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Titanic battles for junior honours

The Northerns Junior Open Round Robin lived up to expectations of high quality squash over the past weekend. With 150 entries the players were grouped in 26 sections and spread over 4 venues. It was a mammoth task to get the draws done but the tournament ran like clockwork.

A much anticipated all Northerns boys u19 final saw Mikael Clayton, fresh from a plate win in the US Junior Open take on Blaine Verhage whose squash has taken another step up since last season. The massive crowd that gathered – the biggest ever at a Northerns Junior tournament – was not disappointed. The match went to 5 sets with Mikael clinching it 11-9 in the end, after coming back from a set down twice in the match. Zian de Swardt was 3rd.

In the girls u19 final Charlotta Loggenberg from Free State took on Shanel Potgieter from Northwest. Both are SA Top 10 players from 2016 who are vying for top honours again in 2017. A tightly contested match saw Charlotta come out as 3-1 winner but not before both players had shown total commitment in diving to pick up balls and even playing shots while laying on the ground in one instance. Northerns’ Helena Coetzee was 3rd on points despite earlier beating Charlotta Loggenberg 3-2 in the cross-pool playoffs.

In the boys u16 final Damian Groenewald who is still u14 took on the big boys to win the section against Brett McLachlan who made the final despite being still u13. Earlier Brett ousted Gareth Craigen, another top u14 player who joined Northerns this year courtesy of attending Pretoria Boys High and ended 3rd. Some of the u16 boys played in the u19 section, which opened up the section considerably.

In the girls u16 section Almari Claassen won, with Valme Webster in second place and Jeanemie Vorster 3rd.

All the sections offered exciting squash throughout the weekend and there is much to look forward to for the rest of the season.

Here are the full results:


All the prize winners at the weekend’s tournament.