SQUASH: Sophie wins U13s event

U13 winner Sophia John, with Lily Main, third, and Cllr Sian Timoney
U13 winner Sophia John, with Lily Main, third, and Cllr Sian Timoney

The third Akira Beds Junior Open took place at the home of Luton and Dunstable Squash Club in Lewsey Sports Park recently.

Entrants travelled from across England and beyond, including a contingent from Qatar, with hopes high for some local success for the first time since LDSC began hosting this England Squash Bronze Sanctioned event.

The Qatari’s didn’t disappoint with many making finals, whilst local boys, Alex Axford and Sean Davies failed to make it to the second day.

Stand out performer was Umair Zaman in the Boys U19 category as he swept through the field without dropping a game to face number one seed Ben Hedger.

Seventh seed Zaman showed no mercy and whilst Hedger got close in the second, there was only ever one winner.

The Girls U11 section promised much with Natalie Main seeded as number one. She despatched fellow club player Chloe Bhola comfortably, but it was clear that all was not well as she took to her bed before the next round, where she withdrew mid match with what transpired to be scarlet fever.

There were still local hopes in the Girls U13s category as both Lily Main and Sophia John made the semi-finals.

Main fought hard but ultimately had to settle for contesting the third place play-off, losing to Anya Shah from Middlesex.

Meanwhile John was imperious as she dominated Kate Maxwell-Armstrong from the off to reach the final.

In the final John was too strong for Shah, who had beaten her the last time they faced each other, and ran out a triumphant 3-0 winner to the pleasure of her supporters and local dignitary Sian Timoney who was on hand for the trophy presentation.

The third place play off saw Main triumph 3-1 in a very hard fought match, to deliver further silverware for the club.