The two Junior Academy squash teams had to postpone some league fixtures due to important exams, and these matches were played over the half-term week.
Argosy Junior Academy played two B league matches in one week and lost both 3-2. They started with a close encounter with Racketeers Pioneers, the latter teams top two players Dafydd Lewis and Baillie Watterson both recording good 3-1 and 3-0 wins. The third victorious racketeer was Marc Taggart who, after watching his 2-0 lead being clawed back to 2-2 by Ben Leith, just edged the fifth 15-12. The Juniors wins came through Isaac Quayle who defeated James Leith, while his team mate Emma was the only Leith to win on the night, defeating the Racketeers chief strategist Andy Dalrymple 3-0.
Their second match was against Outcasts whose top two players Chris Cave and Liam Davies both triumphed 3-0 over Isaac Quayle and Harvey Douglas respectively. However the Juniors lower order players Leighton Ginty and Ben Leith both played well, with Leighton winning 3-1 against Stuart Highy and Ben winning 3-1 against Mark Henson. The closest match of the night was between Emma Leith and Outcasts captain Peter Ginty, with Ginty eventually clinching the win for Outcasts 3-2 in five very close competitive games.
The C league junior team, Chrystals Junior Academy, played the Falcons in their rearranged fixture and it turned into another tight contest. The Juniors won the two top order matches with the much improved Leighton Ginty and captain Beth Jones gaining 3-0 and 3-1 victories over their opponents, with the match between Beth Jones and Lance Wyllie being particularly exciting and very close with just 4 points separating the players when the points were totalled up. However the lower three contests were all convincingly won 3-0 by the Falcons’ Vicky Watterson, Simon Jones and Sarah Simpson, giving Falcons the overall victory.
The Picture shows three of the Chrystals Junior Academy team that played the Falcons. Left to Right – Leighton Ginty, Callum Larkin and Harrison Callow.
The other 2 team members not included in the picture were Beth Jones (Captain) and Amaline Batty.
Utmost Wealth Solutions Isle Of Man Closed Squash Championship 2021
The Utmost Wealth Solutions Isle Of Man Closed Squash Championships is scheduled to be played at the NSC in mid June this year. Matches will take place between 6pm and 9pm, with the first round taking place on Monday 14th June, subsequent rounds will be played throughout the week with the final scheduled for about 7.30 pm on Friday 18th June. Spectators are free to attend and will witness some top class squash played by the Islands leading players.
The top seed and last years winner is Nathan Mead, previously a top ranked England junior player, he is based in Gloucester and currently represents that county. He qualifies to represent the Isle of Man as his father is a Manx man. The second seed will be Dave Norman who is reaching the twilight of his squash career, but is still a dominant force in IOM Squash and remains undefeated this season. He has won the IOM championships on 25 occasions and was silver medallist in the last Island Games.
Apart from these two there will be the usual suspects as other contenders; the experienced Ashley Sandyford-Sykes is currently number 2 on the IOMSRA rankings list, IOM team captain Thom Whiteway, IOM junior development coach Pat Fitzpatrick and ex new Zealand junior champion Hamish Thornton could all cause upsets on their day.
The picture above shows the two top seeds in the Tournament. The current defending champion Nathan Mead is on the left and on the right is Dave Norman, he has dominated Manx squash for the last 25 years.
Congratulations to Martin Greenwood May 2021 Player of the Month
Martin Greenwood who plays for Santander Racketeers Academy in the C league has become the IOMSRA Player of the Month (POM) for May 2021 with a points increase of 24.8%. Martin has had two particularly good results in May which have moved him up the rankings.
Fellow Racketeer and team mate Harry Douthwaite is placed second with an increase in his playing level of 14.9%. Harry played 3 league matches in May and won them all with 3-0 score lines. Good wins against fellow Racketeer Mark Harrop and Phil Whittam have really helped him climb up the rankings.
The third most improved player is the irrepressible Phil Butler, only 0.2% behind Harry in his playing level increase. Phil played 3 ranking matches in May, each result producing an increase in his playing level of over 3%.
