Sandyford Sykes Sees off Opposition to win Manx Telecom Dave Karran Memorial Tournament 2020
The IOMSRA Squash season started last week with the Manx Telecom Dave Karran Memorial Tournament. The tournament was restricted to 32 players and, with a full draw, each competitor was promised a full five matches using the Monrad or Swiss System.
There were no upsets in the first round which went according to seeding. In this round normally the 16th and 17th seeds match up can be quite close but Shaun Wyllie made a good start to the season with a 3-0 win over his close rival. The only match which didn’t return a 3-0 win was between Marc Taggart and Steve Morley. On three occasions the game scores were 12-10 in this match but Morley got the win 3-1.
In the second round the seeding still proved to be a good predictor of the results however there were three very close matches in this round. The 8th and 9th seed match brought Mason McLarney against the competitive James Ramsey in a super contest with McLarney just earning his place in the quarter final with a 14-12 win in the fifth game. Another five game battle was between two stalwarts of IOMSRA Squash, current president Les Callow and ex-chairman Peter Ferguson, resulting in Ferguson just getting the better of his older opponent 3-2. Two very promising youngsters also enjoyed a close encounter as Isaac Quayle took on Emma Leith and eventually took the win 3-2.
As the rounds progress scores tend to get tighter because players are more evenly matched. The third round saw a number of close 3-2 matches. Some notable ones were the experienced Mike Hayler beating Angus Hopkinson, Oliver Williams triumphing over Isaac Quayle, Ben Leith battling hard to get the better of Peter Baker and Richard Cretney seeing off Marc Taggart. There was also a fine performance by Liam Townsend who managed to get a 3-0 win over Harvey Douglas.
The fourth round started late meaning a very late finish around 10 pm on Tuesday. There were some super matches in this round but the best was the match up between the 2nd and 3rd seeds Pat Fitzpatrick and Jason Blue. This went all the way with Jason just clinching this attritional match 11-4 in the final game. Other noteworthy five game matches were Liam Townsend overcoming Oliver Williams and Vicky Watterson beating her new teammate Phil Butler. There were also some seeding upsets when Ben Peach, Beth Jones and Andrew Brown all triumphed over higher ranked opponents with 3-0 score-lines.
The final round of matches was played on Thursday and the evening brought us some cracking squash. The Falcons new recruit Vicky Watterson beat Misfit Stephen Pitts 3-2. Isaac Quayle had yet another 3-2 match beating Peter Baker to claim the 23rd place. Argosy Allstars teammates Dave O’Neill and Steve Morley had a great match with O’Neill coming back from 2-0 down to take the match 3-2 and claim the 15th spot. The play-off for the 7th place brought together Mason McLarney and Steve Baker, McLarney went 2-1 up but Baker levelled it at 2-2 only to see a very determined Mason take the fifth game 11-2 to win the match.
The first of the key matches in this round was a play-off for the 9th ranked player. James Ramsey and Toby Woolard took it in turns to win games but Ramsey eventually claimed the 3-2 victory. The Plate Final was between university student Liam Townsend and local ‘bobby’ Richard Cretney. Cretney got off to a good start and was 2-0 up but Townsend is a real-fighter and clawed his way back into the match to take the next three games and the plate final 3-2. The third place play-off was a real epic between Hamish Thornton and Malcolm Levy. Levy’s ‘never say die’ attitude is a real example to us all as despite being 2-0 down and looking like he had lost he dug deep and managed to come back to claim a 3-2 win.
The final was a battle between the wily and experienced Ashley Sandyford Sykes and the youthful and energetic Jason Blue. Ashley played very aggressive squash and never really gave Jason a chance to settle into the match and find a rhythm. Sykes won the final 11-4, 11-7, 11-7 to claim the title. The Manx Telecom RoseBowl was presented to the winner by the late Dave Karran’s brothers Bill and Brian. The IOMSRA would like to thank Manx Telecom and the Karran family for their continued support of this season-opening tournament.