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Strong start for squash team

rhondathompson, [email protected]

Strong start for squash team

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The first day of the Caribbean Squash Championships in St Vincent provided an excellent start for Barbados with most of the players winning their opening matches.With Karen Meakins and Cheri-Ann Parris drawing byes, Alex Jordan, Bo Harris and Lilianna White all won their matches to reach the quarter-finals. Jordan showed the benefits of the months of hard work as she overcame Cayman junior Elidh Bridgeman in three straight games 12-10 11-6, 11-5 to progress to an all Barbadian quarter-final against favourite Meakins, while Harris rebounded from losing a close first game to beat Trinidadian 5/8 seed Nakita Poon Kong 12-14, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5. Harris will face Trinidad’s No. 1 player Kerrie Sample.The wealth of experience that Lilianna White has gained over the years has seen her consistently reach the later stages of competition and she blew away Cathy Martin 11-1, 11-4, 11-3 for a match-up against Parris.On the men’s side, national champion Shawn Simpson has been seeded 3/4 having reached the semi-final stage last year, and Barbados’ No. 2 player Bryant Cumberbatch is a 5/8 seed.  They were both expected to come through their matches to create a quarter-final showdown against each other. They did so in contrasting styles, but not without a test from their opponents.In his first round match, Cumberbatch lost a tight opening game against Cayman No. 2 David Finch before easily winning the next three 9-11, 11-4, 11-2, 11-2.  The draw pits him against older brother Gavin who had beaten Mandela Patrick earlier in the day. As expected, the younger Cumberbatch repeated his victory from the Barbados National Championships and won 11-6, 11-6, 11-9.Simpson was too good for Warren Burrows of Jamaica winning 3-1 in his first round match. He then came up against former Vincentian boxer James Bentick in the round of 16. He seemed to be on his way to a straight-game victory, but a series of drop shots in the third were costly.Bentick took the fourth game with some ease, but Simpson was much more consistent in the fifth in an increasingly tense match with a very lively crowd. A Bentick error that clipped the tin on the fourth match ball gave a relieved Simpson his 11-3, 11-7, 6-11, 5-11, 11-9 place in the quarter-finals.    Elsewhere in the draw, 17-year-old Jonathan O’Dowd, making his senior debut, was drawn against Caribbean Junior Champion and 5/8 seed in this tournament Cameron Stafford. O’Dowd played well but the Cayman No. 1 ran out an 11-5, 11-5, 11-4 winner.Rhett Cumberbatch was looking to be the third Cumberbatch brother into the last 16 of the draw, but despite a resilient fightback in the third game, he made too many errors and lost 11-6, 11-6, 12-10. He was scheduled to play Ryan Abraham after easily beating Chayse Macquan in his first round plate match yesterday morning. (PR/SAT)Selected Barbados results from the Caribbean Squash Championships in St. Vincent played last weekend.Women’s round 1:Alex Jordan def. Elidh Bridgeman (Cay) 12-10, 11-6, 11-5Bo Harris def. Nakita Poon Kong (Tri) 12-14, 11-9, 11-6, 11-5Lilianna White def. Cathy Martin (Tri) 11-1, 11-4, 11-3 Men’s Round 1:Shawn Simpson def. Warren Burrows (Jam) 11-7, 11-2, 9-11, 11-5Bryant Cumberbatch def. David Finch (Cay) 9-11, 11-4, 11-2, 11-2Gavin Cumberbatch def. Patrick Mandela (Tri) 11-2, 11-4, 11-3Robert Maycock (Ber) def. Rhett Cumberbatch 6-11, 6-11, 10-12Cameron Stafford (Cay) def. Jonathan O’Dowd 5-11, 5-11, 4-11Men’s Round 16:Shawn Simpson def. James Bentick (SVG) 11-3, 11-7, 6-11, 5-11, 11-9 Bryant Cumberbatch def. Gavin Cumberbatch 11-6, 11-6, 11-9