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Bajans lose squash semis

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

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Both Barbados teams lost to Jamaica in the semi-finals in the 31st annual Caribbean Junior Squash Championships at the Cascadia Squash Club in Trinidad on Saturday.
In the afternoon session, the boys’ team went down 4-1 to Jamaica with only Under-13 Caribbean champion Khamal Cumberbatch emerging victorious. 
Cumberbatch continued his unbeaten run this year by defeating Adam Ardito in straight games 11-6, 11-5, 11-5 and for a while in the Under-15 Shemane Griffith kept things interesting by taking the first game against Tahjia Lumley, before dropping the last three games to lose 11-5, 8-11, 6-11, 9-11.
In the third match Under-19, No. 1 Zaki Williams was outplayed by the reigning Caribbean Under-19 champion Ashante Smith and lost in straight games 3-11, 8-11, 5-11. 
In the Under-17, Benjamin Griffith lost to Jake Mafood 6-11, 4-11, 6-11 and with the tie already decided, the Barbadian Under-19 No. 2 Stewart St John conceded to Joe Rousseau to lose by default in order to rest for his third place play-off match. 
In the other semi-final, the determined Guyana team defeated Trinidad and Tobago 3-2 and will face Jamaica in the final. 
In the evening session, Barbados’ girls lost their semi-final to Jamaica 3-2.
The critical match was the Under-15 clash where, Amanda Haywood fought hard but went down to the unbeaten Alyssa Mullings in straight games 9-11, 6-11, 3-11 in a repeat of the Under-15 individual final. 
Barbados easily won the other two matches played with Caribbean Under-13 champion, Meagan Best defeating Mira Handa 11-2, 11-2, 11-1 and then Caribbean Under-17 champion Gylla Mackenzie doing likewise against Ashley Lynch to win 11-8, 11-2, 11-0. 
Barbados lost both scheduled Under-19 matches by default to Jamaicans Jessica Perkins and Michaelann Denton respectively.
In the other semi-final, defending champions Guyana defeated Trinidad and Tobago 3-2.
President of the Barbados Squash Association (BSA) Craig Archer said both of the Barbadian teams had done significantly better than last year when the girls finished sixth and the boys were in seventh place.
“Our players, especially the young ones, have put in a lot of work this year and we are already seeing the benefit of that extra effort,” he said.
“After winning three gold medals and one silver in the individuals we are in contention for two team bronze medals on – and if we win both ties we will pip Trinidad for third place in the overall team category as well. Already this is our best showing in the team event since 2004.
“After last year’s disappointing team results the BSA wanted to turn things around immediately and so we completely revamped our junior squash programme, which is now our Junior Squash Academy.”
The Barbados team is scheduled to return home at 11:25 a.m. today. (PR)