Outcasts and Island Exhaust Vets remain favourites for Titles

Outcasts and Island Exhaust Vets remain favourites for Titles

Due to the Coronavirus crisis only six matches from Week 18 of the IOMSRA Squash league for 2019-2020 were played before all future matches were postponed. This leaves the A league with six matches to be played, the B league with another six matches and the C league with five matches required to complete the season. 

In the B league Crowe Dragons secured maximum points against a weak Island Tyres and Exhausts team. Dave Hedley, Beth Jones and Brian Crellin all secured 3-0 wins for the Dragons. The Exhausts’ Stephen Pitts took a game off Dragons captain Darren Smethurst before losing 3-1. The closest match of the evening was between James Martin and Shaun Wyllie. Wyllie took the first 2 games 15-12 and 15-13 but a resurgent Martin come back to take the next 3 games with scores of 10,10 and 8 against him. Last seasons champions Crowe Dragons took the match 250-143 and still have slim hopes of retaining their title.

League leaders Outcasts  dropped only 8 points in their 4-1 win over Racketeers Pioneers. There were comfortable 3-0 wins for Mark Henson and Angus Hopkinson. Both Liam Davies and Toby Woolard were made to work a bit harder, both winning 3-1 with respective opponents Marc Taggart and Joe Burrows. Dafydd Lewis took the only win for the Racketeers winning 3-0 against Nathan Quilliam. Outcasts remain favourites to win the title.

Derivco Sharks are only 21 points behind the Outcasts team so are really pushing them for the top spot. They beat Junior Academy 4-1 in matches and 237-185 in points. Ben Peach took the only Juniors win 3-1 over James Ramsey. The Sharks, without their leader Dave Freer, had 3-1 wins through Dave O’Neill, Alan Macnair and Greg Ansara. The only player not to lose a game was Shark Baillie Watterson. The Outcasts play the Sharks in the next round of matches and the winner of that encounter could be the league winner.

In the C league there was a close match between the two leading teams when last seasons champions Island Exhaust Vets met Outcast Dragons. For the Dragons Andy McLarney and Darren Smethurst both won 3-1. However the Vets levelled things up through identical wins by Richard Cretney and captain Ian Sheard. Richard had a particularly close match against Liam Townsend, (who was making his debut for the Dragons) with only 3 points separating the players. With the scoreline at 2-2 it was Merseyside Over 65s player Les Callow who beat IOM Ladies player Michelle Smith in three close games to bag the 25 winning bonus points for the Vets.

The Hansard Racketeers’ topsy turvy’ season continued with a maximum points win over enthusiastic newcomers PwC Playables. A walkover at fifth string helped the former third-tier champions on their way before Gary Stephenson, Matt Corlett, the returning Lucy Kerr and Mark Harrop sealed the victory for their side. Andy O’Neill secured PwC’s only game of the night as he edged past Harrop 15/14 in the first game of their encounter at second string.

The other C league match finished in a 3-2 victory for Buchanan & Pitts Misfits over Dohle Stars. Dohle Stars had 3-0 wins courtesy of number one player Angus Hopkinson and the dependable Harry Douthwaite. Misfit Stephen Pitts beat Chris Nash in a five game battle where Pitts lost the first 2 games by scores of 15-14 but eventually took control to win the last 3 games. Fellow Misift Jay Dernie beat Brett Dean 3-1 to make the match score 2-2. Sadly Dohle Stars have had major injury problems this season and had to concede the fifth string game and with it the match.

Sadly as mentioned above, all IOMSRA Squash league matches have been postponed due to the Coronavirus. Hopefully the matches will be rearranged for future dates when social gatherings and sport become the norm again.

Racketeers Pioneers Team.  Back Row Left to Right – Barry Irvine, Joe Burrows and Marc Taggart (Captain).  Front Row Left to Right – Dafydd Lewis and James Leith.

 

Cannell Print secure win to keep their title hopes alive

Cannell Print secure win to keep their title hopes alive

The A League saw a real “Generation game” as StoneArt with four of its five players in the over 45 category played against Cannell Print, a young team boasting four under 30 players.The youngsters had two 3-0 victories through Ben Peach and Josh Green and further 3-2 victory for Rob Colquitt.  Lyndon Cheetham beat Oliver Wait in five games to take one of Stoneart’s wins while their other win came after Thom Whiteway the Cannell skipper slipped and damaged his hamstring so sadly had to concede his match. The overall score was 149-126 in points to Cannell Print.

