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The 2012 Caribbean Squash Championships came to a close on August 25th at the Cascadia Club in Trinidad and Tobago, with Team OECS turning in commendable performances. The event featured players from 8 countries (Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Guyana, Jamaica, OECS and the hosts) and saw competition in individual and team events. The top performers for OECS in the individual tournament were Vincentians Jules Snagg and Kevin Hannaway, both falling to Bajan Gavin Cumberbatch in the 2nd and 3rd rounds respectively. Snagg went on to reach the plate finals, following wins over Bermuda's Anthony Fellowes, Trinidadian Mandela Patrick and Jason- Ray Khalil of Guyana. In the final match, he lost to close battle with Ryan Abraham (T&T) 9/11, 15/13, 11/1, 5/11, 10/12 to finish in 18th place. Teammates Kevin Bailey, Shane Slater and Jason Doyle also competed and registered numerous wins.
The OECS squad then turned their focus on the team event, with the Men's team defending their historic victory in 2011 and the veterans team hoping for an improved showing. Despite fielding a perceived developmental team following the absence of the top 2 OECS players (Joe Kneipp and Joe Chapman of BVI), the all-Vincentian team (Jules Snagg, Kevin Hannaway, Kevin Bailey, Shane Slater and Jason Doyle) exceeded expectations to make the Men's team semi-finals. With the youngest team in the tournament, the OECS men showed great promise in the pool stage, defeating Bermuda 3-2 and Venezuela 4-1 to secure a semi-final spot. After a 0-5 loss to a strong Guyanese team to finish 2nd in pool B, the team played admirably but went down by similar 1-4 scores to Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados in the semi-finals and 3rd place play-off respectively. Kevin Hannaway's performances (claiming a 4-1 record in team play) at the #2 position were the highlight however, earning him a ranking of #13 in the Caribbean.
The Veterans team did one better than the men's 4th place finish, as they disposed of their Jamaican and Guyanese opponents. Sherian Slater won her 3rd Caribbean individual veteran's championship (she won the 40+ in 2005 and the 50+ in 2010), going undefeated in her matches in the Women's 50+. She made quick work of Jamaica's Deanne Pryce, while coming through a tough 3-1 win over Trinidad's Sonia Carrington and a marathon 11/7, 5/11, 11/1, 10/12, 11/4 triumph over runner-up Lynn McLeod (Barbados). James Bentick also performed well, finishing runner-up to Barbados' Mark Sealy after defeating players from Guyana, Trinidad and Jamaica. BVI players Neville Sorrentino and Ken Adamson took 3rd and 5th places in the Men's 50+ and 60+ to help the team to its eventual bronze medal finish.
In the Overall Team standings OECS finished in 5th position with 11 points, behind champions Barbados (26 pts), Trinidad (22 pts), Guyana (20 pts) and Jamaica (14 pts). Bermuda and Venezuela were 6th and 7th respectively. With the 2013 edition of the championships set for Guyana, the OECS Squash Association hopes to continue their emergence as regional powerhouse in the sport. With more participation of female players at the senior and junior level in CASA (Caribbean Area Squash Association) events, the OECS aims to win many more individual and team titles in the future.