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Surrey Health Win Maiden Premier League Title

PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC 4 PNH Properties Chichester 1

Results

Reports

Final Results Final Report
2nd Semi Final Results 2nd Semi Final Report
1st Semi Final Results Ist Semi Final Report
10th Round Results 10th Round Report
9th Round Results 9th Round Report
8th Round Results 8th Round Report
7th Round Results 7th Round Report
6th Round Results 6th Round Report
5th Round Results 5th Round Report
4th Round Results 4th Round Report
3rd Round Results 3rd Round Report
2nd Round Results 2nd Round Report

1st Round Results

1st Round Report

2005/6 Reports and Tables                2006/7 Reports and Tables

LEAGUE TABLE

FIXTURES

 

PREVIEW

TEAM SQUADS
 

 

Final Report

Surrey Health Win Maiden Premier League Title

 

At the end of only their third season in the competition, PCL Whitehall Security Surrey Health & Racquets Club clinched the Premier Squash League (PSL) title for the first time after beating PNH Properties Chichester 4/1 in Tuesday's final of the established England Squash league sponsored by Towergate tlc.

 

With both teams supported by determined and vociferous fans, it was clear that a great evening of squash was about to be unleashed on the two adjacent glass-backed courts at Lee on Solent Squash Club.

 

Surrey H&RC, from Croydon, took an early lead when England international Vicky Botwright, the world No10 from Manchester, beat compatriot Dominique Lloyd-Walter 9-3, 9-5, 9-4 in 21 minutes.

 

The end of this match coincided with the completion of the first game on the adjacent court - where Surrey's Ben Ford finally clinched the early lead against Peter Genever after the Chichester part-timer had saved two game-balls.

 

Both teams knew the importance of this particular clash - the pair's first meeting - and both sets of supporters did their best to outdo each other in the decibel stakes!

 

Genever, a veteran of all 12 of Chichester's PSL campaigns, levelled the match in the second game - and when world No93 Ford took the third, Chichester's former tour player again evened the score.

 

But when Genever led 7-2 in the decider - then stemmed a fight back by Ford to clinch the match 9-11, 9-2, 4-9, 9-7, 9-6 after 62 minutes - the Chichester followers almost raised the roof!

 

By now, Surrey were again leading in the second string battle between England international Peter Barker and Chichester's Welsh international Alex Gough - both of whom were playing in their second PSL final, and both of whom had achieved their seedings in last week's Dunlop British Open in Liverpool

 

Barker, a rising star, took the first two games, but veteran Gough, a 37-year-old former British O35 Open champion, pegged one back.  It was to no avail, however, as the 24-year-old world No12 secured the fourth to put Surrey back in the lead.

 

However, it was more than an hour and a half later - with the final two matches playing side by side and fortunes wavering from one team to the other - before Davide Bianchetti, the world No30 from Italy, finally curbed the brave and determined efforts of Chichester's second part-timer Tim Vail 9-11, 9-3, 9-3, 9-7 in 64 minutes, and Surrey H&RC fans cheered their team's maiden PSL triumph.

 

The top string encounter was an all-overseas affair - but both players have clearly established loyal followings from their teams' fans.  The crowd were mesmerised by the talents of Surrey's Wael El Hindi, the world No9 from Egypt, and Chichester's Mohd Azlan Iskandar, the world No13 from Malaysia who produced last week's biggest British Open shock when he upset second seed Ramy Ashour, also from Egypt.

 

But it was the Egyptian who ultimately prevailed to win 9-7, 9-4, 7-9, 9-6 in 65 minutes to earn the Croydon club a 4/1 victory.

 

"I thought it would be a close affair," said Surrey H&RC team manager Pete Smith.  "But I was confident we would win and am delighted that we did.  Tonight has been a fantastic night.

 

"Participation in the PSL for the past three seasons has been a very positive thing for us - it has helped with our junior development and has increased our squash membership, leading to more squash being played at the club. 

 

"And the team spirit has been fantastic," added Smith.  "Not just the players who have played tonight, but the whole squad who have helped us to get this far - players like British Junior champion Adrian Waller and Tim Garner."

 

Peter Cullen, representing club sponsors PCL Whitehall Security, added:  "There's been a cracking atmosphere tonight.  Now that we've won it, we want to retain it next year!"

 

Chichester, who were playing in the final for the first time despite having reached the semi-finals seven times since 1996, were proud of their achievement - particularly since two members of their team, Peter Genever and Tim Vail, have not played full-time squash for many years, yet have both represented the Sussex club with distinction in all ten ties this season.

 

"I knew I had to win tonight's match if we were to have a chance of winning the title," said Genever, a former world No23 who is now a highly-respected elite coach. 

 

"A night like tonight is good for the game, where you have a neutral venue with two strong sets of supporters providing a fantastic atmosphere. 

 

"I've represented Chichester for over 25 years now, from when I was a junior.  Most of our supporters here are my friends, people I grew up with.  Playing for Chichester in the PSL gets me motivated," concluded the 34-year-old England No21.

 

Egypt's Wael El Hindi acknowledged that he'd never before experienced anything like the atmosphere during the PSL final.  "Most of my countrymen don't play leagues - they like to stay at home.  But I play all over Europe," said the charismatic world No9 who divides his time between Cairo and Glastonbury in England, where he trains with British squash legend Jonah Barrington.

 

"But I have never experienced anything like this before.  It has been fantastic - an unbelievable evening," said the beaming Egyptian.

 

RESULTS:            Premier Squash League Final, Lee on Solent

 

PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC 4  PNH Properties Chichester 1

  Wael El Hindi bt Mohd Azlan Iskandar                     9-7, 9-4, 7-9, 9-6 (65m)

  Peter Barker bt Alex Gough                                    9-2, 9-5, 4-9, 9-2 (48m)

  Davide Bianchetti bt Tim Vail                                 9-11, 9-3, 9-3, 9-7 (64m)

  Ben Ford lost to Peter Genever                              11-9, 2-9, 9-4, 7-9, 6-9 (62m)

  Vicky Botwright bt Dominique Lloyd-Walter             9-3, 9-5, 9-4 (21m)

 


Final Preview
Surrey Health & Chichester In Maiden PSL Title Bid In Lee-on-Solent

 

PNH Properties Chichester and PCL Whitehall Security Surrey Health & Racquets Club will meet in Tuesday's final of the Premier Squash League (PSL) at Lee-on-Solent Squash Club - both clubs bidding to win their first title in the established England Squash league sponsored by Towergate tlc.

 

In the first final for six years between two southern clubs, Chichester will be led by Mohd Azlan Iskandar - the Malaysian who claimed an unexpected berth in the quarter-finals of this week's Dunlop British Open after upsetting second seed Ramy Ashour - while their Croydon-based opponents will be led by Egyptian Wael El Hindi, the world No9.

 

Chichester beat defending champions Benz-Bavarian Duffield to make the final for the first time in eight attempts, and Surrey Health defeated University Sport Birmingham in the other semi.

 

"It is going to be fantastic final, with all of the matches difficult to call, and nice to see the south breaking the north’s stranglehold," said Surrey H&RC spokesman Tim Garner.  "We may have the slight edge in terms of rankings but the massive Chichester supporter group that will travel along the south coast are sure to inspire their players.

 

"To counter this, our club is hiring a coach to take our own army of fans down the M3 and so it is likely to be an electric atmosphere on the night.

 

"We are confident that we recruited the right players this year and it was a great achievement for the club to make the final in only our third season.  But second place is not an option," added Garner.

 

The final will be staged in Lee-on-Solent where the host club is celebrating its centenary this year.

 

"This year sees Lee-on-the-Solent celebrate the centenary of its foundation back in 1908," said club spokesman Chris Raleigh.  "To mark this milestone in the Club's history we have many highpoints planned throughout the year.  On 31st May we have our grand Tennis open day with Pat Cash as our special celebrity guest; on Friday 16th May we are hosts for the "lost for words" event featuring Lee Beachill and James Willstrop - this being followed by some live entertainment from the dynamic duo. On 14th June we will be holding our Grand Summer Foundation Ball at the Club.

 

"In addition to the above we have lots of mini events going on.  To be invited to host the Premier Squash League Final on Tuesday 13th May just prior to our own "Lost for Words" evening will make the mid week in May a fantastic week to remember for Squash down at Lee-on-the-Solent, where we have a long and established association with top quality tournaments and some principal players."

 

    Final line-up:

PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC v PNH Properties Chichester

  Wael El Hindi v Mohd Azlan Iskandar

  Peter Barker v Alex Gough

  Davide Bianchetti v Tim Vail

  Ben Ford v Peter Genever

  Vicky Botwright v Dominique Lloyd-Walter

 



2nd Semi FInal

 

Surrey Health & Chichester Celebrate First Time In PSL Final

 

PCL Whitehall Security Surrey Health & Racquets Club and PNH Properties Chichester consolidated their successes the first semi-final legs by easing to home victories in tonight's the second leg ties in the Premier Squash League (PSL) to earn their first appearances in the national final of the established England Squash league sponsored by Towergate tlc.

 

It was a case of 'eighth time lucky' for Chichester, who had failed to progress beyond the semi-finals seven times since 1996.  After crushing Derbyshire's Benz-Bavarian Duffield 5/0 in the first semi, the Sussex club beat the defending champions 4/1 in the reverse fixture to record a 9/1 aggregate win. 

 

Just 48 hours after holding a slender 3/2 lead over University Sport Birmingham, Croydon-based Surrey H&RC romped home 4/1 to secure a 7/3 aggregate win - and extend their unbeaten run this season to 12 ties.

 

The final, on Tuesday 13 May, will be the first between two southern clubs for six years.

 

On the south coast, Dominique Lloyd-Walter and Chichester stalwart Peter Genever put the home side into the lead with repeat wins over Duffield's 15-year-old Millie Tomlinson and Peter Billson, respectively - Genever again needing five games to get the better of his Manchester-based opponent.

 

But Duffield claimed a revenge win when Nick Taylor beat Chichester's Tim Vail 9-4, 9-6, 12-10.  It was a rare loss for team captain Vail - who made his debut for Chichester in 1996 and has not missed a PSL appearance for his team in at least the last six seasons!  

 

It was Chichester team veteran Alex Gough that clinched victory over his former club by beating Alex Stait 9-4, 9-7, 4-9, 9-1 - a win that was later repeated by top string Mohd Azlan Iskandar when the Malaysian beat Duffield number one Andrew Whipp 10-8, 10-8, 9-7 to ensure the home side's 4/1 success.

 

"At last we've done it," said a jubilant Chichester captain Tim Vail.  "We had a sell-out crowd here tonight - willing us on to get to our first final - and I'm sure they'll all be with us for the final too.

 

"We've had a consistent policy ever since we joined the league - to always have strength in depth, and to use the league to help bring on Sussex juniors," explained Vail.  "And tonight's triumph shows that the plan is paying off - and juniors like Olly Pett and Tom Pashley have worked hard to get this far."

 

There was also a full house in Croydon - where the opening clash saw England's world No8 Vicky Botwright avenge her first leg loss to Lancashire and England team-mate Laura Lengthorn-Massaro by fighting back from two games down to beat her lower-ranked Birmingham opponent 9-11, 6-9, 10-8, 9-1, 9-7.

 

But straight games wins by Ben Ford, Peter Barker and Egyptian star Wael El Hindi put smiles on the home crowd as the Surrey club made up for the disappointment of losing out at the same stage last year by winning 4/1.

 

The student team gained a consolation point when up-and-coming 20-year-old Joel Hinds (ranked 256 in the world) showed that Tuesday's giant-killing win over experienced Italian Davide Bianchetti was no fluke - by again beating the world No31 9-7, 9-2, 6-9, 9-6!

 

"It's been a fantastic night, but also a huge relief after last year," admitted Surrey team manager Pete Smith.  "There's been a great atmosphere here - and we're now really looking forward to the final."

 

RESULTS:            Semi-finals, 2nd leg:

 

PNH Properties Chichester 4  Benz-Bavarian Duffield 1

  Mohd Azlan Iskandar bt Andrew Whipp                   10-8, 10-8, 9-7

  Alex Gough bt Alex Stait                                       9-4, 9-7, 4-9, 9-1

  Tim Vail lost to Nick Taylor                                     4-9, 6-9, 10-12

  Peter Genever bt Peter Billson                               3-9, 9-4, 5-9, 9-5, 9-7

  Dominique Lloyd-Walter bt Millie Tomlinson            9-3, 9-3, 9-1

 

       Chichester win 9/1 on aggregate

 

PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC 4  University Sport Birmingham 1

  Wael El Hindi bt Joey Barrington                            9-2, 11-9, 9-7

  Peter Barker bt Jonathan Harford                           9-5, 9-5, 9-7

  Davide Bianchetti lost to Joel Hinds                       7-9, 2-9, 9-6, 6-9

  Ben Ford bt Alistair Mutch                                     9-2, 9-1, 9-4

  Vicky Botwright bt Laura Lengthorn-Massaro           9-11, 6-9, 10-8, 9-1, 9-7

 

       Surrey H&RC win 7/3 on aggregate


1st Semi Final Leg
 

Chichester & Surrey H&RC Take Early Advantage In PSL Semi-Finals

 

PNH Properties Chichester and PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC took the early advantage after the first leg semi-final ties in the Premier Squash League (PSL) following away wins over Benz-Bavarian Duffield and University Sport Birmingham, respectively, in the established England Squash league sponsored by Towergate tlc.

 

Duffield, the reigning champions from Derbyshire hoping to become the first club in the 25-year history of the league to win a hat-trick of successive titles, suffered a catastrophic series of injury woes on the eve of the semi-finals week - with last week's news of three of its leading players being forced to withdraw being followed this week by the revelation that second string woman Laura Hill had sustained an injury in Canada which would prevent her from replacing England number Tania Bailey.

