Center Court

Friday
Oct262018

Super League update

        ISLAND SQUASH SUPER LEAGUE  

 

BACKGROUND:  In light of the fact that our top players are not involved in the SQUASH PEI    Wednesday evening league I feel that we have a need to give these players a regular competitive outlet that suits their interest, level of play and schedule. As well, if done well this league would serve as a motivator for other players to improve their current abilities.

 

FORMAT:           Four teams made up of two players, the #1 player representing their home town and acting as captain.  Each season (fall and winter) would be made up seven match dates. This schedule would be a double round robin and finals night. The objective will to be to give our top players regular refereed matches with prize money. Ideally the winning team on finals night will take home $400, runner-up $250, 3rd place $150 and 4th $100. Based on league standings first and second play and third/fourth. This payout is for the top players and it would be at their discretion if they decided to share with their team mate.

The teams for the first session are:

1.       O’Leary –  Mike Buchanan

2.       Souris –     Mitch Chaisson

3.       Cornwall –Nathan Phillips

4.       Stratford - Liam Jinks

The number two position is chosen by the captain and he may change his player at anytime. This position will contribute to the team’s overall scoring and be used as an extra development match for our A players.

 

SCORING:          Each encounter will be scored as follows: #1 players - a point for each game won plus two points for match win. The number two players will just score a point for each game won. Example: Mike beats Liam 3-1, and Liam’s #2 wins 3-0. Final score O’Leary 5, Stratford 4. After six weeks totals will dictate placing for finals night and division of the league prize money. As you can see this league is set up primarily for the top four players and results are favoured in that direction.

 

PRIZE $:              At this stage I will try to raise enough funds to pay out as follows:

1st   $400

2nd   $250             

 3rd  $150

 4th…$100

 

DETAILS:

  • Courts will be booked Tuesdays as per schedule from 7:20-9:20 with first match to begin before 7:30.
  • Number two players play first match.
  • Minus 5 points for any default, subs can be used, no make up matches
  • If neutral refs are not secured home team players must be prepared to act as refs.

 

SCHEDULE:

                                Oct. 23    O’Leary vs Stratford     Souris vs Cornwall

                                Oct. 30    O’Leary vs Cornwall…. Souris vs Stratford

                                Nov. 06    O’Leary vs Souris……   Cornwall vs Stratford

                                Nov 13    Stratford vs O’Leary… .Cornwall vs Souris

                                Nov. 20    Cornwall vs O’Leary     Stratford vs Souris

                                Nov. 27    Souris vs O’Leary         Stratford vs Corwall

                                Dec. 04    Finals Night   1 vs 2…..3 vs 4

 

 

HISTORY MADE IN FIRST NIGHT OF SUPERLEAGUE

Play got underway in last evening’s first night of the newly created Island Superleague with 8 very interesting matches. To kick things off we had the number two of each team doing battle. At this position there was some mystery as to who would be in the lineup. Scheduled on court 4 was Cornwall and Souris, and as it turned out projected Cornwall’s Matt Twiddy was replaced by Benoit Sampson who just started university and admittedly not playing much squash. Captain Mitch Chaisson had not officially announced his team mate, but it soon became apparent that we were going to have a father/son matchup. And it was the always in shape Ken Sampson who put the Souris team up 3-0.

On the other court we knew who would be representing Stratford and the Liam Jinks lead team. He is too young to drive, so why not hire a top master’s player and his old man. But who would he match up against from ‘the West’? Well at 7:25 captain Mike Buchanan walked in with Lyndon Oulton. Lyndon, like Benoit was having a slow start to his season. His speed and tenacity took Lester by surprise and he couldn’t contain the O’Leary #2 in the first game. But at this point the ever-fit Mr. Jinks took over and coasted home 3-1.

The fun now was about to begin. The four players who in all likelihood will be fighting it out to represent our province at the national team championships in February took the court. The Souris/Cornwall matchup was a total question mark. Nathan Phillips who arguably was on route to become the Island’s top player suffered a series of injuries and he was away from the competitive squash for seven months. This was his first comeback match. While Mitch who is never too far away from the game was hoping to impose his experience on the younger Cornwall player. This was a total back and forth affair which could have gone either way, the first three games went to extra points with Phillips securing the second and third. Maybe it was a physical or mental lapse but the Souris native had a very quick win in the fourth to set up the decider. It was anyone’s game, but in this case it the younger quicker player who got the job done 11-8 and chalk up the much needed extra points for the Cornwall side. Final score Cornwall 5, Souris 5.

The small but enthusiastic crowd now were treated to some unbelievable squash and history at the same time. Mike Buchanan, the Island’s number one player has not lost to another player in a refereed situation for over 10 years. There was no indication that this would continue to be the case last evening in his match against Stratford’s #1 Liam Jinks as he comfortably won the first game. But then things began to change. Mike’s best shots were being returned, the rallies became longer and Liam was beginning to show the confidence that he could now compete with Mike. All the games were tight, the third and fourth going overtime, with Mike obviously the more tired displayed the guts and hard work that made him so successful. Saving match balls he went on the win the fourth and had Liam shaking his head and perhaps losing some of the confidence that he displayed earlier. If one was a betting person they would have picked Mike, especially after the first half of the game, but at 7 all Mike finally slowed down a step or two while the tremendously athletic 15 year old, though not always making the best shot selections was still picking up Mike’s best and frustrating his senior. A couple of quick errors from the O’Leary captain and Liam was coasting in, 11-8 and recording history. Something no other Island player has been able to do since Mike Buchanan was a teenager himself. We certainly look forward to their re-match in three weeks time.

