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Southland Squash championships were held in 1976 and with the return of Murray Brayshaw from Auckland it was expecting a high standard of squash.
It was great to see such a great number of entries and what made it a great championship was that Oamaru's Bob Bowman entered and was obviously looking for a reversal of the 1975 result where he was beaten by Brayshaw in the final.
It was hoped that local players such as Robin Goodall, Ted Mortimer, Alistair White and Derek Bulman would be competitive.
Goodall and White still ranked as the top players in the province, although Goodall had not been able to play as much squash as he would have liked over the recent months.
If anyone was able to cause an upset it would be Robin Welsh or Ted Mortimer and Welsh like all sports he had played had the potential and skills to beat any player on the day. Mortimer was known as a gritty and gutsy competitior who had a great range of shots that could keep the opposite in the unknown.
Bulman who was not only the leading coach at the time but playing extremely well and is definitely another one that could upset.
The Women's A Grade saw leading women from Dunedin and Oamaru filling the top seeded positions. The favourite to win was Dunedin's Adrianne Bettle with the best chances from local players being Margaret Keelty, Pam Welsh, Joan Pankhurst and Robyn Alabaster. These four women were all evenly matched on the local club scene.
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