 

However, hastily recruited replacement Mille Tomlinson - a 15-year-old schoolgirl ranked two in the National U17 list - put in a courageous performance in her PSL debut against Chichester's Dominique Lloyd-Walter.  The youngster led the world No21 from Harrow 7-4 in the opening game.

 

But Lloyd-Walter soon regained the advantage to record a 9-7, 9-2 9-1 win to put the visitors ahead.

 

Tomlinson's Duffield team-mates maintained the pressure on favourites Chichester - with Peter Billson, Nick Taylor and Alex Stait taking each of their more fancied opponents the full distance before succumbing in five games.  Stait led world No22 Alex Gough by two games - and was given the first point of the third game when Welshman Gough received a conduct point against him as he walked off court after the second.

 

But this seemed to inspire the veteran 37-year-old who went on to win 6-9, 10-12, 9-4, 9-2, 9-3.

 

In the final top string battle between Duffield's Stockport-based Andrew Whipp, a former world No64, and the visitors' Mohd Azlan Iskandar, currently ranked 13 in the world, the loyal Duffield followers hoped for a surprise consolation match when underdog Whipp was two points away from forcing a fifth game.

 

But Malaysian star Iskandar maintained his focus to win 9-3, 9-5, 8-10, 9-7 to give the Sussex side a much-deserved 5/0 tie win.

 

"I couldn't have expected more from my players," said a dejected Duffield team manager Brian Hargrave afterwards.  "We gave them a good run for their money and will try and repeat this in the second leg on Thursday at Chichester.  We've got a mountain to climb, but if we do have to bow out of the competition, I couldn't think of a better team to succeed us as champions than Chichester!"

 

With three members of its squad in the world top ten, Croydon's PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC were expected to take the honours against University Sport Birmingham at the Edgbaston Priory Club in Birmingham. 

 

But after Laura Lengthorn-Massaro beat higher-ranked Lancashire and England team-mate Vicky Botwright 9-6, 9-7, 9-5 - the 24-year-old from Preston's third successive win over world No8 Botwright - and home hero Joel Hinds (ranked 256 in the world) scored a sensational 9-3, 9-7, 9-7 victory over Italy's world No31 Davide Bianchetti, the University team found themselves 2/1 ahead.

 

But an impressive 9-4, 9-2, 9-4 win by the visitors England international Peter Barker over Jonathan Harford levelled the tie.  In the decider, the Surrey team's Egyptian international Wael El Hindi was too strong for Birmingham's Joey Barrington - whose 'dead leg' injury picked up at the Surrey Health Open last week at the Croydon club prevented him from completing the third game of the match.

 

"We had a really good turn out at Edgbaston Priory and, given the strength of our opposition, our team put in a great performance - especially Joel Hinds who played the best I've ever seen him," said University of Birmingham team manager Jonathan Tate.

 

RESULTS:            Semi-finals, 1st leg:

 

Benz-Bavarian Duffield 0  PNH Properties Chichester 5

  Andrew Whipp lost to Mohd Azlan Iskandar            3-9, 5-9, 10-8, 7-9

  Alex Stait lost to Alex Gough                                 9-6, 12-10, 4-9, 2-9, 3-9

  Nick Taylor lost to Tim Vail                                     9-5, 6-9, 2-9, 9-2, 6-9

  Peter Billson lost to Peter Genever                         9-6, 9-5, 6-9, 2-9, 5-9

  Millie Tomlinson lost to Dominique Lloyd-Walter     7-9, 2-9, 1-9

 

University Sport Birmingham 2  PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC 3

  Joey Barrington lost to Wael El Hindi                     4-9, 5-9, 0-1 ret.

  Jonathan Harford lost to Peter Barker                     4-9, 2-9, 4-9

  Joel Hinds bt Davide Bianchetti                             9-3, 9-7, 9-7

  Alistair Mutch lost to Adrian Waller                         6-9, 6-9, 10-8, 3-9

  Laura Lengthorn-Massaro bt Vicky Botwright           9-6, 9-7, 9-5

 

Semi-finals, 2nd leg (Thursday 10 April):

PNH Properties Chichester v Benz-Bavarian Duffield

PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC v University Sport Birmingham

 

 

TEAM SQUADS 2007/8
DIVISION A


BENZ-BAVARIAN DUFFIELD

Nick Matthew
Stewart Boswell
Andy Whipp
Alex Stait
Nick Taylor
Laurence Delasaux
Shaun Le Roux
Paul Hargrave
Kevin White
Tania Bailey
Laura Hill
Millie Tomlinson 

BIRMINGHAM UNIVERSITY
Joey Barrington
Mohamed El Shorbagy
Jonny Harford
Steve Coppinger
Joel Hinds
Jonathan Tate
Chris Truswell
Tom Power
Steve London
Alistair Mutch
Laura Lengthorn
Emma Chorley
Leonie Holt
Carrie Hastings

ESPORTA OXFORD

Cameron Pilley
Scott Handley
Chris Ryder
Dylan Bennett
Rob Sutherland
Kristen Johnson
Chris Tasker-Grindley
Tom Phipps
Dominic Hamilton
Jason Martin
Madeleine Perry
Deon Saffery
Kerri Shields
Rachel Donald

NOTTINGHAM
Ong Beng Hee
Simon Parke
John Rooney
Jethro Binns
Eddie Charlton
Arthur Gaskin
Lewis Walters
Duncan Walsh
Dominique Lloyd Walters
Emma Beddoes
Sarah Kippax

PONTEFRACT
James Willstrop
Lee Beachill
Saurav Ghosal
Stuart Crawford
Neil Cordell
Ryan Thompson
Adam Taylor
Sam Wileman
Colin Roshara
Vanessa Atkinson
Lauren Siddall
Rebecca Botwright
Kirsty McPhee
Joshna Chinappa

ENERGIE FITNESS REDDITCH
Renan Lavigne
Jonathan Kemp
Scott Arnold
Chris Truswell
Jaymie Haycocks
David Barnett
Aaron Frankcomb
James Snell
Jackie Hawkes
Wendy Maitland
Victoria Lust
Georgina Lust 

 



TEAM SQUADS 2006/7
DIVISION B


PROBUILD BRISTOL
Gregory Gaultier
Adrian Grant
Joe Kniepp
David Evans
Hadrian Stiff
Peter Marshall
Chris Clare
Lewys Hurst
Kasey Brown
Laura Mylotte



UNISPORT GUILDFORD
Stacey Ross
Stephen Meads
Jesse Engelbrecht
Mick Biggs
Phil Rushworth
Alex Ingham
Federico Torres
Gary Hinton
Anthony Brindle
Alison Waters
Adel Weir
Gilly Lane
Harriet Ingham
Emma Wardle


LUXFORDS ST GEORGE’S HILL

Alister Walker
Daryl Selby
Tom Richards
Joe Lee
Jason Barry
Danny Lee
James Simpson
Sarah Fitzgerald
Isabelle Stoer
Rachel Wilmot
Isabelle Tweedle




PCL WHITEHALL SECURITY SURREY
H+RC
Wael El Hindi
Peter Barker
Bradley Ball
Davide Bianchetti
Tim Garner
Chris Simpson
Ben Ford
Simon Rosner
Adrian Waller
Vicky Botwright
Lauren Briggs
Stephanie Brind

PNH PROPERTIES CHICHESTER
Mohd Azlan Iskandar
Alex Gough
Tim Vail
Pete Genever
Robbie Temple
Tom Pashley
Olly Pett
Dominique Lloyd Walters
Line Hansen
Suzie Pierrepont

 

LEAGUE TABLE

Ties

Matches

Games

Pts

P

W

L

W

L

W

L

GROUP A: NORTH

Benz-Bavarian Duffield 10 9 1 12 38 125 64 170
University Sport Birmingham 10 6 4 30 20 110 81 140
Esporta Oxford 10 6 4 25 25 93 97 123
Energie Fitness Redditch 10 3 7 25 25 91 92 106
Nottingham 10 3 7 16 34 71 114 86
Pontefract 10 3 7 16 34 70 112 85

GROUP B: SOUTH

Surrey H&RC 8 8 0 30 10 99 50 139
PNH Properties 8 5 3 22 18 82 75 107
Probuild Bristol 8 3 5 20 80 76 76 95
Luxfords St George's Hill 8 3 5 16 24 66 86 81
Unisport Guildford 8 1 7 12 28 50 90 55

PREMIER SQUASH LEAGUE

LEAGUE FIXTURES 2007-2008


Groups

NORTHERN GROUP A
A: NOTTINGHAM
B: PONTEFRACT
C: ENERGIE FITNESS REDDITCH
D: ESPORTA OXFORD
E: BENZ-BAVARIAN DUFFIELD
F: BIRMINGHAM UNIVERSITY
SOUTHERN GROUP B
A: UNISPORT GUILDFORD
B: PNH PROPERTIES CHICHESTER
C: PROBUILD BRISTOL
D: LUXFORDS ST GEORGE’S HILL
E: PCL WHITEHALL SECURITY SURREY H&R
F: NO FIXTURE

First named is home team, start time 7pm

 DATE Group A Group B 
Round 1
9 Oct
Nottingham 3-2 Pontefract
Duffield 3-2 Redditch
Birmingham 3-2 Oxford
Guildford 1-4 Chichester
Surrey 4-1 Bristol
 
Round 2
16 Oct
Redditch 1-4 Nottingham
Oxford 1-4 Duffield
Pontefract 3-2 Birmingham
Bristol 3-2 Guildford
St George's 1-4 Surrey
 
Round 3
13 Nov
Duffield 5-0 Nottingham
Pontefract 2-3 Oxford
Birmingham 4-1 Redditch
Surrey 4-1 Guildford
Chichester 4-1 St George's
 
Round 4
20 Nov
Nottingham 2-3 Oxford
Redditch v Pontefract
Duffield 4-1 Birmingham
Guildford 3-2 St George's
Bristol 2-3 Chichester
 
Round 5
4 Dec
Pontefract 0-5 Duffield
Oxford 3-2 Redditch
Birmingham 4-1 Nottingham
Chichester 1-4 Surrey
St George's 3-2 Bristol
 
Round 6
29 Jan
Pontefract 4-1 Nottingham
Redditch 2-3 Duffield
Oxford 1-4 Birmingham
Chichester 4-1 Guildford
Bristol 2-3 Surrey
 
Round 7
5 Feb
Nottingham 0-5 Redditch
Duffield 4-1 Oxford
Birmingham 4-1 Pontefract
Guildford 1-4 Bristol
Surrey 3-2 St George's
 
Round 8
19 Feb
Nottingham 1-4 Duffield
Oxford 4-1 Pontefract
Redditch 3-2 Birmingham
Guildford 1-4 Surrey
St George's 3-2 Chichester
 
Round 9
4 Mar
Oxford 4-1 Nottingham
Pontefract 3-2 Redditch
Birmingham 4-1 Duffield
St George's 3-2 Guildford
Chichester 4-1 Bristol
 
Round 10
18 Mar
Duffield 5-0 Pontefract
Redditch 2-3 Oxford
Nottingham 3-2 Birmingham
Surrey 4-1 Chichester
Bristol 5-0 St George's
 
8th April 2008 Semi Final 1st Leg
 

Benz-Bavarian Duffield 5-0 PNH Properties Chichester
 

University Sport Birmingham 2-3 PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC
 

10th April 2008 Semi Final 2nd Leg
 

PNH Properties Chichester 4-1 Benz-Bavarian Duffield
 

PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC 4-1 University Sport Birmingham
 
13th May 2008 (TBC)

PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC 4-1 PNH Properties Chichester

10th Round Report
 

Duffield & Surrey Storm To PSL Group Supremacy

 

Benz-Bavarian Duffield and PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC stormed to comprehensive home victories in the tenth and final round of this season's Premier Squash League (PSL) to establish overwhelming leads at the top of the Group A and Group B tables, respectively, in the long-established England Squash league sponsored by Towergate tlc.

 

Duffield, the defending champions from Derbyshire, and Croydon-based Surrey H&RC, will join University Sport Birmingham and PNH Properties Chichester in the two-leg semi-final play-offs (on 8 and 10 April) for places in the final in May.  Chichester, who needed a whitewash win over Surrey H&RC to leapfrog the Croydon in Group B, went down 4/1 to finish in second place - and will face Duffield in one of the semis.  The Birmingham side also suffered a tenth round loss - to Nottingham - but still maintain their grip on second place in Group A to earn a semi-final against Surrey H&RC.

 

After losing their 23-tie unbeaten run in the last round, Duffield sprang back to despatch an admittedly under-strength Pontefract squad 5/0 at home.  However, the Yorkshire visitors looked likely to claim an early win when fast-improving Lauren Siddall forged a 2/1 lead over Duffield's experienced campaigner Tania Bailey, the world No5 from Lincolnshire.  But Bailey bounded back to take the match 9-7, 7-9, 4-9, 9-2, 9-6.

 

Wins then by Duffield stalwarts Peter Billson and Laurence Delasaux put the title-holders back on the victory trail - but it was the top string clash which provided the standout match of the day when Cheshire 'part-timer' Andrew Whipp crafted a sensational 3-9, 10-8, 9-3, 7-9, 9-2 victory over Pontefract's Saurav Ghosal, the Indian champion ranked 51 in the world, to give Duffield maximum points.

 

England international Vicky Botwright clinched the vital early points which assured Surrey H&RC's place at the top of the Group B standings when she beat Chichester's Dominique Lloyd-Walter 9-2, 8-10, 11-9, 10-8.  Kent's Ben Ford went on to win in straight games to extend the home side's lead - but it was after beating Chichester captain Tim Vail that Italian Davide Bianchetti clinched victory for Surrey H&RC which leaves the Croydon club as the only unbeaten team this season.

