A squad of 17 Guernsey junior players travelled to Jersey last weekend to take part in both the Jersey Junior Squash Classic 1-day tournament & the Junior Interinsular. Having the Interinsular on the same weekend as the Jersey Junior Classic provided a great opportunity for Guernsey’s juniors to play at a high level tournament, gaining experience of a competitive environment.
The Under 13 Girls event kicked off the tournament and with 4 out of 8 girls in this draw being from Guernsey there was a strong chance of a win in the first round. Charlotte Lythnal with Jess Hurdley, Emma Bloese and Cara Lenfestey losing their first round matchesand playing in the Plate event. Charlotte went on to win her semi-final against Jersey’s Isabel Jacques 2-1 and one better again to take the girls U13 title with a 2-0 over Jersey’s Amelie Turpin. Cara and Emma both went on to win their next matches setting up a plate final with Emma coming out on top beating Cara 2-1 to take the plate title.
Louis Grange and Adam Fleming both travelled off the island with the Guernsey Squad for the first time to compete in the boys U11 event. Both boys gained valuable experience being in a tournament environment and learning from the more experienced players.
Michael Kennedy won his first round match 2-0 versus Jersey’s Jake Thomas in a display of skill and control in the boys U13 event, leading on to a tough second round match against number 1 seed Charlie Taylor. Michael did well to push Charlie at times with some hard drives to the back of the court, but was overcome 2-0 with a display of measured and focused squash from Taylor. Adele Le Page had just moved up to the girls U15 age group meaning that she was to face some more experienced players than she was used to. She did well to weather the storm at times from Jersey’s older girls who overall proved to be too strong; but also managed a 2-1 win over Poppy Ginnis from Jersey.
Four Guernsey boys played in the U15 event where Ben Taylor matched his seeding of 2 & Jake Haines did better than expected to finish ahead of his seeding  to finish in 3rd place. Jake played some clever squash in all of his matches with a mix of pace and control, only losing out to Jersey’s Will Ennis who went on to win the event where he played Ben in the final. Will proved too strong for Ben and upped the tempo in rallies and keep him on the back foot, despite putting up a great effort Ben lost out 3-0 in the final to finish runner-up.
In the Girls and Boys U17 events Danielle Parr and PJ Josey were competing from Guernsey. Danielle faced tough opposition in her event having to play Sophie Pallot and Olivia Taylor who are both now established members in the Jersey ladies squad. Despite showing some controlled squash Danielle struggled to keep up with the pace but relished playing at a high level and learning from the girls she played. PJ made it through the early rounds pretty comfortable setting up a tough final against Jersey’s Anthony Harkin. In the first two games of his final PJ played some long rallies, however Anthony had the edge when attacking across the volley and to the front of the court taking these two games fairly easily. PJ went on after the second game really firing, playing some aggressive squash to twist and move Anthony across the middle and took this game 11/2. Unfortunately this was a little too late and PJ lost the next game and the match 3-1.
There were only 2 boys in the boys U19 meaning a straight final between Guernsey’s Jack Turvey and Jersey’s Callum Cunningham. Jack look composed and in control in the first game, hitting with power & keeping Callum on the back foot, he won this game fairly easily. In the second Callum took a small lead playing some really nice touch shots to the front of the court; Jack pushed hard and took this game and the next to win the match 3-0 and the boys U19 event.
The tournament as a whole was a great experience for not only Guernsey’s elite juniors but also for those who haven’t played tournaments off Island before. The feedback players and coaches gain from trips like this is invaluable and it was great to see all of the players on the trip put in lots of effort. Guernsey finished with two winners, 2 runners up and 3 plate winners.