Center Court

Monday
Nov262018

Island Super-league week 4

BUCHANAN/O’LEARY GET REVENGE

The second half of the Island’s first Super League got underway last evening and the big question was ‘could Liam Jinks backup his first ever win over Mike Buchanan?” and could Stratford duplicate their convincing win over second place O’Leary?

As per the initial script ‘OI’ Man Jinks kicked things off with Lyndon Oulton and was just too sharp. But to Lyndon’s credit heendured very difficult driving conditions to arrive right on time from SummersideHe just couldn’t quite duplicate the high level of play which he showed the previous week in his win against Ken Sampson. 3-0 for Stratford.

Mike was definitely up for this one. He hadn’t lost a match on the Island in a very long time, but then three weeks ago it was a 15 year old who finally did the trick. He was determined not to let it happen again. He was more aggressive with his play, attacking at every possible opportunity. It worked, 30 min. of tough squash and Mike Buchanan claimed an 11-9, 11-6, 12-10 and O’Leary, a 5-3 team victory.

 

Meanwhile on court 4 we had another split victory, and turn around turn around wins at both positions. Regular Cornwall #2 Matt Twiddy was able to do what his replacement Benoit Sampson could not do for the Souris team, and that is beat the always tough Ken Sampson. Matt got off to a slow start, going down 8-1 and eventually losing the first one 11-6. He gradually began to extend the rallies and wear the older Souris #2 down. He cruised to a four- game win, 11-8, 11-2, 11-7.

No one was prepared to make a prediction between Nathan and Mitch, it just was so close the first time around. Mitch is the oldest of the number one players, but he just seems to be getting better with age. Last night the Souris number one was simply the steadier player making virtually no unforced errors and spending most of his time on the T, winning in three and gaining 5 valuable points for his team. Final score: Souris 6, Cornwall 3.

 

RESULTS:

SOURIS 6  CORNWALL 3

Mitch Chaisson d. Nathan Phillips 11-4, 12-10, 11-4

Matt Twiddy d. Ken Sampson 6-11, 11-8, 11-2, 11=7

 

O’LEARY 5  STRATFORD 3

Mike Buchanan d. Liam Jinks  11-9, 11-6, 12-10

Lester Jinks d Lyndon Oulton  11-5, 11-5, 11-4

 

 

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Sunday
Nov252018

Islanders Shine at Nova Scotia Open

Eight young Island squash players made the trip to St. Mary’s University courts in Halifax to compete against contemporaries from the other two maritime provinces.

 

The PEI contingent was primarily made up of players already selected or still vying for a spot on the 2019 Canada Games Team. This tournament served as a great training vehicle as the games are only three months away.

 

The three selectees on the boys side all competed in the gold division which is made up of the very best players from each province. Our only nationally ranked junior boy, and also one of the very best senior players in the province, Liam Jinks, cruised through the draw to the final before bowing out to Doug Kosciukicwicz. Doug is two years Liam’s senior, has graduated and currently is taking the year to concentrate fully on his squash. The NS #1 didn’t have an easy time of it. He defeatedLiam in three very tough games: 13-11, 11-9, 11-6. The PEI #2 and #3 Thomas and Michael Cheeseman played some very good squash over the two days, especially the older brother Thomas who lost to Liam and the New Brunswick top player Eric Melanson to finish in fourth place.

 

In the very interesting silver division where there was a great deal of parity, not only among the three youngest boys on the PEI training squad seeking that fourth spot on the CG team, but also the other half dozen players in the draw. When all was completed late Saturday afternoon, Tobias Cheeseman and Charlie Peacock were undefeated with the exception of the very tough Emmett Workman and finished 2nd and 3rd respectively. Ajit Balasundaram split his matches and came home with some very valuable experience. 

On the girl’s side PEI was missing their top two players. Number one Emma Jinks is away studying and playing squash at the University of Virginia, while #2 Olivia Phillips was under the weather throughout the week and chose not to participate. The already determined back half of the girl’s team is made up of Maria Cheeseman and Lindsey Drover, like Ajit, they haven’t had that much off Island junior experience, but performed admirably.

 

The one non-Canada Games Island player competing in the Open was Will MacLean. He demonstrated why he will be leader in four years when the Games returns to the Island. He finished in the top half of a very good bronze division.

 

Saturday
Nov242018

Island Super League week 3

WEEK #3 ISLAND SUPER LEAGUE

 

RESULTS:

 

STRATFORD DEF. CORNWALL   5-3

Liam Jinks d. Nathan Phillips 11-5, 11-8, 10-8

Matt Twiddy d. Lester Jinks 11-8, 11-8, 13-11

 

O’LEARY DEF. SOURIS  8-2

Mike Buchanan d. Mitch Chaisson 11-1, 11-9, (11-6), 14-12

Lyndon Oulton d. Ken Sampson (1-11), 12-10, 11-9, 11-7

Tuesday
Nov062018

Super League Week 2

WEEK #2     STRATFORD REMAINS UNBEATEN

After two rounds of play the Stratford team of Liam and Lester Jinks remain in first place and undefeated in the Island Superleague. This week on court #4 they met the Souris team of Mitchell Chaisson and Ken Sampson. As per league protocol the teams #2 lead things off. Father Jinks squeezed the first game out versus Ken in extra points and kept rolling in the second. But the import from Rustico wasn’t about to lay down and came storming back and captured the next two games. Almost an hour later we were now into the fifth, and it was anyone’s game as the score went back and forth right up until 12 all, it certainly was anyone’s match. And on this occasion it was Stratford’s Jinks' who got it done. 3-2 Stratford.

The #1’s took the court. Of the top echelon it was the oldest versus the youngest and the question of whether Liam could live up to his fantastic performance of the week before.  Mitch was taking the ball early, volleying whenever possible and had Jinks very much on the defensive much of the time. But after four tough games they were all equal and like the preceding matchthey went five.  This time it looked like a sure thing for Souris as Mitch went up 8-3 and 10-6, but it was just not to be. Liam found a way, he saved 5 match balls and walked off still undefeated at the number one position, and added 5 more points to the Stratford total.

While the Souris/Stratford drama was happening on the court next door O’Leary and Cornwall were fighting it out. Matt Twiddy who was playing his first match in the league was just too steady for O’Leary’s Lyndon Oulton. Matt dropped the first game but came storming back to win convincingly 3-1. Mike Buchanan is not accustomed losing, but the younger generation of players are certainly making it difficult for him to keep up his domination. Tuesday evening it was Nathan trying to duplicate Liam Jinks upset from last week. Indeed he was close to forcing the match into the fifth but Mike held on to win the fourth 13-11 and the match for O’Leary

 

STANDINGS WEEK #2

STRATFORD -  16

CORNWALL –  9

O’LEARY -         9

SOURIS -           9


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