Premier League 2012/13

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EVENT HISTORY

2011/12 2010/11 2009/10 2008/9 2007/8 2006/7 2006/5
FINAL
Integrity Surrey Health Racquets 3
Benz-Bavarian Duffield 2
Semi-Finals Results Semi Finals Report

LEAGUE TABLE                                     2013 Preview

Results

Reports

Round 1 Round 6 Round 1 Round 6
Round 2 Round 7 Round 2 Round 7
Round 3 Round 8 Round 3 Round 8
Round 4 Round 9 Round 4 Round 9
Round 5 Round 10 Round 5 Round 10
Final Report

Surrey Health Extend PSL Title Record To Five

In a tense Premier Squash League (PSL) final in Nottingham, Croydon club Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets beat former champions Benz-Bavarian Duffield 3/2 to win the fourth title in a row - and extend their record to five titles since 2008.

It was a dramatic climax to the 2012/13 season of the world's most prestigious squash league, supported by Dunlop, which hinged on the final match on the Nottingham Squash Club showcourt between the two clubs' second strings Adrian Grant and Karim Ali Fathi.

England's world No2 Laura Massaro had given three-time champions Duffield an early lead with a straight games win over Nada Elkalaawy, a 17-year-old from Cheam in Surrey who was a late replacement for Surrey Health's Alison Waters - the world No4 from London who, with Massaro, had helped England to victory in the European Team Championships at the weekend in Amsterdam.

The Egyptian-born teenager tested the experienced Massaro, but the 29-year-old from Preston prevailed to win 11-9, 11-9, 11-2.

Impressive wins by Egyptian Karim Abdel Gawad and British U23 Champion Adrian Waller put Surrey Health in front - but the Derbyshire club's other world No2 Nick Matthew, the two-time world champion from Sheffield, brought Duffield back into contention with an 11-8, 11-9, 11-4 win over his England team-mate Peter Barker.

"It wasn't the best match for either of us tonight," admitted Yorkshireman Matthew when interviewed courtside afterwards. "But I did what I had to do tonight."

The win not only extended Matthew's own unbeaten PSL record for Duffield to 34 matches - but also set up a decider!

The clash between English international Grant, the 32-year-old world No22 from London making his third successive PSL final appearance for Surrey Health, and rising Egyptian star Fathi, the 19-year-old world No43 from Cairo, was the pair's first meeting.

Pre-match gossip suggested that the Egyptian teenager was nursing a hamstring injury and had been out of action for the previous two months. However, the youngster delighted the packed crowd with his trademark Egyptian shot-making and led in both the first two games.

But Grant's experience and match fitness ultimately shone through as he stormed to a title-winning 11-7, 11-9, 11-3 victory after 37 minutes.

"I'd heard he had an injury, and I was thinking of that too much in the first game," admitted Grant later. "But it's been a massive team effort this season - it's a great achievement.

"And let's hope Richard Branson has been taking notice, especially now that we have extended the PSL record to five titles," added Grant, making reference to the club's full 'Virgin Active Surrey Health & Racquets Club' name.

At the trophy presentations, the club's top string Peter Barker paid tribute to Surrey Health's team manager Pete Smith: "The fifth title is pretty special - but this is for you Pete," said the world No7 from London. "He puts his heart and soul into the team and we are all indebted to what he does."

Barker also paid tribute to opponents Duffield, champions in 1998, 2006 and 2007. "It's a long time since we've played such tough opponents. They will be worthy winners one day!"

Smith was understandably delighted with his team's performance: "To win the title five times - and four times in a row - is pretty magnificent. The team spirit is so good.

"Nights like this are amazing for squash - just what we need as we work towards getting the sport into the Olympic Games in 2020."

RESULTS: Premier Squash League, Nottingham Squash Club, Nottingham

Final:
Integrity Surrey Health Racquets 3 Benz-Bavarian Duffield 2
Peter Barker lost to Nick Matthew 8-11, 9-11, 4-11 (43m)
Adrian Grant bt Karim Ali Fathi 11-7, 11-9, 11-3 (37m)
Karim Abdel Gawad bt Joel Hinds 11-6, 11-8, 14-12 (43m)
Adrian Waller bt Andy Whipp 11-3, 11-6, 13-11 (39m)
Nada Elkalaawy lost to Laura Massaro 9-11, 9-11, 2-11 (24m)

 

LEAGUE TABLE

 

Ties

Matches

Games

 

Group A

P

W

L

Won

Lost

Won

Lost

Points

Duffield

10

8

2

31

19

112

73

152

Oxford

10

6

4

29

21

99

82

129

Nottingham

10

6

4

24

26

97

101

127

Chapel Allerton

10

5

5

28

22

102

88

127

Pontefract

10

4

6

19

31

71

111

91

Birmingham

10

1

9

19

31

80

106

85

 

Ties

Matches

Games

Points

Group A

P

W

L

Won

Lost

Won

Lost

 

Surrey H&R

10

8

2

37

13

124

57

164

Exeter

10

7

3

33

17

112

68

147

Chichester

10

7

3

31

19

103

83

138

St George's Hill

10

6

4

31

19

107

69

137

Winchester

10

2

8

11

39

56

127

66

Bristol

10

0

10

7

43

42

140

42

SEMI FINALS

Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets 3-2 Oxford Health & Racquets
Benz-Bavarian Duffield 3-2
Exeter Diamonds

Final

Integrity Surrey Health Racquets 3-2 Benz-Bavarian Duffield

EVENT HISTORY

2011/12 2010/11 2009/10 2008/9 2007/8 2006/7 2006/5
Semi Finals

Duffield & Surrey Health Make PSL Final After Surviving Dramatic Semis

Despite being some 150 miles apart, Commonwealth Games Doubles gold medallists Nick Matthew and Adrian Grant clinched places for Benz-Bavarian Duffield and Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets, respectively, in next month's Premier Squash League (PSL) final after dramatic semi-finals in the world's most prestigious squash league, supported by Dunlop.

Matthew, the two-time world champion from Sheffield, was representing Derbyshire club Duffield for the 66th time since October 2003 - and the world number two found himself playing the decider when the tie against visitors Exeter Diamonds was tied at two-all after the first four matches.

It was Matthew's team-mate Laura Massaro, the women's world number two, who put Duffield into the lead with an 11-5, 11-4, 11-7 win over Irish champion Aisling Blake. But underdogs Exeter, the Devon club making its debut in the event's semi-final play-offs, struck back to move 2/1 ahead following wins by British Open O35 champion Tim Vail and Finnish number one Olli Tuominen.

However, much to the packed Duffield crowd's delight, club stalwart Andy Whipp recovered from a game down to topple Exeter's Joey Barrington 8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-7.

Matthew went into the decider boasting a 10-0 career head-to-head lead over his opponent Laurens Jan Anjema, the world No16 who recently won his eighth successive Dutch national title. Twice Matthew led, and twice the tall Dutchman powered back to draw level.

The crowd were on the edges of their seats as the visitors sensed a shock victory when Anjema led 8-4 - but the hugely experienced Matthew was not about to surrender and held his nerve to claw back the deficit before closing out the match 11-9, 10-12, 11-9, 8-11, 11-8.

The win extends Matthew's remarkable unbeaten PSL run to 33 matches - and takes three-time champions Duffield into their sixth final, but their first since 2009.

"That was the closest contest in any sporting arena you will ever get to see - especially considering that Nick was 8-4 down in that deciding game," said a relieved Duffield team manager Felix Frixou afterwards. "There was perhaps even more pressure on Nick tonight than for a world championship final - the whole crowd was willing him to win - and we had the biggest crowd I've seen here in the 20 years I've been involved.

"But I can tell you, we were worried during that last match - but nobody other than Nick could have done what he did.

"Proud of the team? That goes without saying, but I always knew it would be close."

Exeter manager Adam Lings was undoubtedly disappointed, but full of praise for his team's efforts: "I can't put it into words; we assumed Tim and Olli would win, so when Joey lost, that was that - but LJ played out of his skin and, to be fair, should have won!

"At 8-4 up, myself and Felix said 'this this is the point' - a cross-court nick was so close to rolling it's not even funny ..... but it didn't and that was that!

"What a night, what a match! I could not ask for more of my players. We will be back!"

Over 150 miles south, in the Croydon suburb of London, title-holders Surrey Health & Racquets hosted Oxford Health & Racquets in a repeat of the 2010 final.

After making history last year by becoming the first club to win the PSL title a fourth time, Surrey Health were keen to make a further entry in the record books by reaching the final for a fourth successive year.

And after 16-year-old Georgina Kennedy - a late replacement for the injured world No4 Alison Waters - dropped the opening match to Oxford's experienced Irish international Madeline Perry, hosts Surrey Health stormed back with straight games wins by British U23 champion Adrian Waller and fast-rising young Egyptian Karim Abdel Gawad to move 2/1 ahead.

All that was now needed was a win by the Croydon club's second string Adrian Grant - but the Londoner ranked 20 in the world faced Cameron Pilley, the Australian number one ranked thee places higher, and with whom he shared a 4/4 career head-to-head record.

Pilley took the opening game, but left-hander Grant took the next two to lead 2/1. The Australian led throughout most of the fourth, but Grant fought back and, after saving a game-ball, clinched a popular 11-13, 11-4, 11-9, 14-12 to take Surrey Health into the final for the fifth time, and the record fourth year in a row.

In the dead rubber that followed, Spanish number one Borja Golan gained some consolation for the visitors by beating the Croydon club's top string Peter Barker, the world No8, 11-6, 11-13, 11-7, 11-3.

"We're really privileged to be in the final again," said Surrey Health & Racquets team manager Pete Smith. "We've got a great team and we've had another great season.

"We've also had great crowds all season - it's good that the club members are really enjoying our success."

The final will take place on Tuesday 7 May at a venue yet to be confirmed.

RESULTS: Premier Squash League, semi-finals, Tuesday 9 April 2013

Benz-Bavarian Duffield 3 Exeter Diamonds 2
Nick Matthew bt Laurens Jan Anjema 11-9, 10-12, 11-9, 8-11, 11-8
Joel Hinds lost to Olli Tuominen 6-11, 7-11, 4-11
Andy Whipp bt Joey Barrington 8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-7
Adam Murrills lost to Tim Vail 11-3, 9-11, 6-11, 7-11
Laura Massaro bt Aisling Blake 11-5, 11-4, 11-7

Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets 3 Oxford Health & Racquets 2
Peter Barker lost to Borja Golan 6-11, 13-11, 7-11, 3-11
Adrian Grant bt Cameron Pilley 11-13, 11-4, 11-9, 14-12
Karim Abdel Gawad bt Scott Handley 11-6, 11-7, 11-5
Adrian Waller bt Ben Coleman 11-9, 11-5, 11-8
Georgina Kennedy lost to Madeline Perry 4-11, 3-11, 3-11

 

Semi Finals Preview

PSL Champions Surrey Health In Record Fourth
Successive Final Bid

Defending champions Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets will be aiming to reach the final of the Premier Squash League (PSL), supported by Dunlop, for a record fourth successive year when the Croydon club hosts Oxford Health & Racquets in tomorrow's semi-finals of the world's most prestigious squash league.

