ESF U17/U15 Teams final play-off

Skrevet av Mark Hornby den .

The under 15’s clinched the first Norwegian victory against Belgium on this the last day of the event.

Sigurd was first on court against the Belgium number one. He looked tense not able to play his relaxed style of play and started slowly. His Shorter opponent took full advantage of this and went into a two games to nil lead. By the third game the Norwegian had started to flow more and played some good squash to claw a game back. However after the third game the Belgium player managed to re-group taking the fourth and the match by three games to one.

Filip was next on court in what turned out to be a tense thriller. He played controlled thoughtful squash against a physical player larger in stature. During the match he was match point down but battled bravely on the big points saving the only match point his opponent had and eventually running out the winner in five hard fought games. All credit to the young Norwegian player for keeping control of his emotions despite some tense moments and running away with the last game.

With the tie poised at one victory each it was up to Lotte T to try to bring a Norwegian victory. From the knock up it was clear the players were of similar ability and that the result would be close. Lotte got off to a good start in the first two games using the height on the front wall well to get the ball to the back of the court. During these rallies it was the Dutch girl who was doing most of the running and in the end this proved to be the telling factor as she gradually got more fatigued as the match progressed. Lotte eventually won the match in commanding style against a jaded opponent.

This result gave Norway their only team victory of this event so well done to Sigurd, Filip, Gard and Lotte T who made up the squad.

Post lunch it was up to the under 17’s to try to emulate the success of the under 15 squad against the Netherlands. Trym was first on court at number one string. He started slowly and it looked like the string of long hard matches he has had over the last few days had taken its toll. This and the combination of an opponent in full flow meant the Norwegian lost the first two games fairly quickly. In the third trym tried to raise his game but his opponent just managed to hold up under pressure and run out a worthy winner by three games to nil.

Bjorn Rune was on court next. He battled well against a very experienced opponent. What he has learned over the last year or so is helping him to keep more experienced players on court longer. The continued development of his short game means it will not be long before he is winning matches at this level.

Last but not least to take to the court was Andrea. What a match she produced against a very competent player. She showed steely determination throughout the match and managed to stay positive even when down to push her opponent all the way. Despite losing these truly inspirational qualities will put her in good stead for the future.

Full results can be found on www.tournamentsoftware.com.

U15 girona 2015

 

ESF U17 U15 Teams (day 3)

Skrevet av Mark Hornby den .

The on court playing order for today was boy 1 girl boy 2.

The under 17’s were first on court this morning against Scotland who can count themselves unfortunate to have landed in the lower place play-offs. Their pool was a particularly close one with a number of two one match’s.

First on court was Trym who was feeling the effects of his marathon struggle yesterday against the German number one. In spite of this he moved fluidly and played some good squash to achieve a number of game balls in the first game. However he was not able to capitalise on this lead instead made a number of errors on the last few key points of the game losing it 14 points to 12.

After the disappointment of the first game he quickly re-grouped in the second playing tactically mature squash with low hard drives which proved very effective against his taller opponent. He took that to level the match at one all.

The last two games were frustratingly close with the Scottish number one just managing to have the edge over the Norwegian in both games, takeing the match by three games to one. All credit to Trym for pushing the German and the Scottish number ones close on consecutive days, countries with a long tradition of producing good players.

Andrea followed on the same court against the Scottish number one who had been the stalwart of the Scottish team in the pool matches. Undoubtedly the best striker of the ball in the woman at this event she quickly raced away with the first game with some devas ting power hitting. All credit to Andrea who managed to stay positive under relentless pressure and was rewarded in the second and third games with a number of points but was not able to come close to taking a set.

Last on court was Daniel P against a smaller more agile opponent. Unfortunately he was not able to create the ‘state of flow’ he achieved yesterday. The match was characterised by short exchanges and the scot took the match by three games to nil.

The under 15’s took to the court at 15.30 against Finland. Sigurd was first on court against the Finish number one. He managed to use his height and reach advantage to good effect dominating the T from the start and forcing a string of errors from his diminutive opponent. The Norwegian number one quickly took two games to nil lead hitting a variety of shots that his opponent had no answer too!

