Chapel Allerton 1-4 Duffield
Mike Dickens & Andy Whipp report
0-3 Nick Matthew
7/11, 9/11, 1/11
Aaron Frankcomb 0-3 Joey Barrington
9/11, 10/12, 8/11
Scott Arnold 1-3 Andrew Whipp
5/11, 11/7, 9/11, 8/11
Laurence Delasaux 3-1 Joel Hinds
7/11, 11/5, 11/5, 14/12
Jenna Gates 0-3 Laura Hill
5/11, 1/11, 2/11
Nottingham 2-3 Pontefract
Malcolm Willstrop & David Coghlan report
Ong Beng Hee 2-3 James Willstrop
12/10, 4/11, 6/11, 11/9, 4/11
Renan Lavigne 2-3 Lee Beachill
6/11, 11/5, 11/6, 9/11, 4/11
Simon Parke 3-0 Neil Cordell
11/4, 11/5, 11/7
Lewis Walters 2-3 Harinder Pal Sandhu
4/11, 4/11, 13/11, 11/9, 5/11
Emma Beddoes 3-1 Kirsty McPhee
7/11, 11/6, 11/5, 11/4
Guildford 2-3 Surrey
Jesse Engelbrecht 0-3 Peter Barker
8/11, 3/11, 6/11
Stacey Ross 2-3 Davide Bianchetti
15/13, 11/6, 3/11, 8/11, 1/11
Steve Meads 3-2 Adrian Waller
11/7, 3/11, 11/9, 8/11, 11/6
Mick Biggs 3-2 Steve Richardson
17/19, 11/7, 11/9, 2/11, 11/7
Harriet Ingham 0-3 Vicky Botwright
3/11, 5/11, 3/11
Exeter 2-3 St George's
Danny Lee reports
3-1 Daryl Selby
11/7, 11/9, 7/11, 11/7
Jonathan Kemp 3-2 Tom Richards
7/11, 11/7, 4/11, 11/8, 11/6
James Snell 2-3 Neil Hitchens
9/11, 9/11, 11/6, 11/8, 11/13
Tom Pashley 1-3 Philip Nightingale
17/15, 6/11, 6/11, 6/11
Emma Chorley 1-3 Rachel Willmott
11/8, 6/11, 7/11, 8/11
Chichester 2-3 Bristol
Mike Phillips reports
Azlan Iskandar 1-3 Adrian Grant
2/11, 4/11, 11/9, 6/11
Alex Gough 0-3 David Evans
5/11, 1/6 rtd
Tim Vail 3-2 Hadrian Stiff
9/11, 11/9, 5/11, 11/4, 11/5
Robbie Temple 0-3 Peter Marshall
8/11, 7/11, 6/11
Dominique Lloyd-Walter 3-0 Vicky Hynes
11/4, 11/5, 11/6
Tables turned before Christmas break
Quick Roundup from Steve Cubbins
The fifth round of the PSL
season marked the half-way point of the group stages, and
saw the leaders of both groups beaten at home as Duffield
and Surrey - champions in the last two seasons - took
over the top positions on a night when all five away teams
went home happy.
In Group A Chapel Allerton, surprise leaders in their
first season in the PSL, hosted a strong Duffield
side, and it was the three-time champions who came away with
a 4/1 win to go to the top of the table for the first time.
The group A table closed up as Pontefract, bottom at
the start of the evening, won away to Nottingham. It
was a close-run thing though, with Harinderpal Sandhu, Lee
Beachill and James Willstrop all taken to five games before
sealing the win for Pontefract. Pontefract stay bottom, but
Nottingham's 12 points - the maximum a losing team can get -
lifts them into third spot and still in playoff contention.
In group B reigning champions Surrey looked in
trouble at 2-1 down in their away match at Guildford,
especially when in the fourth tie Stacey Ross led Davide
Bianchetti 2-1 and 6-2. But the Italian fought back, taking
the fifth 11/1 to put the match on level terms, leaving it
to Peter Barker to win the deciding tie and put Surrey back
on top of the table.
Overnight leaders Exeter - also in their first PSL
season - tasted defeat for the first time, at the hands of a
travelling St George's Hill team who started the day
at the bottom of the table. Rachel Willmott, Neil Hitchens
and Phil Nightingale put the visitors 3/0 up, and although
Daryl Selby and Stewart Boswell won the last two matches for
the home side, it wasn't enough as St George's Hill moved
off the bottom of the table.
