The top two teams in the Barbados Squash Rackets Association’s Inter-Club League standings met head on last night and the second placed Pleasant Place Strikers came away with a close 3-2 victory over the previously unbeaten Blasters as action continued on ICL Match Day 6.
At the Barbados Squash Club the front runners, the Blasters, lost by two matches to three to the Pleasant Place Strikers. Strikers’ captain and the island’s best player for the last six years, Gavin Cumberbatch, easily defeated Karen Meakins 3-0 at #1, while Cheri-Ann Parris at #3 dispatched Richard Taylor by a similar scoreline. The critical match was at #2 where Andre Donawa of the Strikers came back from 0-2 down to defeat Craig Archer in five exciting games. Consolation victories for the Blasters were at #4 and at #5 where Ashok Merai and Ronald Watson both won 3-0 over Michael Best and Adrian Auguste respectively.
Final result: Blasters 8 points, Strikers 12 points.
On court #2 the Boasters comprehensively defeated the Bombers by four matches to one. The Boasters won the matches played at #1 string through #4 with Mark Sealy, Jason Small, Jerry Hutchinson and Jasper Seymour all winning comfortably over Nigel Griffith, Alex Garcia, Allan Marshall and Carla Jackson respectively. The Bombers finally got on the board at #5 when Nick Paddison defeated Jonathan O’Dowd in straight games.
Final result: Boasters 15 points, Bombers 4 points.
At Pleasant Place, the Strugglers fought hard but went down by two matches to three to the Battalion B team in a tie that could have gone either way. The Strugglers were quickly 2-0 up in the tie when Shawn Simpson and Tim O’Neal both easily vanquished John Cumberbatch and Philip Lewis (3-0) and (3-1) respectively. Battalion B shot back into contention by managing to win the next two matches, at #3 and #4, both by a 3-2 scoreline. First Nkosi Ross defeated his cousin Bo Harris, then Liu Ross continued his fine unbeaten run by overcoming Sylvester Nurse in five games. The deciding match was not close as Bertram Butcher overran Cilla Seale 3-0 to the delight of the away team fans.
Final result: Pleasant Place Strugglers 10 points, Battalion B 13 points.
At the Barbados Defense Force the defending champions Battalion A team won 3-2 in matches, but by not a wide enough points margin over the Bouncers. For the Battalion A team #2 Don Benn defeated Roger Martin 3-1, #3 Alex McDonald defeated Mylon Wason 3-0 and #5 David Goodman defeated Caroyn Last-Johnson 3-0. But the home team shot themselves in the foot by not fielding players at the #1 or #4 spots, thus allowing the Bouncers’ Andy Gill and David Lewis two easy wins by default. Due to this tactical blunder the Battalion A team now face the very real possibility of not even making it into the semi-final round this year after being the dominant team in the ICL over the past four seasons.
Final result: Battalion A 10 points, Bouncers: 7 points.
The ICL standings after Match day 6 are given in the spreadsheet below. The Blasters are still on top the points table with 81 points, the PP Strikers are second on 70 points with Boasters third on 68 points with the Battalion B three points back in fourth on 65. The next three teams are all within striking distance of fourth place (Battalion A & Bouncers, 57 points each; Strugglers 56 points) and all eight teams still have a mathematical chance of making it to the knockout semi-final round which will be played on March 15th.
Inter-Club League Table – Day 6 (corrected) – file no. 1