Squash: Oakley claims maiden NZ junior title

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Tauranga's Jamie Oakley in action during his semifinal victory over Australian Alex Oswald. Photo / Alan Bee
Tauranga's Jamie Oakley in action during his semifinal victory over Australian Alex Oswald. Photo / Alan Bee

Jamie Oakley from Tauranga's Devoy Squash and Fitness won the 2016 AON New Zealand Junior Open for the first time in Whangarei yesterday.

The youngest son of former world champion Dame Susan Devoy defeated Scott Galloway in the final 9/11, 14/12, 11/9, 11/9.

Both players showed great power and shot play in the first game with quick speed around the court, and some great rallies with incredible pick-ups. Eventually Galloway took the first game from Oakley 11/9.

Game two began with the same ferocity as the first and both players showed high intensity in all aspects of play. Galloway had the first game ball but two unforced errors let Oakley back into it and eventually Oakley forced Galloway into errors to level with a 14/12 game win.

Game three saw Oakley take an early lead, putting pressure on Galloway who made a number of unforced errors that saw Oakley take the lead. But then it seemed as if the tables had turned, as Oakley made several errors himself before he regrouped and finished well to take the game 11/9 and the lead in the match.

The fourth game went in similar fashion to the third with Oakley taking the early lead and unforced errors from both players creeping in.

Oakley was able to maintain the advantage and squeeze the errors, and eventually won the game 11/9 and the title for the first time.

In the girls' open final, top seed Abbie Palmer and third seed Kaitlyn Watts were keen to push each other to the limits.

The first game saw both Watts and Palmer use some great shots and deception to take their points. Palmer showed more consistency, playing low, tight shots to claim the first game.

Palmer gained good momentum early in the second game, continuing with strong placement of the ball and took the lead. Watts fought hard, however she couldn't keep up with the accuracy and placement of Palmers' shots as Palmer sealed the second game.

Palmer came out in the third and continued with powerful dominance and placement and never looked back.

Watts couldn't keep up with Palmer who claimed the match in three and, with it, her second New Zealand Junior Open title.

Thanks are due to the Whangarei Squash Club and their organising committee in conjunction with the Kamo Squash Club for a great tournament.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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