Crazies are beginning to produce some good form just towards the end of the season. At the time of writing the score in their match with Team AON is finely balanced at 2-2 with the deciding match yet to be played. AON’s Pat  Fitzpatrick still has to play Crazy captain Ashley Sandyford-Sykes as their match was postponed due to the poor quality of the courts. AON secured two 3-0 victories through Robin and Jason Crease while Crazies players James Ramsey and Adam Corcoran both fought hard to get 3-2 victories.

In the B league the Racketeers Pioneers bounced back from two successive defeats to beat Island Exhausts 4-1, 237/153. Barry Irvine, James Leith and Marc Taggart claimed fairly straightforward victories for the victors, before Joe Burrows continued his recent sparkling form with a hard-fought win over Shaun Wyllie at number two. Exhausts’ skipper Steve Baker prevented the whitewash with a 3-1 victory over Daf Lewis in the delayed clash between the sides’ respective number ones.

Derivco Sharks kept alive their title hopes in a very close fought match with Crowe Dragons, last seasons champions. Three of the matches went to five games with the Sharks James Ramsey, Alan McNair and Mark Stratford winning their final games to take the wins. Greg Ansara was the other Sharks winner with a 3-1 result. Dragons Dave Hedley got the better of his MCC teammate Dave O’Neill to ensure the match wasn’t a complete rout.

A strong Outcasts team beat the Junior Academy team 4-1 to keep their position at the top of the table. Toby Woolard, Liam Davies, Angus Hopkinson and Peter Ginty  all secured 3-0 wins over their much younger opponents. Christian Webster put up the stiffest resistance gaining 38 points in his three games against Davies. The only Juniors win came through Ben Peach who beat Nathan Quilliam 3-1 in a very close match. The overall result was 245-153 in points to the Outcasts. 

In the C league Junior Academy C took on Hansard Racketeers with some of Racketeers’ players showing the effects of a long season. At one Leighton Ginty for Academy maintained his good form with a convincing 3-0 win over Matt Corlett, while at two Max Birchall’s greater mobility told on Mark Harrop to win the game 3-1 for Academy. The solitary success of the match for Racketeers was an extremely close 3-2 win for Gary Stephenson over Amaline Batty with Stephenson taking the match on the last point of the fifth game to win 15-14. At four Asad Awan registered a comfortable 3-0 win over Daryl Richards while at five Calum Larkin continues to show great progress winning his game 3-0 against Andy Dalrymple to finish the night 4-1 for Academy.

Buchanan & Pitts Misfits beat PwC Playables 5-0 without dropping a game. The Playables are new to league squash and are definitely getting better whereas the Misfits have been playing league squash for about five years now and their experience was evident on the night. Chloe Corrigan, the Playables captain, got the most points with 34 of the Playables 110 total points. A special mention must also go to Elliot Henson who had a successful league debut for the Misfits.

Sadly Dohle Stars have really struggled with injuries and availability this season so had to concede three matches to Outcasts Dragons. Of the matches played Angus Hopkinson had a convincing 3-0 win over Dragons skipper Darren Smethurst while in the second string match Harry Douthwaite had a very close match with Brian Crellin losing 3-1 but each game was very close. The good number of points from this match keeps the Dragons title hopes alive.

Santander Academy Racketeers lost 3-2 to the Falcons but the match was close as seen in the 213/189 points result before the bonus points were added. Highlights from the night were Racketeers Charlie Beard continuing his impressive form with a 3-1 victory over Jon Cox at third string, and both the top seed matches going to five games each. Fraser Dorling won 45-44 for Racketeers against Julien Uzzell at first string while Greg Ansara claimed the win for Falcons by the same margin at second string against Andrew Brown.

Cannell Print Team are pictured above.  From Left to Right – Rob Colquitt, Josh Green, Oliver Wait, Ben Peach and Thomas Whiteway (Captain)   

Buchanan and Pitts Misfits Triumph over Outcasts Dragons

Buchanan & Pitts Misfits Triumph Over Outcast Dragons

In the A league StoneArt continue their losing streak as since Christmas they have been on the wrong side of lots of 3-2 results, this week seeing yet another. Though they went down 3-2 in games they won 142/135 in points thanks mainly to Crazies having to concede the fifth string match. Three of the results were 3-0 with Crazies players Ashley Sandyford-Sykes and James Ramsey taking two matches and Hamish Thornton taking a clear win for StoneArt. The one match that went to four games was Allister Crossley against Steve Baker where Crossley played very well to win the match in four close games.

