Day Two of the annual Toucan Industries Inc. Squash Skill Level Tournament saw some exciting matches being contested.
One of those was the clash between Victoria Arjoon and Steven Xavier, who both have experience playing at the Caribbean Championships level.
In the opening segment of the first set the two looked evenly matched, however, the more experienced Arjoon was able to maintain focus and rely on her quick hand skills hands to clinch the opening game.
In the second stanza, it was a rewind of the previous one as they both kept to their strengths, but again Arjoon managed to dig deep and take a two sets to nil lead.
Her quest to dominate proceedings seemed to take its toll on Arjoon and she started to show signs of fatigue as the much fitter Xavier begun to dictate play by staying in the rallies with his unorthodox air-borne retrieving skills that he had not revealed in the two preceding games and easily wrapped up the third.
In the fourth game, Arjoon proved to the crowd why she is the current under-15 Caribbean champion, unperturbed by her loss in the previous set, she stepped up the tempo with a second wind and strategically played some deadly shots. Even though Xavier had a bottomless well of valour, the precise technique of Arjoon squashed her opponent’s hopes as she took the set and match.
Final Result: Arjoon defeated Xavier, (14-12, 11-9, 4-11, 11-6)
The premier match of the evening was between Oliver Kear-Downes and Jason-Ray Khalil.
The two are highly skilled and experienced players who are no strangers to the Caribbean circuit as well and the first rock was thrown by Kear-Downes as he zoomed to a 6 – 3 lead in the first.
A competitive Khalil fought back to level the battlefield at 8 – 8, before the two exchanged shots which lead to a 10 -10, win by two points scenario.
Kear-Downes kept his cool as he forced Khalil to make errors which allowed him to take the first game.
In the second game, Kear-Downes showed his true skill as he outplayed Khalil with a patient, but pressuring game to create unforced errors.
The ploy worked and Kear-Downes was able to execute his shots with deadly accuracy and earn a two-nil ascendancy.
The third set saw a rejuvenated Khalil assume a dominant role, forcing Kear-Downes to attempt risky shots, resulting in him grabbing the stanza to trail 1-2.
Khalil stuck to his winning pattern which led him to assume an 8–2lead, but then the crowd were in awe as Kear-Downes battled back to 10-10.
Even though experiencing this major setback Khalil was not prepared to see his hard work dismissed so easily, he tapped into his inward energy to clinch the fourth and force the decider.
In the final game Khalil exploited his opponent’s frustrations by feeding off of Kear-Downes consistent mistakes to achieve a well earn come from behind victory.
The final result: Khalil won 12-14, 2-11, 11-8, 12-10, 11-4.
Two well known speed players Nyron Joseph and Deje Dias met where a more experienced Dias controlled the tempo by winning 11/6, 11/4, 11/8.
A cool headed Mary Fung-a-Fat put away Joven Benn 11/4, 11/5, 11/2
The top contenders of the last tournament clashed with Jason Van Dijk defeating long time friend Jonathan Antczak 6 / 11, 11/5, 11/7, 11/9
Newcomer Ricky Rodrigues was taught a lesson or two by Akeila Wiltshire, going down 2/11, 7/11, 9/11
Kristina Cheeks played one of her coaches Lee Fung-a-Fat where student was not able to get past the teacher; he kept the status quo by winning 11/4, 11/4, 11/5
A more developed Ian Mekdeci dispatched young Alex Melville 11/3, 11/4, 11/6 and Patrick Fraser defeated Alex Cheeks 11/2, 11/8, 11/9.
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