Gympie Squash player Ben Marshall is the number one ranked squash player in Queensland after winning the state carnival in Rockhampton.
Gympie Squash player Ben Marshall is the number one ranked squash player in Queensland after winning the state carnival in Rockhampton. Craig Warhurst

Marshall top in Queensland

ENDLESS hours of practise locked in the Cartwright Road squash courts have paid off for Ben Marshall, who had just won the State Championship in Rockhampton.

The 15-year-old James Nash student travelled to Queensland’s beef capital during the school holidays to contest the title.

After winning through three round matches in a Swiss draw against the 16th, 8th and 4th seeds, Marshall the number one seed, played number two seed Tom Calvert in the final.

Marshall’s attacking game dominated the Brisbane player in the final.

He won in three sets 11-7, 11-3, 11-9 and said Calvert didn’t put up the fight he was expecting.

“I got him easily in the end – I beat him in three,” Marshall said.

“We have had some real battles in the past.”

The win is another step in Marshall’s young, but impressive career.

He is currently ranked number two in Australia for his age division and aims to play in the World Juniors in 2012.

He is one of 13 young Australian players named in a talent squad for the event.

Marshall said the 13 player talent squad gets shortened to four for the World Titles.

But to get to the World Titles Marshall must first fulfil his next goal by winning the Australian Titles.

The national competition is being held in Alice Springs during September.

“I came 10th last year in my first year in 15s,” Marshall said.

“Hopefully I can win it this year.”

But Marshall will be in for a fight.

He said a top English squash player had just moved to Australia and would be competing in the competition.

This year will be his second in the Queensland side but has played for South Australia two years prior to that.

“We moved to Gympie when dad (Peter) got a job with Energex,” Marshall said.

The now Gympie player has been working hard on his game at the Gympie Squash Courts after school and travels to Brisbane every weekend to train.

He even entered the under 17 division of the State Titles in Rockhampton to fine-tune his game.

He thought he needed some stiffer competition during the state titles to work on his fitness and ended up finishing 5th in the state in the older age group.

Marshall’s ultimate aim is to play professional squash on the world stage.

“We don’t get paid as much as tennis players but it is alright,” he said.

Gympie Times


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