Alphasoft show their hard side

Alphasoft capped off a dominant squash season by taking the A grade championships in the 2009 TeleCayman Squash Championships.

The A grade final between Alphasoft and Samson and McGrath was expected to be close, and didn’t disappoint, with the match going down to the wire. Both teams shared the top of the table for the season.

The No.2s played first. Warren Urquhart went on first for Alphasoft against Samson & McGrath’s Jackie Ridgeway.

These players had met already during the season. Although Ridgeway had beaten players a similar standard to Urquhart, she struggled with his power and volley game.

He didn’t enable her to get into her normal routine, pinning her to the back of the court and putting the ball away with aggressive volleys. Alphasoft won the first match 3-0.

This left Samson and McGrath’s Shaun Geils the difficult position of having to beat newly crowned Over 40s champion Paul Johnson without letting him win more than 16 points in total.

Beating Barrel is a tough enough task, but being required to keep his points to a small total was always going to be difficult.

In the first game both players started tentatively, with the pressure showing on Geils’ game, as he made some uncharacteristic errors while in control of the points, eventually conceding eight points in the first game.

A more controlled Geils raced out in the second game, limiting the errors from the first game and severely restricting Barrel. Samson & McGrath won it 11-3, creating a cliffhanger third game.

For Alphasoft to win they now required six points in the third game. Samson & McGrath looked like a dramatic victory was possible, with a 5-3 lead to Geils, but Barrel dug and reeled off the next three points to ensure his team’s victory. A visibly more relaxed Barrel then proceeded to win the game, and the fourth game, eventually losing in five.

In the B Grade category, Krys/EFG Bank had reached the final by an unexpected semi-final win against the season’s dominant team Admiral Administration. Their opponents were Deloitte who had caused a dramatic upset against favourites Charlie’s Angels in the previous rounds.

Deloitte went into the match as heavy underdogs, with a tough task to win. The No.2s went on first, with Deloitte’s Stu Sybersma having to win to give his team any chance of victory.

Syberma’s start was shaky, handing Krys/EFG’s Simon Cawdery some easy points, but once he got warmed up he took the first game 11-8. The match then see-sawed heavily. Cawdery took the second game reasonably comfortably, only to have Sybersma win the third easily and lose the fourth quickly, setting up for a vital fifth game.

The scores were close, but Deloitte’s Sybersma eventually pulled ahead to 10-7, creating match points. Krys/EFG’s Cawdery was able to save these, and set up his own match point at 12-11 and eventually win 18-16 in a fantastic match.

This left Deloitte’s Martin Byrne the difficult task of having to beat Krys/EFG’s Geoff Baker.

Bryne had been Deloitte’s hero in the semis, getting the team into the final singlehandedly, but his finals task was considerably harder.

Although Deloitte put up a tough fight, Baker played good squash from the first point and was able to win in straight sets, giving Kry/EFG the B grade championships

C Grade’s two top teams – Fortis and Samson & McGrath had dominated the regular season. Fortis’ Faisal Hafiz had gone unbeaten all season, while Samson & McGrath’s Dave McGrath’s only loss was to Hafiz. But the finals were dramatically changed when both teams weren’t able to play their top guns, with both Hafiz and McGrath unavailable.

The No.2s were led out by Fortis’ David Rajaratnam versus Samson & McGrath’s Adam King. Samson and McGrath won a tight first game, and then the second. In the third Fortis’ Rajaratnam rallied, and won a tough 14-12 game, but wasn’t able to take another, eventually winning in four.

This meant Fortis’ Chris Ordolis had to win his match 3-0 for his team to take the championships. James Kennedy put up a great fight, but eventually lost 11-8, 11-3, 11-8, giving Fortis the Championships.

The 2010 TeleCayman Squash League begins on 7 January, running through until May 27.