Dandara Falcons Run C League Favourites Close

The picture below is of Dandara Falcons. Back Row left to Right – Vusimbe Zivave, Fiona Baker (Captain), Ian Barnes. Front Row left to Right – Lewi Long, Jon Cox

In the A League this week EasyGym, put out their strongest team so far this season against table toppers Cannell Print. All EasyGym’s players enjoyed wins to make it a 5-0 victory for the orange Men. The stiffest resistance came at number four where Rob Boyles took four games to beat a dogged Rob Colquit.  Similarly in the top match between the islands top two players, Dave Norman affirmed his number 1 spot by beating heir apparent Thomas Whiteway 3-1. EasyGym toppled Cannell Print off the top spot in the league with this convincing 180-116 points win.

StoneArt got their first win this year over Team AON and in doing so secured the second spot in the league. On court first were StoneArt team captain Steve Baker against Jason Crease, two players who are fairly evenly matched but this time Crease was on form and won 3-1. The match at number five was between workmates Jon Shepherd and Liam Davies with Davies triumphing 3-0 for AON. StoneArt’s Jason Blue and Hamish Thornton both secured 3-0 wins at first and second string to make the match score 2-2. The deciding match between Chris Cave and Lyndon Cheetham was a tremendous match which Cheetham pulled back from 2-0 down to secure the 15 bonus points and the match win for StoneArt.

In the B League Outcasts had a good 4-1 win over the previously unbeaten Island Exhausts. There were comfortable wins for Nathan Quilliam and Liam Davies at first and second string, but the bottom three matches were much closer. Stuart Highy beat Les Callow 3-1 at number five. At three and four both the matches went to the full five games with Mark Henson winning the fifth game against Peter Sharples but Shaun Callow getting the Exhausts only win with a 3-2 victory over Outcast captain Peter Ginty. The Outcasts take the top spot in the league table off with this 249-168 points victory. 

Victory went to Crowe Dragons 4-1 in their match against Sharks, with captain David Freer winning the only game for the Sharks this week. In the other games Peter Ferguson made a successful return to competitive squash wining 3-1 against Alan McNair in a close fought match. Youth won over experience when Oliver Wait defeated Mark Stratford 3-0, while Steve Morley and Douglas Jacobsson had a very entertaining close match that Morley won 3-1. It was a similar story at one where Ben Peach beat Mark Webster-Smith in four close games.

Browne Craine Dragons underlined their C League title credentials on Tuesday evening at the NSC with a 235/187 win over Hansard Racketeers. Michelle Smith, Fatheha Essa and Richard Creer provided most of the Dragons’ fire winning their respective games at two, four and five 3-0. Team-mate Darren Smethurst was pushed a bit harder by Gary Stephenson, eventually triumphing 3-2 after five gruelling games. James Leith once again grabbed the Racketeers’ consolation, continuing his unbeaten run in the C League this season with a 3-0 win over Dragons’ Phil Whittam at the head of the order.

Buchanan & Pitts Misfits versus Junior Academy was a very close match with the result being dependent on the outcome of the five games between Andy Dixon and Oliver Williams. Before this deciding match Academy’s number 1 and elder statesman Richard Webster and their number 5 young Ben Leith had both secured good 3-0 wins. But in response to this Misfits John Watterson and Stephen Pitts won 3-1, so the stage was set for this deciding match. Andy ultimately won the deciding game 15-11, bagging the 25 bonus points which resulted in Misfits first win of 2019.

Division C contenders Dandara Falcons and Island Exhaust Vets had a very close match on Friday with the final score being 215-212 in favour of the Vets. At five Sarah Simpson made her debut for Falcons and lost in five games to Jimmy Fick. It was a similar story for the experienced Simon Jones who lost in five to Richard Cretney, who has just recently returned to league squash. Vusimbe Zivawe lost by just one point against the Vets’ John Smith, 45/44.  The Falcons, currently plagued with injury, had two debutants at one and two, Alan McNair and Stuart Highy, who both enjoyed good 3-0 wins against their respective opponents.  

Santander International Racketeers Academy chalked up their second win this year against Dohle Stars 3 games to 2. Andrew Brown and Anthony Bentley-Roberts had the match of the night at second string, taking five games to find a winner, with Bentley-Roberts taking the victory 45 to 43 points for Dohle. Nic Kieswetter, Alan Bashforth and Fraser Dorling took the wins for Santander at one, three and four respectively. 

 

 

Island Exhausts make an impressive start to the B league

The Photo below is of Jewel Tech Juniors. Back left to right are Emma Leith, Beth Jones (Captain) and Amaline Batty. Front left to right are Asad Awan and Christian Webster.