The five most improved players in May 2021 are :-
1 Martin Greenwood – points moved from 214 to 267 = 24.8%
2 Harry Douthwaite – points moved from 530 to 610 = 14.9%
3 Phil Butler – points moved from 611 to 701 = 14.7%
4 Baillie Watterson – points moved from 1482 to 1652 = 11.5%
5 Chris Cave – points moved from 2273 to 2534 = 11.5%
Argosy Junior Academy Produce Class Act to Earn First Win
Argosy Allstars kept their A league title hopes alive by dropping just one point in their win over Stone Art Squash team. Allstars top two players Dave Norman and Malcolm Levy both recorded 3-0 wins. However the lower order matches were very close with Dave Hedley losing 3-2, 33-32 to Stone Arts Mark Henson and Allstar Steve Morley winning 3-1, 33-31 against Doug Jacobsson. The last match on court was Stone Art captain Steve Baker who lost by a margin of only 3 points in his 3-2 defeat at the hands of Rob Boyles.
Team AON put one hand on the A league trophy with a convincing 5-0 win over Crazy Phil Shaw Vehicles. They are now looking like favourites for the Title of undisputed A league champions for the 2020-21 season. Sadly due to some Crazy players preparing for the Mountain Marathon the team could only field 3 players. AON’s Jason Crease, Mason McLarney and Chris Cave all achieved 3-0 win and with the 2 walkover matches the final result was 180-55 to the league leaders.
Crowe Dragons struggles after the B League’s restart continued on Tuesday against the Racketeers Pioneers. The injury-ravaged Dragons could only field three players for the encounter, handing two walkovers and 90 points to their opponents before a ball was struck in anger. In the three games that did take place, the Dragons gave a good account of themselves. Beleaguered Dragons’ skipper Darren Smethurst beat James Leith 3-0, while the Racketeers’ Daf Lewis edged a topsy-turvy encounter with James Martin 3-2 in what was probably the tie of the night. Baillie Watterson wrapped up the match’s other spoils beating Dave Hedley 15/11, 15/11, 15/11 at number two.
It could not have been a closer match when the Sharks met Autumn league winners the Outcasts, with the final result being 3-2 to Sharks. There were wins from David Freer, Alan Macnair and Greg Ansara for Sharks, whilst Outcasts took the spoils at first and second string whereChris Cave and Liam Davis got the better of Douglas Jacobsson and Dave O’Neill respectively.
Argosy Junior Academy celebrated the end of the exam season with their first win of the Winter league by beating Island Tyres and Exhausts 3-2. The juniors won the middle order matches through Isaac Quayle, Ben Leith and Emma Leith, but Ben was pushed all the way by Peter Sharples who came back from 2-0 down to level the score at 2-2 before Ben took the fifth game convincingly. Island Exhausts wins came at the top and bottom of the playing order with Phil Butler winning 3-0 and number one player Shaun Wyllie triumphing 3-1. These teams were well matched with a points score of 200-197 to the Juniors before the bonus points were added.
In the C league Island Exhaust Vets were pushed all the way to their 4-1 win in a hard fought fixture with Buchanan and Pitts Misfits. Vets Mark Stratford and Les Callow secured good 3-0 wins at first and fourth string respectively while at number five teammate Brian Cowley needed all his experience to get the better of Allan Walkingshaw 3-1. Terry Holt took the only win for Misfits at third string beating Gerrit du Toit 3-1. The match of the night was between Ian Sheard, returning from injury, against a determined Andy Dixon. This encounter went all the way to five games with Sheard eventually securing the win and the match for the Vets.
Despite being down to only three players Outcasts Dragons managed a 3-2 victory over Hansard Racketeers. Dragons captain Darren Smethurst enjoyed a really close encounter with Matt Corlett with both players getting double points in each game. Stuart Highy and Andy McLarney were the other two winners for the Dragons. Despite losing the match the Racketeers won on points 207-160 thanks to the Dragons conceding the two lower order matches45-0 to Racketeers.
Santander Racketeers Academy had a good 4-0 win over Chrystals Junior Academy with both teams only having four players available on the night. Harry Douthwaite won 3-0 against an improving and determined Callum Larkin at third string but the other matches all went to four games. Harrison Callow played some excellent shots to take a game off Santander captain Steven Wright while Amaline Batty did very well to take a game from Andy Brown whose speed gave him the advantage needed to win. Likewise in the number one seed match Leighton Ginty took a close win in the first game against Fraser Dorling but he latter’s ability to move well around the court sealed him the next 3 games to win.
