Strong Start for Crowe Dragons in Squash League’s First Week
IOMSRA Squash League began strongly with five teams competing in division A, six in B and eight in the C.
In Division A StoneArt beat Team AON 3-2. AON had major player availability problems on the night so quickly lost the bottom two matches. However at two and three Robin Crease and Mason McLarney both played well to gain 3-0 victories. This left the number one players Jason Blue and Pat Fitzpatrick to determine the match. StoneArt’s Blue came back from 2-0 down to win the fifth and final game of his match 11-7, clinching the victory for his team.
Cannell Print gained maximum points in their match against Mid-Court-Crisis, however it was a very close match with three of the matches taking five games to decide the winner. Joshua Green continued his impressive form from last week’s tournament with a 3-2 victory over Paul Barnett, a player ranked above him. Young Oliver Wait and Ben Peach both won their matches in four games taking the final games 11-9. Thom Whiteway’s young team really do have tremendous potential and they have got the season off to a great start.
The Racketeers Pioneers made a good start to the new B League season with a hard-fought win 3-2 over divisional newcomers the Junior Academy.
The latter made an impressive start to their maiden season in Manx squash’s second tier, Olly Wait claiming the notable scalp of Racketeers’ number one Rob Boyles, 15/13 in the fifth. Harvey Douglas picked up the youngsters’ other win on the night as he edged a five-gamer with James Leith.
Racketeers’ stalwarts Daf Lewis, Marc Taggart and Barry Irvine picked up the fixture’s other wins the latter beating Island Games team member Emma Leith 3-2 in a ding-dong encounter at five.
Crowe Dragons proved too strong for Outcasts taking a 4-1 win. There were some close matches with Dave Hedley and Darren Smethurst both taking five games to beat Peter Ginty and Stuart Highy at three and five respectively. Nathan Quiliiiam prevented the whitewash with a good win at one over guest player Calum Baker.
Newly formed team Island Tyres and Exhausts made a good start with a 4-1 win over Derivco Sharks. It was a very tight match with only six points in it before the bonus 25 points were added to Exhausts. Magnus Lamprecht had a good battle with Shark’s Dave Freer with the former winning 15-14 in the fifth game, while Exhaust’s Stephen Piits took five games to beat Wouter Schoeman at fifth string. Dave O’Neil put on a winning performance on his inaugural appearance for the Derivco Sharks while the other wins for Exhausts came for Steve Baker and Shaun Wylie.
In Division C Dandara Falcons gained maximum points in a good match against Santander Academy Racketeers. Vusimbe Zivave played with focus at five to beat the youthful Charlie Beard 3-1. Jon Cox and the ever improving Lewi Long both beat their opponents in three games at fourth and second string respectively. Tom Blythe, a new-comer to the team, played extremely well to beat Allan Bashforth in straight games at three. The closest and longest match of the night was at number one where Peter Baker and Andy Brown had a great battle with the win eventually going to Baker in the fifth game.
A strong Browne Craine Dragons beat Dohle Stars 4-1. Two new players to Dohle Stars had the closest matches of the night as Harry Douthwaite had five close games with Phil Whittam but eventually lost to his more experienced opponent, while Chris Nash took the only win of the night for Dohle beating Fatheha Essa by only one point. Pat Russell, Darren Smethurst and Stuart Highy took the other wins for Dragons.
It was a victory for the veterans in a generational battle between Island Exhausts Vets and Junior Academy C. All the Juniors played well and in a very good spirit against their more experienced opponents but Exhausts fielded a strong team and all won 3-0 gaining maximum points.
Hansard Racketeers have a very strong team for the coming season and they performed well beating Buchanan and Pitts Misfits 5-0, 250 points to 141. Baillie Watterson, making a welcome return to squash after injury, played at number one for Racketeers and beat Terry Holt in three games. This score was matched by the rest of his team as nothing went quite right for Misfits. Jay Dernie was particularly unlucky not to win at least one of three very tight games.