The third and what proved to be the final game the finish player came out firing on all cylinders. This led to a hard fought first few rallies but it was the Norwegian who held his nerve and ran out a worthy winner by three sets to nil.

Lotte T was second on court against a nervous looking Finnish girl. She started well playing thoughtful squash. However once the finish girl had pushed through her initial nerves she quickly took control of the match with some devastating drives which the Norwegian girl could not get back.Despite valiant efforts from Lotte the finish girl never looked like losing and took the match by three games to nil. That levelled the tie at one match each.

The decider was between the male second string player’s representing Norway was Filip P against a giant of an opponent in every manor. The Finish player was twice as wide as his Norwegian opponent and half again as tall.

The finish player put these advantages to good use in the first 2 games dominating the centre of the court blocking out his diminutive opponent. It was 2-0 to the finish number 2 and it was time for a change of tactic. In the third game Filip pushed up the court moving the mountain of an opponent of the T and took command of the third taking it reasonably comfortably. After the time out the finish player came out firing on all cylinders. There were some hotly disputed let decisions by the referee during this period of the match. Most of these went in the favour of the finish player and he quickly took what looked like an unstoppable lead. However the Norwegian managed to claw back a string of points whilst match point down. In the end the gap proved too much and the finish player secured a 2-1 win for Finland. All credit to the Norwegian team for putting up a splendid performance.

Tomorrow is the finals day and the Norwegian teams are playing at 11.30 and 01.30 further reports to follow. Full results from this event can be found on www.tournamentsoftware.com.

European U17 U15 Team Championships (day 2)

Skrevet av Mark Hornby den .

Today is the last day of the pool matches with both age groups facing tough opposition. The playing order of the day is girl, boy 1 then boy 2.

The Under 17’s were first on court at 09.30 against close neighbour Sweden. Andrea kicked off proceedings and was up against the Swedish senior champion at the tender age of sixteen certainly a great prospect for Swedish Squash. As expected the Norwegian found the accuracy of the Swedish player’s game hard to deal with, losing in straight games.

Trym was next on court and after the first couple of games was able to control his opponent eventually winning in his trade mark relaxed style.

Last on court was Bjorn Rune relatively inexperienced at this level. He found the going tough and was not able to capitalise on the game ball he achieved in the second game eventually losing three games to nil.

The under 15’s started the day against the number one seeds and favourites to take the title France. All the match’s in this tie were dominated by the French whose superior fitness and accuracy shone through. All matches were three nil to France.

After lunch the under 17’s were again first on court against Germany. Andrea was again first on against a robust German number one. She battled admirably but was not able to convert her valiant efforts into many points losing three games to nil.

Trym followed on the same court and had a titanic struggle with the German number one. The match was played at an awesome pace with both players showing exceptional athleticism around the court. In one rally Trym stretched into the splits whilst trying to retrieve a ball. Despite his monumental efforts the German took the match.

Bringing up the rear at number two string was Daniel P. He produced some of the best squash he has played this year to give the German number two a real scare. With his emotions under control he set about testing his opponent to the limit producing some quality rallies with both players playing well at the same time. He went down fighting but showed good signs for the future.

The last match of the day for the under 15’s was also against Germany. Lotte T was first on but was not able to trouble the steadfast number one from Germany losing by three games to nil.

Following on the same court was Sigurd who battled bravely achieving game balls in the first and pushing his opponent all the way in the second game too. However a number of unforced errors on key points meant his efforts were not rewarded with a game, losing three nil a score that did not reflect how close the match had been.

Thus it was left to Filip to see if he could take a game in his match. It proved to be a topsy turvey affair with the momentum swinging backwards and forwards between the two players. Neither able to dominate his opponent for more than one game. The match went to five games with the German just able to open up a lead that fillip could not claw back. Never the less he had won two games no mean feat against a top three ranked German.

Tomorrow see’s both teams competing to avoid finishing in last place. Full results can be found www.tournamentsoftware.com.