 

A final 9-5, 7-9, 9-7, 9-5 win by squad No1 Peter Barker over indefatigable Welshman Alex Gough saw Surrey finish with a 4/1 win over the Sussex club.

 

Middle order places in the group standings were settled in the other ties - with last season's national runners-up Probuild Bristol romping home with their only 5/0 win of the season, against Luxfords St George's Hill, to overtake the Surrey club to finish in third place in Group B.

 

The 3/2 win by Nottingham over University Sport Birmingham not only gives the former champions their third win of the season, but also lifts the East Midlanders off the base of the Group A table.   Elsewhere in the Group, in-form Australian Cameron Pilley clinched the deciding match for Esporta Oxford against league newcomers Energie Fitness Redditch which cemented the Thames Valley club's third place finish in Group A.

 

RESULTS: 10th round

 

     Group A:

Benz-Bavarian Duffield 5  Pontefract 0

  Andrew Whipp bt Saurav Ghosal 3-9, 10-8, 9-3, 7-9, 9-2

  Peter Billson bt Sam Wileman 9-11, 9-5, 9-6, 9-2

  Laurence Delasaux bt Colin Ramasra 9-6, 9-4, 9-2

  Rudi Willemse bt Alan Norrish 9-4, 9-7, 9-5

  Tania Bailey bt Lauren Siddall 9-7, 7-9, 4-9, 9-2, 9-6

Energie Fitness Redditch 2  Esporta Oxford 3

  Renan Lavigne lost to Cameron Pilley 7-9, 5-9, 9-3, 7-9 (49m)

  Jonathan Kemp bt Scott Handley 9-4, 9-7, 9-1 (19m)

  Jaymie Haycocks bt Rob Sutherland 6-9, 9-7, 9-11, 9-6, 9-6 (49m)

  Andrew Birks lost to Kristen Johnson 11-9, 10-12, 5-9, 4-9 (36m)

  Jaclyn Hawkes lost to Madeline Perry 6-9, 6-9, 7-9 (24m)

Nottingham 3  University Sport Birmingham 2

  Simon Parke lost to Joey Barrington 5-9, 10-8, 6-9, 2-9

  John Rooney bt Stephen Coppinger 10-8, 9-6, 3-9, 4-9, 9-5

  Jethro Binns bt Jonathan Tate 1-9, 9-5, 9-3, 9-7

  Arthur Gaskin bt Steven London 9-7, 9-4, 5-9, 9-5

  Sarah Kippax lost to Laura Lengthorn-Massaro 6-9, 9-2, 8-10, 10-12

 

     Group B:

PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC 4  PNH Properties Chichester 1

  Peter Barker bt Alex Gough 9-5, 7-9, 9-7, 9-5

  Davide Bianchetti bt Tim Vail 9-5, 10-8, 9-5

  Tim Garner lost to Peter Genever 9-11, 9-6, 5-9, 2-9

  Ben Ford bt Robbie Temple 10-8, 9-6, 9-5

  Vicky Botwright bt Dominique Lloyd-Walter 9-2, 8-10, 11-9, 10-8

Probuild Bristol 5  Luxfords St George's Hill 0

  Adrian Grant bt Daryl Selby 6-9, 9-6, 5-9, 9-7, 9-2 (57m)

  David Evans bt Tom Richards 9-7, 7-9, 4-9, 9-5, 9-6 (55m)

  Hadrian Stiff bt Neil Hitchens 9-7, 9-5, 9-6 (26m)

  Peter Marshall bt Oliver Dixon 9-2, 9-1, 9-5

  Kasey Brown bt Rachel Willmott 9-7, 9-4, 9-3

 

Semi-finals line up:

   1st leg (8 April)

Benz-Bavarian Duffield v PNH Properties Chichester

University Sport Birmingham v PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC

 

   2nd leg (10 April):

PNH Properties Chichester v Benz-Bavarian Duffield

PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC v University Sport Birmingham

FINAL PSL TABLES (after 10th round)

                                 Ties       Matches     Games     Pts

                               P   W   L    W    L     W     L

   Group A:

Benz-Bavarian Duffield        10   9   1   38   12   125    64   170

University Sport Birmingham   10   6   4   30   20   110    81   140

Esporta Oxford                10   6   4   25   25    93    97   123

Energie Fitness Redditch      10   3   7   25   25    91    92   106

Nottingham                    10   3   7   16   34    71   114    86

Pontefract                    10   3   7   16   34    70   112    85

   Group B:

Surrey H&RC                    8   8   0   30   10    99    50   139

PNH Properties Chichester      8   5   3   22   18    82    75   107

Probuild Bristol               8   3   5   20   20    80    76    95

Luxfords St George's Hill      8   3   5   16   24    66    86    81

UniSport Guildford             8   1   7   12   28    50    90    55

9th Round Report

Chichester & Birmingham Clinch PSL Play-Off Places

 

With the final round still to be played, University Sport Birmingham and PNH Properties Chichester clinched their places in the end-of-season Premier Squash League (PSL) play-offs after comfortable 4/1 home wins  the ninth round of the prestigious England Squash league sponsored by Towergate tlc.

 

The west midlands side took on Benz-Bavarian Duffield, the defending champions unbeaten for the last 23 ties.  But the Derbyshire club's impressive record run finally came to an end as the University of Birmingham squad secured the win which takes them into the play-offs for the second successive season - alongside Duffield, who cannot be displaced from top position in the Group A table.

 

As in Group A, the Group B table-toppers PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC were also already assured of a play-off place - but Chichester's win over Probuild Bristol guarantees the Sussex club a return to the play-offs after missing out last season to the west country side - who went on to contest the final.

 

Elsewhere in Group A, Esporta Oxford moved up to third place following a 4/1 home win against former champions Nottingham, while Yorkshire club Pontefract claimed their third win of the season by beating Energie Fitness Redditch 3/2 at home.  The other tie in Group B saw UniSport Guildford narrowly lose out on finishing their 2007/08 campaign with their second win of the season as Luxfords St George's Hill clinched the tie 3/2 after the top string decider went the full distance.

 

It was a considerably under-strength Duffield squad that arrived in Birmingham, wary of the fact that its unbeaten run was in jeopardy.  But stalwart Laura Hill put the visitors firmly in the driving seat with a commanding 9-2, 9-2, 9-2 win over the University team's Emma Chorley. 

 

It was one-way traffic, however, for the hosts thereafter as Joel Hinds and Jonathan Harford scored notable wins - before Mohamed El Shorbagy, a 17-year-old Egyptian studying at Millfield School, fought back from 2/1 down against Duffield veteran Nick Taylor to beat the reigning British O35 Open champion 9-4, 3-9, 6-9, 9-2, 9-5 and clinch victory for the University side.  In the top string clash, former Birmingham student Joey Barrington made it 4/1 when he beat Andrew Whipp 9-2, 10-12, 9-3, 9-7 in 47 minutes.

 

Probuild Bristol needed nothing less than a win in Chichester to keep alive their chances of a second appearance in the play-offs - after making it last year in their maiden season in the league.  But Dominique Lloyd-Walter and Olivier Pett put the Sussex side into the lead and club stalwart Peter Genever clinched the vital win by beating the visitors' Mike Gregory 9-3, 9-6, 10-8.

 

However, Bristol gained some consolation in the top string rubber, between Alex Gough and David Evans.  But the eagerly-awaited match between the two leading players from Wales for the past decade failed to live up to expectations as Evans, the Bristol number one, took a two-game lead before Gough was forced to retire after three points of the third game suffering with an injury.

 

Lee Beachill led Pontefract to a 3/2 home win over Energie Fitness Redditch, but the tie was poised at two-all when the former world number one took to the court to face French star Renan Lavigne.  But Beachill was too strong for the Redditch number one, winning 10-8, 9-6, 9-6, much to the delight of the packed Pontefract crowd.

 

Esporta Oxford's hopes of a whitewash win over visitors Nottingham were dashed in the opening match when club champion Rachel Donald fell 9-0, 9-1, 9-3 to an "awesome" performance by Nottingham's Emma Beddoes.  But the hosts quickly recovered - first when local star Kristen Johnson battled bravely to an entertaining 11-9, 13-11, 6-9, 8-10, 10-8 win over Lewis Walters, and then after Chris Ryder despatched Nottingham's Jethro Binns in four games.

 

But overall victory came when Scott Handley secured a surprisingly straightforward 9-5, 9-4, 9-3 win over Nottingham's John Rooney - and Australian Cameron Pilley cemented the celebrations by beating Simon Parke 9-5, 9-5, 9-4.

 

The all-Surrey clash between Luxfords St George's Hill and UniSport Guildford began disappointingly for the Ingham family as siblings Alex and Harriet, openers for the visitors, went down in straight games to their St George's Hill opponents.  But Guildford fought back to level the tie when Jesse Engelbrecht beat St George's Hill newcomer Philip Nightingale 9-3, 9-5, 9-3, and veteran campaigner Stephen Meads held off a challenge from Tom Richards to beat the rising Surrey star 9-6, 9-7, 10-12, 4-9, 9-4.

 

The dramatic decider went to five games when the home side's Hungarian number one Mark Krajcsak beat long-time Guildford No1 Stacey Ross 9-11, 9-3, 5-9, 9-5, 9-3.

 

9th round results: Tuesday 4 March 2008

 

     Group A:

Esporta Oxford 4  Nottingham 1

  Cameron Pilley bt Simon Parke  9-5, 9-5, 9-4

  Scott Handley bt John Rooney  9-5, 9-4, 9-3

  Chris Ryder bt Jethro Binns  10-8, 9-5, 7-9, 9-2

  Kristen Johnson bt Lewis Walters  11-9, 13-11, 6-9, 8-10, 10-8

  Rachel Donald lost to Emma Beddoes  0-9, 1-9, 3-9

Pontefract 3  Energie Fitness Redditch 2

  Lee Beachill bt Renan Lavigne  10-8, 9-6, 9-6

  Saurav Ghosal bt David Barnett  9-2, 9-4, 9-4

  Neil Cordell lost to Jaymie Haycocks  9-11, 9-4, 4-9, 3-9

  Ryan Thompson bt Adam Stevenson  9-4, 9-6, 9-2

  Lauren Siddall lost to Jaclyn Hawkes  9-6, 7-9, 2-9, 7-9

University Sport Birmingham 4  Benz-Bavarian Duffield 1

  Joey Barrington bt Andrew Whipp  9-2, 10-12, 9-3, 9-7 (47m)

  Mohamed El Shorbagy bt Nick Taylor  9-4, 3-9, 6-9, 9-2, 9-5 (39m)

  Jonathan Harford bt Peter Billson  9-3, 7-9, 9-3, 9-6 (29m)

  Joel Hinds bt Shaun le Roux  9-3, 9-6, 9-3 (24m)

  Emma Chorley lost to Laura Hill  2-9, 2-9, 2-9 (18m)

 

    Group B:

Luxfords St George's Hill 3  UniSport Guildford 2

  Mark Krajcsak bt Stacey Ross  9-11, 9-3, 5-9, 9-5, 9-3

  Tom Richards lost to Stephen Meads  6-9, 7-9, 12-10, 9-4, 4-9

  Philip Nightingale lost to Jesse Engelbrecht  3-9, 5-9, 3-9

  Phillip Barker bt Alex Ingham  11-9, 9-3, 9-6

  Rachel Willmott bt Harriet Ingham  11-9, 9-4, 9-2

PNH Properties Chichester 4  Probuild Bristol 1

  Alex Gough lost to David Evans  4-9, 3-9, 0-3 ret.

  Tim Vail bt Hadrian Stiff  9-4, 9-3, 9-6

  Peter Genever bt Mike Gregory  9-3, 9-6, 10-8

  Olivier Pett bt Michael Harris  9-4, 9-6, 1-9, 6-9, 9-6

  Dominique Lloyd-Walter bt Sarah-Jane Perry  9-6, 9-5, 9-6

 

10th round, Tuesday 18 March 2008

     Group A:

Benz-Bavarian Duffield v Pontefract

Energie Fitness Redditch v Esporta Oxford

Nottingham v University Sport Birmingham

      Group B:

PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC v PNH Properties Chichester

Probuild Bristol v Luxfords St George's Hill

 

PSL TABLES (after 9th round)
                                 Ties       Matches     Games     Pts

                               P   W   L    W    L     W     L

   Group A:

Benz-Bavarian Duffield         9   8   1   33   12   110    59   150

University Sport Birmingham    9   6   3   28   17   100    70   130

Esporta Oxford                 9   5   4   22   23    82    89   107

Energie Fitness Redditch       9   3   6   23   22    83    81    98

Pontefract                     9   3   6   16   29    65    97    80

Nottingham                     9   2   7   13   32    60   104    70

   Group B:

Surrey H&RC                    7   7   0   26    9    86    45   121

PNH Properties Chichester      7   5   2   21   14    77    62   102

Luxfords St George's Hill      7   3   4   16   19    62    71    77

Probuild Bristol               7   2   5   15   20    65    72    75

UniSport Guildford             8   1   7   12   28    50    90    55

 

8th Round Report
 

Redditch & St George's Hill Exact Revenge In PSL

 

Surrey's Luxfords St George's Hill and newcomers Energie Fitness Redditch avenged defeats earlier in the season in the eighth round of the Premier Squash League (PSL) to keep alive their hopes of reaching the end-of-season play-offs in the prestigious England Squash league sponsored by Towergate tlc.

 

Essex's Daryl Selby clinched the decider for St George's Hill against Sussex visitors PNH Properties Chichester in Group B, while the West Midlands derby in Group A between Redditch and University Sport Birmingham again saw the top strings battle it out for victory, with the Worcestershire home team's Jonathan Kemp recovering from a game down to beat Birmingham's Joey Barrington in four.

