The Whanganui Squash Club was crowned Champion of Champions for the Central Districts last weekend in Inglewood as the highlight of a busy few weeks for its members.

Every year, all the local club champions in the Central Districts region come together to determine the Champion of Champions in their various grades from A to F.

Collectively, the club which has the best performers will also lift the Champion of Champion's overall club title.

Spokesman Kent Darlington said Whanganui has not won that title since 2004, while their victory broke the long winning streak of former holders Ohakune, who have held it for the past six years.


In Inglewood, five of the eight Whanganui club members reached their various grade finals on Sunday, with three of them winning the titles.

That saw them lift the Champion of Champions Club title ahead of several other clubs who had two title winners.

Winning their grades were Matt Ratcliffe (Men's B), Ngakuria Osborne (Women's B) and Sam Power (Men's E), continuing on a great season for all of them.

"Ratcliffe's last match in the final, against Rory Mortleman from New Plymouth in which he won 11/6, 11/3, 9/11, 10/12, 11/6, has now moved him back into A grade for the second time this year," said Darlington.

As Central Districts winners, Rattcliffe, Osborne and Power will go on to the national competition in Ohakune on October 18-20, where all district champions come together to crown the national title holders.

Ratcliffe and Osborne will be looking to keep their good form going as they are also building up to the New Zealand B Grade National teams events in a fortnight, where they will play for Squashgym Palmerston North and the Hawera club respectively.

"Power, who is a young junior from the Whanganui Club, has also moved up into D grade as well with his latest wins and has continued on his fantastic year to date," said Darlington.

"After claiming all the junior awards last month at the Whanganui club champs, he will now look forward to the October clash to test out how he is amongst the country's top E graders."


Coming runnerup in their grades in Inglewood were Pauline Slovak (Women's C) and Darlington himself (Men's A).

Slovak just got pipped in her match against Ohakune's Darnell Watling, 16/14 in the fifth set, while Darlington, who just won the Central Masters title in Feilding recently, found it too tough against a young Alan Bailey from Palmerston North, losing 11/9, 11/7, 11/7.

Darlington will continue his buildup to the NZ Masters tournament in Timaru next month.

The other club players that went to Inglewood were Shane Stone (Men's C, finished third), Shandon Scott (Men's D, finished fourth) and Kees Robbertson (Men's F, finished fourth).

Rattcliffe and Osborne have also just returned from the NZ Senior Teams event in Christchurch, where they were part of the Central squad.

"It was tough going for both, but they had a number of tough matches, going the distance of the five sets," said Darlington.

Osborne helped the Central Women's team to matching their seeding of fifth, as they defeated Canterbury on countback in their last match.

"She managed to grab a couple of sets in a five set loss against Grace Hymers in that tie which was crucial to the outcome," said Darlington.

Earlier, Central had beaten Eastern 3/1 (Osborne defeating Mel Goodchild 3/1), but were then beaten by Bay of Plenty 3/1 (a loss to Lauren Clake 3/0) and Northland 3/1 (a loss to Annmarie Hoist 3/0).

For Rattcliffe and the Men's Central team, it was a tough weekend – being seeded ninth and staying there.

They lost to Canterbury 4/0 first up, then Bay of Plenty 3/1 although Rattcliffe did well against the formidable Paul Bedford before going down in four sets.

In his next match against Eastern, where the team lost 4/0, Rattcliffe had a massive battle with young junior Kahn Grayson, going the distance before losing 3/2.

Going into their last matchup against Midlands without a break, due to the nature of their nine team draw, Central lost 4/0.