Squash champions crowned
Five senior squash players –– Mark Sealy, Dean Straker, Errol Pilgrim, Andrea Goodridge and Alison Smith-Padmore –– were crowned champions when the 2015 National Masters Squash Championships concluded at the Barbados Squash Club over the weekend.
In the highly anticipated Men’s Over-40 final, Mark Sealy was in unstoppable form and produced a solid display to defeat top seed Mark Gilkes in three straight games. In what was a repeat of the 2014 final, Sealy made no mistake and avenged last year’s loss to Gilkes 11-5, 11-9, 11-3.
“Mark [Gilkes] is a top player and I really enjoy competing against him, but this time around I did some extra homework and focused on my strategy,” said Sealy, a former first-class cricketer.
“Kudos must also go to the players, officials of the Barbados Squash Association and the council of the Barbados Squash Club for yet another successful tournament. I think everyone had a great time on and off the court.”
Don Benn finished third in the Men’s Over-40 after defeating Terry Millar 11-7, 11-8, 10-12, 11-4, while Sylvester Nurse finished fifth without a point being played against Deepu Panjwani. Mickey Armstrong was the winner of the Men’s Over-40 Plate.
In the Men’s Over-50 final, Dean Straker put on an exhibition of fitness and agility to win a tough match against Cliff Nolan 5-11, 11-8, 11-9, 8-11, 11-2. Third was Edwin Wickham who enjoyed a walkover against Craig Archer, while Michael Best won the Men’s Over-50 Plate.
In the Men’s Over-60 age group, top seed Errol Pilgrim emerged as champion following a near perfect tournament. Second was Ruairidh Mackenzie, while Monty Cumberbatch and Chester Haynes finished third and fourth respectively.
Among the ladies, Andrea Goodridge capped an impressive outing by winning the Over-40 crown, while Alison Smith-Padmore captured top honours in the inaugural Rookie Class.
“In all, just over thirty players participated in the tournament, which indicates our senior players are still enthusiastic about getting out on court and competing,” said Monty Cumberbatch, president of the Barbados Squash Association.
“In the coming months, the BSA will also be exploring the option of starting a national Masters programme. In time, we would also like to host a Caribbean-focused Masters tournament. There will be plenty of incentives for players and an event such as this will provide senior squashers with an opportunity to win a coveted regional crown,” he added.