 

Elsewhere Benz-Bavarian Duffield and PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC maintained their unbeaten runs - the defending champions from Derbyshire crushing former champions Nottingham 4-1 away from home and the Croydon club winning by the same margin at UniSport Guildford.  The wins ensure that both Duffield, from Group A, and Surrey H&RC, from Group B, are certain to make to the play-offs for the second successive year.

 

Just two days after tasting defeat in the women's British National Championship final in Manchester, Birmingham's Laura Lengthorn-Massaro went down 4-9, 9-4, 9-2, 10-8 in the opening match in Redditch to the home team's Jaclyn Hawkes - the New Zealander repeating her win over the England international earlier in the season. 

 

Honours thereafter were shared throughout the evening, with the University side drawing level when Stephen Coppinger beat Adam Stevenson, and Redditch again forging ahead through a Jaymie Haycocks victory over Jonathan Harford.

 

Top strings kemp and Barrington were left to contest a decider when the visitors' Mohamed El Shorbagy, a 17-year-old Egyptian based in Somerset, beat Australian Scott Arnold 10-8, 9-6, 5-9, 9-6.  Barrington, also from Glastonbury in Somerset, took the opening game, but left-hander Kemp, the world No25, bounced back to win 8-10, 9-3, 9-4, 9-4 in 39 minutes to seal the win for Redditch.

 

"It was a night of really good and exciting squash," said Redditch team manager Bett Dryhurst.  "It was a true local derby, fought out in a good spirit - and it's time we deserved a breakthrough like this," added the British O55 Open champion.

 

Redditch have reduced the gap in third place in Group A behind University Sport Birmingham - but Duffield have extended their lead at the top of the table to 30 points following their win over a weakened Nottingham team.  Cheshire's Andrew Whipp was Duffield's only loser, but twice fought back to level his match before Welshman Jethro Binns clinched a 9-7, 14-16, 9-7, 4-9, 9-5 victory.  In the top string clash, Australian Stewart Boswell beat Irishman John Rooney 10-8 9-6 9-4 to secure his third successive win since joining the Duffield squad.

 

After originally being announced as the fourth string for visitors Pontefract, it was as top string that Trinidadian Colin Ramasra arrived at Esporta Oxford, leading the considerably under-strength Yorkshire club squad.  The home side marched to a convincing 4/1 win - with only Kristen Johnson stumbling, failing to exploit a two-game advantage before going down 9-4, 11-9, 5-9, 7-9, 6-9 to Pontefract's Sam Wileman.

 

But a packed house in Weybridge enjoyed watching the drama unfold as Luxfords St George's Hill entertained PNH Properties Chichester.  Surrey University student Rachel Willmott opened proceedings for the home team - and enjoyed her first win in ten league appearances when she beat the Sussex club's Susannah King 9-4, 5-9, 9-4, 9-1.

 

The tie was evenly poised when top strings Daryl Selby and Alex Gough faced each other in the decider - with Welshman Gough, fresh from appearances in both the 'Open' and O35 event in last week's British Nationals in Manchester, taking a  two game lead.  But Selby refused to give in, forcing the match into a fifth game decider before clinching victory in a 6-9, 5-9, 10-8, 9-3, 9-7 scoreline after 76 minutes!

 

Also fresh from success at the National Squash Centre - where she won the women's title for the first time - Alison Waters received a presentation from UniSport Guildford team manager Ian Robinson after cruising to a 9-6, 10-8, 9-3 win over Stephanie Brind in their home tie against PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC.

 

But that was the home team's only success as the visitors stormed to a 4/1 win - in the final match, the squad's number one Peter Barker overcoming a dislocated toe injury to beat Guildford's Stacey Ross, also suffering with a shoulder injury, 9-3, 3-9, 9-7, 9-5.

 

RESULTS: 8th round, Tuesday 19 February 2008

 

     Group A:

Nottingham 1  Benz-Bavarian Duffield 4

  John Rooney lost to Stewart Boswell  8-10, 6-9, 4-9

  Jethro Binns bt Andrew Whipp  9-7, 14-16, 9-7, 4-9, 9-5

  Eddie Charlton lost to Peter Billson  9-7, 7-9, 9-11, 7-9

  Lewis Walters lost to Shaun le Roux  9-7, 3-9, 7-9, 8-10

  Sarah Kippax lost to Laura Hill  5-9, 6-9, 10-12

Esporta Oxford 4  Pontefract 1

  Scott Handley bt Colin Ramasra  9-4, 9-6, 9-2

  Rob Sutherland bt Adam Taylor  10-8, 9-5, 9-2

  Kristen Johnson lost to Sam Wileman  9-4, 11-9, 5-9, 7-9, 6-9

  Thomas Phipps bt Daniel Siddall  9-5, 9-7, 9-3

  Madeline Perry bt Lauren Siddall  9-2, 7-9, 9-7, 9-5

Energie Fitness Redditch 3  University Sport Birmingham 2

  Jonathan Kemp bt Joey Barrington  8-10, 9-3, 9-4, 9-4 (39m)

  Scott Arnold lost to Mohamed El Shorbagy  8-10, 6-9, 9-5, 6-9

  Jaymie Haycocks bt Jonathan Harford  11-9, 9-3, 9-6

  Adam Stevenson lost to Stephen Coppinger  4-9, 0-9, 5-9

  Jaclyn Hawkes bt Laura Lengthorn-Massaro  4-9, 9-4, 9-2, 10-8

 

  Group B:

UniSport Guildford 1  PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC 4

  Stacey Ross lost to Peter Barker  3-9, 9-3, 7-9, 5-9

  Stephen Meads lost to Davide Bianchetti  9-11, 5-9, 3-9

  Jesse Engelbrecht lost to Ben Ford  3-9, 7-9, 8-10

  Alex Ingham lost to Steve Richardson  5-9, 9-3, 9-7, 2-9, 6-9

  Alison Waters bt Stephanie Brind  9-6, 10-8, 9-3

Luxfords St George's Hill 3  PNH Properties Chichester 2

  Daryl Selby bt Alex Gough  6-9, 5-9, 10-8, 9-3, 9-7 (76m)

  Joe Lee lost to Tim Vail  6-9, 9-7, 2-9, 6-9

  Neil Hitchens lost to Peter Genever  9-7, 4-9, 5-9, 10-8, 4-9

  Jason Barry bt Oliver Pett  9-6, 7-9, 9-2, 9-7

  Rachel Willmott bt Susannah King  9-4, 5-9, 9-4, 9-1 

9th round fixtures, Tuesday 4 March 2008

     Group A:

Esporta Oxford v Nottingham

Pontefract v Energie Fitness Redditch

University Sport Birmingham v Benz-Bavarian Duffield

      Group B:

Luxfords St George's Hill v UniSport Guildford

PNH Properties Chichester v Probuild Bristol

 

PSL TABLES (after 8th round)
                                 Ties       Matches     Games     Pts

                               P   W   L    W    L     W     L

   Group A:

Benz-Bavarian Duffield         8   8   0   32    8   103    47   143

University Sport Birmingham    8   5   3   24   16    88    63   113

Energie Fitness Redditch       8   3   5   21   19    77    70    92

Esporta Oxford                 8   4   4   18   22    70    83    90

Pontefract                     8   2   6   13   27    54    91    64

Nottingham                     8   2   6   12   28    54    92    64

 

   Group B:

Surrey H&RC                    7   7   0   26    9    86    45   121

PNH Properties Chichester      6   4   2   17   13    65    57    85

Probuild Bristol               6   2   4   14   16    60    60    70

Luxfords St George's Hill      6   2   4   13   17    51    63    61

UniSport Guildford             7   1   6   10   25    42    79    47

 


7th Round Report

 

Duffield & Surrey H&RC Remain Unbeaten - But Redditch Give Chase

 

Benz-Bavarian Duffield and PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC extended their unbeaten records in this season's Premier Squash League (PSL) in contrasting styles - but newcomers Energie Fitness Redditch staged a late challenge to the Group A leadership with a 5/0 away win over Nottingham the 7th round ties in the prestigious England Squash league sponsored by Towergate tlc.

 

Redditch, one of the few teams unaffected by player commitments to the PSA Tour, got off to a strong start against a significantly under-strength Nottingham squad - with New Zealander Jaclyn Hawkes and team-mate Jaymie Haycocks claiming straight games wins to put the visitors into the driving seat. 

 

However, Nottingham stalwart Simon Parke denied the Worcestershire club an overall 15-0 whitewash win when he fought back from a game down against Redditch number one Renan Lavigne to lead 2/1.  But French international Lavigne, a former Nottingham team-mate of Parke's, eventually came out on top - winning 9-6, 7-9, 5-9, 9-3, 9-2 to give Redditch maximum points for the night, and propel the club to third place in the Group A table.

 

Defending champions Duffield romped to their 22nd successive tie without defeat with a 4/1 home win over Esporta Oxford.  But the visitors' Madeline Perry, the Irish international making her league comeback after sustaining a serious head injury in a fall last October, gave a polished performance to beat Duffield's Laura Hill 9-7, 9-7, 9-6.

 

But it was one-way traffic for the hosts thereafter as Shaun le Roux, Nick Taylor and Alex Stait went on to clinch another victory for the title-holders.  Andrew Whipp delighted the home crowd in the final match of the evening when he twice stemmed comebacks by Scott Handley before beating the Oxford number one 9-5, 8-10, 10-8, 7-9, 9-2.

 

Meanwhile University Sport Birmingham maintained their grip on second place in Group A - and reduced the gap behind Duffield by a single point - when they beat a weakened Pontefract squad 4/1 at home.  The Yorkshire club's Lauren Siddall put in a brave performance against the hosts' Laura Lengthorn-Massaro, but the world No12 from Preston recorded a 9-6, 11-9, 9-3 win to begin Birmingham's winning evening.  Only Neil Cordell saved Pontefract's blushes with a 7-9, 9-1, 9-2, 9-4 win over Jonathan Tate - the teenager's second victory against the Birmingham team manager this season.

 

PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC maintained their leadership of the Group B table - but the Croydon club were given their toughest test of the season by visitors Luxfords St George's Hill before sneaking a 3/2 win after the top string decider.  The home team were facing defeat after Adrian Waller and Ben Ford lost out to Joe Lee and Mark Krajcsak, respectively, following Vicky Botwright's opening match win against Luxfords' Rachael Willmott.

 

However, Croydon's Italian international Davide Bianchetti pulled off a sensational 12-10, 10-8, 9-7 win over Daryl Selby - the 25-year-old from Essex fresh from his surprise Edinburgh Open title win at the weekend.  It was then left to the Surrey club's Egyptian wizard Wael El Hindi to work his magic against Alister Walker - and the new world No9 duly obliged by beating the St George's Hill number one 9-3, 9-3, 9-5.

 

Despite being give a perfect start by England international Alison Waters, UniSport Guildford were unable to provide strong enough opposition to visitors Probuild Bristol to improve on their fifth-placed position in Group B.  Waters, the women's title winner in Edinburgh, despatched Bristol's Sarah-Jane Perry 9-6, 9-7, 9-7 - but it was Bristol success thereafter as Lewys Hurst, Peter Marshall and team captain Hadrian Stiff all picked up comfortable wins.

 

In the top string clash, long-time Guildford contributor Stephen Meads was unable to match the Tour sharpness of Adrian Grant.  The left-hander from London, who already boasts a PSA Tour title this year, at the Comfort Inn Open in Vancouver, brushed Meads aside - winning 10-8, 9-5, 9-3.

 

7th round results, Tuesday 5 February 2008

 

     Group A:

Nottingham 0  Energie Fitness Redditch 5
  Simon Parke lost to Renan Lavigne    6-9, 9-7, 9-5, 3-9, 2-9
  Eddie Charlton lost to Jonathan Kemp    2-9, 3-9, 9-11
  Lewis Walters lost to David Barnett    5-9, 7-9, 8-10
  Mark Fuller lost to Jaymie Haycocks    5-9, 6-9, 7-9
  Emma Beddoes lost to Jaclyn Hawkes    2-9, 3-9, 4-9


Benz-Bavarian Duffield 4  Esporta Oxford 1
  Andrew Whipp bt Scott Handley    9-5, 8-10, 10-8, 7-9, 9-2
  Alex Stait bt Kristen Johnson    9-7, 9-4, 9-6
  Nick Taylor bt Thomas Phipps    9-6, 9-3, 11-9
  Shaun le Roux bt Dominic Hamilton    9-3, 9-7, 9-3
  Laura Hill lost to Madeline Perry    7-9, 7-9, 6-9


University Sport Birmingham 4  Pontefract 1
  Joey Barrington bt Ryan Thompson    9-1, 9-7, 9-4
  Stephen Coppinger bt Colin Ramasra    9-4, 9-2, 9-6
  Jonathan Tate lost to Neil Cordell    9-7, 1-9, 2-9, 4-9
  Alistair Mutch bt Sam Wileman    10-12, 9-4, 9-2, 9-3
  Laura Lengthorn-Massaro bt Lauren Siddall    9-6, 11-9, 9-3

 

      Group B:

UniSport Guildford 1  Probuild Bristol 4
  Stephen Meads lost to Adrian Grant    8-10, 5-9, 3-9
  Phil Rushworth lost to Hadrian Stiff    5-9, 8-10, 5-9
  Alex Ingham lost to Peter Marshall    2-9, 2-9, 11-13
  Mick Biggs lost to Lewys Hurst    7-9, 10-8, 6-9, 4-9
  Alison Waters bt Sarah-Jane Perry    9-6, 9-7, 9-7


PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC 3  Luxfords St George's Hill 2
  Wael El Hindi bt Alister Walker    9-3, 9-3, 9-5
  Davide Bianchetti bt Daryl Selby    12-10, 10-8, 9-7
  Ben Ford lost to Mark Krajcsak    6-9, 10-8, 7-9, 2-9
  Adrian Waller lost to Joe Lee    7-9, 7-9, 5-9
  Vicky Botwright bt Rachel Willmott    9-4, 9-3, 11-9

 

PSL TABLES (after 7th round)

                                 Ties       Matches     Games     Pts

                               P   W   L    W    L     W     L
   Group A:

Benz-Bavarian Duffield         7   7   0   28    7    89    42   124

University Sport Birmingham    7   5   2   22   13    80    53   105

Energie Fitness Redditch       7   2   5   18   17    67    62    77

Esporta Oxford                 7   3   4   14   21    56    79    71

Pontefract                     7   2   5   12   23    50    77    60

Nottingham                     7   2   5   11   24    49    78    59

 

   Group B:

Surrey H&RC                    6   6   0   22    8    74    39   104

PNH Properties Chichester      5   4   1   15   10    55    45    75

Probuild Bristol               6   2   4   14   16    60    60    70

Luxfords St George's Hill      5   1   4   10   15    39    53    44

UniSport Guildford             6   1   5    9   21    36    67    41

 

6th Round Reports

Pontefract Mount Late New Year PSL Challenge

 

Playing their strongest team of the campaign as the second half of the season got underway, Pontefract mounted a late challenge for Premier Squash League (PSL) success with a 4/1 home win over former champions Nottingham the sixth round of the prestigious England Squash league sponsored by Towergate tlc.  Despite remaining at the foot of the Group A standings, only a single point separates the Yorkshire club from the two teams above!

