Young Central Team play out of their skins

On Sunday 2nd April the CD Seniors took on the Waikato Seniors in Ohakune.  It is normally played with 6 men and 6 ladies, but due to Waikato not been able to field 6 ladies, we played the event with 6 men and 4 ladies, with each player playing 2 games .   It was a bit disappointing that many of our senior players made themselves unavailable for various reasons, and on paper we looked well and truly outclassed, with many of the men’s games in particular having to take on players at least 400 points ahead of them.


Despite some major mismatches, the CD men played way above their grades.  Dylan Budge  started us of well taking on Alex Oakley (who was ranked 635 point ahead of Dylan).  Dylan played fantastic squash to take a game off Alex, finally going down in 4, but setting the scene for the CD team in that we were not going to take any notice of the grading’s.  It carried on with Jordan Bell taking on Will Hurst (+365 points), and although Jordan lost in 3, the match took almost 40 minutes with all 3 games going long – another amazing performance.  Whilst the men were battling along, the girls were gaining the team some valuable points with Di tasker winning 3/2 vs Jaimee Hunt, Gina Bailey beating Paige Browne 3/1, and Kaitlyn Watts beating Amber Helm 3/0.  The last game of the morning session saw Richard Bell taking on Fergus McKinnon (+175 points).  Richard made sure the boys did not go winless in the morning session with a hard fought win 3/2 against Fergus.  The morning session finished with Waikato up 6-4.


The afternoon session again started with Dylan Budge taking on Ben Calvert.  Ben is ranked 675 points ahead of Dylan, but Dylan again showed the improvement he is making fighting hard, and forcing Ben to play some amazing squash in the final few games, with Ben finally winning in 5 – another fantastic start to the afternoon session by Dylan – and very unlucky not to win.  Brandon Keenan continued the theme, taking a game off NZ representative Max Trimble losing 3/1.  Annaleise Faint kept the score board ticking over for the CD team, beating Amber Helm 3/0 – a very good win for Annaleise against a very good B1 player.  Jordan Bell then showed the improvement he has been making over the past few weeks taking on Fergus McKinnon, and dominating the game beating Fergus 3/0.  Allan Bailey then followed in the theme of playing way above your grade to take a game off Alex Oakley, and should have had a second, fighting hard but finally going down in 4 – well done Allan.  This set the scene for the two number 1’s - Corbin Faint vs Tyler Ranger.  Tyler is ranked 250 points ahead of Corbin, but once again Corbin took no notice of the points, took the game to Tyler and made him fight for every point.  At one stage Tyler needed an injury break - this is often the time the person dominating loses concentration, but Corbin kept his focus finally wearing Tyler down and winning an epic match 3/2.  With this win we found ourselves down 10 matches to 7, with Kaitlyn, Gina and Richard to play.  Gina took on Jaimee Hunt and dominated to win 3/0 – 10/8.  Kaitlyn then played the number 1 from Waikato - Nadine Cull.  Nadine is a bit of legend in the sport and reminded us that she has been in A grade longer than Kaitlyn had been alive!  Nadine played well, but Kaitlyn was just too fast and accurate beating Nadine 3/0 – leaving the tie at 10-9 to Waikato with only Richard to play.  Richard was up against in form Will Hurst, and Will is ranked 345 points ahead of Richard.  Richard fought hard, but Will knew what was at stake, and showed why he is graded higher, moving Richard around and finishing many rallies with fantastic drops or drives, beating Richard 3/0.  Waikato took the tie 11 matches to 9.


This was an amazing day for the CD team with all players playing way above their grades to produce an amazingly close result.  It’s never nice to lose, but I was very proud to have been a part of what is a very young team (including Di who is young at heart), and the effort they put out on the court today – it was a pleasure and privilege to be a part of it – well done CD.


 Story by Coach Grant Watts