Oamaru steps up to take Otago title

Squashed it . . . Oamaru Squash players (from left) Keidah Bungard, Aaron Bungard, Thomas Pickles (captain) and Connor Bolitho recently won the Otago Squash inter club competition for the first time. PHOTO: SUPPLIED/OAMARU SQUASH

Oamaru Squash has nabbed a ‘‘photo›finish’’ to win the Otago inter-club squash competition for the first time.

Oamaru beat Pirates by one set in the final at the Palmerston Squash Club recently.

Captain Thomas Pickles said the team was ‘‘over the moon’’ to take out the competition at its first attempt.

‘‘We sort of have some strong players in Oamaru, so we thought we’d try a contest down there . . .and we took it out. [We’re] pretty happy,’’ Pickles said.

After an intense 22-week competition, Oamaru beat Otago University A in its semi› final after losing the first two matches and winning the next two, and winning the last on countback.

The final followed a similar story.

Oamaru lost its first two matches and was down 6-1 when Pickles entered the court.

He beat former Highlanders coach Tony Brown, and Keidah Bungard stepped up to win the final match for Oamaru to secure the title.

The team already had the cup for winning the round-robin, too.

Oamaru joined the Otago competition this year for a new challenge against players at a higher level, after previously competing in Midlands.

All its matches were played at the ‘‘very friendly’’ Palmerston Squash Club, Pickles said.

‘‘It’s always good to push yourself, as opposed to just playing the same old players.’’

The club was thrilled with the title and had some strong squash players coming through the ranks.

Players would be involved in the Excelsior squash tournament at the end of October. Oamaru Squash had club nights on Mondays suitable for beginners, and Wednesdays were more competitive.