Junior CASA: Alphonso, Verwey set up all-Guyanese U-17 final
- Wiltshire, Gomes reach U-19 finals
By Akeem Greene
Guyanese athletes have progressed into the four finals at the ongoing Junior Caribbean Area Squash Championships (CASA) being held in Guyana after an action-packed Monday evening at the Georgetown Club Courts on Camp Street.
In the Boys Under-17, Guyana is assured a gold medal as local rivals Nicholas Verwey and Michael Alphonso will meet from 12:00h on Tuesday.
It was a contrasting run to the final for both young stars, as the number one seeded Verwey dished out a clinical performance to beat Trinidad’s young talent, Seth Thong 11-8, 11-3, 11-6.
Verwey’s most significant growth in his game in recent months has been his composure and looks cool as a cucumber on the road to what would be a first Caribbean individual title.
In his way would be Alphonso, who tasted Caribbean Under-15 success in 2019, and would have held the upper hand in previous years, but will need to play his best game to beat his good mate.
A slow start (lost 3-11 in the first set) against Barbadian Alex Stewart meant Alphonso in his semi-final, was under pressure. However, he managed to regain momentum, and a lot of vociferous crowd support, and better ‘drop balls’ helped him to close out the match 11-8, 11-8, 11-9.
As predicted, even before the tournament commenced, Shomari ‘Mr. Consistent’ Wiltshire, is in yet another Junior CASA final and will play number two seed, Darien Benn of Barbados from 13:00h.
Wiltshire is now a match-win away from joining the elite company of Richard Chin and Roger Arjoon as the Junior Guyanese players to win all of their age-group titles at Junior CASA.
Since 2014, when he was just 10 years of age and playing in Bermuda, the young man has not lost a match on his way to Junior CASA titles, and he kept that intact with an 11-2, 11-1, 11-3 triumph over Matthew Elliott of Bermuda on Monday evening.
Hopes of another all-Guyana final were dashed as Samuel Ince-Carvalhal went down to Benn 5-11, 6-11, 8-11.
For the Girls Under-19, there was hope of an all-local clash, but it was only Kirsten Gomes who got to the final as she topped Trinidadian Chole Walcott 11-1, 8-11, 11-9, 11-5.
Abosaide Cadogan, in her final year, lost a gruelling match with the highly-rated Barbadian Sumairaa Suleman.
Though the girls had a racquet and a ball, they were trading shots for shots on the court, more so like a boxing match, and the scores paint the picture of how closely knitted the match was.
Cadogan went ahead with an 11-9 win and the Bajan came soaring back via an 11-8 win. Cadogan, a Caribbean Under-15 champion, then regained the lead with a stupendous 11-3 victory in the third set.
With the win, Cadogan regained the momentum and her teammates were all cheering her on.
However, the fairytale end did not materialise, as Suleman rebounded to eke out 11-8 and 11-9 victories to play in the final from 12:30h against Gomes.
Chad De Abreu and Joshua Verwey lost their quarter-final matches to Jaydon Williams (3-11, 1-11, 3-11) and Daniel Henderson (12-10, 3-11, 7-11, 9-11).
Avery Arjoon, daughter of Roger Arjoon, is the other Guyanese to reach a final, and she will clash with Josie Thong of Trinidad and Tobago for Under-13 honours from 10:30h.
Arjoon defeated compatriot Tiana Gomes 11-7, 11-7, 11-0 to reach the final, while Thong got the better of McKenna Kyme 11-2, 11-3, 11-1.
Ben Phang won both of his matches, defeating Evan Inniss 11-9, 11-8, 9-11, 11-6 and Varad Maharaj 11-0, 11-6, 11-9, and will play his final match of the round-robin against Mason Smith from 10:30h.