By Sean Devers
The sun produced steaming heat on the outside in the City yesterday during the morning session of day five of the team Event of the 2019 Senior CASA Championships at the Georgetown Club and both Guyana’s men and women’s teams were just as fiery on the Squash Court.
The evening session usually attracts a larger crowd which provides a fantastic atmosphere with the Tassa drummers in attendance but Guyana compensated for that when an exciting exhibition of high quality Squash.
The Men’s team blanked Trinidad & Tobago 5-0 and only lost three games with the Guyanese Women beating the Cayman Islands by a similar margin; losing just one game. The men began yesterday on the back of a 4-1 win on Wednesday over the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and continued their dominance over the ‘Fellas’ from the Twin Island Republic.
The most intense battle was between Richard Chin who turns 50 on the 11th of next month and Chayse Mc Quan, who practices with him in New York. Chin, who began his career in the inaugural Junior CASA held in St. Vincent in 1981; winning his first junior Caribbean title as a diminutive 11-year-old, by beating the Paul Cyrus in the Boys U14 category, seemed on course for an easy win after losing in the semis on Tuesday night.
After comprehensive 11-4, 11-4 wins in the first two games, Chin, who dominated Junior Squash in the 1980s, winning seven titles between 1980-’88 was on course for 3-0 win. However, the much younger Mc Quan, orchestrated remarkable fight back and pushed the experienced Chin, who first played at this level in 1984 in St Vincent.
The Trini executed some good drop shots and quickly got into place for retrievals to win the third game 11-8. With his adrenaline pumping the Trini again pressured Chin, who won his last senior Caribbean Title in 2010 at age 41 and an after a grueling game, Mc Quan won 11-8.
The contest was a five-game match but Chin summoned his vast experience to close off the decider 11-8 to take the match. National Champion Jason Ray Khalil eased his way to a 11-4, 11-6, 11-9 win over Brandon de Montrichard, Caribbean U-17 Champion Shomari Wiltshire beat Justin Sanguinette 11-4, 11-5, 11-4.
Kristian Jeffery defeated Luc Davis 11-2, 11-5, 11-4 before Deje Dais completed the sweep with a hard fought four game win over Zachary Loquan. Dais, who won by default in his match against the BVI, rebounded from a first game loss to win 9-11, 11-5,11-5,11-8.
The Women’s matches, which commenced at noon, saw a riveting battle when 36-year-old Nicolette Fernandes just off her sixth Caribbean title on Tuesday when she defeated the Caribbean number one ranked 17-year-old Meagan Best of Barbados and the 48-year-old former three times Caribbean Champion Marlene West.
The contest was an epic one for Nicolette, in her first Caribbean Tournament in six years as both players had a wealth of experience and great game awareness. At 36, Nicolette’s skill, charisma, fitness level and competitiveness make her a great advertisement for Caribbean Squash.
Both players seemed to be enjoying the contest and Nicolette dived full length and on her stomach to keep a drop shot in play and she quickly got up as West hit the ball off just out of the reach of the feisty Nicolette, her infectious smile was as broad as the Essequibo River, Guyana biggest River.
Nicolette took an 11-3 win in the opening game before the skilful lady from the Cayman Islands, registered crucial points with some well executed drives and impeccable cross Court shots before she lost 9-11. West took the third game 11-9 and Nicolette, who seemed in a very good mood, jokingly threw her Raquette to the ground. Nicolette won the fourth game 11-4 to take the match.
In the other matches, Mary Fung-a-Fat beat Jade Pitcairn 11-7, 11-6, 11-3 while Taylor Fernandes defeated Eillidh Bridgeman 11-2, 11-7, 12-10. Larrissa Wiltshire got the better of Lara Conolly 11-7, 11-5,11-3 after which Ashely Degroot capped a perfect day at the office for the Guyanese Ladies when she beat Emma Turbull 11-7, 11-5, 11-6.
Guyana’s Men got a walk over from the Cayman Islands in their evening game.
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