IOMSRA Report Week 21 - Browne Craine Dragons win forces C-League Final
This week saw the final two matches of the C league to decide the winner of the Post-Christmas half of the season, with two teams in with a chance of winning and forcing a C league Final match against the Pre-Christmas winners.
Dohle Stars enjoyed a really good match against Buchanan & Pitts Misfits, but, with a damaging loss to Junior Academy last week, securing enough points to win the league was always going to be tough. At two and three Dohle Stars Dewi Lord and Sachet Banjya went to five games against Misfits Andy Dixon and John Watterson respectively but both won the fifth game 15-13. Luke Tippett secured a third rubber for Dohle Stars with another five game win over Stephen Pitts. The first and fifth string match went one to each side so Dohle Stars secured a good 4-1 and 226-216 points win.
League leaders Browne Craine Dragons fielded their strongest team to take on Dandara Falcons in what proved to be a very tight and exciting final fixture. The first two matches went to the Dragons with Michelle Smith beating Fiona Baker in three, although some lengthy rallies and solid play from Fiona made Michelle doubt her victory in the third. A game of the season performance by Falcons Vusimbe Zivave was unfortunately not enough to better Darren Smethurst. With Dragons needing one more victory to secure the 25 point bonus Les Callow edged debatably the closest contest in four games 45-42 against Falcons Lewi Long just returned from injury. Falcons Jon Cox and Ian Barnes both played well to secure wins against Phil Whittam and Jon Shepherd respectively. The Dragons won 239-187 giving them enough points to come top of the table this half of the season. The overall C-League winer will be decided in a final between Browne Craine Dragons and Buchanan and Pitts Misfits next week.
The first round of the SRA Cup was also played this week. The SRA Cup is restricted to B and C league teams and is a handicapped cup competition. All the teams are given a handicap which is worked out by analysing the teams performance in the league this season, but the C league teams are given additional points when they play against B league teams.
This year the teams have been allocated into four pools, with each pool consisting of a B league team and two C league teams. The teams in each pool will play one another. The winning team from each pool will then play a semi-final match with the winner progressing to a final to determine the SRA Cup winner.
The first match in Pool A was a derby between B league team Conister Pioneers Racketeers and C league team Hansard Racketeers. These players know each other really well and the match was a very well humoured one but the B league team won it with a score of 225 -210 after the handicaps were applied.
In Pool B the Sharks met Jewel Tech squash team. Unfortunately both teams really struggled to get full teams out but the Sharks got the overall victory in the matches played.
Pool C saw the Racketeers Academy play B league champions Island Exhausts in the first round. This was the closest match of the first round with just four points separating the teams (after the handicap was applied) at the end of the fixture. Racketeers number 1 Nic Kieswetter did very well to take 29 points off Dave O’Neill, a player ranked over 40 places above him. The final score was 225 - 221 to the Island Exhausts team.
Friday night squash also featured a match between the Outcasts who finished bottom of the B league and the Junior Academy who have improved immensely over the course of the season. The match saw father and son on opposing teams in the guise of Peter Ginty of the Outcasts and Leighton Ginty of Junior Academy, Peter got the bragging rights in this match as the Outcasts won by a score of 225 - 209.
The picture is of the Island Exhausts (left to right) - Mark Grace, Les Callow, Dave O'Neill, Pat Russell and Ian Sheard (captain)