Thursday, November 25, 2010

World Squash returns to Winchester

World Squash has returned to the Winchester Tennis and Squash Club in the form of the Premier Squash League.  The format involves 5 players, of which one must be under 21 and one female.

IGT Winchester had played 2 matches prior to this showdown with unbeaten Exeter Diamonds and needed a victory to rejuvenate their season.

200 spectators crowded the Winchester gallery in anticipation of a great match and they were not to be disappointed.  The evening started with 26 year old Lauren Selby out playing her younger opponent, Emma Chorley, giving the home team a 1-0 lead.  This lead was extended by the ever improving   Marwan El Shorbagy who’s array of winning shots and excellent retrieving was too much for the world number 91 and local Exeter player, James Snell.

Next on court spectators welcomed local Hampshire player, Rob Downer, who performed well above expectation to beat Chris Tasker-Grindley taking the match 3-1 and sealing a Winchester victory. 

The last 2 matches involved 4 players all ranked within the World top 50.

The second string match was an Antipodean battle between World number 50 and New Zealand number 1, Campbell Grayson for Exeter against Winchesters Ryan Cuskelly who holds a current world ranking of 41. 

The match was a true battle lasting over 115 minutes with both players being pushed to their maximum.  The ever consistent Campbell eventually won the match 3-1 with Cuskelly ultimately being out played and having to cope with bout of cramp on the fourth game.  Cuskelly’s effort and commitment was not lost on the home crowd who appreciated both players attitude and enjoyed the match of the night.

With the result now decided, Joey Barrington representing Winchester, came onto court relishing the chance to compete against World number 11 Laurens Jan Anjema.  Although ranked 20 places below Anjema,  Joey, son of 6 times British Open winner,  Jonah Barrington, competed in all aspects of the game but could not break down the Dutchman eventually losing out 3-0.

With over 3 hours of play the crowd were treated to an outstanding display of world class squash played at the highest level in great spirit.  IGT Winchester now look forward to the new year travelling to UWE Bristol on 25/01/11 and hosting Surrey Health and Rackets on 01/02/11.

To watch IGT Winchester at their next home match please contact the Club reception on 01962 854028.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Aussie makes it tough for Games hero Matthew but Duffield cruise to victory

If this was meant to be the celebration of Nick Matthew's double gold medal success, someone forgot to tell Cameron Pilley.

World number two Matthew, playing his first Premier Squash League match for Benz-Bavarian Duffield since his Commonwealth Games triumph in Delhi, was given a tough old night by the Australian.

It was the Derbyshire club that took the honours on the night, winning 4-1 against Oxford to avenge their defeat in the final round of matches last season that cost them a place in the play-offs.

The victory was already in the bag before the number one players were even halfway through their first game but that didn't make it any less of an exhilarating contest.

If the forthcoming Ashes series is as keenly fought and as exciting to watch, we will all be in for a treat. The same result will also be welcome as the Englishman Matthew finally came through.

Pilley settled the quickest, going 7-1 up in the first game. Matthew had to save game ball twice at 10-8 and again at 12-11 but made his own second game ball count at 15-13.

But if Matthew thought he was over the worst of it, he was mistaken as he took a painful whack on the knuckle at 4-4 in the second and then saw the Oxford player come back from 8-6 down to level the match 11-9.

That was as close as Pilley was to get to an upset. He did well to save three game balls in the third but ran out of steam in the fourth against the relentless Matthew in the fourth.

"He made it a really tough match for me but that was just what I needed, especially with the World Open coming up," said Matthew. "It was a good workout."

Millie Tomlinson, back in the country at the end of her first term studying at Yale University in the USA, made very swift work of scoring her first PSL victory when she outplayed and demoralised her long-time junior rival Katie Quartermaine 11-4, 11-3, 11-3 in only 17 minutes.

At the same time, Steve Coppinger was having a more testing match against Scott Handley. The Oxford veteran showed plenty of deft touches but was unable to find the speed in his legs to take him to all the places Coppinger dragged him around court and the first two games went to the home side 11-7, 11-3.

Handley, to his credit, did not give up the contest and threatened to take it into a fourth game at 10-8 but the South African took the next four points and the match.

There was very little to choose between Andy Whipp and Andrew Birks in the opening two games.

Birks saved game ball twice before succumbing 13-11 in the first and Whipp had to survive two game balls in the second before making his own second opportunity pay 14-12.

That second game was settled on a stroke call that greatly annoyed Birks, though he did not dispute it, and he was not the same player as Whipp tore through the third 11-6.

