An Outstanding Week For Squash | Epsom College
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An Outstanding Week For Squash

Epsom’s Squash teams have enjoyed an outstanding week – successfully defending their title at the prestigious Roehampton Schools Tournament, and then following that with a first-rate performance at the RAC Schools Doubles that saw Epsom win two trophies, as the winning school and top first pair.

Roehampton Schools Tournament

On Sunday 5 March, the top squash schools in the South of England met at the prestigious Roehampton Schools Tournament. As the 2022 victors, Epsom were determined to defend their title and see the school’s name inscribed once again on the clubhouse honours board.

Epsom fielded a young, talented team, ranging from Lower School to Fifth Form players: Luke Camfield (P), Wilf Baker (Fa), Zach Woolven (C), Luke McBride (GH) and Maja Maziuk (W), playing at seeds 1-5 respectively. 

Epsom’s campaign began with a group stage encounter with St Paul’s, one of the strongest teams on the schools’ circuit and frequent national finalists. All five matches were very close, with many excellent rallies, but Epsom emerged victors by a 4-1 margin. This was followed by a clash with another old rival, Eton; likewise, this was a highly competitive fixture, but Epsom’s V outperformed their opponents to win 5-0. Following a late withdrawal by Tonbridge, Epsom’s final group match was a bye, allowing the College to top Group A. 

The semi-final presented the challenge of Sevenoaks, a school which – with a rapidly improving squash programme – has qualified for the National Finals at multiple age-levels this season. However, Epsom demonstrated their quality by cruising to another clean-sweep victory. 

Epsom had gone into the tournament knowing that their sternest competition was likely to be provided by Harrow, their opponents in the 2022 final, who had defeated Epsom in a friendly fixture earlier this season, and duly met this renowned squash school in the final. Two of the matches were relatively one-sided: Harrow (starring the Hong Kong U19 no. 1) won comfortably at first seed, while at third seed, Luke McBride ruthlessly despatched his opponent.

The other three matches were nail-bitingly close, with each game decided by remarkably fine margins. Nevertheless, Wilf Baker (Fa), Zach Woolven (C) and Maja Maziuk (W) remained composed under pressure, producing the best squash of their day to win their matches, resulting in a 4-1 victory for Epsom.

Epsom’s 1st V should be rightfully commended for retaining the Roehampton Schools trophy, and their strong run of form bodes well for the upcoming RAC Schools Doubles Tournament and the National Finals.

RAC Schools Doubles

On Tuesday 7 March, Epsom took on three of England’s strongest squash schools – Charterhouse, Eton and St Paul’s – in the annual RAC Schools Doubles Tournament. While Epsom had won the award for the best first-pair in previous seasons, since the conception of this tournament, Eton had lifted the overall trophy for seven consecutive year.

Each school was represented by three pairs, who played a 20-minute game against each their opposite numbers; the school scoring the most points across all of their games would be crowned champions.

Epsom’s third pair of Maja Maziuk (W) and Wilf Baker (Fa) combined well, quickly adapting to the wider doubles courts; they drew 28-28 with St Paul’s, but comfortably defeated Eton and Charterhouse, leaving them ahead of St Paul’s on points by a narrow margin.

At second pair, Luke McBride (GH) and Zach Woolven (C) had to work hard against some high-level opponents. After many exciting, long rallies, they emerged as the highest-scoring second pair, just ahead of Eton. The squash on display in the first pair matches was of a higher quality than in any previous year. Ronnie Hickling (C) and Luke Camfield (P) played magnificently to come back from behind to beat St Paul’s, and overcome strong pairs from Charterhouse and Eton.

In previous seasons, Epsom had missed out on winning the RAC Schools Doubles Tournament by a mere handful of points. However, the long wait was finally, as Epsom collected both trophies, for the winning school and the top first-pair.

Our thanks go to the RAC, and especially the main organiser, former Epsom parent, James Dubois, for hosting this fantastic tournament, and to our squash coaches Neil and Ella Frankland for working tirelessly to train and develop our squad.