Friday, December 1, 2023

George Parker and Gina Kennedy are top juniors

Tecnifibre British Under-19 titles go to George Parker and Gina Kennedy
By Squash Mad Reporter

Title winners George and Georgina (centre) in Manchester
Title winners George and Georgina (centre) in Manchester

Leicestershire’s George Parker and Kent’s Georgina Kennedy claimed the Under-19 honours yesterday at the Tecnifibre British Junior Championships in Manchester.

Top seed Parker was formidable throughout, winning the Don Sanderson Trophy without dropping a game to add to the U17 trophy he lifted in 2012. Patrick Rooney, of Merseyside, gave his all in the final, but was unable to trouble the favourite, who triumphed 11-7 11-4 11-4 in 27 minutes.

In contrast, Kennedy had to work much harder to win the girls’ trophy, as she came back from 2/1 down to defeat top seed Lily Taylor, of Leicestershire. It was Kennedy’s third national title, following her successes at U17 level in 2012 and U15 in 2011.

This year’s U17 trophies went to Hampshire’s Kyle Finch, last year’s U15 champion, and Kent’s Amelia Henley, the defending champion.

Finch justified his position as top seed in his section by winning the final 3/1 against 5/8 seed Charlie Lee (Surrey), who had upset second seed Robbie Keefe (Hampshire) and 3/4 seed Harry Falconer (Lincolnshire), both 3/2 in a combined 185 minutes. He also pushed Finch in the final, winning the first game, but Finch hit back to claim the next three, including a crucial third 13-11, and triumph after 60 minutes.

Meanwhile, Henley comfortably retained her trophy with a 3/0 win over Mari Taylor (Leicestershire) in the final, after Taylor had surprised second seed Elin Harlow (Wales) in the semi-finals.

The U15 titles were won by Yorkshire’s Nick Wall, his first national crown, and Essex’s Elise Lazarus, whose triumph was her fourth at this level.

Wall had a fantastic run to the final, not losing a game, but then he was tested by no.2 seed Jared Carter (Hampshire). Wall edged the first 13-11 and also won the second, before Carter fought back to take the third, only for Wall to rally and win the fourth 11-6 and the match after 36 minutes.

Lazarus added a second U15 title to the two U13 crowns that she already held without dropping a game. Karina Tyma, the 3/4 seed from Avon, did well to reach the final, knocking out no.2 seed Ellen Cooper (Yorkshire) on her way, but found Lazarus a hurdle too far and was beaten 3/0 in 28 minutes.

Yorkshire’s Sam Todd and Wales’ Layna Beattie are the U13 champions, with Todd atoning for last year’s final heartache.

He faced second seed Adam Goad (Cumbria) in the final and was too strong and determined from the start, taking the first 11-6 and powering through the second 11-3. Goad put up more opposition in the third, but Todd still won it 11-8 and with it his first British title.

Meanwhile, Beattie reached the girls’ final after beating top seed Lucinda Cross (Durham & Cleveland) 3/1 in the semi-finals and then despatched second seed Margot Prow (Middlesex) 3/0 in 24 minutes in the final.

Article first published by England Squash and Racketball.


Picture  courtesy of England Squash and Racketball 


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