In the IOMSRA A League this week EasyGym, unable to field a full team, were beaten 3-2 by AON. EasyGym’s top two players Dave Norman and Paul Barnett won their matches, Norman beating Pat Fitzpatrick 3-1 and Barnett taking five games to overcome Robin Crease. Like his brother, Jason Crease also had a five game match, but he came out victorious for AON against Steve Morley. The other win for AON was from Mason McLarney who beat Rob Boyles 3-1, which together with the walkover at five, resulted in a points win of 171-117.

Cannell Print and Stoneart had a close fought encounter. Both Thomas Whiteway and Ashley Sandyford-Sykes took 3-0 wins over their opponents Jason Blue and Hamish Thornton. A league newcomer Josh Green gained a deserved 3-1 victory against Allister Crossley to seal the team win for Cannell Print. It was a close affair in the other two matches with Stoneart’s Steve Baker and Lyndon Cheetham taking the spoils with 3-2 wins against Mike Hayler and Ben Peach respectively.

The B league also struggled for players as Sharks were only able to field four players, giving Island Exhausts a walkover at fifth string. The four matches played were competitive, three of them going to four games, but Exhausts ran out 5-0 winners with wins for Josh Green, Dave O’Neill, James Martin and Mark Grace.

Outcasts recorded their first win of the second half of the season with a 4-1 win over Conister Racketeers Pioneers. Liam Quinn, making his debut for Outcasts, had a comfortable win at five. The closest match of the night was between Pat Russell and Andrew Brown with Russell winning 3-2. Other wins for Outcasts came from Mark Henson and Liam Davies, while Rob Boyles played well at first string to take the only win of the night for Racketeers. 

In the C League Dohle Stars and Hansard Racketeers had a close match with Hansard winning 3-2. The tightest match was at fifth string between Nick Hardacre and Daryl Richards, Hardacre taking the win for Dohle in the fifth game as Richards ran out of steam. Racketeers James Leith and Lucy Kerr both had 3-0 wins with teammate Ben Dalglish overcoming David Maddrell in four close games.

Santander International Racketeers Academy, not to be outdone by their stablemates, also won 3-2 in their match against Buchanan and Pitts Misfits. Fraser Dorling, Charlie Beard and Nick Corlett took the wins for Racketeers, with Corlett having four close games with Allan Walkingshaw at five. Andy Dixon had a close match with Andrew Brown at one with Dixon taking the win for Misfits. The other win for Misfits came from Stephen Pitts.

Island Exhaust Vets started well against Jewel Tech Juniors with a 3-0 win for Jimmy Fick over Rania Gomaa but Emma Leith levelled the score for Jewel Tech with a 3-1 win over John Smith. New recruit for Island Exhaust Vets Richard Cretney,just getting back into squash after a long lay off, played Asad Awan and although the games were close Cretney scored a 3-0 win. Lee Loughren beat Clare Townsend 3-0 at two and Les Callow had a five game battle against the ever-improving Beth Jones at one, with Callow eventually wining 3-2.This resulted in an overall 4-1 win for Island Exhausts.

Browne Craine Dragons had a good 4-1 victory over Junior Academy. Mother and son Helen and Alex Cave both had 3-0 victories for Dragons at four and five. Fatheha Essa and Ben Leith had a very close match at three with Leith just winning 15-14 in the fifth game, taking the only win for Juniors. Phil Whittam and Oliver Williams also had a five game battle at one, Whittam taking the win 15-11 in the fifth for Dragons, while Darren Smethurst completed the wins for Dragons 3-1 against Harvey Douglas. 

 

Cannell Print off to good start in A League

The Team photo is of Cannell Print. From Left to Right – Ben Peach, Mike Hayler, Thomas Whiteway (Captain), Rob Colquitt and Dave Freer.

Cannell Print got off to a good start in the post Christmas half of the season with an impressive win over last seasons A League champions AON. Both teams were at full strength which allowed Cannell Print’s top three of Thomas Whiteway, Ashley Sandyford-Sykes and Mike Hayler to all secure good 3-1 wins against their opposite numbers. Mike Hayler was particularly ruthless when he ‘bageled’ his opponent in the last game. But AON’s strength in depth was evidenced by 3-0 wins at four and five for Mason McLarney and Liam Davies.

Easygym, division A winners for the first half of the season, just managed to claim the 15 bonus points against StoneArt. With the exception of the number four string match which Steve Morley won 3-1 all the matches went to five games. For StoneArt it was Hamish Thornton and Steve Baker who won the vital points in the fifth games whereas for EasyGym it was Malcolm Levy and Dave O’Neill. Easygym won 3-2 and 177-158 points in this incredibly close and hard fought match. 