The only blot on the night came at number two, when Jon Kemp's return to Duffield ended in an 11-6, 11-6, 11-2 defeat by Borja Golan.

But the overall victory against a side that had won their opening two PSL matches was a sweet one and put Duffield in a solid position with two wins to take into the new year.

Felix Frixou

Chapel Allerton make it Two out of Two

Chapel Allerton vs. Nottingham, 23rd November ‘10

After starting the season with a fantastic 5-0 away win at Pontefract, Chapel Allerton’s PSL Team were looking to continue their winning ways in their first home fixture over visitors Nottingham. In front of a packed and vocal home crowd both sets of supporters were treated to an entertaining night of squash, with Chapel Allerton emerging victorious in a 4-1 win, having the advantage of fielding a stronger team for the fixture.

Carrie Ramsey vs. Emily Whitlock 9/11 0/5 ret.

What promised to be a close encounter between two closely ranked teenagers was unfortunately cut short with an injury to Carrie towards the end of the first game just as the scores were level and the match was starting to fulfil its potential.

Shaun Le Roux vs. Declan James 6-11 / 9-11 / 11-1 / 11-3 / 11-4

A clash of experience vs. youth started with Declan looking the more energetic, and perhaps Shaun feeling the effects of his recent return from America. After finding himself with a two game deficit, Shaun seemed to find another gear to close out the next three games comfortably to level the match 1-1.

Chris Simpson v Mark Fuller 11-1 / 11-8 / 11-4

After a successful stint in Canada, Chris looked very confident and free in his squash. This was reflected in the score line which, with the exception of an early lead in the second for Mark, Chris cruised home to a comfortable 3-0 win which saw Chapel A take a 2-1 lead overall.

Aaron Frankcomb vs. Chris Truswell 11-5 / 11-8 / 11-7

After a season in exile crowd favourite Aaron has returned to the Team’s PSL squad, much to the delight of the watching clubs members. Aaron wasted no time in stamping his authority on the match, looking to strong and having too much variety for Chris, also an ex Chapel A PSL member. 3-1 to the home club.

Alister Walker vs. Lewis Walters 11-6 / 11-9 / 11-2

With the match having potential to be tighter than the world rankings would suggest (20 for Ali, 112 for Lewis) both players started at a frantic tempo, with the intensity rarely dropping throughout. Knowing that Chapel A had already secured the match, but with every point being crucial in the league Alister used his superior experience to take an entertaining but ultimately comfortable 3-0 win for himself and 4-1 win for the team.

Another great win for the team that sees them settle into joint second in the league with Duffield just four points behind Oxford who have a game in hand. The team now look forwards to a festive break before resuming their campaign in January.

Neil Guirey
Chapel Allerton Team Manager

Crystal Ball bounces back

After taking a break for the widely-spaced first two rounds, Crystal Ball bounced back with a bang for Round Three, naming all five winners, and had Olly Pett not humbled world #13 Daryl Selby, all five scores too.

Flushed by this success the top tipster is inclined to use this blog to announce future predictions and invite comment or ridicule from interested parties. So get your teams in early and watch this space ... see you in the New Year ...

Chichester’s Olly Pett wins the match of his life!

The 3rd round of the Premier Squash League Group B was staged at Chichester Racquets & Fitness Club this week with Team Chichester playing top of the table TWP St. George’s Hill Weybridge and indeed it was a ‘top of the table’ team that visited the Club.  Team Chichester remained unchanged from last week’s victorious squad but this week faced an extremely tough challenge against a very strong St. George’s Hill; a team comprising 4 players in the World’s top 50.

Alex Gough, third string for Chichester, played Nicolas Mueller, World No.39.  A gallant Gough once again battled hard and was very competitive in the first game but thereafter faded; he was giving away almost 20 years and this began to tell as the match progressed.  Mueller won comfortably 8/11, 5/11, 4/11

St George’s 1 up.

Meanwhile, on the adjacent court, Lauren Briggs (Chi.) played Sussex player, Rachel Willmott.  Lauren was doing her best to keep Chichester in the match and controlled the ‘T’ superbly to run out a 11/7, 11/5, 11/9 winner.


Following on, Nic Birt (Chi.), took on World No.48, Mark Krajcsak.  This proved to be a tough match but the difference in rankings was evident once again.  Birt steadfastly fought well throughout and gave 100% effort, and was generally in most of the rallies, but Krajcsak always seemed to have the last say.  As the score suggests, Krajcsak dominated all the way through the match for his 11/5, 11/4, 11/5 win.