Team AON had a complete match walkover as Mid-Court Crisis were unable to field a team this week. This gift of 180 points will really help AON towards retaining their title.

Derivco Sharks stoked up their B League title ambitions with a 4-1, 235/175 victory over Racketeers Pioneers last week. Sharks, fielding one of their strongest line ups of the season, got off to a good start when Alan McNair overcame Andy Brown 3-1 at fifth string. Skipper Dave Freer soon doubled his side’s lead with a 3-0 win over Fraser Dorling at four. Sharks on-loan Racketeer Baillie Watterson showed his usual team-mates what they were missing with a 3-1 triumph over James Leith before Dave O’Neill beat Marc Taggart at two. Racketeers’ Dafydd Lewis prevented the whitewash with a 3-0 success over James Ramsey at number one.

Outcasts kept their title hopes well and truly alive with their 3-2, 237/158 victory over Island Tyres and Exhausts. Exhausts victories were in the in top two positions courtesy of Steve Baker and Shaun Wyllie. Baker was particularly lucky as he was 2-1 down in games when his opponent Toby Woolard experienced a very severe attack of cramp and had to concede the match. Wyllie has had a break from squash due to a hamstring injury, but his 3-0 victory shows he has benefitted from the break and is continuing to climb up the rankings. The Outcasts really do have a strong squad and they secured convincing 3-0 wins at 3, 4 and 5 through Peter Ginty, Mark Henson and Pat Russell.

Junior Academy made it three wins in a row with a 3-2, 218/182 win over Crowe Dragons. Junior Academy player Ben Leith beat his academy coach and mentor Beth Jones 3-1 and Christian Webster beat Dragons boss Darren Smethurst 3-0. The Dragons enjoyed 3-0 successes through the rapidly improving Richard Cretney and Doctor Dave Hedley. This left the number one players Ben Peach and James Martin to decide the overall winner. Peach took this match 15-7, 15-11 and 15-14 to seal the win for Juniors.

Island Exhausts Vets took another big step toward the C League title with a 232/192 win over Hansard Racketeers. The latter did the best to reinvigorate the race for the third-tier’s silverware by fielding one of their strongest line ups of the campaign. However, Joe Burrows’s victory over Ian Sheard was the only win the former champions took on the night despite some gritty performances across the board. Baillie Watterson nearly snagged a second win for the Racketeers at number one before being pipped in five by the league leaders’ ever-improving Richard Cretney. Mark Stratford, Gerrit Du Toit and Lee Loughren secured the other victories for Sheard’s charges winning their respective encounters in four competitive games.

The match between Buchanan & Pitts Misfits and Outcasts Dragons turned out to be a cracker with the potential winning team see-sawing as each individual game was completed! Of the 21 games played there were 5 which resulted in 15-14 score-lines. The penultimate game was one of those with Mark Henson taking control against Darren Smethurst who was hurling himself around the court to make numerous incredible return shots until finally succumbing to Mark’s power shots. In winning this match 3-2 and 217-206 the Misfits made it 3 wins out of 5 games.

It was a disappointing night for some Falcons players who arrived to find no opponents to play. Dohle Stars have had terrible problems with injury and availability this season and this match was no exception as they only managed to field two players on the night. Angus Hopkinson played very well for Dohle Stars to beat Tom Blythe 3-1 and Jon Cox against Harry Douthwaite was a five game thriller in which Cox just managed to get the win for Falcons 15-13 in the fifth game. Unfortunately Vusimbe Zivave, Greg Ansara and Sarah Simpson all had walk overs but used the court time for some friendly games.

Santander Racketeers Academy secured what felt like a rare victory 5-0 in the C League against PWC Playables, with the Racketeers lesser spotted Nic Kieswetter returning to action and Joe Butler taking his first League victory. Playables captain Chloe Corrigan played well at three to take Alan Bashforth to four closely contested games.

The Team above is Buchanan & Pitts Misfits. Left to Right – Stephen Pitts, Andy Dixon (Captain), John Watterson, Mark Henson and Terry Holt    

PwC Playables becoming more able players in Division C, as they adjust to competitive squash

PwC Playables becoming more able players in Division C, as they adjust to competitive squash  

In the A league Team AON remain undefeated in 2020 after their win over Cannell Print. AON’s Jason Crease beat Ben Peach in three very close games with the points share of 33-28 showing just how close the match was. Fraser Dorling, making his A league debut for Cannell, lost 3-0 to Liam Davies  but picked up 18 points for his new team. Robin Crease used all his experience to beat Joshua Green 3-1 in four very close games. Cannell’s wins came through Thomas Whiteway and Oliver Wait who both beat their opponents 3-2 in very hard fought matches.

