Outcasts and Island Exhaust Vets remain favourites for Titles
Due to the Coronavirus crisis only six matches from Week 18 of the IOMSRA Squash league for 2019-2020 were played before all future matches were postponed. This leaves the A league with six matches to be played, the B league with another six matches and the C league with five matches required to complete the season.
In the B league Crowe Dragons secured maximum points against a weak Island Tyres and Exhausts team. Dave Hedley, Beth Jones and Brian Crellin all secured 3-0 wins for the Dragons. The Exhausts’ Stephen Pitts took a game off Dragons captain Darren Smethurst before losing 3-1. The closest match of the evening was between James Martin and Shaun Wyllie. Wyllie took the first 2 games 15-12 and 15-13 but a resurgent Martin come back to take the next 3 games with scores of 10,10 and 8 against him. Last seasons champions Crowe Dragons took the match 250-143 and still have slim hopes of retaining their title.
League leaders Outcasts dropped only 8 points in their 4-1 win over Racketeers Pioneers. There were comfortable 3-0 wins for Mark Henson and Angus Hopkinson. Both Liam Davies and Toby Woolard were made to work a bit harder, both winning 3-1 with respective opponents Marc Taggart and Joe Burrows. Dafydd Lewis took the only win for the Racketeers winning 3-0 against Nathan Quilliam. Outcasts remain favourites to win the title.
Derivco Sharks are only 21 points behind the Outcasts team so are really pushing them for the top spot. They beat Junior Academy 4-1 in matches and 237-185 in points. Ben Peach took the only Juniors win 3-1 over James Ramsey. The Sharks, without their leader Dave Freer, had 3-1 wins through Dave O’Neill, Alan Macnair and Greg Ansara. The only player not to lose a game was Shark Baillie Watterson. The Outcasts play the Sharks in the next round of matches and the winner of that encounter could be the league winner.
In the C league there was a close match between the two leading teams when last seasons champions Island Exhaust Vets met Outcast Dragons. For the Dragons Andy McLarney and Darren Smethurst both won 3-1. However the Vets levelled things up through identical wins by Richard Cretney and captain Ian Sheard. Richard had a particularly close match against Liam Townsend, (who was making his debut for the Dragons) with only 3 points separating the players. With the scoreline at 2-2 it was Merseyside Over 65s player Les Callow who beat IOM Ladies player Michelle Smith in three close games to bag the 25 winning bonus points for the Vets.
The Hansard Racketeers’ topsy turvy’ season continued with a maximum points win over enthusiastic newcomers PwC Playables. A walkover at fifth string helped the former third-tier champions on their way before Gary Stephenson, Matt Corlett, the returning Lucy Kerr and Mark Harrop sealed the victory for their side. Andy O’Neill secured PwC’s only game of the night as he edged past Harrop 15/14 in the first game of their encounter at second string.
The other C league match finished in a 3-2 victory for Buchanan & Pitts Misfits over Dohle Stars. Dohle Stars had 3-0 wins courtesy of number one player Angus Hopkinson and the dependable Harry Douthwaite. Misfit Stephen Pitts beat Chris Nash in a five game battle where Pitts lost the first 2 games by scores of 15-14 but eventually took control to win the last 3 games. Fellow Misift Jay Dernie beat Brett Dean 3-1 to make the match score 2-2. Sadly Dohle Stars have had major injury problems this season and had to concede the fifth string game and with it the match.
Sadly as mentioned above, all IOMSRA Squash league matches have been postponed due to the Coronavirus. Hopefully the matches will be rearranged for future dates when social gatherings and sport become the norm again.
Racketeers Pioneers Team. Back Row Left to Right – Barry Irvine, Joe Burrows and Marc Taggart (Captain). Front Row Left to Right – Dafydd Lewis and James Leith.