Barbados sweep CASA titles to end Guyana’s dominance

first_imgIT was a disappointing day for the Guyana squash fraternity as the juniors conceded the Junior Caribbean Area Squash Association (CASA) Championships team title, ending their more than decade long monopoly, after Barbados blindsided the longstanding winners on their home turf yesterday when the competition concluded at the Georgetown Club.Boys’ under-15 champion, Shomari Wiltshire was Guyana’s only silver lining of the day with his stress-free 11-2,11-2,11-1 win over Darien Benn, during the afternoon session.However, by that time the win was of no consequence as Guyana’s dismal fate had already been sealed; the point of no return touching down after Barbados closed off their 5 – 0 victory against the girls earlier during the morning session.It was nothing but loud celebrations in the Bajan camp as Barbados lifted the towering team trophy for the first time in 12 years; not just winning, but doing so in fine style after claiming both the girls’ and boys’ team titles.“This is just a combination of all that has been happening over the years. What has been happening is that for the last three or four years we’ve been building and each year we’ve been getting better and winning more and more titles,” explained Barbados team coach Marlon White.“We weren’t taking anything for granted. As the days went on we realised that the players were confident and we went out trying to get the job done as good as we can and I guess it worked for us.”Guyana ends in second place at this year’s Junior CASAThings were already looking bleak for the Guyana side going into the final day of competition, after they started off the day being a match behind Barbados. The “Land of Many Waters” would’ve needed to claim seven of their ten matches for the team win, but with the Barbados team boasting six title champions, it proved to be too much for the Guyanese.The general consensus for Guyana’s loss was that Barbados just had the better team this year.Guyana team coach Carl Ince believes it may have been a matter of complacency, and the local side may have just gotten a little too comfortable winning without changing up the strategy“If you’re winning all the time, you’re doing the same thing all the time [it won’t always work], ” Ince commented.“Barbados deserves to win; they were better prepared. It’s obvious that they spent more time on court than our players did. They’ve gone on camps, they’ve done their solo work.You could tell that by just looking at the way they hold their racket and swing it, and now we’re going to have to do all those things if we hope to get it [the team title] back.”Guyana’s Makeda Harding was the first victim when Barbados began their onslaught on the home team. Harding fell in yet another match against Jada Smith-Padmore; going out 9 – 11, 6 – 11, 5 – 11.Amanda Haywood then destroyed Rebecca Low 11 – 3, 11 – 7, 11 – 5.But the upset of the day was achieved by girls’ under 17 champion, Megan Best, as she overwhelmed girls’ under 19 champion, Guyana’s Taylor Fernandes; taking just three games to do so, ending with a 11 – 5, 11- 4, 11 – 1 victory margin. From there it was just about over for the Guyana side, since Barbadian young powerhouses Sumaira Suleman and Chelsie Samuel were still to make their appearance.Suleman had already crushed Guyana’s Kirsten Gomes in the girls under 13 finals, so it was just a matter of formality as she disposed of Gomes again 11 – 2, 11 – 4, 11 – 1. Samuel’s 11 – 6, 11 – 9, 12 – 10 win against Abosaide Cadogan gave a clean sweep to the “Land of the Flying Fish”.The boys division was not much prettier for Guyana. Boys’ under -17 champion Khamal Cumberbatch quickly sent Daniel Islam packing; collecting a 11 – 2, 11 – 5, 11 – 4 win.Reginald Brewster avenged his earlier lost to Alexander Cheeks in a tight five set play-out. The score ending at 11 – 5, 11 – 7, 11 – 13, 6 – 11, 11 – 6.Another rematch was played out between Joshua Griffith and Benjamin Mekdeci, with Griffith maintaining his dominance (14 – 12, 11 – 8, 11 – 6). Michael Alphonso suffered Guyana’s final lost. Even after taking the first game 13 – 11, he went down 7 – 11, 8 – 11, 5 – 11 against Alex Stewart.last_img

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