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Bajans set for squash glory

marciadottin, [email protected]

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BARBADOS’ squash players are poised for team glory.After three days of the team competition, Barbados remained firmly in the driving seat in their quest to become Caribbean squash champions.  The women’s squad had some resistance from Cayman Islands who were strengthened by the inclusion of Caroline Heal at No. 1 string.  Matches for all five of the team went beyond three games, but the Barbados team showed their resolve to gain a 5-0 victory.A straightforward victory over OECS sets up the expected finale against last year’s champions, Trinidad and Tobago.Yesterday’s final was expected to feature powerhouse clashes throughout the order of play including a repeat of the individual final between champion Karen Meakins and Kerrie Sample.In Pool BThe men were placed in Pool B along with Guyana, OECS and Cayman Islands.  The match-up against OECS was always likely to be a hard one with the home team including two players who were not in the individual event, one of whom was former world No. 10 Joe Kneipp.Barbados went down 2-3 to OECS, but followed this up with a 4-1 drubbing of Cayman.  The crucial match in the men’s pool was the first against Guyana. With the score on 2-2, Mark Sealy was embroiled in a tussle with Robert Macdavid.  A perfect fifth game performance from Sealy led to the most dramatic celebration many witnessed including a forward roll on the court and a somewhat comical shake of the hips.Win unlikelyFor the semi-final against Bermuda, with an injured Shawn Simpson, a win at No. 1 string was unlikely, meaning that three of the four other tough matches had to go the way of Barbados.Rhett Cumberbatch made the perfect start, beating Chris Stout.  However, the men were unable to capitalise and narrow defeats for the remainder of the team gave Bermuda the place in the final where they will play OECS.Barbados were to have a showdown with Jamaica to decide the bronze medal position.The veterans team opened their campaign with a 3-2 win over Cayman and a 5-0 win over Guyana. (PR)