Last gasp Nottingham pip Oxford in round 10

The tenth and final round of the PSL league season started with only one mathematical certainty – that Group A leaders Duffield were guaranteed a home tie in the semi-finals.

Second place in the group, and a semi-final spot, would be decided at Nottingham where the hosts started the evening three points adrift of visitors Oxford, a gap narrow enough to mean that the winners of the match would take the spoils.

Duffield duly despatched visitors Pontefract 5-0, sending the Yorkshire outfit home pointless, while a thriller was played out a few miles South.

Emma Beddoes and Lewis Walters put Nottingham 2-0 up, but Mark Fuller couldn’t capitalise on a 2/1 lead as Oxford’s Andrew Birks pulled one back for Oxford.

Two veterans then took to the Nottingham showcourt, and with Renan Lavigne and Mark Cairns locked at two games all everything was still to play for. It was the Frenchman though who took the decider, giving Nottingham the win on the night and sufficient points to guarantee themselves a place in the last four.

In Group B, although nothing was definitively decided, the likelihood was that Surrey and St George’s, last year’s champions and runners-up, would progress.

Exeter played hosts to leaders Surrey, and needed an unlikely 5-0, 20-0 win to snatch a playoff place. Aisling Blake took the first match 3-0 to give Exeter some hope, but it was quickly dashed as Alan Clyne and Peter Nicol put the visitors ahead (Clyne no doubt buoyed by the kilted supporters that had taken the 7 hour train journey to the venue with him).

Meanwhile St George’s were at home to Winchester, and quickly wrapped up a 5-0, 20-0 win that left them definitely in the playoffs, while an Exeter win could still deny Surrey top spot.

But that scenario never materialised as Simon Rosner secured the win and top place for Surrey. Shortly afterwards came the news from Nottingham that finalised the semi-final lineups.

Rounding things off, Chichester finished on a high with a 5-0 home win over Bristol, Surrey ended up with a 4-1 win, and the Nottingham crowd are enjoying a five-game ‘dead rubber’ between Eddie Charlton and Scott Handley, Charlton sending them home happy with a 4-1 win (and Crystal Ball goes to bed happy too, after a perfect set of predictions).

Group A

NOTTINGHAM  4-1 OXFORD (19-8)

Eddie Charlton 3-2 Scott Handley  11/3, 9/11, 8/11, 11/8, 11/9
Renan Lavigne 3-2 Mark Cairns  11/5, 9/11, 8/11, 12/10, 11/5
Lewis Walters 3-1 Ben Coleman  11/5, 11/7, 7/11, 11/6
Mark Fuller 2-3 Andrew Birks 2/11, 12/10, 11/8, 7/11, 5/11
Emma Beddoes 3-0 Victoria Bell  11/5, 11/4, 11/7

DUFFIELD  5-0 PONTEFRACT (20-0)

Jonathan Kemp 3-0 Lee Beachill  11/7, 11/7, 11/5
Andy Whipp 3-0 Neil Cordell  11/9, 11/5, 11/5 (25m)
Laurence Delasaux 3-0 Sam Wileman  11/9, 11/7, 11/4
Aqeel Rehman 3-0 George Wileman  11/2, 11/2, 11/2 (18m)
Tania Bailey 3-0 Sarah Bowles  11/3, 11/0, 11/7 (18m)

Final Positions:
Duffield 138, Nottingham 107, Oxford 99, Pontefract 72, Birmingham 53

Group B

ST GEORGE’S  5-0 WINCHESTER  (20-0)

Tom Richards 3-0 Jethro Binns  11/8, 11/7, 11/6 (25m)
Nicolas Mueller 3-0 Alex Phillips  12/10, 11/3, 11/7 (26m)
Mark Krajcsak 3-0 Michael Harris  11/8, 11/3, 11/7 (29m)
Stephen Meads 3-0 Phillip Bull  14/12, 11/4, 11/7 (33m)
Dominique Lloyd-Walter 3-0 Catherine Finlayson  11/4, 11/3, 11/6 (22m)

EXETER  1-4 SURREY (5-17)

Tim Vail 0-3 Peter Barker 8/11, 1/11, 9/11 (40m)
Peter Creed 0-3 Simon Roesner 4/11, 2/11, 3/11  (44m)
Tm Pashley 2-3 Alan Clyne 8/11, 11/6, 3/11, 11//8, 9/11 (59m)
James Snell 0-3 Peter Nicol 10/12, 3/11, 3/11
Aisling Blake 3-0 Harriet Ingham   11/3, 11/4, 116 (21m)

CHICHESTER  5-0 BRISTOL (20-2)

Olly Pett 3-0 Arthur Gaskin 11/5, 1/9, 12/10
Anthony Graham 3-1 Tom Ford  11/7, 9/11, 11/4, 11/6
Alex Ingham 3-0 Sam Ellis   11/2, 11/2, 11/3
Miles Jenkins 3-0 James Bamber  11/0, 9/11, 11/9, 11/7
Lauren Briggs 3-0 Joely Bennett  11/4, 11/5, 11/4

Final Positions:
Surrey 155, St George’s 149, Exeter 124, Chichester 111, Winchester 87, Bristol 66

Semi-Finals, 17th April:

Duffield v St George’s
Surrey v Nottingham

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