The Madibaz men’s squash team won the Eastern Province Super League when they defeated champions Londt Park at Londt Park in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday.
The win, 3-2 in matches, gave the Nelson Mandela University outfit an unbeaten run during the season. This placed them ahead of Londt Park (three wins, one loss) even though the champions finished two points ahead on the final log. They last won the title in 2017.
The match was keenly poised when it was 1-1 after two matches and Londt Park’s Warren Watermeyer won the first game against Gershwin Forbes.
But Forbes rallied for a 3-1 victory and young Siphelele Mpini finished it off with a 3-0 win over Arthur Maree.
Club coach and No 1 Jason le Roux said they were very pleased with the result and said the team found the belief necessary to achieve league success.
“I felt Warren [Bower, who beat Tyrone Dial] and Siphelele [Mpini] were the big wins on the night,” he said.
“Siphelele was unbeaten at his position and this came after he defended three match balls in his first game to win 3-2. From there he just got better during the season.”
He felt the team always had the ability to win the league, but that they needed to believe in themselves against a potent Londt Park side.
“We have put extra time in at the gym and extra time in training these last three weeks,” he said.
“The team did some consistent training. Spending time together and working hard gave them the belief they could pull it off.
“We had not won the league for two years so there was a hunger to regain the title.”
Le Roux said they would take the same attitude into the University Sport South Africa tournament to be hosted by Rhodes in Grahamstown in July.
“Our squad is looking good at the moment because we will have John Kuhn back and the maturity of the team has grown.”
Kuhn was the team’s No 1 in 2018, but was not available for USSA last year.
He said the women’s team, who ended second last year, would be the same, headed by Hayley Ward, with support from Bianca Brown and Dani Shone.