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.
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 3rdbut the lassitude returned and Waller snatched the game 9/11 and continued in the same vein in the 4thto 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 4thbut 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 5thbut 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 2ndand 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 2ndagainst Guildford – and the chance of a double victory over them.