Winchester 1.2 up on the night.

On the glass-back show court Tim Vail (Chi) took on Tom Richards, the World No.32. Inspired play by Vail, including a series of his trademark nicks, helped him take a close first game.  More of the same by both players followed in the second.  Richards speed around the court put Vail under increasing pressure and Richards snatched a close second to level the score.  Richards upped his game in the third and increased the pressure; mistakes began to creep into Vail’s game. Richards won the game with ease 2/11.  In the fourth Richards was always slightly ahead with Vail increasingly tiring.  Richards’ speed and consistency proved too much for Vail and Richards won the game 7/11 to give St. George’s Hill an unassailable lead.

1.3 and the match to St. George’s Hill.  

The final match was between Olly Pett (World No.145, a former International Junior and Chichester’s U23 player for the season) and Daryl Selby (currently World No.13 and 6 times National Racketball Champion) proved to be an enthralling classic. Pett played superlative squash against a man 132 places above him in the PSA ranking list.  Pett continually attacked, combined with superb deft touches and, together with Selby’s retrieving, the match was utterly spellbinding.  Pett took the first game on a tie-break 12/10.  Selby then battled back to take the next 2 games 9/11, 9/11 before the momentum swung back to Pett who gallantly won the 4th 11/5 to force a decider. 

An unbelievable 5th game followed and the atmosphere could only be described as electric.  Was another major upset on the cards?  Pett reached match point at 10/8, Selby saved one before Pett converted it to win the match of his life!  The headline “World No. 145 beats World No. 13” will reverberate around the squash world for a while to come. 

2.3. to St. George’s Hill

Olly said after the match “It’s the best win I’ve had and together with my win last week against Joey Barrington I’m feeling brilliant.” 

Team Chichester’s next match is away to Exeter on 25 January 2011.

Mike Phillips
Team Manager.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pett seals home win for Chichester

Team Chichester played IGT Winchester at Chichester Racquets & Fitness Club this week; the squad’s first home fixture of this season’s Premier Squash League.

Lauren Briggs, making her home debut for Chichester, faced Catherine Finlayson (also making her debut for Winchester).  Briggs did not disappoint and started strongly. She dominated to win 11/3 in the first.  Finlayson fought back well in the next 2 games; experience, however, held Briggs’ game together.  Greater control and domination of the ‘T’ saw her through to win the match 11/7, 11/6.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Esporta off to a good start

Ross Gore reports

Following a nice summer break the club its supporters and sponsors were ready for another action packed season of PSL with the long term goal to one step further than last year.

We welcomed visitors Pontefact who like ourselves had some of the big guns missing due to being in commonwealth games action.

Friday, October 8, 2010

MB Nottingham Show Their Hand

The UK’s most prestigious squash league is back!  Nottingham Squash Rackets Club and long term partner MB Nottingham will once again be competing for National glory, bringing the world’s finest squash players to the Nottingham faithful.

Following our massively successful season last year, which saw MB Nottingham make the semi final play off, missing out on a final place against eventual winners Esporta Croydon by the narrowest of margins, this season see’s a change to the line up and a change in how the Premier League team fits into Nottingham Squash Club.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Surrey Health & Racquets Club v Chichester

Well the new season is here and much anticipation as we try to defend our 2010 title. We had a good crowd, looking forward to a great night of squash...and what a night they got??
Here is how the night unfolded!!

Duffield start with a win ...

I would like to take this opportunity of thanking all who attended our first PSL encounter of the 2010 /2011 season against MB Nottingham on Tuesday evening.

I am sure you will all agree that there was on view Squash of the highest standard, and a 5-0 victory against our local rivals got us off to the best possible start for the current campaign. Bearing in mind we were lacking the fire power off our top strings, I thought every member of the team were magnificent and this bodes very well for future matches.

We really are privileged to have such a wonderful squad of Players who have committed their services this season, and personally I cannot wait for the forth coming games which I am sure will produce some world class performances.

The atmosphere last evening was tremendous and in no small way added to the performance given by each and every Player.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Welcome Back Winchester

IGT Winchester V TWP St George’s Hill
Chris Nutley reports

As Winchester set off on their Premier Squash League adventure the club welcomed back a hero and unearthed a new one.

After an absence of about 15 years PSL or National League as it was then known returned to Winchester with a full house and a great evening of squash.

