Congratulations to Leighton Ginty, February 2021 Player of the Month
Leighton Ginty earned his spot as the IOMSRA Player of the Month (POM) for February with a points increase of 22.7%. Over the last four weeks his playing level has increased with good results over experienced players like Ian Sheard and Pat Russell. It shouldn’t be too long before he breaks the 1,000 points barrier if he continues to improve at this rate.
Chris Cave of the Outcasts and Team AON is second, having played five ranking matches in February, winning them all and only dropping one game in the process. He has now broken into the top 20 ranked players on the Island with a current ranking of 18.
The third placed player is Fraser Dorling who plays for the Racketeers. He came third last time the POM rankings were published and has claimed that spot again with a further good increase. He is beginning to get a lot more consistent and with that his ranking points are continually improving.
The five most improved players in February 2021 are :-
1 Leighton Ginty– points moved from 692 to 849 = 22.7%
2 Chris Cave – points moved from 2027 to 2389 = 17.9%
3 Fraser Dorling– points moved from 989 to 1147 = 16%
4 Marc Taggart – points moved from 1199 to 1388 = 15.8%
5 Harry Douthwaite – points moved from 455 to 527 = 15.8%
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. TSShad 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.
IOMSRA Top 30 Player Rankings at the End of February 2021
I have downloaded the top 30 placed players in the IOMSRA Rankings as recorded on 01 March 2021, these won’t change for a while due to the circuit breaker lockdown when no squash will be played. This is for those of you who like to track your progress on ‘Squash Levels’.
Congratulations to Steve Morley and Dave Freer who have broken into this Elite group of players. Top ranked player Dave Norman has broken the 9,000 points barrier and Ashley Sandyford-Sykes who is playing very well at the moment has moved into the runner-up spot on the rankings.
The other 2 players who merit a mention are Chris Cave and Angus Hopkinson who have both broken into the top 20,currently occupying positions 18 and 20 respectively. These two players are having good seasons and progressing up the rankings very nicely.
Stone Art Squash get first win of 2021 in the A league
Stone Art Squash got their first win of their winter campaign with a 3-2 win over Crazy Phil Shaw Vehicles. This was a low scoring encounter as none of the matches went past three games. Crazy’s captain Ashley Sandyford-Sykes and his number two James Ramsey both won. Stone Art players Toby Woolard and Angus Hopkinson evened the match score at 2-2. Unfortunately Crazies didn’t field a 5th player so Shaun Wyllie got a walkover for his team and in doing so sealed the victory for Stone Art Squash.
Argosy Allstars had a good 3-2 win over Cannell Print in the other A league match. Allstars number one Dave Norman was ruthless in his 3-0 defeat of Thom Whiteway allowing his opponent only 15 points in the whole match, while his teammate Malcolm Levy had a 3-1 win at number two. Ben Peach and Oliver Wait both won 3-1 to even up the match score for Cannell Print. The deciding and closest match of the night was at number five between Rob Colquitt and Steve Morley where Morley came from two games down to win the next three in style and take the overall match win for Allstars.
Crowe Dragons got their first win of 2021 with a 4-1 win ver Island Tyres & Exhausts in the B league. Dave Hedley and Julien Uzzell earned 3-0 victories over brother and sister combination Liam and Clare Townsend with Clare making her debut appearance for the team. Dragons captain Darren Smethurst won 3-1 as did his teammate Mark Grace who beat team newcomer Lance Wyllie. The match of the night was between the number ones where Shaun Wyllie can back from 2-0 down to beat James Martin 3-2.
Racketeers Pioneers unbeaten start to 2021 continued in the B League last week with a narrow victory 3/2 222-208 victory over reigning champions Outcasts. Both sides were missing players to injury, but it was the in-form Racketeers who adapted the best thanks to some stirring performances from their middle order. Marc Taggart claimed a good win over Mark Henson at number two, while James Leith and Andy Brown edged ding-dong, five-game battles with Outcasts’ skipper Peter Ginty and Pat Russell respectively at three and four. Outcasts actually accrued more points than their opponents before the bonus 25 were added thanks to good wins from number one Chris Cave and Stuart Highy at five.
Sharks claimed a good win over the Junior Academy who put up a spirited defense. There were victories at 1 through 4 for Sharks with both Dave O’Neill’s match versus Christian Webster and Alan Macnair’s against Ben Leith going the distance to 5 games. David Freer and Douglas Jacobsson had more straightforward wins over Harvey Douglas and Isaac Quayle respectively. The juniors did win at fifth string with Leighton Ginty overcoming guest Vusimbe Zivave in three games.
Island Exhausts’ Vets relentless form at the head of the C League standings continued last week as they brushed aside the Hansard Racketeers 249/161.Mark Stratford, Peter Sharples, Gerrit Du Toit and Les Callow only dropped two games between them as they claimed the spoils in the first four strings.
