Round 10

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Round Ten:

16th Mar


PSL Decision day:
Surrey take Group B, Oxford deny Duffield

There were two issues to be decided on the final round of PSL group play tonight - which two of three would qualify for the semi-finals from Group A, and in which order would the top two teams in Group B finsh.

In Group A leaders Nottingham, despite defeat away to reigning champions Chapel Allerton, picked up enough points to ensure they will be in the semi-finals.

Meanwhile Duffield battled it out with Oxford for the second semi-final spot. It went to the wire, with Andy Whipp and Dylan Bennett playing the decider, the Dutchman taking it 3/0 to put Oxford top of the table by a single point.

In the bottom of the table clash Pontefract beat Newport 4-1, taking them level on points but above the Welsh outfit on matches won.

Meanwhile in Group B St George's and Surrey H&R met to decide first and second place, with the visitors taking the spoils. Welcome wins for the bottom two clubs, Chichester and Surrey Storm, were not enough to lift them above Exeter and Bristol, who remained in third and fourth places.

                 Semi-final lineup:  Oxford v St George's    Surrey H&R v Nottingham
Group A

Chapel Allerton 4-1 MB Nottingham
  Thierry Lincou 3-0 Renan Lavigne
      11/3, 11/5, 11/7
  Alister Walker 3-0 Simon Parke
      11/8, 12/10, 11/8
  Laurence Delasaux 3-1 Arthur Gaskin
      11/8, 6/11, 11/8, 11/6
  Chris Hall 3-1 Lewis Walters
       12/10, 4/11, 11/9, 11/6
  Carrie Ramsey 0-3 Emma Beddoes
       6/11, 4/11, 1/11

Pontefract 4-1 Newport
  James Willstrop 3-2 Peter Creed
       7/11, 11/5, 11/7, 10/12, 11/6
  Lee Beachill 3-0 Lewys Hurst
       11/9, 11/4, 11/7
  Sam Wileman 3-2 Nic Birt
       6/11, 11/8, 12/10, 11/13, 11/9
  Karan Malik 3-1 David Haley
       8/11, 11/9, 11/9, 11/3
Lauren Siddall 0-3 Deon Saffery
       6/11, 3/11, 2/11

Benz Bavarian Duffield 2-3 Esporta Oxford
  Nick Mathew 3-0 Chris Ryder
       11/8, 11/8, 13/11
  Andy Whipp 0-3 Dylan Bennett
       9/11, 4/11, 9/11
  Aqueel Rehman 0-3 Scott Handley
      1/11, 6/11, 4/11
  Chris Fuller 2-3 Piedro Schweertman
      11/9, 3/11, 11/5, 5/11, 10/12
  Laura Hill 3-0 Katherine Quarterman
      11/8, 11/4, 11/3
Group B

TWP St Georges Hill 1-4 Surrey H&R
  Tom Richards 0-3 Peter Barker
        3/11, 7/11, 9/11
  Nicolas Mueller 1-3 Wael El Hindi
        10/12, 9/11, 11/3, 8/11
  Joe Lee 3-2 Adrian Waller
        11/9, 7/11, 11/9, 7/11, 11/5
  Neil Hitchins 0-3 Tim Garner
         8/11, 8/11, 10/12
  Rachel Willmott 0-3 Camille Serme
         5/11, 6/11, 5/11

Bristol Probuild 1-4 Covers Chichester
   Hadrian Stiff 0-3 Robbie Temple
       6/11, 8/11, 6/11 (30m)
   Peter Marshall 3-1 Alex Gough
       5/11, 11/3, 11/7, 11/8 (59m)
   Mike Harris 0-3 Tim Vail
       4/11, 9/11, 6/11 (24m)
   Ben Rodgers 0-3 Olly Pett
       5/11, 5/11, 2/11 (20m)
   Sarah-Jane Perry 0-3 Dom Lloyd-Walter
       8/11, 5/11, 11/13 (28m)

Surrey Storm 3-2 Exeter Diamonds
  Jesse Englebrecht 3-0 Jonny Harford
     12/10, 11/2, 11/6
  Stephen Meads 2-3 James Snell
      3/11, 11/6, 11/7, 3/11, 8/11
  Alex Ingham 3-0 Gavin Perrett
     11/8, 11/4, 11/8
  Mick Biggs 3-0 Matt Baker
     11/9, 11/2, 12/10
  Harriet Ingham 1-3 Emma Chorley
     7/11, 5/11, 11/9, 3/11

Esporta Oxford Celebrate PSL Semi-Final Breakthrough

In a dramatic tenth and final round of the Premier Squash League, Dutchman Dylan Bennett celebrated his first outing of the season for Esporta Oxford by winning the decider against former champions Benz-Bavarian Duffield  a straight games victory which not only took his team to top of the Group A points table, but also into the semi-final play-offs of the world's most prestigious squash league for the first time.

