Teams ONE

Senior CASA 2011  06-13 Aug, South Sound Squash  Grand Cayman  

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Thu 11th, Teams Day One

Three days of team matches started at 10.00, with Men's, Women's and Vets titles up for grabs. It was always going to be hectic, but it turned out to be dramatic too as play had to be abandoned for the night after a power cut. Read on ...

Vets (6 teams, round robin):

10.00  Barbados 4-1 OECS            good start for the top seeds
          Bahamas 1-4 T&T               T&T beat 3-man Bahamas
          Jamaica 3-2 Cayman          hosts upset as Jamaica win rollercoaster
19.00   T&T 2-1 OECS
           Cayman 5-0 Bahamas        no sweat as Cayman bounce back
           Jamaica 1-2 Barbados

Men (7 teams, 2 pools)

10.00  Jamaica 3-2 Guyana            top seeds take control in Pool A
          Barbados 5-0 T&T               second seeds show no mercy
          Bermuda 0-5 Cayman          defending champs beaten
19.00  OECS 1-2 Guyana
          Barbados 1-1 Cayman
          Bermuda 1-2 T&T

Women (3 teams, round robin):

19.00  Jamaica 0-5 Barbados         favourites at a canter

Morning Session Report     Evening Session Report

Night of drama and delays at South Sound

There was drama on and off court in the evening session at South Sound Squash Club, as players were falling like flies and then the lights went out ...

The evening started with the opening ceremony as the teams paraded onto the showcourt, followed by speeches from CINSA chair Janet Sairsingh, Cayman Premier McKeeva Bush, and by minister of sport Mark Scotland who declared the event open - not forgetting a nice $15,000 donation in support of the juniors by Butterworth Bank, and the team photos.

Then it was on to round two of team matches.

Favourites Barbados made quick work of Jamaica in the first women's match, leaving Jamaica needing to beat Cayman tomorrow to deny the expected final showdown on Saturday.

Cayman's Vets
bounced back from the morning's disappointment against Jamaica with a quickfire win over under strength Bahamas, but that was as far as we got in terms of completed matches.

The matches had started at around 19.00, and there were some fiercely contested ties and a couple of injury timeouts.

Then, at around 9.15 the lights went out
- the power cut affected the whole of South Sound apparently, and a decision was taken to abandon the evening's play shortly before ten.

Here's the state of play in the unfinished matches ...

Barbados' Vets lead Jamaica 2-1, in a match which was delayed by an injury break at 5-all in the fifth in the women's 40+ encounter. Kristina Evelyn had a neck problem, got some treatment but lost on the resumption as Barbados took the advantage.

T&T Vets lead OECS 2-1 in a match that was played out on court four, which has very limited viewing so that's all the info we have, I'm afraid!

In the Men's matches T&T lead Bermuda 2-1. Micah Franklin kept Bermuda in the hunt with a lengthy 3/0 win over Kale Wilson which was thoroughly enjoyed by his teammates.

Guyana lead OECS (that's the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States) 2-1. Poor old Richard Chin, after playing Chris Binnie twice in just over 12 hours, tonight he had to take on former world number ten Joe Kneipp, who despite claiming to be just making up the numbers, looked pretty good as he beat the individual finalist 3/0.

Which takes us to Cayman against Barbados. "Don't you just love Caribbean squash," a few people asked during this match. Passionate, noisy, committed, controversial, dramatic and damn good fun ... oh yes, we like it a lot.

Cayman took the lead at number five (didn't see it), then Rhett Cumberbatch and Jake Kelly played out a storming match which went down to the wire. In the fifth Jake played some superb touch shots, as he can, and some daft attempted winners, as he does, and it was Rhett who edged it 11/9 for Barbados, but not without a lot of shouting from both sides, and a few arguments and finger-pointing at some decisions - within the crowd, nothing to do with the players.

So, tempers were already way above lukewarm when the number ones took to the court, Cayman's Cameron Stafford and Barbados's man mountain Shawn Simpson, who had sat out the individual event to give himself more time to recover from an injury.

Shawn took the first, but Cameron picked up his game in the second, was getting marginally the better of things, especially in the numerous counter-drop exchanges they traded in the front right corner.

Then Shawn went towards a Cameron drop in the front left, some sort of collision occurred and Shawn catapulted backwards and went flat on the floor.

His ankle was the problem, and after being helped off court he started getting treatment on it.

At first the decision came down that he had three minutes recovery time, later (and correctly, it definitely wasn't self inflicted) extended to an hour.

Starting the next match seemed the logical thing, but that's apparently not allowed in the local rules, so there we were, all waiting for Shawn to decide whether he would be able to play at the allotted time, when phutt ......... down went the lights.

The rest you know ... after about half an hour of darkness with the conditions getting muggier by the minute,  the call came to abandon the day's play.

So, it's a 9am start in the morning to finish the four matches in progress, and the 10am session has been pushed back to 1pm. Some lucky souls will then play their third match of the day in the 6pm session, and after that we'll know the finalists.

Simple really ... see you in the morning.

Morning: Mixed start for Cayman,
Jamaica avoid Guyana bananaskin ...

The first round of team matches saw a number of routine wins, and a pair of 'upsets' involving the hosts Cayman Islands.

Technical Upset

Cayman's men's team started well, beating defending champions Bermuda, who admittedly have a weaker side this year, but still a 5-0 win for the sixth seeds over the third seeds is notable.

Having said that, it wasn't unexpected, since the rules dictate that teams can only move up or down a maximum of two places from last year's finish, so Bermuda with a weaker team went down to three, Cayman with a much stronger team than the one that finished bottom last year moved up to six ... but everyone knew what was likely to happen so this goes down as a 'technical' upset.

"We all played pretty well actually," said Bermuda number one Micah Franklin, "but they're a very strong team."

Jamaica vets progress

Jamaica's 3-2 win over Cayman in the Vets was the real thing though, as four beat two, all the matches finishing 3-0 with Jamaica winning the first, third and fifth on court.

"Janet [Sairsingh W40+] played well to keep us in the match," said Cayman skipper John Macrury [M50+], "and Frank [Brennan M40+] nearly pulled the third game back which might have made a difference.

John went on to make it all square, but in the decider Douglas Beckford [M60+]was too strong for Ian Patrick as Jamaica sealed the match.

"They're a strong team," concluded Macrurie," they'll go far."

Guyana fall just short

Meanwhile Chris Binnie repeated his win individual final win over Richard Chin, 3/1 again, as top seeds Jamaica - who didn't compete last year - took on Guyana.

Fifth-seeded Guyana still took the match to a decider though, in which Jamaica's Bruce Burrowes squeezed past Alex Arjoon 16/14 in the fourth!

The opening ceremony is at 17.30 tonight, with the second round of team matches starting at 19.00 ...

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Teams ONE

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