Round 9

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Round Nine:

2nd Mar


Champions Chapel A dethroned
as Surrey & St George's make the semis

The penultimate night of pool play saw a few things decided as the teams jostled for playoff places, the most significant being the elimination of defending champions Chapel Allerton.

Group A leaders Nottingham all but sealed their semi-final spot with a 4-1 win at home to strugglers Pontefract, while Duffield kept their hopes alive with a similar win away to Newport.

Oxford's 4-1 win over Chapel A keeps them in second spot, and sets up an intriguing final round clash with Duffield, the winner almost certainly joining Nottingham in the semis - Duffield simply have to win, Oxford can afford a narrow defeat.

Chapel A could still put a fly in the ointment though - if they beat Nottingham heavily, it's just conceivable that the current leaders could finish third!

It's a simpler story in Group B, 5-0 wins for top pair Surrey H&R and St George's sealing their semi-final places. Surrey's home win against a weakened Bristol side was more predictable than St George's superb result at Exeter, which ended the west country outfit's playoff hopes - "we were stuffed tonight," admitted a home spokesman.

The top two meet in two weeks' time to decide who wins the group and gets home advantage for the semi-finals, it's as simple as that, while Crystal Ball goes to bed happy with six correct results and three correct scores.
Group A

Newport 1-4 Benz Bavarian Duffield
   Aaron Frankcomb 0-3 Andy Whipp
          7/11, 2/11, 9/11 (37m)
   Pete Creed 1-3 Joel Hinds
          10/12, 8/11, 11/9, 7/11 (45m)
   Nick Birt 0-3 Aqeel Rehman
         6/11, 4/11, 6/11 (32m)
   Greg Tippings 3-1 Chris Fuller
         11/9, 11/4, 8/11, 12/10 (43m)
   Deon Saffery 1-3 Laura Hill
         6/11, 11/5, 10/12, 7/11 (37m)

MB Nottingham 4-1 Pontefract
  John Rooney 3-0 Andrew MacDougal
           12/10, 11/5, 11/7
  Simon Parke 3-1 Lee Beachill
           11/5, 11/2, 12/14, 11/6
  Arthur Gaskin 3-0 Neil Cordell
         11/7, 11/5, 11/3
  Lewis Walters 3-0 Karan Malik
          11/5, 11/4, 11/6
  Emma Beddoes 0-3 Vanessa Atkinson
          9/11, 7/11, 5/11
Dave Coghlan reports on the blog

Esporta Oxford 4-1 LEBC Chapel Allerton
  Cameron Pilley 3-1 Alister Walker
          6/11, 11/7, 11/7, 11/7
  Chris Ryder 3-0 Shaun Le Roux
         11/3, 15/13, 11/4
  Scott Handley 3-0 Chris Hall
          11/9, 11/8, 11/8
  Jaymie Haycocks 3-2 Adam Murrills
           11/2, 9/11, 7/11, 11/7, 11/9
  Katie Quarterman 0-3 Carrie Ramsey
            6/11, 3/11, 7/11

Final Round, 16-Mar:
   Chapel Allerton v Nottingham
   Pontefract v Newport
   Duffield v Oxford
Group B

Surrey Storm Guildford 0-5 Covers Chichester
  Jesse Engelbrecht 0-3 Azlan Iskandar
          4/11, 8/11, 5/11
  Stacey Ross 2-3 Alex Gough
         3/11, 11/9, 11/4, 8/11, 7/11
  Alex Ingham 1-3 Tim Vail
         10/12, 11/9, 9/11, 9/11
  Mick Biggs 0-3 Olivier Pett
          5/11, 1/11, 9/11
  Victoria Lust 1-3 Dominique Lloyd-Walter
          9/11, 4/11, 7/11

Surrey Health 5-0 Racquets v Bristol Probuild
  Davide Bianchetti 3-0 Hadrian Stiff
      11/9, 12/10, 11/9
  Peter Nicol 3-1 Peter Marshall
      8/11, 11/8, 13/11, 11/6
  Adrian Waller 3-0 Ben Rodgers
      11/4, 11/7, 11/6
  Tim Garner 3-0 Theo Anderson
       11/4, 11/9, 11/9
  Lauren Selby 3-2 Sarah-Jane Perry
        9/11, 11/8, 7/11, 11/2, 11/7
Pete Smith reports on the blog

Exeter Diamonds 0-5 TWP St Georges Hill
  Stewart Boswell 1-3 Nicolas Mueller
         6/11, 11/5, 7/11, 4/11
  Joey Barrington 0-3 Mark Krajcsak
          5/11, 11/13, 3/11
  Jonny Harford 1-3 Joe Lee
       14/12, 9/11, 6/11, 1/11
  Aditya Jagtap 0-3 Neil Hitchens
       6/11, 12/14, 7/11
  Emma Chorley 0-3  Lauren Briggs
       3/11, 4/11, 13/15
Final Round, 16-Mar:
   St George's v Surrey
   Bristol v Chichester
   Guildford v Exeter

St George's & Surrey Health Through
But Champions Out In PSL

Maximum points wins by Surrey Health & Racquets and TWP St George's Hill have guaranteed the Group B clubs a place in next month's semi-finals of the Premier Squash League (PSL) but a 4/1 Group A defeat in Tuesday's ninth and penultimate round of the world's most prestigious squash league leaves title-holders LEBC Group Chapel Allerton out of contention.

