In front of a sell out crowd, Team Chichester started its 2014/15 PSL season with a home fixture against local rivals Winchester H&R. The line-ups for both squads looked set to produce some very good matches.
First on court, Chichester’s Lauren Briggs proved too experienced and consistent for her younger opponent, Georgina Kennedy and she controlled the match throughout. Despite a valiant effort from Georgina, Lauren ran out a 3.0 winner; 11/6, 11/7, 11/9.
On the adjacent championship glass-back court Alex Gough [Chichester] played Steve Wykes [a fellow Club member signed for Winchester’s PSL squad]. Both players made a tentative start but Wykes took the first game 12/14. Wykes continued to play patient squash throughout the second and held his concentration to win 5/11 and take an early 0.2 lead.
A momentary lapse by Wykes in the third was all that Gough needed to push through and pull back a game. In the fourth Wykes got back into his stride. He played solid squash and kept his error rate very low enabling him to comfortably win the game and match 2/11.
Anthony Graham [currently WR260] followed on after Briggs’ game and was matched against Scott Fitzgerald [WR80]. It proved an evenly contested match throughout. Both players started the match testing out each other’s game with Graham taking the opening game 11/7. Fitzgerald replied with a 9/11 win in the second and continued in the same vein with a close 12/14 win in the third. Graham immediately took back control and comfortably won the fourth, 11/1. Graham’s fitness paid dividends and after a 47 minute match he finally won the decider 11/6.
2.1 to Chichester
Next on the glass-back court Chichester’s Robbie Temple played Robert Downer, currently world ranked 125. Temple was a bit slow to start whereas Downer was out of the blocks very quickly and took the first game 9/11. Temple responded with a solid 11/6 win in the second and started to dominate the left-hand wall. He continued in this vein in the third and controlled the rallies which increasingly frustrated Downer.
In the fourth Temple lost his concentration slightly and allowed Downer to level the match 8/11. It was down to the wire and nip and tuck all the way up to 8-all. Temple then edged his way through to win the match 11/9, in 61 minutes, to give Chichester an unassailable 3.1 lead.
Finally, Adrian Waller [WR27], Chichester’s new number one player, made his debut and played Scott Handley [WR41]. Waller’s recent superb form at the US Open continued. Although it was an entertaining 3 games, in which Handley contributed very well, Waller quickly [28 minutes] ensured that Team Chichester took the tie 4.1.
Next week Team Chichester is away to Bristol. Waller is not on the team sheet; Rex Hedrick will replace him. It will be a tough encounter.
A great start to the season and something on which to build.
Mike Phillips – Team Manager