Nathan Mead flying the Manx Flag on the Pro Squash Tour

Isle of Man squash player Nathan Mead played in the inaugural PSA tournament in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire recently. Nathan was at college in America for a couple of years and has now returned to England to progress his professional squash career. Before entering this tournament he was ranked just under 500 in the world so was looking to improve his ranking. He was the lowest ranked player so started at the bottom end of the draw.

Nathan’s first round match was against Aaron Allpress of England who has a world ranking of 294. Nathan won this match 3-1 in impressive style. This moved Nathan up to the top 16 and his next match was against Joel Arscott from New Zealand who is world ranked 130. In a brutal match which lasted 90 minutes Nathan managed to win 3-2.

Unfortunately for Nathan, his next match which was in the quarter finals, was against an old adversary Jack Mitterer from England. Although the match was closely contested, his previous 90 minute long match had taken its toll with Nathan losing. However he reached the quarter finals in his first Professional Squash Association tournament which is a great result as Nathan was the lowest ranked player in the competition.

Nathan commented that being in this competition has boosted his confidence to play at that level and he also improved his world ranking from just under 500 to now being 371. He is looking forward to playing in the Isle of Man championships and also being part of the Isle of Man squad taking part in the European Team Championships which are in Gibraltar in April.


In addition, this week saw another 3 nights of league matches which ended with Team Aon, Derivco Sharks and Island Exhaust Vets topping their respective leagues.

A League: 

Crazy Billions and Phil Shaw Vehicles gained maximum points from their encounter with Stone Art Squash Team. Skipper Ashley Sandyford Sykes and number two Mark Webster Smith both won 3-0. Stone Art player Fraser Dorling got the only points for his team in his 3-2 defeat by James Ramsey. Dave Freer made up for the Crazy team and gained the other 3 points.

The Jaguar’s roared to a 3-1 win against the Juniors. Both Wyllie brothers hit top form and Michael Fernandes took his match 3-1. Juniors’ win came from team captain Pat who overcame a slow start to beat the Jaguar’s captain 3-1.

AON continued their impressive form, securing a solid 3-1 victory against an injury-depleted Argosy team. Robin Crease, Mason Mclarney, and Daffyd Lewis each won 3-0 for AON. In a closely contested match, Malcolm Levy managed to put Argosy on the scoreboard by defeating Jason Crease 3-0.


B League:

In the fixture Derivco Sharks versus Racketeers Pioneers, all Derivco players won their matches. Strings 1, 2, 4, and 5 all finished 3-1 in favour of Mark Webster-Smith, Allister Crossley, Alan Macnair, and David Freer respectively.  Douglas Jacobsson took his string 3-0. There were many tight games with Fraser Dorling giving Allister a run for his money, Marc Taggart putting up stiff resistance against Douglas, James Leith making each game very close and Andy Browne having some great touches. The result means that Derivco Sharks have a 5 point lead in the league after 13 rounds with 3 to go.  Next week sees the Derivco Sharks playing the Atla Arrows for the top of the table spot.

It was a tight fixture between MES Mavericks and Outcasts with the Mavericks winning 3-2 overall. The match started with the Mavericks’ Dave Hedley getting back to winning ways, beating Peter Ginty 3-1. Peter Sharples then pulled one back for the Outcasts, beating Dasa Brynjolffssen 3-1. Rich Cretney put the Mavericks ahead again with a 3-0 win against Mark Henson at second string. This left it all to play for with the final two matches. At first string the Outcasts Liam Davies beat Rob Colquitt 3-1 in a thoughtful and well played match. It then all fell to Magnus Lamprecht and Richard Haley at 3rd string. Richard took a 2-0 lead but Magnus clawed his way back in a gutsy performance and eventually took the match 3-2 for the Mavericks. 


C League:

This week saw the battle between the league leaders Buchanan & Pitts and Island Exhausts Vets. In the first match Pitts’ Elliott Henson took on Vets captain Les Callow. After Callow won the first game, Henson bounced back. However, Callow’s vast experience kicked in, taking the win 1-3. Next at string no. 3, it was a real seesaw match between Stephen Pitts, Misfits captain and Mark Stratford. Stratford won the 1st and 3rd games and then got the last couple of points in the 5th game to win the match 2-3. At string 4, Rob Smith (Vets) who is still settling back into league squash quickly found his feet to beat Andy Dixon (Misfits) 3-0. Playing at no. 2 Pat Russell fought hard against Mark Grace (Vets). Russell managed to win the 2nd game but eventually after a battle of the boasts, Grace won the match 1-3. At string 1, Dasa Brynjolffssen of Misfits played Peter Sharples of Vets. Dasa, still feeling the pain from losing to Sharples in the B league the night before, was determined to win. After losing the first 2 games Sharples pulled 2 back but Dasa managed to take the 5th game to get Misfits only win of the night. Island Exhaust Vets deserved the win and stay on top of the C League!

Falcons had another difficult night this week against the Hansard Racketeers. They lost the first four matches but got a consolation through Phil Butler who beat Lucy Kerr 3-0. Santander got their wins from David Johnson,  Harry Douthwaire,  Mark Harrop and Steven Wright. Although he lost, Falcons’ Adam Jones played some good squash and came very close in two games.

Next, the GMS Juniors continued their campaign against one of the league’s newer teams, Crazy Jack’s. However, the Juniors could field only four players due to player unavailability. At string 4, GMS Juniors Robbie Lapsley took on Tek Min Ewe. The first game was very closely contested and eventually went to Tek Min Ewe by 15-13. After this Tek Min Ewe’s greater match experience showed and he won the next two games therefore winning the match 3-0. The 3rd string match was the mirror image for the fourth string game as the first game was very close with Harrison Callow of Juniors winning out 15-13, but thereafter he took control of the match to win 3-0 against Tom Barker of Crazy Jacks. Richard Webster at 2 for the Juniors faced Darren Smith. Unsurprisingly, given his big advantage in experience, Richard won 3-0 but in the third game particularly, Darren Smith showed how much his game has improved over the season. At 1, Callum Larkin for the Juniors took on an experienced campaigner in Mark Goodall for Crazy Jack’s. The first set was extremely close with Goodall showing some excellent shots despite losing this set 14-15.  Larkin won both the second and third games to take the match. As the fifth string was conceded to Crazy Jack’s, the fixture was won overall 3-2 by the Juniors. In all the matches it was clear how much the Crazy Jack’s players have improved over the season.

This week, Strix Squash Squad lost against the Dragons 5-0. The first game saw Dragons’ Jamie Biddulph use his skill and speed to give him the 3-0 win. In match two, Strix’s Andrew Igoea played the Dragons captain Beth Jones (3rd seed). The match started evenly but Beth took the advantage with some excellent and tight serves. Keeping this momentum, Beth won 3-0. Stuart Highy’s experience and excellent drives proved too difficult for Strix’s captain George Rumney, thus gaining another 3-0 victory for the Dragons. Next match was each team’s number 5 with Ewan Cannan against Dragon’s Andy Mclarney. Despite both playing well, Andy’s skill and experience gave Ewan a tough game. It was a great battle to watch and Andy won 3-0. Final game of the evening saw Strix’s Aaron Rumney play the Dragons’ Phil Whittam. In the first game both players consecutively gained points and put the other on the ropes by taking the lead. The sudden death point was won by Phil Whittam from an intense rally and impressive drive. With close play and entertaining rallies, Phil gained the last 3-0 win for the Dragons.