Squash v Exeter School: The National School Championships
This year the revised formula for the National Championships saw us effectively pitched with Exeter school in a home/away knockout formula to progress to the 2nd round of competition.
Given that Exeter had managed to beat us last season, it was a pretty stiff draw for us but one which we responded to as best as possible.
Our Under 17 team was sadly weakened by the loss of Ethan Elwell who played at no1 last season and Sam Dunn-Rundle which facilitated well earned debuts for Isaac Heron and Rufus Martin along with stalwarts Oscar Pringle, Callum Penry and captain Ollie Brocklebank. The boys all played as well as possible but were soundly beaten by a very strong Exeter team, although Oscar claimed two valuable points at 3rd string when he nearly overcame his opponent in the closest match of the day.
The Under 15 School team is most likely going a long way in the National Championships and is strong through the entire order. It is headed by skipper Jack Mahon and also Louis Murray, both top 10 England players. It is then very strongly supported by Ben Thorpe and Jason Ayliffe, both county players and backed up by Milo Charles and also George Purchas, Ollie Beaumont and Ed Rodda who are pushing hard for team places.
On the day the Under 15s won 5 – 0 and amazingly 15 – 0 in points against a team which made the National top 8 last season. The determination, ambition and discipline of these boys to the task in hand is most commendable and it will surely pay off with more wins in the near future as the competition comes to the boil.
My thanks also to Matt Ricketts who assisted with organising and coaching on the trip. We have a great team with a winning mentality and have a real chance to make the Grand finals next March with a fair wind and a lot of hard work in between!
Tim Smith, Head of Squash