English National Schools Finals 2014

National Schools Competition- Under 19 Finals
Thursday 13 March 2014

The 2014 National Schools finals are over, and what a week it has been. With a new format this year which involved 6 schools in every category, new schools made it to Manchester and had the chance to experience the excitement around the event.

Monday 10th March saw the under 15 trophy finals get under way. The girls final was between Downe House and Jarrow school. It was a great display of squash and Jarrow took home the winner’s trophy. The boys final saw Gosforth Academy take on Altrincham Grammar. Gosforth put up a good fight, their 4th string taking a 3-1 head start over Altrincham. Unfortunately they could not continue the pace and Altrincham ran ahead, to take the trophy 4-1.

On Tuesday the under 19 trophy finals were played. The girl’s final was between Nunthorpe School and Downe House. Nunthorpe have never made it to the finals before, but it didn’t seem to faze them. Downe House started well and gained a 2-0 lead. Nunthorpe responded well and came back to win the next 3 games, taking the championship trophy 3-2. The Boys under 19 trophy final was an epic battle between Reeds School and Heaton Manor. All of the games were of a very high standard but ended in a 3-2 win for Reeds.

Wednesday saw the start of the main draw finals, and the under 15s were first up. The Girls final was the match of the day. It was back and forth with wins for both schools until it got to 2-2 and it rested on the 2nd strings. Dame Allans dug deep and played some tremendous squash to take the win 3-2. The Boys final saw the two most prestigious schools in squash, Wycliffe College and Millfield School, battle it out for the chance to secure the trophy. The boys match followed the same pattern as the girls and was stuck at 2 all. Wycliffe had more strength in the end and took the title as National schools champions.

Under 19 Finals

Today was the under 19 main draw finals. The standard of play was so high; it really does do justice to the competition. The girls final was up first and was between Dame Allans and Tewkesbury school. Dame Allans who won the under 15 trophy yesterday were still on a high, and it showed with their 3-2 win over defending champions Millfield in the group stages.

Tewkesbury kicked things off with a 3-0 win for their 3rd string. Dame Allans brought it back at number 5 with a similar 3-0 win. Tewkesbury stepped up a gear and managed to take the championship trophy 4 games to 1.

Girls U19: Tewkesbury bt Dame Allans 4-1
Amber Peacey 3-0 Charlotte Cooper  11-4, 11-4, 11-2
Jade Rothman 3-1 Laura Neill  11-8, 6-11, 11-6, 11-9
Beth Parker 3-0 Emma Haley  11-2, 11-4, 11-5
Hannah Ballard 3-0 Manon Williams  11-8, 11-4, 11-3
Becky Musto 0-3 Martha Spalding  ?-11, 3-11, 3-11

The Boys under 19  final was a repeat of yesterdays final between Millfield School and Wycliffe College. The match was incredibly tense, and the crowd could sense the rivalry between these two great schools. Wycliffe started strong with a 3-0 to the 3dr string. Millfield pulled it back and 5, and pushed ahead with a 3-1 win from the top string.

Wycliffe then settled the score with the number 4 string with a 3-1 win. It all rested on the number 2’s. The whole crowd watching with bated breathe as the two boys battled it out for every point. After a 63 minute epic Millfield managed to scrape a 3-2 win to regain the title as Boys under 19 champions.

Boys U19: Millfield School bt Wycliffe College 3-2
Angus Gillams 3-1 Lyell Fuller  11-9, 10-12, 12-10, 11-9
Daniel Poleschuck 3-2 Mohamed Alsarraj  11-9, 11-6, 4-11, 5-11, 11-6
Roee Avraham 0-3 James Bamber  8-11, 8-11, 4-11
Kyran Young 1-3 Mike Sorochev  7-11, 8-11, 11-9, 8-11
Hamish Gillams 3-1 Alex Schranz  6-11, 2-11, 11-9, 11-7

National Schools Competition- Under 15 Finals
Wednesday 12 March 2014

SH3271Day 3 of the National Schools finals has been and gone. The atmosphere was electric at the National Centre and we saw some exceptional squash and teamwork.

First up was the girls 5/6th place playoff between Benenden A and Benenden B. It is always difficult to play against your own team but both played extremely well and displayed some fantastic sportsmanship. The team order stood strong as Benenden A took the fifth place position.

The boys 5/6 playoff today showed RGS High Wycombe take on John Hampden Grammar. The number 3 strings kicked of the tie with a thrilling 3-2 win to John Hampden. The theme continued and John Hampden took the 5th place medal.