In the other semi, Derbyshire's three-time champions Benz-Bavarian Duffield entertain first-time semi-finalists Exeter Diamonds.

The Croydon tie will be a repeat of the 2010 final when Surrey Health beat final debutants Oxford 3/2 to win their second title, and the first of three in a row. Both squads tomorrow will include two players from that final - Peter Barker and Adrian Waller for the hosts and Scott Handley and Madeline Perry for visitors Oxford.

Irish star Perry, the 13-time national champion ranked 11 in the world, faces England's in-form world No4 Alison Waters in what is sure to be a fiercely-contested opening clash.

In what could be the decider, world No8 Barker - the Londoner who contested last month's Canary Wharf Classic in his hometown - takes on top-ranked Spaniard Borja Golan, the new world No9.

Duffield are enjoying a record 20th successive season in the PSL. Runners-up in their second season in 1995, the Derbyshire have contested five finals with title victories in 1998, 2006 and 2007.

The team will be led by England's Nick Matthew, the world No2 from Sheffield who is unbeaten in the PSL since October 2007 and will be aiming for a remarkable 33rd league win in a row. Matthew faces Exeter's Laurens Jan Anjema, the eight-time Dutch champion who is ranked 16 in the world.

Duffield will be fielding two world number twos as Matthew is joined by Laura Massaro, the Preston squash star whose title triumph in last month's KL Open in Malaysia has taken her to second place in the women's world rankings. Massaro will face the new Irish champion Aisling Blake, ranked 23 in the world.

Semi-finals line-ups:

Benz-Bavarian Duffield v Exeter Diamonds
Nick Matthew v Laurens Jan Anjema
Joel Hinds v Olli Tuominen
Andy Whipp v Joey Barrington
Adam Murrills v Tim Vail
Laura Massaro v Aisling Blake

Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets v Oxford Health & Racquets
Peter Barker v Borja Golan
Adrian Grant v Cameron Pilley
Karim Abdel Gawad v Scott Handley
Adrian Waller v Ben Coleman
Alison Waters v
Madeline Perry
 

Round 10

Exeter & Oxford Clinch Final PSL Play-Off Places

Despite both losing away from home in Tuesday's 10th and final round of the Premier Squash League (PSL), Exeter Diamonds and Oxford Health & Racquets clinched places in the semi-final play-offs of the world's most prestigious squash league - Exeter for the first time at their tenth attempt.

Oxford finished in second place in Group A, behind former champions Benz-Bavarian Duffield, while Exeter claimed runners-up position in Group B behind title-holders Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets.

Derbyshire club Duffield will host Exeter in the semi-finals on Tuesday 9 April, while Croydon-based Surrey Health will entertain Oxford in the other semi.

Exeter went down 3/2 at Team Chichester - but the 10 points the team claimed were enough to secure the Devon club a semi-final berth for the first time in ten appearances in the league since 1988.

Chichester had a play-off place in their sights, but needed an emphatic win to achieve this. And the home side soon made sure of the tie win when Hannah Wright-Davies, Robbie Temple and Olivier Pett survived their matches against Exeter opponents.

But the visitors' breakthrough came when Tim Vail beat Chichester's Alex Gough in his first full-length match win over the former world No5. And in the top string clash, top-ranked Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema consolidated Exeter's important points haul from the clash by beating the home side's number one Jonathan Kemp 11-6, 4-11, 11-5, 15-13 to send the team into the play-offs.

"Although it looked easy on paper, I knew that it was not in the bag," said a delighted Exeter team manager Adam Lings afterwards. "Robbie Temple has the ability way above his ranking, as does Kempy, so we knew it was going to be tough.

"A gutsy two points from Barrington and Castagnet eased the worries a bit, but even then I didn't relax. Alex Gough is always capable of a result, so I was a happy camper when Tim won 3/1! Bring on the semis!"

Oxford reached the final for the first time in 2010, but have failed to reach the play-offs since. And it was a tense night at former champions MB Nottingham - especially as the East Midlands club, winners of the title in 1999, won three of their matches in straight games.

But impressive performances by 16-year-old Alison Thomson, the recent English U17 Championship runner-up who beat experienced Scot Senga Macfie 11-3, 4-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-9, and Kristen Johnson, who saved three match-balls to beat the hosts' Douglas Leslie Kempsell 6-11, 12-10, 4-11, 11-9, 12-10, gave Oxford the six points they needed to take second place in the group

"We always knew it would be very close tonight and that our best chances were at four and five - but it was so close on the night," said a relieved Oxford manager Jason Martin. "Kristen is our man of the match, saving three match balls with such incredible retrieving.

"He may be off to Canada soon, but his input this year has been terrific," Martin added.

Nottingham finished the season just two points behind Oxford - as did Chapel Allerton, the Leeds club that beat Yorkshire rivals AJP Pontefract 5/0 to finish off the season in style.

But elsewhere in Group A, Benz-Bavarian Duffield were already assured of a place in the semis, but needed a strong home win over University of Birmingham to give themselves home advantage in the play-offs.

It was far from plain sailing when the visitors' Deon Saffery and Chris Tasker-Grindley scored victories and Duffield hero Nick Matthew, the two-time world champion ranked two in the world, was taken the full distance by the Birmingham number one Chris Ryder.

Matthew steadied the ship, however, by winning 12-10, 4-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-6 - and Aqeel Rehman and Chris Fuller also came out on top to give Duffield a 3/2 win and a 23-point cushion at the top of the group tables.

It was a similar tale at the top of the Group B table where Surrey Health & Racquets beat Winchester Racquets & Fitness 4/1 away from home to ensure a convincing 17-point lead over rivals Exeter.

TWP St George's Hill, runners-up for the last two seasons, stormed to a final 5/0 win over UWE Bristol - but the Surrey club had a mountain to climb to make the play-offs again and this season it was just too far out of reach.

RESULTS: Premier Squash League, 10th round, Tuesday 26 March 2013

Group A:
Benz-Bavarian Duffield 3 University of Birmingham 2
Nick Matthew bt Chris Ryder 12-10, 4-11, 11-5, 9-11, 11-6
Joel Hinds bt Jaymie Haycocks 11-9, 9-11, 11-4, 11-5
Chris Fuller lost to Chris Tasker-Grindley 8-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-7, 7-11
Aqeel Rehman bt Oliver Mapp 11-6, 13-11, 11-6
Fiona Scott lost to Deon Saffery 3-11, 9-11, 5-11

Chapel Allerton 5 AJP Pontefract 0
Alister Walker bt James Willstrop 11-6, 7-11, 11-5, 11-9
Chris Simpson bt Lee Beachill 11-6, 11-3, 11-3
Shaun le Roux bt Thoboki Mohohlo 11-9, 11-3, 11-7
James Earles bt Adam Taylor 11-6, 8-11, 11-5, 11-4
Carrie Ramsey bt Katie Smith 11-8, 11-4, 11-4

MB Nottingham 3 Oxford Health & Racquets 2
Eddie Charlton bt Scott Handley 11-9, 11-8, 11-9
Lewis Walters bt Mark Cairns 11-8, 11-7, 11-8
Declan James bt Rory Pennell 11-5, 11-5, 11-6
Douglas Leslie Kempsell lost to Kristen Johnson 11-6, 10-12, 11-4, 9-11, 10-12
Senga Macfie lost to Alison Thomson 3-11, 11-4, 11-6, 6-11, 9-11

Group B:
Team Chichester 3 Exeter Diamonds 2
Jonathan Kemp lost to Laurens Jan Anjema 6-11, 11-4, 5-11, 13-15
Robbie Temple bt Mathieu Castagnet 11-8, 5-11, 12-10, 8-11, 11-8 (76m)
Olivier Pett bt Joey Barrington 11-7, 11-7, 4-11, 7-11, 11-9
Alex Gough lost to Tim Vail 7-11, 9-11, 11-6, 8-11
Hannah Wright-Davies bt Rhianne O'Donnell 11-8, 11-5, 11-8

Winchester Racquets & Fitness 1 Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets 4
Gregory Gaultier bt Peter Barker 12-10, 11-8, 12-14, 11-8
Robert Downer lost to Adrian Grant 11-7, 5-11, 4-11, 6-11
Alex Phillips lost to Adrian Waller 3-11, 10-12, 5-11
Scott Fitzgerald lost to Davide Bianchetti 12-10, 8-11, 6-11, 7-11
Rachel Willmott lost to Georgina Kennedy 7-11, 11-6, 8-11, 6-11

UWE Bristol 0 TWP St George's Hill 5
Hadrian Stiff lost to Daryl Selby 9-11, 8-11, 6-11 (26m)
Thomas Ford lost to Tom Richards 7-11, 3-11, 11-7, 8-11 (32m)
Sam Ellis lost to Joe Lee 3-11, 3-11, 9-11 (24m)
Peter Joyce lost to Charles Sharpes 6-11, 8-11, 9-11 (21m)
Emma Chorley lost to Dominique Lloyd-Walter 11-8, 6-11, 4-11, 9-11 (30m)

 

Round 9

Duffield & Surrey Health Make PSL Play-Offs

With a round still to go, former champions Benz-Bavarian Duffield and reigning champions Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets confirmed their places in the Premier Squash League (PSL) play-offs after contrasting fortunes in the ninth round of the world's most prestigious squash league.

Croydon-based Surrey Health did so in fine style in Group B, despatching UWE Bristol 4/1 at home to secure a place in the end-of-season semi-finals for the seventh year in a row.

Frenchman Lucas Serme, ranked 98 in the world, claimed a career-first victory over Londoner Adrian Grant, the world No17, to save Bristol's blushes - but the two games won by Grant resulted in a 19-point win for the home team, and a nine-point lead at the top of the Group B tables.

Second-placed Exeter Diamonds strengthened their bid for a place in the semi-finals for the first time with a resounding 5/0 home win over Winchester Racquets & Fitness - eight-time Dutch champion Laurens Jan Anjema ensuring maximum points for the Devon club by wrapping up the night with an 11-7, 11-3, 8-11, 11-5 win over the visitors' world junior champion Marwan El Shorbagy.

TWP St George's Hill, runners-up for the past two seasons, staged a late bid for the knockout stage by beating Group B rivals Team Chichester 5/0 at home - Daryl Selby and Tom Richards avenging defeats by Jonathan Kemp and Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan, respectively, in the earlier meeting in the season - and Charles Sharpes stemming a fight-back by Olivier Pett in the fourth string clash to beat his Chichester opponent 11-4, 11-2, 10-12, 12-14, 11-9 in 73 minutes.

But despite their success, the Weybridge club - in fourth place with 117 points - can now only sit back and watch Exeter (137 points) and Chichester (122) fight out a tenth round clash to see which team joins Surrey Health in the semis. Exeter can still top the group tables to have home advantage against the second-placed team in Group A.

