Craig stars for Canterbury
Led by Marlborough's Megan Craig, the Canterbury women's squash team finished third out of eight teams at the National Teams Event that wrapped up in New Plymouth on Tuesday.
Fresh off her fourth in the individual national championships that finished at the same Kawaroa Park club venue on Sunday, Craig and her four-strong Canterbury side got off to a great start on Monday morning when they completed a 12-0 clean-sweep of Northland in round one.
Trina Moore was 19-year-old Craig's opponent in the battle of the No 1s and the young Marlburian prevailed in straight sets 11-5 11-9 11-4.
That put Canterbury through for a semifinal against Bay of Plenty and although both sides won two matches each, BOP collected more set wins to come out on top 11-7.
New Zealand No 5 Craig faced archrival and NZ No 4 Amanda Landers-Murphy in that tie and for the fifth time in three months the encounter between the two was a torrid one. In the end, Landers-Murphy won in four tight sets, 12-10 11-6 6-11 11-7, to gain revenge for her loss to Craig in the quarterfinals of the individual event.
On Tuesday, Canterbury scored a narrow 8-6 win over Wellington in the playoff for third place.
Craig easily beat former NZ junior team-mate Rebecca Barnett 11-3 11-2 11-3 in that tie, while the ability of Canterbury No 3 Shayle Higginson and No 4 Erin Dippie to take a set each in their 1-3 defeats proved crucial in Canterbury's overall win.
Auckland downed BOP 9-7 to claim the women's title, and Wellington won the men's crown for the third consecutive year after a dramatic 7-6 victory over Central.
Craig now heads for Canberra to compete in the Australian Open, which starts in Canberra on Monday. After that she will return to play in New Zealand's only WSA World Tour event, the Matamata Open from August 24 till 26.
- The Marlborough Express
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