The annual Squash Canterbury awards were presented on Thursday 24th September at Christchurch Football Club. This year there was a particularly strong group of nominees and deciding on the winners was tough.
Service to Squash: Greg Atkins (Christchurch), Dean Williamson (Burnside), Tracey Marshall (MSRC), Senior Nationals Committee - Helen Benington, John Horwood, Jeanette Beatty, Sharon Ashmore, Freddie Walker, Kirsty Allison, Emma Sim, Nigel Lloyd and Greg Atkins.
Junior Player of the Year: Nominees - Jayden Millard, Quinn Udy. Winner - Jayden Millard (Football).
Senior Player of the Year: Nominees - Paul Coll, Chris van der Salm, Megan Craig. Winner - Paul Coll (Squashways).
Masters Player of the Year: Winner - Scott Gardiner (Burnside).
Junior Personality of the Year: Nominees - Charlie Barker, Amelia Wadsworth. Winner - Amelia Wadsworth (MCOB).
Senior Personality of the Year: Nominees - Christine Cumming, Wayne Seebeck, Tom Hannon, Russell Lindsay, Paul Growcott. Winner - Russell Lindsay (MCOB).
Referee of the Year: Winner - Wayne Smith (Christchurch).
Coach of the Year: Nominees - Tracey Widdon, John Brown, Adam Odering. Winner - John Brown (Squashways/Burnside).
Overall Personality of the Year: Winner - Helen Benington (Football).
Club of the Year: Winner - Christchurch Squash Club.
A full run down of the night can be found here. This includes write ups on the nominees and winners, and the prizes awarded for Canterbury Junior Age Groups and Christchurch winter interclub.
Joelle King and Paul Coll have taken out their respective titles less than a month after the duo won the Australian Open in Melbourne.
Joelle King and Megan Craig took to the court to have a rematch from the 2014 Senior Nationals at North Shore. In the first game King made some early unforced errors but she managed to curb this and came back strongly, both players went point for point and she managed to claim the first game with some excellent shot making. In the second game King took an early lead and never looked back on the game with King keeping in front to take the second game convincingly. King made Craig retrieve a number of shots and her strength in the game was clear with her shot selection being on point. The third game saw both players exchange blow for blow and then some good convincing shots from King saw her take the lead and then it was Kings match in approximately 40mins. 1 year on from rupturing her achilles at the Senior Nationals in 2014 this was a moment for King to come back and show what she has achieved in a year.
Paul Coll and Campbell Grayson stepped on court in a rematch of what was their semi-final match at the 2014 Senior Nationals in the Men's Open division. Whilst both players looked strong, Grayson managed to attack the ball and edged ahead in the game through some great shot selection whilst under pressure. The second game saw some errors creep into Graysons game whilst Coll managed to hit some quick winners and claim the second game levelling the game score 1-1. The third game saw some strong pressure from Coll, Grayson went for some winning shots but they didn't manage to come off and Coll took the third game and the edge on Grayson. The fourth game saw some great retrieving and placement of the ball but a collision between the players saw Grayson having to take a 15minute injury break for a rolled ankle. When Grayson came back on he managed to get to some superb shots from Coll but some errors from Grayson crept into the match and eventually Grayson couldn't edge his way back in and Coll took the Men's Open title for 2015.
Canterbury Men have beaten Wellington men in a tense tie whilst the Waikato Women have taken their win over Bay of Plenty in an intense final match.
First on court for the Men's Draw was Sam Atkins and Jonny Barnett. Whilst there were some tough rallies between these two it was Barnetts day and he took the win 3-0 to give Canterbury the early lead. Next on was Evan Williams and Chris Van Der Salm. Whilst Van Der Salm played some great shots Williams managed to edge the win and ultimately the match 3-0 and Wellington levelled the score. Next on was a repeat of the Men's Semi-Finals with Martin Knight and Paul Coll. Knight got off to strong start taking the first game but Coll managed to come back and take the next 3 games and the win for Canterbury giving Canterbury a 2-1 lead. It was all down to the final match between Scott Galloway the newbie to the Wellington Senior Team and Scott Gardiner. Both players managed to score a game each but Galloway claimed the third game and took the lead 2-1. Tensions were high with Canterbury under the impression they had to only get 1 more point at 3-2 in the fourth game to win the match Galloway dug deep and won 9 points in a row and took the match 11-3. There were some tense moments and questions were flying around who would win on a points countback which was equal, but it seemed the calculators were wrong for Canterbury and once Scott Gardiner had got the 3rd point it was all done, the final score was 125 to Wellington and 126 to Canterbury and Canterbury won the competition for the first time.
Congratulations to those players selected for the Canterbury Masters Team for the 2015 Nationals in Napier. The three selectors put considerable thought into the make up of this team based on wide ranging criteria and guidelines. Below is the team to retain the N.Z. Masters Title won in Palmerston North last year.
Tim Williams, Scott Gardiner, Jason Oxenham, Paul Roughan, Nigel Lloyd, Ed Post, Lawrence Skurr.
Erin Ellery, Dot Boyce, Sue Wasley, Karen Walton, Ann Harliwich (Player/Manager) Freda Walker.
Congratulations to the following players who will represent Canterbury at the upcoming Junior Nationals Team event in Invercargill at the start of October:
Boys: Jayden Millard, Quinn Udy, Charlie Barker, Ben Roughan, Callum Seymour
Girls: Nikki Kennedy, Ruby Beresford, Amelia Wadsworth, Ruby Turnbull, Emma Cormack