Round 1: Team Chichester v St. George’s Hill
The Premier Squash League started its new 2016-2017 season tonight and in Round 1 Team Chichester [3rd place Division B last season] hosted its first match against old rivals St George’s Hill [last season’s PSL runners-up]
The new look Team Chichester welcomes back Paul Coll [NZ and WR34] for a second season, Nathan Lake [WR74] for his third season and new signings, Nele Gilis [BEL and WR44], Chichester’s home-grown talented player Miles Jenkins and, after 5 seasons at Exeter, crowd favourite Tim Vail made a welcome return to Chichester Racquets and Fitness Club.
Tim Vail was first on the glass-back court and played former Chichester player, Robbie Temple. From the off Vail controlled the game. He read Temple’s boasts extremely well and neutralised his opponent’s game by keeping the ball out of his reach for most of the match. There were slight wobbles at the end of each game but Vail was unyielding and came through to win his match 3.0. (12/10, 11/9, 11/8).
Meanwhile, on the adjacent court, Nele Gilis made her debut for Team Chichester against St George’s Hill’s, Julianne Courtice. Nele forged ahead to take an early 2.0 lead although Julianne was gradually beginning to warm into her game. Julianne took the third game 6/11 and she battled extremely well in the fourth but Nele held her nerve and took the match 11/9 in the fourth. Chichester was now 2.0 on the night.
Next on court Chichester’s Nathan Lake played Joe Lee (WR46). They played 3 well contested games with Lake fighting back in all three only to have them taken away by Lee’s accurate hitting and percentage squash. Lake, at times, struggled to find his length which proved costly in the final analysis. Lee took the match 10/12, 11/13. 7/11.
Miles Jenkins played good, hard hitting and accurate squash to forge a 2.0 lead against Carlos Cornes (WR86). Cornes persistently fought back and Jenkins’ level and general length and width dropped off in the next 2 games which Cornes won 6/11, 5/11 to force a decider. The fifth game was nip and tuck throughout. Jenkins re-established his good length shots but Cornes was not going to let the match slip out of his hands and determinedly took the game and match 9/11.
Two-all and a first tie upset was on the cards. Chichester’s Paul Coll took on Tom Richards (WR29). Both players are very quick around the court but Coll had the edge on speed and retrieving at the business end of each game and ran out a 11/6, 11/7, 12/10 winner to clinch the match and give Team Chichester a fantastic and well-earned start to the new season.
Team Chichester’s next match is away to Bexley [a new squad in Group B] on 8th November and the next home fixture is scheduled for 22nd November against Coolhurst (also new to Group B).
Mike Phillips – Team Manager