Little Gylla becomes youngest ever Junior National Squash Champion!

Sagicor General Junior Nationals 2010 – Group Photo

The group photo (above) shows all the trophy winners. Back row (L to R): Roger Spencer (Sagicor General); Johann Haywood; Zoe Lisk; Michael Cox; Craig Archer (BSRA President); Stewart St. John; Jonathan O?Dowd; Moishe Steinbok; Matthew Mackenzie. Front row (L to R): Danny Chesham; Kieran Hermansson; Amanda Haywood; Gylla Mackenzie; Zaki Williams; Khamal Cumberbatch; Meagan Best; Rithew Saywack.

When the curtain fell on the 30th annual Sagicor General Junior National Squash Championships the name of Gylla Mackenzie was on everyone?s lips when she become the youngest ever winner of the Girls Under-19 national squash title at the age of only 12 years and 10 months. After easily claiming her third straight GU-13 national title, by defeating little Amanda Haywood in three straight games, Mackenzie ? who is also ranked at #2 in the Caribbean in the GU-13 age group ? turned her attention to the GU-19 title that had been won five straight times since 2005 by Cheri-Ann Parris, who turned 19 last year and is no longer eligible to compete as a junior player. In the GU-19 final Mackenzie faced 17 year old Zoe Lisk who was in her third straight GU-19 final. After these two players split the first two games the bubbly pre-teenager then swept to victory by utilizing excellent serves and precise shot placement to run away with an emphatic victory in four games 11-5, 8-11, 11-2, 11-2. The youngest previous winner of the GU-19 crown was former local squash queen, Natalie Small (nee Webber) way back in 1982 when she was just 13 years old.

In the other age group competitions, Amanda Haywood defeated a plucky Meagan Best for the GU-11 title in straight games while the Boy?s U-19 title was claimed by Jonathan O?Dowd who played unbeaten in the round robin competition. Gylla?s older brother, Matthew Mackenzie, also played unbeaten in the Boy?s U-17 age group with the final encounter between him and Moishe Steinbok being one of the matches of the tournament. Steinbok, who also placed second in the boy?s under-19 age group, won the first two games with steady play as Mackenzie seemed to be a bit lethargic on court and made the majority of the errors. After making the appropriate adjustments to his game after the end of the second game, however, Mackenzie?s winner to error ratio dramatically improved and he never looked back, winning in five games 5-11, 4-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-3 in impressive fashion. The top seed, Stewart St. John duly claimed the Open U-15 title by defeating Gylla Mackenzie in four games in the final. Earlier in the tournament Gylla, who had been allowed along with two other girls to enter another age group to give them extra competition due to the small number of girls who entered this year, had caused two upsets by overcoming two older boys in the quarter-finals and the semi-finals! Danny Chesham duly won his second straight U-13 title without dropping a game while Khamal Cumberbatch at age 8 won his first National title, the boy?s Under-11 competition, also without dropping a game while playing his four matches. In doing so Khamal becoming the fourth brother from the Cumberbatch family to claim a National age group title, following in the illustrious footsteps of older siblings, Gavin, Rhett and Bryant.

Full results from Day 2 are given below. Prizes were presented by Sagicor Assistant Vice President ? Marketing, Mr. Roger Spencer.

Results ? Junior Nationals Day 2

Jonathan O’Dowd def. Liu Ross (3-0) 11-6, 11-8, 11-6
Jonathan O’Dowd def. Matthew Mackenzie (3-1) 11-7, 11-9, 11-13, 11-6
Moishe Steinbok def. Liu Ross (3-2) 12-10, 11-6, 9-11, 4-11, 11-6
BU-17 Final
Matthew Mackenzie def. Moishe Steinbok (3-2) 5-11, 4-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-3
BU-17 3rd Place
Stewart St. John def. Zaki Williams (3-1) 11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 11-6
U-15 Final
Stewart St. John def. Gylla Mackenzie (3-1) 11-9, 11-7, 10-12, 11-4
U-15 3rd Place
Johann Haywood def. Michael Cox (3-0) 11-6, 11-7, 11-7
U-15 Semi-Finals
Stewart St. John def. Johann Haywood (3-2) 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 10-12, 11-8
Gylla Mackenzie def. Michael Cox (3-0) 12-10, 11-4, 11-8
U-15 Plate Final
Zaki Williams def. Danny Chesham (3-1) 11-7, 11-6, 7-11, 11-8
U-15 Plate 1st Rd.
Zaki Williams def. Kieran Hermansson (3-0) 11-1, 11-7, 11-6
Danny Chesham def. Richard Perkins (3-0) 11-7, 11-8, 11-5
Danny Chesham def. Kieran Hermansson (3-0) 11-7, 11-7, 11-2
Amanda Haywood def. Kieran Hermansson (3-1) 6-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-5
Khamal Cumberbatch def. Rithew Saywack (3-0) 11-9, 11-7, 11-6
Khamal Cumberbatch def. Ishan Persaud (3-0) 11-6, 13-11, 11-7
Rithew Saywack def. Nicolas Small (3-0) 11-7, 11-2, 11-3
Meagan Best def. Ishan Persaud (3-2) 8-11, 9-11, 13-11, 12-10, 11-7
Nicolas Small def. Ishan Persaud by default

GU-19 Final
Gylla Mackenzie def. Zoe Lisk (3-1) 11-5, 8-11, 11-2, 11-2
GU-13 Final
Gylla Mackenzie def. Amanda Haywood (3-0) 11-3, 11-7, 11-8
GU-11 Final
Amanda Haywood def. Meagan Best (3-0) 11-0, 11-6, 11-3

Final Standings:
BU-19: 1st ? Jonathan O?Dowd; 2nd ? Moishe Steinbok; 3rd ? Matthew Mackenzie; 4th ? Liu Ross.
BU-17: 1st ? Matthew Mackenzie; 2nd ? Moishe Steinbok; 3rd ? Stewart St. John; 4th ? Zaki Williams.
Open U-15: 1st ? Stewart St. John; 2nd ? Gylla Mackenzie; 3rd ? Johann Haywood; 4th ? Michael Cox.
U-15 Plate: 1st ? Zaki Williams; 2nd ? Danny Chesham.
Open U-13: 1st ? Danny Chesham; 2nd ? Amanda Haywood; 3rd ? Kieran Hermansson.
Open U-11: 1st ? Khamal Cumberbatch; 2nd ? Rithew Saywack; 3rd ? Meagan Best; 4th ? Nicolas Small.

GU-19: 1st ? Gylla Mackenzie; 2nd ? Zoe Lisk.
GU-13: 1st ? Gylla Mackenzie; 2nd ? Amanda Haywood.
GU-11: 1st ? Amanda Haywood; 2nd ? Meagan Best.

Richard Walcott Sportmanship Trophy ? Khamal Cumberbatch.
Most Improved Award ? Meagan Best.
Most Promising Award ? Amanda Haywood.