The club have been looking at entering a team for a number of years and since the withdrawal of Guildford at the end of last season they seized the opportunity of bringing world class squash back to the venue.  The hard work and dedication of Gary Hinton, Kirby Sinclair and Gary Harris, supported by General Manager Billy Kerr made it all possible and last night the members and local squash fans got behind the venture and filled the club with energy, enthusiasm and fantastic support.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

PCL Whitehall Surrey Health & RC v Probuild Bristol

Match 9 was all to play for to get a semi-final place. Both teams had players unavailable so here's what happened ...

Lauren Selby v Sarah Jane-Perry
This turned out to be a tight match with Sarah-Jane coming out the blocks quicker and kept ahead in the 1st to take it 11-9. lauren came out in the 2nd hitting a much better length and width and took her opportunities to go short well to take it 11-8. The 3rd was tight again but good power and length from Sarah-Jane who took it 11-7. Lauren re-focused in the break and came out much quicker and started taking the ball much earlier to take control of the match and win the 4th and 5th games 11-2 11-7. An excellent game enjoyed by the crowd.Surrey H &RC 1 Bristol 0

Tim Garner v Theo Anderson
On the adjoining court Tim was playing some excellent squash, moving his opponent to every part of the court to take a 3-0 win 11-4 11-9 11-9.
Surrey H & RC 2 Probuild Bristol 0

Adrian Waller v Ben Rogers
Adrian is in good form at the moment and he was in no mood to hang around and he stormed to a 3-0 win 11-4 11-7 11-6.
Surrey H & RC 3 Probuild Bristol 0

Peter Nicol v Peter Marshall
This was the match of the night with the former World Num 1 and World Num 2 in the clash of the Legends. In the 1st game Peter Nicol came out firing and stormed into a 5-1 lead but Pete Marshall then starting to find an excellent length to edge back and take the 1st game 11-8. The 2nd game was tight to about 6 all and point for point but Peter Nicol then seemed to up the pace a bit and working Pete Marshall much harder and he took the 2nd 11-8.

Now to the 3rd which again was very tight at 7 all but Pete Marshall then took a run of points to have 3 game balls at 10-7, but this is where Peter is so good playing the big points so well and coming back to take the 3rd 13-11. Peter Nicol continued in the 4th to up the pace and move Pete Marshall to all parts of the court and stormed through to take the game 11-6 and the match 3-1.

It was a fantastic game of squash and the crowd enjoyed it very much. Peter Nicol was presented with the Player of the Match Award for his performance.
Surrey H&RC 4 Probuild Bristol 0

Davide Bianchetti v Hadrian Stiff
Davide was at 1 tonight and hoping to finish the job and give us a 5-0 win. This was a tight game but Davide always seemed in control with excellent length and width but Hadrian was counteracting with some excellent drops and kills to the front. Davide ended up taking the match 3-0 11-9 12-10 11-9 and gave us a maximum points win.
Surrey H&RC 5 Probuild Bristol 0

An excellent evening of squash which now secures us a semi-final spot, but before that we play TWP St Georges Hill away on the 16th March.

Pete Smith

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Semi Final Calling

A big match for MB Nottingham, the last home match of the season facing bottom of the league Pontefract, a big win would guarantee play off action.

First on the show court Emma Beddoes faced the in form World No. 12 Vanessa Atkinson. Beddoes fought well, looked to volley and push the pace, Atkinson however was equal to it. She extended a lead 10/6 in the first before Beddoes fought back to 9/10 and with the home crowd cheering her on looked hot for an exciting comeback. PAR scoring leaves no margin for error however and one tin gave a relieved Atkinson the first 11/9. In the second and third Beddoes couldn’t contain Atkinson, who was now finishing anything loose clinically. She snatched the second 11/7 and stormed away in the third to take it 11/5 and wrap the first match up in favour of the visitors.

On the back court, Nottingham born and bred Lewis Walters was faring better with a strong and composed display against the young Indian Karen Malik. Too strong for Malik in all areas, Walters moved his opponent well, forcing opening after opening with good length and deft touch at the front. Sealing victory to level the match 11/5, 11/4, 11/6 Walters’ third season in the PSL team for MB Nottingham and he’s really starting to show the maturity and deliver results that are expected from a top 100 player.

Arthur Gaskin followed Walters on the back court and despatched his opponent Neil Cordell in a similar ruthless fashion. Carrying a slight shoulder injury, Gaskin was stil too strong for Cordell, far to many attacking options at the front of the court that Cordell couldn’t answer. Gaskin wrapped up the match and gave the home team a healthy 2-1 lead 11/7, 11/5, 11/3.