The second A league match was a close run one with Mid-Court-Crisis (MCC) coming out on top against the Crazies 147/140. MCC won at first and second string with Malcolm Levy and Paul Barnett beating Mike Hayler and Mark Webster-Smith respectively.  The Crazies then levelled the score taking the third and fifth string matches through James Ramsey and Baillie Watterson. Dave O’Neil secured the win for MCC with a great come-back from 2-0 down to take the match 3-2.

Outcasts maintained their Division B lead by beating Crowe Dragons 4-1. Mark Henson and Nathan Quilliam had comfortable wins over Brian Crellin and Dave Hedley. Angus Hopkinson made his debut for Outcasts with a 3-0 win over Julian Uzzell. The closest match of the night saw Peter Ginty coming back from 1-2 down to beat Richard Cretney 3-2. Beth Jones continued her recent good form beating Stuart Highy 3-0 to take the Dragons only match of the night.

A severely weakened Island Tyres & Exhausts did their best to contain a strong Derivco Sharks team but with little to show for it in the scores, Although many of the games were closer than the scores might suggest there were 3-0 wins for the four lower ranked players. Exhausts number one Magnus Lamprecht offered the most resistance by taking a game off James Ramsey. Worthy of a mention is the fact that Phil Butler made his IOMSRA league debut for the Exhausts.

Junior Academy’s impressive debut season in the B League continued with a 3-2, 202/197 victory over Racketeers Pioneers. Pat Fitzpatrick’s precocious youngsters gained the all-important wins at first, fourth and fifth strings. The more experienced Ben Peach halted Dafydd Lewis’s good recent run at number one, while Christian Webster overcame James Leith at number four. Isaac Quayle wrapped up the bonus points for his side when he battled back from 2-1 down to beat Barry Irvine in five at five. Picking up the Racketeers wins were the in-form Joe Burrows and skipper Marc Taggart.

In the C league Junior Academy C’s match against Santander Academy Racketeers was a very competitive affair. At five Calum Larkin’s greater experience of squash showed against Joe Butler, taking the match 3-0. At four Asad Awan was matched against his friend Charlie Beard, but Beard’s greater consistency won through taking the match 3-0. Junior Amaline Batty took on Steven Wright at three in a closely contested match with Batty just gaining the upper hand to win the tie 3-2. At second string Fraser Dorling won an excellent game for Racketeers against Leighton Ginty but then Emma Leith gave a very astute performance to defeat Andy Brown 3-0 to take the overall match for the Junior Academy.

Hansard Racketeers won their first match this year with a 4-1 victory over Dohle Stars. Matt Corlett had three very close games with Antony Bentley-Roberts just getting the money points to take the match 3-0. Mark Harrop was blown away in his first game with Harry Douthwaite but eventually found his feet to take the next three and the match 3-1. The first string match was between two players currently ranked in the top 50 so there was some quality squash on show with Joe Burrows continuing his fine form to beat new Dohle player Angus Hopkinson 3-1. Chris Nash beat Racketeers founder and legend Andy Dalrymple to get Dohle’s only game.

The PwC Playables are becoming more competitive with each match, however they were defeated by Falcons 5-0. The highlight of the match for the Playables came when captain Chloe Corrigan started off strong taking the first game against Jon Cox comfortably by the score of 15-9, however she couldn’t maintain her good form and lost the next three games. The overall score was 250-85 in points. 

Buchanan & Pitts Misfits proved the best competition yet to Island Exhausts Vets just losing 2-3 in a very competitive fixture. Phil Shaw and Richard Cretney won for Vets at fifth and second string respectively. John Watterson won his match 3-0 for Misfits at fourth string while teammate Terry Holt had to work harder for his win against Les Callow. The match of the night was undoubtedly the two Marks at number one where, after being powered off the court by Mark Henson in the first ,Mark Stratford got himself in front with some excellent positional shots frequently hitting both back corners with some accurate, precise shot-making. He just managed to keep his nerve in the final game to make the final result 3-2 to the Vets.

PwC Playables. From left to right – Sam Mitchell, Chloe Corrigan (captain), Kunal Patel, Tom Bielech and Andy O’Neill

Crazies capitalise on Cannell casualties

Crazies Capitalise on Cannell Casualties

The 3-2 result of the A league match between Crazies and Cannell Print was not a true reflection of Cannell’s abilities but actually due to them being so short of players that the last two strings were walkover matches. In the matches that were played Adam Corcoran just pipped Rob Colquitt 15/13 in the fifth to take the win for the Crazies. The other two wins went to Cannell with Ben Peach just proving too strong for James Ramsey whilst Thomas Whiteway took a 3-0 victory against Mike Hayler.

