The National Schools Championships 2018 Knockout Phase

On Monday 26 February the Truro School Under 15 first team travelled to Somerset for the biggest fixture of the entire round anywhere in the country with a 3 way clash between the renowned academy at Millfield School, the current National champions Wycliffe and our own emerging young lions from Truro.

From a strong and rapidly improving squad which also includes Ed Rodda and George Purchas we took 6 players on the road to the prestige fixture, complete with hard training under the belt, high hopes in hand and a steely determination to establish ourselves as a major force in school Squash.

The first match of the day was Truro v Millfield and turned into a massive encounter with two very evenly matched teams vying to win through and challenge Wycliffe for a probable place in the finals. At no 5 a focussed Milo Charles started truly fulfilling his potential with a gutsy effort full of focus and desire to succeed. At 2/0 up and 9 all in the third the rest of the team (and his coach) were literally losing the plot with nervous energy as the match was pivoting on 2 precious points in order to gain that all important win and thanks to an error from his opponent and a great forehand winner Milo pulled it out of the bag to claim victory and set up a potentially huge team result. Jason Ayliffe played a very handy opponent at no 4 and went down 3/0 but would have learned a lot from the match and the need to control the T. At no 3 Ben Thorpe started slightly slowly but fought his way back to 9 all in the third and again the whole match pivoted on the final key points of the game which on this occasion went the way of his rival despite a major physical effort.

At 2 strings to 1 down, Truro had the luxury of calling on the best two players at our entire School in any age group to bring this one home and Louis Murray and Jack Mahon did just that, without even the slightest risk of dropping a single game between them. These two students are classy acts and are challenging for individual honours at National level. They train every day and are a credit to the school and marvellous in inspiring their teammates. All in all a groundbreaking achievement for Truro school to topple the mighty Millfield 3/2 and ensure a top 10 finish in the whole National competition in only our second year of competing!

Our second match followed almost straight on against the fresh legs of Wycliffe and the boys had a really good pop against the top Squash school in the land. Ollie Beaumont came into our team and enjoyed the match of the day with his opponent losing out in the full five games by the very smallest of margins. A great debut, full of future promise.! At no 4 Jason again faced a tricky player and fought long and hard with all his determination before being beaten in a tough match-up. At 3 Ben Thorpe played a top 12 National player and would have learned a lot from the experience, enhancing his steep improvement curve by being exposed to the speed and accuracy of the higher ranked boy. Then our top two players who are barely 13, faced two top 8 National boys with 18 months age advantage who will be moving into a higher age group next year. Both gave their all and although they went down on the day, will surely be at the very top standard in this age group within the next few months and thus superseed their older counterparts.

Our final position for this season is 9th in Britain and for the next few seasons we will clearly challenge for top spot itself! Congratulations to all the squad and a special thanks to Mr Chambers for his assistance on the day and his long term support of Squash at the school.

Now its back to training in order to be totally pepared for the Squash adventures yet to come!


Tim Smith