Cayman’s best squash players were in action last week in some of the best domestic matches ever seen on the Island.
The CML South Sound Squash Club Championships was held at the South Sound Squash Club from 16-25 November. Presented by CML Offshore Recruitment with Premier Wines and Spirits and the Cayman MAC Store, the tournament consisted of a four-day junior event followed by the championship event. With over 75 entries, there were many memorable, fantastic matches and the club was alive with energy every evening making for a great 10 days of squash.
For the first four days the junior event consisted of a girls under 13 and 15 and under 19 and boys under 13 and 15 and under 17 divisions. In the girls side the under 13s and 15s held a round robin event with four contenders; Nina Foster, Ally Artuch, Kali MacLean and Marley McCoy. The championship went to Foster with Artuch as runner-up and McCoy receiving best under 13 finisher.
The girls under 19 event only had two entrants, Eilidh Bridgeman and Lara Conolly. This match was a great example of how these two players have improved over the past year with Eilidh taking the title 3-1.
Of the boys, the under 13 and 15 consisted of nine entrants who played a triple-knockout event with Matthew Belefonte defeating Zoey Robinson 3-1. Best under 13 finisher went to Gyles Luke. Other players who competed all deserve a mention; Liam Thompson, Tsin Zan Graham, Will Roberts, Nathan Maclean, Christian Dube, Jason Sairsingh.
The last junior event was the highly-anticipated under 17 boys. Although Julian Jervis was favoured to win, this draw contained close rivals Cody Stafford, Daniel Murphy and Sean Murphy. Heading into the semi-finals it was Sean to play against Jervis and Daniel taking on Stafford. Jervis took out Sean, however the battle then remained between Daniel and Stafford as they went back and forth in a very exciting match, with Daniel winning in the fifth.
The finals and third and fourth playoffs were just as exciting. In the playoffs, Sean played Cody, however Cody did to Sean what Daniel did to Cody the night before and beat him 3-2 in the fifth.
Jervis had to step it up a notch to overcome Daniel, but not without fight. In the end, Jervis took the match and the prize, winning 3-1. Other players who competed in the under 17 boys were; Jonathan Walmsley, Sam Whitney, Edward Baker and Paul Foster.
The Women’s B event consisted of Barlo Maclean, Denise Gower, Sharon Whitmore, Chinki de Alwis-Seneviratne, Julie Corsetti, Delia Slater, Lara and Sheena Conolly. In the semi-finals, the four contenders were Corsetti taking on Slater and Conolly against Whitmore. Corsetti and Whitmore came out strong won both matches placing them into the anticipated final. Both good friends, they put their game faces on for four great games. Corsetti won 3-1.
In the Women’s A event included Alison Strobridge, Jackie Geils, Chantelle Day, Marian Goodall, Eilidh Bridgeman, Kristina Myren and Janet Sairsingh. Once again the semi-finals presented two fantastic matches. Both matches going four games, Geils defeated Day followed by Strobrige taking out Sairsingh. Moving into the final match it appeared Geils was going to defeat Strobrige easily after taking a quick 2-0 lead. However with Alison’s strategic play and Jackie struggling with illness the two friends battled it out with Strobrige taking the title in five games.
In the men’s B side of the draw had 19 entries. It proved to be a great fight of some fantastic squash. Entered in the men’s B was Stefan Breitenlechner, Faisal Hafiz, Richard Reading, Chris Bailey (CML Offshore Recruitment), Marc Kish, Sean Murphy, Daniel Murphy, Edward Baker, Daniel MacLean, Robert Woods, Zoey Robinson, Matthew Belefonte, Sam Whitney, Jonathan Walmsley, Djon Brown, Geoff Cuff, Mike Cansell, Alan Wight and Stephen Gilbert.
So many super matches, the semi-finals were no exception. Daniel MacLean taking on Mike Cansell and even though a 3-0 win to Cansell, this match had some strong rallies. In the other semi-final was the promising junior Daniel Murphy against Stephen Gilbert.
Gilbert, a new member to the squash club, surprised many and this match became an epic battle with Murphy taking it to five games. This lead to the finals and two tired bodies with Cansell and Murphy lunging all over the court pushing each rally to extreme. In the end it was Murphy who came through in yet another five set match.
The men’s A with another strong draw of 18 players with Fernando Beckles, Julian Jervis, Jake Kelly, Jody Jervis, Brad Stephenson, Frank Brennan, Ken Moore, Gabe Rabess, Jeff Danter, Cody Stafford, Paul Johnson (Cayman MAC Store), Matthew Wight, Neil Waddell and Myron Blair in it. The semi-finals saw Rabess taking on Brennan and Kelly against Blair. Although some great rallies, Rabess took out Brennan 3-0, however the other semi was a close match with Kelly just squeaking it out 3-2 against Blair. Although some tremendous rallies, Kelly proved too strong and took out Gabe in the final 3-0.
The last but very entertaining events and this was the doubles. With 12 teams who some had never playing doubles before, the action never stopped. Team pairing was;
The first semi-final was Frank Brennan and Neil Waddell taking on Eilidh Bridgeman and Julian Jervis. Although intimidating, Bridgeman didn’t take any grief from Brennan on the right wall and held her own for the better part of the match.
Just a little too strong, Brennan and Waddell over-powered the junior duo and won 3-1. The other semi was one of the longest matches of the week with the Murphy brothers taking on the Wight brothers. Lasting one hour and 20 minutes, it was a marathon with the Wights winning 3-2. This left the final, which wasn’t quite as great but still exciting with Brennan and Waddell defeating the Matthew and Alan Wight 3-0.
As a fundraiser for the Cayman Cancer Society, the Squash Prostate Cancer Doubles Exhibition went on with the pros. Mark Chaloner, highest doubles ranking world No.1 with Glenn Stark, Cayman Islands National Coach against Dean Watson, SSSC Squash pro for eight years with Gabe Rabess. They sported their MOs and Movember t-shirts for an excited crowd. The rallies, reflexes, speed, and banter of the players was awesome as they wowed the crowd with long, fun and sometimes hilarious rallies.
Club manager Amanda Stark said: “A big thank you to CML Offshore Recruitment, Premier Wines and Spirits, the Cayman MAC Store and the Cayman Islands Cancer Society for their support and encouragement of the CML South Sound Squash Championships and Squash Prostate Cancer.”