 

Elsewhere in the group, Australian Stewart Boswell clinched the decider for Benz-Bavarian Duffield against Energie Fitness Redditch as the Derbyshire title-holders extended their record to 21 ties in a row without defeat.  But second-placed University Sport Birmingham have narrowed the gap behind Duffield with a 4/1 away win at Esporta Oxford.

 

PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC maintained their unbeaten record this season In Group B with a 3/2 win at Probuild Bristol - but PNH Properties Chichester are still only 14 points adrift of the table-toppers after recording a 4/1 home win against UniSport Guildford.

 

It was only the second time in two seasons that Pontefract's two leading stars James Willstrop and Lee Beachill turned out together in the club's PSL line-up - and tonight's presence led to the squad's second win of the season.  Indeed, with Neil Cordell cancelling out Kirsty McPhee's earlier loss, and Leeds University-based Indian champion Saurav Ghosal giving the home side a 2/1 lead, it was Beachill who clinched overall victory for Pontefract with a convincing 9-5, 9-6, 9-6 win over Nottingham's Irish international John Rooney.

 

"It was an encouraging comeback for Lee, in his first competitive match since having a hernia operation at the beginning of the month," said team manger and leading coach Malcolm Willstrop.  "He was hitting the ball beautifully and looks to be in fine shape."

 

In an entertaining climax to the evening, Willstrop junior battled with fellow Yorkshireman Simon Parke, the now retired former world No3 who has been a Nottingham stalwart for numerous years.  "Simon ran his heart out for the visitors and gave a great show - even though there was never any real doubt about the final result," added Willstrop senior after his son's 7-9, 9-6, 10-8, 9-6 victory.

 

The Duffield roadshow continues - but the Derbyshire club was taken the full distance at Redditch before maintaining their unbeaten PSL record since April 2006.  Fire-fighter Laura Hill set the tone for the visitors, before new Duffield regular Nick Taylor stemmed a fight-back by Adam Stevenson to beat the Redditch number four 9-6, 9-7, 10-12, 5-9, 9-5. 

 

However, David Barnett and ex-Duffield star Jonathan Kemp levelled the tie for Redditch before Stewart Boswell despatched Frenchman Renan Lavigne 9-5, 9-5, 9-2 to seal Duffield's 3/2 success.

 

Esporta Oxford had a disappointing start in their home battle against University Sport Birmingham when Irish star Kerri Shields lost to the west midlands side's Emma Chorley in straight games.  But two five-game encounters were the highlights of the evening which saw the visitors earn a 4/1win.

 

In a match described by team manager Jason Martin as "most entertaining", stalwart Kristen Johnson recorded his fourth successive PSL win for Oxford - and his first win in three league clashes with Joel Hinds since October 2006 - when he beat the University squad No4 9-4, 1-9, 7-9, 11-9, 9-4.  But, despite having 12 match-balls in a later match against Jonathan Harford, it wasn't to be Chris Ryder's night as the Oxford second string went down 6-9, 9-1, 9-7, 5-9, 8-10 to Harford in the penultimate match of the tie!

 

PNH Properties Chichester consolidated their position in second place in the Group B tables with their 4/1 home win against southern rivals UniSport Guildford.  But the Surrey club made a great start when England international Alison Waters - showing no signs of the effects of rushing back across the Atlantic after a surprise appearance in Sunday's final of the Greenwich Open in New York - beat Chichester newcomer Susannah King 9-2 9-2 10-8.

 

An upset looked on the cards when two 37-year-old veterans of the sport locked horns in the second string match.  However, Alex Gough, the Welshman still ranked 20 in the world, was eventually too strong for Guilford's Stephen Meads, beating the former world No11 9-6, 6-9, 9-5, 3-9, 9-5 to ensure the Sussex side's win.

 

A full house in Bristol were entertained by Group B leading visitors PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC - and the match between the hosts' 36-year-old former world No2 Peter Marshall, and the Croydon club's Adrian Waller, exactly half his age, perhaps proved to be the decisive one:  The experienced Marshall led after the first game, then recovered from 1/2 down to ensure a fifth game.  But at 4-2 up in the decider, the double-hander from Nottingham sustained a calf cramp - and teenager Waller wrapped up an easy victory 8-10, 9-6, 9-7, 6-9, 9-4 in 57 minutes.

 

6th round results, Tuesday 29 January 2008

 

     Group A:

Pontefract 4  Nottingham 1

  James Willstrop bt Simon Parke     7-9, 9-6, 10-8, 9-6

  Lee Beachill bt John Rooney     9-5, 9-6, 9-6

  Saurav Ghosal bt Jethro Binns     9-3, 9-6, 9-7

  Neil Cordell bt Arthur Gaskin     10-8, 9-2, 7-9, 6-2 ret.

  Kirsty McPhee lost to Sarah Kippax     8-10, 5-9, 6-9

Energie Fitness Redditch 2  Benz-Bavarian Duffield 3

  Renan Lavigne lost to Stewart Boswell     5-9, 5-9, 2-9 (33m)

  Jonathan Kemp bt Andrew Whipp     9-5, 11-9, 9-3 (21m)

  David Barnett bt Alex Stait     6-9, 9-7, 7-9, 9-6, 12-10 (46m)

  Adam Stevenson lost to Nick Taylor     6-9, 7-9, 12-10, 9-5, 5-9 (41m)

  Wendy Maitland lost to Laura Hill     3-9, 9-6, 2-9, 2-9 (24m)

Esporta Oxford 1  University Sport Birmingham 4

  Scott Handley lost to Joey Barrington     9-7, 6-9, 5-9, 3-9

  Chris Ryder lost to Jonathan Harford     6-9, 9-1, 9-7, 5-9, 8-10

  Dylan Bennett lost to Stephen Coppinger     5-9, 6-9, 9-7, 2-9

  Kristen Johnson bt Joel Hinds     9-4, 1-9, 7-9, 11-9, 9-4

  Kerri Shields lost to Emma Chorley     8-10, 5-9, 5-9

      Group B:

PNH Properties Chichester 4  UniSport Guildford 1

  Mohd Azlan Iskandar bt Stacey Ross     9-6, 6-9, 9-5, 9-6

  Alex Gough bt Stephen Meads     9-6, 6-9, 9-5, 3-9, 9-5

  Tim Vail bt Jesse Engelbrecht     9-6, 9-1, 9-5

  Peter Genever bt Alex Ingham     10-8, 9-1, 9-5

  Susannah King lost to Alison Waters     2-9, 2-9, 8-10

Probuild Bristol 2  PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC 3

  Adrian Grant bt Wael El Hindi     9-11, 9-4, 9-4, 6-9, 9-2 (76m)

  David Evans lost to Peter Barker     5-9, 2-9, 6-9 (27m)

  Hadrian Stiff lost to Davide Bianchetti     9-4, 3-9, 10-12, 7-9 (72m)

  Peter Marshall lost to Adrian Waller     10-8, 6-9, 7-9, 9-6, 4-9 (57m)

  Sarah-Jane Perry bt Lauren Selby     7-9, 9-2, 10-8, 9-7 (24m)

 

 


 

Duffield Celebrate 20 Not Out In PSL

 

Derbyshire club Benz-Bavarian Duffield established a remarkable record the fifth round of the Premier Squash League (PSL) by beating Pontefract 5/0 away from home to record their 20th consecutive unbeaten tie at the end of the first half of the season in the prestigious England Squash league sponsored by Towergate tlc.

 

The victory extends Duffield's lead at the top of the Group A table to 23 points - ahead of University Sport Birmingham, who beat a Nottingham squad weakened by the last-minute absence of top string Simon Parke through injury.  Birmingham scored a 4/1 home win, while Esporta Oxford defeated league newcomers Energie Fitness Redditch 3/2 to overtake Nottingham and move into third place in the standings.

 

In Group B, PNH Properties Chichester suffered their first loss of the season as PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC extended their unbeaten run with a 4/1 away win.  And there were celebrations elsewhere in Surrey when Luxfords St George's Hill, of Weybridge, secured their first win of the season by edging out Probuild Bristol 3/2 at home.

 

It was back in April 2006, two seasons ago, that Duffield last lost a tie - since when the club has won the national title twice and kept all-comers at bay.  But despite the absence of England No1 Tania Bailey and the new world No5 Nick Matthew - who will lead England's defence of the title in the Men's World Team Championships later this week in India - Duffield were up to the task against a junior Pontefract side, also reduced by the absence of England internationals James Willstrop and Lee Beachill.

 

But the 5/0 victory hides a series of tough encounters in which the Yorkshire youngsters battled hard for local honours before succumbing to more experienced opposition.  In the opening match, 22-year-old Kirsty McPhee produced an impressive fight back against Laura Hill before the experienced Duffield 31-year-old secured her 9-2, 9-1, 6-9, 9-7 win.  And Pontefract's 19-year-old Adam Taylor led Manchester's seasoned Peter Billson before bowing out 6-9, 5-9, 9-2, 9-3, 9-5 to the Duffield No3.

 

The second string clash also went to the wire, with Duffield's Alex Stait stemming a fight back by Neil Cordell before beating the Pontefract 18-year-old 9-6, 9-6, 7-9, 5-9, 10-8.

 

"I'm really proud of the team - it's a remarkable achievement to have notched up 20 ties without defeat," said Duffield team manager Brian Hargrave.  "It's a credit not only to the great squad we have - which, like tonight, can handle things when our top players are unavailable - but also to our fantastic loyal supporters.  When players are struggling - like they did tonight - they really get behind them and it makes a real difference.

 

"But Pontefract deserve great credit - their young side really gave us a good fight, going for every ball and really making  us work hard for our win," added Hargrave.

 

Kristen Johnson and World University champion Chris Ryder were winners for Esporta Oxford, while New Zealander  Jaclyn Hawkes and England No6 Jonathan Kemp clinched victories for visitors Energie Fitness Redditch.  But, according to Oxford team manager Jason Martin, the fourth string match between the hosts' Thomas Phipps and Andrew Birks "was always going to be the pivotal one". 

 

And so it turned out to be, with 20-year-old Birks twice cancelling leads by his 21-year-old opponent before Phipps finally clinched the 9-5, 4-9, 10-8, 6-9, 9-7 win - with a forehand cross-court volley nick - which gave the Oxford crowd the chance to cheer a dramatic home victory.

 

Sarah Kippax was the sole winner for Nottingham, dismissing the hosts' Emma Chorley 9-5, 9-5, 9-7 in just 18 minutes in the opening match at University Sport Birmingham.  But the home side came back with a vengeance, with Joel Hinds, Jonathan Harford, Mohamed El Shorbagy and Joey Barrington - fresh from a successful qualifying campaign in last week's World Open in Bermuda - all winning in quick succession to give the student team its third win of the season.

 

Both teams were trying to protect unbeaten season-long runs in Group B when PNH Properties Chichester entertained Croydon's PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC.  But the 9-3, 5-9, 6-9, 9-6, 9-7 victory by Sussex's 19-year-old former England junior international Oliver Pett over Kent's 31-year-old James Robbins proved to be the Sussex side's only win as Vicky Botwright, Adrian Waller, Davide Bianchetti and Bradley Ball claimed hard-fought wins to hand the Surrey visitors a 4/1 win and a comfortable midway season top-of-the-table position.

 

Meanwhile, the home crowd at Luxfords St George's Hill enjoyed the first win of the season when the team hosted last season's runners-up Probuild Bristol.  The home side recovered from an early loss by Surrey University student Rachel Willmott to Irish international Laura Mylotte when Joe Lee, Mark Krajcsak and Daryl Selby all recorded dramatic victories - Lee fighting back from 1/2 down to beat Lewys Hurst 9-5, 5-9, 4-9, 9-7, 9-6 and Hungarian No1 Krajcsak overcoming a two-game deficit to defeat former world No2 Peter Marshall 4-9, 6-9, 10-8, 9-7, 9-7.

 

The visitors earned a final consolation when England international Adrian Grant survived a close match against rising star Alister Walker, the England No11, 9-6, 8-10, 9-6, 9-2 - to leave the Weybridge club as 3/2 winners.

