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SVG retains OECS squash title

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The 2008 National Lotteries Authority OECS Squash Championships came to a close on Saturday, May 24, with hosts SVG taking the lion’s share of the individual and team titles.{{more}}

The event saw the emergence of the British Virgin Islands as the new rival to the powerful Vincentian squad, splitting the individual titles with SVG and finishing as runner-up in the team event.

In the individual event, players from British Virgin Islands, Dominica, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines competed for titles in the Men’s Open, Women’s Open, Men’s 40+ and Men’s 50+ divisions, with 3 defending champions losing their titles along the way.

The Men’s 50+ division was dominated by the British Virgin Islands, as they claimed the top 3 positions, leaving Vincentians Keith Boyea, Leroy Lewis and John Horne to settle for 4th-6th places, respectively. The eventual champion came as a surprise, as the unseeded Winston Findlay shocked #3 seed Leroy Lewis and #2 seed Keith Boyea before topping defending champion #1 Mark Chapman 9/7, 9/4, 9/7 in a competitive final.

Like the 50+ division, the Men’s 40+ was dominated by a single country, with St. Vincent claiming the top 4 spots. The draw turned out to be virtually a repeat of the National 40+ Championship a week before, as Colin Alexander upset #3 seed Neville Sorrentino (BVI) 9/5, 8/10, 9/5, 9/5, and #4 seed Stephen Joachim accounted for St. Lucia’s David Piper 10/8, 9/7, 9/5 to join #1 Paul Cyrus and #2 Leroy Edwards in the semi-finals. Cyrus eventually followed up on his success at Nationals, defeating 2007 champion Leroy Edwards 9/7, 9/3, 9/7 in the final, while Alexander defeated Joachim 4/9, 9/8, 9/8, 9/6 in the 3rd place play-off.

In the Women’s Open, the Vincentian quartet of Alisa Alvis, Amber Glasgow, Greta Primus and Sherian Slater were unable to stop Musonda Poole (BVI) in her march to the title, with only Slater managing to steal a game in a 2/9, 9/2, 9/0, 9/5 loss. In the 16-player Men’s Open division, James Bentick (SVG), Charlie Sonson (Slu) and Joe Chapman (BVI) took the top 3 positions, followed by a string of Vincentians in the 4th-8th positions. In the much-anticipated Final, Bentick made amends for a shocking straight-game loss in 2007 with a crushing 9/1, 9/3, 9/1 triumph over archrival Charlie Sonson.

The team event then followed on Saturday, with British Virgin Islands, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines fielding teams in the Men’s and Veterans divisions (the Women’division was cancelled due to lack of overseas entries). Once again St. Vincent claimed the Overall title, with the Men’s team crushing both St. Lucia and the British Virgin Islands 4-0, while the Veterans crushed St. Lucia 4-0 before finishing in a 2-2 tie with British Virgin Islands, as Leroy Edwards and Sherian Slater (Men’s and Women’s 40+) received walkovers and Winston Findlay and Jon Osman defeated Keith Boyea and John Horne, respectively, in the 50+ and 60+ matches.

Based on the results of the Tournament, a team will be chosen to represent the OECS in the Southern Caribbean Squash Championships in Guyana (August 15-22). In addition, a new O.E.C.S Executive was elected, with Sherian Slater as President.

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