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Auckland won the Teams Event at the national squash championships which finished in Dunedin today. It was the 15th time they have won the event since it began in 1985 although Canterbury have dominated in recent years, winning 5 times since 2007.
The Cantabrians were top seeds and had 5 individual title holders in their line-up but were beaten in the semi-final by Waikato. Although not the final match, the tie hinged on the game between Paula Hamer and Shayle Pringle in the women’s 35 grade. Pringle had a match point in the 5th set but Hamer eventually prevailed 16-14 and was pivotal in the 6-5 overall score in Waikato’s favour.
Auckland also clinched their semi 6-5 against Bay of Plenty and given the match-ups in their respective teams, would have been delighted to see Canterbury beaten.
The Auckland team made no race of the final and won 6 of the first 7 matches with regular New Zealand masters reps Gary Duberly and Mark Waldin spearheading their efforts.
Otago played off for 7th and 8th and lost 6-5 to Northland. The Otago team have only been occasional participants in the Masters format but the players enjoyed the well run event and will hopefully compete more regularly in the future.
All the players acquitted themselves well with Alby King (M 55) and Rangi Clark(W 50) unbeaten in the teams event and Mark Fairweather winning 2 of his 3 matches.