Both the men's and women's open club titles of the Whanganui Squash Club will be housed in the Darlington homestead after the club championships were concluded at the weekend.

After two weeks of doubles and singles matches, it was husband and wife due of Kent and Paula Darlington who took and open crowns.

Kent Darlington won the men's final against Matt Ratcliffe 3-0, while also winning the club's Masters Cup.

He was getting ready for the NZ Masters Individuals and Team Nationals in New Plymouth, starting today and finishing Wednesday at the Kawaroa Park Squash Club.


Darlington has been selected for the Central Masters team and will play in the 40-44 age group, being third seed behind former New Zealand representatives Allan Crome (Waikato) and Corey Love (Wellington).

From there, he will enter the teams event, where Central is seeded sixth after they won the annual Newbigin Shield Challenge with Squash Eastern 14-10, in what was Darlington's first Central representative appearance in five years.

The Whanganui club women's open has been left uncontested in recent years, but this season allowed for competition and a final, where Paula Darlington beat Ngakuira Osborne after a great battle.

Darlington won the match 3-2 after it was locked at 6-6 in the fifth set.

She also claimed the women's B Grade Cup and the women's doubles trophy with her partner Germa Stoepker.

In the men's doubles, Matt Ratcliffe and Carl Matthews claimed the title for 2017, while the mixed doubles was won by the the brother-sister team of Ant Rountree and Brenda Gunn.

The Whanganui Junior programme is in good shape and meant the club's juniors divisions have a growing number of kids to playoff for titles in a number of draws.

The Division 1 Boys junior grade was won by Blake Hoskin, while Matthew Hocquard claimed the Division 2 Boys grade.


Girls Division Junior was taken out by Aria Bannister.

This finishes off a good year for the Whanganui juniors with a good contingent following the Central district's J Grade Prince one day tournament series.

Maximus Matthews was the overall series winner while Hoskin was a close runnerup, and Thor Darlington and Aria Bannister finished in the Top 10.

The club's top juniors James Van Kerkhoff and Paul Taylor played off for the Best Junior Boy Cup, which was won by Van Kerkhoff 3-0.

Bannister cleaned up in the girls division by taking out the three available awards - the Best J Grade Girl, Most Improved Junior Girl and the Best Junior Girl.

One of the club's biggest points movers for 2017 was Hoskin, and it showed in the trophy haul he took home.

Blake Hoskin was Best J Grade Boy, Most Improved Junior Boy, and received the Club Achievers Award for 2017.
Blake Hoskin was Best J Grade Boy, Most Improved Junior Boy, and received the Club Achievers Award for 2017.

Hoskin won the Best J Grade Boy, the Most Improved Junior Boy and also took out a major club award in the Achievers Award.

The Achievers Award is given to the player who works hard at their squash, shows ability on the court and achieves good results.

Hoskin earned 500 points on the grading list and chased the most tournament games out of anyone at the club, getting the junior and senior awards for achievement.

The Most Promising Junior award went to Aidan O'Connor, who has shown exceptional sportsmanship and a willingness to help with the younger players, making him a valuable club member.

Whanganui Squash's prestigious "Best All Round Club Member" was awarded to Stephanie Durning who plays a big role at the club.

A committee member for many years, Durning wears more than one hat at the club - as being primarily the statistician her work is often behind the scenes.

She also helps with tournaments, reports for Squash NZ, captains her interclub team and gave many hours to the recent upgrade of the upstairs facilities at the clubrooms.