Cameron Stafford came up just short of a regional title.
Stafford, 22, advanced to the finals of the 22nd Senior Caribbean Squash Championships in Barbados. He would lose to reigning four-time champion Christopher Binnie of Jamaica, 11-9, 11-7, 11-8 on Monday at the Barbados Squash Club. A semifinalist at last year’s event, Stafford had four victories – dropping only two games along the way – after a first-round bye.
Stafford had wins over Barbadian Andrew Stout, 11-4, 11-3, 12-10; Jamaican Ashante Smith, 11-6, 12-10, 11-2; Alex Arjoon of Guyana, 11-6, 11-8, 4-11, 11-4 and countryman Sunil Seth 10-12, 11-6, 11-9, 11-8, who is ranked 136th in the world.
Joining Stafford in Barbados were Caymanian players Eilidh Bridgeman, Lara Conolly, Marian Goodall, Julian Jervis, Isaiah Robinson and Jasun Sairsingh. Bridgeman beat Johanna Augustus of Trinidad and Tobago, 11-6, 11-3, 11-5, and Barbadian Alex Jordan 9-11, 11-9, 12-10, 7-11, 11-7, before losing to Guyanese Ashley De Groot 9-11, 12-14, 6-11, in the quarterfinals. Jervis also made it to the quarters, beating Bermudan Chris Stout, 11-9, 8-11, 11-3, 11-6, Jamaican Dane Schwier, 11-3, 13-11, 9-11, 11-8, before losing to Guyanese Richard Chin, 10-12, 4-11, 4-11.
Conolly beat Trinidadian Alexandria Yearwood 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8, before losing to Guyanese Victoria Arjoon, 11-9, 10-12, 3-11, 5-11, in round two. Goodall lost to Guyanese Akeila Wiltshire, 3-11, 7-11, 4-11 in round one. Robinson lost to James Bentick of St. Vincent, 1-11, 3-11, 2-11, and Sairsingh lost to Vincentian Romario Constance, 2-11, 8-11, 4-11, in the first round.
For Stafford, Bridgeman and Jervis, the Barbados tournament comes after competing in Glasgow, Scotland at the XX Commonwealth Games. All spoke favorably of their Scotland experience.
“I loved Glasgow, especially my favorite part – which was walking with team Cayman into Celtic Park,” Stafford said. “One of my dreams was to walk into a football stadium and another tick off the bucket list was seeing Rod Stewart live, one of my favorite singers, a global icon. You don’t get that every day, so it was a very enjoyable experience. Seeing the people and the crowd was amazing, over 80,000 people, so it was nervous going in there.”