Magnificent Main comes third with Natalie ninth

Lily Main celebrates his third place
Lily Main celebrates his third place

Two of Luton’s brightest squash stars, Lily Main and younger sibling Natalie, travelled to Wroclaw to compete in the Polish Junior Open recently.

The pair produced some superb displays as well, with Lily coming third and Natalie ninth, both only losing one match.

Natalie Main, left

Natalie Main, left

Play started on Friday as Natalie, in the U13 category, swept aside Barbova Vodickova from the Czech Republic in three games.

She then faced Germany’s Maya Weishar, who repeated her Dutch Open victory winning all three games 11-9, relegating Natalie to the 9-16 section of the draw.

In the U15 category, Lily opened her campaign against Ukraine’s Olena Brylenko.

She claimed the first two games 11-8, before the Ukrainian struck back to make it 2-1.

In front of a large and vocal crowd, Brylenko had three game balls to take it to a fifth, but Main showed incredible reserves of resilience to hit a brilliant winner at 15-13.

Saturday’s quarter-final opponent was against Russian Teia Khudoiants, as Lily ran out a comfortable winner.

Meanwhile, Natalie eased past another Russian in the shape of Mariya Spirina and then was too good for Tola Otrzaesk, booking her place in the 9/10 play-off.

Lily Main returned to face Ukrainian number one seed Vladislava Tverdochleb, as despite having her chances, lost 11-8, 11-3, 11-8, to go into the third v fourth play-off.

There she took on home player Jagoda Gora, losing the first game 15-13, although took the second 11-8.

Gora won the third in a tie break and raced 7-1 ahead in the fourth, but Lily battled back, saving two match balls to take it into a deciding fifth, where she came through 11-3 for a brilliant third place.

Natalie’s final match was against Ukrainian Kristina Begeba, as she won the first game 11-8, lost the second 11-4 and then took the third 11-7.

Begeba showed commendable strength to return after an injury break and level the scores at 2-2.

Although she then led 10-9, Main displayed great courage to crack a vicious backhand down the line to take it to a tie break.

She quickly got a match ball and after a brutal rally, converted it at the first attempt, silencing another partisan crowd.

The two girls return to more familiar ground next weekend as they travel to Yorkshire for a domestic National event in Pontefract and Leeds.