Prix competition is being staged over ten months at seven different venues with points from each event counting towards an overall total. Winners and runners-up in each category will be invited to attend training with Current World top 50 player, Ben Coleman.
In the Girls Year 6 & Under Felicity Halim and newbie Ruby Hester topped the group with some entertaining battling squash between them. Felicity winning the key battle 2/1 to take the Group by 2 points from Ruby.
In the Girls Year 8 & Under, Jessica Baxter took the group comfortably with her main rival for this title taking part in the Regionals.
In the Boys Year 6 & Under the entry was such that the boys had to be split into 2 groups with the top 5 from GP1 & 2 playing together in Orange Group whilst Red Group saw debuts for Isaac Smith, Rocco Jones, Matthew Bennett and Henry Mould.
In the Orange group James Sydenham continue his impressive run with 4 wins out of 4 with Jack Tooley chasing him all the way to 2nd place. The game of the group saw James beat Jack 2/1 in the deciding match.
In the Red Group Sam Bennett, playing only his second GP, recorded 4 wins from 4 to take top spot. Second was brother Matthew Bennett, a point behind. The game of the day here was the battle of the Bennetts which went Sam’s way after a thrilling 11/3 7/11 11/9 battle.
In the Boys 8, a four way battle was developing. Oliver Hart who finished GP2 in 5th place showed a great improvement in his squash since Woodford Wells to take a close win. After losing early on to his brother Thomas 2/3 he then defeated his closest rival, George Sweeting, 3/1 in the deciding match.
The Boys Year 10 & Under group was as close as ever. The GP1 and GP2 battle between Ronan Caruana and Nils Carter de Jong continued into round 3. This time Ronan was more focused in his winner takes all match against Nils winning 2/0 to take the group win by 2 points.
I would like to thank Anne Trafford and all the staff at Clements Hall Leisure Centre for allowing us to take over their squash club for the day and to all the volunteers of Essex Junior Squash who gave up their Sunday to run another successful Grand Prix.
A big thank you to the parents for bring their Juniors along and helping out during the course of the day, 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.
Girls Year 6 – 1st Felicity Halim, 2nd Ruby Hester
Girls Year 8 – 1st Jessica Baxter
Boys Year 6 Orange – 1st James Sydenham, 2nd Jack Tooley, 3rd Samuel Thickbroom
Boys Year 6 Red – 1st Sam Bennett, 2nd Matthew Bennett, 3rd Rocco Jones/Henry Mould
Boys Year 8 – 1st Oliver Hart, 2nd George Sweeting, 3rd Thomas Hart
Boys Year 10 – 1st Ronan Caruana, 2nd Nils Carter de Jong, 3rd Marcus Dove
Grand Prix 4 takes us to the border of Herts and Essex and Bishops Stortford Squash Club on Sunday 11th December 2016.
We look forward to seeing you all then.
David Harris – EJS Chairman