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

IOMSRA Handicap Cup Competition for 2019 – Revised Draw

The IOMSRA Handicap Cup Competition commences on Tuesday 30th April and will climax in a final to be played on Friday 17th May. The IOMSRA Handicap Cup competition is for teams in the B and C leagues. Each team is given a Handicap which is derived from the teams results over the course of the season. Additional points are given to C league teams to make them competitive against the B league teams. The Handicap (offset values) are the numbers in brackets and will be added to each team after all the match has been completed. The full draw is shown below and it includes the dates of matches and the Handicap values to be applied –

The Cup matches will be scored like the league matches so the team score will be a determined by adding the scores of the best 3 games of each player together for the team. The scores for each team member will then be added together to give a Total Points scored for the Team. Please note the will be ‘NO BONUS’ points added to the winning team, but the difference between the teams handicap values will be added to one of the teams instead.

Please note that a player will NOT be cup tied, he can play for both his B and C league teams in the cup unless they play each other of course. If they do he must select 1 of the teams to represent.

Note – The match dates have been revised as Netball Europe competition have the use of the squash courts on the following dates :

  • Wednesday 8th May
  • Thursday 9th May
  • Friday 10th May
  • Saturday 11th May
  • Sunday 12th May

Take down will be on Monday 13th May and we anticipate the courts being available from 6.00pm for you if you need them.

Isle of Man gain vital experience and perform well in the European Team Championships – a full report

Isle of Man Squash Rackets Association sent a squad to compete in the European Team Championships from the 3rd to 6th of April in Lisbon, Portugal. The Isle of Man were in Division 3, competing against nineteen other European countries, and for the first time in ten years put forward a women’s as well as a men’s team.

The IOM Squad is pictured above. The men’s team was made up of Thomas Whiteway, Oscar Hill, Malcolm Levy and Patrick Fitzpatrick while the women’s team consisted of Beth Jones, Michelle Smith and junior Amaline Batty. None of these women have ever played international squash before so this was a great experience as well as a big challenge for them.

Arriving at the courts in Lisbon it was obvious that the matches would be a challenge due to the courts being semi open air and the temperature in single figures.

The first matches were played in a round robin format and the men’s team were drawn against Malta, Lithuania and Poland while the women had to play Norway and Luxembourg in a group of three. The Isle of Man men were first on court against Malta and although they put up a spirited fight they lost 4-0. The women then played a very strong team from Norway (who eventually finished third) and again played well but lost 3-0. The men were back in action three hours later against Lithuania and, although three of the four matches went to five games, the team lost 4-0. An early start the next morning saw the women back in action and again they played well in some very close matches but the more experienced Luxembourg team came out on top. 

Unfortunately for the Isle of Man men, Malcolm Levy had to head back home due to a family illness which left them one man short and due to play Poland the next day. After some discussion it was agreed that Team Manager Les Callow could fill in at number four for the remaining matches. 

In the men’s match against Poland the IOM number one Thomas Whiteway managed to take a game off his Polish counterpart before losing in four. Patrick Fitzpatrick and Oscar Hill had close games but lost 3-0 which then left number four Les Callow to take on the young Polish player who was 52 years his junior!  Young legs proved to be the winner but Callow had a great match and managed to get 7 points in one game. Squash is a very big sport in Poland and it was no surprise that they eventually won the tournament.

On the Friday the IOM men played Guernsey in what was the battle of the small Islands and proved to be very close. Three of the matches could have been won by either team but Guernsey proved to be the stronger on the day winning 4-0. The women played Slovenia next, coming close in every match but eventually losing 3-0. Their afternoon match was against Romania and they showed improvement again, pushing their opponents all the way with Michelle Smith taking her match to four games.

Finals day was on the Saturday and the IOM men were drawn against Belarus. Fitzpatrick and Hill both worked hard to win their matches 3-1 resulting in a 2-2 result for the men in their last match of the championships. The women’s last match was against Greece and all our women demonstrated how much they had improved over the competition with all three coming close to winning their match.

Team manager Les Callow commented “Two things stood out when you watched all the matches. One was the fact that it was so cold on court with players wrapped up in blankets waiting to play and the ball not getting hot enough to bounce and the other thing was just how much all the teams have improved.”

The Isle of Man loves playing in this event and will be back next year, hopefully much improved and with a full complement of players.

I have included some Pre Match photographs below –

IOMSRA Handicap Cup Competition for 2019

The IOMSRA Handicap Cup Competition commences on Thursday the 2nd May and will climax in a final to be played on Friday 17th May. The picture below shows last years winner Conister Racketeers Pioneers and encapsulates what it means to win the Cup Competition. The picture shows, left to right – Andrew Brown, Calum Baker, Nic Kieswetter, Rob Boyles and James Leith 

The IOMSRA Handicap Cup competition is for teams in the B and C leagues. Each team is given a Handicap which is derived from the teams results over the course of the season. Additional points are given to C league teams to make them competitive against the B league teams. The Handicaps for the teams are shown below, if you want to know how these were derived just contact me and I will send you the Excel Spreadsheet that I used to derive them.

The Cup matches will be scored like the league matches so the team score will be a determined by adding the scores of the best 3 games of each player together for the team. The scores for each team member will then be added together to give a Total Points scored for the Team. Please note the will be ‘NO BONUS’ points added to the winning team, but the difference between the teams handicap values will be added to one of the teams instead.

Please note that a player will NOT be cup tied, he can play for both his B and C league teams in the cup unless they play each other of course. If they do he must select 1 of the teams to represent.

I have yet to do the draw but the format of the draw which includes the dates of matches is shown below –