Round 4

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Round Four:  Back from Kuwait, down to League business ...

10th Nov


St George's go clear,
Group A looks tight ...

St George's Hill took the opportunity in round four to open up a clear gap at the top of the Group B table. It wasn't plain sailing though, as visitors Exeter took them to a decider, but Daryl Selby clinched the match for St George's, who open up a 16-point.

Elsewhere in Group B Chichester hosted Guildford, both looking for their first win, and it was the Chi who went home happy on the back of a 5-0 win which leaves Guildford adrift at the bottom of the table, while Bristol kept themselves in touch with a 4-1 home win over a weakened Surrey H&R side.

Group A looks much tighter, with leaders Nottingham hanging on to top spot thanks to a 4-1 win away to Pontefract, but Oxford recorded a 5-0 win away to defending champions Chapel A to move just one point behind the leaders. Duffield beat new boys Newport 5-0, to put themselves in a handy third place.

The Crystal Ball had another decent night, with all six results correct for 9 points out of 12.

More reports on the blog - Chichester, Chapel A, Guildford, Nottingham, Duffield ...

St George's Hill & Nottingham
Extend Unbeaten PSL Runs
Roundup from Howard Harding

MB Nottingham and Surrey club TWP St George's Hill maintained their unbeaten records in the PSL this season with contrasting wins in the fourth round of the world's most prestigious squash league.

It was squad number one Daryl Selby who clinched victory for St George's Hill in their close-fought Group B home battle with Devon's Exeter Diamonds.  A pair of league debutantes gave the visitors an early lead - New Zealand international Jaclyn Hawkes and 16-year-old Egyptian Marwan El Shorbagy coming from behind to beat St George's Hill's Lauren Briggs and Neil Hitchens, respectively.

But Swiss star Nicolas Mueller and Hungarian Mark Krajcsak steadied the ship for the hosts, leaving Selby to fight their cause in the decider.

Reproducing the same form which saw the 27-year-old reach the last sixteen of the World Open last week in Kuwait, Selby defeated Exeter's Jonathan Kemp 11-5, 11-9, 10-12, 11-9 in 45 minutes to keep St George's Hill's unbeaten run this season in tact.

A near full strength Nottingham squad secured a 4/1 away win at Yorkshire club Pontefract in Group A.  The home side's Indian star Dipika Pallikal, an 18-year-old from Chennai making her PSL debut, claimed the only Pontefract win, beating former Nottingham club player Ria Kennerley, also in her first appearance in the league, 11-7, 11-4, 11-4.

And it was all Nottingham from then on, as Arthur Gaskin, Simon Parke, Ong Beng Hee and Dutch champion Laurens Jan Anjema all claimed wins - though Anjema, the world No17, dropped a game to Lee Beachill, the former world number one who retired at the beginning of this year.

But Nottingham's lead at the top of the Group A tables has been cut to just one point - as rivals Esporta Oxford crushed title-holders LEBC Group Chapel Allerton 5/0.  The opening game saw the return to home soil of Jenny Duncalf, the England international who stormed to a sensational victory in last week's US Open in New York - beating long-time unbeaten Malaysian world number one Nicol David, for the first time in her career, in straight games in the semi-finals.

Having just stepped of her transatlantic flight - and celebrating her 27th birthday - it was hardly the ideal timing for the Harrogate squash star.  But Duncalf battled to a 2/1 lead over Oxford's Madeline Perry before the world No9 from Belfast took control to close out the match 11-5, 2-11, 8-11, 11-2, 12-10.

And in the top string clash between two players who excelled in Kuwait, it was the visitors' Australian international Cameron Pilley that prevailed, beating the Leeds club's England international Alister Walker 11-6,11-5, 4-11, 11-9 to clinch Esporta's maximum points win.

Former champions Benz-Bavarian Duffield made up for their disappointing start at the beginning of the season to beat league newcomers Newport 5/0 at home.  The Derbyshire club's Tania Bailey survived a tough test from Newport's Donna Urquhart, a fast-rising Australian on the WISPA World Tour who was making her first appearance in the Premier League.

Bailey beat Urquhart 13-11, 13-11, 7-11, 11-7 to pave the way for a succession of Duffield wins which gave the club its first maximum points win of the season.