Racketeers’ Daryl Richards prevented the whitewash though, with a spirited 3-2 win over Exhausts’ debutante Clare Townsend at fifth string. Santander Racketeers Academy defeated the mighty Buchanan and Pitts Misfits winning four of the five matches (and earning the bonus points) with the final result 205 to164 points. Santander Racketeers Academy were missing a fifth player due to last minute injury, giving Buchanan and Pitts Misfits a walkover at five. Charlie Beard and Elliot Henson had the highlight match of the evening where, after five close games, Beard came out on top 3-2 for Academy
The Falcons secured their first win of 2021 when they met Outcasts Dragons. The Falcons have recruited well this season with new players Phil Butler, Vicki Watterson and Lance Wyllie all playing in this fixture. Butler and Wyllie both achieved wins while Watterson only just lost in five games to Phil Whittam. Dragons captain Darren Smethurst had a comfortable 3-0 win at number one. The longest serving Falcons player on the night was Jon Cox who first represented them in 2011 over 9 years ago. His 3-0 win took the Falcons over the line with a 3-2 match victory.
The full squad of Stone Art Squash Team are pictured above. Squad members insert into the picture on top are left to right – Douglas Jacobsson, Angus Hopkinson and Shaun Wyllie. Main picture – Back row left to right – Hamish Thornton, Steve Baker (captain) and Lyndon Cheetham. Main picture – Front row left to right – Jason Blue and Toby Woolard.
Racketeers Pioneers Remain Undefeated in Squash B league
Argosy Allstars had a very close encounter with Stone Art Squash in the A league and just came out on top in the 3-2 match result. The Allstars top two players Dave Norman and Malcolm Levy both won 3-0. These 3-0 results were mirrored by Stone Art players Steve Baker and Toby Woolard. So with the match score at 2-2 the deciding match was between Stone Art’s Lyndon Cheetham and Allstar Steve Morley. On rankings Cheetham was the favourite but he was hampered but having not played squash for 3 months due to a foot injury and lost 3-1 with Morley bagging the bonus points for his team.
Team AON continued their unbeaten run with a victory over Crazy Phil Shaw Vehicles. AON’s Dafydd Lewis, Chris Cave, Mason McLarney and Jason Crease got the 4 wins for AON, with only Mason dropping a game on his way to the win. Crazy Phil Shaw Vehicles captain Ashely Sandyford-Sykes prevented AON from getting maximum points with his 3-0 win over Pat Fitzpatrick in a close fought match where Sandyford-Sykes managed to win the vital points at the end of each game. The match result was 174-110 to AON, so far they have dropped only 21 points in this winter league campaign.
Racketeers Pioneers maintained their unbeaten record in the B league with a great 5-0 victory over Crowe Dragons. Baillie Watterson and Marc Taggart both finished the match with 3-0 wins whereas Andrew Brown dropped a game in the win over regular sparring partner Beth Jones. Crowe Dragons players Dave Hedley and Stephen Pitts, who really is improving at the moment, provided their teams stiffest resistance. Both had really close games but eventually lost 3-2 to Dafydd Lewis and James Leith respectively. The Racketeers could be title contenders if they maintain this form.
The Sharks played the Outcasts this week and with both these teams being so far undefeated this promised to be a good match. Outcast Chris Cave beat Sharks captain 3-0 and his team mate Liam Davies got the better of Douglas Jacobsson in a very close 5 game match in which players took it in turns to win the games. However the Sharks lower order players Dave O’Neill, Alan Macnair and Mark Stratford all triumphed over their opponents to claim the win for Sharks with an overall match score of 235-180, putting Sharks at the top of the table.
Island Tyres and Exhausts got their first win of the winter league when they met Argosy Junior Academy The Exhaust top two of Shaun Wyllie and Liam Townsend both won 3-0. This was matched by juniors Ben Leith and Leighton Ginty at four and five, leaving the middle order match as the decider. This turned out to be the closest match of the night as Richard Cretney and Harvey Douglas battled it out. Cretney lost the first game but came back to win the next three and take the match 3-1 and claim the bonus points and the win for Exhausts.
The Hansard Racketeers picked up their first C League win of the season last week with a narrow 3-2 success over the Chrystals Junior Academy.A strong Racketeers side were kept honest by the Juniors thanks to wins from number one Emma Leith and the ever-improving Kai Kiernan at number four. The Racketeers’, however, clinched their first triumph of the 2020-21 campaign thanks to victories for Daryl Richards, the in-form Tom Burrows and Barry Irvine who made a successful return to the third-tier with a 3-1 win over Leith’s fellow island player Amaline Batty.
The Falcons performed well and stretched the strong Island Exhaust Vets team although eventually they lost 3-2. Exhaust wins came from their number one Mark Stratford who edged Lance Wyllie 3-1, Peter Sharples who beat Vicky Waterson 3-0 and Gerrit Du Toit, now nicknamed the postman because he always delivers. Falcons wins came from their captain Vusimbe Zivave beating a player who is new to IOMSRA squash but a South African veteran, Johan van der Merwe, 3-0 and Phil Butler who overcame Les Callow 3-1. This was a very close match ending 198-216 on points.
The match between Buchanan & Pitts Misfits and the Outcasts Dragons produced an interesting outcome this week. The Dragons won the top order matches through Darren Smethurst, Stuart Highy and Phil Whittam with Smethurst having a particularly close battle against Pat Russell who took him all the way to five games. Misfit Terry Holthad a good 3-0 win at fourth string and his team also had a walkover at five as Outcasts could only field four players. The high scoring by both sides resulted in an overall match win for Outcast Dragons by 3-2 while losing on points by 201-189, a rare occurrence.
The Photo shows the Racketeers Pioneers who are currently undefeated. They are – Left to Right, back row – Barry Irvine, Joe Burrows and Marc Taggart. Left to Right, front row – Dafydd Lewis and James Leith.