A YOUNG Hexham squash player conquered the competition to win his age group at a recent squash tournament.

Mateo Radley won the boys' under-11 age group outright at the Northumbria Bronze Squash Tournament at Northern Squash Club in Gosforth, where Hexham Squash Club Junior section was also represented by Tom Watts and Annabelle Satow.

Squash has restarted after a long lay off due to Covid. This tournament, organised by Northumbria Squash, was aimed at getting junior players back playing some competitive squash after the break.

In the boys' U11s, there was a much reduced field due to withdrawals. Mateo had a close opening match against the number one seed Luke Tufton but won 11-8, 11-6, 11-8. In his second match Mateo was up against Magnus McKay where Mateo was a comfortable winner in three games 11-2, 11-1, 11-2.

In the boys' U15, Tom Watts was up against a very competitive field and had four 'best of five' games to play in one day, so it was a baptism of fire.

Against Cumbria's Nathan Sellars Tom had a formidable task, but Nathan proved too strong, winning 11-3, 11-7, 11-3. Next up was Dan Toole. Tom edged out the first game taking this 11-9. Dan levelled the game scores, taking the second game. The third game continued in the same vein in a very closely matched game and Tom narrowly won the third game 13-11. Dan wasn't giving up and managed to level the games taking the fourth game 12-10. Down to the final game Dan had the energy and started well continuing his momentum taking the final game 11-5 and the match.

Next up was Tynemouth's Ben King and with not much time to recover Tom went down 2-0, losing the first two games 11-4, 11-1. Tom fought hard in the third game and was close but Tom lost this 11-8. Tom's final match against Matthew Ansell was closely matched but Matthew took a 2-0 lead. Tom rallied and fought hard taking the third game 11-8, but was unable to keep the momentum losing the fourth 11-7.

In the girls' U17, Annabelle Satow beat 15-year-old Surina Singh 11-1, 11-5, 11-5 then proved too strong for Northern's experienced Zoe Shipsey, with a great variety of shots and some good running, winning 11-5, 11-3, 11-4. Annabelle's last game she was up against her arch rival Mia Smith from Newbiggin.

Annabelle started well in a closely fought game and had several match points before closing out the first game 13-11. Annabelle started well in the second taking a 7-3 lead before some unforced errors allowed Mia to level the games then take the match.

Club coach Paul Satow said: "It was very encouraging to see competitive junior squash back, with local events over the summer and National events starting in September.

"Mateo's victory in the U11 was a very good performance and bodes well for the future. Many of the players have missed a substantial period of their age group but hopefully competitive junior squash will continue apace from now on."

The junior section has previously run coaching sessions and these will restart from late September.

Any interest for children to learn to play squash please contact paul.satow@yahoo.co.uk by September 12. There is likely to be 10 sessions up to Christmas, running on either Saturday or Sunday with the cost at £3 per session.

In the adults' game, internal leagues have restarted at the club.

Northumbria squash is restarting interclub games in late September and Hexham will be running three Men's teams.