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