Following the girls on the show court we had the masters(!) Former world No. 1 Lee Beachill facing Nottingham’s former world No. 3 Simon Parke. An Interesting trivia point, both players sealed the National league title as team mates the last time Nottingham won the trophy 10 years ago in 1999! 10 years later but still an interesting and enthralling match. Parke started brightly, chasing absolutely everything as you would expect and opening up a 7/1 lead. Beachill clearly struggling for with movement, couldn’t contain Parke who forced a high pace, created winners as well as errors from his opponent. However, Beachill still maintains some formidable racket skills and kept firing the ball in for Parke to chase, a couple of errors from Parke and Beachill clawed back to 5/7 before the pendulum swung again and Parke closed the game out 11/5. The second was one way traffic, Parke stormed it, Beachill struggled to turn quickly or move forward onto the ball with any purpose Parke capitalised and took a 2-0 lead 11/2. Beachill it seemed was just warming up, his movement was vastly improved, he could ping the ball in and follow up the short game Parke was subjecting him too. The result, Parke did some serious mileage, getting the ball back relentlessly, of course Beachill was more than happy to let him carry on. Epic rallies, the crowd jumping up and down and all done in great spirit. 10/10 Parke fires in a cross court nick for match ball, two tins and its game ball Beachill, another nick and its all level at 12/12. Two winners from Beachill and he snatches the game 14/12. Beachill has broken Nottingham hearts before from similar situations so the crowd sat uncomfortably for the 90 second break. The fourth was tight until 6/6, Beachill jarred his arm trying to get the ball off the back wall and struggled from then on, tinning out as Parke sealed the deal 11/6 and confirmed a home win for MB Nottingham.

The No. 1 string and playing for pride and more importantly points on the board. John Rooney faced Canadian Andrew McDougall and started rather sluggishly. McDougall pushed the pace, extending the rallies with Rooney simply to loose to wrestle control of the T. McDougall made the game plan work up to 10/8, experience it seems kicked in. Rooney settled, tightened up his game and minimised his opponents options, McDougal on the other hand tried to force the issue and started getting ragged. Rooney soaked up the Canadian’s frantic retrieval and pushed the ball into the target areas awaiting an error or opportunity. Of course they quickly followed and Rooney closed the game out 12/10 with a McDougall tin. The tone was set and Rooney followed up with a comfortable result 11/5 in the second, while the third was 11/7.

Another sell out night, another win for MB Nottingham, a multitude of mathematical options for the playoffs but we are very much in the box seats as we travel to Chapel Allerton in two weeks time.

Dave Coghlan

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Duffield stay in the hunt

As always,it was a pleasure to welcome Chapel Allerton, and with them fielding a full strength team, we were assured of a very hard fought encounter coupled with the prospect of some fantastic Squash, and so it proved to be.

Match 1 - Tania Bailey (Benz Bavarian Duffield) vs Jenny Duncalf (Chapel Allerton)
On paper, this was going to be a very tough match for Tania, with Jenny playing as well as she is.
The first game was hard fought, with Tania putting in a dogged fight. Jenny eventually prevailing to take the game 11 / 6.
The second game continued as the first, with Jenny taking it 11 / 5. It was evident to see how she had reached her current National and World Rankings, playing some majestic shots to which Tania had no reply.
In the third, Tania showed what a great competitor she is, taking the game to Jenny and coming away with an 11 / 7 victory.
This seemed to spur Jenny on, who took the 4th 11 / 5.
A great game hard fought. We would like to take this opportunity from all at Duffield of wishing Tania all the very best for her Wedding this week.

Match 2 - Joel Hinds (Benz Bavarian Duffield) vs Laurence Delasaux (Chapel Allerton)
A real mouth watering encounter, with both Players on excellent current form.Laurence is well known to the Duffield fraternity, representing Duffield for a number of seasons.Knowing what he is capable of, we knew Joel was in for a real fight.
Joel settled quickly into his game, taking the first by 11 points to 7. This spurred Laurence into action, producing a fine second game and coming away with an 11 / 7 victory. Joel then produced some fantastic squash, confirming what a fine player he is. His command of the court was superb, and he took the next 2 games 11 / 5, 11/5.

Match 3 - Andy Whipp (Benz Bavarian Duffield) vs Chris Simpson (Chapel Allerton)
A crucial game for the home side. Whippy, as we all know, can upset the rankings very easily, and we all had high hopes for his encounter with Chris.
The Chapel Allerton player stamped his authority on the game from the offset, taking the first game with relative ease 11 / 5. This inspired "The Whippertron" into action,playing some excellent shots and taking the second game in commanding style 11 / 4.
Chris then settled into his game and demonstrated what a fine and consistent player he is, and took the next two games with relative ease, 11 / 4, 11 / 9.

