Round NINE Roundup, 10-Mar

Duffield suffer their first defeat as St George’s seal a semi-final spot …

With just two rounds of league action left, at the start of tonight’s matches only one team was already guaranteed a place in the semi-finals, and with most fielding close to their strongest lineups there were looked to be some close matches in store, and so it proved.

SH14627Division A leaders Duffield had already booked a home match in the semis, but were rocked by the late withdrawal of Nick Matthew through injury. That gave visitors Coolhurst London, who started the evening in third place by a solitary point, a chance to end Duffield’s unbeaten record. ~

SH14655It didn’t start well for the visitors, who had to concede the ladies’ match as they only had one English player in their lineup – at least two are required. James Earles and Declan James both won 3-1 to make it 2-1 to Duffield, but Cameron Pilley beat Joel Hinds 3-1 to set up a decider, in which Coolhurst’s Simon Rosner beat Chris Simpson in straight games to keep the division very much alive.

Nottingham started the evening in second place, just, but knew they had a tough task against visiting neighbours Leicester, who had their strongest side out. Emma Beddoes gave Nottingham the lead, but Leicester took all four of the men’s matches to put a serious dent in Nottingham’s playoff prospects.

Birmingham Lions also had hopes of making the semi-finals but needed to win away to a strong Pontefract side to maintain those hopes. That they duly did as Deon Saffery, Bradley Hindle and Peter Creed gave them a winning lead, Pontefract winning the two matches at the top of the order through Laurens Jan Anjema and James Willstrop.

That leaves Duffield still top, but with Coolhurst, Birmingham and Nottingham only separated by six points, it’s still any one from three for the second spot.

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In Division B leaders St George’s tightened their grip with a solid 5-0 home win over Chichester, although Tom Richards and Yathreb Adel were both taken to five games.

Meanwhile champions Surrey H&R came away with a 4-1 win against a strong-looking Exeter side. Peter Barker won the final match for Surrey with a 3-1 win over world number one Mohamed Elshorbagy, while debutant Michael Craig made sure Surrey only dropped one point as he lost in five to James Snell.

Bristol kept alive their slender hopes of qualification with a 4-1 win away to Winchester to make it six wins out of nine, although realistically they needed one or both of the top two to drop more points.

The resulting tables show that St George’s are now guaranteed a semi-finals place, but they are just seven points ahead of Surrey – who need just six more to guarantee a top two finish – and finishing top will be a priority as they aim to avoid a trip to Duffield in the semi-finals.

Division A

Benz Bavarian Duffield 2-3 Coolhurst London (7-15)

Chris Simpson 0-3 Simon Rosner  6-11, 9-11, 6-11
Joel Hinds  0-3 Cameron Pilley  4-11, 9-11, 3-11
Declan James 3-1 Greg Lobban  13-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-8
Ashley Davies 1-3 James Earles  15-13, 0-11, 7-11, 6-11
Millie Tomlinson w/o Madeline Perry        teams need to field two English players

Pontefract 2-3 Birmingham Lions (10-14)

James Willstrop 3-0 Jaymie Haycocks  11-7, 11-6, 11-9
Laurens Jan Anjema 3-0 Chris Ryder  11-8, 11-5, 14-12
Ben Grindrod 2-3 Peter Creed   11-9, 4-11, 11-5, 9-11, 6-11
Lee Beachill 1-3 Bradley Hindle  2-11, 11-7, 9-11, 6-11
Katie Smith 1-3 Deon Saffery   4-11, 11-9, 8-11, 9-11

Air-IT Nottingham 1-4 Everards Leicester (8-17)

Alan Clyne 1-3 Daryl Selby  3-11, 11-9, 4-11, 7-11
Eddie Charlton 2-3 Shaun Le Roux  9-11, 11-8, 13-11, 7-11, 9-11
Lewis Walters 1-3 Ben Coleman  5-11, 11-6, 7-11, 1-11
Mark Fuller 1-3 George Parker  11-8, 6-11, 6-11, 4-11
Emma Beddoes 3-0 Mari Taylor  12-10, 11-1, 11-3

Division B

Exeter Diamonds 1-4 Virgin Active Surrey HRC (6-19)

Mohamed Elshorbagy 1-3 Peter Barker   11-8, 6-11, 5-11, 11-13
Olli Tuominen 2-3 Mazen Hesham  6-11, 11-9, 9-11, 11-7, 8-11
Tim Vail 0-3 Piedro Schweertman  9-11, 5-11, 4-11
James Snell 3-2 Michael Craig  9-11, 11-8, 11-4, 4-11, 11-7
Rhianne O’Donnell 0-3 Alison Waters  5-11, 7-11, 1-11

Winchester Racquets & Fitness 1-4 UWE/Elite Bristol (6-18)

Karim Abdel Gawad 3-1 Marwan Elshorbagy  11-6, 11-5, 9-11, 11-6
Scott Handley 1-3 Mathieu Castagnet  8-11, 12-14, 11-8, 7-11
Robbie Downer 1-3 Tom Ford  11-6, 9-11, 1-11, 5-11
Scott Fitzgerald 0-3 Mike Harris    10-12, 8-11, 8-11
Georgina Kennedy  1-3 Tesni Evans  10-12, 8-11, 11-9, 6-11

Luxford/9 Group St George’s Hill 5-0 Team Chichester (20-6)

Borja Golan  3-0 Adrian Waller  11-0, 11-3, 11-1
Joe Lee 3-1 Rex Hedrick  11-6, 7-11, 11-8, 11-7
Tom Richards 3-2 Robbie Temple  8-11, 11-8, 11-1, 8-11, 11-9
Charles Sharpes 3-1 Nathan Lake  11-5, 11-8, 5-11, 11-8
Yathreb Adel 3-2 Lauren Briggs  8-11, 11-4, 9-11, 11-5, 11-5

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 Round TEN, 31-Mar:
Birmingham v Duffield, Coolhurst v Leicester, Nottingham v Pontefract
Bristol v Exeter, Surrey v Chichester, St George’s v Winchester

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