In the B league Island Exhausts made a flying start to 2019 with a 4-1 238/177 victory over Conister Pioneers. Taking the wins for a very strong Exhausts side were Dave O’Neill, James Martin, Mark Grace and Peter Sharples. Martin and Grace were the only ones to concede games as they were pushed by the Racketeers Marc Taggart and Barry Irvine respectively. Snagging their side’s only win on the night was the in-form Rob Boyles who scored an impressive 3-0 win over Josh Green at number one.

Crowe Dragons had a clean sweep in their first match with a 5-0 win over Outcasts. Steve Morley played his first match for Dragons at two and took a tough 3-1 victory over Liam Davies. Pat Russell and Magnus Lamprecht had a very close match with Lamprecht taking an early 2-0 lead only for Russell to claim the next two, taking it to a fifth game, which Lamprecht claimed for Dragons 15-12. The number one match was between Ben Peach and Nathan Quilliam, neck and neck in the rankings, resulting in another thrilling five-setter which was eventually won by Peach, completing the whitewash for Dragons. 

On the night the British government’s latest Brexit plans were voted down by the House of Commons, Island Exhausts Vets signalled their intent to break clear at the top of the C League with a resounding win over Hansard Racketeers. The reverse fixture at the start of the season had been a close affair, the Vets edging a 3-2 win. On this occasion though the third tier pacesetters claimed an impressive 4-1 (246/167) victory. James Leith secured there Racketeers’ sole win on the night, beating Graham Parrington at number one, while Matt Corlett threatened to nab a second match before succumbing to Mr Squash, Les Callow 14/15 in the fifth. The Vets’ lower order is where most of the damage was done, however, Gerrit Du Toit, Jimmy Fick and John Smith all winning in straight sets. 

Dohle Stars and Buchanan and Pitts Misfits had a close encounter, every match going to four games, and the win going to Dohle Stars 3-2 (238/194). The closest matches were at three with Stephen Pitts beating Anthony Bentley-Roberts in a tight high-scoring encounter with the win going to Misfits, and at four, where Eckhard Garbers reversed the fortunes gaining the win for Dohle over Courtney Gilardoni in four very close games. Other wins for Dohle were from Luke Tippett and Nick Hardacre, with Andy Dixon taking the second win for Misfits at one.

Dandara Falcons made a good start to the second half of the season with a 4-1 win over Santander Academy Racketeers. Liam Quinn made an impressive debut for Falcons at one with a 3-0 win over Nic Kieswetter. Two matches went to five games and in the first of these Fiona Baker and Charlie Beard had a good battle with the younger Beard just winning in the fifth taking the only win of the night for Santander. Lewi Long and Andrew Brown enjoyed a close match at second string, this time the win going to Falcons as Long had just a bit more focus to take the fifth game. Other wins for Falcons were from Simon Jones and Vusimbe Zivave.

The junior derby between Jewel Tech and Junior Academy was hard fought by all players with the lowest score of the night being an impressive 35 points! At two and five Christian Webster and Emma Leith of Jewel Tech won 3-0. Asad Awan got off to a good start at four, winning the first game against Ben Leith 15-12. However Ben kept up his fantastic ability to retrieve even the trickiest of shots throughout some very lengthy rallies, winning the match 3-1 for Academy. Leighton Ginty and Amaline Batty had a nail biting five game match with Ginty eventually taking the win for Academy 3-2. The last and deciding match of the night was at one between Beth Jones and Richard Webster in the battle of the coaches. Webster took a comfortable win in the first game then Beth fought back taking the score to 1-1. Classic super drops from Richard and increasingly more frequent pickups of these from Beth meant that the fight went on to a fifth game which finished with a 15-12 win for Beth and a 3-2 win for Jewel Tech.

 

Dave Norman crowned Elites squash champion

The Finals of the Elites and Masters Tournaments were played on Friday 11th January. The picture below shows the winners and runners up for the various categories.  The picture shows from Left to Right – Hamish Thornton (Winner Over 40s), Thomas Whiteway (Runner Up Elites),  Liam Davies, Dave Norman (Winner Elites), Steve Morley (Runner Up Over 40s), Bill Karran (Event Sponsor), Lyndon Cheetham (Runner Up Over 50s),  Dave O’Neill (Winner Over 60s), Brian Karran (Event Sponsor) and Les Callow (Runner Up Over 60s). The Overs 50s Winner was Steve Baker but he is not shown in the picture.

The annual Dave Karran Memorial Masters squash competition took place at the NSC last week. This included three age categories, over 40’s, over 50’s and over 60’s and this year a new event for the top players called the Elite was introduced.

