August 3, 2012
Silver Medals for OECS Squash Boys at Caribbean Champs

At the close of the 2012 Caribbean Junior Squash Championships, the boys-only OECS team turned in impressive performances, emerging with a trio of 2nd place finishes in various events.{{more}}

The tournament ran from July 20 to 26, with players competing in various age groups in both individual and team competition. The championships began with the individual event, with Vincentians Kai Bentick (Under 13), Jason Doyle (Under 15), Kevin Hannaway and Romario Constance (both Under 19) competing for glory in their respective age groups. All 4 players reached the quarter-final stage, with Constance going down 2/11, 2/11, 5/11 to 3rd seed Jason-Ray Khalil (Guyana) and Bentick coming up short in a close encounter (11/9, 11/7, 5/11, 10/12, 8/11) with Bajan Rithew Saywack.

Seeded #2 and #1 in their respective divisions, Doyle and Hannaway duly claimed their spots in the finals. Neither player dropped a single game en route and came up against familiar opponents from previous tournaments. In one of the most thrilling matches of the tournament, Doyle came agonizingly close to victory, eventually losing to Cayman’s #1 seed Julian Jervis 11/13, 12/10, 8/11, 11/6, 9/11. Meanwhile, Hannaway came up short against long-time rival Noah Browne (Bermuda) for the Boys Under 19 title. With both players competing in their last Caribbean Junior Championship, the match was keenly contested with Browne prevailing 6/11, 11/9, 11/8, 11/3.

Following the individual event, the Vincentians joined Rory Thornton and Stefan Joseph to challenge for the Boys Team Title. Seeking to emulate the historic performance of the OECS Men’s Team in 2011 (the first-ever Caribbean team title for the OECS), the 3rd seeded Boys team looked in good form in the Pool stage. The boys secured their semi-final spot with a 3-2 win over Cayman Islands and a 4-1 routing of Barbados. Going a step further, they topped the pool with a 3-2 upset win over #2 seed and defending champs Guyana. With expected wins from Doyle (Under 15) and Hannaway (Under 19 #1), 10-year-old Kai Bentick sealed the deal with a crucial 11/7, 11/7, 9/11, 11/7 triumph over Shomari Wiltshire, reversing a tough 5-set loss in the consolation rounds of the individual tournament.

In the semi-final against Trinidad and Tobago, the team was dominant, quickly going up 4 matches to 0, following wins from Jason Doyle, Stefan Joseph, Kevin Hannaway and Kai Bentick. T&T claimed the “dead rubber” match to end the score at 1-4 to OECS. In the final match, the team faced an uphill task against top seeds Bermuda. Boasting 3 finalists (2 of them being winners), the Bermudans made easy progress to the championship match. Unfortunately, the OECS boys were unable to stop the juggernauts, eventually going down by a score of 1-4. Despite the loss, the players were rightfully pleased by their performance and will be aiming to continue the success of OECS teams in the future. The OECS Squash Association wishes to thank major sponsors the National Lotteries Authority and Deloitte, without whom this success would not be possible.