Match 4 - Nick Matthew (Benz Bavarian Duffield) vs Thierry Lincou (Chapel Allerton)
It was wonderful to have Nick back after his recent victory in the British Nationals. In Thierry, he faced an opponent who is still  a formidable force in Squash, and who, on his day, is still one of the finest exponents on the circuit.
The first match was a bruising encounter, with Nick possibly still feeling the effects of his recent hectic schedule. Thierry was hitting some fine shots, forcing Nick into a string of uncharacteristic errors, and taking the opener 11 / 9.
We then saw why Nick Matthew is ranked England number 1 and World 2. Dominating the court with his never say die aptitude, Nick took the next 3 games with relative ease with scores of 11 / 6, 11 / 8, and 11 / 6. A wonderful encounter between 2 of the best in the game.

Match 5 - Steve Coppinger (Benz Bavarian Duffield) vs Alister Walker (Chapel Allerton)
Based purely on current National and World rankings, this on paper would have appeared to be a sure fire victory for the on form Alister, but we all know rankings count for nothing when potentially so much is at stake.
Steve started very strong, forcing Alister into a string of errors and taking the first 11 points to 4. Alister responded in his usual way with a fine second game, and highlighting what a fine player he is, taking it 11 / 6.
From this point on, rarely have we seen a display from a player so determined to succeed. With the crowd right behind him, Steve really dug in and produced a fantastic performance. Alister was getting more and more frustrated with his game, and was clearly unsettled by the ferocity of Steves game. A magnanimous performance saw Steve clinching the next 2 games 11 / 9, 11 / 9.

A wonderful evening's entertainment enjoyed by all who attended, and credit to all Players who produced Squash of the highest standard.

Felix Frixou

Team Manager - Benz Bavarian Duffield

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Chichester fall short against Surrey

Tonight Covers Team Chichester welcomed Surrey Health & Rackets Club for the last home game of the PSL season. 
The first match featured Dominique Lloyd-Walter (Chichester) against the recently crowned British Champion, Alison Waters.  Lloyd-Walter, who has just returned from injury, was up against a player very much in form.  Lloyd-Walter, however, lost the first game by the narrowest of margins (11/13).  Waters proceeded to take firmer control and using her all-round game took the next 2 games to put Surrey 1-up on the night.
On the adjoining championship court the Covers Team stalwart player, Tim Vail, started lethargically against Adrian Waller and lost the first game 2/11.  Vail thereafter pressed forward, displaying some trademark ‘nicks’ to win the second.  Vail took an early lead in the 3rd but the lassitude returned and Waller snatched the game 9/11 and continued in the same vein in the 4th to give Surrey a 0.2 lead.
Next on court Robbie Temple prepared to battle against Surrey’s Alan Clyne.  Clyne left Temple in the blocks, storming to an early lead, 2/11 in the first.  Temple was more involved in the second but crucial mistakes cost him dearly and he lost the game 9/11.    In the 3rd, Temple dug in and began to turn the match around. He made fewer errors and clinched the next 2 games to set up the decider which was neck and neck until 7-all.   Temple then pulled out 3 audacious crosscourt ‘nicks’ to win the game and match.
Minutes later Chichester’s Olly Pett and Ben Ford played a dramatic game.  Pett was 1/2 down and behind in the 4th but in a fantastic nail biting finish he finally managed to take it 11/9 and take their match down to the wire.  Ford saved several match points in the 5th but Pett stubbornly refused to give in and took it 13/11.
2-all and it was down to the No.1 strings, Mo Iskandar (World 11) and Surrey’s World No.6 Peter Barker to decide the final outcome.  Could the Covers Team pull off an amazing upset against the Top of the League, Surrey?  The match proved to be a fantastic finale to the evening.  Barker took the first game 4/11 with Iskandar making too many errors.  Iskandar’s play, however, became more consistent in the 2nd and with little to choose between them the game was won on a tie-break, 12/10 to Iskandar.  With Barker always the odd point up he then received a dead-leg towards the end of the game but rallied well to take it 9/11.  The packed gallery was treated to some masterful and entertaining squash in the 4th, played in great spirit but Barker just managed to hang on to win the game and match 7/11.
2.3 on the night to the League leaders; a fantastic night’s squash with Covers Team Chichester coming just short again.  The next, and penultimate, match of the season is on March 2nd against Guildford – and the chance of a double victory over them.
  Mike Phillips - Team Manager

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Duffield stay in touch

 With both Clubs top strings in action in New York (and doing very well) tonight's encounter promised to be very close.'

