Essex Junior Closed 2012
The 2012 Essex Junior Closed took place at Club Kingswood in Basildon over the weekend of 29th and 30th September.
Richie Fallows, England No.5 (Connaught), and Collette Whittington (Goresbrook) won the Boys U19 and Girls U19 titles against Youssef Abdalla (Redbridge) and Beth Dowie (Connaught) respectively. Both Fallows and Whittington won their finals 3-0, although the quality of the squash in both matches was of the highest calibre.
Due to a general lack of girls currently playing squash at the moment the Girls U15 and U17 titles went unclaimed.
The Boys U17 competition – in a round robin format – was one of the hardest fought events of the weekend. Nine boys played in two boxes and the top two went into the final play-off. This was between Jagpal Sehmbi (Connaught) and Daniel Wheeler (Lexden) – this final was a brilliant display of attacking and counter-attacking squash. The match went to five exciting sets and in the fifth and final set Sehmbi just managed to edge it 11/9.
The Boys U15 final was between Harwich based rivals Conor Adams and Aaron Allpress, with the latter player having beaten his own long-time rival Ben Richardson in the semi-final. Adams however was in no mood to be denied and produced a commanding display to win the final in three games. Adams was the 2011 U13 champ and has the chance to follow in Fallows’ footsteps and win all the age groups on his way through the ranks.
The Boys U13 competition was similar to the U17 event in terms of intensity and the competitive spirit in which the matches were played. After two hard fought semi-finals between Haydon Smith (Lexden) and Tom Bird (Frinton) and Lexden club rivals David Hawkes and Tim Bacon – Bacon and Smith contested the final. In truth, the efforts made by Smith to defeat Tom Bird in four hard games was the telling difference between the two and Bacon made light work of the match winning the match and the title despite it going to four – 3-1. Bacon adding the Essex title to the East Region U11 title he won earlier in the month.
The Girls U13 event, played on a round robin box league basis was won by Club Kingswoods superb Alice Green, the other two players Jess Cuthbert (Ardleigh) and Paige McCoy (Connaught) however showed promise and played well, improving as they progressed.
For the first time Essex had a Girls U11 category. Four brave souls – Ruby Hudson (Ardleigh), Amy Aspinall (Harwich), Ellie Hewes (Ardleigh) and Eleanor White (Springhealth) – participated in a round robin and were an absolute delight to watch. Ellie Hewes proved victorious, standing out as a “class apart” as she won all her matches 3-0 without dropping a game, taking the Essex title.
In the Boys U11 event nine players, all from different clubs, participated in a round robin. The top two players from each box contested the top four places and the others the plate event. The final match between Joel Braddock (Lexden) and Oliver Green (Club Kingswood) promised much but in the end proved too much for the latter player and Braddock became the deserved champion winning all his matches on his way to take the title.
At the prize-giving Chris Vine (Essex Junior Chair) paid tribute to all who played supported, sponsored, organised and entered this year’s highly enjoyable event. He also mentioned the crucial role of the coaches in encouraging junior players to take up this brilliant fast moving sport and publicly thanked Lauren Selby, Chris Chitty (Ardleigh), Dave Webster, Gary Nesbit (Connaught), Mark Kirkman (Springhealth Chelmsford), Pete Goodings (Kingswood), Dave Kitchens, Gary Holt (LA Fitness) Paul Allen, Steve Snelling (Lexden) and co-organisers Suzanne Matthews and Steve Payne.
The plate results were as follows:
Boys U15 Plate winner – Clayton Hunt (Ardleigh)
Boys U15 Plate Runner-up – Matthew Storrs (Woodford Wells)
Boys U13 Plate Winner – Charlie Bacon (Springhealth)
Boys U13 Plate Runner-up – Eliot Moore
Boys U11 Plate Winner – Michael Tallentire (Lexden)
Boys U11 Plate Runner-up – Max Hyde (Lexden)