At the end of Match Day 7 the semi-final places were confirmed in the Barbados Squash Rackets Association’s Inter-Club League.
At the Barbados Squash Club the team in second place, the Pleasant Place Strikers, lost by two matches to three to the Bombers and slipped to fourth place in the standings. Strikers’ captain and the island’s best player for the last six years, Gavin Cumberbatch, easily defeated Nigel Griffith 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 lost by default to Mickey Armstrong to set the Bombers on the road to victory. Carla Jackson (3-1) and Nick Paddison (3-0) at #4 and at #5 consolidated the Bombers victory with comfortable wins over Strikers Michael Best and Adrian Auguste respectively.
Final result: Bombers 12 points, Strikers 6 points.
On court #1 the Bouncers slid to defeat against the Battalion B team by two matches to three. The Bouncers won at #1 when Andy Gill dispatched John Cumberbatch and at #2 when Roger Martin won his first match of the season by defeating Philip Lewis 3-1. For the Battalion B team the schoolboy siblings, Nkosi and Liu Ross, continued their fine form this season by defeating Mylon Wason and David Lewis 3-0 and 3-1 respectively. Both brothers are contenders for the MVP title this season in their respective positions on the team and 14 year old Liu is yet to be beaten in the ICL after seven matches. The Battalion B victory was completed by Bertram Butcher, who easily defeated Carolyn Last-Johnson in straight games.
Final result: Bouncers 7 points, Battalion B 13 points.
At Pleasant Place, the Strugglers defeated the front runners, the Blasters by three matches to two but could not amass sufficient points to challenge for a semi-final spot. The Strugglers #1 Shawn Simpson comfortably defeated Karen Meakins 3-0 as did Tim O’Neal against Craig Archer at #2 and Sylvester Nurse at #4 against Ashok Merai. The Blasters Cliff Nolan at #3 outlasted Bo Harris 3-2 in a thrilling encounter that lasted 55 minutes and then at #5 Ronald Watson defeated Cilla Seale 3-0 to clinch the vital three points that ensured that the Blasters moved into the semi-final round with a 5:2 win to loss record as the top team in the league.
Final result: Pleasant Place Strugglers 14 points, Blasters 6 points.
At the Barbados Defense Force the defending champions Battalion A’s title defense came to an ignominious conclusion with another comprehensive loss at home, this time to the Boasters by one match to four. For the Boasters at #1, Mark Sealy rolled back the years with a vintage 3-1 victory over Marlon White while at #2 Jason Small completed his seventh straight win with a 3-1 victory over Don Benn. The Boasters’ #3 Jerry Hutchinson then came back from 0-2 down to defeat Alex McDonald in five games while at #4 the Battalion A once again did themselves no favours by not fielding a player thereby handing an easy default victory to Jasper Seymour. The Battalion #5 David Goodman defeated schoolboy Jonathan O’Dowd 3-1 to close out the tie with a consolation win, but the home team had to rue missed opportunities earlier in the season which left the ICL champions of 2003 and 2005 holding the wooden spoon in this year’s competition.
Final result: Battalion A 6 points, Boasters: 16 points.
The ICL standings after Match day 7 are given in the spreadsheet below. The Blasters top the points table with 87 points and will face the PP Strikers in one of the two semi-finals to be played next week Wednesday, March 15th. The Strikers dropped two places to fourth on 76 points. The Boasters, who moved up one place to finish second on 84 points will face third place Battalion B who finished with 78 points. The Strugglers finished strongly on 70 points to place fifth, while Bombers (6th) and Bouncers (7th) both finished with 64 points, but the Bombers won the head to head encounter. The once mighty Battalion A finished in the cellar position on 63 points.
Inter-Club League Table – Day 7 (Excel format) – file no. 1