The successful Red Star team. Back: Manager-coach Greg Cottle, left, Stacey Morris, Diane Meenken, Caitlin-Amy Woolford, Aysel Greenlees, Gavin Graham [coach]. Front: Shelley Wilson, left, Ella Southey, Kyra Wyeth. PHOTO/SUPPLIED
Wairarapa clubs will have two teams at the national Super Champs finals after the Wellington regional playoffs last weekend.
Masterton came out on top of the B-Grade Super Champs played at the Kapiti Squash Club and qualified for the nationals in Whakatane.
The team of Brad Goldsworthy, James Smith, Malcolm Wyeth, Matt Spooner, and Hunter Wyeth were unbeaten in their four-team round robin but were pushed all the way in their deciding fixture.
After beating Tawa 4-1 and Thorndon 5-0, Masterton came up against the hosts Kapiti in what was virtually a final.
Veteran Malcolm Wyeth was first on court, going down in three games. Smith levelled the tie with a 3-1 victory, Goldsworthy lost in five games after being 2-0 up.
Hunter Wyeth won 3-0, after recovering from being down 5-10 in the first game to win the next six points and gain the advantage.
That left it to the veteran Spooner to play the deciding match.
Spooner was up against local legend Mark Miller, who was playing on the court named after him and had the support of a raucous home crowd.
Spooner was soon on the back foot dropping the first game. Spooner had to call on all his experience and skill to overcome the home team hero.
He did so in style, bouncing back to win the remaining three games and seal Masterton’s place at the nationals.
It is understood to be the first time a team from Wairarapa has qualified for the B-Grade nationals.
The Red Star Women’s D-Grade team belied their third seeding and won their four-team round robin contested at Masterton Squash Club.
The team of Stacey Morris, Diane Meenken, Caitlin-Amy Woolford, Aysel Greenlees, Shelley Wilson, Ella Southey, and Kyra Wyeth were unbeaten in the round robin competition.
Red Star defeated Mana 4-1, Thorndon 4-1, and top seeds Masterton 3-2. Red Star will now head to the national Super Champs finals in Whangarei at the end of September.
The Mana women were runners-up with Masterton third and Thorndon fourth.
It is the second time in three years the Red Star women have made the D-Grade nationals having placed third at the 2017 Super Champs in Taupo.
The men’s D-grade also saw some tightly contested matches with the three Wairarapa clubs in the six-team round robin.
Second seeds Island Bay dominated the competition and won all five of their ties to comfortably take out the title.
Masterton finished runners-up, Red Star were third and Martinborough fifth.
The Red Star C-Grade women, playing at Mana, were unlucky not to win their tournament.
Red Star were leading their final tie against eventual winners Tawa 2-1, but then had to default the tie when their player, who was leading in the fourth match, snapped her Achilles tendon, leaving the team to finish runners-up.