Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Team Chichester welcomed Surrey Health & Racquets Club to Chichester Racquets and Fitness Club for its second home match of the Premier Squash League this half of the season. A formidable Surrey line-up included 4 men inside the World top 55 and the World No. 3 lady player, Alison Waters; a tough task lay ahead for the home side.
Hannah Wright-Davies from Chichester, and making her debut, battled bravely throughout the match and indeed gave a very good account of herself. Backed by a very vocal Chichester crowd Hannah made a nervous start against the World No.3, Alison Waters. Hannah, however, dug in and certainly made Alison work hard for her 2/11, 5/11, 5/11 victory.
On the adjoining glass-back Chichester’s Tim Vail found World No. 53 Adrian Waller a very tough opponent. Over the years they have played each other many times with Waller improving in recent clashes. This time he was moving well clear of Vail and proved to be too strong on the night to clinch a 7/11, 5/11, 8/11 victory for Surrey
Next on the glass-back Olly Pett, who last month won his first PSA title in Chicago, faced Surrey’s Simon Roesner (German No.1 and World No. 33). Roesner started off dictating proceedings, taking the ball very early and keeping Pett on the back foot and raced to a 0/9 lead before closing it out 2/11. The second game continued in the same vein, with Pett looking too hard to hit winners and he found the tin too often. Roesner maintained the pressure and took the second 4/11.
In the 3rd Pett settled down and became more patient – looking for the working shot instead of the winning shot. He began to grow in confidence and found his length of shot and began to force errors from the German to take the 3rd game 11/5. The 4th started evenly, shot for shot, before Roesner eased away and began to dominate with a fast attacking game and, once again, Pett began to find the tin. Roesner closed the match 5/11 to give Surrey an unassailable 0.3. lead.
Next on court Chichester’s Robbie Temple, currently World ranked No.73, took on World No.18, Adrian Grant. Temple came out of the blocks very quickly and kept Grant under pressure for the first 2 games and despite Grant getting his game together towards the end of the 2nd Temple took them 11/8, 11/9. At the beginning of the 3rd Grant took advantage of a decision which upset Temple and Grant moved away, giving himself daylight to take the third 6/11. The fourth was neck and neck until the latter stages when Temple hit some outrageous nicks to close out the match 11/6 to put Chichester on the score sheet.
Finally on the glass-back Mo Azlan Iskandar (World No.13) made his welcome return to the Chichester squad. He played World No.8 and England No.4, Peter Barker in a much anticipated match. Both players started at a furious pace, with nothing to choose between them. Barker was moving well and nudged ahead with error free squash to snatch the 1st game. Iskandar battled back by employing some deft drop shots. Both continued to move around the court with admirable speed with Iskandar eventually taking the second. Iskandar maintained the pressure and a few errors began to creep into Barker’s game and a few hit tin shots from Barker gave Iskandar the game for a 2.1 lead. In the fourth game it was nip and tuck all the way until midway, when an extremely hard rally had Iskandar being dragged around the court to the point of exhaustion. Barker then pulled away to level the match and take it to a decider.
In the final game Barker edged to a 1/3. lead before another lengthy hard rally ensued which Barker won to increase his lead to 1/4. He extended the lead to 2/9 but Iskandar was not finished. He threw everything he had left to gain another 2 points before Barker took control and wrapped up the game and match 5/11 after 1 hour 23 mins.
1.4 to Surrey
The next match for Chichester is away to Winchester on March 1st.
Mike Phillips - Team Manager
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Team Chichester welcomed UWE Bristol to Chichester Racquets and Fitness Club for its first home match of Premier Squash League this year. Both teams were fielding below top strength squads but a competitive fixture, however, looked on the cards.
Lauren Briggs opened the proceedings. She has proved to be a very reliable player for Team Chichester this season and once again she did not disappoint. Briggs stormed through to a straight sets victory; dropping only a few points on the way.
On the adjoining glass-back Chichester’s Pete Genever, making a welcome return to the squad, had his hands full against Bristol’s, Dan West. Genever stormed to a 10/5 lead in the first game but after a fightback from his opponent he only just closed out the game 12/10. In the second game he once again took a commanding 10/5 lead, only to lose concentration, find the tin regularly and then lose the game 10/12. From then on both players battled evenly with Genever just coming through to win the next 2 games and edge out a 3.1. winner.
2.0 to Chichester
Next on the hard back court Brandon Hanley made his debut for Chichester. On the night he was in full flow and, aided by some outrageous nicks, convincingly closed out a 3.0 win to give Chichester an unassailable 3.0 lead.
On the glass-back court Chichester’s Nic Birt built up a 10/0 lead against Theo Anderson before being hauled back to eventually take the game 11/7. Anderson, thereafter, grew in confidence and ground out a scrappy, hard fought 1.3 victory to put Bristol on the score sheet.
Finally, the dead rubber match between Chichester’s Tim Vail and Bristol’s proved to be the match of the night, and the longest at 68 minutes. A close 1st game went to Bristol as Serme’s speed around the court enabled him to claw back an early deficit and win it 8/11. He carried on in the same vein in the second to comfortably win 2/11. In the 3rd Vail started hitting more strong and straight shots to give Serme little to attack. The game swung to and fro; Vail struggled to keep his straight game in check before he finally got it back on track to win through 13/11. A similar pattern in the 4th but an exhausted Vail started and finished strongly with a lapse of concentration during the middle period. Nonetheless he battled well to take it 12/10 to take the match to the deciding 5th game. By now Serme sensed that Vail was increasingly tiring and took advantage by making him work harder for every point. He closed out the match 5/11.
Chichester won 3.2.
The next match is at home on Tuesday 15 February against Surrey Health and Racquets Club. Team Chichester will field its strongest men’s squad and Hannah Wright-Davies (a Member of Chichester Racquets & Fitness Club) makes her debut.
Mike Phillips - Team Chichester Team Manager
Labels: 2011 Round Five