Unbeaten this season in Group A after the first seven rounds, Benz-Bavarian Duffield suffered their second defeat in a row at Oxford Health & Racquets - but the five points earned were enough to clinch their place in the play-offs.

It was Austrian number one Aqeel Rehman who made the biggest contribution towards the Derbyshire club's modest points tally when he beat Oxford stalwart Mark Cairns 11-9, 2-11, 11-6, 11-8.

But wins by Madeline Perry, Ben Coleman, Scott Handley and top-ranked Spaniard Borja Golan gave the home side a 4/1 win and cemented Oxford's position in second place in the Group A tables with 123 points - 13 behind Duffield.

A 4/1 away win by former champions MB Nottingham over AJP Pontefract kept the East Midlands club's play-off hopes alive. Victories by Emma Beddoes, Greg Lobban, Declan James and Lewis Walters gave Nottingham a vital 17 points to take third place in the tables behind Oxford.

And Nottingham host Oxford in the crucial tenth round tie in Group A which will produce the group's second semi-finalist.

The other tie in the group also ended in a 4/1 away win - when Chapel Allerton beat University of Birmingham to strengthen their hold on fourth place in the tables. Sarah-Jane Perry was the Leeds club's surprise winner, beating Jenny Duncalf 12-10, 11-8, 11-8 in a career-first win over the former world No2.

But, despite being only two points adrift of Nottingham in the latest tables, Chapel Allerton can do nothing to stop Oxford and Nottingham battling it out for the group's second semi-final slot.

RESULTS: Premier Squash League, 9th round, Tuesday 5 March 2013

Group A:
AJP Pontefract 1 MB Nottingham 4
Siddharth Suchde bt Eddie Charlton 12-10, 11-5, 11-5 (38m)
Lee Beachill lost to Lewis Walters 11-9, 4-11, 9-11, 8-11 (38m)
Thoboki Mohohlo lost to Declan James 6-11, 11-5, 7-11, 14-16 (53m)
Alex Hodgetts lost to Greg Lobban 5-11, 3-11, 8-11 (24m)
Julia Lecoq lost to Emma Beddoes 7-11, 7-11, 6-11 (20m)

University of Birmingham 1 Chapel Allerton 4
Chris Ryder lost to Ong Beng Hee 12-10, 6-11, 2-11, 5-11
Peter Creed lost to Chris Simpson 7-11, 6-11, 7-11
Jaymie Haycocks lost to Shaun le Roux 7-11, 11-7, 7-11, 5-11
Nathan Lake lost to James Earles 14-12, 11-13, 6-11, 8-11 (73m)
Sarah-Jane Perry bt Jenny Duncalf 12-10, 11-8, 11-8 (30m)

Oxford Health & Racquets 4 Benz-Bavarian Duffield 1
Borja Golan bt Andy Whipp 11-5, 6-11, 11-9, 11-3
Scott Handley bt Adam Murrills 11-7, 11-5, 11-5 (31m)
Ben Coleman bt Chris Fuller 11-7, 11-13, 11-6, 11-4
Mark Cairns lost to Aqeel Rehman 9-11, 11-2, 6-11, 8-11 (45m)
Madeline Perry bt Lily Taylor 11-7, 11-4, 11-2

Group B:
Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets 4 UWE Bristol 1
Peter Barker bt Arthur Gaskin 11-2, 11-7, 11-5
Adrian Grant lost to Lucas Serme 4-11, 5-11, 11-8, 14-12, 8-11
Adrian Waller bt Thomas Ford 11-6, 11-8, 11-8
Richie Fallows bt Sam Ellis 12-10, 11-8, 11-4
Alison Waters bt Emma Chorley 11-5, 11-2, 11-1

Exeter Diamonds 5 Winchester Racquets & Fitness 0
Laurens Jan Anjema bt Marwan El Shorbagy 11-7, 11-3, 8-11, 11-5 (38m)
Olli Tuominen bt Robert Downer 11-6, 11-8, 11-5 (35m)
Tim Vail bt Scott Fitzgerald 12-10, 8-11, 4-11, 11-8, 11-1 (42m)
Michael Harris bt Phillip John Bull 11-1, 11-4, 11-9 (24m)
Aisling Blake bt Jane Allman 11-4, 11-7, 11-6 (21m)

TWP St George's Hill 5 Team Chichester 0
Daryl Selby bt Jonathan Kemp 4-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-1
Tom Richards bt Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan 11-3, 11-8, 11-9
Joe Lee bt Robbie Temple 11-7, 11-5, 11-7
Charles Sharpes bt Olivier Pett 11-4, 11-2, 10-12, 12-14, 11-9 (73m)
Dominique Lloyd-Walter bt Annabelle Collins-Ballands 11-5, 12-10, 11-8

10th & final round fixtures (26 March):
Group A:
Benz-Bavarian Duffield v University of Birmingham
Chapel Allerton v AJP Pontefract
MB Nottingham v Oxford Health & Racquets
Group B:
Team Chichester v Exeter Diamonds
Winchester Racquets & Fitness v Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets
UWE Bristol v TWP St George's Hill

 

Round 8

PSL Defeat Fails To Dampen Dogged Duffield

Despite suffering their first Premier Squash League (PSL) loss of the season, former champions Benz-Bavarian Duffield are already virtually assured a place in the end-of-season play-offs after taking points from each match against MB Nottingham in the eighth round tie of the world's most prestigious squash league.

The East Midlands derby always brings out the best in both teams - and Nottingham stalwart Emma Beddoes paved the way for the hosts with a stunning 11-5, 5-11, 13-11, 7-11, 11-6 victory over the visitors' Laura Massaro, the world No3 from Preston who competed in her third successive British National Championship final on Sunday.

It was world No31 Beddoes' first win over the England number one in seven meetings in the last six years.

Inspired by his team-mate's unexpected success, Scot Greg Lobban dug deep to earn his first win over Duffield's Chris Fuller - delighting the packed Nottingham crowd with a 106-minute 13-11, 11-9, 11-13, 7-11, 11-8 win to extend the home side's advantage.

When Nottingham-based Eddie Charlton survived the third five-game match of the day to beat Duffield's Joel Hinds 11-6, 9-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-9, it signalled the end of Duffield's season-long unbeaten run.

But the Derbyshire club won the other two matches to reduce the margin of defeat to 3/2 - Andy Whipp beating Declan James in four games, and the new record five-time British National champion Nick Matthew clinching a straight games win over the top-ranked Scot Alan Clyne.

Duffield have in fact extended their lead at the top of the Group A tables to 26 points, as second-placed Oxford Health & Racquets also suffered a 3/2 defeat away from home at Chapel Allerton.

The Leeds club's England international Jenny Duncalf made up for the disappointment of a semi-final exit at the National Championships by beating Oxford's Irish champion Madeline Perry 11-9, 11-6, 11-13, 17-15 - but the real star of the Chapel Allerton line-up was Channel Islander Chris Simpson.

With the tie poised at two-all, the top string from Guernsey beat Oxford's Cameron Pilley 13-11, 11-6, 4-11, 11-5 to record his first ever win over the Australian number one.

Elsewhere in the group, Yorkshire club AJP Pontefract kept their play-off hopes alive with a 4/1 home win over University of Birmingham, with victories from Saurav Ghosal, Siddharth Suchde, Lee Beachill and Sarah Kippax.

A change of order came in the other group after reigning champions Integrity Surrey Health Racquets crushed Exeter Diamonds 5/0 to replace the Devon team at the top of the Group B tables.

The Croydon club supporters were treated to a fine display by the home team, led by the newly-crowned British National champion Alison Waters, and followed by Adrian Waller, Gregoire Marche and Karim Abdel Gawad. A courageous performance by the Surrey Health number one Adrian Grant saw the Londoner recover from two games down to beat Dutch international and fellow left-hander Laurens Jan Anjema 11-13, 4-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-9 in 82 minutes to give his team maximum points.

Exeter drop to third place in the tables - making way for Team Chichester to move up to second place following a powerful 5/0 away win at UWE Bristol. The Chichester star turn was Jonathan Kemp, the semi-retired former world No20 who overcame a two-game deficit to the Bristol number one Mohamed El Shorbagy to beat the world No6 from Egypt 10-12, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8.

Last season's runners-up TWP St George's Hill kept alive their slender hopes of a place in the playoffs by beating Winchester Racquets & Fitness 4/1.

RESULTS: Premier Squash League, 8th round, Tuesday 19 February 2013

Group A:
MB Nottingham 3 Benz-Bavarian Duffield 2
Alan Clyne lost to Nick Matthew 11-13, 11-13, 7-11
Eddie Charlton bt Joel Hinds 11-6, 9-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-9
Declan James lost to Andy Whipp 7-11, 11-13, 11-4, 6-11
Greg Lobban bt Chris Fuller 13-11, 11-9, 11-13, 7-11, 11-8 (106m)
Emma Beddoes bt Laura Massaro 11-5, 5-11, 13-11, 7-11, 11-6

AJP Pontefract 4 University of Birmingham 1
Saurav Ghosal bt Peter Creed 11-8, 11-8, 11-6
Siddharth Suchde bt Jaymie Haycocks 13-11, 12-10, 7-11, 6-11, 11-7 (88m)
Lee Beachill bt Nathan Lake 12-10, 11-5, 11-8
Taminder Gata-Aura lost to Chris Tasker-Grindley 5-11, 3-11, 2-11
Sarah Kippax bt Sarah-Jane Perry 15-13, 4-11, 11-9, 11-7

Chapel Allerton 3 Oxford Health & Racquets 2
Chris Simpson bt Cameron Pilley 13-11, 11-6, 4-11, 11-5
Dylan Bennett bt Scott Handley 11-5, 11-7, 5-11, 11-2
James Earles lost to Ben Coleman 8-11, 11-4, 8-11, 8-11
Matthew Sidaway lost to Mark Cairns 8-11, 11-7, 4-11, 8-11
Jenny Duncalf bt Madeline Perry 11-9, 11-6, 11-13, 17-15

Group B:
UWE Bristol 0 Team Chichester 5
Mohamed El Shorbagy lost to Jonathan Kemp 12-10, 11-9, 8-11, 8-11, 8-11 (42m)
Lucas Serme lost to Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan 9-11, 6-11, 14-16 (43m)
David Haley lost to Robbie Temple 7-11, 5-11, 3-11 (29m)
Thomas Ford lost to Anthony Graham 7-11, 8-11, 11-6, 5-11 (48m)
Emma Chorley lost to Lauren Briggs 6-11, 9-11, 12-10, 3-11 (35m)

Integrity Surrey Health Racquets 5 Exeter Diamonds 0
Adrian Grant bt Laurens Jan Anjema 11-13, 4-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-9 (82m)
Karim Abdel Gawad bt Olli Tuominen 11-8, 11-7, 7-3 ret.
Gregoire Marche bt Joey Barrington 11-3, 14-12, 11-5
Adrian Waller bt Tim Vail 11-6, 11-4, 11-2
Alison Waters bt Victoria Temple Murray 11-3, 11-1, 11-6

Winchester Racquets & Fitness 1 TWP St George's Hill 4
Marwan El Shorbagy lost to Daryl Selby 11-4, 6-11, 11-4, 8-11, 5-11
Stacey Ross bt Tom Richards 11-1, 4-3 ret.
Robert Downer lost to Joe Lee 5-11, 5-11, 6-11
Adam Auckland lost to Charles Sharpes 11-6, 8-11, 9-11, 11-6, 5-11
Rachel Willmott lost to Dominique Lloyd-Walter 8-11, 7-11, 9-11
 

Round 7

Tense Finishes Highlight Seventh Round PSL Action

With all but one of the six Premier Squash League (PSL) ties concluding in dramatic 3/2 finishes, it was a tense night of seventh round action in the world's most prestigious squash league.

