Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Chapel-A go Top

Chapel Allerton 4-1 Nottingham
Mike Dickens reports

Jenny Duncalf vs Sarah Kippax: on paper Chapel A were looking to go one nil up, however, after the first game the crowd were looking worried. Sarah came out of the blocks quickly with Jenny not up to full pace and took the game 11-6.

The second Jenny was moving better and commanding the rallies and raced ahead to take the game 11-6, order was restored. Sarah in the third played some exquisite forehand volley drops and started to boss the ‘T’, 11-8 Sarah. Again in the forth much the same from Sarah and Jenny couldn’t fight back from 9-4 down, Sarah took the forth 11-7 after playing some great squash.

Chris Simpson vs Simon Parke: Chris had lost their three previous meetings 14-12 in the fifth, so the crowd needed to get behind him for that little bit extra. Chris started very well, quick, accurate and playing long energy sapping rallies.

Parkey came back though as he always does chasing the ball down and putting doubt into Chris’s mind, taking the third 13-11 with some brutal rallies. Chris managed to stay strong and pushed through 11-6 in the forth, using three different rackets in the process.

Aaron Frankcomb vs John Rooney: Aaron looked determined from the start and made very few errors and was pushing the pace. He took the first and the second 11-6, 11-6.

In the third Rooney came back with killer shots and worked Aaron that bit more moving him off the ‘T’, however, the Australian wanted a three love win and that is what he got with a well deserved 12-10 in the third.

Alister Walker vs Renan Lavigne: Alister was on fire. He said before the match he was “feeling good” and it certainly showed in his performance.

With the confidence from his new world ranking and recent results Alister seemed to be playing with a bit more attacking flair to go with his already renowned fitness and speed. He dominated the match and won with 11-3 11-3 11-7 much to the crowds delight.

Thierry Lincou vs Ong Beng Hee: this was Thierry’s debut for Chapel A and the crowd were excited at the prospect of seeing a former World Number One and World Champion. It was the number 7 in the world vs the number 10 and what a game.

The retrieving, unbelievable, the shots on the big points, outrageous, the length of the rallies, ridiculous. Both players wanted this match so much and the crowd did not want it to end. One of the greatest matches ever at Chapel A and that includes players such as the legendary Jansher Khan playing here in his prime.

Both had match balls in the fifth and at 12-12 a rally left both players doubled over gasping for breath and the supporters going wild. Another brutal rally on match ball at a frightening pace saw Thierry firing a forehand cross court nick and some how an amazing pick up by Beng Hee, then an exceptional exchange at the front of the court with Thierry finishing the rally with a low hard cross court.

Thierry raised both fists to the air and gave out a loud shout of delight. Both players walked off to a standing ovation and credit must go to both players for such a superb display of squash, long may it continue. 11-7 12-10 10-12 9-11 14-12 (84 minutes).

Mike Dickens

Consistent Bristol beat Guildford again

UniSport Guildford 1 lost to Probuild Bristol 4

Jesse Engelbrecht 2 lost to Adrian Grant 3
11 - 7, 9 - 11, 11 - 9, 4 - 11, 6 - 11
Stacey Ross 1 lost to David Evans 3
13 - 11, 3 - 11, 8 - 11, 8 - 11
Phil Rushworth 0 lost to Hadrian Stiff 3
8 - 11, 6 - 11, 8 - 11
Mick Biggs 1 lost to Peter Marshall 3
11 - 8, 3 - 11, 6 - 11, 0 - 11
Alison Waters 3 beat Sarah Jane Perry 0
11 - 7, 11 - 3, 11 - 5

Consistent Bristol beat Guildford again
Ian Robinson reports

UniSport found the going tough against Probuild Bristol in the first match of the second half of the season. Bristol are very much play off contenders and are a hard nut to crack with the vast skill and experience in their ranks. UniSport faced the exact same line up as for the visit to Bristol in the first half of the season. The result then was a 4 - 1 defeat and sadly Bristol's consistency was admirable in repeating the same match score and result again.

