24-Nov – Round FOUR

St George’s march on as Leicester stun Duffield

The fourth round of the Premier Squash League featured a number of close finishes, and a first defeat of the season for the defending champions.

SH22182Group A leaders Benz Bavarian Duffield, strengthened by the availability Nick Matthew on his return from the World Champs in Bellevue, took the lead as Laura Massaro beat Emily Whitlock, but visitors Everards Leicester took the next three men’s matches to inflict Duffield’s first defeat. Daryl Selbe was leading 2-0 in the final match when Matthew retired injured, giving Leicester enough of a gap to put them level with Duffield on 58 points at the top of the table.

SH22180Univerity of Birmingham Lions visited Air-IT Nottingham, with both teams looking for a win to boost their playoff credentials, and after Alan Clyne had put Nottingham ahead in the top string match, it was Birmingham who took control, and the victory, with wins from Sarah-Jane Perry, Chris Ryder and Joel Makin, with Jan Van Den Herrewegen making it 4-1 overall  with a 3-2 win over Nottingham skipper Mark Fuller to finish.

SH22179Pontefract and London Coolhurst have both struggled so far this season, and their match went down to the wire. The first four matches were shared, Patrick Rooney and Lewis Doughty with 3-0 wins for Pontefract while Coolhurst’s Nick Sutcliffe and Madeline Perry both edged home in five. In the decider World semi-finalist James Willstrop found himself two games down against James Earles, and match-ball daown in the fourth before finally winning the match in five to give Pontefract a first win of the season.

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In Group B leaders 9 Telecom St George’s Hill kept their fine start to the season going as they raced into a match-winning 3-0 lead against struggling Exeter Diamonds, finishing it off 4-1 to stay at the top of the table.

SH22178Neighbours Virgin Active Surrey kept in tough with the leaders with a win at home to bottom of the table ClubNet Winchester, but the visitors won the first and last matches thanks to Gina Kennedy and Zahed Mohamed.

Second and third in the table UWE/Elite Squash Bristol and Team Chichester met, with visitors Chichester coming within an ace of victory. Lauren Briggs put Chichester ahead, and with the visitors leading 2-1 Matt Hopkin held match ball only to see Bristol’s Josh Masters fight back to take the fourth and fifth games 13-11, 17-15. Marwan Elshorbagy made that count as he came from a game down against Robbie Temple to clinch the win for Bristol to keep them in second place.

Division A

Benz Bavarian Duffield 1-4 Everards Leicester (6-17)

Nick Matthew 0-3 Daryl Selby  7-11, 3-11, rtd
Declan James 1-3  Nafiizwan Adnan   11-8, 8-11, 10-12, 5-11
Richie Fallows 2-3 Shaun Le Roux  9-11, 14-16, 11-8, 11-6, 7-11
Danny Hockburn 0-3 Ben Coleman 6-11, 7-11, 6-11
Laura Massaro 3-0 Emily Whitlock  11-6, 11-2, 11-5

Air-IT Nottingham 1-4 University of Birmingham Lions (8-17)

Alan Clyne 3-0 Peter Creed  11-7, 11-4, 11-2
Eddie Charlton 0-3 Chris Ryder  4-11, 8-11, 6-11
Chris Fuller 2-3 Joel Makin  5-11, 11-9, 11-9, 7-11, 5-11
Mark Fuller 2-3 Jan Van Den Herrewegen 9-11, 11-7, 11-4, 9-11, 4-11
Hana Ramadan 1-3 Sarah-Jane Perry  6-11, 10-12, 12-10, 3-11

Pontefract 3-2 Coolhurst London(18-8)

James Willstrop 3-2  James Earles  8-11, 6-11, 11-8, 16-14, 11-4
Patrick Rooney 3-0 Adam Auckland  11-6, 11-9, 11-5
Alex Hodgetts 2-3 Nick Sutcliffe   11-5, 11-4, 11-13, 6-11, 6-11
Lewis Doughty 3-0 Paddy Harrison 12-10, 11-7, 11-4
Fiona Moverley 2-3 Madeline Perry  11-9, 9-11, 13-11, 9-11, 10-12

Division B

UWE/Elite Squash Bristol 3-2 Team Chichester (16-10)

Marwan Elshorbagy 3-1 Robbie Temple  8-11, 11-9, 11-2, 11-9 (36m)
Steve Finitsis 3-1 Nathan Lake 11-4, 6-11, 11-7, 11-6 (43m)
Josh Masters 3-2 Matt Hopkin  6-11, 5-11, 11-8, 13-11, 17-15 (57m)
Mike Harris 2-3  Kyle Finch  8-11, 11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 9-11 (64m)
Emma Chorley 0-3 Lauren Briggs 8-11, 9-11, 7-11 (31m)

9Telecom St George’s Hill  4-1 Exeter Diamonds  (18-5)

Tom Richards 3-1 Olli Tuominen  11-8, 5-11, 11-7, 11-7
Joe Lee 3-0 Ollie Pett  11-1, 11-6, 11-3
Henrik Mustonen 3-0 Tim Vail  11-9, 11-7, 11-3
Alex Ingham 1-3 James Snell  9-11, 5-11, 11-9, 6-11
Yathreb Adel 3-1 Tory Temple-Murray  7-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-9

Virgin Active Surrey  3-2 ClubNet Winchester (16-6)

Peter Barker 1-3 Zahed Mohamed  11-9, 7-11, 4-11, 8-11 (32m)
Ali Farag 3-0 Robbie Downer  11-4, 11-6, 11-2 (17m)
Charles Sharpes 3-0 Scott Handley  11-3, 11-7, 11-4 (22m)
Piedro Schweertman 3-0 Adam Corcoran  11-5, 11-8, 11-5
Alison Thomson 1-3 Gina Kennedy   11-5, 9-11, 4-11, 2-11

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Champions Duffield are strengthened by the return of Nick Matthew from Bellevue, which pushes Laura Massaro down to four, but Leicester travel with a strong squad with a good middle order.  A virtually full-strength Nottingham welcome the visit of Birmingham while Pontefract are able to field world semi-finalist James Willstrop against a Coolhurst team short of its top players.

Crystal Ball: Leicester 3-2, Nottingham 4-1, Pontefract 3-2.

In Group B Bristol and Chichester meet with both hoping to maintain their early-season momentum, while high-flyers St George’s take on struggling Exeter and Surrey host bottom of the table Winchester

Crystal Ball: Bristol 4-1, St George’s 5-0, Surrey 4-1

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