On a great night for the away teams, Bristol came
from 2/1 down to thwart Guildford's hopes of moving
into a playoff position. With Chichester leading 2/1, Alex
Gough took to court in an all-Welsh battle against David
Evans, but was forced to retire with a leg injury during the
second game, leaving the match tied at two-all. Adrian Grant
won the decider for Bristol, beating Azlan Iskandar - who
Grant overtook in today's new world rankings - in four
Having reached the halfway stage the PSL takes a break until
Jan 13th when the race for playoff places resumes ...
Tables after Round Five (TBC) Ties
Matches Games Pts
W L W L W L
4 3 1 13 7 44 30 59
4 2 2 13 7 42 28 52
4 1 3 8 12 36 43 41
4 2 2 8 12 28 46 38
5 4 1 16 9 57 40 77
5 4 1 15 10 53 43 73
5 3 2 13 12 50 41 65
TWP St George's Hill
5 2 3 10 15 40 57 50
5 1 4 11 14
43 51 48
PNH Properties Chichester
5 1 4 10 13 42 53 47
Bristol snatch the win at
Mike Phillips reports
Round 5 of the PSL took place at Chichester Racquets &
Fitness Club this week with pnh Properties Team Chichester
playing Probuild Bristol.
Team Chichester, still smarting from the 5.0., defeat
against defending champions, Surrey Health & Rackets in
Round 4, looked to make amends and go into the Christmas
break with a certain amount of their confidence restored.
A battle between the team captains was first on the glass
back court; Tim Vail playing against Hadrian Stiff. The
match was a 5-game thriller. Stiff dominated the first part
of the match and went 1/2 up before Vail came into his own
and confidently took the 4th game. In the 5th Vail managed
to stay ahead in the early exchanges before he made a surge
with some great nicks from counter drops to win the final
game and the match, 11/5.
One up to Chichester
On the adjacent court the Chichester’s Dominique
Lloyd-Walter, boosted by her recent win in the USA Ohio
Open, played positive, confident squash against Vicky Hynes.
The 11/4, 11/5, 11/6 score line showed that Lloyd-Walter was
always in command, whereas her opponent struggled to cover
the Chichester player’s boasts to the front.
Two-nil - the cushion Chichester needed.
Next on court, Team Chichester’s Robbie Temple faced the
former World No. 2, Peter Marshall. This was a game of
missed opportunities for Chichester with several unforced
errors and against Marshall, who still displays consistent
and accurate hitting, Temple could not afford any errors.
The match was competitive but Marshall’s consistency won the
day in straight games.
Bristol was back in the match – 2-1.
Next on the championship court, battle commenced between the
best players to come out of Wales; David Evans (Bristol)
against Alex Gough. In the first game Evans played well –
making Gough work hard for his 5 points in the game. During
the first rally of the second Gough appeared to pull up and
later on, at 1/6 down he retired injured giving the match a
potentially great climax at 2 all.
The World No.12, Mo Azlan Iskandar (Chichester) played World
No. 13, Adrian Grant, to decide the final outcome of the
The match started off slowly for Iskandar, with Grant
keeping the ball tight and playing almost error-free squash;
anticipating Iskandar’s cross courts well. Grant forged a
2/11, 4/11 – 2 game lead. Iskandar steadfastly fought back
well in the third and battled well to narrowly take it 11/9.
Match on. Grant, however, gained his composure again in the
4th. Iskandar became increasingly frustrated by his own play
and Grant took advantage of this to win the game 6/11.
2-3 to Bristol.
Not the Christmas present Chichester would have liked but
hard training and regrouping is needed over the festive
season to prepare for, hopefully, a better 2nd half of the
season for pnh Properties Team Chichester.
Chapel-A "Duffed up"
Mike Dickens reports
It was fantastic to see National Premier Squash back at
Chapel Allerton after a 25 year absence. A packed crowd
battle the weather and were rewarded with top quality squash
throughout the evening.
Duffield's Laura Hill proved too strong and experienced for
Jenna Gates. Laura took the ball early and controlled many
of the rallies during the match. Duffield took this match
At number four for Chapel A was Laurence Delasaux who is
back on the road to rekindling his squash promise. He took
on the very fit and athletic Joel Hinds. Joel came flying
out the blocks to take the first game but Laurence reeled
him in with some superb skill and great hold on the backhand
side. Dela stayed strong to win 3-1.
Number 3 was Scott Arnold against Andy Whipp. Whippy proved
once again to be one of the leagues most consistent
performers and came out at a hectic pace. Scott got into his
stride in the second game to tie his match at one all but
Whippy was too strong and won through 3-1
Playing 2 for Chapel A was another Australian, Aaron
Frankcomb, against Joey Barrington. This matched match
mirrored their game in the Worlds ( a long 3-0 to Joey).
Joey had that little bit extra in every game on the big
The number 1 match was contested by the established top ten
player Nick Matthew and the up and coming number 21 in the
world Chapel A professional Ali Walker. The first two games
were closely contested then Nick found his stride in the
third to finish the match strongly. 3-0 to Nick.