In the girls 3/4 playoff between Wycombe High and Cleeve School the score was equal at 2 matches all, with one match left to be played. It all rested on the 4th strings. Both schools played superbly but Wycombe High just managed to steal the third place position. The boys 3/4 playoff between Lancing College and Gosforth Academy was an epic battle. First up was the number 3 strings, both schools looked determined not to give up, but Gosforth were just too strong and the first game went their way. The match was tied at 2 all when the number 4 strings stepped up. Once again both schools looked unwavering but in the end Gosforth took the tie 3 games to 2.

SH3273The Girls final was the match of the day. It had drama, excitement and intrigue.

The 3rd strings kicked them off and Dame Allans took it without too much bother 3-0. Gosforth did not back down however and took the 5th string match 3-0 to even up the score. Next up were the number 1’s.

The standard of play was so high it was hard to put anything in between them but Gosforth clinched it 3-1.

The 4th pairing levelled it all up again to bring it down to the number 2’s. Gosforth went 2-0 up and it looked like a done deal, but Dame Allans dug deep and played some tremendous squash to bring it back and take the win. 3-2 to Dame Allans.

Dame Allans bt Gosforth Academy 3-2
Laura Neill lost to Josie Barker 1-3 9-11, 11-9, 10-12, 6-11
Martha Spalding bt Erin Vitty 3-2 9-11, 9-11, 11-3, 11-7, 11-9
Lowri Waugh bt Aanya Hamilton 3-0 11-6, 11-6, 11-4
Isabel Brealy bt Lucy Hutchinson 3-1 8-11, 12-10, 11-5, 11-9
Hannah Ravenhall lost to Catriona Watling 0-3 9-11, 5-11, 7-11

SH3272The Boys final saw the two most prestigious schools in squash, Wycliffe College and Millfield School, battle it out for the chance to secure the trophy. These two great rivals did not disappoint and had the crowd biting their nails with nerves.

First up were the 3rd strings. Wycliffe came out fighting and took the game 3-1. Millfield did not lie down and take this, and their 4 and 5 string players put them back on top with 3-1 and 3-0 wins. The number 1 strings were next up on the showcourt, and gave the crowd something to shout about.

The score line does not represent how good the standard was, but Wycliffe came away with a 3-0 win and equalled the total. The number 2 strings had it all to play for. Both sides showed great strength, but Millfield tired in the 3rd game to allow Wycliffe to take the match and the Championship 3 matches to 2.

Wycliffe College bt Millfield School 3-2
Mohd Alsarraj bt Josh Owen 3-0 11-2, 11-7, 11-9
Jack Newey bt George Sawrey 3-0 11-8, 11-8, 11-1
Nathan Mead bt Ben Angilley 3-1 11-3, 8-11, 11-6, 11-8
Cameron Stratton lost to Tom Seabrook 1-3 3-11, 7-11, 11-8, 6-11
George Hartson lost to Josh Straton 0-3 10-12, 6-11, 7-11


National Schools Finals head for Manchester

The National Squash Centre will once again hold the annual National Schools Championships finals next week. The event which includes Boys & Girls under 15 & 19 categories will see a new 6 school finals format, which has opened the competition up and may well end with new National Champions.

Proceedings begin on Monday and Tuesday with the National Schools Trophy Finals.  The Trophy competitions are now firmly established as part of the event providing all schools and colleges with a second chance at reaching a National Finals and playing at the home of England Squash & Racketball.

Last year’s championships saw Millfield School and Wycliffe College taking the under 15 titles, whilst Downe House, for the second year running, and Heathside School took the under 19 trophies back with them. Will Downe House be able to retain their titles again this year? And with neither under 15’s defending champions competing in the finals this year, there will be two new champions.

Wednesday and Thursday sees the main championship finals take centre stage.  The championship has been in existence since 1972 and many schools have their names etched on the prestigious National School Cups.  However over recent years it has dominated by the likes of Millfield College and Wycliffe School who benefit from their long established onsite squash academies.

Millfield will have another chance to retain both the Bu19 and Gu19 titles this year, but not without tough competition in the group rounds from the likes of Dame Allans and Wycombe High in the girls competition and Harrow and Gosforth Academy in the boys. We may see the final we’ve all been waiting for in the Bu19 competition, as this year Wycliffe and Millfield have been drawn in separate groups and both stand a chance of making the final.

Last years Gu15 winners, Gosforth Academy, are becoming a major force in the competition with teams in five of the eight disciplines. Last years Bu15 winners Tewkesbury School did not quite make the finals this year, and so we will definitely see a new champion for 2014.

Finals Schedule

Monday: Boys & Girls Under 15 Trophy Finals
Tuesday: Boys & Girls Under 19 Trophy Finals
Wednesday: Boys & Girls Under 15 Championship Finals
Thursday: Boys & Girls Under 19 Championship Finals

Play begins with Semi-Finals at 10.00am each day and Finals scheduled for a 1.30pm start – all spectators are welcome free of charge.

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