A quartet of top Northland junior squash players had to settle for second on the podium at the 2017 North Island Age Group Champs.
Hayley Rhodes succumbed to a rampant Maia Smales at Whangarei Squash Club, going down 11-1 11-5 11-2 in a tough Under 11 Girls outing.
Meanwhile in the Under 13 Boys division, Freddie Jameson fell short against Apa Fatialofa but pushed him every step of the way in the 11-5 11-8 11-6 defeat.
Older players Annmarie Holst and Finn Trimble were both defeated in thrillers as they tried valiantly to ram home a win in familiar conditions.
Holst took on Eastern's Winona-Jo Joyce in the Under 17 Girls final and early on looked like she could come up trumps after taking the first set 11-9.
However, Joyce fought back and showed her top seed billing with a comfortable 11-6 win in the second set.
The third was a classic with neither player being able to pull away. However, Joyce picked up the crucial break to win it 14-12.
Holst couldn't scrap her way back into the match, eventually going down in four sets.
Meanwhile top seed Trimble and Auckland's Matthew Lucente went through a titanic struggle to decide the Under 19 Boys.
The pairing went back and forth as they each dominated two of the opening four sets to set up a final showdown in the fifth.
Lucente picked up the ascendancy and clinched a comfortable victory in the final set to claim the title.