IOMSRA League off to a Competitive Start
The Isle of Man Squash League 2018/19 started this week with two very close A league games.
Team AON began the defence of their A league title with a 162-140 points win over Cannell Print. AON's Liam Davies and Jason Crease both had 3-0 wins against older opponents Rob Colquitt and Mike Hayler respectively. Ben Peach continued his good form in last weeks tournament with a 3-0 win over Chris Cave, a player ranked well above him. The match of the night though was between Dave Karran 2018 winner Thomas Whiteway and fellow Island player Pat Fitzpatrick. This went to the full five games, Tom was 2-0 down but fought back well to win the last 3 games and clinch the victory.
Stoneart versus easyGym eventually ended 3-2 and 167-146 to easyGym. Lyndon Cheetham making a return to Stoneart continued to build on his impressive form in last weeks tournament, he is rapidly climbing the rankings and a 3-1 over Dave Hedley moved him yet higher. The closest match of the evening was a five game thriller between Steve Gaylor and easyGyms Rob Boyles, Rob just got the victory for easyGym with a 11-8 result in the 5th game.
Last seasons B league winners Island Exhausts lost their first match this season going down 4-1 to Conister Pioneers Racketeers. Ian Sheard prevented the whitewash with a good 3-0 win against Barry Irvine at fourth string. However Rob Boyles, Calum Baker, Marc Taggart and Jas Singh all enjoyed good wins to get Racketeers off to a good start.
B league new comers Crowe Dragons enjoyed a 5-0 victory over Outcasts. Mark Henson had many chances to claim victory against Steve Gaylor but early season rustiness cost him with too many unforced errors. Both Liam Davis and Nathan Quilliam took their first game before falling to 3-1 defeats to A league regulars Ben Peach and Lyndon Cheetham respectively. League newcomer Magnus Lamprecht also won 3-1 for Dragons, and captain Jon Shepherd completed the whitewash with a win over Stuart Highy at five.
The first round of matches in the C league saw the two junior teams drawn against each other, and with some of Jewel Tech‘s higher ranked players unavailable Junior Academy won 4-1. Several players made their C league debuts including Harvey Douglas at five for Junior Academy who won a spirited encounter against Rania Gomaa 3-1, and Asad Awan at four who took the only win for Jewel Tech against Ben Leith. At three Max Birchall won a very competitive match against Emma Leith 3-0. There was a pulsating encounter at two between Oliver Williams and Christian Webster with Williams eventually winning 3-2. Oliver Wait continued last season’s good form at one winning 3-0 in an entertaining game against Beth Jones.
The Hansard Racketeers tried their best to give the Island Exhausts a tough introduction to the C League, but the experience of the latter shone through as they triumphed 3-2 on Tuesday evening. Jimmy Fick, Phil Shaw and Graham Partington got the League newcomers off to a flying start before the Racketeers' number one and two, James Leith and Matt Corlett, ensured there would be no opening day whitewash as they triumphed in two evenly contested ties.
Dohle Stars had a good start to the season with a 4-1 victory over Buchanan and Pitts Misfits. Two matches went to five games but the Stars played more consistently. Special mention must go to Nick Hardacre making his IOMSRA League debut for Stars, he got off to a good start with a 3-0 win over Allan Walkingshaw at five.
The final match of the week saw Dandara Falcons gain a 5-0 win over Santander Racketeers Academy. Kale Combes made his league debut for Falcons at number four. He struggled in the first game against Charlie Beard but once he got into it he played well to take the next three games. Ian Barnes was a bit lucky against Nic Kieswetter at one as Nic played a brilliant first game, all winners and no mistakes. But after that everything was either out or into the tin giving Ian a 3-1 win.
The Photograph is of the Outcasts team.
They are Left to right -
Stuart Highy, Pat Russell, Mark Henson, Liam Davies and Nathan Quilliam