Action Photos
Truro School Squash Team vs  National Squash Finals Day
On: Wednesday, 20 Mar 2019
Venue: Away

THE 2019 NATIONAL SCHOOLS SQUASH

CHAMPIONSHIPS GRAND FINALS.

This blue ribbon event of the season was held at Nottingham

for key stage 3 boys on Wednesday 20th March with the National

title up for grabs. 83 schools originally entered and only the top 8

managed to qualify for the finals day itself. Effectively Truro needed

to win 3 consecutive matches to become the champions.

Our squad comprised of Jack Mahon, Louis Murray, Joe Thomson,

Ollie Beaumont, Callum Oliver and Ed Hayes. This was quite simply

the strongest team ever assembled by Truro school. Training over the

build-up period had been very positive, with every little detail covered

and many tough sessions under the belt.

THE QUARTER FINAL: TRURO V JOHN HAMPDEN SCHOOL

Low and behold - we looked slightly nervous and edgy in this match.

It was as if our first appearance in the finals had got to us a little!

Callum and Ollie were just a fraction off the levels they can generate

and were both pipped by their opponents, however Joe on the other

court had notched up a solid win, so there was no need to panic and the

tie was expertly cleaned up by Louis and Jack in very professional and

quite comfortable fashion. Truro won 3/2

THE SEMI FINAL : TRURO V KING EDWARDS SCHOOL

This match was always going to be absolutely massive as KES are

coached by the former England national team manager and hold

some very fine players. Callum played first and although he went up

a good notch in his performance level, found his opponent just that bit

too clever and tricky to contain. On the other court Joe pushed as hard

as he could but found his rival just too accurate and clinical. Joe also

played better than in his opening match, but such is the standard at this

level, was unable to grind out a result. Truro were therefore reliant on

Ollie to turn things around, including some very vocal KES supporters

who felt they had the tie in the bag... Wrong!!! Quite simply, Ollie

played the best match I have ever seen him produce, full of grit and

determination and took a very solid win. The crowd was strangely not

so noisy as the silky skills of Jack and Louis entered the fray and

smothered their opponents with simply sublime squash of the highest

calibre. Suddenly the crowd got noisy again, but this time it was Truro!

Truro won 3/2 and claimed our place in the National Final 2019.

THE GRAND FINAL : TRURO V WYCLIFFE

In a nutshell the new young guns v the 10 times winners. The final was

held on the show court with 100 plus spectators urging their players

on in a bear-pit type of atmosphere to determine the champions for

2019.

So in the most intense, intimidating and pressurised environment

up stepped Callum Oliver, who has only been playing for 18 months,

to kick off proceedings..... and he smashed his opponent with ruthless

shot play, relentless pace and zero mercy. The finest performance of

his young career to date and a huge win for Truro.

Ollie took to the court next and faced a seasoned competitor with fine

racket skills. He lost the first but then dug in amazingly well and

virtually turned the tie around in the second before coming up just

short.

At no 3 Joe faced a very tough Welsh National player who managed

to dominate the T very effectively and edge our boy with, to be fair,

an extremely good performance. This meant we were 2/1 down

with Jack and Louis also facing international players themselves.

Jack was on first and traded the opening games with his opposite

number and all the way up to 9 all in the deciding third game. When it

is this close and exciting the margins are incredibly fine and I actually

believe some things are meant to be and some are not. On this day

Wycliffe got the luck and won the match. It could not have been

closer.

Finally Louis played an absolutely fabulous game with true spirit

and determination to beat his rival in fine style. He was patient, well

structured and totally composed in the most difficult of circumstances.

But the day was to go to Wycliffe as they had the vital 3 wins and

retained their title by the scoreline of 3/2 over our boys.

There is no doubt that our team is every little bit as good as Wycliffe,

but it was just not destined to be on this occasion and we had to settle

for silver. It was nothing short of a brilliant effort by them all and

they shocked the living daylights out of our illustrious opponents.

