The NZ Senior National Inter-District Team Championships the 31 August – 2nd September at Panmure Squash Club, Auckland. The Canterbury Team was:
Men’s Team: Jackson Beresford (CH), Matt Smith (CF), Simon Slade (MP), Charlie Barker (CF) and Nic Wilson (SW)
Women’s Team: Emma Cormack (CF), Ruby Turnbull (CF), Maria Hinz (OX), Amelia Wadsworth (MC) and Grace Hymers (CF)
Manager: Rod Hayes Coach: Adam Odering
Both Men's and Women's team finished according to their seedings at the event in Auckland over the first weekend in September. The matches were played at a mixture of the Panmure Squash Club and the Remuera Rackets club.
The Women's team, seeded 8th, started with a tough match against 2nd seeded Northland. Our ladies all lost 3/0 in this round. Newcomer and Junior Amelia Wadsworth played our very first game and got a tough welcome from the very experienced and hard-hitting Trina Moore (formerly Kitchen). In a tactical move team #3, Maria Hinz, was rested to be fresh for the second tie that day against 5th seed Waikato. This tactic seemed to work - she had a comfortable victory - and when our #1 Emma Cormack had a very good upset win 3/2 over Casey Owen we had a chance. However, matches finished tied 2-all, and we lost on a game’s countback. Emma's victory included her winning both the first 2 games and the 5th game 11/9. Ruby Turnbull and Amelia Wadsworth played in this tie too but were unsuccessful. Team # 5 Grace Hymers (another junior newcomer) played in the first tie against Northland and was called upon again on the second day after Maria Hinz suffered terribly bad luck and ruptured her Achilles tendon early in the 5th set of her Saturday morning match. Grace managed two wins from the tournament.
So, the women finished 8th. Emma Cormack showed that she has the sort of game that will be able match most of the top players with more training and experience, and with three junior players in the team we would seem to have the potential to develop into a much more competitive side in the next few years.
The Men's team also lived up to their seeding - 5th. Their first-round tie was the crunch one, against 4th seeded Wellington. This we did not manage to win. Top player Jackson Beresford played a clever and pressure filled game against Jonny Barnett who seemed determined to take his time between rallies right from the start. Jackson won a great match, but this was not enough to ensure a team victory. Charlie Barker and Simon Slade had earlier lost 2/3 and 1/3 respectively. This left us needing Matt Smith to win 3/2 to force a countback or win better for the victory. Unfortunately, his opponent proved too good and Matt lost 1/3. Losing to Wellington put us in the plate where we comfortably dispatched other teams be the winner, 5th place effectively. The plate final was against Northland where Charlie and Nick Wilson put us up early with wins 3/2 and 3/1 and then Jackson sealed it with a very skillful and entertaining 3/1 victory over Finn Trimble. As the team victory was established the final match for Matt Smith was not played.