Whiteway, Baker, Cretney and Leith Win Summer Graded Tournament
The IOMSRA Squash 2019-2020 season finished with the Summer Graded Tournament, a rebranded Easter Graded Tournament delayed due to COVID 19. Usually this end of season tournament is well supported and this year was no exception.
There were 36 entrants who were placed in groups with players of similar ability. The top 8 ranked players were drawn in the Grade A event, players ranked 9 to 16 contested the Grade B grouping, for these ranked 17 to 24 it was Grade C, the D grade had the next 8 ranked players and the remaining four played each other in a mini Grade E competition.
Father and son combination of James and Ben Leith were the top two seeds in the Grade D event. It went according to seeding in the first round but in the semi-final round Isaac Quayle beat James to set up a final with Ben. This final round of matches also brought together two good female players, ex-island champion Vicky Watterson (who has recently returned back to the island) and Edinburgh University and current island player Hannah Dixon. Hannah just triumphed 11-8 in the fifth game to take the match 3-2. The final was an all junior affair with Ben Leith beating Isaac Quayle 3-2 in a good tight match.
There were a couple of upsets in the first round of the Grade C competition when Liam Townsend and Peter Baker got the better of their higher seeded opponents Peter Ginty and Mark Grace respectively. The closest first round match was a really good contest in which Richard Cretney only just managed to beat Julien Uzzell taking the fifth game 14-12. The next round saw top seed Magnus Lamprecht only just get the better of Liam in their 3-2 encounter. The final between Magnus and Richard was another 3-2 duel but this time Richard got the upper hand and managed to claim the Grade C prize money.
In the grade B event Calum Baker and Toby Woolard were the top two seeds. Calum was pushed all the way in his first round match against Oliver Williams only just scraping through 3-2. Another noteworthy match was Alan Macnair against his former pupil Oliver Wait, this time Oliver was teaching the lesson in his 3-1 win. The second round went according to seeding as did the final round, which brought together Calum and Toby. Calum is very strong in the deep backhand corner and his accuracy here was the difference between the players and contributed to his 3-1 victory.
In the grade A event the first round went according to seeding but the second round brought one minor upset. Steve Baker seeded at 6 met Ben Peach the seventh seed. Although Steve took a good 2-0 lead Ben showed real fight and battled back to take the next three and beat his higher ranked opponent. In the final round Pat Fitzpatrick beat Malcolm Levy, seeded one place above him, 3-0. The best squash of the whole tournament was witnessed by a good sized crowd when A grade number 1 seed, the experienced Ashley Sandyford-Sykes took on the number 2 seed Thom Whiteway. This crowd watched some tremendous squash as these two talented players battled it out over five games with Thom eventually taking the victors spoils over a very tired Ashley.