Title-holders Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets looked assured of a resounding victory at Team Chichester when the Croydon club's Karim Abdel Gawad, the world No24 from Egypt, took a 2/0 lead in the fourth match with the team already 2/1 up. But the Sussex side's Robbie Temple, ranked almost 40 places below the Egyptian, refused to give up and battled back to record a sensational 11-13, 10-12, 11-9, 11-6, 11-9 upset victory in 76 minute to bring the home team back into contention.

But Surrey Health still had a mastercard in top string Adrian Grant, the London left-hander ranked 17 in the world. After a close first game against the Chichester number one Jonathan Kemp, ranked more than 20 places below, Grant closed out the match 11-9, 11-6, 11-6 to give Surrey Health a 3/2 win.

The victory moves the defending champions back into second place in Group B - eight points adrift of Exeter Diamonds, the Devon club who stunned last season's runners-up TWP St George's Hill 3/2 away from home.

Exeter's heroes were Irish international Aisling Blake, top-ranked Finn Olli Tuominen, and unranked veteran Tim Vail - the 35-year-old who retired from the Tour some five years ago, yet twice came from behind to beat rising young pro Charles Sharpes 3-11, 11-9, 10-12, 11-7, 11-6 to clinch the visitors win.

Tuominen beat home side newcomer Mohd Ali Anwar Reda, an Egyptian ranked 47 in the world - but St George's number one Daryl Selby finished the night on a high note when he beat Dutch star Laurens Jan Anjema 11-3, 12-10, 10-12, 11-8.

Elsewhere in Group B, Winchester Racquets & Fitness inflicted a seventh successive defeat this season on UWE Bristol - Winchester's Marwan El Shorbagy rounding off a successful night for the visitors in the Egyptian's first match of the season by beating fellow University of West of England student Lucas Serme 11-9, 5-11, 11-8, 8-11, 11-8 in 66 minutes to give his side a 4/1 win.

Former champions Benz-Bavarian Duffield maintained their season-long leadership of the Group A tables in a 3/2 home win over AJP Pontefract. Lancashire's world No3 Laura Massaro and Nottingham-based Chris Fuller put the Derbyshire hosts ahead, while the Yorkshire club's world No3 James Willstrop and Indian star Siddharth Suchde levelled proceedings.

But it was 22-year-old Mancunian Adam Murrills who proved to be the Duffield hero on the night when the world No119 beat former world No1 Lee Beachill 11-9, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9 to ensure that his team maintained its 100% winning record this season.

It was a delighted Oxford Health & Racquets team manager Jason Martin who reported the 3/2 win his side achieved over University of Birmingham to strengthen their position in second place in the Group A tables.

But it was a nail-biting first string clash which proved to be the decider after wins by club stalwarts Ben Coleman and Mark Cairns - a 45-year-old who beat 19-year-old Oliver Mapp in a performance described by Martin as 'the best in the world by a player of his age' - were nullified by Birmingham victories from Katherine Quarterman and Welsh champion Peter Creed.

Fresh from a 28th Tour title triumph in Chicago, top Spaniard Borja Golan faced the Birmingham number one Chris Ryder. World No10 Golan dropped the opening game, but quickly adjusted to the Oxford court as he went on to close out the match 3-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-9 to clinch a popular home club win.

"We're delighted to have held our second position in the group and look forward maintaining this run through to the play-offs at the end of the season," said Martin.

MB Nottingham move up to third place in the tables, overtaking Chapel Allerton after beating the Leeds club 3/2 in another clash which went to the wire. Early Nottingham wins by Emily Whitlock and Mark Fuller were wiped out by Chapel Allerton victories by former Nottingham players Shaun le Roux and Chris Simpson.

All eyes were then on top strings Alan Clyne, the home team's Scottish number one, and Ong Beng Hee, the top-ranked Malaysian who celebrated his 33rd birthday 24 hours earlier. Beng Hee battled to draw level after Clyne took the opener - but then managed only five further points as the Scot delighted the Nottingham crowd with a tie-winning 11-2, 10-12, 11-3, 11-2 victory.

RESULTS: Premier Squash League, 7th round, Tuesday 5 February 2013

Group A:
MB Nottingham 3 Chapel Allerton 2
Alan Clyne bt Ong Beng Hee 11-2, 10-12, 11-3, 11-2
Eddie Charlton lost to Chris Simpson 10-12, 11-7, 11-6, 4-11, 6-11
Declan James lost to Shaun le Roux 11-9, 3-11, 6-11, 12-14
Mark Fuller bt Simon Parke 11-5, 4-11, 11-6, 13-11
Emily Whitlock bt Samantha Ward 11-6, 11-4, 11-1

Benz-Bavarian Duffield 3 AJP Pontefract 2
Joel Hinds lost to James Willstrop 5-11, 4-11, 6-11
Andy Whipp lost to Siddharth Suchde 8-11, 3-11, 11-13
Adam Murrills bt Lee Beachill 11-9, 11-8, 8-11, 11-9
Chris Fuller bt Thoboki Mohohlo 11-6, 5-11, 11-3, 11-6
Laura Massaro bt Kirsty McPhee 11-3, 11-1, 11-7

Oxford Health & Racquets 3 University of Birmingham 2
Borja Golan bt Chris Ryder 3-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-9
Scott Handley lost to Peter Creed 11-9, 10-12, 8-11, 10-12
Ben Coleman bt Jaymie Haycocks 11-7, 12-10, 9-11, 11-9
Mark Cairns bt Oliver Mapp 13-11, 11-7, 11-8
Julie Peachey lost to Katherine Quarterman 7-11, 5-11, 8-11

Group B:
UWE Bristol 1 Winchester Racquets & Fitness 4
Lucas Serme lost to Marwan El Shorbagy 9-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8, 8-11 (66m)
Hadrian Stiff lost to Alex Phillips 11-7, 3-11, 4-11 ret. (19m)
Thomas Ford bt Scott Fitzgerald 9-11, 3-11, 11-7, 14-12, 11-9 (48m)
David Haley lost to Adam Auckland 5-11, 5-11, 11-7, 6-11 (43m)
Kip Quiney lost to Rachel Willmott 7-11, 11-13, 11-8, 11-13 (27m)

Team Chichester 2 Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets 3
Jonathan Kemp lost to Adrian Grant 9-11, 6-11, 6-11
Robbie Temple bt Karim Abdel Gawad 11-13, 10-12, 11-9, 11-6, 11-9 (76m)
Olivier Pett lost to Adrian Waller 12-10, 7-11, 10-12, 5-11
Anthony Graham lost to Davide Bianchetti 6-11, 7-11, 13-11, 6-11
Lauren Briggs bt Lauren Selby 11-7, 11-6, 11-6

TWP St George's Hill 2 Exeter Diamonds 3
Daryl Selby bt Laurens Jan Anjema 11-3, 12-10, 10-12, 11-8
Mohd Ali Anwar Reda lost to Olli Tuominen 3-11, 5-11, 5-11
Joe Lee bt Joey Barrington 11-4, 11-4, 14-12
Charles Sharpes lost to Tim Vail 11-3, 9-11, 12-10, 7-11, 6-11
Dominique Lloyd-Walter lost to Aisling Blake 7-11, 8-11, 5-11

 

Round 6

PSL Whitewash Takes Exeter Back To The Top

Exeter Diamonds kicked off their New Year's Premier Squash League (PSL) campaign in fine style with an emphatic 5/0 home win over west country rivals UWE Bristol in Tuesday's sixth round of the world's most prestigious squash league. The victory takes the Devon side back to the top of the Group B tables, replacing title-holders Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets.

Comprehensive straight games wins by Aisling Blake, Tim Vail and Joey Barrington gave Exeter an unassailable lead. Former British Open champion Welshman David Evans saved Bristol's blushes by taking a game from Exeter No2 Olli Tuominen, but the Finnish number one extended the home side's lead with a 3/1 win, before Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema made it a maximum points triumph by despatching the visitors' Lucas Serme - the Frenchman who won the first PSA World Tour ranking event of the year last week - 11-8, 11-2, 11-8.

"We're just trying to do our bit for squash," said Exeter team manager Adam Lings. "It's great to give ourselves a fighting chance of qualification, but we realise that the next two games will prove critical!"

Champions Surrey Health were also at home, fielding a less-than-full-strength team against county rivals TWP St George's Hill in a repeat of the last two seasons' national finals. With a near full-strength line-up, the visitors were looking to gain some much-needed points to give themselves a chance of a third successive appearance in the grand final.

But the hosts' Richie Fallows and Alison Waters won the opening two matches - leaving an away victory in the hands of the three remaining St George's Hill players.

And the Weybridge club-mates duly obliged - third string Charles Sharpes seeing off Steven London in three games; 26-year-old world No13 Tom Richards saving two game-balls in the second before overcoming retired 42-year-old Londoner Tim Garner 11-2, 13-11, 11-7; and top string Daryl Selby, the world No11, beating Italian ace Davide Bianchetti 11-6, 11-5, 11-4 to give St George's a 3/2 win.

And in the other tie in the Group, visitors Team Chichester also eked out a 3/2 away win - over Winchester Racquets & Fitness. Again it was left to the top strings to fight out a decider - home hero Stacey Ross taking the early advantage against Chichester number one Jonathan Kemp, but the left-hander ranked 40 in the world reclaiming the advantage to pull off a mighty 8-11, 11-3, 11-5, 11-5 victory.

The win puts Chichester and Surrey Health in equal second place in the Group - both with 91 points - behind Exeter on 100 points - and St George's Hill still in fourth place, but now only 19 points away from a runners-up berth.

Derbyshire's former champions Benz-Bavarian Duffield extended their unbeaten record this season in Group A by beating Chapel Allerton. But it was an injury sustained by the Yorkshire hosts' top string Alister Walker that gave the decider to Duffield's Joel Hinds when world No15 Walker was forced to concede the match despite holding a 2/1 lead.

Oxford Health & Racquets restated their claim for a place in the end-of-season play-offs - and reduced the gap behind Group A leaders Duffield - by crushing AJP Pontefract 5/0. The Oxford visitors faced a home side missing three key players - and took full advantage. Oxford wins by Madeline Perry, Mark Cairns, Ben Coleman and Scott Handley led to a top string showdown between home club hero Lee Beachill, the now-retired former world number one, and Spaniard Borja Golan, the new world No10. Golan was too strong, however, winning 11-4, 11-9, 11-7 to keep Oxford's qualifying hopes alive.

