REPORT BY LEE HORTON
THE Colchester Garrison was packed to the rafters in the first week of May as almost 100 schoolkids, cheered on by teachers, friends and family, played out the final chapter of this season’s Off The Wall Squash Roman Cup competition.
The finals saw a record 24 teams from nine different Colchester primary schools going full tilt in pursuit of glory producing a level of squash that had tournament director Lauren Selby beaming: ”The level of squash and the enthusiasm and commitment from all the players was simply wonderful.
“This was the largest ever entry for our youngest group of players, equalling that of our Year 5 and Year 6 event that was played in the Autumn. Schools in Colchester are really embracing squash, which has been recognised as the world’s No.1 sport for all-round fitness, and the programme is going from strength to strength.”
Those sentiments were echoed Lieutenant Colonel Steve Caldwell, Commander Colchester Garrison and Councillor Nick Cope, Colchester Deputy Mayor, who attended the event and helped to present the trophies and awards at the end.
The finals day was extremely tense following two rounds of preliminary matches in March which determined whether schools went into the Finalists Groups or Play-off Groups.
The action on the day was intense and the quality of squash extraordinary as teams from Ardleigh, Brooklands, Colchester High, Great Bromley, Highfields, Layer de la Haye, Lawford, Bradfield and Langham battled it out for the Roman Cup, which was sponsored by the England Squash Foundation and The Victor Dahdaleh Foundation
1st Lawford 1
2nd Ardleigh St. Mary’s
3rd Colchester High School
1st Lawford 1 118 points
2nd Langham 115 points
3rd Brooklands 114 points
Best Boy Year 4: based on total points for and against over 3 rounds) Year 4 – Dominic Bowden – Lawford
Best Girl Year 4: Grace Cooper – Brooklands
Best Boy Year 3: Finn Prestney – Lawford
Best Girl Year 3: Amelia Elden – Ardleigh St. Mary’s
Most Improved Boy Year 4 (decided by the coaches) Noah Howard – Layer de la Haye
Most Improved Girl Year 4 Marnie Buchan – Highfields
Most Improved Boy Year 3 Jack Percival – Langham
Most Improved Girl Year 3 Mia Stacey – St. George’s, Great Bromley.