Bay contingent help NZ squash Aussie rivals
Hawke’s Bay’s four New Zealand Secondary School Squash representatives played a strong hand in Trans-Tasman Series and Test match victories in Rockhampton, Queensland in late August.
Playing in the five-strong senior girls’ squad (years 11-13) at No. 5, Jess Dean was unbeaten in seven singles and three doubles matches over four days of competition.
Not far behind was Sam Harding, who didn’t drop a game in winning all of her seven singles matches playing at No. 5 for the five-strong junior girls’ squad (years 9-10), while her only doubles defeat came in the test against Australia.
The junior squad also featured her twin sister Ally, and Jena Gregory.
North Island under-15 champion Gregory won six singles matches playing at No. 2, including her test clash, and was unbeaten in doubles alongside Ally Harding, who won five of her singles matches in the No. 3 slot.
Coming out of a cool winter to play in temperatures close to 30 degrees proved no barrier to the 20-strong New Zealand team, which also featured senior and junior boys’ squads.
They easily won the TransTasman series contested against New South Wales and Queensland over three days.
While the test against Australia proved tougher, New Zea- land prevailed 7-3 in doubles, and 12-8 in singles.
Dean and the Harding twins all play out of Hawke’s Bay Lawn Tennis and Squash Club, and were part of the Napier Girls’ High School squad which finished runner-up at the New Zealand secondary schools championship earlier this month. Gregory, still only 13, led Havelock North High School to 7th place.
Both Gregory and Dean have been included in the Squash Eastern squad to contest the New Zealand junior inter-districts team championships in Christchurch in early October.