Classic matches galore grace the 2017 HKFC Junior Squash Championships (by Keith Frith)

 

Over the course of two Saturdays in late May, early June it was the chance for the Football Club’s finest junior talent to have some fun, showcase their skills and see how they matched up against their mates.

 

With five age categories of U10, U12, U14, U16 and U18 a huge thanks goes out to Matt Robinson and Simon Ho (the squash draw spreadsheet wizard!) for their help in organizing the event, which went as smoothly as one could hope with 23 juniors on the loose!  Also, a big thanks to many of the parents that helped to mark the matches and cheer on their kids.

 

U10s

DSC09015.JPG U10s: Lucas Tulloch (winner) and Hugo Teng (runner-up)

 The talent in the U10s is quite extraordinary and is testament to the great work of the Junior Program (about to enter its 4th year), the parents, and the various club coaches that have helped set them on their way.

 

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U10s Plate: Aleksi Pahlman (winner) and Jarius Lin (runner-up)

Game of the U10s tournament went to Shaun Kirpalani v Aleksi Pahlman, an unbelievable game of twists and turns, and fraught emotions (mainly from the poor watching parents). It went to a tie break in the 5th set with numerous match points for both players before Aleksi finally triumphed to a standing ovation. Aleksi went on to win the Plate competition against finalist Jarius Lin.

 

The two standout players in the competition though were the top two seeds, Lucas Tulloch and Hugo Teng, with Lucas showing what a special talent he is in the final by having just too much for a very gallant Hugo. The quality of the final would have graced a much higher age group and these two youngsters have a big future in the game.

 

U12s

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U12s: Alyssa Ho (winner)

With three entrants – Daniel Norman; Shaila Kirpalani; and Alyssa Ho - this age category was a round robin competition.  Those that have seen Alyssa play know that she is one of the Football Club’s real gems. Already ranked highly at Asian regional level, Alyssa was a little too strong for Daniel and Shaila but I’m sure they both learned a lot from playing one of Hong Kong’s finest U12 players. Daniel was runner up in the tournament.

 

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U12s: Daniel Norman (runner-up)

 

U14s

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U14s: Tyler Weisberg (winner) and Alyssa Ho (runner-up)


With five contestants – Ambi Matharu; Alyssa Ho; Naomi Teng; Tyler Weisberg and Yuto Lam – this age category was also a round robin affair. Naomi had some good wins to claim 3rd spot but the winner of the U14s came down to the match between Tyler and Alyssa.  Again, a fantastic level of squash for an U14 match, Tyler managed to edge a close one and take the title. A great effort by the younger Alyssa who was just short of achieving the U12/U14 double!

 

 

U16s

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U18s & U16s: Charles Ho (winner) and Russell Kuan (runner-up)


A marathon match graced the first round of the U16s with Henry Fordham edging out Philip Chew in a grueling 5-setter.

 

Clear favorite in this age category was Charles Ko, already a leading light in Div 5 of the adults league. Russell Kuan was Charles’s opponent in the final and gave a great account of himself, but Charles, with his greater experience, was able to win in three sets.

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U16s Plate: Alina Teh (winner) and Phillip Chew (runner-up) 

The plate final was contested by Alina Teh and Philip Chew with Alina’s powerful forehand the difference.

  

 

U18s

Both Charles and Russell were also the top two seeds in the U18s, and with both making it to the final it was déjà vu as Charles came out on top again. I am sure we are going to see a great deal more from these two fine young players as they make their way up through the main leagues.

 

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U18s Plate: Harrison Nierhorster (winner)


At least there were some new names in the plate final with Harrison Niehorster beating Gaurav Gidwani 3-1 in the final.

 

Many congratulations for all the juniors that took part. As well as the talent on show, what was fantastic to see over the course of the Championships was the great spirit the games were played in.  The kids all respected both the game and their opponents. Something some of us adults could learn from!

 

Keith Frith
Juniors Chairman

COACHING

Phil Head and his team are available for lessons, both private and group, for all ages.  For more information please contact Phil on philhead@netvigator.com or on 9166 4931.

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