Gutsy Central make a real game of it

PETER LAMPP
Last updated 12:00 28/05/2012

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Central were pipped by one measly game in their revived representative clash against Wellington at Palmerston North Squash Club yesterday.

The matches were tied 12-all at the finish but Wellington took the tie on a countback of games, by 46-45.

It all came down to the final round of matches and Central needed to win one of those to tie.

Palmerston North's Joseph Watts did that but dropped a set in his tight 3-1 win over Wellington No 1 Sam Atkins. He had earlier won 11-9 in the fourth over Wellington's Keegan Burkhart.

Things look promising for Central when Regan Smith was 2-0 up against Gary Aukkett. He battled on only to lose 11-5 in the fifth.

Central's only other unbeaten man was Grant Smith who beat two younger opponents, Jason van der Walt 3-0 and Cameron Jamieson 3-1.

Two Central women won both their games. Patea's Chloe McKay and Palmerston North's 11-year old Kaitlyn Watts, in her senior representative debut, both downed Jess Wilson and Ellen Verry.

Central will play in Wellington next year and will play Eastern away on July 14.

Two-time national under-11 champion Kaitlyn Watts got within one win of the Palmerston North B-grade tournament title at Linton Street on Saturday.

She is on the verge of becoming the country's youngest B grader, aged 11 years and two months.

Seeded third, she gave the Red Star player from Masterton, Jannah Wyeth, a huge battle lasting about 50 minutes. Top-seeded Wyeth finally won 11-15 15-11 15-4 14-16 16-14.

In the semifinals ,Watts beat Herne Bay's Amy Geen in three sets while Wyeth had downed Palmerston North's Emily Nash in three. Nash had beaten the fourth seed, Lyn Geen (Manurewa) in the fourth round.

The second seed, Te Puke's Shannon Bennett, didn't show.

In the men's open, Palmerston North club coach and No 2 seed Jason Fletcher beat youngster Luke Jones (Palmerston North) 15-9, 15-9, 15-10, in Fletcher's return to competitive singles.

Jones had eliminated top seed Steve Roughan (Mana) in four sets in the semifinals.

Jones also knocked out fourth seed and former SquashGym manager Jason Burton-Brown in four, but Burton-Brown went on to win the consolation plate. Palmerston North motor-racing driver Geoff Spencer won the plate final over Tawa's David Greer in four.

The tournament attracted 96 entries.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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