The Guernsey Squash & Racketball Association took a squad of 11 junior players to Lee-on-Solent last weekend for the Hampshire Junior Closed, one of the main events on the junior calendar. Supported by the CLS Group, the squad competed in six age groups ranging from u11’s to u17’s.
The headline of the trip was Jack Turvey retaining his u17 title, however there were many impressive performances throughout the squad which has led to 5 Guernsey players (Jack Turvey, Patrick Josey, Michael Kennedy, Jordan Smith and Toby Young) being invited to train and compete for Hampshire this season, one of the highest the Island has seen in the past few years.
The u17 title winner, Jack Turvey, joined up with the squad from his base in the UK and began to make his way to the final for the second year in succession where he came up against Tom Trott. Turvey started well with some brilliant squash and dominated the first game winning 11/4. A few words from Trott’s coach spurred him on in the second game, putting pressure on Turvey with some long, gruelling rallies. The pace of the match increased, however Jack took a 2 point advantage at 6/4 before a short blood injury break for a cut knee allowed Trott to regroup and get back into the match. Another exchange of quality squash ensued before Jack took the second in a tie break to win 17/15. The final game was again close, however Jack showed his class to win a comfortable 11/9 in the third to seal the match 3-0.
Jack’s friendly rival, Patrick Josey, finished 5th in the u17’s, however said he was frustrated not to reach the final this year and give Jack a run for his money, having beaten some of the more experienced adult players in Guernsey already this season. James England also competing in the u17 played the best squash of his life finishing a respectable 7th.
Rhys Queripel represented Guernsey in the u15’s. He came up against some really challenging opponents, however he rose to the occasion and played some quality squash to win the majority of his matches, finishing 6th.
Guernsey had 4 players in the boys u13’s, with Michael Kennedy in particular giving a good account of himself, managing to reach the final only to lose out in a hard fought match. Jordan Smith also went a long way and narrowly missed out on the finals, eventually finishing 4th. Toby Young and Callum De La Rue put in some impressive performances to finish 6th and 8th respectively.
Ashley De La Rue competed in the boys u11 event and had a number of close matches over the weekend. Finishing 5th Ashley gained valuable experience playing against some strong opponents.
Adele Le Page and Emma Bloese represented Guernsey in the girl’s age groups. There was a high standard of squash throughout the girl’s age groups, Adele and Emma all performed to their best to finish 4th and 5th.
The weekend was a massive success for junior squash in Guernsey with the whole squad proud to represent the Island. Martin Watts, Director of Guernsey Squash & Racketball Association, was delighted with the squad, commenting that “all the players raised their game for this event. It’s early in the season, however there were some great performances over the weekend.”