By Sean Devers
The eagerly awaited top seeds beginning their campaign on Valentine’s night (Thursday) in the Bounty Farm Ltd Handicap Squash Tournament at the Georgetown Club on Camp Street and the pulsating exhibition of Squash did not disappoint the largest turn-out of spectators present so far in cold and windy conditions.
Long rallies highlighted play in most of the matches involving the top seeded players as they fought from negative handicap scores to book places in the next round.
Number one seeded Alex Arjoon worked his way from a huge negative 22 points handicap against Ian Mekdeci, who began the game with five points to win in straight games.
But it was not as easy as it sounded as the skilful Arjune, sporting a red headband, had to score 37 points, while Mekdeci only need 10 to secure a win.
But against a quality competitor like Arjune, that was like trying to kill a hostile Lion with your bare hands and despite putting up spirited resistance an exhausted Mekdeci succumbed and lost the match 15/12, 15/11.
In the biggest gap in age, 26-old Ashley Khallil (-6) came up against the grey haired Tony Farnum who began the game needing just five points to upset the talented Khallil who dominated the first game with clinical drop shots; scoring 21 points, while Farnum failed to score any to register a 15-10.
But Khallil was short of her best form and despite her superior fitness and good use of the Court, Khallil, gave away some easy points and lost the second game 7-15.
Despite running out of gas, Farnum was able to score two points as Khallil secured a less than convincing victory 15-12.
In the encounter between Regan Pollard (-14) and the much improved youngster Samuel Ince-Carvalhal (3), the more experienced Pollard emerged victorious by a 15/14, 15/8 margin.
Ince-Carvalhal played hard, shot for shot in the first game and edged ahead early in the game, but the seasoned Pollard galloped home with 11 unanswered points to level the score at 13/13.
But although Ince-Carvalhal was on game ball at 14/13, Pollard came back to win15/14 before dominating the second game for a comfortable15-8 victory.
Dynamo Deje Dias (-10) gave a thrilling performance against Jonathan Antczak (6) in a three game battle. Antczak was on match ball in the second game, 14/8, when Dias did what he does best in almost impossible positions. Patience, determination, will and skill kicked in as he pulled out crosscourt drop shots that cleared the tin by millimetres, and trickle boasts that left Antczak and the spectators speechless. After claiming the second game, Dias came out dominant in the 3rd and despite Antczak running down many of the balls he was only able to pick up 4 points ending in a 15/10 defeat. Dias was triumphant 11/15. 15/14, 15/10.
Steven Xavier (-10) took on David Fernandes (10) in a three game victory and Ingram Edwards (8) defeated new comer Wayne Alphonso (11) in two straight games. Khalil and Damien DaSilva continued their winning streaks and advanced to the next round which was scheduled for last night.
In Category ‘A’ the contenders for the plate stepped up after previous night’s defeats to make their bid for the consolation title. Notable performances came from Louis DaSilva, Arvin Seelall, Abhinav Singh and Aishani Persaud.
Play for the both categories and the Open plate were set to continue last evening.
Ingram Edwards (8) beat Wayne Alphonso (11) 15/9, 15/7
Alex Arjoon (-22) beat Ian Mekdeci (5) 15/12, 15/11
Damien Da Silva (-6) beat Taylor Fernandes (-6) 15/6, 15/13
Ashley Khalil (-6) beat Tony Farnum (10) 15/10, 7/15, 15/12
Deje Dias (-10) beat Jonathan Antczak (6) 11/15, 15/14, 15/10
Steven Xavier (-10) beat David Fernandes (10) 11/15, 15/13, 15/11
Regan Pollard (-14) beat Samuel Ince-Carvalhal (3) 15/14, 15/8
Joshua Verwey (11) beat Beau Fernandes (11) 15/5, 15/5
Ethan Jonas (-4) beat Dhiren Persaud (11) 15/13, 15/13
Aishani Persaud (11) beat Grant Fernandes (13) 15/12, 15/6
Mohryan Baksh (-3) beat Lucas Persaud (11) 15/11, 15/11
Louis Da Silva (7) beat Kaden Pynaendy (13) 15/10, 15/10
Teija Edwards (11) beat Matthew Daby (14) 15/11, 15/8
Arvin Seelall (12) beat Abhinav Singh (14) 13/15, 15/4, 15/7
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