Barbados’ Best at Squash

Barbados’ Best at Squash
Meagan Best (L) taking on Amanda Haywood.
Photo by George Alleyne

The effort of Meagan Best in defending her Barbados Senior National Squash Champion title was light in comparison to the struggle her veteran male counterpart, Shawn Simpson, had to endure before retaining his crown in the 2019 championships.

The Barbados Senior National Squash Championship, played Sunday at the Barbados Squash Club, Marine Garden, Christ Church saw Best wining her fourth consecutive national title by beating Amanda Haywood 13-11, 11-2, 8-11 and 11-7.

Simpson won the crown for a record 11th time by defeating Khamal Cumberbatch 7-11, 11-5, 11-5, 7-11 and 11-6.

While it was not exactly an easy defence for 19-year-old Best, the reigning three-time Caribbean squash champion, her familiarity with Haywood, of the same age, took the champion over the top.

As the final score shows Haywood fought back to win the third set pushing the women’s encounter to a fourth.

“It was getting a bit scary when she came back in the third game but I was able to counter what she did and bring it home in the fourth,” Best conceded afterwards.

“This is the third time playing Amanda in the final and we have a great idea of how each other plays and I knew it would have been tougher this time… I knew it was going to be a strong battle this time around.”

For 35-year-old Simpson it was more than a scare as Cumberbatch, 17, jumped ahead winning the first set and despite the veteran taking the second and third sets the youngster kept coming and forced match-up to a decider in the fifth encounter.

“This feels just as good as the first one. Every time I win it feels like the first title … people were cheering for young Cumberbatch who is the number one boy in the Caribbean and as the defending champion a lot of pressure was on me. But I just made sure I went out there and tried to execute my game as well as possible and not give him too many opportunities,” said Simpson of the testing defence against Cumberbatch who is ranked top eight in the Pan American region.

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