University of Birmingham delighted their local supporters by celebrating their first win of the season with a 4/1 home victory over former champions MB Nottingham. Birmingham-born 22-year-old Sarah-Jane Perry gave her team the inspiration they needed by battling to a first ever win over seasoned compatriot Emma Beddoes - a valiant 11-4, 11-9, 10-12, 5-11, 11-8 victory in 68 minutes.

Team-mates Chris Truswell and Jaymie Haycocks followed suit before the University team number one Chris Ryder beat Jan Koukal - the top-ranked Czech Republic player making his PSL debut - 11-4, 11-4, 12-10 to clinch the home team's 4/1 win.

RESULTS: 6th round, Premier League, England

Group A:
University of Birmingham 4 MB Nottingham 1
Chris Ryder bt Jan Koukal 11-4, 11-4, 12-10
Jaymie Haycocks bt Eddie Charlton 10-12, 11-7, 11-9, 11-6
Nathan Lake lost to Mark Fuller 11-6, 4-11, 7-11, 9-11
Chris Truswell bt Alistair Gorrie 6-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-7
Sarah-Jane Perry bt Emma Beddoes 11-4, 11-9, 10-12, 5-11, 11-8 (68m)

Chapel Allerton 2 Benz-Bavarian Duffield 3
Alister Walker lost to Joel Hinds 8-11, 11-8, 11-6, 3-10 ret.
Shaun le Roux lost to Andy Whipp 4-11, 8-11, 5-11
James Earles lost to Chris Fuller 7-11, 5-11, 7-11
Simon Parke bt Aqeel Rehman 11-7, 11-7, 5-11, 3-11, 11-8
Carrie Ramsey bt Lesley Sturgess 11-2, 11-6, 11-1

AJP Pontefract 0 Oxford Health & Racquets 5
Lee Beachill lost to Borja Golan 4-11, 9-11, 7-11
Thoboki Mohohlo lost to Scott Handley 7-11, 7-11, 9-11
Sam Wileman lost to Ben Coleman 7-11, 5-11, 4-11
Alex Hodgetts lost to Mark Cairns 10-12, 6-11, 3-11
Sarah Kippax lost to Madeline Perry 3-11, 8-11, 11-7, 9-11

Group B:
Exeter Diamonds 5 UWE Bristol 0
Laurens Jan Anjema bt Lucas Serme 11-8, 11-2, 11-8 (37m)
Olli Tuominen bt David Evans 11-6, 4-11, 11-9, 11-3 (43m)
Joey Barrington bt Thomas Ford 11-9, 11-3, 11-4 (23m)
Tim Vail bt Stuart Hadden 11-3, 11-9, 11-3 (21m)
Aisling Blake bt Victoria Bell 11-3, 11-9, 11-3 (23m)

Winchester Racquets & Fitness 2 Team Chichester 3
Stacey Ross lost to Jonathan Kemp 11-8, 3-11, 5-11, 5-11
Robert Downer bt Olivier Pett 11-3, 12-10, 9-11, 11-1
Alex Phillips lost to Anthony Graham 6-11, 12-10, 3-11, 8-11
Adam Auckland bt Alex Gough 11-6, 11-1, 14-12
Rachel Willmott lost to Lauren Briggs 5-11, 4-11, 5-11

Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets 2 TWP St George's Hill 3
Davide Bianchetti lost to Daryl Selby 6-11, 5-11, 4-11
Tim Garner lost to Tom Richards 2-11, 11-13, 7-11
Steven London lost to Charles Sharpes 5-11, 3-11, 2-11
Richie Fallows bt Jamie Wilde 11-4, 11-8, 7-11, 13-11
Alison Waters bt Dominique Lloyd-Walter 11-6, 11-5, 11-3
 

Round 5

Duffield Riding High At Half Way Stage In PSL

Former champions Benz-Bavarian Duffield will go into next year's second half of the Premier Squash League (PSL) season as the only unbeaten team, after beating University of Birmingham 3/2 in the fifth round of the world's most prestigious squash league. The Derbyshire club clinched victory in Birmingham when top string Nick Matthew, the world champion from Sheffield, notched up his 30th successive league win since October 2007 by beating world No48 Chris Ryder in straight games.

The three-time champions (in 1998, 2006 & 2007) went into the lead with wins by former British Junior champion Millie Tomlinson and Chris Fuller. But the hosts struck back to draw level after Nathan Lake and Welsh champion Peter Creed recorded victories.

But world number two Matthew, a Duffield stalwart for ten seasons, was determined to reach his impressive PSL milestone - and despatched Ryder 12-10, 11-7, 11-2 to not only extend his club's unbeaten record this season but also extend their lead at the top of the Group A tables to 28 points.

"I'm really proud of Nick - not just as a player that any team would give their right arm for, but for his loyalty to Duffield and his skills as a role model and ambassador for our sport," said team manager Felix Frixou. "I just want to say thank you and well done to all our squad."

There were two other notable results in the Group: Oxford Health & Racquets beat MB Nottingham 3/2 to leap into second place in the tables, while AJP Pontefract defeated fellow Yorkshire club Chapel Allerton 4/1 to jump two positions to third place - their highest ever position.

While Oxford's top-ranked Spaniard Borja Golan and Irish champion Madeline Perry both recorded straight games wins, team-mates Kristen Johnson and Scott Handley went down in five-game battles - leaving squad number one Cameron Pilley to play the decider. The Australia number one was tested over four games by Nottingham's Alan Clyne, but Pilley eventually downed the top-ranked Scot 11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 11-6 to delight the Oxford fans.

"It was a fantastic night here in Oxford after Nottingham pushed us all the way," said jubilant Oxford team manager Ross Gore. "Closing the gap on Duffield is also a huge bonus. Fingers crossed we can keep the momentum going into the second half and make the playoffs."

The opening match in Pontefract produced a significant upset when Chapel Allerton's world No6 Jenny Duncalf went down in four games to England team-mate Sarah Kippax - only three days after Duncalf was preferred to her lower-ranked compatriot for the final of the Women's World Team Championship in France.

Kippax's first win over Duncalf in more than three years inspired further success for the hosts as Taminder Gata-Aura and Lee Beachill posted five-game wins to put victory beyond the Leeds club's reach. In the final match between Pontefract hero James Willstrop, the world number one, and Chris Simpson, it was the visitors' top string who took the opening games before forcing the match into five games. Willstrop suffered a hard fall late in the match, but the Leeds-based 29-year-old eventually ground out an 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 4-11, 11-9 win.

After a slow start, title-holders Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets posted their first 5/0 win of the season when they beat Winchester Racquets & Fitness in Group B. Londoner Alison Waters, the world No4 who was unbeaten for England last week in Nimes, led the winning way for the Croydon club, followed by team-mates Richie Fallows, French newcomer Gregoire Marche and England internationals Adrian Grant and Peter Barker.

The maximum points win takes Surrey Health to the top of the Group B tables for the first time this season. "It was a really good game tonight and well done to Winchester who put up a good fight," said Pete Smith, the home team manager. "Great to be back on top after half way - but we've got a long way to go yet. Looking forward to the second half."

Exeter Diamonds jumped up to second place in the tables after a crushing 4/1 home defeat of Team Chichester, the Sussex club's first loss of the season. The visitors' former world No5 Alex Gough suffered an injury midway through the third string battle, conceding the match to Exeter's Tim Vail - and later wins by Finn Olli Tuominen and top Dutchman Laurens Jan Anjema confirmed the Devon club's fourth win of the season.

And the second 5/0 victory this season by TWP St George's Hill did little to improve the Group B table position of last season's runners-up. A near full strength squad saw St George's beat UWE Bristol without dropping a game, but the Weybridge club still languish in fourth place.

"TWP St George's Hill fighting back with solid win over Bristol," tweeted team manager Danny Lee later. "Realistically need an unbeaten second half to reach play offs."

RESULTS: Premier Squash League, 5th round, Tuesday 20 November 2012

Group A:
University of Birmingham 2 Benz-Bavarian Duffield 3
Chris Ryder lost to Nick Matthew 10-12, 7-11, 2-11
Peter Creed bt Andy Whipp 11-5, 11-6, 11-8
Nathan Lake bt Adam Murrills 9-11, 11-3, 11-6, 11-5
Chris Tasker-Grindley lost to Chris Fuller 6-11, 11-7, 7-11, 9-11
Katherine Quarterman lost to Millie Tomlinson 1-11, 3-11, 2-11

AJP Pontefract 4 Chapel Allerton 1
James Willstrop bt Chris Simpson 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 4-11, 11-9
Lee Beachill bt Dylan Bennett 7-11, 11-5, 11-8, 6-11, 11-3
Sam Wileman lost to Simon Parke 6-11, 3-11, 7-11
Taminder Gata-Aura bt Matthew Sidaway 8-11, 8-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-8
Sarah Kippax bt Jenny Duncalf 3-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-9

Oxford Health & Racquets 3 MB Nottingham 2
Cameron Pilley bt Alan Clyne 11-8, 8-11, 11-9, 11-6
Borja Golan bt Eddie Charlton 11-6, 15-13, 11-4
Scott Handley lost to Lewis Walters 11-7, 4-11, 10-12, 11-9, 10-12
Kristen Johnson lost to Mark Fuller 6-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-7, 6-11
Madeline Perry bt Emma Beddoes 11-5, 11-6, 11-6

Group B:
Exeter Diamonds 4 Team Chichester 1
Laurens Jan Anjema bt Jonathan Kemp 11-2, 11-5, 11-2 (29m)
Olli Tuominen bt Robbie Temple 11-4, 11-5, 11-6 (33m)
Tim Vail bt Alex Gough 6-11, 11-7, 5-0 ret. (30m)
Michael Harris lost to Alex Ingham 4-11, 6-11, 7-11 (32m)
Aisling Blake bt Zoe Shardlow 11-2, 11-3, 11-1 (15m)

Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets 5 Winchester Racquets & Fitness 0
Peter Barker bt Stacey Ross 11-9, 11-4, 11-5 (29m)
Adrian Grant bt Alex Phillips 13-15, 11-5, 12-10, 11-7
Gregoire Marche bt Adam Auckland 7-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-9
Richie Fallows bt Tristan Eysele 10-12, 11-8, 11-8, 11-7
Alison Waters bt Selina Sinclair 11-1, 11-1, 11-4

TWP St George's Hill 5 UWE Bristol 0
Daryl Selby bt David Evans 11-7, 11-8, 11-3 (31m)
Tom Richards bt Thomas Ford 11-5, 11-2, 11-4 (28m)
Henrik Mustonen bt David Haley 11-3, 11-2, 11-6 (30m)
Charles Sharpes bt Sam Ellis 11-1, 11-5, 11-5 (24m)
Dominique Lloyd-Walter bt Rebecca Quiney 11-6, 11-2, 11-6 (20m)

 

Round 4

Mighty Matthew Leads Duffield To Comprehensive PSL Win

England's world number two Nick Matthew extended his unbeaten Premier Squash League (PSL) run to 29 matches over the past five years when he led Benz-Bavarian Duffield to their second maximum points win of the season in the fourth round of the world's most prestigious squash league.