 

5th round results, Tuesday 4 December 2007

 

     Group A:

Pontefract 0  Benz-Bavarian Duffield 5

  Ryan Thompson lost to Andrew Whipp  5-9, 4-9, 9-7, 7-9

  Neil Cordell lost to Alex Stait  6-9, 6-9, 9-7, 9-5, 8-10

  Adam Taylor lost to Peter Billson  9-6, 9-5, 2-9, 3-9, 5-9

  Sam Wileman lost to Shaun le Roux  7-9, 8-10, 5-9

  Kirsty McPhee lost to Laura Hill  2-9, 1-9, 9-6, 7-9

Esporta Oxford 3  Energie Fitness Redditch 2

  Scott Handley lost to Jonathan Kemp  7-9, 9-6, 4-9, 4-9

  Chris Ryder bt Jaymie Haycocks  9-7, 9-6, 11-9

  Kristen Johnson bt James Snell  9-7, 9-4, 9-5

  Thomas Phipps bt Andrew Birks  9-5, 4-9, 10-8, 6-9, 9-7

  Kerri Shields lost to Jaclyn Hawkes  6-9, 4-9, 2-9

University Sport Birmingham 4  Nottingham 1

  Joey Barrington bt Eddie Charlton  9-6, 9-4, 9-5 (24m)

  Mohamed El Shorbagy bt Lewis Walters  10-8, 9-3, 9-6 (24m)

  Jonathan Harford bt Duncan Walsh  9-7, 9-0, 4-9, 9-3 (26m)

  Joel Hinds bt Neil Desai  9-0, 9-4, 9-4 (22m)

  Emma Chorley lost to Sarah Kippax  5-9, 5-9, 7-9 (18m)

      Group B:

PNH Properties Chichester 1  PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC 4

  Tim Vail lost to Bradley Ball  9-3, 3-9, 7-9, 3-9

  Peter Genever lost to Davide Bianchetti  9-7, 4-9, 3-9, 3-9

  Tom Pashley lost to Adrian Waller  3-9, 9-11, 9-4, 9-7, 6-9

  Oliver Pett bt James Robbins  9-3, 5-9, 6-9, 9-6, 9-7

  Dominique Lloyd-Walter lost to Vicky Botwright  7-9, 1-9, 9-6, 0-9

Luxfords St George's Hill 3  Probuild Bristol 2

  Alister Walker lost to Adrian Grant  7-9, 9-7, 10-12, 7-9

  Daryl Selby bt Joseph Kneipp  15-13, 9-5, 11-9

  Mark Krajcsak bt Peter Marshall  4-9, 6-9, 10-8, 9-7, 9-7

  Joe Lee bt Lewys Hurst  9-5, 5-9, 4-9, 9-7, 9-6

  Rachel Willmott lost to Laura Mylotte  6-9, 10-8, 6-9, 2-9

 

PSL TABLES (after 5th round)

                                 Ties       Matches     Games     Pts

                               P   W   L    W    L     W     L

   Group A:

Benz-Bavarian Duffield         5   5   0   21    4    66    28    91

University Sport Birmingham    5   3   2   14   11    53    42    68

Esporta Oxford                 5   3   2   12   13    44    53    59

Nottingham                     5   2   3   10   15    42    51    52

Energie Fitness Redditch       5   1   4   11   14    43    49    48

Pontefract                     5   1   4    7   18    34    59    39

 

   Group B:

Surrey H&RC                    4   4   0   16    4    52    24    72

PNH Properties Chichester      4   3   1   11    9    43    39    58

Probuild Bristol               4   1   3    8   12    39    44    44

Luxfords St George's Hill      4   1   3    8   12    33    43    38

UniSport Guildford             4   1   3    7   13    26    43    31

 



4th Round Reports
Redditch & Guildford Celebrate Maiden PSL Victories

UniSport Guildford and league newcomers Energie Fitness Redditch recorded their first wins of the season  the fourth round of the Premier Squash League (PSL) - while an under-strength Benz-Bavarian Duffield squad claimed an unlikely 4/1 home win over University Sport Birmingham to extend their unbeaten run in the prestigious England Squash league sponsored by Towergate tlc to 19 ties since April 2006.

 

Redditch beat Pontefract 5/0 to lift themselves off the bottom of the Group A table, while Duffield's win stretches the Derbyshire club's lead at the top of the table to 20 points - ahead of the University of Birmingham squad.  Elsewhere in the group, Nottingham hosted a close-fought battle with Esporta Oxford, which the visitors clinched 3/2 - but still remain behind the East Midlands club in the points table.

 

There were wild celebrations in Surrey where UniSport Guildford beat county rivals Luxfords St George's Hill 3/2 in the team's first PSL win since October last year.  Meanwhile, PNH Properties Chichester fought back from 2/0 down at Probuild Bristol to beat their Avon hosts 3/2 and consolidate their second place in Group B, behind Croydon's PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC, who were enjoying a rest day.

 

Without either of their world top 15 players Nick Matthew or Stewart Boswell for the first time this season, league champions Duffield looked in danger of losing their two season unbeaten run in front of a home crowd - especially when they suffered their first women's string loss of the season as club stalwart Laura Hill went down 5-9, 2-9, 7-9 to the visitors' world No12 Laura Lengthorn-Massaro.

 

But, roused undoubtedly by the strong local support, Shaun le Roux and Alex Stait led the fight back - fourth string Le Roux taking out Alistair Mutch 9-5, 9-4, 10-8 and Stait defeating South African Stephen Coppinger 9-7, 9-6, 4-9, 9-4.  But the Duffield hero was third string Peter Billson, who came back from two games down against Joel Hinds to beat the former Duffield player 9-11, 6-9, 9-4, 10-8, 9-1.

 

Further lifted now by the boisterous Duffield supporters, newly-promoted team number one Andrew Whipp made it 4/1 for the hosts with a comprehensive 9-4, 9-6, 9-2 win over the visitors' Jonathan Harford.

 

Energie Fitness Redditch wasted no time in earning maximum points from their home clash with Pontefract - a team weakened by the imminent departure of its stars James Willstrop, Lee Beachill and Saurav Ghosal to Bermuda for this week's Men's World Open.  Even the presence of Pontefract debutante Vanessa Atkinson, the former world champion from the Netherlands, failed to ignite the Yorkshire club's attack as Redditch's Jaclyn Hawkes defeated the former world number one 9-7, 6-9, 9-4, 9-3.

 

But it was straight games wins for the Worcestershire hosts thereafter as Jonathan Kemp, Aaron Frankcomb, David Barnett and Jaymie Haycocks battled for a combined time of just 93 minutes to claim a 5/0 victory for the PSL first-timers.

 

A capacity crowd welcomed Esporta Oxford to Nottingham - and were duly treated to high-quality drama up until the final few points.  Honours were shared after the first two matches as Emma Beddoes put the hosts ahead with a 9-5, 9-7, 9-4 win over Rachel Donald, then Oxford's Kristen Johnson levelled the tie after beating Arthur Gaskin in four games.  Fighting off the effects of a heavy cold, Nottingham's John Rooney recovered from two games down to beat Chris Ryder 7-9, 8-10, 9-7, 9-1, 9-3 - but club stalwart Simon Parke, making a comeback from a gluteus injury, saw a 2/1 lead slip away as Oxford's Scott Handley again levelled the tie with a 10-8, 2-9, 7-9, 9-4 9-5 win over the former world No4.

 

The decider also went to five games - in which the visitors' Cameron Pilley, the world No22 from Australia, fought back from a game down to upset Malaysia's world No17 Ong Beng Hee 6-9, 9-3, 9-7, 5-9, 9-5 to give Oxford a hard-fought 3/2 victory.

 

Despite retiring from the international circuit almost four years ago, long-time UniSport Guildford player Stephen Meads is still able to hold his own against top Tour opponents.  And with the squad 2/1 up, the 37-year-old from Berkshire found himself facing Hungarian international Mark Krajcsak, the Luxfords St George's Hill's second string, in a potential tie decider.  

 

Meads, who reached a career-high world No11 ranking more than 12 years ago, dug deep - and ultimately beat world No63 Krajcsak 6-9, 9-7, 9-4, 7-9, 9-6 to put victory beyond the reach of the St George's Hill visitors.

 

There was high drama too in Bristol where Probuild Bristol forged a 2/0 lead over visitors PNH Properties Chichester after Australian Kasey Brown despatched England's Dominique Lloyd-Walter 9-6, 9-5, 9-5 and veteran campaigner Peter Marshall, a former world number two behind the legendary Jansher Khan, beat Chichester stalwart Peter Genever 4-9, 9-3, 9-6, 4-9, 9-5.

 

But the Sussex side fought back - firstly with Tim Vail prevailing against host club captain Hadrian Stiff 12-10 in the fifth game, then Alex Gough beating long-time Welsh international team-mate David Evans in four games.

 

Separated by just two places in the world top 20 rankings, England's world No19 Adrian Grant faced Malaysia's world No17 Mohd Azlan Iskandar in the decider  It was Chichester who prevailed, however, as Iskandar triumphed 9-5, 9-11, 9-5, 9-3 over the Englishman to maintain their unbeaten PSL record this season.

 

RESULTS: 4th round, Tuesday 20 November 2007

 

     Group A:

Nottingham 2  Esporta Oxford 3

   Ong Beng Hee lost to Cameron Pilley                           9-6, 3-9, 7-9, 9-5, 5-9

   Simon Parke lost to Scott Handley                              8-10, 9-2, 9-7, 3-9, 5-9

   John Rooney bt Chris Ryder                                       7-9, 8-10, 9-7, 9-1, 9-3

   Arthur Gaskin lost to Kristen Johnson                           7-9, 4-9, 13-11, 7-9

   Emma Beddoes bt Rachel Donald                                 9-5, 9-7, 9-4

Energie Fitness Redditch 5  Pontefract 0

   Jonathan Kemp bt Colin Ramasra                                 9-3, 9-4, 9-2 (18m)

   Aaron Frankcomb bt Neil Cordell                                  9-7, 9-6, 9-5 (38m)

   David Barnett bt Adam Taylor                                     9-5, 10-8, 9-1 (19m)

   Jaymie Haycocks bt Sam Wileman                                9-3, 9-4, 9-2 (18m)

   Jaclyn Hawkes bt Vanessa Atkinson                             9-7, 6-9, 9-4, 9-3 (26m)

Benz-Bavarian Duffield 4  University Sport Birmingham 1

   Andrew Whipp bt Jonathan Harford                              9-4, 9-6, 9-2

   Alex Stait bt Stephen Coppinger                                  9-7, 9-6, 4-9, 9-4

   Peter Billson bt Joel Hinds                                           9-11, 6-9, 9-4, 10-8, 9-1

   Shaun le Roux bt Alistair Mutch                                    9-5, 9-4, 10-8

   Laura Hill lost to Laura Lengthorn-Massaro                      5-9, 2-9, 7-9

      Group B:

UniSport Guildford 3  Luxfords St George's Hill 2

   Stacey Ross lost to Daryl Selby                                    5-9, 4-9, 7-9

   Stephen Meads bt Mark Krajcsak                                   6-9, 9-7, 9-4, 7-9, 9-6

   Jesse Engelbrecht bt Tom Richards                                9-6, 9-1, 9-2

   Alex Ingham lost to Joe Lee                                         4-9, 4-9, 5-9

   Alison Waters bt Rachel Willmott                                   9-1, 9-3, 9-5

Probuild Bristol 2  PNH Properties Chichester 3

   Adrian Grant lost to Mohd Azlan Iskandar                        5-9, 11-9, 5-9, 3-9

   David Evans lost to Alex Gough                                    10-8, 6-9, 6-9, 3-9

   Hadrian Stiff lost to Tim Vail                                        11-9, 10-8, 7-9, 5-9, 10-12

   Peter Marshall bt Peter Genever                                    4-9, 9-3, 9-6, 4-9, 9-5

   Kasey Brown bt Dominique Lloyd-Walter                          9-6, 9-5, 9-5

 

PSL TABLES (after 4th round)

                                 Ties       Matches     Games     Pts

                               P   W   L    W    L     W     L

   Group A:

Benz-Bavarian Duffield         4   4   0   16    4    51    22    71

University Sport Birmingham    4   2   2   10   10    41    38    51

Nottingham                     4   2   2    9   11    38    39    48

Esporta Oxford                 4   2   2    9   11    34    45    44

Energie Fitness Redditch       4   1   3    9   11    35    39    40

Pontefract                     4   1   3    7   13    28    44    33

 

   Group B:

Surrey H&RC                    3   3   0   12    3    38    16    53

PNH Properties Chichester      3   3   0   10    5    35    25    50

Probuild Bristol               3   1   2    6    9    29    33    34

UniSport Guildford             4   1   3    7   13    26    43    31

Luxfords St George's Hill      3   0   3    5   10   

 

3rd Round Report
Duffield & Croydon Extend Unbeaten PSL Runs
Derbyshire's Benz-Bavarian Duffield and Croydon's PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC extended their unbeaten Premier League (PSL) runs this season with convincing home wins  the 3rd round ties in the prestigious England Squash league sponsored by Towergate tlc.

In an eagerly-awaited East Midlands derby, title-holders Duffield - who now boast 18 successive ties without defeat - crushed former champions Nottingham 5/0 to maintain their leadership of the Group A points table. University Sport Birmingham move up to second place following their 4/1 home win over league newcomers Energie Fitness Redditch - while a last-minute withdrawal from the Pontefract squad saw the Yorkshire side slip to a 3/2 home defeat to Esporta Oxford.

The 4/1 win over UniSport Guildford extends Surrey H&RC's lead at the top of the Group B standings - but second-placed PNH Properties Chichester, with a tie in hand, are also unbeaten this season after clinching a late-night 3/2 home win over Luxfords St George's Hill.

