September 4, 2012
Vincies perform well at Caribbean Squash Champs

The 2012 Caribbean Squash Championships ended on August 25 at the Cascadia Club in Trinidad and Tobago, with Team OECS turning in commendable performances.{{more}}

The event featured players from eight countries — Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Guyana, Jamaica, OECS and the hosts.

There were competitions in individual and team events.

The top performers for OECS in the individual tournament were Vincentians Jules Snagg and Kevin Hannaway, both falling to Bajan Gavin Cumberbatch in the second and third rounds respectively.

Snagg went on to reach the plate finals, following wins over Bermuda’s Anthony Fellowes, Trinidadian Mandela Patrick and Jason-Ray Khalil of Guyana. In the final match, he lost in a close battle with Trinidadian Ryan Abraham 9/11, 15/13, 11/1, 5/11, 10/12, to finish in 18th place. Teammates Kevin Bailey, Shane Slater, and Jason Doyle also competed and registered numerous wins.

The OECS squad then turned its focus on the team event, with the men’s team defending their historic victory in 2011 and the veterans team hoping for an improved showing.

Despite fielding a perceived developmental team, following the absence of the top two OECS players — Joe Kneipp and Joe Chapman of BVI — the all-Vincentian team — Jules Snagg, Kevin Hannaway, Kevin Bailey, Shane Slater and Jason Doyle — exceeded expectations to make the men’s team semi-finals. The OECS men, the youngest team in the tournament, showed great promise in the pool stage, defeating Bermuda 3-2 and Venezuela 4-1 to secure a semi-final spot.

After a 0-5 loss to a strong Guyanese team to finish 2nd in pool B, the team played admirably but went down by similar 1-4 scores to Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados in the semi-finals and 3rd place play-off respectively.

Kevin Hannaway’s performances — claiming a 4-1 record in team play — at the #2 position, were the highlight, however, earning him a ranking of #13 in the Caribbean.

The veterans’ team did one better than the men’s 4th place finish, as they disposed of their Jamaican and Guyanese opponents.

Sherian Slater won her third Caribbean individual veteran’s championship — she won the 40+ in 2005 and the 50+ in 2010, going undefeated in her matches in the Women’s 50+.

She made quick work of Jamaica’s Deanne Pryce, while coming through a tough 3-1 win over Trinidad’s Sonia Carrington and a marathon 11/7, 5/11, 11/1, 10/12, 11/4 triumph over runner-up Barbadian Lynn McLeod.

James Bentick also performed well, finishing runner-up to Barbados’ Mark Sealy, after defeating players from Guyana, Trinidad and Jamaica. BVI players Neville Sorrentino and Ken Adamson took 3rd and 5th places in the Men’s 50+ and 60+ to help the team to its eventual bronze medal finish.

In the Overall Team standings, OECS finished in 5th position with 11 points, behind champions Barbados (26 pts), Trinidad (22 pts), Guyana (20 pts) and Jamaica (14 pts). Bermuda and Venezuela were 6th and 7th respectively.

The 2013 edition of the championships is set for Guyana and the OECS Squash Association said it hopes to continue its emergence as regional powerhouse in the sport.

With more participation of female players at the senior and junior level in Caribbean Area Squash Association events, the OECS aims to win many more individual and team titles in the future.