The former champions crushed Oxford Health & Racquets 5/0 at home - with Matthew, world No3 Laura Massaro, Karim Ali Fathi and Adam Murrills all recording straight games wins and local hero Joel Hinds dropping just a single game to Oxford first-timer Simon White.

Sheffield-based Matthew - celebrating his tenth season for Duffield - beat Oxford stalwart Scott Handley 11-8, 11-5, 11-7 in his 62nd appearance for the Derbyshire club since October 2003.

Duffield's victory extends their lead at the top of the Group A tables to 26 points ahead of PSL newcomers Chapel Allerton. The Leeds club also enjoyed a powerful home win, beating University of Birmingham 4/1.

Yorkshire's world No6 Jenny Duncalf gave Chapel Allerton an early lead with an 11-3, 11-4, 11-7 win over Sarah-Jane Perry, the world No35 from Kenilworth who has just returned home after impressive WSA Tour title wins in Mexico and the USA over the past ten days.

The defeat sees the Birmingham team drop to the bottom of the Group A tables for the first time this season, while Chapel Allerton rise to second place.

In a good night for Yorkshire clubs, AJP Pontefract took maximum points from their visit to MB Nottingham - the 5/0 victory being Pontefract's first since joining the PSL six seasons ago!

Undoubtedly inspired by life-long Pontefract stalwart Lee Beachill's 3/0 win over new British Junior champion Ollie Holland - only hours after the retired former world number one returned home from PSA duties in Mexico - Sarah Kippax, James Willstrop and Indians Harinder Pal Sandhu and Saurav Ghosal all recorded hard-fought wins to provide their club its historic PSL result.

But world number Willstrop had to pull out all the stops for his win, twice coming from behind to see off Nottingham's top-ranked Scot Alan Clyne 9-11, 11-5, 10-12, 11-5, 11-3.

"Nice 5-0 win for AJP Pontefract over Nottingham tonight! A couple of close calls but we all pulled through :)" tweeted Ghosal afterwards.

There was plenty of drama in the southern half of the country in Group B - and another confident performance by Team Chichester extended the south coast club's unbeaten run this season.

"Congratulations to Chichester. Too good on the night," said TWP St George's Hill manager Danny Lee after his team went down 4/1. The Surrey visitors took the lead through Dominique Lloyd-Walter - but impressive performances by Anthony Graham, Robbie Temple, Malaysian Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan and the club's new top string Jonathan Kemp saw the home side through.

In his first appearance for Chichester this season, world No33 Adnan saved three match-balls against the St George's number two Tom Richards - ranked 19 places higher - before winning 4-11, 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 14-12 in 57 minutes.

Kemp faced Daryl Selby - and fought back from 2/1 down to beat the world No10 from Essex 11-8, 9-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-1. "That fifth game was ridiculous - Kemp was hitting nicks from all parts of the court. It was the best individual game of squash I've ever seen in 40 years watching the sport," said Chichester manager Mike Phillips.

"4/1 is a great result for us - it was a fantastic evening of squash."

Selby told his Twitter followers later: "Disappointing team result tonight in #pslsquash. Still not sure how I lost from 2-1, 8-3 up but I do know Kempy couldn't stop hitting the nick!"

Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets fielded a heavyweight squad in their clash at UWE Bristol. A maximum points away win seemed on the cards for the defending champions - especially when Bristol number one Mohamed El Shorbagy tweeted earlier in the day: "Just reached England after a very long flight from Mexico...Don't think I will be flying on court today against Peter Barker :)"

A few hours later however, with the Croydon visitors already 4/0 up, Egyptian El Shorbagy battled to a surprise 12-10, 12-10, 9-11, 3-11, 11-9 victory over Barker, the world No6 from London.

Later, the 21-year-old underdog added on Twitter: "Just won 11/9 in the 5th!! I need someone to carry me home right now :)"

The win strengthens Surrey Health's second place in the Group B tables, now just seven points adrift of Chichester.

Another stunning away performance in the group saw Exeter Diamonds crush Winchester Racquets & Fitness 5/0. The home team gained a sole consolation point when Scott Fitzgerald won a game in his 3/1 defeat to Joey Barrington - but straight games successes by Aisling Blake, Tim Vail, 'Flying Finn' Olli Tuominen and Dutch star Laurens Jan Anjema enabled Exeter to secure their second 5/0 win of the season - and earn third place in the tables, just two points behind Surrey Health.

RESULTS: Premier Squash League, 4th round, Tuesday 6 November 2012

Group A:
MB Nottingham 0 AJP Pontefract 5
Alan Clyne lost to James Willstrop 11-9, 5-11, 12-10, 5-11, 3-11
Declan James lost to Saurav Ghosal 8-11, 2-11, 11-5, 4-11
Mark Fuller lost to Harinder Pal Sandhu 11-8, 4-11, 10-12, 6-11
Ollie Holland lost to Lee Beachill 8-11, 7-11, 13-15
Emily Whitlock lost to Sarah Kippax 9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 5-11, 6-11

Chapel Allerton 4 University of Birmingham 1
Ong Beng Hee bt Peter Creed 11-6, 11-8, 11-9
Chris Simpson bt Jaymie Haycocks 6-11, 11-6, 11-3, 11-5
Shaun le Roux bt Nathan Lake 11-2, 15-13, 10-12, 11-1
James Earles lost to Chris Tasker-Grindley 11-8, 5-11, 11-13, 7-11
Jenny Duncalf bt Sarah-Jane Perry 11-3, 11-4, 11-7

Benz-Bavarian Duffield 5 Oxford Health & Racquets
Nick Matthew bt Scott Handley 11-8, 11-5, 11-7
Karim Ali Fathi bt Kristen Johnson 11-2, 11-0, 11-9
Joel Hinds bt Simon White 11-8, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8
Adam Murrills bt Ross Gore 11-7, 11-8, 11-8
Laura Massaro bt Madeline Perry 11-9, 11-8, 11-9

Group B:
UWE Bristol 1 Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets 4
Mohamed El Shorbagy bt Peter Barker 12-10, 12-10, 9-11, 3-11, 11-9 (55m)
Arthur Gaskin lost to Adrian Grant 8-11, 4-11, 7-11 (30m)
Lucas Serme lost to Karim Abdel Gawad 11-8, 12-14, 6-11, 7-11 (54m)
Thomas Ford lost to Adrian Waller 8-11, 6-11, 7-11 (28m)
Kip Quiney lost to Alison Waters 1-11, 3-11, 6-11 (19m)

Winchester Racquets & Fitness 0 Exeter Diamonds 5
Stacey Ross lost to Laurens Jan Anjema 8-11, 6-11, 3-11
Robert Downer lost to Olli Tuominen 5-11, 3-11, 4-11
Scott Fitzgerald lost to Joey Barrington 7-11, 11-5, 6-11, 9-11
Tristan Eysele lost to Tim Vail 9-11, 1-11, 6-11
Selina Sinclair lost to Aisling Blake 5-11, 5-11, 3-11

Team Chichester 4 TWP St George's Hill 1
Jonathan Kemp bt Daryl Selby 11-8, 9-11, 8-11, 11-8, 11-1 (46m)
Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan bt Tom Richards 4-11, 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 14-12 (57m)
Robbie Temple bt Charles Sharpes 10-12, 11-4, 11-1, 11-6
Anthony Graham bt Philip Nightingale 10-12, 12-10, 11-3, 11-2
Lauren Briggs lost to Dominique Lloyd-Walter 10-12, 11-9, 2-11, 4-11

 

Round 3 Report

Chichester & Duffield Extend Unbeaten PSL Runs

Team Chichester and Benz-Bavarian Duffield extended their unbeaten runs in the new Premier Squash League (PSL) season - but did so in contrasting styles in the third round of the world's most prestigious squash league.

Chichester crushed UWE Bristol 5/0 in their second maximum points home win of the season - and leap to the top of the Group B table by an eight point margin.

Spurred on by the biggest home crowd for some time, Hannah Wright-Davies, Anthony Graham and Olivier Pett all clinched straight games wins before squad number two Robbie Temple battled for 81 minutes, fighting back from 2/1 down to overcome the visitors' David Haley 11-7, 12-14, 11-13, 11-8, 11-8.

By contrast, team newcomer Jonathan Kemp won the first game against Irish number one Arthur Gaskin and was only six points into the second when the Bristol top string was forced to retire with an injury.

"We're on a bit of a roll - it's excellent news really," said a jubilant Chichester team manager Mike Phillips. "I think our success is down to a pretty solid strength-in-depth squad. Jonathan is a really strong number one, and with players like Olly and Anthony at three and four we represent quite a threat. And Hannah's a good club player - nobody really knows her but she can hold her own with most opposition.

"We've had a full house tonight - the momentum is building and people are already sensing the possibility of a play-off place at the end of the season," Phillips concluded.

Former champions Duffield were taken the full distance in their home Group A tie against East Midlands rivals and fellow former champions MB Nottingham.

After England's world No2 Laura Massaro put the Derbyshire club ahead with a straight games win over European junior champion and training partner Emily Whitlock, and Nottingham regulars Ollie Holland and Declan James took back the advantage for the visitors, it was left to Duffield stalwart Andy Whipp to bring the home team back into contention with an 8-11, 13-11, 2-11, 11-4, 11-8 win over Scot Greg Lobban.

The decider pitched experienced Scot Alan Clyne against Karim Ali Fathi, a 19-year-old UK-based Egyptian who was not only making his debut for Duffield but also his first appearance in the PSL.

Clyne took the opening game, but teenager Ali Fathi showed his promise by winning the next three games to claim a popular 5-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-5 victory - and Duffield a 3/2 win which takes the club to the top of the Group A table with a lead of 12 points.

The quickest tie of the night saw last season's runners-up TWP St George's Hill beat Winchester Racquets & Fitness 5/0 at home to record their first win of the season. And the Surrey club did it in style, with Daryl Selby, Tom Richards, Joe Lee, Charles Sharpes and Dominique Lloyd-Walter all recording 3/0 wins in a total just over two hours of playing time!

"Normal order has been restored," said a delighted St George's team manager Danny Lee.

Elsewhere in Group B, the outcome was not decided until after midnight as Australian Steven Finitsis battled with higher-ranked England international Adrian Grant in a bid to salvage a consolation point for home team Exeter Diamonds against title-holders Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets.

The visitors had already taken a 4/0 lead through Alison Waters, Davide Bianchetti, Adrian Waller and Karim Abdel Gawad - Waller and Egyptian Abdel Gawad coming from behind to fend off Exeter opposition.

And in only his second appearance in the PSL, Queenslander Finitsis stemmed a fightback by Grant to beat the world No19 11-5, 11-8, 7-11, 7-11, 11-1 in 64 minutes to reduce the visitors' win to 4/1.

