Squash trophy held high by Central
Central emulated the Manawatu Turbos' efforts on Friday by sending another Wellington team packing yesterday.
It was a resounding 18-6 win for the Central Squash men and women at the Palmerston North Squash Club.
Such was their supremacy Central could afford to rest Victor Romero after the Mexican virtuoso had won the Palmerston North club championships over the young guys on Saturday.
He had a sore back but was still picked in the Central side for the teams' nationals at North Shore from August 20 to 24.
Wellington might not have had their strongest team, but Central didn't have everyone, including former pro Josh Greenfield. Wellington are also a bigger squash region with about 5000 players to Central's 3000 in a wide area that also includes Taranaki. The bulk of the Central team were from Palmerston North's SquashGym.
Wellington had won this contest the previous two years, but it was Central who collected the new trophy, the Wairarapa Cup, so-named because many of the players from both areas have emanated from Wairarapa.
Spearheading the Central men was professional Kashif Shuja who beat Sam Atkins and Shane Johnson, both by 3-0.
New Zealand junior Luke Jones was playing at No 2 and he lost to Atkins, an A1 player, in four sets and to Johnson in five.
Jones, however, had one foot at the airport as he flew out straight afterwards yesterday to the world junior championships in Namibia.
No 3 Rodney Bannister won both of his matches as did Massey University student Ben Calvert. At the bottom, Wellington had a strong No 5, Ben Allen, who won both games leaving Taranaki's Stephen Bennett and Jason van der Walt one win each.
Wellington No 1, Tamsyn Leavey, the former international, was too strong with her court-craft, beating Central's Rebecca Barnett in a tight three sets and Danielle Fourie in four.
Jackie Tapp, Emily Nash, Caitlyn Watts and Rebecca Clifford all won their matches.
Central team to play at the nationals: (PN unless named) Men: 1 Kashif Shuja, 2 Ben Calvert, 3 Victor Romero, 4 Stephen Bennett (Taranaki), 5 Brandon Keenan. Non-travelling reserve: Jason van der Walt.
Women: 1 Rebecca Barnett, 2 Danielle Fourie, 3 Jackie Tapp (Taihape), 4 Caitlyn Watts, 5 Rebecca Clifford. Non-travelling reserve: Emily Nash.