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Crunch time

Barbados' juniors looking to beat Trinidad and Tobago

Barbados coach Rhett Cumberbatch is confident that his team has what it takes to defeat Trinidad and Tobago in the semi-finals and advance into the finals of the ongoing Junior Caribbean Squash Competition at the Squash Club in Marine Gardens.

The females secured their semi-final places yesterday when they played Cayman Islands and the males advanced when they defeated the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States.

“It is going to be a tough one but my boys will be prepared. We are supposed to be the underdogs going into the game tomorrow but we will go down fighting and my boys could pull it off if we play well,” Cumberbatch told Barbados TODAY.

Today around 1 p.m. the Bajan guys took to the court and put on a good showing despite losing to Guyana 4-1 in the best of five games of the preliminary round. Zachary Harris was first on court in the under-17 division against Benjamin Mikdici and even though Harris fought hard he went down 11-7, 11-2 , 11-2 against a tough opponent.

Barbados male captain Benjamin Griffith also put in a good effort when he took on Nyron Joseph in the first of two under-19 games but eventually lost 11-0, 11-7 and 11-8. In the second under-19 showdown Alec Melvilli defeated Reginald Brewster 11-7, 6-11, 11-8 and 11-8 in what was an exciting game that featured both players going hard at the ball. Darien Benn also went down in his under-13 game when he came up against under-13 division champion Shomari Wiltshire of Guyana who looked very comfortable winning 11-3, 11-1 and 11-2 over the Barbadian.

The home crowd had something to smile about eventually thanks to a pleasing performance by under-15 king Khamal Cumberbatch who excited his supporters with a 11-3, 11-1 and 12-10 victory when he played Daniel Islam.

Barbadian Khamal Cumberbatch was victorious against Daniel Islam in under-15 action.

Barbadian Khamal Cumberbatch was victorious against Daniel Islam in under-15 action.

Barbados’ female team got their game against Jamaica off to a winning start through Chelsie Samuels who did not even have to play because the visitors were unable to provide an under-13 player and forfeited.

The Trident ladies kept the momentum up thanks to a superb victory from their captain Amanda Haywood who defeated number one seed Alyssa Mullings for the second time in the championship.

First it was in the individual finals of the under-17 competition and today in the team competition. Number two seed Haywood won 3-2 over the tall, powerful reggae girl in the best of five sets. The first set went to Mullings 11-9, Haywood took the second 11-7 but her opponent managed to take the third 11-7.  That is where Haywood showed her class to come from behind and take the fourth and fifth sets 11-5 and 11-4.

Another fine performance came from the racket of under-15 queen Meagan Best who destroyed Leah Robotham 11-0, 11-0 and 11-2 in what was pretty much a breeze for the home girl.

Meagan Best of Barbados (left) had a comfortable win over Leah Robotham of Jamaica when they met in their under-15 game.

Meagan Best of Barbados (left) had a comfortable win over Leah Robotham of Jamaica when they met in their under-15 game.

Twin sisters Jodi and Jada Smith-Padmore were in action in the under-19 division. Jodi lost to Mary Mahfood 11-2, 11-2 and 11-4 but Jada was victorious 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 7-11 and 13-11 against Mia Lake in a game that went down to the wire.

Both Guyana male and female teams will play Jamaica in the other semi-final games. Barbados females will play Trinidad ladies around 1 p.m. while the males will contest their semi-final against Trinidad and Tobago at 5:30 p.m.

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