Bognor squash youngsters represent Sussex in national tournament

Four Bognor Squash Club juniors took their skills on to the national stage when they represented Sussex in the final stages of the inter-county junior championships in Nottingham.

Tuesday, 4th February 2020, 8:00 am
Bognor's awesome foursome with coach Zoe Shardlow

There were ten categories and Sussex had a team in eight.

Bognor’s Calum Porter (12) and Elliott Hill (12) played for the boys’ under-13 team, while Calum’s older brother George Porter (15) and Ethan Randell (16), were in the boys’ under-17 team.

In their first match, the U13 boys faced a strong side from Surrey, who went on to win the event, and lost 5-0.

They then played fast-improving South East Wales. Calum Porter, at second string, had a very close encounter, winning the first game 11-7 but losing the next three 9-11, 8-11, 8-11.

Hill, at fourth string, had an epic match, coming back from 2-1 down to win 11-8 in the fifth, giving the Sussex team their only success of the day as they lost 4-1.

The following day they faced close rivals Hampshire in the seventh/eighth place play-off. Hill won 3-0, then it was Porter’s turn to do battle over five games, using his superior skill and stamina to come back and win from 2-1 down, as Sussex won 4-1.

In the U17 boys’ first match, against Cheshire, Randell made a slow start, losing the first but settling down to play mature squash and bring home the next three to get Sussex off to a good start.

Last on for the U17s, George Porter put in one of the performances of the weekend on the show court. He went two games down but came back to level at 2-2.

It looked all over when his opponent served for the match at 10-5 up, but Porter had other ideas. Rallying with discipline and determination, he clawed his way back to level pegging at 10-10 before taking the match 14-12 to give his team a 5-0 win.

In the semi-final, Sussex won at first and second string, but opponents Surrey had greater strength in depth, winning at three, four and five - despite Porter and Randell’s best efforts - to deny Sussex a place in the final.

Sussex took on old rivals Yorkshire for a podium place.

Randell played great squash but lost 3-0 to a strong opponent while Porter again impressed. He took the first two games then held his nerve when his opponent took the third to come back and secure the fourth for a 3-1 win. Sussex took the decider for a fantastic third place finish.

Bognor coach Zoë Shardlow was part of the four-strong Sussex coaching team, with particular responsibility for the U11 and U17 girls, who finished seventh and second respectively.

A fifth Bognor player, Katalin Johns (16), was selected for the U17 girls team, but was injured.

Sussex squash thanked the Barnham Trading Post for their continued support.

Bognor club chairman Colin Rogers said: “The club was proud of the juniors and all the hard work by them and coach Zoë Shardlow – this is a fantastic result and full credit must be given to the coaching programme.”

Junior coaching takes place at the Hawthorn Road club on Mondays at 4.15pm and 5.15pm, and on Sundays at 10am. Contact coach Zoë on 07841 194463 for details.