On Monday night last week EasyGym met Cannell Print to decide who would win this seasons League A Title. These teams qualified for the final by virtue of winning the league during the Autumn block of fixtures before Christmas in the case of EasyGym and the Winter block of fixtures after Christmas in the case of Cannell Print.
The match started with EasyGym and Island number one Dave Norman taking on Island captain Thomas Whiteway. The first game went to Norman 11-8, but then Whiteway took the next game by the same score. Norman went on to win the next two games convincingly taking the match 3-1.
On the opposite court we had the youth of Cannell Print’s Oliver Wait taking on the experienced Dave Hedley. The games were all close with the players taking it in turns to win making the score 2-2, but the eventual game was 11-8 to Wait, making it 1-1 in matches.
Joshua Green was next on against EasyGym’s Rob Boyles. Green only started playing league squash this season and his improvement has been quite remarkable. He is a very accomplished badminton player whose athleticism lends itself to squash and he took the match 3-1.
EasyGym captain Paul Barnett took on Ben Peach, another vastly improved player. Barnett took this encounter in three straight games 11-8, 11-10, 11-10 with his experience really showing when it came to the vital points. So the match score became 2-2.
The final and deciding match was Cannell Print’s Mike Hayler against Malcolm Levy. Levy was in no mood for a marathon against iron-man Hayler and made full use of his shot making skills to take the match in three very quick games. In winning the encounter he ensured that the League A title for the season went to EasyGym.
The EasyGym squad is pictured above from Left to Right – Malcolm Levy, Rob Boyles, Steve Morley, Paul Barnett, Dave Hedley, Peter Ferguson and Dave Norman
The Picture below shows – Left to Right Back Row – Richard Webster (coach), Beth Jones (coach), Ellen Rumney, Harvey Douglas, Cameron Bell, Max Birchall, Isaac Quayle, Christian Webster, Ben Peach (coach). Left to Right Front Row – Cai Lewis, Kai Kieran, Ben Leith, Callum Larkin, Harrison Callow and Pat Fitzpatrick (head coach)
Eleven junior squash players from the island recently travelled to Liverpool for a coaching camp weekend with North West regional coach Andrew Breen. The weekend consisted of over six hours of coaching and a team match against a junior team from Merseyside. The IOM team had some good wins against their opponents showing how much they have improved through the Junior academy coaching here on island. It was also a worthwhile trip for the coaches who learned some fresh ideas and different aspects of coaching.
The Spring Junior ranking tournament recently held on the island saw a good entry with seventeen juniors taking part. After some competitive matches the final same down to the top two seeds, Oliver Wait and Oliver Williams. Williams started strongly with some brilliant line and length squash, taking the first game. He continued to play brilliant squash in the second game, not letting Wait get into a rhythm. Williams then had two match points but Wait produced his best squash of the final so far to save the points and take the match into a deciding game. Wait continued playing well in the final game and managed to take the match overall 2-1, although Williams pushed him all the way, producing his best squash of the season.
Overall this was a great tournament with some good squash on display. All coaches would like to thank parents and guardians for their support and making sure their children got to the event on time. If there is anyone under 19 years of age who would like to get involved in squash please contact the Junior Development Officer Patrick Fitzpatrick by email to – firstname.lastname@example.org
Isaac Quayle is IOM Squash Rackets Association POM (Player of the Month) for April 2019 with a point’s increase of 39.7%, mainly due to some very good results in the Easter Graded Squash Tournament in which he won the Grade D category. He is one of the current crop of very promising juniors.
Peter Baker was second with a point’s increase of 35.5%. Peter learnt his squash through the junior development system here on the Island and is currently continuing his sport at university where he is captain of Keele University squash team.
The third placed player is Oliver Williams, he is another junior player who has improved his game a great deal this season.
The five most improved players in April 2019 are listed below
1 Isaac Quayle – points moved from 214 to 299 = 39.7%
2 Peter Baker – points moved from 527 to 714 = 35.5%
3 Oliver Williams – points moved from 649 to 865 = 33.3%
4 Marc Taggart – points moved from 1104 to 1398 = 26.6%
5 Mark Grace – points moved from 1147 to 1407 = 22.7%.
Congratulations to the teams who won the first round of the SRA Cup. Round 2 sees four B league teams taking on four C league teams. Have a look at the graphic below for the fixtures, handicaps and the dates of the fixtures –
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 –
Winner – Thomas Whiteway
Runner Up – Jason Blue
Winner – Douglas Jacobsson
Runner Up – Mark Grace
Winner – Oliver Williams
Runner Up – Michael Fernandes
Winner – Isaac Quayle
Runner Up – Ben Leith