Round 5

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Round Five:  Everyone looking for a win for Christmas ...

1st Dec


Leaders beaten at
the half-way stage

As the season reached the half-way mark the leaders of both groups suffered their first defeats of the season, leaving all to play for in the second half.

In group A leaders Nottingham lost 3-2 at home to defending champions Chapel Allerton, while Duffield won away at second-placed Oxford to put all four teams in with a shout for the playoffs.

Newcomers Newport recorded their first-ever win, at home to Pontefract, leapfrogging the Yorkshire outfit into fifth place.

In group B it was Surrey H&R who won the top of the table clash with neighbours St George's Hill, but the 3-2 margin leaves St George's - like Nottingham - still on top of the table.

Bristol and Exeter both recorded their third wins of the season, leaving Chichester and Surrey Storm rooted at the bottom of the table.

More reports on the blog                                             Crystal Ball: six correct results

Group A:

MB Nottingham 2-3 LEBC Chapel Allerton

   Renan Lavigne 3-2 Alister Walker
        12-14, 12-10, 11-2, 8-11, 13-11
   John Rooney 1-3 Laurence Delasaux
        11-9, 7-11, 8-11, 2-11
   Simon Parke 3-2 Stephen Siveter
        11-6, 2-11, 11-6, 5-11, 11-8
   Oliver Holland 1-3 Chris Hall
        8-11, 11-9, 3-11, 2-11
   Sarah Kippax 0-3 Jenny Duncalf
        6-11, 3-11, 8-11

Newport 4-1 Pontefract

   Campbell Grayson 3-0 Harinder Pal Sandhu
         11-3, 11-5, 11-8 (26m)
   Rob Sutherland 3-0 Karan Malik
          11-2, 11-4, 11-3 (16m)
   Peter Creed 3-1 Sam Wileman
          12-14, 11-7, 11-3, 11-6 (33m)
   David Haley 2-3 George Wileman
        13-11, 9-11, 4-11, 11-9, 6-11 (48m)
   Stacey Preece 3-0 Andrea Santamaria
          11-7, 11-7, 11-6 (18m)

Esporta Oxford 2-3 Benz-Bavarian Duffield

   Chris Ryder 0-3 Nick Matthew
          8-11, 9-11, 5-11
   Scott Handley 3-1 Andy Whipp
         11-13, 11-3, 11-9, 11-9
   Kristen Johnson 1-3 Aqeel Rehman
           12-14, 4-11, 11-6, 8-11
   Anthony Graham 0-3 Joel Hinds
   2-11, 7-11, 10-12
   Madeline Perry 3-0 Tania Bailey
          11-7, 11-4 rtd
Group B:

Surrey H&R 3-2 TWP St Georges Hill

   Peter Barker 3-0 Daryl Selby
          11-9, 11-8, 11-9
   Davide Bianchetti 0-3 Tom Richards
         2-11, 4-11, 6-11
   Peter Nicol 2-3 Nicolas Mueller
          5-11, 11-7, 10-12, 11-4, 5-11 (50m)
   Alan Clyne 3-1 Joe Lee
          7-11, 11-9, 11-4, 11-6
   Alison Waters 3-0 Rachel Willmott
          11-2, 11-2, 11-4

Covers Chichester 1-4 Bristol Pro Build

   Robbie Temple 0-3 Adrian Grant
         6-11, 10-12, 11-13
   Alex Gough 0-3 Mohamed El Shorbagy
        9-11, 7-11, 8-11
   Tim Vail 1-3 David Evans
 7-11, 9-11, 11-4, 9-11
   Peter Genever 3-2 Peter Marshall
         7-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-7
   Dominique Lloyd-Walter 1-3 Laura Massaro
         5-11, 11-5, 11-13, 2-11

Exeter Diamonds 4-1 Surrey Storm

   Jonathan Kemp 3-1 Julian Illingworth
         11-8, 9-11, 11-5, 11-9
   Clinton Leeuw  3-1 Jesse Engelbrecht
        11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 11-8
   James Snell 0-3 Stacey Ross
        5-11, 10-12, 11-13
   Marwan El Shorbagy 3-1 Alex Ingham
         9-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-7
   Emma Chorley 3-1 Victoria Lust
         12-10, 13-11, 9-11, 11-5

Surrey Health & Chapel Allerton End PSL Leaders' Unbeaten Runs

Rondup from Howard Harding

MB Nottingham and Surrey club TWP St George's Hill failed to extend their unbeaten runs into the second half of the Premier Squash League (PSL) season after going down 3/2 to reigning champions LEBC Group Chapel Allerton and former champions Surrey Health & Racquets, respectively, in Tuesday's fifth round of the world's most prestigious squash league.


