Calvin McCafferty (USA) d. Stewart St. John (BAR) 3-0 (11-9, 11-4, 11-6) – 20 mins. St. John kept things close in the first game and threatened to snatch the game at 9-8 but the tall American McCafferty kept his concentration, won the last three points of that game and never trailed again in the match.
Richard Chin (GUY/USA) d. Zachary Proverbs-Harris 3-0 (11-1, 11-5, 11-5) – 19 mins. Caribbean legend Richard Chin won his first Caribbean U-12 title representing Guyana way back in 1981 and won every age category until 1987. He has represented both Guyana and USA in squash since then, winning the coveted Caribbean men’s individual title in 2010. Chin freely confesses that he loves playing in Barbados and it showed once again as he never trailed in this first round match against the up and coming left handed 17 year old.
Mark Sealy d. Benjamin Griffith 3-2 (11-5, 13-11, 10-12, 8-11, 12-10) – 69 mins.
This match had everything and then some! Sealy is a former 8-time National Champion and has won Caribbean age group titles since then. He is a fierce competitor and had just enough left in the tank to hold off the talented left handed 18 year old Griffith, who ran down nearly every shot and returned them with interest. Except the first game, all the games were close. Griffith squandered a game ball in the second at 10-9 up then Sealy returned the favor and had a match ball at 10-9 up in the third game, only for the determined Griffith to reel off the last three points to win that stanza. Sealy appeared to have the upper hand in the fourth game, leading 7-3 and then 8-6. Griffith just kept on running and took the last five points without reply to force a fifth game. The final game was tight all the way through. Neither player led by more than a point all the way up to 10-all, but then Sealy was awarded a stroke and then played a forehand drop shot that Griffith couldn’t reach to clinch it. 3-2 to Sealy.
Jules Snagg (VIN) d. Zaki Williams 3-0 (11-2, 11-7, 11-5) – 20 mins.
No such drama in the final match on court #1. The Vincentian #1 was too good for Williams who put up a bit of a fight in the second game but faded thereafter. 3-0 to Snagg.
Laurence Green (ENG) d. Tony Mackenzie 3-0 (11-5, 11-8, 11-6) – 16 mins.
The first match on court #2 was short as the 18 year old Englishman was all business. Mackenzie threatened in the second game and got as close as 8-7 up before Green ran off 9 straight points to go 2-0 up in the match and 5-0 up in the third game which effectively ended the contest. The two players traded points after that but Mackenzie couldn’t close that five point gap. 3-0 to Green.
Josiah Griffith d. Leon Truss 3-0 (11-3, 11-6, 11-6) – 20 mins.
The reigning Caribbean U-17 champion was not unduly troubled by Truss, who has been a fixture on the Barbados Veterans team for over two decades. Truss was a late inclusion when Bryant Cumberbatch had to withdraw from the tournament with a toe injury. Griffith was too athletic and too quick and easily handled the cunning Truss’ slow lob and drop game. 3-0 to J. Griffith.
Rhett upset his eldest brother Gavin for the second time this season in a rematch of the National Championships semi-final two months ago. After taking a commanding 8-0 lead in the first game Rhett couldn’t hold on as the 5-time former National Champion, Gavin, stormed back to claim that game 12-10. Rhett restored parity in the match with an easy 11-2 second game as his dropshots started to take their toll. Gavin pushed hard to clinch the third game 11-8, but then faded from 5-all in the fourth game as Rhett again pulled back to win that 11-5 to set up an exciting fifth game which could have gone either way. 10-all, 11-all, 12-all, 13-all. Gavin had one match ball at 12-11 but couldn’t hold off his younger, fitter brother who played another stunning straight backhand drop-shot to go 14-13 up and then won the match with an unreachable wide backhand cross court winner. The brothers embraced. Nice moment. 3-2 to Rhett.
He will now play his 14-year old brother Khamal this evening for a spot in the main draw.
Rhett Cumberbatch (L) about to attack on the backhand side while Gavin Cumberbatch (R) looks to pounce on anything loose.
This evening the qualifying draw for the BTMI Barbados Squash Open concludes as follows:
CT. 1 – Laurence Green (ENG) vs. Josiah Griffith
CT. 2 – Rhett Cumberbatch vs. Khamal Cumberbatch
CT. 1 – Calvin McCafferty (USA) vs. Richard Chin (GUY)
CT. 2 – Jules Snagg (VIN) vs. Mark Sealy
The winners of these four matches will be drawn into the first round of main draw the BTMI Barbados Squash Open which will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 30th at the Barbados Squash Club, Marine Gardens.