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Vincies take top spots in Caribbean squash

Vincies take top spots in Caribbean squash

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As the 2004 Banks Mini Malta Southern Caribbean Squash Championships came to a close, the O.E.C.S. team recorded its best-ever performance in the event. The 13-player squad consisted of Vincentians James Bentick, Shane Slater, Colin Alexander, Sherian Slater and Greta Primus; Dion Anselm and Jon Osman of the British Virgin Islands; Karl Nassief and Leonard Bedneau of Dominica; and St. Lucians Charlie Sonson, Alana Simmons, Cheryl Renwick and Lindy Alexander. {{more}}
In the individual competition to determine the top Man and Woman in the Southern Caribbean, James Bentick was the highest placed O.E.C.S. competitor in 3rd position in the Men’s Open. In the first three rounds, James made light work of his opponents before facing No. 1 seed Shawn Badrinauth of Guyana. The eventual champion dominated throughout the match with a 9-4, 9-4, 9-0 win in favour of the Guyanese. This lead to a play-off match between long-time O.E.C.S. rivals James Bentick and Charlie Sonson to determine 3rd place in the tournament.
In a gruelling match, James fought back from a two-game deficit to record his 3rd consecutive win over the O.E.C.S. squash legend, winning 3-9, 0-9, 9-4, 9-0, 9-3. Vincentians Colin Alexander and Shane Slater also competed in the Men’s Open, with Alexander advancing to the 2nd round of the Plate draw and Slater losing his Plate match against Kristian Jeffrey of Guyana. The only Vincentian in the Women’s Open, Greta Primus, was outplayed by Trinidad’s Tessa Martin and Nadia McCarthy of Barbados.
After three days of individual competition, the team event kicked off on August 19, with Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, O.E.C.S. and hosts Guyana battling for the top spot in the Men’s, Women’s and Veterans team events. Lead by team captain and No. 1 player James Bentick, the O.E.C.S. Men bounced back from 1-4 losses to Barbados and Guyana to defeat Trinidad and Tobago 4-1 for 3rd place. The youngest member of the team, Shane Slater, began the onslaught of Trinidad at the No. 5 match, defeating Adrian Dyer 9-6, 9-0, 9-1, followed by wins from James Bentick (No. 1), Charlie Sonson (No. 2) and Karl Nassief (No. 3).
The only loss came at the No. 4 match where Dominican Leonard Bedneau was defeated by Josh Pinard 10-8, 3-9, 2-9, 8-10. In the Women’s team event, the O.E.C.S. took revenge after 0-5 whitewashes against Barbados and Guyana to thrash Trinidad and Tobago 4-0. As both teams did not field a No. 5 player, only four matches were played in the O.E.C.S. – Trinidad and Tobago tie. The O.E.C.S. Women secured third position with wins by Lindy Alexander (No. 1), Alana Simmons (No. 2), Greta Primus (No. 3) and Cheryl Renwick (No. 4) against their Trinidadian opponents. In the Veterans team event, Vincentians Sherian Slater (Women’s Over-40) and Colin Alexander (Men’s Over-40) lead the team to a 2nd place finish ahead of Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.
With wins against their Guyanese and Trinidadian opponents, the Vincentian duo finished in 2nd place in the Men’s Over-40 and Women’s Over-40 divisons and, along with Jon Osman, secured 2nd spot for the Veterans team. After amassing 16.8 points, the O.E.C.S. team finished in 3rd position overall, ahead of Trinidad and Tobago. The next edition of the biennial Southern Caribbean Squash Championships will be held in Barbados in 2006, while the Caribbean Squash Championships will be held in Bermuda in 2005.

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