Year on year, our Holmer Green Squash Club juniors punch above their weight when playing squash for club, school, county and region.
We are very fortunate to have several excellent local schools in the area which support squash and it is great to see that so many of our HGSRC boys and girls are chosen to represent their schools in both local and national events.
England Squash and Racketball run The National Schools Championships as an annual event. It is a season long competition and is open to every school. This year saw 157 school teams from across England enter into their respective category - boys/girls, under 15s/19s. Each team consists of 5 players.
The season starts in the autumn when schools play against all the other teams in a pool of local schools. Based on the pool results, schools are then streamed into either the National Schools Cup or Trophy. Then throughout the winter season, a series of knockout matches are played until nationally only a few teams remain. These remaining teams are then invited to play their final matches at the same venue. This year the venue was the prestigious Nottingham Squash Club.
Over the years, HGSRC have had several juniors help their respective school teams through to the National Schools Championship finals – this is a huge achievement and no mean feat! This year was no exception with a number of our players representing their individual schools of John Hampden Grammar School (JHGS), The Royal Grammar School (RGS) and Wycombe High School (WHS) who all made it through to one of the two finals. For Buckinghamshire as a whole, teams from Aylesbury Grammar School, Dr Challoner’s Grammar School and Wycombe Abbey also successfully achieved a finals place in Nottingham.
The RGS U15 team won through to the Trophy final on Monday 7 March. In the semi-final matches, The Grammar School at Leeds were drawn against St Ivo School, Cambridgeshire and won 3-2, whilst RGS were, unfortunately, drawn in a local derby against Dr Challoner’s. This was a highly entertaining, if nail biting match which in truth should have been the final as these two teams were by far the stronger of the four semi-finalists. RGS won a very close match 3-2 and earned their place in the finals. Congratulations go to RGS who came first having won 5-0 against Leeds, and to Dr Challoner’s who came 3rd having beaten St Ivo 5-0.
RGS therefore won the BU15 National Schools Trophy for 2016, their first ever national squash title, with a team comprised of no less than four players from HGSRC. This is truly amazing and just goes to show what a great club we are!
Huge congratulations go to Matty Gallagher, Dominic Holland, Konrad Pompe and Sunil Popat. Let’s make the National Schools Cup their next goal!
On Tuesday 8 March, WHS girls’ U15 team competed in the Cup final. They finished in a fantastic 4th place overall having won 5-0 in their quarter final match, before just losing out 3-2 in the 3/4 place playoff. Many congratulations to Lucy Herritty, Alysha Martin and Abbie Sumner. A particular well done to Alysha for winning two out of her three games playing at #1.
On Wednesday 9 March, the U19 teams from JHGS and WHS competed in their age category Cup final.
JHGS had a tough first round against the overall U15 winners from the previous day, Ackworth School. The boys hoped they may be tired, but alas, they weren’t! JHGS put up a great fight but went down 4-1. They then faced Peter Symonds College in the next round. With Mr Nokes, the school’s outgoing headmaster at the end of the academic year, making a special trip to watch the team, the boys put on a fantastic display of squash to show him just why JHGS has one of the top school squash teams in the country.
The boys came through 3-2 to earn themselves a place in the 5/6 play-off. Here they met St Paul’s School. The match went down to the wire and despite a sterling effort, JHGS lost 3-2 leaving them a highly creditable 6th overall.
Congratulations to Jasper Kettle who won all three of his matches without dropping a game. A team well coached by our very own Matt Davies!
The WHS girls faced tough opposition in their draw. The girls all played extremely well losing to a very strong team from Wycliffe College and also to Comberton Village College. They had a very close game against Benenden School which unfortunately they just lost 3-2 putting them in 8th place overall.
Congratulations to Lauren Allington, Alysha Martin and Jess Martin.