Women’s squash team tri­umphs Team clinches third place in na­tional Su­per­cham­pion con­test

Te Awamutu Courier - - Sport -

Te Awa­mutu women’s C grade squash team covered them­selves in glory plac­ing third at the Na­tional Su­per­cham­pion Com­pe­ti­tion in Napier.

The sec­ond seeded Te Awa­mutu side were anx­ious to fin­ish the tour­na­ment strongly in the play­off for third place against Royal Oak Rac­quets Club (Auck­land).

Team No. 3 Jude Nightin­gale got them off to a fly­ing start win­ning 3/0, fol­lowed by No. 4 Ash­ton McDon­ald win­ning a tightly-con­tested match 3/1.

A tough 3/1 loss for No. 1 Vanessa Robb (in her best match of the tour­na­ment), meant Emma McLaugh­lin once again found her­self un­der pres­sure to win. She duly obliged, win­ning 3/0. Her su­per ef­fort was topped off by a com­fort­able 3/1 win to No. 5 player Shaana Pater­son to se­cure a 4/1 team vic­tory.

Te Awa­mutu had some tense times in their first pool match against hosts and eighth seed Hawkes Bay Squash Rack­ets Club (East­ern District rep­re­sen­ta­tives).

Af­ter gain­ing the lead with a 3/0 vic­tory to Renae Boy­den, Te Awa­mutu quickly found them­selves on the back foot with the first and third seeded play­ers go­ing down 0/3 and 1/3 against some strong op­po­si­tion.

A tense 3/2 come­back win for Emma McLaugh­lin put Te Awa­mutu back in con­tention. Vic­tory was se­cured with a calm, com­posed 3/1 win to Shel­ley van der Hulst. With first match jit­ters out of the way, Te Awa­mutu met sixth seed Kamo Rugby and Squash Club (North­land) in their sec­ond pool game.

With a lack­lus­tre per­for­mance Te Awa­mutu lost 4/1 to the even­tual run­ners-up of the tour­na­ment. Af­ter a night’s re­flec­tion, Te Awa­mutu were de­ter­mined to re­turn to form against third seeds Haw­era Lawn Ten­nis and Squash Club (Cen­tral Dis­tricts).

Van der Hulst won 3/0 first up, backed up by a tense 3/2 vic­tory to Pater­son. Ahead 2-0, Te Awa­mutu seemed to be re­gain­ing their win­ning ways. How­ever, with a 1/3 loss to Nightin­gale the pres­sure re­turned. It was eased by McLaugh­lin win­ning 3/1 and, de­spite Robb los­ing her match, Te Awa­mutu pre­vailed 3/2 to make the semi-fi­nal against un­beaten top seeds Have­lock North Squash Club (East­ern). Te Awa­mutu was un­able to top­ple this much stronger and in­domitable side which dropped only one match (in the fi­nals) through­out the tour­na­ment to be­come wor­thy na­tional women’s C-grade ti­tle hold­ers.

Team cap­tain, Jude Nightin­gale said the Te Awa­mutu play­ers’ spir­its were lifted through­out the tour­na­ment by the won­der­ful sup­port from both cur­rent and past mem­bers of the Te Awa­mutu Squash com­mu­nity who made the long trek to Napier to cheer on the team through­out the week.

“With many fond mem­o­ries and friend­ships made in and around some tight con­tests, tough com­pe­ti­tion and an over­all third place fin­ish, there cer­tainly is plenty to be proud of.”

Te Awa­mutu had ear­lier qual­i­fied for the na­tional tour­na­ment by win­ning both their matches con­vinc­ingly (4/1, 5/0) at the Waikato District Su­per­cham­pion com­pe­ti­tion.

The team was coached by Cliff Nightin­gale, man­aged by Sharon Gar­rick and spon­sored by Te Awa­mutu Squash Club, Thom­sons ITM, Keir Land­scap­ing, AI Elec­tri­cal, Brian Laird, Alexan­dra House, Mur­ray Gane Plumb­ing, Truestyle, The Tomo Bar and Eatery, Fast­way Couri­ers Hamil­ton, HB Farms, James Robb NZ Couri­ers, Plumb­ing World and Mitre 10 who made com­pet­ing in Napier a pos­si­bil­ity.

Photo / Sup­plied

Re­lax­ing on Marine Pa­rade af­ter plac­ing third at the Na­tional Su­per­cham­pion Squash Com­pe­ti­tion in Napier. Te Awa­mutu C grade team of, from left: Cliff Nightin­gale (coach), Shel­ley van der Hulst, Renae Boy­den, Jude Nightin­gale, Ash­ton McDon­ald, Craig McDon­ald (sup­porter), Shaana Pater­son, Emma McLaugh­lin, Vanessa Robb and Sharon Gar­rick (man­ager).

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