Great Finals Complete Oceania Junior Champs17 Apr 2019
Ten finals and ten high quality matches as the 2019 Oceania Junior Championships at Remuera Rackets Club came to a close.
The girls U11 final started the day as second seed Zoe Lepper beat top seed and fellow Aucklander Grace Spencer, 12-10, 11-8, 9-11 11-5 with plenty of enthusiastic play from both competitors.
The U11 boys final had top seed Eric Marsh from Western Australia earn a win over his Brisbane counterpart Nikolai Wolpers.11-8, 11-3, 11-5.
Anabel Romero Gemmell (Squashgym, Palmerston North) proved too strong in the U13 girls final winning 6-11, 11-6, 11-2, 11-9 over fifth seed Maja Maziuk (New South Wales).
Reece Holmes (Hawera) and Aryan Madan (South Australia) played a high quality match in the U13 boys with the kiwi eventually prevailing 11-7, 8-11, 11-9, 11-6 to take the title
The power of Natalie Sayes from Auckland via Northland in the U15 girls proved too much for Sophie Hodges (Waikato). Sayes winning in straight games although the second set proved to be a a difficult one. Eventually it was Sayes coming away the victor 11-9, 13-11, 11-5.
Sayes is now one of a number of players who take part in the Australian Junior Champs in Sydney before returning to New Zealand for the AON NZ Junior Open in Tauranga.
Australian Oscar Curtis was solid on his way to the U15 boys title with a 11-8, 11-1, 11-6 win over Apa Fatialofa (Henderson Squash Club). Curtis chased every shot down and despite Fatialofa appearing to have more power it was Curtis who was able to control the points from the centre of the court.
The U17 girls final was as straight forward as the 11-2, 11-5, 11-4 scoreline suggest with Sze Yu Lee defeating Ella Burge in a very business-like fashion, however the U17 boys final had numerous momentum changes and plenty of drama.
The trans-Tasman battle as the top two seeds faced each with Ethan Eyles (Australia) taking on Elijah Thomas was one of the best matches of the tournament. Superb fitness and mental application gave Thomas a 2-11, 14-12, 11-6, 11-9 win which had looked against the odds in the second game such was the domination of Eyles from the middle of the court.
The win was especially pleasing for Thomas who had lost to Eyles in the Trans-Tasman competition a few days earlier.
In the U19 girls final Anika Jackson put on a display of power hitting, but it wasn’t enough for her to beat Alex Haydon (Australia). The Australian winning 12-10, 11-8, 8-11, 11-5
The final match of the competition was a battle between two 18-year-olds, Gabe Yam and second seed Anthony Lepper.
Both players had been focussing on gaining improved PSA rankings and a lengthy match was expected. The two Aucklanders didn’t let any spectators down with hard-fought contest before Yam eventually won 11-5, 9-11, 11-5, 11-1