After winning the Free State title for a seventh year in succession, Saint Andrew’s represented the province at the annual Top Schools Squash Tournament in Pietermaritzburg recently.
While Grey High School of Port Elizabeth were the clear number one team, the battle between the remainder of the schools was exceptionally hard-fought.
Beginning against Gauteng champions, Saint John’s College, Saints ran out comfortable 4-1 winners. They followed up on that victory with a 4-2 success against Rondebosch Boys High.
Saints’ victory charge was halted in their third outing, although it ended in a 3-3 draw with Selborne. Michaelhouse then inflicted a 2-3 defeat on the boys from Bloem. Earlier in the year, at the FNB Squash Festival, held at Saint Andrew’s, Saints had recorded solid wins over both teams.
In their final outing, top dogs Grey PE were the opposition. Saint Andrew’s went down 1-5, but managed to take more games off of the Grey boys than any other school managed. Unfortunately, Saints fell just two points shy of making the semi-finals and had to settle for sixth place.
Illness and injury undermined the Saints’ challenge, especially at number three where Lenny Kretzmann had been an almost certain winner all season. Kretzmann was not yet back to full strength after contracting encephalitis during the July holidays, which sadly prevented him from participating in the under-16 inter-provincial tournament where he would have very likely secured a top 10 national ranking.
In the past 20 years, Saint Andrew’s have won the Top Schools title once, in 2007, and have appeared in the final eight times. During that time the school has been coached by old boy Calvin Deutschmann, who last year was coach of the South African team at the Junior World Championships.