Nottingham End 18-Year Title Drought To Win PSL Prize
31 May 2017
18 years after last winning the country's leading inter-club squash competition, MB Nottingham powered to a 5/0 victory over East Midlands rivals Everards Leicester in the final at the National Squash Centre in Manchester to claim the Premier Squash League title for the second time.
Nottingham won both opening matches in straight games - Adam Murrills was the favourite to beat Leicester's Darren Lewis, but Millie Tomlinson's win over Emily Whitlock was a notable upset. Tomlinson dominated the first two games then got the better of a close finish to the third to put Nottingham in the driver's seat.
"I've had a few poor results this season, but I felt I was playing well today, and it's great to get the team off to a good start," said the Nottingham underdog, ranked 14 places below world No.13 Whitlock.
"I felt a bit rough in the week," said Fallows, ranked 58 in the world. "But the first game blew the cobwebs away, and knowing that we were two-nil up gave me the push to go on and win it. It's always a nice feeling to be the one that wins the match, but it's been a great team effort all season."
Meanwhile in the top string match on the showcourt, Nick Matthew was two-one down to Daryl Selby, and at 6-1 in the fourth it looked as though Leicester would get a point on the board. It was not to be though as Matthew recovered to take the match 4-11, 11-4, 8-11, 11-9, 11-4 in just under an hour.
"We knew the match was over, but at 6-1 in the fourth I thought I was going to get a win," said Selby - who beat his higher-ranked England team-mate on the same court in the 2011 British National Championship final.
"But Nick wasn't having anything of it. I thought I played well, but all credit to him and to Nottingham, they deserve the win and fully deserve to be champions."
Matthew added: "It could have turned into an exhibition, but I knew I'd lose that - Daryl is too good in those type of matches!
"It was a strange feeling at the start of the season when I pulled on a Nottingham shirt after so many seasons at Duffield, but the club, the fans, have all been great, and playing at the new facility at the University in the second half was tremendous.
"I feel at home here now, and even if I'm playing at No.4 in a few years I'd still like to play for them."
Nottingham's Manager Nick Hargreaves was delighted: "Absolutely fantastic, we couldn't have asked for more from the players tonight.
"It's been a tough season, we started slowly - I even had to play myself once! - but once Nick came into the equation we picked up momentum, and the team spirit has been great throughout. Well done everyone!"