Pinoy Manx Alliance Victors in the SRA Cup
The SRA Cup was played on Saturday 20th February at the NSC. This was a Team Blitz competition between teams of three players, but handicaps were applied to the individual matches to ensure every team that enters stand a chance. These handicaps were calculated using the Squash Levels handicapping method. The Tournament was well supported with 12 teams which were initially put into four pools with three teams in each.
Pool Mathew contained a works team called Team Costa, the Junior Academy coaches and a junior team called Pinoy Manx Alliance (PMA). In this pool of matches Cai Lewis played particularly well to gain good points for his team PMA to ensure they topped the group. Team Costa players Isaac Quayle and Charlie Beard played well in their match against the Junior Academy Coaches to claim the win for their team.
Pool Massaro consisted of Team Leith (a family team), Buchanans and Two Steaks and a Sausage (TSS), a team containing Shaun and Lance Wyllie and Phil Butler. TSS had two very close matches, only losing out by 5 or 6 points in each. The winning team in this pool was Buchanans who had a good win over Team Leith thanks primarily to a fine performance by their captain John Watterson.
Pool Willstrop brought together team Pitts and two junior teams. This was the closest group of the tournament with the meeting between the two junior teams particularly close. Harvey Douglas and Kai Kiernan both played well for their teams. However the Pitts team of Beth Jones, Terry Holt and Sarah Simpson did just enough to top the group by one point.
The fourth and final pool was Pool Perry which brought together B league title contenders the Sharks and the Outcasts along with LHD (Liam, Harry and Dave). At the end of the match between the Sharks and LHD just 0.48 points separated the teams. In the B League rivals match Outcasts Chris Cave and Liam Davies both restricted their opponents to just 14 points to ensure they got the win. So LHD versus Outcasts would decide the outcome of the match. Harry Douthwaite produced some great squash to finish 40 points ahead of his opponent and helped his team to take the match.
At this stage of the Tournament we had a 1st, 2nd and 3rd placed team in each pool. We arranged for the 3 first placed teams to play a semi-finals and a final and a third place play-off match. We also did the same for the second and third placed teams. By doing this at the end of the Tournament the teams would be ranked from 1 through to 12.
Places 9 to 12 were battled for by Team Costa, the Sharks, TSS and the Junior Academy C team. TSS got the better of Team Costa with all three players in the team getting victories whilst the juniors beat the Sharks. The final round finished with Junior Academy C team 9, TSS 10, Team Costa 11 and Sharks 12.
The teams ranked second in each group competed for the middle order places. Team Leith, a team containing two junior players, particularly enjoyed beating their Junior Academy coaches. Outcasts struggled to overcome Junior Academy B with Callum Larkin and Kai Kiernan making the most of the points weighting to get big wins against their opponents. At the end of the tournament we had Junior Academy B 5, Team Leith 6, Outcasts 7 and the Coaches 8.
Christian Webster was the winning captain of this tournament last year and his team PMA progressed to the final by beating Buchanans by 10 points. The other finalists were LHD who beat Pitts by 25 points with all three players in the team achieving wins. The third place match was between team Buchanan and team Pitts who normally play on the same team in league squash. This match saw Buchanan claiming the third place spot by beating team mates Pitts by the slender margin of 1.43 points.
The final brought together PMA and LHD. Christian Webster seemed very determined to keep the trophy and put in a captains performance to give his team a 20 point lead. PMA number two, Leighton Ginty, won by just 4 points but their third placed player Cai Lewis followed in his captains footsteps by winning by 20 points. So the winning team were PMA and Christian managed to keep the trophy for another year.
The group photo above shows kneeling in the foreground the winning team of ‘Pinoy Manx Alliance’, which consisted of, from left to right – Leighton Ginty, Christian Webster (Captain) and Cai Lewis. In the background there are some the other competitors in the Tournament.