Friday, April 19, 2024

Bryant upsets sibling

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DYNAMIC former Barbados and Caribbean Junior Squash Champion Bryant Cumberbatch produced a significant upset at the semi-final stage of the 36th annual National Squash Championships on Friday night at Marine Gardens in Hastings, Christ Church.

The talented Cumberbatch, 21, the No. 3 seed, put his charismatic older brother Gavin Cumberbatch, the second seed and defending champ, in the shade in their semi-final match with a comprehensive display of attacking squash for an 11-13, 11-4, 11-8, 11-4 victory in just 22 minutes.

Long first game

The result was never in doubt after a long and punishing first game that took the wind out of the older brother’s sails. The rallies in that first game were very fast with both players playing their shots at extreme pace and moving each other to every corner of the court.

Bryant lost that game 11-13 but the damage had been done and Gavin thereafter never tried to attack with pace again, trying to slow things down in the remainder of the match to save his legs and lungs from further punishment. 

Unforced errors

This tactic didn’t work and he was also undone by several unforced errors at crucial times and was never able to mount a further challenge as his younger brother ran away with the next three games.

In the other men’s semi-final, the top seed and Caribbean No. 3 seed Shawn Simpson started out very slowly, then picked up the pace to oust No. 4 seed Mark Sealy 3-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-0 in 31 minutes.

When Simpson did warm up, things became a little easier as his pace of shot and court coverage allowed him to dominate most of the rallies from about halfway in the second game.

In the women’s semi-finals, top seed and Caribbean No. 2 Karen Meakins moved smoothly into her tenth straight national final with a straightforward three-set victory over local radio personality Alex Jordan, who has made a return to the local squash scene. 

In the bottom half of the draw, second seed Cheri-Ann Parris was pushed hard by Lilianna White, but survived 9-11, 11-6, 13-11, 11-5. (PR/BA)

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