Squash season resumes – Again!
The IOMSRA Squash season resumed after lockdown 3 with some very competitive matches. A league title contenders Team AON and Cannell Print enjoyed what was a close match despite the 5-0 win for Cannell, with four of the encounters finishing 3-2. Cannell skipper Thom Whiteway and teammates Josh Green, Oliver Wait and James Martin all had to play five games to get their wins while Rob Colquitt dispatched Ben Leith with a scoreline of 3-0. This was a great performance by the Cannell team and really helps their title chances.
Another team in the running for the A league cup are Argosy Allstars who are currently top of the division. They restarted the season well, beating Crazy Phil Shaw Vehicles 5-0. Dave Norman, Malcolm Levy and Dave O’Neill all won in straight games. Crazies main resistance came through Mark Webster-Smith and Mike Hayler but both eventually lost 3-2 to the Allstars Paul Barnett and Mark Grace respectively.
The Sharks and Racketeers Pioneers were the two undefeated teams in the B league before lockdown, but that would have to change when they met in a top of the table clash. This was another very close match with four encounters finishing with a 3-2 scoreline. Sharks players Douglas Jacobsson, Dave O’Neill and Greg Ansara all won in five games against their opponents but their captain Dave Freer lost to Racketeer Dafydd Lewis by the same scoreline. The other result was a 3-0 win for big Alan Macnair which made the match score 4-1, 246-203 in the Sharks favour.
Winners of the Autumn B league, the Outcasts, also won 4-1 with wins for Chris Cave, Liam Davies, Mark Henson and Peter Ginty in the top four ranked positions. Ginty won in straight games whereas his higher ranked team mates all dropped a game. The only Island Tyres and Exhausts win came in the fifth string match where the keen and constantly improving Phil Butler came out on top in his five game encounter with Stuart Highy.
Argosy Junior Academy played Crowe Dragons in the third B league match. The Junior team have improved a great deal this season and Harvey Douglas and Ben Leith continued to impress with good wins for their team. Crowe Dragons top two players James Martin and Dave Hedley are both very experienced and won their matches to level the score at 2-2. The match of the evening was between two of the best ladies in the island squash community, Beth Jones and Emma Leith. Jones eventually won the final game of the 3-2 battle to secure the win and the bonus points for Dragons.
In the C league Island Exhaust Vets played Santander Racketeers Academy and were delighted to welcome back Brian Cowley to court, who after 18 months of no competitive squash clearly wanted nothing more than an extended five game match that went right to the wire. After Cowley took a two game lead over Steven Wright, the latter steadily fought his way back into the contest, eventually winning 45-44. Vets Gerrit Di Toit, Les Callow and Mark Stratford all triumphed in the middle order games. At the top of the order Peter Sharples had good chances to take some games, but Racketeer Fraser Dorling’s speed and quality of shotmaking proved decisive. In the end Vets triumphed 3-2, 240-186 on points.
Buchanan & Pitts Misfits and Falcons had a close encounter with Misfits winning 3-2 overall. Falcons wins came from captain Vusimbe Zivave in a thrilling match against Elliot Henson, and Vicky Watterson whose opponent unfortunately had to retire injured. Misfit Andy Dixon had a straightforward 3-0 win while teammate Terry Holt had to work harder in an exciting match with Sarah Simpson to earn his 3-1 win. Pat Russell finished off B&P’s team win using his cunning drop shots to outwit Lance Wyllie who had the misfortune to break a racket before going down 3-1.
The third C league fixture of the evening was yet another 3-2 match result when Chrystals Junior Academy played Outcasts Dragons. Dragons captain Darren Smethurst and his number 3 player Phil Whittam both achieved 3-0 wins. Sadly the Dragons could only field four players so the Juniors had a walkover at 5. Isle of Man Ladies players Beth Jones and Amaline Batty secured the win for the Juniors with 3-1 wins over their respective opponents, resulting in a match score of 3-2, 219-161.