Coolhurst London gave their supporters plenty to shout about in their maiden home appearance in the Premier Squash League (PSL) when they coasted to a 4/1 win over three-time champions and last season’s runners-up Benz-Bavarian Duffield in Tuesday’s second round of the 30th season of the world’s most prestigious squash league.
The only new team making their PSL debut this season, Coolhurst were led by Malaysian number one Ong Beng Hee – while, by contrast, Derbyshire opponents Duffield were unable to call upon their regular top string Nick Matthew, the Yorkshireman who was taking a well-earned break after becoming world champion for the third time at the weekend.
Irish international Madeline Perry and British U23 champion Ben Coleman put the London hosts ahead before 25-year-old Egyptian Omar Abdel Meguid celebrated his first PSL appearance by beating Joel Hinds 3-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7 in 74 minutes to clinch victory for Coolhurst.
Beng Hee, the world No21, rounded off the night in perfect style by twice coming from behind to beat South Africa’s world No19 Stephen Coppinger 9-11, 12-10, 5-11, 11-9, 12-10 to give Coolhurst a 4/1 win.
“After a narrow defeat away at Nottingham in Round 1, tonight we were able to string together a series of very fine performances – some erring on the downright gutsy – to produce our first PSL win in front of a passionate and enthralled Coolhurst home crowd,” said a delighted Coolhurst team manager Nick Sutcliffe.
The success takes Coolhurst to third place in the Group A tables, just a single point behind Duffield, last season’s group champions.
But heading the tables for the first time this season are University of Birmingham after a dramatic 3/2 away win overAJP Pontefract. It was Welsh wizardry from Pembrokeshire-born Joel Makin and Welsh champion Peter Creed that gave the West Midlands visitors the lead – until international star Miguel Angel Rodriguez, the first Colombian to play in the PSL, beat Birmingham’s Jaymie Haycocks to level for the hosts.
The decider saw the visitors’ world No81 Chris Ryder take on Pontefract hero James Willstrop, the world No3. Willstrop reached last week’s world championship quarter-finals – then less than 24 hours later witnessed the birth of his first son Logan.
Ryder took full advantage of Willstrop’s less-than-ideal preparation for the match – winning 11-3, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8 to give his side a 3/2 victory.
Meanwhile, Rodriguez was delighted to have made his PSL debut for Pontefract: “I am pleased to play my first PSL representing Pontefract, who have taken care of me very well since I started to come here and train between tournaments,” said the world No14 from Bogota. “Besides, it’s a pleasure to be part of the team with James (Willstrop) and get support from the club. I think it was an amazing opportunity to play it right before heading to Qatar for my last PSA of the year.”
The other Group A tie – between Chapel Allerton and Air-IT Nottingham – was also a nail-biting affair which went to the wire. Three five-game battles led to a decider between the Leeds host club’s Daryl Selby and Nottingham’s Scottish number one Alan Clyne.
Clyne, ranked 31 in the world, took the opening game – but England’s world No11 Selby, playing in front of a home crowd for the first time, reclaimed the advantage to close out the match 8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 13-11 and give Chapel Allerton a 3/2 victory.
Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets, the Croydon club which won the title for the fourth year in a row last season, hosted Team Chichester in the top tie in Group B. Both teams won their first round ties two weeks ago – which led to Chichester topping the tables.
But Surrey Health were too strong for their opponents tonight – winning 4/1 after impressive victories by Alison Waters,Ben Ford, Adrian Waller and England international Adrian Grant – and replacing Chichester at the top of the tables.
Exeter Diamonds move up to second place in the tables after a 4/1 home win over UWE/Elitesquash Bristol. The tie had a notable Egyptian flavour, with 17-year-old Cairo-based Yathreb Adel taking just 27 minutes to put visitors Bristol into the lead with a straight games win over Exeter’s experienced Irish international Aisling Blake.
But the remaining four matches went Exeter’s way – the final clash being an all-Egyptian affair in which world No9 Omar Mosaad upset world No6 Mohamed Elshorbagy 11-7, 7-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-6 in 60 minutes.
Surrey’s Luxfords St George’s Hill recorded their first win of the season in a 4/1 away victory at Winchester. IsraeliDaniel Poleshchuk claimed the only win for the home side – but straight games victories by Dominique Lloyd-Walter,Henrik Mustonen, Joe Lee and Tom Richards take St George’s Hill into third place in the tables.
Coolhurst London 4 Benz-Bavarian Duffield 1
Ong Beng Hee bt Stephen Coppinger 9-11, 12-10, 5-11, 11-9, 12-10
Omar Abdel Meguid bt Joel Hinds 3-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-7, 11-7 (74m)
Ben Coleman bt Declan James 11-9, 11-7, 11-6
Stacey Ross lost to Scott Handley 8-11, 11-7, 11-9, 2-11, 7-11
Madeline Perry bt Tania Bailey 8-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-6
AJP Pontefract 2 University of Birmingham 3
James Willstrop lost to Chris Ryder 3-11, 11-9, 9-11, 8-11
Miguel Angel Rodriguez bt Jaymie Haycocks 11-5, 11-7, 11-9
Lee Beachill lost to Peter Creed 8-11, 10-12, 10-12
Chris van der Salm lost to Joel Makin 3-11, 11-7, 11-5, 9-11, 5-11
Sarah Kippax bt Chloe Mesic 11-4, 11-4, 11-9
Chapel Allerton 3 Air-IT Nottingham 2
Daryl Selby bt Alan Clyne 8-11, 11-8, 11-9, 13-11
Chris Simpson lost to Eddie Charlton 9-11, 11-7, 11-6, 6-11, 9-11
Shaun le Roux bt Chris Fuller 11-7, 11-7, 6-11, 5-11, 11-3
Matthew Sidaway lost to Mark Fuller 5-11, 4-11, 3-11
Jenny Duncalf bt Emma Beddoes 11-6, 6-11, 5-11, 11-6, 11-9
Winchester 1 Luxfords St George’s Hill 4
Alex Phillips lost to Tom Richards 10-12, 2-11, 10-12
Scott Fitzgerald lost to Joe Lee 4-11, 8-11, 4-11
Phillip John Bull lost to Henrik Mustonen 4-11, 9-11, 8-11
Daniel Poleshchuk bt Alex Ingham 11-7, 11-7, 11-5
Emily Heyes lost to Dominique Lloyd-Walter 4-11, 0-11, 8-11
Exeter Diamonds 4 UWE/Elitesquash Bristol 1
Omar Mosaad bt Mohamed Elshorbagy 11-7, 7-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-6 (60m)
Olli Tuominen bt David Evans 11-9, 11-7, 11-6 (39m)
Joey Barrington bt Hadrian Stiff 11-8, 11-4, 6-11, 12-10 (55m)
Tim Vail bt James Bamber 11-6, 11-8, 11-8 (25m)
Aisling Blake lost to Yathreb Adel 6-11, 9-11, 5-11 (27m)
Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets 4 Team Chichester 1
Adrian Grant bt Jonathan Kemp 11-13, 11-5, 11-9, 13-11
Adrian Waller bt Robbie Temple 11-3, 11-6, 11-7
Richie Fallows lost to Anthony Graham 11-8, 9-11, 11-13, 9-11
Ben Ford bt Alex Gough 5-11, 11-6, 11-7, 11-2
Alison Waters bt Lauren Briggs 11-7, 11-1, 11-7