DESPITE being seeded fourth, Colin Ramasra expectedly retained his title when the curtain fell on the Petrotrin 20th Anniversary Squash Tournament Saturday night at Petrotrin Club, Pointe-a-Pierre.
The six-time national champion defeated five-time Barbados champ Shawn Simpson 14-12, 2-11, 11-8, 11-4 in the final.
It was the first local tournament in a long time that Ramasra was not the top seed and this was because he struggled during the Caribbean Championships at home in the middle of last year and finished behind Josh Pinard and Bajans Simpson and Garvin Cumberbatch.
But the 29-year-old, who became this country's first professional player about five years ago, was the man to beat again as he had returned to the circuit in December after an absence of over two years.
Pinard stunned Ramasra in the semi-finals of the last year's National Championships and went on to capture the title for the third time in his first tournament in about three years.
The 23-year-old also prevailed when they met in the Caribbean Championships a few weeks earlier, but was no match for the southerner this time and went under 11-8, 11-5, 14-12 during the morning session in the semi-finals.
The second-seeded Simpson, a former Barbados national indoor volleyballer, halted third-seeded compatriot Cumberbatch 11-8, 8-11, 12-10, 11-8 to secure the other place in the title match.
The quarter-finals were contested on Friday night and Ramasra was the only one of the four seeds to surrender a set.
The Canada-based player defeated Guyanese Julian Chin 11-4 11-7, 10-12, 11-6, while Pinard was the most convincing of the quartet as the top seed brushed aside Chayse McQuan 11-4, 11-1, 11-7.
Former Caribbean champ Cumberbatch booked his place in the final four with an 11-6, 11-7, 11-8 triumph over national under-19 champ Mandela Patrick, while left-hander Simpson got there by beating former national champ Paul Jerome De Verteuil 11-9, 11-3, 11-5.
Chad Salandy defeated Mario Berment 11-7, 11-9, 8-11, 11-5 for the plate title (the event for players who were eliminated in the first round of the main draw of 32).