Thursday, Day 4, U19 Finals | All National Schools Stories
Day 4 and the season long event which had run for the last 7 months all came down to 8 remaining teams. Each team knew that 2 wins would see their school crowned as National School Champions 2012 and after knocking out long time rivals Millfield School in the earlier stages of the Boys Under 19 Event, Wycliffe were red hot favourites to retain their title as National School Champions.
In the first semi final Wycliffe drew Lancing College who were looking to ruffle a few feathers and prevent Wycliffe getting to the final. There was some fantastic squash being played from both teams and early on Lancing looked able to keep pace with Wycliffe, however this did not last long and Wycliffe were able to pull away winning the tie 5-0. Brothers Rob and Ed Clarke provided a small consolation for Lancing after taking a game in each of their matches.
Wycliffe would face the winners of RGS Newcastle & Manchester Grammar School. Manchester Grammar school were back this year looking to better their 4th place finish from 2011, but wins from Chris Matthewson and Richard Ridgeway gave RGS Newcastle an early advantage. Rahul Bansal and Jonny Clayson responded adequately and levelled the tie at 2-2 meaning that it all came down to the 4th strings. James Breakey of RGS kept his nerve and won the game 3-1 ensuring that they would face Wycliffe in the final.
The Girls Under 19 semi finals was almost a carbon copy of the Under 15’s with Millfield in for Downe House as the only change. Millfield were back attempting to make it an amazing 11 titles on the trot. They faced Gosforth Academy in the semi final and immediately stamped their authority on the event, comfortable wins for the 1,2 & 3 seeds meant that victory was ensured for Millfield and a spot in the final. The 4 & 5 seeds for Gosforth Academy put up some resistance as Caitlin Vitty took her game to 5 sets and Ellie Watling also won a game, however it was not enough to prevent Millfield winning the tie 5-0.
In the other semi final Tewkesbury were looking to make it 2 finals in 2 days and they did just that after beating Dame Allens. Dame Allens were competitive in every match but Tewkesbury were playing full of confidence after winning the Girls Under 15 title the previous day and were able reach the final winning the tie 5-0.
Lancing over came the disappointment of losing in the semi final match in the morning by winning their 3/4 play off match against Manchester Grammar School 5 – 0. Chris Tom and Harry Myers were unfortunate not to take a match for Manchester Grammar with both players losing 3-2.
Dame Allen’s guaranteed 3rd spot after beating Gosforth Academy in the Girls Under 19 3/4 play off. Anna Watling gave Gosforth a solitary win to soften the score line as Dame Allens won the tie 4-1.
Tewkesbury would have to pull out something special if they were to stand any chance of victory against the seemingly indomitable Millfield in the Girls Under 19 final. Tewkesbury were up against it from the start as they lost their first 2 matches 3-0, meaning that Tewkesburys 3rd string Beth Parker would have to win in order to keep Tewkewsbury’s hopes alive.
However Parker who fought courageously throughout lost the first 2 games before taking the 3rd to a tie break only for Diya Kumar to win the next 2 points and give Millfield the win and 11th consecutive title. Millfield went on to win the match 4-1 after Hannah Ballard won the only match for Tewkesbury.
Millfield School bt Tewkesbury School 4-1
- Fiona Murphy bt Amber Peacey 11-1, 11-6, 11-0
- Collette Sultana bt Jade Rothman 11-1, 11-6, 11-3
- Diya Kumar bt Beth Parker 11-5, 11-6, 12-10
- Posy Frederik bt Hannah Ballard 13-11, 7-11, 10-12, 11-9, 8-11
- Fliss McCarthy bt Becky Musto 11-6, 11-4, 11-3
The Boys Final was a one sided affair as Wycliffe managed to retain their title with a crushing defeat over RGS Newcastle. Robert Telford and Kyran Young showed their intentions right from the start with both players punishing their opponents 3-0 and Lyell Fuller followed suit to give Wylciffe the title before RGS really had chance to get in to the tie. Harry Heathcock and Scott Young quickly wrapped things up to give Wycliffe a whitewash.
RGS can take real heart from their second place finish. Wycliffe make it 2 titles in 2 years and with the majority of their players still eligible to play next year it looks like their run could continue.
Wycliffe College bt RGS Newcastle 5-0
- Lyell Fuller bt Elliot Park 11-2, 11-7, 11-1
- Scott Young bt Stephen Twaddle 11-1, 8-11, 11-6, 11-2
- Kyran Young bt Richard Ridgeway 11-3, 11-6, 11-6
- Harry Heathcock bt James Breakey 11-7, 11-3, 11-4
- Robert Telford bt Chris Matthewson 11-8, 11-6, 12-10