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The more experienced player prevailed in successive finals as the curtain came down yesterday (Sunday, November 27th) evening on Day 3 of the Barbados Squash Association’s inaugural BSA-BOA Premier Squash Championship that was held at the Barbados Squash Club in Marine Gardens.
In the ladies final the top two seeded players treated spectators to an exciting and competitive match that went the full distance but in the end, the top seed, Karen Meakins, held off the challenge of the #2 seed, Amanda Haywood to keep up her remarkable sequence of winning at least one local senior squash title every year since moving to Barbados 16 years ago. Meakins won the first two games fairly comfortably at 8 and 4, only for her diminutive teenaged opponent to restore parity by winning the next two games for the loss of 5 and 7 points respectively. The final game was close, with Haywood appearing to have the edge at 6-3 and 7-5 to the good. Meakins clawed her way back to go 8-7 up only for Haywood to restore parity and the serve at 8-all. At this point she served the ball out to give Meakins a one point edge and she took full advantage to snatch the last two rallies to win 11-8 11-4 5-11 7-11 11-8 in 43 minutes. In the third place playoff, Jada Smith-Padmore comfortably defeated her twin sister Jodi Smith-Padmore in straight games 11-3 11-7 11-0, while little Sumairaa Suleman won the ladies plate by defeating Chelsie Samuel by three games to one.
The men’s final was even more exciting as the #2 seed Rhett Cumberbatch faced the reigning Caribbean BU-17 champion, Shemane Griffith. In a high octane match, played at great pace the more experienced Cumberbatch, rallied patiently mainly down the backhand wall, and waited for opportunities to attack, especially with his delicate drop shots on both wings. Griffith amazed the crowd with his athletic prowess, and his ability to return seemingly unreachable shots, even using full splits and the occasional dive. After splitting the first two games Griffith seemed to have the upper hand throughout the tense third game, leading 3-2, 6-4 and then 8-5. The dreadlocked Cumberbatch pulled back to 8-all only for his younger opponent to go 9-8 up. Using his greater experience Cumberbatch then avoided making any errors and reeled off the next three points to win the third game 11-9 and seize a decisive advantage in the match. In the fourth game the effort of the previous three finally to tell on Griffith who dropped seven straight points to allow Cumberbatch to move from 3-2 to 10-2, match ball up. Griffith made one last mighty effort and won the next five points but it was not enough. Cumberbatch won on his sixth match ball to claim his first senior squash title in Barbados by three games to one 11-5 7-11 11-9 11-7 in 47 minutes.
In other contests, Rhett’s youngest brother, Khamal Cumberbatch, the Caribbean U-15 champion easily won the third place playoff by defeating Stewart St. John in straight games, 11-1, 11-9, 11-6. The evergreen Mark Sealy finished fifth by defeating Zaki Williams 3-0 to win the Classic Plate, while former Barbados junior player, Moishe Steinbok, enjoyed a successful return to local competition by coming from two games down to outlast the promising left hander, Zachary Proverbs-Harris 9-11 5-11 11-8 11-8 11-1 to win the Men’s Plate.
President of the BOA, Steve Stoute, was on hand to present trophies to the participants afterwards and complimented the Barbados Squash Association on hosting yet another successful event. Full results of matches played on Sunday November 27th are given below:
#1 Karen Meakins bt. #2 Amanda Haywood (3-2) 11-8 11-4 5-11 7-11 11-8
Ladies Third Place:
Jada Smith-Padmore bt. Jodi Smith-Padmore (3-0) 11-3 11-7 11-0
Ladies Plate Final:
Sumairaa Suleman bt. Chelsie Samuel (3-1) 8-11 11-4 11-8 11-7
#2 Rhett Cumberbatch bt. #5/8 Shemane Griffith (3-1) 11-5 7-11 11-9 11-7
Men’s Third Place:
#5/8 Khamal Cumberbatch bt. #3/4 Stewart St. John (3-0) 11-1 11-9 11-6
Men’s Classic Plate (5th Place):
#3/4 Mark Sealy bt. #5/8 Zaki Williams (3-0) 11-6 11-5 11-7
Men’s Plate Final:
Moishe Steinbok bt. Zachary Proverbs-Harris (3-0) 9-11 5-11 11-8 11-8 11-1
For additional information about this year’s tournament please visit the BSA’s tournament website:
BSA BOA Independence Premier Squash Championship- 2016