The Barbados girls and boys teams could not hold off the challenges of Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago respectively and finished in fourth place as the curtain fell on the final day of team competition in the 32nd annual Junior Caribbean Squash Championships which concluded Saturday in Bermuda.
In the girls’ third place tie against Jamaica, Barbados’ two outstanding Caribbean champions prevailed in straight games to finish the seven days of competition undefeated without even conceding a game between them, with Meagan Best (U-13) dropping only eight points in her 11-5, 11-1, 11-2 victory over Mia Mahfood, while Amanda Haywood (U-15) only conceded one more point against Sarah Conway while winning 11-1, 11-5, 11-3.
In the U-17 age group Alyssa White lost 0-3 to Jamaica’s Caribbean U-17 champion, Alyssa Mullings while in the U-19 age group Gylla Mackenzie also lost 0-3 to Jamaica’s Mary Jo Mahfood. Jamaica won the second U-19 match by default to record a 3-2 victory and finish third. Junior squash powerhouses Guyana comfortably defeated Trinidad and Tobago 3-2 in the girls final to win this title for the ninth straight year and for a record 14th time in all. Bermuda beat the OECS girls 5-0 to take 5th place. Cayman finished in seventh place.
The boys’ third place tie was a rematch of the same encounter last year when Barbados upset Trinidad and Tobago to finish third. This time around Barbados found the going tougher despite the excellence of their two other Caribbean champions Khamal Cumberbatch (U-13) and Josiah Griffith who both won again, with Cumberbatch blowing away Christopher Anthony 11-0, 11-1, 11-5 and Griffith dispatching Nicholas Caddle 11-4, 11-2, 11-6. Barbadians Stewart St. John and Brandon Straker both lost their U-19 matches in three straight games and in the U-17 age group Benjamin Griffith (BAR) was worn down by Trinidadian, Chad Salandy in four games 11-5, 8-11, 11-8, 11-0.
In the exciting boy’s final that followed Guyana defeated Jamaica 3-2 with the two countries splitting the first four matches with the decider being the U-19 No.2 match between Guyana’s Nyron Joseph and Jamaican, Jake Mahfood. The Jamaican took a two game lead before Joseph was stirred by the noisy Guyanese support to roar back and take the next three games, the last two on tiebreaks to win 8-11, 3-11, 11-9, 13-11, 14-12 to the delight of the vocal Guyanese contingent. With this 3-2 win Guyana clinched their second straight boys team title, their fifth in seven years and their record 17th overall.
Hosts Bermuda beat the Cayman boys team 3-2 take 5th place with the OECS finishing in seventh. Guyana also claimed their 10th straight overall team title and now have won the overall title for a staggering 21st time in all. Trinidad and Jamaica finished joint second with Barbados in fourth place and Bermuda in fifth.
Day Seven – Team finals (selected results)
Guyana def Trinidad and Tobago 3-2
U13 – Makeda Harding def Jinan Al Rawi 11-4, 11-3, 11-0
U15 – Rebecca Low lost to Alexandria Yearwood 7-11, 11-9, 5-11, 5-11
U17 – Taylor Fernandes def Marion Gillezeau 11-9, 11-5, 11-3
U19 #2 -Victoria Arjoon def Marie-Claire Barcant 11-5, 11-2, 11-7
U19 #1 – Akela Wiltshire lost to Charlotte Knaggs 8-11, 8-11, 9-11
Girls 3rd/4th Playoff
Jamaica def Barbados 3-2
U13 – Mia Mahfood lost to Meagan Best 5-11, 1-11, 2-11
U15 – Sarah Conway lost to Amanda Haywood 1-11, 5-11, 3-11
U17 – Alyssa Mullings def Alyssa White 11-4, 11-1, 11-3
U19 #2 – Ashley Lynch won by walkover
U19 #1 – Mary Jo Mahfood def Gylla Mackenzie 11-7, 11-6, 11-8
Guyana def Jamaica 3-2
U13 – Shomari Wiltshire def Sebastian Levy 11-0, 11-0, 11-1
U15 – Alex Cheeks lost to Jonathan Walker 5-11, 3-11, 2-11
U17 – Benjamin Mekdeki def Tahjia Lumley 11-3, 11-9, 11-3
U19 #2 – Nyron Joseph def Jake Mahfood 8-11, 3-11, 11-9, 13-11, 14-12
U19 #1 – Jean Claude Jeffrey lost to Julian Morrison 7-11, 10-12, 2-11
Boys 3rd/4th Playoff
Trinidad and Tobago def Barbados 3-2
U13 – Christopher Anthony lost to Khamal Cumberbatch 0-11, 1-11, 4-11
U15 – Nicholas Caddle lost to Josiah Griffith 4-11, 2-11, 6-11
U17 – Chad Salandy def Benjamin Griffith 11-5, 8-11, 11-8, 11-0
I19 #2 – Christian Edghill def Brandon Straker 11-6, 11-3, 11-8
U19 #1 – Nku Patrick def Stewart St John 11-3, 13-11, 11-9