July 31, 2009
Vincies lead OECS boys to bronze medal at Caribbean Squash Championship

The 27th Annual Caribbean Junior Squash Championships concluded on July 19th in Barbados, where future stars from Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Guyana, Jamaica, OECS and Trinidad and Tobago convened to showcase their talent.{{more}}

Among those players were 8 Vincentians who competed in the tournament as part of the OECS team. In the individual event, 2008 Boys Under 15 Champion Kevin Hannaway pulled out an outstanding performance to finish 2nd in the Boys Under 17 age group. En route to the final, the 4th seeded Hannaway was forced to battle through 5-game marathons against compatriot Jules Snagg and #2 seed Kale Wilson (TRI) to set up a showdown with Bermuda’s #3 seed Micah Franklin. Hannaway was unable to repeat his 2008 success, however, falling 11/4, 11/6, 11/6. Vincentians Jason Doyle, Demi Ollivierre and Giana Alexander also found reasonable success in the Under 13 division, advancing to the quarterfinals.

The team portion of the event followed, with the Vincentians joining players from St. Lucia and the British Virgin Islands as part of the OECS squad. In the Girls team event, the OECS found the goings tough, with only Ollivierre able to register wins for the team in 1-4 losses to Trinidad and Tobago and Bermuda in the pool stage.

In the final pool match, the trio of Sherina Slater (Under 19 #1), Kalina Browne (Under 19 #2) and Zoe Sorrentino (Under 17) were unable to earn the single win needed in a 2-3 loss to Cayman Islands (Ollivierre and Erika Sorrentino won by default). It would only get tougher in the final match, as the OECS fell 0-5 to hosts Barbados to finish 7th. The Boys team also seemed doomed, as they were forced to play without their 2 best players – individual finalists Hannaway and Chapman. Due to unforeseen circumstances, Chapman was unable to compete in the team event, while Hannaway was only able to compete in the first pool match (a 3-2 win over Cayman Islands). Despite the setback, the supporting cast of Jason Doyle (Under 13), Stefan Joseph (Under 15), Romario Constance (Under 17), Jules Snagg (Under 19 #1) and Jon-Henri Sweeney (Under 19 #2) pulled together and turned in a remarkable performance for the first-ever podium finish for an OECS Junior team.

Following tough 1-4 losses against the top 2 teams – Guyana and Trinidad (with wins coming from Stefan Joseph and Jules Snagg respectively), the team triumphed 3-2 over Bermuda in the 3rd place play-off. In the decider, 11-year old Jason Doyle put in another excellent performance (in addition to his 3-0 revenge win over McCallum in the OECS-Cayman Islands match) to win 11/8, 11/5, 11/6 over Kion Knights and claim the bronze medal for OECS. In the Overall Team Standings, OECS tied with Jamaica (Girls 3rd and Boys 7th) for 4th place with 8 points. The team hopes to build on its success in 2010, when the championships will be held in the Cayman Islands.