Leaders Bring Out Top Guns To Defend Mid-Season PSL Leads
4 Dec 2006
There will be champions galore in action in tomorrow's final round of the year in the Premier League (PSL) as Derbyshire's Benz-Bavarian Duffield and Surrey Health & Racquets Croydon defend their mid-season leadership of Groups A & B, respectively, in the England Squash league sponsored by Clowes Insurance.
Led by England's British Open and British National champion Nick Matthew, Duffield will also feature the reigning women's British National champion Tania Bailey in their home tie against league newcomers Esporta Oxford. Both players are enjoying fine form - and both have just risen to No5 in their respective world rankings, their highest positions of the year.
Bailey, the England No1 from Lincolnshire looking for her 12th successive PSL win, takes on the visitors' Deon Saffery, from Hull, while Matthew will face Oxford's Cameron Pilley, the world No22 from Australia. Duffield, the PSL national champions, will also include three other English players in their line-up - Greek Open champion Jonathan Kemp; Hithercroft Open champion Laurence Delasaux; and Essex 30-year-old Lee Drew.
Making her maiden appearance for Surrey Health & Racquets this season will be Nicol David, the in-form Malaysian who successfully defended her World Open title in Belfast last month. The Croydon club is visiting Redwood Probuild Bristol, the west country club just five points adrift of the Group B leaders.
On the eve of her departure to lead Malaysia's gold quest in the Asian Games in Qatar, David takes on Redwood debutante Emma Chorley, the 19-year-old Welsh Junior Open champion from Somerset. David is joined in the Croydon club squad by namesake Peter Nicol, the now retired Commonwealth Games champion who takes on the host club's Joseph Kneipp.
The Surrey H&R team is led by Australia's Anthony Ricketts, the reigning PSA Super Series Finals champion - supported by Englishmen Bradley Ball, the Barcelona Open champion, and Chris Simpson, the reigning British Junior champion.
Elsewhere in Group A, second-placed University of Birmingham visit Nottingham, while the other Group B clash sees UniSport Guildford host Surrey neighbours Luxfords St George's Hill.