Mid Court Crisis (MCC) got their first win of 2020 when they defeated StoneArt 3-2 with the three Dave’s – Norman, Hedley and O’Neill all getting the wins for MCC. The closet match was between MCC’s Paul Barnett and Hamish Thornton with Thornton getting the win 3-2. Young Ben Leith made his debut for MCC and did well to take a game off the much taller and stronger Alan McNair.

In the B league the Sharks won a closely contested match 3-2 to close the gap on the B League leaders Outcasts. The game of the night was the battle between the number ones with Outcast Nathan Quilliam coming out the 3-2 winner against James Ramsay by just snatching the fifth game 15/14 in an entertaining match with consistently good squash from both players. Mark Stratford beat Stuart Highy 3-0 and Baillie Watterson beat Peter Ginty by 3-1 to put Sharks ahead in the match before Alan McNair secured the victory for Sharks with a close 3-2 win against Mark Henson. Toby Woolard played well for Outcasts to beat Dave Freer 3-1 in the final match.

Racketeers Pioneers had to fight hard to get a 4-1 victory over Crowe Dragons with three of the matches finishing 3-2 in the Racketeers’ favour. Dafydd Lewis, Marc Taggart and Fraser Dorling were the Racketeers 3-2 victors. Joe Burrows, who is improving all the time and is playing up for the Racketeers B league team regularly now, beat the Dragons captain 3-0. The resistance from the Dragons came courtesy of a 3-1 win by Richard Cretney. 

Junior Academy took on a depleted Island Tyres & Exhausts team which had drafted in four C League players. Leighton Ginty made his B League debut for Junior Academy at five winning an entertaining and competitive match against Fatheha Essa 3-0. Oliver Williams and Christian Webster at third and fourth string for Academy registered convincing 3-0 wins against Terry Holt and Stephen Pitts respectively. The match of the evening at second string featured Harvey Douglas against squash doyen Les Callow. The first three games were closely contested until a change in tactics by the younger player led to a quick finish in the fourth game and a 3-1 win for the Academy player. The final match was between the number ones Ben Peach and Magnus Lamprecht with Peach winning 3-0 to complete a clean sweep for Academy.

C league team Outcasts Dragons beat Falcons 5-0 but the matches were all so close there was only a fourteen point difference before the 25 bonus points were added. Falcons one and two Julien Uzzell and Lewi Long both took their respective opponents Brian Crellin and Stuart Highy to five games. Falcons Captain Vusimbe Zivave lost 3-1 to Fatheha Essa but only separated by three points and Jon Cox lost to Andy McLarney 3-2 but with only one point in it.

Buchanan and Pitts Misfits bagged a good 4-1 win over Hansard Racketeers last week. Confusion over start times meant that only four matches were played in the end, Misfits triumphing 3-1 in these to bag the 25 bonus points. Andy Dixon, Stephen Pitts and John Watterson were the victors on the night for the Misfits while Joe Burrows continued his recent imperious form to claim the Racketeers’ sole victory of the night at number one.

Santander Academy Racketeers lost 5-0 to Island Exhausts Vets. Racketeers Fraser Dorling had the stand out match of the evening, taking Mark Stratford to five games and only dropping three points. Peter Sharples, Les Callow, Lee Loughren and Phil Shaw all got 3-0 wins for the Vets but Racketeers Charlie Beard and Steven Wright put up stiff resistance getting to 13 points in three of the games. The Vets are still undefeated with 999 points out of a possible 1000 from their first four matches which could lead some to wonder if they are playing in the wrong league.

The Junior Academy C league team beat Dohle Stars 220-160 in points. Leighton Ginty, Amaline Batty and Callum Larkin all got 3-0 wins. Asad Awan had a good 3-2 battle with Chris Nash only just taking the win for the Juniors 15-9 in the fifth game. Dohle Stars only winner was Angus Hopkinson who was making his debut for the team and restricted Beth Jones to just 14 points in his 3-0 victory over her.

Team Crazies – Back Row – left to right – Mike Hayler, Ashley Sandyford-Sykes (Captain) and Mark Webster-Smith. Front Row – left to right – Dave Freer, James Ramsey and Adam Corcoran. Note – Allister Crossley also plays for the team but was off island when the photo was taken.