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Queen Karen

Meakins wins Caribbean Female Squash Championship title

Karen Meakins emerged earlier tonight as the women’s champion at the 23rd Senior Caribbean Squash Championships, held at the South Sound Squash Club in Grand Cayman.

In a riveting final played against Bermuda-based Canadian Runa Reta, Meakins won the match-up, 11-7, 11-8, 5-11, 11-8, in 33 minutes of action.

Karen Meakins made returns such as these in storming through the semi-finals and final to take the Caribbean Squash Championship title. (CASA 2015)

Karen Meakins made returns such as these in storming through the semi-finals and final to take the Caribbean Squash Championship title. (CASA 2015)

There was not much to choose between the two for much of the match with Meakins’ tenacity being the determining factor in her eventual victory. She had won the first two games in the face of very strong play from Reta.

Reta, who matched Meakins for fitness and accuracy, came storming back to win at 5 in a turnaround in the third game that seemed to suggest some tiring on Meakins’ part. It would prove to be the widest margin of victory for either player in their thrilling encounter.

There were some expectations among Reta’s supporters that the score-line of the preceding game might have been the signal of a major momentum change. And for much of their fourth game it seemed that way while the two played inspiring squash. But Meakins is not an often-crowned squash queen by accident and she dug deep into her reserves to repel her opponent’s charge and take the glory.

In the men’ final which finished about 9.30 p.m. tonight Jamaica’s Chris Binnie defeated Cayman Islands’ Cameron Stafford 3-2 in an hour-long classic with the scores reading 11-7, 7-11, 11-6, 8-11 and 11-3.

Today started with the consolation semifinals which used a full feed-in system where the last players to join in were the losing quarter-finalists.

Barbados’ Amanda Haywood continued her great form as she beat Mary Fung-A-Fat 11-4, 11-7, 9-11 and 11-5, while Charlotte Knaggs got past Akelia Wiltshire 11-6, 13-11, 8-11 and 11-5, both in four games.

Amanda Haywood (right) during her consolation final victory over Charlotte Knaggs.

Amanda Haywood (right) during her consolation final victory over Charlotte Knaggs.

The women’s consolation final –– effectively for fifth place –– was a noisy affair with the Trinidad & Tobago and Barbados supporters noisily cheering on their favourites for the four very close games.

In the end it was the 15-year-old Haywood who edged through to the delight of the crowd, defeating Knaggs in just over half-hour of play, 11-9, 10-12, 11-9 and 14-12.

In veterans’ round-robin action the Barbados team that comprised Mark Sealy, Mark Gilkes, Andrea Goodridge, Leon Truss, Lynn De Cambra-McLeod defeated Guyana 4-1.

Last night in semi-finals action Meakins had defeated Daniela Schumann 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 13-11. Schumann is a former German international who has been based in the British Virgin Islands for seven years.

There was nothing to choose between them for four games – Schumann held a narrow lead throughout the first which she took 11/9, and led for most of the second too before Meakins accelerated at the end to level 11-9.

Schumann’s accuracy and hard driving were causing Meakins all sorts of trouble, but the 15-time Barbados champion is nothing if not a fighter, and she recovered from 7-9 in the third to take the lead 11-9.

She was in even more trouble in the fourth as Schumann led 10-7 but once again Meakins’ determination was the decisive factor as she saved four game balls before taking the match 13-11 to reach her ninth consecutive CASA final.

“That was such a tough game. She played really well, so much better than when I played her two years ago. It was just a couple of points in each game and I had to really fight to win the third and the fourth. I’m so happy, and relieved, to get through to another final,” she said afterwards.

This was merely the prelude to another crown for the region’s squash queen tonight.

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