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15 Jul 2024

Duffield & Croydon Extend Unbeaten PSL Runs

14 Nov 2007

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 in Tuesday's 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