Past matches have proved to be gargantuan battles and have produced Squash of the very highest level, especially between Benz Bavarian Duffields Nick Matthew and Pontefracts James Willstrop.
With the season approaching a critical point in regard to qualification for the Finals, this was an important match for both teams,especially Duffield who are eager to reach the Finals.

Match 1 Tania Bailey (Benz Bavarian Duffield) vs Kirsty McPhee (Pontefract)
Tania looked sharp in this encounter as she continued on her road to full match fitness. With the support of an enthusiastic crowd, she took the game to Kirsty who,despite dogged resistance, found her opponent to strong  on the night, Tania coming away with an 11/9 - 11/3  - 11/6 victory.

Match 2 Siddharth Suchde (Benz Bavarian Duffield) vs Sam Wileman (Pontefract)
Making his home debut for Duffield, Sidd quickly established himself as a home favourite with a display of some fine Squash.It was agreed by all that he is a fine aquasition for the Benz Bavarian Duffield team and adds depth to the existing squad.

Sam is an up and coming player who demonstrated that he has vast potential, but Sid dominated from the off set, giving Duffield an 11/3 - 11/3 - 11/7 win.

Match 3 Joel Hinds(Benz Bavarian Duffield) vs Neil Cordell (Pontefract)
Based on current National Rankings, this promised to be a close fought match, but Joel just seems to be getting stronger and stronger with every encounter.

We questioned after the match if turning professional recently had given him extra drive, or whether, judging by his new hair do, he had plugged himself into the National Grid prior to the match !!! Either way, he proved to good on the night against a very good player in Neil Cordell. 11/3 - 11/4 - 11/9.

Match 4 Andy Whipp (Benz Bavarian Duffield) vs Harinder Pal Sandhu (Pontefract)
During the warm up for this match, you could tell both players were really up for this, hitting the ball with such ferocity.

Harinder is an extremely accomplished player and is one to watch in the future. Again, as is often the case, he came up against "The Whippertron" who produced some fantastic Squash. Very much a Duffield favourite, Andy on his day is very much a force to be reckoned with and prevailed 11/9 - 11/6 - 11/9

Match 5 Steve Coppinger (Benz Bavarian Duffield) vs Saurav Ghosal (Pontefract)
From past experience, we all knew this was going to be a very tough game for Steve, up against a player who never stop running. Saurav is a fine player and produced some exhilarating Squash. Steve battled extremely hard, taking the first game, but this appeared to spur Saurav on, who took both the second and third game. Steve managed to level in the fourth,but the Pontefract player was just to strong, taking the match 11/3 - 6/11 - 7/11 - 11/9 - 4/11.

Overall, a great night for Benz Bavarian Duffield and we very much look forward to the next match against Chapel Allerton on the 16th February. This promises to be a fantastic night of Squash with both teams at full strength. It would be a pleasure to see all who are able to attend.

Felix Frixou

The Wait is Over for Surrey Storm

Last Night saw Surrey Storm entertain Bristol Probuild in their first home game since the beginning of the season.  Having narrowly lost out 3-2 in the first half we were hoping that we could go one step closer and clinch our first win of the season.  Making his debut after a long lay of with injury was Sammy Chambers form Cambridge and he was first on against Ben Rodgers.  These two have gone through the junior ranks together so know a lot about each others game.  On the other court Victoria Lust was looking to build on her win last week against Sarah Jane Perry.

Vicky got off to a bad start in both the first and second games having to fight back to take the first 11,9 and the second 13.11.  In the third she managed to get her tactics right and avoid a lot of the interference that hampered the first two games taking the game and match 11,4. 

Meanwhile Sammy and Ben were battling hard to gain the initiative.  Both players were creating opportunities but perhaps were struggling to make real use of the lower tin.  Sammy managed to pull away in the first 2 games taking them 11,6 11,7.  Ben was far from finished though and as Sammy made a few unforced errors at the start of the third he raced into a 7,2 lead.  Sammy fought hard but Ben closed out the game 11,8.  The fourth was more like the first two games although Sammy was beginning to find his range at the front and was still retrieving everything thrown at him.  He pulled away to 10,6 but Ben saved 2 match points before clipping the tin and handing Sammy his first PSL win in his first appearance.

2-0 up but we had been here before!!

Captain Marvell Steve Meades followed Sammy on in the knowledge that he could carry the team to that elusive first victory.  He was up against Mike Harris who attacked whenever possible but Steve played excellent controlled squash to take the match in 3 games 11,7 11,6 11,8 and hand Surrey Storm their first win!!