Alison Waters was first into action and faced Sarah-Jane Perry, one of England's notable juniors. After a creditable start to the first game by Perry, Waters gradually got the measure of her younger opponent and proceeded to give a master class in professional squash playing from which the youngster can learn. Waters played some awesome squash to cruise home to victory and put the first and only point of the night on the board for UniSport Guildford. 1 - 0

On the Championship Court, Phil Rushworth, deputising for Steve Meads, was renewing acquaintances with Hadrian Stiff, the ProBuild Bristol player manager. This had all the makings of an intriguing encounter but for Rushworth's error count being too high. Stiff is vastly experienced and has plenty of skill but does find playing Rushworth frustrating. Rushworth has all the grit and determination of a genuine Yorkshireman who lost his way only to find himself in Surrey. There is, however, a good deal more certainty about his squash. There is no doubt that the Guildford man is learning hugely from his PSL outings but needs a level of consistency that only comes from an injury free spell of competitive activity. The scoreline bears a similar resemblance to their previous meeting when Rushworth fought his corner hard but in reality failed to put a game on the scoreboard while performing well enough to suggest that better things might well be around the corner. Winning point to Probuild Bristol 1 - 1.

The ever popular local hero, Mick Biggs, was fast out of the blocks against veteran Peter Marshall. Marshall, a former great of the sport with a world ranking of 2 at his best, is still a force to be reckoned with, and that despite now having a day job to distract him. Biggs has reduced his work load to put extra work into his squash game and is reaping a reward for so doing. Certainly a very fired up Biggs hit the ground running and took Marshall by surprise taking the first game 11 - 8. The seasoned campaigner came roaring back ripping the second game off Biggs and conceded only 3 points to make his point. As the third game got under way it became obvious that Biggs was having a problem moving and into the fourth resistance faded away, as Biggs had damaged his hip and was unable to push off that leg. The contest was quickly over as Marshall took care of business. This was bitterly disappointing for Biggs as he was intent upon making a complete nuisance of himself and had already performed above expectation bearing in mind that his result in the first half of the season was a 3 - 0 defeat, so taking a game improved on that. Notwithstanding Probuild Bristol took a 2 - 1 lead.

Stacey Ross was another player intent on bettering his previous performance against his more fancied opponent from the first leg. David Evans is a class act even now in the twilight of his career and although the Christmas festivities might have been good to him, he showed no signs of it. Ross had lost in five tight games in the first half. This time Evans had learnt the lessons well. The first game was very scrappy with neither player showing much sign of taking control. In a tight game, Ross managed to nose in front and take it after some hard work by 13 - 11. Not to be outdone Evans came to life, pushed up the court and starting volleying with his prodigious reach, which seemed to imply that he no longer had to run around the court merely stretching out his arm would do the job. It was intensely frustrating for Ross being unable to move the Bristol man from the mid court position and therefore being unable to roll out his best attacking weapons. Cleverly Evans had rendered Ross's attacking game impotent and but for some brief interludes Evans' domination after that was near exemplary. There was a suspicion that Evans might well have been running out of gas towards the end, but Ross was unable to take control nor exploit that perceived weakness if indeed there was one. This was a steely display of professional squash by Evans with Ross unable to come up with any answers. Full credit to Evans he deservedly banked the point for Probuild Bristol 3 - 1, giving the visitors a match winning score.

The first string match was now effectively a dead rubber but you would not have guessed it from the intensity of the match between Engelbrecht and ex Guildford player Adrian Grant. Grant played for Guildford in his career developmental phase and how Guildford would love to have a player of his pedigree in their team now. Engelbrecht aspires to this level of squash and played positively. Using his accuracy and speed around the court to good effect he matched everything that Grant could do and more in the first game, taking advantage of errors to wrap it up 11 - 7 to give the home supporters something to cheer. The second game was close despite Engelbrecht trailing for the whole game and never quite being able to get on level terms. It became apparent that Grant was mindful of the threat that Engelbrecht posed if he did not stir himself. Grant again lapsed into error in a tight third game and to the delight of the local fans Engelbrecht took a 2 - 1 lead and looked good value for it. But Grant is a good professional these days and dug a little bit deeper and moved up a gear to surge into a big lead which he never lost to level the scores at 2 - 2. Engelbrecht now looked tense and ill at ease, making a disastrous start to the fifth game. Engelbrecht fell behind and despite competing hard he had it all to do playing catch up in a game that he badly needed to control if he was to come out on top. Grant moved into top gear and never allowed Engelbrecht into the match which was to end a regrettably disappointing night's work for the UniSport Guildford team losing by 4 games to 1.

There were some positives to take out of this match for UniSport Guildford, but not enough and performances need to rise for success to be part of the equation in the remainder of the season. UniSport Guildford will look forward to welcoming back Steve Meads for the next match against PNH Properties Chichester on the south coast on Tuesday 3rd February. See you there...