The 3/2 victory put Oxford on 146 points for the season just a single point ahead of fellow Group A semi-final qualifiers MB Nottingham, the 1999 champions who lost 4/1 away from home to last season's champions LEBC Group Chapel Allerton

The leadership of Group B was settled in the all-Surrey tie between TWP St George's Hill and Surrey Health & Racquets  in which Croydon-based Surrey Health, the 2008 champions, earned a powerful 4/1 away win to finish in top place and claim a semi-final slot for the fourth year in a row.

Thus, the Tuesday 6th April semi-final line-up will see Esporta Oxford host fellow first-time semi-finalists TWP St George's Hill, while Surrey Health & Racquets will entertain MB Nottingham, the East Midlands side making their first appearance in the knockout stage since finishing as runners-up in 2003.

A capacity crowd at the Duffield club in Derbyshire were looking forward to celebrating their team's fifth successive appearance in the play-offs and the omens looked good when Laura Hill beat Katherine Quarterman 11-8, 11-4, 11-3 and Duffield hero Nick Matthew, the reigning British champion and world number two, despatched the visitors' Chris Ryder 11-8, 11-8, 13-11.

But Oxford's fire-power was boosted on the night by a pair of Dutchman and after Piedro Schweertman, from The Hague, twice came from behind to pip the home side's Chris Fuller 12-10 in the fifth, Eindhoven-based world No73 Dylan Bennett played one of the most crucial games of his life to beat Duffield stalwart Andrew Whipp 11-9, 11-4, 11-9 in the tie decider.

"It was the first time Dylan had played for us this season and it was a big match to come into," said Oxford team manager Jason Martin.  "But he was very much up for it and he was awesome.  To have a full house cheering for your opponent wasn't easy, but he took it his stride he was definitely our 'man-of-the-match'.

"We needed both our Dutchmen and they made a big difference.

"I don't think we've beaten Duffield in about seven attempts so to go to Derbyshire and beat them in their own back yard was something special.  I'm very pleased - and our sponsors are delighted, especially that we'll be hosting the semi-final," added Martin.

"For the last few seasons, we've been steadily getting closer to reaching the finals then losing badly when we shouldn't have.  But the main thing for us this season has been our consistency.  I thought tonight might have been beyond us but we did it!"

Emma Beddoes was the lone Nottingham star, beating Chapel Allerton regular Carrie Ramsey 11-6, 11-4, 11-1 in the opening match.  But a near full-strength Chapel Allerton squad saw the Leeds club take control as Chris Hall, Laurence Delasaux, Alister Walker all won, before former world champion Thierry Lincou beat his French national team-mate Renan Lavigne 11-3, 11-5, 11-7 in the top string battle to ensure the home side's 4/1 win.

Both TWP St George's Hill and Surrey Health & Racquets fielded near full-strength squads as they battled for the Group B title.  But it was the visitors' big guns that ultimately prevailed as France's rising star Camille Serme started the ball rolling with a straight games win over St George's Hill's Rachel Willmott  then later Surrey Health's world top ten stalwarts Wael El Hindi and Peter Barker wiped out the hosts' lower-ranked opposition in straightforward style after veteran team captain Tim Garner earned a commendable win over world-ranked Neil Hitchens.

However, St George's celebrated a notable consolation win when Joe Lee beat former England junior team-mate Adrian Waller 11-9, 7-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-5.

In other ties which were not contesting for places in the knockout stages, Pontefract celebrated their best win of the season in Group A by beating Welsh club Newport 4/1 at home while Surrey Storm Guildford scored only their second win of the season with a 3/2 home victory over one-time Group B title contenders Exeter Diamonds, and Covers Chichester rounded off the season in fine style by despatching last season's semi-finalists Probuild Bristol 4/1 away from home.

Tables after Round Ten

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Round 10

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