Sharks Quench Dragons to Win SRA Cup Final

Over the last few weeks squash B and C division teams have been competing in a Handicap competition for the SRA Cup. 

The fourteen teams consisted of five B league teams and nine C league. Teams play a normal match but afterwards a points value is added to the weaker team which is calculated based on their performance during the season. 

In the first round every B league team came up against a C team, some of these being very close encounters. A particularly notable match was between B league champions Crowe Dragons and C league winners Island Exhausts Vets. The Dragons only just won by three points once the handicap was added, with the match between Dragon Magnus Lamprecht and Ian Sheard going all the way to five games. Hansard Racketeers were the only C league winners in this round as they overcame the Outcasts in a close match, thanks in part to Racketeer Matt Corlett who played particularly well in this encounter to beat his higher ranked opponent outright.

The quarter final round brought the four winning B league teams against four C teams. Crowe Dragons and the Sharks were impressive in beating their opponents to progress further in the tournament. The third team to claim a semi-final spot was Island Exhausts who beat Buchanan & Pitts Misfits in a hard fought match. The other encounter was a Racketeers derby with B league Conister Racketeers Pioneers taking on C league Hansard Racketeers. The B leaguers took the match with the pick of the games being Marc Taggart against Lucy Kerr, the latter playing well to gain valuable points for her team. 

By the semi-final round all C league teams had been eliminated so it was a B league battle for the Cup. Crowe Dragons came up against Island Exhausts in the first semi-final which was a really great match with some very close encounters. Young Dragon Oliver Wait and the experienced Shaun Callow went all the way with Callow just grabbing the victory for his side in the fifth game. The other five game match was between the two number one players, Ben Peach and Josh Green. Both these players have improved a great deal through the course of the season and they produced a great match. Peach took the first two games but Green levelled it at 2-2. The final game went to Peach15-11, securing the match for Crowe Dragons, who progressed to the final.

The second semi-final saw Conister Racketeers Pioneers take on the Sharks but the Sharks were quite dominant in this match winning 5-0. Racketeers resistance came in the form of Rob Boyles who had five very close games with Mark Webster Smith. The other close match was between Andrew Brown and Greg Ansara. Brown levelled by taking the second game but Ansara closed out the match by taking the next two games. 

So the Final was between B league champions Crowe Dragons and the Sharks. The Dragons two junior players on the night, Oliver Williams and Oliver Wait, both fought hard against their respective opponents but couldn’t take games off Alan McNair and Douglas Jacobsson respectively. However Beth Jones and Magnus Lamprecht succeeded in taking a game each off their Shark opponents Greg Ansara and captain Dave Freer. The only win for Crowe Dragons came when Lyndon Cheetham just clinched the fifth and final game 15-14 against Mark Webster Smith. This was a great game played between two top 20 players. 

The overall match score was 4-1 to the Sharks and when handicaps were applied they won convincingly. The SRA Cup therefore goes to the Sharks this season, who are very worthy winners as their team has played great squash throughout the tournament. 

The Sharks team, winners of the SRA Cup are pictured above. From Left to Right – Mark Webster Smith, Alan McNair, Dave Freer (Captain), Douglas Jacobsson and Greg Ansara

 

 

Inaugural Easter Graded Competition a great success

The first Easter Graded Squash Competition took place last week at the NSC. This is a new addition to the squash calendar and after a good entry it will become a regular fixture. The players were graded into four groups according to ranking with eight players in each group.

In group A the first round matches went according to seeding with all but one match being won 3-0. The exception was the match between Hamish Thornton and Steve Baker where Baker managed to take a game off his higher ranked opponent. The closest match in the second round was between Hamish Thornton and Jason Blue, with Blue coming back from 2-0 down to win 3-2. In the final round there was a very close match between father and son Steve and Calum Baker with dad managing to win 3-1 in four very hard-fought games. The A group final was between Thom Whiteway and Jason Blue. Whiteway took a 2-0 lead but Blue won the third game. Whiteway showed his skill and good retrieving to take the next game and win the Final 3-1.

In the B group the closest first round match was between James Leith and Jon Shepherd with Shepherd coming back from 2-0 down to win in five games. All the second-round matches went to five games with Douglas Jacobsson and Mark Grace beating Mark Taggart and Jon Shepherd respectively, and Les Callow and James Leith triumphing over Dean Sowerby and Pat Russell. The Final in this group was between Douglas Jacobsson and Mark Grace with Jacobsson just managing to win in five tight games.

The closest match of the first round in group C was between Shaun Wylie and Andrew Brown. After four games the scores were level and the fifth game continued in this neck-and-neck way until Brown won in the battle to two clear points 14-12. The second-round matches were all won 3-0 apart from Beth Jones against Darren Smethurst, where Smethurst won 3-1 playing great hard running squash. In the final round Beth Jones beat Brian Cowley 3-2 and Peter Baker beat Andrew Brown by the same score. The final was between Michael Fernandes and Oliver Williams with Williams winning in three close games.

Group D was a very competitive group with four of the six matches going to five games. Emma Leith lost to Isaac Quayle 3-2 but in the next round Emma managed a 3-2 win against Fatheha Essa. Essa then lost 3-2 to Isaac Quayle. The final of group C was between two juniors Isaac Quayle and Ben Leith with Quayle winning 3-2 in five very close games.

The Winners and Runners Up were –

A grade

Winner – Thomas Whiteway

Runner Up – Jason Blue

B grade

Winner – Douglas Jacobsson

Runner Up – Mark Grace

C grade

Winner – Oliver Williams

Runner Up – Michael Fernandes

D grade

Winner – Isaac Quayle

Runner Up – Ben Leith

IOMSRA Easter Graded Tournament 2019 Photos

The IOMSRA Easter Graded Squash Tournament for 2019 took place between Tuesday 23rd and Friday 26th April. Competitors were entered into Grade A, B, C or D competitions depending on their playing ability (Squash Levels ranking). A full report will be written and published, through the usual channels, in the near future but for now here are some details of the matches played along with some photos. Most of the photos show tournament organiser Les Callow presenting prizes to the Winners or Runners up from each of the categories. 

Grade A Tournament 

Grade A Winner – Thomas Whiteway

Grade A Runner Up – Jason Blue

Grade B Tournament 

  

Grade B Winner – Douglas Jacobsson

Grade B Runner Up – Mark Grace

Grade C Tournament 

Grade C Winner – Oliver Williams 

Grade C Runner Up – Michael Fernandes

No Photo at present

Grade D Tournament 

Grade D Winner – Isaac Quayle

Grade D Runner Up – Ben Leith

A Group photograph of some of the Tournament competitors