Many congratulations to Wycliffe, but will will be back better than ever

next year!

Tim Smith Head of Squash

THE 2019 NATIONAL SCHOOLS SQUASH

CHAMPIONSHIPS - DAY TWO - K S 4

In order to set the context for this report I have to emphasise that

after 3 matches on the Wednesday, most of our team was

weary, battle scarred and facing opponents 2-3 years older and a

foot taller on the K S 4 Thursday. Only Ben Thorpe could enjoy

the comfort of having fresh legs as he came in at no 3 string with

Joe and Ollie playing at no 4 and no 5 and Callum now first reserve.

Louis was literally held together by Roc tape and Jack was mentally

shaky overnight after the events of K S 3. What followed was

simply sensational and I deeply thank the expert medical,

dietary and vocal skills of the parents attending who played a vital

role as the day wore on. Plus my co-coach and ever so solid Rory.

THE QUARTER FINAL : TRURO V EPSOM SCHOOL

After an hour plus delay the team managed to dust themselves down

and start much better than the day before. Everyone played really

well and came through their matches having perhaps got used to

the early nerves, or in Ben's case dealt with them nicely. Ollie,

Joe and Ben all won 2/1 while Louis and Jack again looked

extremely composed in their games, clearly overcoming their

personal physical and mental tests. Truro won 5/0 and that magic

word, belief, was growing again.

THE SEMI FINAL : TRURO V LINCOLN MINSTER

This was now our 5th match in 24 hours and required an effort

of gigantic proportions to compete for a place in the final. But,

cometh the hour, cometh team Truro....

Ollie played first, went 1 nil down and then turned the whole match

around with controlled, aggressive, attacking and quick play to give

us a win at no 5.

Joe then played hard and fast, probably hitting the ball as well as Ive

ever seen and lunging so much better to the front. He was unlucky

not to get a win, but again his opponent had to play very well to

edge him out.

On the other court Ben had a huge match against yet another highly

accomplished player. The match was very very tight, but the Lincoln

boy just seemed to have the final answer on a couple of key points

at the end of each game and got the match result.

We were 2/1 down with captain and vice captain “marvels” Jack and

Louis to play. The outcome was assured with 2 awesome victories

which seemed little more than routine wins for the boys. Professional,

calculated, polished and played in wonderful spirit too, Truro had

somehow made the final again in K S 4 with a 3/2 victory. AMAZING.

THE GRAND FINAL : TRURO V WYCLIFFE

This was always a ridiculously big ask as most of the Wycliffe team

are Nationally very highly ranked, extremely experienced and simply

much physically bigger than our boys.

Ollie played first and somehow repeated his heroics of the previous

round with another gritty, gutsy and inspired performance. It was

superb and gave us a glimmer of hope.

Joe and then Ben showed equal qualities in their match-ups, but the

quality of their rivals was very impressive and at this stage in their

development they were simply beaten by stronger opponents, despite

giving everything they could. Jack and Louis then fought against much

older boys right to the end of their clashes and were not far away,

but unfortunately for team Truro, their rivals just had too much strength

and reeled them in. The final result was Wycliffe 4 Truro 1, but the

real result was a mammoth achievement for Truro who exceeded all

expectations by making the very final itself and pushing Wycliffe hard.

Although initially slightly disappointed, the boys soon

realised that making two National finals in 24 hours was IMMENSE and the

atmosphere quite rightly picked up very quickly when they received

their silver medals. This KS 4 team can win it outright next year.

POSTSCRIPT

Denied a National title by the smallest of margins perhaps, but full

of optimism and desire going forward, the boys will now play and train

with a deeper belief than ever before that they can go all the way soon.

We are officially the no 2 ranked team in England, and it's only the

end of year 4 of my 5 year master plan. We know what that means for

our target in 2020 : the no 1 spot in England and revenge over a very

strong but very aware Wyclffe. Congratulations again to Team Truro!

Tim Smith Head of Squash