THE Squash Summer League is in full swing at the Wanderers Squash Courts, with the Black Mambas having taken a decisive lead after the second week of action.
The Summer League is mainly a social league, but according to organiser Sean Wathen, it’s still very competitive.
“With the summer league we want to launch squash for the season, before the major events later in the year. It’s a very social league, comprising of four teams of 16 players, who play against each other for 20 minutes, with no rest time. One might think that 20 minutes is a short period of time, but on a squash court 20 minutes non-stop is very demanding. So it’s a way of launching the players into the season and gauging where they are as far as their fitness is concerned,” he said.
“The tournament has been going for about 15 years and this year we got a new sponsor in Namibre and we are very happy about that. It’s very popular, it’s quite casual, but there’s also a serious element involved and some of the top players look to it to launch themselves for the season ahead,” he added.
After this week’s second round of action, the Black Mambas have taken a commanding lead with 81 points, followed by the Red Rattlers on 53, the Green Mambas on 47 and the Blue Boa Constrictors on 46.
On Tuesday evening, the Black Mambas comfortably beat the Red Rattlers 36-24, with most of their top players on the winning side.
Of their top-ranked players, only the second seeded Danie Grobler ended on the losing side, going down 37-34 to Delia van Zyl, but their top seed Franco Lambert beat Dene van Zyl 40-24, third seed Gerhard Liebenberg just edged Dries Tredoux 34-33, and fourth seed Basson van Rooyen beat Vito Abrantes 42-38.
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There were also big wins for Gwen Lister, who beat Marion Berry 56-36, and Schalk Burger, who beat Fourie Oosthuizen 50-14.
On Wednesday, the Blue Boa Constrictors just edged the Green Mambas 31-30 in a close encounter.
The Blue Boa Constrictors only won two of the top eight encounters, but with their lower ranked players winning six of the bottom eight matches, they just managed to pip the Green Mambas by an extra bonus point.
Of the Constrictors’ top-seeded players, only Gerhard Bruwer was on the winning side, beating William Graham 50-20; while Samuel Kruger lost 38-27 to Rowan McNamara; Ricardo Abrantes lost 31-30 to Keegan Mouton; and Marco Himmel lost 46-30 to Hans Rack.
But there were big wins for Loryn Tjimbundu, who beat Alina Primus 67-39, Phillip Maas who beat Quintin Esterhuizen 52-26 and Theunis Heunis who beat Liesel Wijgergangs 56-36.