Former champions MB Nottingham beat Pontefract 4/1 to retain their leadership of the Group A table with 140 points eight points ahead of Esporta Oxford, home winners over Chapel Allerton.  But Benz-Bavarian Duffield led a late charge in the group to overcome Welsh newcomers Newport 4/1 to move into third place - leaving the three clubs in the running for the two places in the semi-final play-offs.

But, whilst champions Chapel Allerton in fourth place in Group A, 21 points adrift of the leaders cannot finish in the top two, the Leeds club entertain Nottingham in the final round (on 16 March) and a maximum points win for the hosts could scupper Nottingham's 2010 title hopes.

MB Nottingham have topped the Group A tables for most of the season and dropped just four games in their home win over Yorkshire club Pontefract.   Vanessa Atkinson, winner of her 12th Dutch national title last month, gave the visitors a good start with a straight games win against local star Emma Beddoes but 3/0 wins by Lewis Walters, Arthur Gaskin and John Rooney ensured Nottingham's eighth win of the season. 

Two life-long Yorkshire rivals Simon Parke and Lee Beachill entertained the crowd in the second string clash, with Nottingham stalwart Parke, a former world No3, edging home 11-5, 11-2, 12-14, 11-6 over ex-world number one Beachill.

Esporta Oxford raised their home supporters' hopes of a first-time appearance in the semi-final play-offs with their impressive 4/1 win over LEBC Group Chapel Allerton.  Again, the visitors took the early lead when Leeds teenager Carrie Ramsey beat Oxford's Katherine Quarterman 3/0.  Jaymie Haycocks led the comeback charge, fighting back from 2/1 down to beat the visitors' Adam Murrills 11-2, 9-11, 7-11, 11-7, 11-9 before Oxford regulars Scott Handley and Chris Ryder sealed straight games wins. 

The final match saw Australian Cameron Pilley celebrate his new career-high world No14 ranking by recovering from a game down to beat England's world No13 Alister Walker 6-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 a win which cemented Oxford's second place in the group tables.

Their first visit to Wales proved fruitful for 2006 and 2007 champions Benz-Bavarian Duffield when they defeated Newport 4/1 despite the absence of their high-profile stars Tania Bailey and Nick Matthew, the world number two who became the North American Open champion at the weekend.  Laura Hill, the last-minute replacement for the newly-married Bailey, defeated Welsh number one Deon Saffery in four games.

But, after former Welsh international Greg Tippings levelled the tie with a 3/1 win over the visitors' Chris Fuller, Duffield regained control as Austrian Aqeel Rehman and Derbyshire's Joel Hinds secured notable victories.  But it took Duffield stalwart Andrew Whipp, a part-time player for more than two years, to produce the night's standout result when he despatched Newport's Aaron Frankcomb, the world No39 from Australia, 11-7, 11-2, 11-9 in 37 minutes.

2008 champions Surrey Health & Racquets celebrated their fourth successive time in the semi-final play-offs with a commanding 5/0 home win over Probuild Bristol.  Two veteran performances stood out firstly team co-manager Tim Garner's 11-4, 11-9, 11-9 win over Bristol newcomer Theodore Anderson, then former world number one Peter Nicol's  fightback 8-11, 11-8, 13-11, 11-6 victory over ex-world number two Peter Marshall.

But the Croydon club's top string Davide Bianchetti, the Italian number one, rounded off the tie with a resounding 11-9, 12-10, 11-9 win over Bristol captain Hadrian Stiff to clinch his club's place in the semi-finals.

It was a dejected Exeter Diamonds team manager Adam Lings that admitted his 2010 campaign was over when he reported his club's 5/0 home defeat by TWP St George's Hill.  The Surrey club's visit to Devon with a less-than-full-strength squad proved hugely successful as the team earned its place in the play-offs for the first time at its fourth attempt.

Lauren Briggs, Neil Hitchens, Joe Lee and top-ranked Hungarian Mark Krajcsak all notched up notable wins against Exeter opposition but none was as stunning as Nicolas Mueller's.   In his first appearance as top string for the club, the fast-rising Swiss 20-year-old, ranked 42 in the world, claimed one of the best wins of his life when he beat experienced Australian Stewart Boswell, the world No17 and a former world No4, 11-6, 5-11, 11-7, 11-4.

Elsewhere in Group B, Covers Chichester celebrated only their second win of the season with a 5/0 away victory at Surrey Storm Guildford.  Malaysian top string Mohd Azlan Iskandar led the assault with distinction by beating the Guildford club's South African Jesse Engelbrecht in straight games but perhaps the visitors' most impressive win was achieved by retired Alex Gough, the former world No4 from Wales who battled back from 2/1 down to beat home hero Stacey Ross 11-3, 9-11, 4-11, 11-8, 11-7


Tables after Round Nine

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Round 9

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