It was an under-strength Nottingham squad which arrived in Duffield for the twice-yearly PSL fixture which always attracts full houses. But the visitors were under pressure from the start when Sarah Kippax failed to exploit her two-game advantage over lower-ranked Laura Hill, as the Duffield star - a full-time Derbyshire fire-fighter - fought back to clinch the tie opener 6-9, 8-10, 9-6, 9-6, 10-8.

Two PSL stalwarts were making their debuts for Duffield - and both immediately impressed their new Derbyshire fans: Nick Taylor, the British Open and British National Over-35 champion from Manchester, despatched Nottingham's Eddie Charlton 9-7, 6-9, 9-3, 9-4. To round off the evening and clinch the maximum points win for the hosts, Australian Stewart Boswell, a long-time regular for Edgbaston Priory, defeated Nottingham No1 John Rooney 9-4, 9-2, 9-1.

Pontefract took an early lead against Esporta Oxford when Lauren Siddall beat the visitors' Rachel Donald 9-1, 9-2, 9-4. But the late withdrawal of England international Lee Beachill from the Pontefract squad led to Namibian Ryan Thompson and Indian Saurav Ghosal stepping up the team order, while 17-year-old local player Sam Wileman took over the fourth string position. All three, however, lost to the established Esporta opposition - but squad number one James Willstrop reduced the deficit for his home club with a testing 5-9, 9-7, 9-5, 4-9, 9-5 victory over the visitors' Cameron Pilley, from Australia.

Visitors Energie Fitness Redditch also established an early lead at University Sport Birmingham when the Worcestershire club's Jaclyn Hawkes, a New Zealander, fought back from 1/2 down to upset higher-ranked England international Laura Lengthorn-Massaro 9-5, 5-9, 7-9, 9-7, 9-7.

A second match seemed to be going Redditch's way when fourth string Adam Stevenson built up a 9-5, 9-4, 7-1 lead over the University side's Alistair Mutch. But an accidental slip caused the Yorkshireman's back to go into spasm - and, despite being just two points away from victory, Stevenson was forced to concede the match to Mutch.

But the 'match of the night' was reserved for the top string clash between Birmingham's 16-year-old Egyptian Mohamed El Shorbagy and England number six Jonathan Kemp - in which the teenager upset his experienced opponent, ranked some 100 places higher in the world, 9-5, 7-9, 9-5, 12-10 in 34 minutes.

The Group B encounter between two England team-mates Vicky Botwright and Alison Waters produced a notable upset - and the only win of the evening for UniSport Guildford in their all-Surrey clash with Croydon-based PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC. Waters, ranked seven places lower in the world list than Botwright, beat the Manchester star 9-5, 9-5, 9-2. Both had only just returned from Tour action in Hong Kong - where Botwright scored the win of her life by beating the newly-crowned world champion Rachael Grinham.

Botwright's club-mates went on to score straight games wins over their Guildford opponents, with England international Peter Barker rounding off the home side's success with a 9-2, 10-8, 9-3 victory over UniSport stalwart Stephen Meads.

By comparison with Pontefract, PNH Properties Chichester were boosted at the last-minute by the unexpected availability of top string Mohd Azlan Iskandar. And the world No17 from Malaysia was called upon to clinch a decider when the tie was poised at 2/2 when he faced Luxfords St George's Hill's top string Alister Walker.

An away win looked on the cards as Walker took the opening two games and forced the third into a tie-break. But the experienced Malaysian held his nerve and retained the initiative to record a tie-winning 6-9, 8-10, 11-9, 9-6, 9-3 victory.

RESULTS: 3rd round, Tuesday 13 November 2007

Group A:
Benz-Bavarian Duffield 5 Nottingham 0
Stewart Boswell bt John Rooney                              9-4, 9-2, 9-1
Andrew Whipp bt Jethro Binns                                 9-0, 9-5, 9-6
Alex Stait bt Arthur Gaskin
                                              9-6, 10-9, 1-9, 10-8
Nick Taylor bt Eddie Charlton                                           9-7, 6-9, 9-3, 9-4
Laura Hill bt Sarah Kippax                                                
6-9, 8-10, 9-6, 9-6, 10-8

Pontefract 2 Esporta Oxford 3
James Willstrop bt Cameron Pilley                                    5-9, 9-7, 9-5, 4-9, 9-5
Saurav Ghosal lost to Scott Handley                               7-9, 7-9, 9-7, 6-9
Ryan Thompson lost to Kristen Johnson                          6-9, 8-10, 4-9
Sam Wileman lost to Thomas Phipps                               8-10, 9-3, 3-9, 7-9
Lauren Siddall bt Rachel Donald                                      
9-1, 9-2, 9-4

University Sport Birmingham 4 Energie Fitness Redditch 1
Mohamed El Shorbagy bt Jonathan Kemp
                      9-5, 7-9, 9-5, 12-10 (34m)
Stephen Coppinger bt David Barnett                               9-4, 9-6, 6-9, 12-10 (32m)
Joel Hinds bt Jaymie Haycocks                                        9-3, 9-4, 9-5 (30m)
Alistair Mutch bt Adam Stevenson                                 
5-9, 4-9, 1-7 ret.
Laura Lengthorn-Massaro lost to Jaclyn Hawkes         5-9, 9-5, 9-7, 7-9, 7-9 (46m)

Group B:
PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC 4 UniSport Guildford 1
Peter Barker bt Stephen Meads
                                     9-2, 10-8, 9-3
Bradley Ball bt Jesse Engelbrecht                                   9-5, 9-5, 9-4
Chris Simpson bt Phil Rushworth                                   10-8, 9-4, 9-6
Adrian Waller bt Alex Ingham                                          9-4, 9-5, 9-6
Vicky Botwright lost to Alison Waters                           
5-9, 5-9, 2-9

PNH Properties Chichester 3 Luxfords St George's Hill 2
Mohd Azlan Iskandar bt Alister Walker
                          6-9, 8-10, 11-9, 9-6, 9-3
Tim Vail lost to Daryl Selby                                            7-9, 6-9, 6-9
Peter Genever lost to Mark Krajcsak                             7-9, 9-3, 7-9, 9-7, 6-9
Oliver Pett bt Joe Lee                                                     9-6, 9-7, 6-9, 8-10, 10-8
Suzie Pierrepont bt Rachel Willmott                              
9-7, 9-3, 9-6



2nd Round Report

Beachill Fights Back To Take Pontefract To First PSL Win

Yorkshire's three-time British National Champion Lee Beachill twice had to come from behind to beat English rival Joey Barrington in the decider between Pontefract and University Sport Birmingham  the second round of the Premier Squash League (PSL) which earned the Yorkshire club its first ever win in two seasons in the prestigious England Squash league sponsored by Towergate tlc.

 

The 3/2 home victory takes Pontefract into fourth place in Group A, with title holders Benz-Bavarian Duffield moving back to the top of the table after a 4/1 away win at Esporta Oxford which extends the Derbyshire club's unbeaten record to 17 successive ties!  By a single point, Duffield are holding off former champions Nottingham, who also scored a 4/1 away win against PSL newcomers Energie Fitness Redditch.

 

A 4/1 away win over Luxfords St George's Hill by PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC gives the Croydon club a 12-point lead at the top of the Group B table, ahead of Probuild Bristol, who clinched a 3/2 home win against UniSport Guildford.

 

Neil Cordell and Lauren Siddall put Pontefract ahead after convincing straight games wins over the visitors' Jonathan Tate and Emma Chorley, respectively - but the University of Birmingham team's Jonathan Harford and Joel Hinds battled back to win the second and third string matches to force a decider.

 

Beachill had moved up the Pontefract order following the last-minute withdrawal of James Willstrop with a minor injury - and the home player, ranked 11 in the world, was fully tested by Barrington, the world No29 whose game perhaps better suits the plaster courts at Pontefract.  However, spurred on by the packed partisan crowd, Beachill ultimately beat 24-year-old Joey 4-9, 10-8, 5-9, 9-6, 9-7 to give his club a long-awaited PSL breakthrough.

 

The PSL juggernaut that is Benz-Bavarian Duffield - winners of their second successive title last season and unbeaten since April last year - quickly established a 2/0 lead over Esporta Oxford when England No1 Tania Bailey beat 23-year-old Oxford newcomer Rachel Donald 9-1, 9-3, 9-2 and Peter Billson defeated Kristen Johnson in four games in a match in which both players came off court after the third game thinking that the encounter was over.  A misunderstanding between the players and the referee, however, led to the players returning to re-finish the third game - which Johnson duly won!  Billson went on to clinch victory in the fourth, winning 9-6, 9-7, 10-12, 9-7.

 

Meanwhile, the ever-improving Chris Ryder reduced the deficit for the home team and it was hoped that Esporta stalwart Scott Handley would then level the tie.  But playing - and beating - the legendary Pakistani Jansher Khan in last week's London Open had clearly taken its toll on the Oxfordshire number one, who went down to Duffield's in-form Andrew Whipp in straight games.  In the final top string tussle, home supporters sensed an upset when Australian Cameron Pilley took the second game against Duffield's Nick Matthew.  But the recently-crowned US Open champion regained the upper hand to win 9-3, 5-9, 9-7, 9-5 to ensure a 4/1 victory for the visitors.

 

Nottingham also notched up their second win of the season in the 4/1 victory in Redditch.  A spirited performance from the visitors' Emma Beddoes in her first PSL appearance this year saw the 22-year-old from Leamington Spa continue the form that took her to her maiden Tour title success in Portugal last week by beating world No21 Jaclyn Hawkes - ranked 43 places higher - 9-11, 9-4, 9-7, 2-9, 9-7 in 47 minutes.

 

Jethro Binns, John Rooney and Malaysian Ong Beng Hee followed the winning theme set by Beddoes - but young Australian Scott Arnold, making his PSL debut, earned a consolation point for Redditch by beating Nottingham stalwart Simon Parke 9-4, 6-9, 9-2, 9-6 in 48 minutes.

 

Last-minute injury woes gave Luxfords St George's Hill team manger Danny Lee no alternative to fielding himself in the club's opening fixture in the new PSL season against PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC.  But while the 45-year-old former England pro lost out to recent European Junior champion Chris Simpson, the local fans were able to enjoy a sparkling performance from Sarah Fitz-Gerald.  The now retired record five-time World Open champion from Australia battled to a 5-9, 9-5, 9-7, 9-7 win over the visitors' former England international, now policewoman, Stephanie Brind - a victory which extends Fitz-Gerald's remarkable unbeaten PSL run since October 2000 to 32 matches!

 

Surrey H&RC fought back when David Bianchetti beat the host club's Phillip Barker 3/0, before Peter Barker avenged his older brother's defeat - albeit playing for the opposing team - when he defeated Hungarian Mark Krajcsak in four close games.  In the final match, Egypt's PSL newcomer Wael El Hindi                              secured his first win for his new Croydon club, beating the hosts' number one Daryl Selby 10-8, 9-5, 9-7.

 

A delayed flight from his new home in Jersey meant that former British Open champion David Evans was unable to turn out for Probuild Bristol - but team manager Hadrian Stiff stepped into the breach, and also persuaded former world No2 Peter Marshall to race from his Nottingham home in order to complete the team line-up against UniSport Guildford.  Marshall lost a close battle with the visitors' South African Jesse Engelbrecht 7-9, 8-10, 9-6, 8-10 - but a fine 9-6, 9-7, 5-9, 3-9, 9-6 win by Stiff over Guildford stalwart Stephen Meads took the tie to two-all.

 

UniSport number one Stacey Ross fully tested the higher-ranked Adrian Grant in the decider, but the Bristol top string ultimately prevailed 10-8, 9-5, 6-9, 9-6 to give the home team a 3/2 victory - and second place in the Group B points table.

 

2nd round results, Tuesday 16 October 2007

 

     Group A:

Energie Fitness Redditch 1  Nottingham 4

  Jonathan Kemp lost to Ong Beng Hee                           3-9, 9-4, 6-9, 8-10 (38m)

  Scott Arnold bt Simon Parke                                       9-4, 6-9, 9-2, 9-6 (48m)

  David Barnett lost to John Rooney                               8-10, 4-9, 6-9 (28m)

  Jaymie Haycocks lost to Jethro Binns                           2-9, 4-9, 7-9 (26m)

  Jaclyn Hawkes lost to Emma Beddoes                          11-9, 4-9, 7-9, 9-2, 7-9 (47m)

Esporta Oxford 1  Benz-Bavarian Duffield 4

  Cameron Pilley lost to Nick Matthew                             3-9, 9-5, 7-9, 5-9

  Scott Handley lost to Andrew Whipp                             5-9, 3-9, 3-9

  Chris Ryder bt Laurence Delasaux                                 9-4, 9-5, 1-9, 9-2

  Kristen Johnson lost to Peter Billson                              6-9, 7-9, 12-10, 7-9

  Rachel Donald lost to Tania Bailey                                 1-9, 3-9, 2-9

Pontefract 3  University Sport Birmingham 2

  Lee Beachill bt Joey Barrington                                     4-9, 10-8, 5-9, 9-6, 9-7

  Saurav Ghosal lost to Jonathan Harford                          9-6, 4-9, 9-4, 5-9, 7-9

  Ryan Thompson lost to Joel Hinds                                  6-9, 4-9, 9-5, 8-10

  Neil Cordell bt Jonathan Tate                                        9-4, 9-4, 9-5

  Lauren Siddall bt Emma Chorley                                     9-5, 9-2, 9-5
 

      Group B:

Probuild Bristol 3  UniSport Guildford 2

  Adrian Grant bt Stacey Ross                                         10-8, 9-5, 6-9, 9-6

  Hadrian Stiff bt Stephen Meads                                      9-6, 9-7, 5-9, 3-9, 9-6

  Peter Marshall lost to Jesse Engelbrecht                           7-9, 8-10, 9-6, 8-10

  Lewys Hurst bt Phil Rushworth                                        9-4, 9-4, 9-6

  Kasey Brown lost to Alison Waters                                   5-9, 4-9, 6-9 (27m)

Luxfords St George's Hill 1  PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC 4

  Daryl Selby lost to Wael El Hindi                                      8-10, 5-9, 7-9

  Mark Krajcsak lost to Peter Barker                                   8-10, 12-10, 5-9, 8-10

  Phillip Barker lost to Davide Bianchetti                              5-9, 1-9, 3-9

  Danny Lee lost to Chris Simpson                                      4-9, 4-9, 6-9

  Sarah Fitz-Gerald bt Stephanie Brind                                5-9, 9-5, 9-7, 9-7

 

PSL TABLES (after 2nd round)

                                 Ties       Matches     Games     Pts

                               P   W   L    W    L     W     L

   Group A:

Benz-Bavarian Duffield         2   2   0    7    3    24    12    34

Nottingham                     2   2   0    7    3    23    13    33

University Sport Birmingham    2   1   1    5    5    21    19    26

Pontefract                     2   1   1    5    5    19    18    24

Energie Fitness Redditch       2   0   2    3    7    13    24    13

Esporta Oxford                 2   0   2    3    7    12    26    12

 

   Group B:

Surrey H&RC                    2   2   0    8    2    26    13    36

Probuild Bristol               2   1   1    4    6    19    22    24

PNH Properties Chichester      1   1   0    4    1    13     5    18

UniSport Guildford             2   0   2    3    7    14    23    14

Luxfords St George's Hill      1   0   1    1    4     4    13     4

 


1st Round Report

Champions Duffield Tested
By PSL Newcomers Redditch

Title-holders Benz-Bavarian Duffield extended their unbeaten Premier Squash League (PSL) run to 16 ties - but the Derbyshire club were fully tested by Energie Fitness Redditch before beating the Worcestershire newcomers 3/2 in the first round of the 25th season of the prestigious England Squash league sponsored by Towergate tlc.