But, despite losing in the final round before the Christmas mid-season break, Nottingham and St George's Hill hold onto their top positions in the Group A and Group B tables, respectively.


England International Peter Barker led Croydon-based 2008 champions Surrey Health & Racquets to a dramatic home win over county rivals TWP St George's Hill with an 11-9, 11-8, 11-9 victory in the final match over fellow Essex man Daryl Selby.  The tie was evenly poised before the top string decider - with Londoner Alison Waters and top Scot Alan Clyne having put the home side into a solid lead, before the rising English star Tom Richards and Swiss number one Nicolas Mueller pulled back the deficit for the visitors.


Mueller, a promising 20-year-old from Zurich, faced legend Peter Nicol, the now retired former world champion and four-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist who was enjoying his third PSL outing this season - and looking for his third win.  But Mueller was clearly able to focus on the job in hand in his first meeting with the distinguished left-hander - and battled courageously for 50 minutes to see off Nicol 11-5, 7-11, 12-10, 4-11, 11-5.


And the decider was also a notable clash - with Barker cautiously in action for the first time since withdrawing from last week's Dutch Open following an ankle injury, and Selby playing his first match since winning the Rotterdam event and leaping six places to a career-high world No11 this month.  But world No7 Barker was able to call upon all his experience to dismiss his St George's Hill opponent in straight games - and give his Croydon club a significant lift going into the next half of the season.


The key tie in Group A saw two of the hottest English players on the current international circuit weave their magic for LEBC Group Chapel Allerton as the Leeds club ended MB Nottingham's winning streak.   Three major WISPA World Tour title triumphs in November led Yorkshire's British National champion Jenny Duncalf to a career-high world number two ranking this month - and the 27-year-old from Harrogate showed her class as she despatched national rival Sarah Kippax 11-6, 1-3, 11-8.


Chris Hall extended the visitors' lead with a four-game win over Nottingham's Oliver Holland - but it was Hull star Laurence Delasaux who clinched the all-important third match for Chapel Allerton.  Fresh from his PSA Tour title success in Canada at the weekend - his third event triumph in five weeks as a qualifier - Delasaux recovered from a game down to beat Irish international John Rooney 9-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-2 to give Chapel Allerton their 3/2 win.


Elsewhere in Group A, league newcomers Newport trounced Yorkshire club Pontefract 4/1 to record their first PSL win.  And the club that became the first from Wales to compete in the PSL this decade relied on four Welsh players to achieve their breakthrough success.  Cardiff-born Stacey Preece set the club on its way with a straight games win over Pontefract debutante Andrea Santamaria, while Newport-based Rob Sutherland needed just 16 minutes to overcome Indian Karan Malik 11-2, 11-4, 11-3.


And after Caerphilly's Peter Creed notched up a four-game win over the visitors' Sam Wileman, it was left to Cardiff-based Kiwi Campbell Grayson to extend the lead to 4/1 following his 11-3, 11-5, 11-8 victory over Indian Harinder Pal Sandhu.


The other Group A tie saw former champions Benz-Bavarian Duffield keep alive their hopes for a place in the final for the fourth time in five years by beating Esporta Oxford 3/2 away from home.  After an uncharacteristic loss by the Derbyshire club's long-time winner Tania Bailey - who had to retire after just two games against Irish international Madeline Perry as a result of sinus problems - Joel Hinds and debuting Austrian Aqeel Rehman lifted Duffield spirits with battling wins before squad number one Nick Matthew, the new world No4 from Sheffield, clinched victory for the visitors with a straight games victory over the Oxford top string Chris Ryder.


Exeter Diamonds inflicted the fifth successive defeat on Surrey Storm Guildford to strengthen their position in third place in the Group B tables.  It was an all-South African battle which proved the decider when the Devon club's Clinton Leeuw, from Cape Town, defeated Durban-born Jesse Engelbrecht 11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 11-8.  The top string clash saw Guildford unveil new squad member Julian Illingworth - but the top-ranked American was unable to celebrate a winning start as Exeter's Jonathan Kemp ground out an 11-8, 9-11, 11-5, 11-9 victory in 48 minutes to give the Diamonds a sparkling 4/1 home win.


After celebrating their first win of the season in the previous round, Covers Chichester were looking to extend their winning streak at home as they entertained Probuild Bristol.  But the Avon side was too strong - and top string Adrian Grant closed out a 4/1 win for the club as he beat Gloucestershire left-hander Robbie Temple in three games.


But special attention should be given to Chichester's sole winner Peter Genever, the club stalwart who saved four match balls in the third game against Peter Marshall before going on to beat the former world number two 7-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-7, 11-7.

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Round 5

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