Youngster plays key role in title victory
‘‘The E grade team went all the way and won their final in dramatic fashion against Browns Bay.’’
Tawa Squash man’s E Grade team are national champions and 11-year-old Olliver Dunbar, the youngest player in the tournament, played a crucial role in bringing the trophy home with a narrow win in the deciding match.
The E grade team won their final in dramatic fashion against Browns Bay (Auckland).
After four matches the score between the teams was two games each, meaning the fifth game was the decider.
Oli played in the fifth game and after
comfortably winning the first two games, he dropped the next two, but in the final set he dug deep and from 9-9 he powered away to win the match 15-11.
It was Tawa’s first men’s national title in any grade since 1980, and only their second men’s title ever.
Club representative Peter Bowers said it had been a very active month for the club with two Squash in Schools programmes with Redwood and St Francis Xavier Schools, followed by a special offer junior club night in September which saw an average of over 60 kids a week attend for the following three weeks.
‘‘The annual club champs were completed on September 23 with two new club champions: Debbie Dunbar winning the women’s title and Andrew Smith the men’s title.
‘‘Both are first time champions, with Andrew beating Grant Slape in the final, both players having come through the Tawa Junior Programme in the 1990s.’’
This was followed by a prizegiving attended by over 70.
This event included guest speaker Buck Anderson, a former All Black and former Tawa Squash Club junior.
Nyah Mar and Mac Dean were selected for the Wellington Junior Rep team to compete at the Junior Nationals.
There are five members in each of the boys’ and girls’ teams, with another Tawa junior, Natasha McMillan, the nontravelling girls’ reserve.
Tawa had two teams win the Wellington Regional Superchamps Competitions: the men’s D and E teams.
The D grade team were desperately unlucky in the national championships, going down to eventual winners North Shore in the semifinals, 3-2.
The team bounced back to take out the their playoff for 3rd.
Tawa junior squash runs on Friday nights during the school term from 5pm-7pm ($5 non members, free to members). From 5pm-5:30pm there is a free programme for 5 to 8-yearolds.
The Tawa E Grade team, back from left Greg Phillips, Mike Wynne-Jones, Ben Phillips, Steve Dunbar (coach), Keith Hitchcock (chaperone), Werner Pohl, Cam Dean, Stephen Dean. Front, Oliver Dunbar, Bryan Smith (manager)