From November 11-12, Hampshire’s squash juniors took their top-class ability all the way to Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, where they competed in the first round of the Inter-County Championships. 

All of Hampshire’s teams, from the under elevens all the way up to the under nineteens, gave their competition some serious trouble; the weekend serving as a testament to the county’s vast pool of strong junior squash players. 

On Saturday, the boys’ U11, U13, and U15 teams took to the court, competing against counties Wales, Cornwall, Dorset, Devon and Gloucestershire. The depth in some categories, such as the boys under fifteens, was so extensive that Hampshire could enter two entire teams. The B team did exceptionally well. Of course, the U15’s A team as well as the under elevens and thirteens also proved to be successful, with all participants playing some outstanding squash. 

Luke Harrington – the county teams organiser, said: “It's fantastic to see such positive results across the age and gender groups, we cant wait for the finals early next year. Now squash is in the Olympics we anticipate seeing even more growth in the sport!” 

The next day saw all of the girls’ teams as well as the older two boys’ categories compete for their spot in the Inter-County finals. Squash prodigy siblings George and Phoebe Griffiths said “The inter county championships is our favourite event of the year. We love being part of the Hampshire team. We all get to wear our county kit and cheer each other on.” 

Phoebe along with Hattie Broadbridge and Sophie Vail have won Gold at under 11's, and Under 13s already and are looking to make it a hat-trick of golds in the Under 15s this year. 

The under-nineteen girls team, too, revealed their true competitive spirit, and comfortably secured a place in the final round as well. The county is hopeful for what the girls can achieve in the next round.

As for the younger categories, it was encouraging to see all of the young potential that Hampshire boasts. It will be great to see how they do in the next round. Meanwhile, the boys’ U17 and U19 teams also produced some great results. The under nineteens, much like the girls’ equivalent category, also won all of their ties and will be progressing through to the final. 

The under seventeens came in a narrow-second place, just losing out to Wales after a series of tight matches. Luckily, they are also likely to progress through into the finals. Overall, it was a triumphant event for the county of Hampshire, with juniors playing effortlessly amazing squash. Well done to all of the teams, and good luck to those who progressed into the finals.

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