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Thomas Whiteway wins Dave Karran 2018 Memorial Tournament

17 Sep 2018

The IOMSRA Squash Season kicked off last week with the Manx Pronto Dave Karran Memorial Tournament 2018. The event received 30 entries including last years winner Hamish Thornton hoping to defend his title.
The results from round one generally went according to seeding, however some lower ranked players put up really good challenges against higher ranked opponents. Jon Cox, Liam Townsend and Brian Cowley all took their opponents to three games.
The biggest upset of the tournament came in the second round match when Lyndon Cheetham (12) beat Mike Hayler (5) in two games. Another more minor upset in this round was Michelle Smith (25) defeating Jon Cox (24). This round also saw young guns Ben Peach and Calum Baker showing great promise by taking their higher ranked opponents to three games. In the lower half of the round two draw Steven Wright and Fatheha Essa, new to IOM squash, were really competitive against stronger players, each taking a game off their adversary.
In round three the majority of matches went according to seeding with a few exceptions: Steve Baker (6) overcame regular sparring partner Mason McLarney (3) in two straight games, the last going to 14-12, Lucy Kerr got the better of Lewi Long in three very close games and Dave Johnson (a player new to IOM Squash) took control in his match and beat Anthony Bentley-Roberts in just two games. Other matches in this round were very close with Dave Freer, Liam Davies, Jas Singh, Beth Jones and Fatheha Essa all taking their higher ranked opponents to three games.
Round four was the penultimate round of the competition with nothing much separating the opponents in terms of playing level. Top seeds Thomas Whiteway and Hamish Thornton both won comfortably to book their place in the final. Upsets came when Mike Hayler (12) beat Steve Morley (9) to grab a spot in the Plate final where he would meet Ben Peach (11) who bettered Calum Baker (10) to get the other spot. Both these matches went all the way and were very close. Another newbie to IOM Squash is Magnus Lamprecht (16), who had a good tournament and played some good squash to beat Mark Grace (13) and improve his tournament ranking. Other more minor upsets came in the form of both Dave Freer and Michelle Smith being victors in their round four matches.
The final round brought loads of positional changes as a lot of lower ranked players beat players ranked above them. Steve Morley, Dave Freer, Brian Cowley, Jas Singh, Luke Tippett and Antony Bentley Roberts all improved their rankings. The battle for the 3rd spot in the tournament was one of the closest matches of the night with Steve Baker only just managing to get the better of his younger opponent Jason Crease in five very close games.
The Bowl Final, the final for all first round losers was a battle between the experienced Dean Sowerby and Liam Townsend, a Lancaster University player. Dean’s experience and sound match play won the day, but it went to four games. Next up was the Plate Final between Mike (iron-man) Hayler and UCM student Ben Peach. Hayler won 3-2 with his fitness showing in the 4th and 5th games particularly.
So to the final match between ex York University player Thomas Whiteway, who has recently returned to the island, and the evergreen Hamish Thornton who has been here for years. Whiteway was obviously keen to get his name on the trophy and dominated from the start, winning in three straight games.
After the final Bill and Brian Karran, the brothers of the late Dave Karran, presented the prizes. Thanks to all the competitors, this was a great start to the squash season.
The attached photo shows in foreground from left to right - Dean Sowerby (Bowl Winner), Bill and Brian Karran (Tournament sponsors), Thomas Whiteway (Tournament Winner), Mike Hayler (Plate winner), Hamish Thornton (Tournament Runner Up) and Steve Baker (Tournament Organiser).

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