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Squash Nationals at North Shore

 Late August saw the North Shore Squash Club host the NZ National individual and teams for 2014. The event was sponsored by Benefitz, publishers of Channel Magazine.  Top players from all over New Zealand came to compete for the men's and women's titles for 2014.  With both Open divisions being made up of 32 players, many played five matches over three days, with the finals being played on Friday night when the gallery was packed to capacity.

This year the finals and other matches were also live streamed online giving those that did not get a seat in the gallery the chance to watch it in the lounge of the club, but also the comfort of their homes. The live streaming also included the teams event, which was run over the weekend.

The seeding’s proved to be spot on with both the women’s and men’s number one and two coming up against each other in the finals. With some of the women due to fly out to China later that night, the women’s finals were scheduled for 5.30pm. Joelle King was matched up against Megan Craig. Joelle took the first 11/9 and was up in the second before rupturing her Achilles. Megan Craig won the title. 

Martin Knight, our local player, came up against Campbell Grayson for the Men’s title. Martin took the first two games 11/5 and 11/6 before Campbell staged a comeback to win the third 12/10. Campbell was up in the fourth before Martin came back and tied it all up at 10 all. This looked like it was going to go to a five setter, but Martin dug deep and secured the next two points to become the 2014 Men’s champion. The finals match between the men took 101 minutes to decide the winner. There were many hours of squash played and many tired and sore bodies but for many of the players there was to be no rest with the inter-district teams event starting at 9am on the Saturday. There were to be two games scheduled for that day with the finals on the Sunday. Wellington triumphed over the Auckland men. The Central ladies also beat the Auckland ladies. The last time Central district had held the trophy for the inter-district women’s title was 42 years ago. At only 13 and the youngest girl to achieve the feat of A grade at that age, Kaitlyn Watts from Palmerston North will remember this tournament for the rest of her life.

Winners were:-

Men’s Open: Martin Knight (Auckland – North Shore); Men’s Division One: Joseph Lyons (Bay of Plenty – Tauranga); Men’s Division Two: Dean Williams (Waikato – Cambridge); Men’s Division Three Ishaan Bhide (Auckland – Eden Epsom) .

Women’s Open; Megan Craig (Canterbury – Malborough); Women’s Division One: Nikki Kennedy (Waikato – Thames); Women’s Division 2: Laura Richardson (Waikato- Hamilton). 

by Channel Magazine

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