2012/13 season newcomers Chapel Allerton claimed their maiden win in a 3/2 triumph at Oxford Health & Racquets which also saw the home side losing for the first time in the season. The Leeds club's manager and veteran campaigner Simon Parke was forced to retire injured in the decider of his match against Oxford's Kristen Johnson after twice cancelling leads by the home team player.

But after early Chapel Allerton wins by Jenny Duncalf and James Earles, it was a four-game victory by Dutchman Dylan Bennett over Oxford stalwart Scott Handley that ultimately proved decisive.

There was further Yorkshire success away from home when AJP Pontefract beat University of Birmingham to record their first win of the season. Home success seemed on the cards when Nathan Lake and Jaymie Haycocks both won, to cancel out the early lead set by the visitors' Sarah Kippax.

But a commanding performance by Indian Siddharth Suchde over Welsh champion Peter Creed left the decider in the hands of Pontefract's world number one James Willstrop. The 29-year-old from Leeds dropped the opening game to Birmingham's Chris Ryder - but the wily Willstrop took control of the match thereafter, going on to win 8-11, 11-3, 11-5, 11-9 to earn his club a 3/2 victory.

RESULTS: Premier Squash League, 3rd round, Tuesday 30 October 2012

Group A:
Benz-Bavarian Duffield 3 MB Nottingham 2
Karim Ali Fathi bt Alan Clyne 5-11, 11-5, 11-4, 11-5
Joel Hinds lost to Declan James 11-13, 12-10, 11-5, 8-11, 6-11
Andy Whipp bt Greg Lobban 8-11, 13-11, 2-11, 11-4, 11-8
Adam Murrills lost to Ollie Holland 8-11, 7-11, 15-13, 7-11
Laura Massaro bt Emily Whitlock 11-6, 11-4, 11-6

University of Birmingham 2 AJP Pontefract 3
Chris Ryder lost to James Willstrop 11-8, 3-11, 5-11, 9-11
Peter Creed lost to Siddharth Suchde 6-11, 11-4, 4-11, 8-11
Jaymie Haycocks bt Harinder Pal Sandhu 8-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-3
Nathan Lake bt Lee Beachill 11-8, 5-11, 5-11, 11-5, 11-7
Katherine Quarterman lost to Sarah Kippax 2-11, 4-11, 5-11

Oxford Health & Racquets 2 Chapel Allerton 3
Cameron Pilley bt Shaun le Roux 11-9, 11-7, 13-11
Scott Handley lost to Dylan Bennett 12-10, 7-11, 7-11, 8-11
Richard Birks lost to James Earles 5-11, 6-11, 9-11
Kristen Johnson bt Simon Parke 11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 10-12, 3-1 ret.
Beverley Mackay lost to Jenny Duncalf 3-11, 1-11, 0-11

Group B:
Team Chichester 5 UWE Bristol 0
Jonathan Kemp bt Arthur Gaskin 11-7, 2-4 ret.
Robbie Temple bt David Haley 11-7, 12-14, 11-13, 11-8, 11-8 (81m)
Olivier Pett bt Charlie Johnson 11-7, 13-11, 11-4
Anthony Graham bt Sam Ellis 11-6, 11-6, 12-10
Hannah Wright-Davies bt Rose Bamber 11-8, 12-10, 11-4

Exeter Diamonds 1 Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets 4
Steven Finitsis bt Adrian Grant 11-5, 11-8, 7-11, 7-11, 11-1 (64m)
Joey Barrington lost to Karim Abdel Gawad 7-11, 12-10, 0-11, 8-11 (44m)
Tim Vail lost to Adrian Waller 11-7, 3-11, 11-9, 5-11, 9-11 (62m)
Michael Harris lost to Davide Bianchetti 8-11, 5-11, 4-11 (32m)
Victoria Temple Murray lost to Alison Waters 9-11, 5-11, 4-11 (22m)

TWP St George's Hill 5 Winchester Racquets & Fitness 0
Daryl Selby bt Stacey Ross 11-7, 11-5, 11-9 (29m)
Tom Richards bt Robert Downer 11-6, 11-6, 11-8 (36m)
Joe Lee bt Scott Fitzgerald 11-6, 11-5, 11-8 (24m)
Charles Sharpes bt Alex Phillips 11-2, 11-3, 11-1 (18m)
Dominique Lloyd-Walter bt Selina Sinclair 11-6, 11-3, 11-3 (22m)

 

Round 2 Report

Duffield & Exeter Punish PSL Opponents

Maximum points victories by Benz-Bavarian Duffield and Exeter Diamonds in the second round of the Premier Squash League (PSL) have taken the teams to the top of the Group A and Group B tables, respectively, in the world's most prestigious squash league.

Three times champions Duffield celebrated their win away from home, beating a less-than-full-strength AJP Pontefract 5/0. Making her debut for Duffield and fresh from her title triumph in last month's Carol Weymuller Open in New York, Laura Massaro put the Derbyshire club ahead with an 11-6, 11-5, 11-5 win over England team-mate Sarah Kippax.

Team-mates Aqeel Rehman, Chris Fuller and Andy Whipp followed world number two Massaro's straight-games-winning lead to put victory beyond the Yorkshire host club's reach.

But Indian Harinder Pal Sandhu desperately tried to earn a consolation point for Pontefract, saving match balls against Joel Hinds to force the decider into a fifth game. But Hinds kept Duffield's sheet clean by winning the game 11-7 to push the visitors to the top of the group tables.

It was an even later Group A finish in nearby Leeds where league newcomers Chapel Allerton went down to visitors MB Nottingham in a nail-biter. World No4 Jenny Duncalf raised home hopes with a four-game win over Scottish international Lisa Aitken - and veteran team manager Simon Parke further lifted spirits by carving out an impressive 10-12, 11-6, 11-5, 10-12, 11-4 victory over Nottingham's Mark Fuller.

But Nottingham wins by Ollie Holland and Lewis Walters forced a decider between Dutchman Dylan Bennett and Nottingham stalwart Eddie Charlton. Bennett dew level after Charlton took early honours - but, with midnight fast approaching, it was Charlton who held his nerve to close out the match 11-8, 7-11, 11-7 11-8 to give former champions Nottingham their second win of the season, and third position in the points table.

It went to the wire in the West Midlands too where University of Birmingham hosted Oxford Health & Racquets. Madeline Perry, the 13-time Irish champion, and Richard Birks twice gave the visitors the lead, but the advantage was cancelled out by home wins from Chris Tasker-Grindley and the Birmingham top string Chris Ryder.

And so it was that the second strings found themselves fighting for the overall win. The battle went the full distance, with 21-year-old Essex man Ben Coleman ultimately emerging triumphant over the home team's 20-year-old Nathan Lake, winning 8-11, 11-9, 12-10, 3-11, 11-3 to clinch victory for Oxford.

It was after a four-year break from the PSL that triple Commonwealth Games gold medallist Natalie Grinham made a powerful return for Exeter Diamonds by beating former England international Dominique Lloyd-Walter to put the Devon side ahead against Surrey club TWP St George's Hill.

To the delight of the home crowd, the wins kept coming - as Michael Harris, Tom Pashley and Tim Vail also soundly defeated St George's Hill opposition. And, contrary to expectations, the final match was also completed in record time - renowned marathon regular Joey Barrington seeing off the visitors' Stephen Meads 11-5, 11-2, 11-2 in just 26 minutes to provide Exeter with the 5/0 win which takes them to the top of the Group B tables.

"We just like to have top players playing top squash in the South West," said a delighted Exeter Diamonds team manager Adam Lings later. "We often get forgotten, but we love to try and upset the big boys!"

Team Chichester also consolidated a good start to the season by winning their second tie in two weeks. And their victims were PSL title-holders Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets, the Croydon club which celebrated a record third successive title last season.

The defending champions looked in good shape when Londoner Alison Waters and 17-year-old Richie Fallows, winner of last week's Nordic Junior Open in Sweden, put the home team 2/0 up.

But visitors Chichester fought back - wins by Welsh veteran Alex Gough and Anthony Graham setting up a decider between Surrey Health's Italian number one Davide Bianchetti and Jonathan Kemp, the England left-hander making his Chichester debut this season. To the dismay of the home crowd, Kemp prevailed 11-7, 15-13, 11-8 to put Chichester into second place in the Group B tables.

Another 3/2 win completed the Group B programme - but this time it was the home club which had cause for celebration as Winchester Racquets & Fitness held off the challenge of UWE Bristol. The turning point in the evening came when South Africa-born Tristan Eysele, making his PSL debut, recovered from 2/1 down to beat Welshman David Haley and level the tie for Winchester.

After the next two matches were shared, it was left to former full-timer Stacey Ross to defeat Irish touring pro Arthur Gaskin 4-11, 11-7, 18-16, 11-6 and clinch victory for home club Winchester.

RESULTS: Premier Squash League, 2nd round

Group A:
Chapel Allerton 2 MB Nottingham 3
Dylan Bennett lost to Eddie Charlton 8-11, 11-7, 7-11, 8-11
James Earles lost to Lewis Walters 6-11, 6-11, 6-11
Simon Parke bt Mark Fuller 10-12, 11-6, 11-5, 10-12, 11-4
Matthew Sidaway lost to Ollie Holland 11-7, 8-11, 4-11, 8-11
Jenny Duncalf bt Lisa Aitken 11-9, 4-11, 11-9, 11-7

AJP Pontefract 0 Benz-Bavarian Duffield 5
Harinder Pal Sandhu lost to Joel Hinds 9-11, 11-5, 9-11, 16-14, 7-11
Lee Beachill lost to Andy Whipp 7-11, 7-11, 12-14
Alex Hodgetts lost to Chris Fuller 10-12, 4-11, 6-11
Taminder Gata-Aura lost to Aqeel Rehman 4-11, 8-11, 7-11
Sarah Kippax lost to Laura Massaro 6-11, 5-11, 5-11

University of Birmingham 2 Oxford Health & Racquets 3
Chris Ryder bt Scott Handley 11-9, 11-5, 11-6
Nathan Lake lost to Ben Coleman 11-8, 9-11, 10-12, 11-3, 3-11
Chris Truswell lost to Richard Birks 11-5, 10-12, 4-11, 7-11
Chris Tasker-Grindley bt Kristen Johnson 10-12, 11-7, 11-5, 11-7
Sarah-Jane Perry lost to Madeline Perry 13-15, 8-11, 9-11

Group B:
Winchester Racquets & Fitness 3 UWE Bristol 2
Stacey Ross bt Arthur Gaskin 4-11, 11-7, 18-16, 11-6
Robert Downer lost to David Evans 7-11, 3-11, 9-11
Scott Fitzgerald bt Thomas Ford 13-11, 11-2, 11-6
Tristan Eysele bt David Haley 11-6, 9-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-5
Catherine Finlayson lost to Kip Quiney 11-5, 5-11, 11-8, 6-11, 5-11

Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets 2 Team Chichester 3
Davide Bianchetti lost to Jonathan Kemp 7-11, 13-15, 8-11
Tim Garner lost to Anthony Graham 9-11, 6-11, 12-10, 4-11
Steven London lost to Alex Gough 8-11, 3-11, 11-3, 11-6, 8-11
Richie Fallows bt Alex Ingham 12-10, 11-9, 12-10
Alison Waters bt Lauren Briggs 11-2, 11-6, 11-5

Exeter Diamonds 5 TWP St George's Hill 0
Joey Barrington bt Stephen Meads 11-5, 11-2, 11-2 (26m)
Tim Vail bt James Simpson 11-7, 11-5, 11-4 (26m)
Tom Pashley bt Philip Nightingale 13-11, 11-2, 8-11, 11-3 (42m)
Michael Harris bt Jamie Wilde 11-6, 7-11, 11-4, 11-5 (36m)
Natalie Grinham bt Dominique Lloyd-Walter 11-3, 11-6, 11-7 (19m)

 

Round 1 Report
 

Oxford & Chichester Make Maximum Points Start To PSL Season

Team Chichester and Oxford Health & Racquets made solid starts to their campaigns in the new Premier Squash League (PSL) season with 5/0 home wins in the first round of the 29th year of the world's most prestigious squash league.

