Squash­ing records with a na­tional win

South Taranaki Star - - SPORT - JANE MATTHEWS

For first time in 30 years, and sec­ond time in his­tory, a Ha¯wera squash team has brought home a na­tional ti­tle.

The Ha¯wera D-grade women were crowned the New Zealand Su­per Champ Team in their grade for 2017.

Play­ers Jaime-Lee Careswell, Me­gan Meerk­erk, Brooke Reid, Alana Ryan, Ab­bies Holmes, Philippa Duffy and Denise Holmes were man­aged by Lynda Ryan and coached by Mike Careswell.

Holmes said she knew it was a big deal to win a na­tional ti­tle, but said it hit home when she re­alised the last time Ha¯ wera Squash Club had a na­tional win­ning team.

‘‘It’s been 30 years,’’ she said. ’’Prob­a­bly once I heard that it was even more ex­cit­ing.’’

Denise said the team had re­ceived many en­cour­ag­ing mes­sages.

‘‘We’ve had a lot of con­grat­u­la­tory txts and phone calls and Face­book has gone a bit crazy.’’

The Ha¯wera Ladies F grade won a na­tional ti­tle in 1987 and Jan Canty, a mem­ber of that team, con­tacted Denise to con­grat­u­late her.

‘‘She can still re­mem­ber the win back in the day, which was pretty cool,’’ Denise said.

The new cham­pion team won the Cen­tral Dis­tricts Re­gion­als in Palmer­ston North in Au­gust and qual­i­fied for na­tion­als.

Th­ese were held in Tau¯ po and the team played against five other teams from all over the coun­try.

They played 25 matches all up and only lost three of those.

Three of the women - Alana Ryan, Abbie Holmes and Me­gan Meerk­erk - went un­de­feated through­out the en­tire tour­na­ment.

Th­ese three women, as well as Brooke Reid and Denise, were the main play­ers dur­ing the com­pe­ti­tion.

Denise said for a lot of the team mem­bers this was their first na­tional com­pe­ti­tion, es­pe­cially as a team.

‘‘It was quite nerve-wrack­ing play­ing as part of a team,’’ she said.

‘‘When you play by your­self as an in­di­vid­ual it’s okay, but when you’re play­ing as part of a team your loss might let the team down.

‘‘I felt a bit more pres­sure.’’ Two other Taranaki teams did well at na­tional com­pe­ti­tions too.

Kawaroa Park E-Grade Ladies came third in Hamil­ton, and Kawaroa Park B-Grade Men came sev­enth in Cromwell.

The win­ning team: Coach Mike Careswell, Jaime-Lee Careswell, Me­gan Meerk­erk, Brooke Reid, Alana Ryan, Ab­bies Holmes, Philippa Duffy, Denise Holmes, and Man­ager Lynda Ryan.

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