Guyana’s juniors cop 12th consecutive CASA Team title


Guyana retained the overall Team Title for the 12th consecutive time with a hard-fought three matches to two victory in the Boys Team final to help clinch the title. Earlier in the day, the Girls had narrowly lost to Barbados by three matches to two, to finish second.


In the Girls final round-robin playoff against Barbados, which was a virtual final as both teams were unbeaten, the crucial match would be the Girls Under-13 tie as both teams knew that Team Guyana would most likely win the two Girls Under-19 matches and Barbados would win the Under-17 and Under-15 matches.


The two Under-13 girls, Abosaide Cadogan and Sumairaa Suleman, took to the court for the first match. Sumairaa was the defending Girls Under-13 champion, who had earlier this week retained her title but she had not yet played Abosaide in the tournament. The two girls matched each other stroke for stroke in the first game, but Sumairaa won this crucial game 11- 9. The second game was even closer but again Sumairaa prevailed 12 – 10.


Taylor Fernandes in action in the Girls final
Taylor Fernandes in action in the Girls final

Losing these two games seemed to take the fight out of Abosaide and she lost the third game 3 – 11. Barbados had basically secured the Girls title. In the Girls Under-15 match, Makeda Harding was up against two time defending Girls Under-15 champion Megan Best and lost easily 2 – 11, 1 – 11, 2 – 11.


Taylor Fernandes, the 2016 Girls Under-19 runner –up, quickly dispatched Chelsie Samuel 11 – 3, 11 – 4, 11 – 6, but two-time defending Girls Under-17 champion Amanda Haywood easily defeated Rebecca Low 11 – 4, 11 – 2, 11 – 1 to clinch the Girls Team title for Barbados. In the dead rubber match, Girls Under-19 champion Larissa Wiltshire defeated Jada Smith- Padmore 11 – 4, 11 – 4, 11 – 3.


Top male player Ben Mekdeci lets out a roar to celebrate Guyana's vctory
Top male player Ben Mekdeci lets out a roar to celebrate Guyana’s victory

Team Guyana then knew that to win the Overall Team title the Boys team had to secure victory against Cayman Islands. First on court was two times defending Boys Under-13 champion Shomari Wiltshire against Jace Jarvis. Shomari won the first game 11 – 5 and then won the second game 11 – 6. The third game was quickly over with the score being 11 – 1.


Next on court were the Under-15’s with Daniel Islam taking on David Pitcairn. Daniel won a close first game 11 – 6, but David was giving his all and won a close second game 11 – 8. It was do or die in the third game, but Daniel played the big points better and won this crucial game 11 – 7. Daniel held his nerve and won the fourth game 11 – 6 to give Team Guyana a crucial two matches to love lead.


Ben Mekdeci was up next against 2016 Boys Under-19 champion Julian Jervis. Julian showed his true class with a clinical display as he defeated Ben 11 – 1, 11 – 1, 11 – 2. The crucial Boys Under-17 match was on next as Alex Cheeks was matched against Jason Sairsingh. The two had met earlier in the Pool tie and Alex had won by three games to love, but today was different as it was the team final. Alex won a close first game 11 – 9 and then took the second game 11 – 3.

Guyana's male team strikes a pose
Guyana’s male team strikes a pose

At nine all in the third Alex was two points away from securing the victory for Team Guyana, but it was not to be as Jason won the next two points and forced the match into a fourth game. The fourth game was neck and neck with both players giving their all. Again Alec was two points away from victory at 9 – 7, but Jason won the next point.

That was as close as Jason got as Alex won the next two points and with that both the Boys team title and the Overall Team title. In the dead rubber match, Rithew Saywack went the full five games with Isiah Robinson but narrowly lost 9 – 11, 11 – 9, 13 – 11, 8 – 11, 10 – 12.

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