Day 1 ESF U17 U15 Team champs

Skrevet av Mark Hornby den .

Following on immediately after the opening ceremony was the under 15 team against Wales. They are seeded eighth in this age group but nevertheless had some solid players. A tactical decision was made not to play the strongest team with a view to winning the second match of the day against Slovakia seeded one place below Norway. Sigurd and Gard played for the boys and Lotte the girls. All players put up spirited resistance but none was rewarded with a game. The welsh players controlled the majority of the play with only occasional lapses in concentration.

The decision to rest fillip the Number two player proved a good one. He was first on in the second and final match of the day for the under 15’s against Slovakia. He quickly took control of his match with some slow but accurate play. Some spirited resistance by his opponent in the second game momentarily caused some problems but once the Norwegian had that game under his belt he never looked like losing. Running out a worthy winner by three games to nil.

Sigurd was second on court but found the conditions tough not able to achieve a dying length. His technically unorthodox opponent was robust and consistent in his play. This combination led to a number of scrappy rallies with the ball constantly in the middle of the court. The Norwegian under 15 number one made a number of unforced errors and this was the difference in the end. The Slovakian winning the match by three games to nil.

Lotte Toverud was last on court with the tie standing at one game each. Unfortunately she was up against a player of striking stature and a powerful build. The Norwegian put up spirited resistance but was no match for the powerful hitting from the eastern European girl who did a solid job with few errors bringing her team victory.

Sandwiched between the under 15’s matches was the under 17’s first match against Switzerland. From previous meetings and their high Seeding at six we knew they would be strong. Mirroring the decision with the under 15’s to rest a player for the second match of the day Trym did not play. Daniel P moved up to first string, Bjorn Rune second string and Andrea last on court.

All the players were up against quality opposition nevertheless the Norwegian team put up feisty resistance. Andrea was rewarded with a game for her efforts but neither of the two boys was able to convert the opportunities that came their way.

The last match of the day for the under 17’s was against Hungary. First on court was Bjorn Rune. His match was characterised by some Quick fire exchanges of hard drives with both players flat out. Consequently the squash was not pretty but gutsy with some very competitive exchanges. The Hafrsfjord junior went down fighting in a spirited match three games to nil.

Second on court was trym still fresh from being rested in the first match. Again this decision proved correct as the battle was long with the players evenly matched. During the match there were some issues with the court floor which had been recently sanded and proved slippy particularly for trym. In the end it was the Norwegian who overcame the court conditions and some spasmodic resistance from the Hungarian number one running out a worthy winner by three games to one.

Well done to him!!!

The playing order of the team is always the same on each day so again with a match poised at one all it was the woman players who were to decide the final result. Andrea was up against a formidable opponent who was up for a fight but did show signs of nerves in the knock up. This resulted in a shaky start to the match but once the Hungarian settled down she took control.

Andrea stuck to the task well competing in all the rallies but was not rewarded for her efforts with many points. The eventual three games to nil result for the Hungarian not reflecting some good rallies that had taken place.

Day two sees both age groups playing high seeds so the going will be tough. Full results can be found on www.tournamentsoftware.com.

European Under 17 and Under 15 Team Championships

Skrevet av Mark Hornby den .

The European Team Championship Under 17 and Under 15 starts Thursday 16th May and is played over four days at the Mas San Josep complex in Gerona Spain. This holiday complex has eight squash courts which will be buzzing with excitement over the next few days.

Norway has entered a team in each category as we did last year. The players will join around two hundred players coming from 20 different European countries.

For the first two days of competition, teams will play a league distributed in four pools. On the last two days all the teams will fight through the play offs for their final places.

The standard is extremely high and both Norwegian teams will find the going tough, particularly during the first two days. However when it comes to the play-offs the dramatic progress of some of the players over the last few months may surprise some of the more established competition.

Reports will follow on here and a full list of results can be found at

www.tournamentsoftware.com/sport/tournament.aspx?id=E453080C-15A2-4CF2-B1F1-991715572A8B