Khalil captures third title in four years

- Harding secures maiden tournament triumph

Jason-Ray Khalil won his third title in four years while Makeda Harding secured her maiden tournament win last night as the 2014 Bounty Farm Mash Handicap Tournament organised by the Guyana Squash Association (GSA) in collaboration with its number one corporate sponsor Digicel Guyana ended at the Georgetown Club.

Khalil (-22) captured his third title in dramatic fashion by overcoming a masterful performance from 35-year-old former national champion Regan Pollard (-16). Khalil, who is just 19-years-old, prevailed in the three-game thriller 15/9, 10/15,15/10. Eleven-year-old Makeda Harding (2) produced an emphatic breakthrough performance to win Category A of the tournament by trouncing Jonathan Edwards (6). Harding, who

The various prize winners following the conclusion of the Guyana Squash Association’s handicap tournament last night at the Georgetown Club.
The various prize winners following the conclusion of the Guyana Squash Association’s handicap tournament last night at the Georgetown Club.

has shown tremendous improvement over the last few  months, relied on a powerful backhand drive that was too good for Edwards in the final. Savannah Mendes (0) secured third place in Category A after beating Madison Fernandes (11) 15/12, 15/13.

Seasoned campaigner Lloyd Fung-A-Fat (7) rebounded from his semifinal loss to Khalil with an emphatic win against Nicholas Narain (-8) to claim third place in the main draw. Ashley deGroot (2) won the Open Plate with an impressive two-game win against promising junior Alex Cheeks (11) 15/12, 18/16. Medhi Ramdhani (6) defeated Wayne Alphonso (12) in straight games to claim third place in the Open Plate category.

The gripping showdown in the final between Pollard and Khalil was a fitting climax to an exciting tournament. The quality of shots played by both players in the final was outstanding and the match was keenly contested. Pollard’s rally construction was exquisite during the encounter, especially in the second game which he won 15/10. Pollard’s brilliance in shot selection overshadowed Khalil’s expert retrieving skills in the second and third game.

In the third game Khalil committed quite a few unforced errors that almost put Pollard in a poised position to steal his title. But the defending champion never let up. Khalil got on the aggressive and unleashed lethal shots of his own, that may have been adequately described as pre-emptive strikes in that they were tailored for Pollard’s position and somehow, his next move. Pollard dug deep to win a crucial rally to progress to 9/6, but it seemed that that rally drained his energy. Crippled by fatigue, Pollard was never the same after, and Khalil pounced, mercilessly on his immobility to win the match.

 

 

 

Main Draw

Final

Jason Ray Khalil (-22) defeated Regan Pollard (-16) 15/9, 10/15, 15/10 (final)

Third Place Game

Lloyd Fung-A-Fat (7) defeated Nicholas Narain (-8) 15/7, 15/8

 

Category A

Final

Makeda Harding (2) defeated Jonathan Edwards (6) 12/15 15/10, 15/8

Third Place Game

Savannah Mendes (0) defeated Madison Fernandes (11) 15/12, 15/13

Winners and Runners-Up

Main Draw

First Place: Jason Ray Khalil

Second Place: Regan Pollard

Third Place: Lloyd Fung-A-Fat

Category A

First Place: Makeda Harding

Second Place: Jonathan Edwards

Third Place: Savannah Mendes

Open Plate

First place: Ashley deGroot

Second Place: Alex Cheeks

Third place: Medhi Ramdhani

Classic Plate

First place: Pablio Mundini

Second Place: Alec Melville

Category A plate

First Place: John Phang

Second Place: Sarah Lewis

Third place: Michael Alphonso

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