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arrow pointing leftBack 12 May 24 - by England Squash

England claim double gold in European Team U15 & U17 Championships

In a successful outing for England in Porto, the U15 and U17 teams both claimed 2-1 victories over France in their respective finals of the 2024 ESF European Mixed Team U15 and U17 Squash Championships.

After topping group A, the U15s defeated Hungary and Germany, and needed to defeat a strong French outfit to claim the title.

Luke McBride, who represented England at the U13 and U15 Five Nations, began proceedings with an exciting encounter against Théo Baudry. Despite earning a 2-1 lead against the Frenchman, Baudry took a tense fourth-game tie-break before winning the decisive fifth game 11-4 after a gruelling 66-minute affair.

Luke McBride

2021 GU13 BJC champion Harriet Broadbridge quickly restored parity in the tie with a strong win over Cassy Lincou. After Broadbridge took the first game 11-9, Lincou was able to force a tie-break in game 2, but Broadbridge kept her resolve to earn a 2-0 advantage. Broadbridge finished in style with an 11-2 win in the third game to close out the match in just 22 minutes.

Harriet Broadbridge

With the title still undecided, the fate of the tie was in the hands of England U15 No.4 Ali Khalil. Khalil, who represented England in April at the 2024 Five Nations, claimed an 11-5 win in the first game against French opponent Maxence Imbert. The Frenchman, who before the final had not dropped a single game, responded with two 11-9 wins to take the lead in the match. Khalil kept his composure to level the match with an 11-8 fourth-game win, and at the end of the 56-minute clash, Khalil took the fifth game 11-9 to retain the U15 crown and England’s 17th European crown.

Meanwhile, the U17 team had won all four of their Group B matches 3-0, before beating Sweden and Belgium in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively to earn a spot in the final against defending champions France.

2020 BU13 EJC champion Dylan Roberts was on court first against Amir Khaled-Jousselin. The Englishman fought well in all three games, but Khaled-Jousselin won the affair in 35 minutes to give France an early lead.

Dylan Roberts

Two-time BJC champion Reka Kemecsei faced Leelou Laporte in the second match of the tie, and Laporte quickly took the first two games 11-9, 11-6 to put the French team one game away from claiming gold. Kemecsei fought back, winning the third game 11-6 to halve the deficit before taking the fourth game 11-5 to equalise the match. Kemecsei maintained her momentum into the fifth game, and despite a fightback from Laporte, Kemecsei clinched the match with an 11-7 win and brought the tie level.

Again the final came down to the last match, this time it was down to England U17 No.1 and 2023 BU15 BJC champion Ronnie Hickling. Hickling looked strong from the first serve against France’s Thomas Mauras, winning a close-fought first game 11-9, before continuing into game two with a more comfortable 11-7 win. The Englishman looked unstoppable as he controlled the third to win the game 11-3 and take the team over the line to regain the crown and their 22nd European title.

Speaking after the match, England Potential Head Coach Adam Fuller was overjoyed with the teams’ success.

“I’m so proud of the whole team. They helped each other throughout the event. We came to the tournament knowing we could do it, but aware we had some tough opponents along the way. To come through both finals with gold medals is a fantastic achievement for all involved.”

View the final results for the U15 and U17 teams.