 

But a 3/2 home win by University Sport Birmingham over Esporta Oxford puts the West Midlands side at the top of the Group A points table - ahead of  Duffield by a single point - while former champions Nottingham, who also enjoyed a 3/2 home win against Pontefract, are one point further adrift in third place.

 

PNH Properties Chichester crafted a 4/1 win at UniSport Guildford to earn a top-of-the-table position in Group B - with  PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC sharing the same number of points but taking up second position after a 4/1 victory over last season's league debutants and beaten finalists Probuild Bristol.

 

England number one Tania Bailey led Duffield to victory with a 9-4, 9-7, 9-1 win over New Zealander Jaclyn Hawkes.   It was the world No4 from Lincolnshire's 16th successive win for Duffield since March 2005.  Home wins by Alex Stait and Andrew Whipp ensured the tie victory for Duffield - and in the final 'dead' rubber between Duffield number one Nick Matthew, the world No10 fresh from his sensational US Open title win in New York last week, and former club-mate Jonathan Kemp, it was the new Redditch top string who prevailed, winning 10-8, 9-6, 12-10 in an entertaining match between two good friends.

 

A one-sided encounter in the University of Birmingham sports centre saw the home team's Laura Lengthorn-Massaro cruise to a 9-0, 9-2, 9-0 win in just 17 minutes over Esporta Oxford's Deon Saffery.  University team stalwarts Joel Hinds and Joey Barrington made certain of a home win with victories over Oxford regulars Kristen Johnson and Scott Handley, respectively - but both Jonathan Harford and Mohamed El Shorbagy had match-balls in their clashes which could have resulted in a 5/0 win for the academic squad.

 

Harford squandered match balls in the fourth game against Dylan Bennett before the Dutch PSL newcomer claimed a 9-6, 3-9, 8-10, 11-9, 9-6 win in 54 minutes - and Mohamed El Shorbagy, a 16-year-old Egyptian making his league debut, failed to convert three match-balls in the decider before going down 9-5, 9-6, 3-9, 5-9, 10-8 to Oxford's World University champion Chris Ryder.

 

Nottingham made a positive start to their 2007/08 campaign by establishing an early tie-winning lead against Pontefract after the first three matches - with Sarah Kippax, Neil Desai and Mark Fuller claiming swift wins over the Yorkshire side's Kirsty McPhee, Neil Cordell and Colin Ramasra, respectively. 

 

But Pontefract secured two valuable wins to reduce the deficit when Indian champion Saurav Ghosal fought back from a game down to beat Irishman John Rooney 8-10, 9-6, 9-7, 9-3 - and life-long Pontefract stalwart Lee Beachill despatched veteran Yorkshireman and life-long Nottingham club man Simon Parke 9-4, 9-7, 9-5.

 

The last-minute withdrawal of France's recently-crowned British Open champion Gregory Gaultier severely reduced the fire-power of Probuild Bristol, all of whose players moved up the order to face a full-strength PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC line-up on their home courts in Croydon.  England's world No6 Vicky Botwright had to be on top of her game to beat Bristol's Australian hotshot Kasey Brown 9-7, 7-9, 10-8, 10-8 to put the Surrey club ahead.

 

Fine performances by Bristol part-timers Peter Marshall, the former world No2, team captain Hadrian Stiff, and former British Open champion David Evans, stretched tour regulars Davide Bianchetti, Bradley Ball and Peter Barker - but the home team players survived after lengthy battles.  It was left to Bristol's promoted top string Adrian Grant to pull off the biggest upset, beating the Surrey club's league newcomer Wael El Hindi, the world No12 from Egypt, 7-9, 9-7, 11-9, 9-7, to earn the visitors a well-deserved consolation point.

 

In the other Group B tie, Surrey hosts UniSport Guildford were unable to capitalise on the early lead established by Alison Waters over PNH Properties Chichester's Dominique Lloyd-Walter.  World No14 Waters recovered from a game down to beat last month's Icelandair Group Classic champion 8-10, 9-5, 9-7, 12-10.  Tough battles followed in all of the remaining matches, in which the Sussex visitors prevailed - but in the final rubber between long-time Guildford top string Stacey Ross, the world No41, and Chichester's number one Mohd Azlan Iskandar, Ross had game balls in both the second and final games before going down 9-5, 10-8, 4-9, 11-9 to the world No16 from Malaysia.

 

RESULTS: 1st round, Tuesday 9 October 2007

 

     Group A:

Nottingham 3  Pontefract 2

   Simon Parke lost to Lee Beachill                                 4-9, 7-9, 5-9

   John Rooney lost to Saurav Ghosal                            10-8, 6-9, 7-9, 3-9

   Mark Fuller bt Colin Ramasra                                      9-6, 9-1, 9-6

   Neil Desai bt Neil Cordell                                           9-6, 9-7, 2-9, 9-7

   Sarah Kippax bt Kirsty McPhee                                   9-5, 9-4, 9-4

Benz-Bavarian Duffield 3  Energie Fitness Redditch 2

   Nick Matthew lost to Jonathan Kemp                          8-10, 6-9, 10-12

   Andrew Whipp bt Jaymie Haycocks                             8-10, 9-2, 9-6, 9-4

   Alex Stait bt Chris Truswell                                       9-1, 9-3, 9-2

   Laurence Delasaux lost to Adam Stevenson                 4-9, 8-10, 9-4, 9-1, 5-9

   Tania Bailey bt Jaclyn Hawkes                                   9-4, 9-7, 9-1

University Sport Birmingham 3  Esporta Oxford 2

   Joey Barrington bt Scott Handley                              9-3, 9-7, 9-6 (44m)

   Mohamed El Shorbagy lost to Chris Ryder                    5-9, 6-9, 9-3, 9-5, 8-10 (51m)

   Jonathan Harford lost to Dylan Bennett                      6-9, 9-3, 10-8, 9-11, 6-9 (54m)

   Joel Hinds bt Kristen Johnson                                   9-5, 4-9, 9-3, 9-1 (31m)

   Laura Lengthorn-Massaro bt Deon Saffery                  9-0, 9-2, 9-0 (17m)

 

      Group B:

UniSport Guildford 1  PNH Properties Chichester 4

   Stacey Ross lost to Mohd Azlan Iskandar                    5-9, 8-10, 9-4, 9-11

   Stephen Meads lost to Alex Gough                             3-9, 5-9, 9-6, 3-9

   Jesse Engelbrecht lost to Tim Vail                              5-9, 11-13, 8-10

   Phil Rushworth lost to Peter Genever                          6-9, 2-9, 2-9

   Alison Waters bt Dominique Lloyd-Walter                     8-10, 9-5, 9-7, 12-10
 

PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC 4  Probuild Bristol 1

   Wael El Hindi lost to Adrian Grant                               9-7, 7-9, 9-11, 7-9

   Peter Barker bt David Evans                                      9-5, 6-9, 9-7, 6-9, 9-7

   Bradley Ball bt Hadrian Stiff                                       2-9, 9-7, 9-5, 3-9, 9-7

   Davide Bianchetti bt Peter Marshall                             7-9, 9-2, 9-4, 9-3

   Vicky Botwright bt Kasey Brown                                 9-7, 7-9, 10-8, 10-8

PSL TABLES (after 1st round)
  
                               Ties       Matches     Games     Pts

                               P   W   L    W    L     W     L
   Group A:

University Sport Birmingham    1   1   0    3    2    13     7    18

Benz-Bavarian Duffield         1   1   0    3    2    11     7    16

Nottingham                     1   1   0    3    2    10     7    15

Pontefract                     1   0   1    2    3     7    10     7

Energie Fitness Redditch       1   0   1    2    3     7    11     7

Esporta Oxford                 1   0   1    2    3     7    13     7

 

   Group B:

PNH Properties Chichester      1   1   0    4    1    13     5    18

Surrey H&RC                    1   1   0    4    1    13     9    18

Probuild Bristol               1   0   1    1    4     9    13     9

UniSport Guildford             1   0   1    1    4     5    13     5

 

 

British Open Champion Gaultier
To Boost Bristol In New PSL Season

The 25th season of the Premier Squash League (PSL) gets underway next Tuesday (9 October) - with recently-crowned British Open champion Gregory Gaultier making his debut for Probuild Bristol as the west country side bids to go one better than the runners-up finish achieved in last season's debut in the England Squash league now sponsored by Towergate tlc.

In a dramatic finale to the 'Wimbledon of Squash' last month in Manchester, Gaultier became the first ever Frenchman to win the prestigious British Open trophy.  The 24-year-old, who has leapt to three in this month's world rankings, will make his first PSL appearance for two years as he leads Probuild Bristol in their opening Group B tie next week against Croydon's PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC.

"Even before winning the British Open, Greg had already established himself as one of the leading players on the Tour - and we are delighted that we have signed him to lead our bid to go all the way this season," said team manager Hadrian Stiff.

"He's a player with a high level of confidence who, on his day, can beat anyone - and that's a huge factor."

"In fact, it was our previous number one Adrian Grant who suggested we approach Greg - and, on the basis that their Tour commitments won't always make them available together, they can now share the responsibilities of leading the squad," added Stiff.

Gaultier will take on PSL newcomer Wael El Hindi  the opening clash in Croydon.  The world No12 from Egyptian leads the new Surrey H&RC squad, which also includes England internationals Peter Barker and Vicky Botwright who are making their debuts for the Croydon club.

Making their first appearance in the new PSL season are Energie Fitness Redditch, managed by British Open Over-55 champion Bett Dryhurst.  The Worcestershire club will be led by England No6 Jonathan Kemp in their opening away fixture against Benz-Bavarian Duffield.

Duffield, the 2005/06 season champions, remained unbeaten throughout last season and went to successfully defend their title.  Led for the fifth successive season by Yorkshire's world No10 Nick Matthew - who this week won the US Open title in an all-English final - the Derbyshire club is bidding to become the first club in the history of the elite league to claim a hat trick of successive PSL titles.

1st round - Tuesday 9 October:

Group A:

Nottingham v Pontefract   
Ong Beng Hee v James Willstrop   
Simon Parke v Lee Beachill   
John Rooney v Saurav Ghosal   
Mark Fuller v Neil Cordell   
Sarah Kippax v Kirsty McPhee

Benz-Bavarian Duffield v Energie Fitness Redditch   
Nick Matthew v Jonathan Kemp   
Andrew Whipp v Jaymie Haycocks   
Alex Stait v Chris Truswell   
Laurence Delasaux v Adam Stevenson
Tania Bailey v Jaclyn Hawkes

University Sport Birmingham v Esporta Oxford   
Joey Barrington v Scott Handley   
Mohamed El Shorbagy v Chris Ryder
Jonathan Harford v Dylan Bennett
Joel Hinds v Kristen Johnson   
Laura Lengthorn-Massaro v Deon Saffery

Group B:

UniSport Guildford v PNH Properties Chichester   
Stacey Ross v Mohd Azlan Iskandar   
Stephen Meads v Alex Gough   
Jesse Engelbrecht v Tim Vail
Alex Ingham v Peter Genever
Alison Waters v Dominique Lloyd-Walter

PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC v Probuild Bristol
Wael El Hindi v Gregory Gaultier
Peter Barker v Adrian Grant
Bradley Ball v David Evans
Davide Bianchetti v Hadrian Stiff
Vicky Botwright v Kasey Brown

 

FINAL Duffield 3 Redwood 2

Final Report

Semi-Final Leg 2: Results Semi-Final Leg 2: Report
Semi-Final Leg 1: Results Semi-Final Leg 1: Report
Final League Table
10th Round Results 10th Round Report
9th Round Results 9th Round Report
8th Round Results 8th Round Report
7th Round Results 7th Round Report
6th Round Results 6th Round Report
5th Round Results 5th Round Report
4th Round Results 4th Round  Report
3rd Round Results 3rd Round Report

1st Round Results

1st Round Report