Sandyford Sykes Sees off Opposition to win Manx Telecom Dave Karran Memorial Tournament 2020

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.


Ashley Sandyford Sykes sees off opposition to win the Manx Telecom Dave Karran Memorial tournament 2020

Ashley Sandyford Sykes sees off opposition to win the Manx Telecom Dave Karran Memorial tournament 2020

The IOMSRA season opening tournament the ‘Manx Telecom Dave Karran Memorial Tournament 2020’ took place from Monday 7th to Thursday 10th September at the NSC. A full report will be published in the near future but for now here are some photographs from the finals night. The prize winners are pictured with Bill and Brian Karran the brothers of the late Dave Karran who have supported the Tournament for many years. Also pictured is Steve Baker the tournament organiser. 

Winner – Ashely Sandyford Sykes 

Runner up – Jason Blue 

Third Place – Hamish Thornton 

Plate Winner – Liam Townsend

Plate Runner Up – Richard Cretney

A group photo of some of the tournament competitors

The IOMSRA would like to thank Manx Telecom and the Karran brothers for their long and continued support of the tournament. 

Draw for the Dave Karran Memorial Manx Telecom Tournament 2020 

Draw for the Dave Karran Memorial Manx Telecom Tournament 2020 

I have completed the draw for the Dave Karran Memorial Manx Telecom Tournament 2020. The full draw can be seen at the URL Link below –

The plan is to play round 1 followed by round 2 on Monday 7th September. Then on Tuesday 8th September we will play round 3 followed by round 4. The final round will be played on Thursday 10th September. Play will start at 6pm each night and finish ASAP depending on the length of matches. 

You will see on the draw (accessed via the above URL) that beneath the competitors there is a match number, after the match number the figure shows the time that the match is scheduled for. 

For each round we will work our way up from the bottom of the draw, so matches 16, 15, 14 and 13 are all scheduled for 6pm on the Monday night. 

Make every effort to be at the NSC about 15 minutes before your match is due to start.   

The picture below is of last years tournament Winner ‘Thom Whiteway’ being awarded the trophy by Brian Karran. Sadly he is unable to defend his title this year so the will be a different name on the Trophy this year.    


Dave Karran Memorial Manx Telecom Tournament – now closed to new entrants. 

Dave Karran Memorial Manx Telecom Tournament – now closed to new entrants. 

We have received 32 entries for the Dave Karran Memorial Manx Telecom Squash Tournament so it is now closed to new entries. If you still want to enter you will be added to a list of reserves and if a player drops out you will be given the opportunity to take his/her place.

I will do the tournament draw over the weekend and publish details on Sunday. The list of entrants along with their IOMSRA Ranking and Seeding for the tournament can be found on the PDF below, it can be downloaded. 

DK Entries with Rank and Seed

I have also attached an image of the entrants, it can be seen below –   

Whiteway, Baker, Cretney and Leith Win Summer Graded Tournament

Whiteway, Baker, Cretney and Leith Win Summer Graded Tournament

The IOMSRA Squash 2019-2020 season finished with the Summer Graded Tournament, a rebranded Easter Graded Tournament delayed due to COVID 19. Usually this end of season tournament is well supported and this year was no exception. 

There were 36 entrants who were placed in groups with players of similar ability. The top 8 ranked players were drawn in the Grade A event, players ranked 9 to 16 contested the Grade B grouping, for these ranked 17 to 24 it was Grade C, the D grade had the next 8 ranked players and the remaining four played each other in a mini Grade E competition. 

Father and son combination of James and Ben Leith were the top two seeds in the Grade D event. It went according to seeding in the first round but in the semi-final round Isaac Quayle beat James to set up a final with Ben. This final round of matches also brought together two good female players, ex-island champion Vicky Watterson (who has recently returned back to the island) and Edinburgh University and current island player Hannah Dixon. Hannah just triumphed 11-8 in the fifth game to take the match 3-2. The final was an all junior affair with Ben Leith beating Isaac Quayle 3-2 in a good tight match.      

There were a couple of upsets in the first round of the Grade C competition when Liam Townsend and Peter Baker got the better of their higher seeded opponents Peter Ginty and Mark Grace respectively. The closest first round match was a really good contest in which Richard Cretney only just managed to beat Julien Uzzell taking the fifth game 14-12. The next round saw top seed Magnus Lamprecht only just get the better of Liam in their 3-2 encounter. The final between Magnus and Richard was another 3-2 duel but this time Richard got the upper hand and managed to claim the Grade C prize money.  

In the grade B event Calum Baker and Toby Woolard were the top two seeds. Calum was pushed all the way in his first round match against Oliver Williams only just scraping through 3-2. Another noteworthy match was Alan Macnair against his former pupil Oliver Wait, this time Oliver was teaching the lesson in his 3-1 win. The second round went according to seeding as did the final round, which brought together Calum and Toby. Calum is very strong in the deep backhand corner and his accuracy here was the difference between the players and contributed to his 3-1 victory.   

In the grade A event the first round went according to seeding but the  second round brought one minor upset. Steve Baker seeded at 6 met Ben Peach the seventh seed. Although Steve took a good 2-0 lead Ben showed real fight and battled back to take the next three and beat his higher ranked opponent. In the final round Pat Fitzpatrick beat Malcolm Levy, seeded one place above him, 3-0. The best squash of the whole tournament was witnessed by a good sized crowd when A grade number 1 seed, the experienced Ashley Sandyford-Sykes took on the number 2 seed Thom Whiteway. This crowd watched some tremendous squash as these two talented players battled it out over five games with Thom eventually taking the victors spoils over a very tired Ashley.