British Junior Champs

We’re down to the finals in the Tecnifibre British Junior Squash Champs in Manchester.

Sun 4th Nov, Finals:

G13: [1] Elise Lazarus v [5/8] Ellen Cooper
[2] Jared Carter v [5/8] Jordon Williams
[1] Amelia Henley v [2] Elin Harlow
[1] Robbie Keefe v [2] Jamie Todd

G17: [1] Lucy Beecroft v [3/4] Georgina Kennedy
[1] George Parker v [3/4] James Evans
[1] Emily Whitlock v [2] Victoria Temple-Murray
[1] Oliver Holland v [5/8] Richie Fallows

Full coverage:

U17 & U19 Semis at the National Squash Centre …

G17:  [1] Lucy Beecroft 3-0 [3/4] Kip Quiney   11/5, 11/2, 11/6 (21m)

G17: [3/4] Georgina Kennedy 3-2 [2] Lily Taylor  11/7, 11/8, 6/11, 5/11, 12/10 (39m)

Beecroft breezes, Kennedy squeezes into final

The first player to reach tomorrow’s finals was G17 top seed Lucy Beecroft with a straight-game win over Kip Quiney.

Beecroft, the U15 champion two years ago, pulled clear from 5-all in the first, breezed through the second and accelerated again from 4-all in the third to complete a 21-minute win.

“I was a bit nervous at the start,” admitted the Northumbrian, “but once I got into it and was able to keep the ball deeper I got more and more confident.”

The second semi was a much tighter affair, with reigning U15 champion Georgina Kennedy seeing a two-game lead disappear against second seed Lily Taylor.

Taylor had slowed down the pace to goo effect in the third and fourth games, but Kennedy took a 9-6 lead in the decider. Lily pulled that back too, but at 9-all served out to present Georgina with a first match ball, which was saved with a clinging short drive.

A smashed kill gave Georgina a second chance, and on the next rally Lily’s lob floated out of court and the second seed was out.

“It’s usually close between us, but she normally wins,” admitted Kennedy. “I think I got used to the court more quickly, but then she started lobbing more, and she just runs after everything.

“It came down to a bit of luck in the end, but I’m thrilled to make another final!”

B17: [3/4] James Evans bt [2] Bradley Smith  11/6, 12/10, 11/5 (36m)

B17: [1] George Parker 3-0 [3/4] Jack Cooper    11/6, 11/5, 11/2 (30m)

Parker and Evans through to B17 final

Top seed George Parker made it through to his first British Junior Champs final with a solid enough straight game win over Jack Cooper, the reigning U15 champion.

“It was a bit like this morning’s quarter-final in he preferred to play at a a fast pace with lots of crosscourts,” explained Parker, “so the key was to keep it straight and once I did that I felt pretty confident in my shots and comfortable on there.

“I’ve won in the English juniors, but I haven’t made a final of this before, I finished third the last couple of years so it’s nice to get through to a final here.”

His opponent will be Ken’s James Evans who also won in straight games in an upset win over second seed Bradley Smith.

G19: [1] Emily Whitlock 3-0 [3/4] Chloe Pearson  11/3, 11/4, 11/2 (18m)

G19: [2] Victoria T-Murray 3-1 [3/4] Hannah Williams   7/11, 11/7, 11/8, 11/9 (30m)

Top seeds through in G19

The Girls U19 final will be the only one at the NSC between the top to seeds after multiple finalists Emily Whitlock and Victoria Temple-Murray won through their semis.

Whitlock, aiming for a fifth title, maintained her four-year unbeaten record in the event with a comprehensive straight-game win over Chloe Pearson, but Temple-Murray had to work hard to secure her place in a fourth final.

Down from the outset of the first game, the second seed fought back to take the lead but was a few points down in the fourth too before denying Hannah Williams an all Le Sport final.

“I just had to try to pick up the pace after the first,” said Victoria, “try to get a better depth and work some openings.

“It was a bit up and down and there were a lot of errors but it worked out in the end.”

B19: [5/8] Richie Fallows 3-2 [2] Tom Ford  7/11, 11/6, 2/11, 11/7, 11/6 (58m)

B19:  [1] Oliver Holland 3-0 [9/16] Angus Gillams  11/4, 11/9, 11/3 (39m)

Fallows foils Ford

The first B19 semi-final was as dramatic as they come, with Richie Fallows following up his morning five-game upset against England teammate Taminder Gat-Aura with an even better five-game upset against another England teammate Tom Ford, the second seed.

Ford started well enough as he took the first, Fallows fought back to level but then hit the tin time and again in the third.

Ford took that momentum into the fourth to lead 7/4 but then it was his turn to start making unforced errors, much to his own disgust, as Fallows levelled again.

The momentum was with the 5/8 seed now, and a 5/1 lead in a tense decider proved too much for Ford to claw back. The final point saw Ford sprawled in the back corner as Fallows celebrated reaching his third final.

“Not much to say, it just happened in the end,” said a delighted Richie, “I wouldn’t have expected to beat Tom, but I’ve had a few good results recently so I knew I had a chance.

“I went for a few shots and missed in the third, then relaxed when I was down in the fourth and my shots started going in.

“That gave me the momentum and I really didn’t feel like I could lose after that.”

That was the end of the upsets, top seed Olly Holland proved a match too far for Angus Gillams.

Not that the 9/16 seed didn’t test Holland, ranked the number one junior in the world, but after a competitive first two games the Nottingham man eased through the third to reach the final to provide third successive match against an England teammate for Fallows.

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