Elsewhere in Group B, 2008 champions Surrey Health & Racquets suffered their first defeat of the season with a less-than-full-strength squad which went down 4/1 to Probuild Bristol.  The Croydon club took the opening points when Lauren Selby beat Bristol's 17-year-old Rebecca Quiney in straight games.

But the Avon club took over thereafter - team captain Hadrian Stiff recovering from a game down to beat the league's first representative from Chinese Taipei, Cheng Yao Huang 9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 13-11, and top string Mohamed El Shorbagy making up for a disappointing visit to Kuwait by beating Scottish number one Alan Clyne 12-10, 12-14, 11-5, 11-8.

And Covers Chichester also had reason to celebrate in Group B after recording their first win of the season, against long-time rivals Surrey Storm Guildford.  Team regulars Mohd Azlan Iskandar, Alex Gough and Tim Vail all recorded straight games wins, while Robbie Temple and Dominique Lloyd-Walter just dropped one game each as the south coast side marked up a 5/0 triumph.

Group A:

Duffield 5-0 Newport 
Nick Matthew 3-1 Aaron Frankcomb
          13-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-9
   Stephen Coppinger 3-2 Rob Sutherland
          11-3, 11-5, 3-11, 5-11, 11-4
   Andrew Whipp 3-0 Nic Birt
          11-7, 11-6, 11-6
   Paul Hargrave 3-0 David Haley
           11-3, 11-3, 11-6
   Tania Bailey 3-1 Donna Urquhart
          13-11, 13-11, 7-11, 11-7

Pontefract 1-4 Nottingham
   Lee Beachill 1-3 Laurens Jan Anjema
          6-11, 11-9, 8-11, 7-11  
   Karan Malik 0-3 Ong Beng Hee
          5-11, 7-11, 7-11
   James Earles 0-3 Simon Parke
          7-11, 7-11, 8-11
   Sam Wileman 0-3 Arthur Gaskin
         6-11, 2-11, 7-11
   Dipika Pallikal 3-0 Ria Kennerley
         11-7, 11-4, 11-4

Chapel Allerton 0-5 Oxford 
   Alister Walker 1-3 Cameron Pilley
           6-11, 5-11, 11-4, 9-11
Chris Truswell 0-3 Chris Ryder
           5-11, 6-11, 6-11
Adam Murrills 0-3 Simon Rosner
           4-11, 8-11, 4-11
Neil Guirey 0-3 Scott Handley
           4-11, 4-11, 5-11
Jenny Duncalf 2-3 Madeline Perry
           5-11, 11-2, 11-8, 2-11, 10-12
Group B:

Chichester 5-0 Guildford
   Azlan Iskandar 3-0 Jesse Engelbrecht
          11/6, 11/7, 11/6
   Robbie Temple 3-1 Stacey Ross
           7/11, 11/9, 11/7, 11/7
   Alex Gough 3-0 Anthony Brindle
           11/9, 12/10, 11/8
   Tim Vail 3-0 David Wardle
            11/5, 11/4, 12/10 
   Dominique Lloyd-Walter 3-1 Victoria Lust
            11/9, 11/1, 9/11, 11/8

Bristol 4-1 Surrey 
   Mohamed El Shorbagy 3-1 Alan Clyne
            12-10, 12-14, 11-5, 11-8 (35m)
   David Evans 3-0 Stefan Leifels
            12-10, 11-3, 11-3 (26m)
   Hadrian Stiff 3-1 Cheng Yao Huang
            9-11, 11-6, 11-8, 13-11 (46m)
   Peter Marshall 3-1 Ben Coleman
            11-9, 6-11, 11-7, 11-5
   Rebecca Quiney 0-3 Lauren Selby
            8-11, 4-11, 10-12
St George's 3-2 Exeter 
   Daryl Selby 3-1 Jonathan Kemp
            11-5, 11-9, 10-12, 11-9 (45m)
   Mark Krajcsak 3-1 Joey Barrington
            11-13, 11-4, 11-9, 11-7 (56m)
   Nicolas Mueller 3-0 James Snell
             14-12, 11-9, 11-8 (42m)
   Neil Hitchens 1-3 Marwan El Shorbagy
             13-11, 7-11, 7-11, 3-11 (40m)
   Lauren Briggs 2-3 Jaclyn Hawkes
             4-11, 11-9, 11-3, 6-11, 8-11 (58m)

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Round 4

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