Chichester, marking their 18th PSL season in a row, hosted Winchester Racquets & Fitness. After impressive victories by team stalwarts Lauren Briggs, Anthony Graham, Olivier Pett and Robbie Temple, it was team debutant Jonathan Kemp who clinched maximum points by winning the final match between the two top strings.

Kemp, the Staffordshire-born world No30, beat experienced campaigner Stacey Ross 11-7, 10-12, 11-8, 11-9.

"I felt we had a good chance of a win tonight, but Jonathan made a great start for us with his victory over Stacey - especially as he was playing well too," said Chichester team manager Mike Phillips. "I've been trying to get Jonathan to play for us for some time, but now that he's moved south, to Ipswich, it's much more convenient for him.

"Robbie (Temple) also played very well - he took his opponent apart - and there were good all-round performances from the rest of the squad," added Phillips.

Oxford entertained AJP Pontefract, the Yorkshire club led by former world number one Lee Beachill. Irish international Madeline Perry led the Oxford assault, beating the visitors' Kirsty McPhee 11-7, 11-6, 11-7. At 4/0 down, the away supporters were hoping that Beachill would be able to wind back the clock to earn a consolation point for Pontefract.

But the home team's number one Cameron Pilley was too strong for the now-retired Yorkshireman. The world No17 from Australia was tested in the first two games, but eventually wore down Beachill 12-10, 11-9, 11-3 to earn Oxford their 5/0 win - and top place in the Group A tables.

Also in Group A, England's world champion Nick Matthew salvaged a 3/2 home win for Benz-Bavarian Duffield in the former champions' battle against Yorkshire newcomers Chapel Allerton. The Leeds club, marking its return to the PSL under the stewardship of new coach Simon Parke, the former England international, pressed the Derbyshire hosts hard.

It was victories by former world No3 Parke, over Austria's ranked player Aqeel Rehman, and a five-game win by South African Shaun le Roux over local boy Joel Hinds, that led to the decider between the two top strings.

World No2 Matthew, embarking on his 10th season for Duffield, took on Ong Beng Hee, the Malaysian number one making his debut for the visitors. Matthew was simply too strong - winning 11-6, 11-7, 11-2 to ensure a 3/2 home win.

Hosts MB Nottingham also earned a 3/2 win over West Midlands rivals University of Birmingham - and the former champions, managed for the first season by former Scottish international Alistair Gorrie, made a strong start, with victory assured after wins by Nottingham stalwarts Emily Whitlock, Ollie Holland and Mark Fuller.

But Birmingham struck back when Jaymie Haycocks beat Lewis Walters in straight games and Chris Ryder earned a swift win when Nottingham No1 Eddie Charlton was forced to concede the match after just a few points with a back injury.

"It was a sad end to the evening - but just one of those things really," said Gorrie. "Despite Eddie's injury the MB Nottingham players, supporters, management and sponsor leave tonight a happy bunch. A great start to our campaign and we're already looking forward to the next fixture. Here's just hoping that Eddie will be fit!"

One of the night's most eagerly-awaited ties was the replay of last season's final between Group B rivals TWP St George's Hill and Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets. Hosts St George's Hill were looking for revenge - and a repeat of their home win over their Surrey county rivals at the beginning of last season.

But early wins by the visitors' Nada Elkalaawy, Ben Ford and Davide Bianchetti ensured another win by title-holders Surrey Health. St George's regular Tom Richards battled for a consolation point by beating fellow England international Adrian Grant in four games, but Daryl Selby was unable to further reduce the deficit, going down to close friend Peter Barker, the world No6, 6-11, 4-11, 11-3, 9-11.

"I'm very disappointed," said St George's team manager Danny Lee. "We had our chances, but didn't take them."

A west country clash between UWE Bristol and Exeter Diamonds produced the latest finish of the night after four matches lasting more than four hours. It was Frenchman Mathieu Castagnet, a former Bristol player, who clinched victory for Exeter with a 62-minute win over Irishman Arthur Gaskin - but it still took a 59-minute final match which went the full distance to give the tie's final outcome when Bristol's Mohamed El Shorbagy beat top-ranked Finn Olli Tuominen 11-5, 13-15, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9, making the overall score 3/2 in Exeter's favour.

RESULTS: Premier Squash League, 1st round, Tuesday 2 October 2012

Group A:
MB Nottingham 3 University of Birmingham 2
Eddie Charlton lost to Chris Ryder 2-9 ret.
Lewis Walters lost to Jaymie Haycocks 10-12, 8-11, 8-11
Mark Fuller bt Jonathan Harford 8-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-7
Ollie Holland bt Chris Truswell 11-7, 8-11, 11-2, 11-9
Emily Whitlock bt Deon Saffery 11-7, 13-15, 11-7, 11-4

Benz-Bavarian Duffield 3 Chapel Allerton 2
Nick Matthew bt Ong Beng Hee 11-6, 11-7, 11-2
Joel Hinds lost to Shaun le Roux 12-10, 6-11, 5-11, 11-5, 9-11
Andy Whipp bt Dylan Bennett 12-10, 13-11, 11-5
Aqeel Rehman lost to Simon Parke 9-11, 11-9, 8-11, 8-11
Fiona Moverley bt Carrie Ramsey 12-10, 11-7, 11-5

Oxford Health & Racquets 5 AJP Pontefract 0
Cameron Pilley bt Lee Beachill 12-10, 11-9, 11-3
Scott Handley bt Sam Wileman 11-4, 11-3, 11-3
Ben Coleman bt Alex Hodgetts 11-8, 11-5, 11-9
Richard Birks bt Taminder Gata-Aura 11-8, 7-11, 10-12, 11-9, 11-6
Madeline Perry bt Kirsty McPhee 11-7, 11-6, 11-7

Group B:
UWE Bristol 2 Exeter Diamonds 3
Mohamed El Shorbagy bt Olli Tuominen 11-5, 13-15, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9 (59m)
Arthur Gaskin lost to Mathieu Castagnet 10-12, 11-8, 3-11, 4-11 (62m)
Lucas Serme bt Joey Barrington 11-7, 11-8, 10-12, 11-5 (72m)
Thomas Ford lost to Tim Vail 7-11, 11-9, 9-11, 12-10, 5-11 (59m)
Victoria Bell lost to Aisling Blake 8-11, 9-11, 6-11 (25m)

Team Chichester 5 Winchester Racquets & Fitness 0
Jonathan Kemp bt Stacey Ross 11-7, 10-12, 11-8, 11-9
Robbie Temple bt Robert Downer 11-7, 11-4, 11-6
Olivier Pett bt Scott Fitzgerald 11-7, 11-7, 10-12, 16-14
Anthony Graham bt Alex Phillips 11-7, 11-5, 8-11, 11-5
Lauren Briggs bt Selina Sinclair 11-7, 11-6, 11-2

TWP St George's Hill 1 Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets 4
Daryl Selby lost to Peter Barker 6-11, 4-11, 11-3, 9-11
Tom Richards bt Adrian Grant 11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 11-6
Charles Sharpes lost to Davide Bianchetti 6-11, 5-11, 7-11
Stephen Meads lost to Ben Ford 6-11, 11-13, 10-12
Harriet Ingham lost to Nada Elkalaawy 8-11, 11-4, 11-7, 4-11, 10-12

 

Preview

Former Champions Chapel Allerton Boost New PSL Season

Former champions Chapel Allerton return to the Premier Squash League (PSL) next week when the 29th season of the world's most prestigious squash league, supported by Dunlop, gets underway on Tuesday (2 October).

The Leeds club, champions in 2009, boost to 12 the number of clubs competing in the 2012/13 season, led by Croydon-based Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets, winners of the title for a record fourth time last season.

Chapel Allerton will be managed by Yorkshireman Simon Parke, the former world No3 who is the club's Performance Coach. Parke, who will be competing in his third decade in the PSL, has twice led teams to success in the league - Nottingham in 1999 and Essex club Lexden in 2002.

"We're delighted to be competing in this world class event again and look forward to being able to give members and visitors the chance to see the best players and matches at our club," said Parke

"I have been able to recruit some top players for the team," added the 1998 British National champion. "Some are new faces, like the German number one Simon Rosner and Malaysians Ong Beng Hee and Low Wee Wern, but after a year out we have some of the stalwarts from past campaigns playing for us again including South African Shaun le Roux and English players Jenny Duncalf, Chris Simpson and Carrie Ramsey."

Chapel Allerton begin their PSL campaign in Group A away from home at Benz-Bavarian Duffield, the Derbyshire club they beat in the 2009 final. Their first home match will be in the second round on 16 October, when they entertain Parke's former club Nottingham.

Duffield, champions in 1998, 2006 and 2007, will again be led by England's world No2 Nick Matthew - and will welcome new recruit Laura Massaro, the British champion from Preston who is ranked three in the world.

The standout tie on the opening night is likely to be the Group B clash between title-holders Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets and TWP St George's Hill - the two Surrey clubs that contested last season's final. Weybridge-based St George's Hill will be hoping that home advantage will enable them to repeat their win over the champions early last season.

Surrey Health will again be led by Londoners Peter Barker and Alison Waters, ranked seven and nine in the world, respectively, while St George's will be led by England international Daryl Selby, the world No11 from Essex.

Chapel Allerton's Yorkshire neighbours Pontefract will also be in action in the new season - again led by James Willstrop, the world No1. Former world number one Vanessa Atkinson, now the club's club assistant coach, will also be in the squad, as will the top-ranked Indian Saurav Ghosal.

1st round fixtures:

Group A:
Nottingham v University of Birmingham
Benz-Bavarian Duffield v Chapel Allerton
Oxford v Pontefract

Group B:
UWE Bristol v Exeter Diamonds
Team Chichester v IGT Winchester
TWP St George's Hill v Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets

 

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