 

FIRST WEEK STANDINGS:

Stratford – 8 points

Cornwall – 5 points 

Souris         5 points

 OLeary -     3 points

Saturday
Oct202018

NEW Super League

Hello Fellow Squash Players,

 

In order to assist this year’s men’s team in travels to the Canadian Team Championships (no women’s team this year) early 2019 in Montreal I have come with a fun, yet very competitive way for our top players to earn our support and get meaningful match practice.

 

I have created “An Island Super League” which will run for the next 7 weeks featuring our top 4 ranked players along with a chosen team mate from our large inventory of A players. They will play for us every Tuesday evening between 7:30 and 9:30. The final teams will soon be announced but we do have the team names and the captains. Rumour has it that the #2s may consist of Lester Jinks, Matt Twitty, Dakota Cameron and possibly Darren Chaisson out of retirement.

 

The team names will represent all the Island and their #1s:

 

1.       O’Leary – Mike Buchanan

2.       Souris – Mitch Chaisson

3.       Cornwall- Nathan Phillips

4.       Stratford – Liam Jinks

 

The schedule is a double round robin with a final night scheduled for December 4th featuring all four teams. The goal is to raise a $1000, but will be distributed relative to the final placings. Each night will be exciting as points are given on a weighted basis: the #1’s will score a point for each game won plus 2 points for the match win, whereas the #2s get a point only for each game won and the team totals will be added each week.

 

I invite you to come out and watch the Island’s top players, cheer for your favourite team, and don’t forget to see me at anytime if you wish to make a contribution to this fun and worthwhile cause.

 

 

Regards,

 

John Power

Sunday
Sep302018

Finals of Aspin Kemp and Associates PSA event

MALHOTRA OVER ASAL IN FINAL

 It was a battle!  Mostafa Asal the young 17 year old world junior champion got off to a very shaky start going down quickly in the first 11-3. After that it was fast, furious, tough squash with a great deal of contact. Referee Chris Mills was put to the task, but he was very judicious about players clearing the ball and making every effort to play it.

The following three games went the distance, the second of which was delayed for about 15 min. after a collision at the front of the court in which Asal suffered a slight injury to his ankle. He returned to win that game, but just could match Vikram's touch, movement and consistency in the fourth. 
The packed house was on their feet in appreciation.
Pic 1 Vikram Molhatra, first Winner of the Aspin Kemp and Assoc. Aspin cup receiving winner's cheque company owner and president, Jason Aspin
Pic 2 Great crowd watching finals.
Pic 3 Our winner Vikram Molhatra controlling the T against finalist Mosafa Asal.

 

 

Sunday
Sep302018

semi finals PSA Squash

Semi Final Report


Giant killer Cam Seth's run has come to an end but not without pushing Egyptian Mostafa Asal for three tough games and almost 45 minutes.. His strategy was to try to contain the faster and more creative Asal, and it worked during the first half of each of the first two games. But again the World Junior Champ showed why he doesn't lose too much playing error free squash at the end of each game. By the third game Seth had run out of ideas, but certainly was able to count  the  large number of ranking points that he will gain.
The second match on the evening's card featured two very experienced players, Vikram Molhotra and Afredo Avila. Certainly the knew each other's game as just one week ago they did battle in London, Ontario with Alfredo coming back in the fifth. But it was not to be. He fought hard to come back and win the third 12-10 but that was it. Vikram  just seemed to want it more. And as Alfredo explained after the match he was just warn out  During his off season he played too much squash by representing Mexico in individual and team play on two occasions and then back to back PSA events. Mentally he needed a break.
RESULTS:
Mostafa Asal d. Cameron Seth   11-9, 11-7, 11-7  45 min.
Vikram Molhotra d. Alfredo Avila  11-5, 11-7, 10-12, 11-3  50 min.

 

Thursday
Sep272018

Aspin Cup Report

 

 

Report on the Quarterfinals:

It must have been a great summer's training for Cameron Seth as the PSA world #178 has definitely created a stir by defeating his second opponent ranked considerably higher.

 
His game of tight, consistent, patient play, along with winning backhand drops in the front of the court was a game that was just too much on the day for Danish star Kristian  Frost.
The most entertaining match was junior phenom Mostafa Asal overcoming the creative and aggressive style of Finn Henrik Mustonen. Without question this was great fun for the small but packed house on the #1 court of UPEI, as both players utilized all four corners from anywhere on the court with such an array of shots never seen before in this small province. Asal won the key points at the end of each game and after 43 minutes of great squash he walked off the victor.
Vikram Maholtra, the Trinity College graduate from India has one thing on his mind, win the Aspin Kemp and Assoc. Open. He met some early resistance from Swiss Reiko Peter as they split the first two games, but then Vikram's committment to get every ball and not make errors was too much for Reiko losing the final two games at 5 and 7.
Some of the most intense squash was saved for last. Second seed Alfredo Avila having beaten Mike McCue 3-0 the week before seemed to have the match under control after winning two games in just over 30 minutes and was leading in the third. But McCue dug in and came back to win it 11-9. A back and forth 4th game had the spectators on the edge of their seats hoping that their fellow Canadian would push it to the 5th game. With two game balls it did indeed it did look that way. But our speedy Mexican just didn't let it happen and after an hour of play and a 14-12 score he could now think ahead to the semi-finals.
Results:
Cameron Seth d. Kristian Frost 9-11, 11-1, 12-10, 11-3 (56 min)
Mostafa Asal d Henrik Mustonen 11-9, 11-9, 11-8 (43 min)
Vikram Moholtra d Reiko Peter 11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 11-7 (47 min)
Alfredo Avila d Mike McCue 11-8, 11-9, 9-11, 14-12 (60 min)