Stacey Ross was next on the show court against Hadrian Stiff.  Both players like to attack and the game was a great example of attacking squash.  There was lots of subtlety too with holds, flicks and changes of pace.  Hadrian won the first 11,5 before Stacey levelled with the next game 11,6.  The next was tight all the way with Stacey winning it 11,8. Hadrian was not to lie down and he levelled the match 11,8 and setting up a decider.

In the fifth Stacey managed to control the rallies much better and stay in front and control the middle closing out the match 11,5

After a short break Jesse Englebrecht went on at number one to face Mohammed El Shorbagy.  Mohammed was clearly up for some revenge and to ensure that Bristol went home without a win.  From the first rally he made life uncomfortable for Jesse who just could not find any rhythm and he raced into a 1-0 lead.  Jesse kept trying to get a foot hold in the rallies and impose himself but Mohammed was just too good on the night and he won comfortably in 3. 

A big thank you to all the players’ who have worked so hard and always give their all.  This win has been a long time coming but hopefully like buses, a second will be here soon!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Crystal Ball on a roll

2010 has been a spectacular success so far for the PSL's resident tipster Crystal Ball, with 12 correct results out of 12 so far, and only a couple of minor errors in scoreline.

There's bound to be a fall coming though, so might as well get the gloating in while the going's good ...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Chichester fall to Exeter

Covers Team Chichester tonight played Exeter Diamonds in the first round of the second half of the PSL season.  The order of play was switched at the last moment; Exeter’s Joey Barrington was stuck in traffic! Top strings Stewart Boswell and Chichester’s Azlan Iskandar therefore started the proceedings on the glass back court.

Iskandar and Boswell had an even first 2 games (12/10, 8/11) on what seemed like a cold court.  The third game was crucial with Boswell having trouble keeping a tight line with his backhand.  Iskandar came from behind to take the game and go 2.1 up.  In the fourth Iskandar stormed ahead, of a visibly tiring Boswell, to a 9/1 lead.  Despite a valiant effort from Boswell, Iskandar maintained control, closed the game and took the match 11/4.

1 – 0 to chichester

On the adjoining court Annabelle Collins-Ballands, making her first start of the season for Chichester, faced Emma Chorley.  Collins-Ballands gave an admirable performance and had chances to close the second game with some nice drop shots from mid-court.  Chorley’s experience and pace, however, saw her come through to win 5/11, 9/11, 6/11. 


Next on court, 4th string Pete Genever played James Snell (Exeter).   On previous encounters Genever has always come out on top.  This time Snell took his revenge; although all the games were extremely close. Snell’s length outshone Genever’s and, coupled with his good long drop on the back hand side, Snell took the match 10/12, 11/8. 11/13, 11/13 to put Exeter ahead 2.1. 

Next on the glass-back court Chichester’s Alex Gough had the tough task of taking on Jon Kemp (world No.24); a repeat of the away fixture in the first half of the season.  Overall Kemp controlled the match but Gough battled well and came close to taking the second game.   Kemp, however, won the match in 3 straight games, 5/11, 9/11, 7/11, to give Exeter an unassailable 3.1. lead. 

The dead rubber match proved to be the match of the night; Chichester’s Tim Vail played World No.28 Joey Barrington.  

Vail got off to a flying start, hitting shots a plenty and, although Barrington began to find his rhythm towards the end of the game, the lead which Vail had opened was just too much and Vail won it 11/6.

Vail continued in the same strong manner and despite Barrington eating away at Vail’s game and lengthening the rallies Vail managed to hang on to take the second 12/10.

The third game started badly for Vail allowing Barrington to get into his stride and win it 5/11.  In the 4th it appeared that Vail was feeling tired and he looked as if he was losing his way, with no patience or game plan and Barrington was well into his stride to take the game 6/11.

2-all and Barrington continued to control the game in the 5th.  Despite Vail playing with more patience he found himself 5/10 down.  Then in inspirational fashion Vail, with more patience and perseverance to rally, threw everything into the game to claw back and hold a match point at 11/10.  Barrington stood strong, held his nerve and rallied well to snatch the game, and match, 11/13.

1.4 to Exeter.

The next match in 2 weeks time is away to St George’s Hill when Covers Team Chichester will field a full strength men’s squad, with Annabelle playing her second match of the season. The squad will need to improve on the 1.4 loss in the first half…..  we shall see.

  Mike Phillips - Team Manager