The Picture above shows the Argosy Junior Academy Team. Back row – Left to Right – Isaac Quayle, Harvey Douglas, Olly Wait (Coach) and Pat Fitzpatrick (Head Coach). Front row – Left to Right – Christian Webster, Emma Leith and Ben Leith.
Sharks Basking in another Win increase B league lead
Stone Art Squash team had a good win over A league leaders Cannell Print with both teams struggling for players and having to put out two substitutes on the night. Stone Art’s subs proved stronger as both Douglas Jacobsson and Shaun Wyllie got their team off to a 2-0 start with 3-1 victories. James Martin and Stone Art captain Steve Baker enjoyed a good battle with Martin clinching it by just 2 points in the fifth and final game of their match. Toby Woolard clinched the victory for Stone Art with a good 3-1 victory against the higher ranked Olly Wait while the final match saw Cannell’s Thom Whiteway produce a convincing 3-0 win over Hamish Thornton 3-0. The final score was 158-144 to Stone Art.
Team AON played Argosy Allstars in the other match of the evening and unusually all the results were 3-0 making it a fairly brief encounter. The Allstars top two of Dave Norman and Malcolm Levy were their teams victors with Norman only conceding 12 points on the way to his victory. Team AON’s overall victory came through the bottom three ranked players, Jason Crease, Mason McLarney and Chris Cave. This was a low scoring match with the final match score of 147-121 in team AON’s favour and they now trail Cannell by just 6 points.
The Racketeers Pioneers returned to winning ways in the B League with a 4-1, 247/186 victory over Island Tyres and Exhausts. The Pioneers were pushed hard by their opponents, Daf Lewis, Baillie Watterson and James Leith battling to wins over Rob Colquitt, Richard Cretney and Peter Sharples respectively. The former’s encounter at number one required five games to determine the winner, Lewis coming back from 2-1 down to seal the win 3-2.Barry Irvine secured the Pioneers’ other win, while Exhausts’ ‘on-loan’ Racketeer Fraser Dorling secured his temporary side’s sole success coming from two games down to secure the spoils from Marc Taggart.
League leaders the Sharks dropped just 9 points in their 3-2 win over Crowe Dragons. Sharks top three of Dave O’Neill, Dave Freer and Douglas Jacobsson are very evenly matched and as their respective rankings have changed they have taken it in turns to play in the top three positions. O’Neill topped the order in this match but lost to Dragons number 1 James Martin in three very close games. Freer had the number 2 spot and took a game off the wily Dave Hedley in his 3-1 defeat. Jacobsson was at 3 and soon dispatched Dragons skipper Darren Smethurst 3-0. Unfortunately the Dragons couldn’t field lower order players so the two walkover rubbers meant Sharks won the match 3-2, 241-114.
Unfortunately the match between Argosy Juniors and Outcasts was temporarily postponed as many of the junior players are currently taking exams.
The Racketeers derby between C League teams Santander Academy and Hansard took place this week with the younger Santander team gaining the bragging rights. Santander’s Fraser Dorling, Andrew Brown and Harry Douthwaite all gained victories at the top of the order with Browns only just clinching his win against Tom Burrows 15-14 in the fifth game. Martin Greenwood won in 3 against Daryl Richards but these were very close games with Richards never more than three points adrift of the winning score. Hansards only win came through Dave Johnson who beat Santander skipper Steven Wright 3-1. The match score was 4-1, 243-179 which leaves Santander just 54 points behind league leaders Island Exhausts Vets.
Island Exhausts Vets beat Outcasts Dragons 4-1 to retain their top of the table spot helped by Dragons only being able to field four players. Gerrit Du Toit won 3-0 at fourth string while at number one Outcasts captain Darren Smethurst took the only win for his team, also 3-0. Peter Sharples had too much power and placement for Stuart Highy, winning 3-1 with some very good, extended rallies. The match of the night was undoubtedly between Les Callow and Andy McLarney, with three of the five games going all the way to 14 all, but in the end Callow won 3-2.
The C league fixture between Chrystals Junior Academy and the Falcons was also postponed and it is hoped this will be played next week once the juniors have finished exams. The clash with exams is only a problem this year due to the late season finish following the lockdowns.
The Picture above shows the Sharks Team who remain undefeated since Christmas. Left to Right – Alan Macnair, Douglas Jacobsson, Dave Freer (Captain), Dave O’Neill and Greg Ansara.