The first round in the Elite competition saw some very close matches that went to a full five games. Calum Baker and James Martin had four very close games before Baker won  11-3 in the fifth. Jon Shepherd has rapidly improved this year and won the first two games against Steve Morley before Morley upped his game to win the next three. Allister Crossley against Douglas Jacobsson was always going to be a close match and they didn’t disappoint with Crossley eventually winning 11-7 in the fifth.

The second round of the Elite went with seeding but Hamish Thornton was made to work very hard  for his 3-1 win over a resurgent Rob Colquitt. Rob Boyles had to earn his 3-1 win over Ben Peach and Steve Baker was taken to four games by Mark Webster-Smith.

The over 40’s first round matches went to seeding although Sarah Simpson, the only female player in the tournament, took a game off Steve Morley.

In the over 50’s the match of the night was Mark Grace against Peter Ginty. Ginty won the first two very close games before Grace levelled the match 2-2. The fifth game went point for point to 7-7 before Mark pulled ahead to win 11-7. Stuart Highy had a close match with Lyndon Cheetham, Highy winning the first game but eventually losing 3-1. 

In the over 60’s round robin matches Les Callow managed to upset the seeding, coming back from two games down to win 3-2 against Peter Sharples.

In the next rounds of the Elite Hamish Thornton beat Paul Barnett 3-1 in a very close hard fought match. Josh Green, returning to squash after a very successful badminton career, was two down in his match against Calum Baker before pulling back a 3-2 win, and James Martin was made to work very hard for his 3-2 victory over Chris Cave. 

The semi-finals of the Elite saw Thom Whiteway taken all the way to five games in his match against Jason Blue. The more mature Steve Baker (also playing in the over 50’s) showed he still has the stamina to take on much younger opponents, winning 3-2 against prospective Island player Mason McLarney in a long and competitive match. 

In the over 40’s Steve Morley was made to work very hard for his 3-1 win over hard hitting Dave Freer and in the over 50’s Lyndon Cheetham beat Douglas Jacobson 3-1 in four very close games.

In the over 60’s Peter Sharples beat Brian Cowley and the ever youthful Dave O’Neill beat Les Callow.

The final rounds saw some very close competitive matches. In the Elites Rob Boyles played his best squash to beat Mason McLarney in the fifth game. Steve Morley had already played seven matches when he came up against James Martin but still played some great squash, however the younger Martin just managed to pull off a 3-2 win. Mark Webster-Smith also had to play his best to secure a 3-2 win over Calum Baker, the last game going to 13-11. Liam Davies and Douglas Jacobsson had a particularly close fourth game going to 16-14 in Davies’ favour, who then went on to win 11-7 in the fifth.

In the over 40’s final Hamish Thornton overcame Steve Morley 3-0 to become the over 40’s Masters Champion.

The final in the over 50’s was between Steve Baker and Lyndon Cheetham, who had two very competitive games initially, taking one game each. Then Cheetham’s lack of fitness began to tell and Steve won the match 3-1 to become the over 50’s Masters Champion.

In the over 60’s Les Callow had a 3-2 win over Brian Cowley and Dave O’Neil beat Pete Sharples 3-0. In this round robin tournament Dave O’Neil was undefeated and therefore was crowned over 60’s Masters Champion.

The final of the Elite was a much anticipated encounter between Island Champion Dave Norman and young Thom Whiteway.The pace of the match was tremendous and Whiteway was forced to dive round the court to keep himself in the game. Norman won the first two games but then Whiteway slowed the game down and with some lovely drop shots he won the third to keep the match alive. Dave however soon got back into his relentless hard hitting length game to win the match and become Island Elite Champion.

The Isle of Man Squash Association would like to thank Dave Karran’s brothers Bill and Brian for their continuing support over the last 24 years in sponsoring this event and as always they were on hand to present the trophies to the winning players.

ELITES and MASTERS 2019 Squash Tournament – Final Results

 

The Finals of the Elites and Masters Tournaments were played on Friday 11th January. The picture above shows the winners and runners up for the various categories.  The picture shows from Left to Right – Hamish Thornton (Winner Over 40s), Thomas Whiteway (Runner Up Elites),  Liam Davies, Dave Norman (Winner Elites), Steve Morley (Runner Up Over 40s), Bill Karran (Event Sponsor), Lyndon Cheetham (Runner Up Over 50s),  Dave O’Neill (Winner Over 60s), Brian Karran (Event Sponsor) and Les Callow (Runner Up Over 60s). The Overs 50s Winner was Steve Baker but he is not shown in the picture.

Elites final match results and final placings –

I have also attached a photograph taken just before the Elites Final was played. It shows some of the competitors –