4-1 to Duffield.
It was a great night of squash enjoyed by all and especially
8 year old Ben Merchant who won the England Team shirt
signed by Nick, Ali and Joey. I would like to take this
opportunity to thank the Duffield Management and supporters
who made the trip in very difficult weather conditions.
DUFFIELD BACK WHERE WE BELONG!
Andy Whipp reports
A good night for Duffield, seeing us beat surprise leaders
Chapel Allerton to swap positions in the table to finish off
the first half.
SOMEBODY PUT HER
OUT, LAURA'S ON FIRE!
Laura won this match in super quick time and style. The
result came about by some sizzling form from the Duffield
local and also by a twinge in the back which hampered Jenna
in the second and third games. Like myself, Laura was
unusually looking for her first win to start off her Premier
League season. She played some excellent squash along the
way and demolished poor Jenna, so watch out, Laura's up and
LAURENCE RETURNS TO
HAUNT HIS OLD FAITHFUL
Laurence was making his return to squash after a year out
fiddling around with the property business in Hull. I had
heard rumours a few months ago that he was back training
full time and was going to go for it again after Christmas.
I just thought they were rumours, like people slipping on
banana skins. I have never personally seen, or even seen
documentary footage of anyone ever slipping on a banana
Well unfortunately for Joel, Christmas came early for the
once legend of junior squash! The first game saw Joel play
at a high pace and volley shots which had barely come off
the front wall, he was standing about a metre from the front
wall at times volleying drop shots, it was hilarious. He did
get a little carried away, but still after the first game
all anyone could see was a Joel win. Joel struggled in the
next three games, not getting a length at all and hitting 6
foot drops and boasts, not a clever tactic against anyone,
especially someone as skilful with the racket as Della.
The next two games were quite comfortable for the Comeback
Kid, the third Joel was 5-0 up and lost in 11-5! In order
for Joel to turn this around he just had to "guts it out".
He tried and tried and the fourth proved to be an epic. Del
Boy went 6-2 up, and then got it back to 7 all from which
they traded points all the way to Laurence winning 15-13
after his 32nd match ball! Joel will be very disappointed,
but a great effort for Laurence to win a match of that
quality on his first outing, still proving he's got all the
racket control anyone could need, it's just a shame it had
to happen against the team that were so good to him for so
many years, traitor!!
WAHAY, WHIPPY WINS!
Like Laura I was surprisingly looking for my first win of
the Premier League season and I got it. Scott and I played a
good entertaining match. Scott was playing well and was
showing much more confidence at the front of the court
taking in his backhand counter drop really well, keeping it
tight and accurate. I was playing alright, but just went
through a few a patches of "one up, one down" squash but
managed to keep it up toward the end of the games. A relief
to win and things were looking good for Duffield.
JOEY RALLIES TO JOY
Anyone who saw or heard about their match a few months ago
in the worlds, 3-0 in 400 minutes, knew this was going to be
a match of long rallies. Not quite as long as before but
still pretty lengthy, but Joey again came away with the 3-0
win. Aaron got close forging out two point leads at the ends
of the games but couldn't see them through as Joey reeled
him in to seal the match for Duffield to take us top at
NICK DEFLATES ALI
Ali, at an all time high ranking of 21 will have felt good
going into the match. Nick edged out the first two games
with a lot of lob and drop squash. Nick was then brilliant
in the third, and like Jeff Capes spying a banquet across
the room, Nick sped to the finishing line. I'm not sure if
Ali was tired or just demoralised after losing the opening
two games, but Nick trotted through the last with style and
some all round great squash.
So, Duffield back where they belong but the night will be
remembered by Della's return to top squash after a year
away. Good night all round, and great for Chapel A to have a
home National League match after 25 years! Let's hope
they're here to stay is it's one of, if not the nicest club
in the country, although the pork pie and mushy peas dinner
did throw me off slightly.
Pontefract win a thriller
Even without Vanessa Atkinson, Saurav Ghosal and Lauren
Siddall, Pontefract were able to field a competitive enough
side to make the match with Nottingham look a close-run
Kirsty McPhee, now working for England Squash as a
Development coach and as my assistant at Pontefract - and a
good job she is making of it all - deputised for Siddall,
who was unable to play because of a leg injury. Against the
capable and persistent Emma Beddoes she won the first, but
from then on Beddoes took control and went on to win 3-1.
Meanwhile Simon Parke, urged on by his ever-loving fiancee,
Jane, almost as legendary as Robin Hood in these parts, with
the packed crowd acclaiming his every success, was beating
Neil Cordell 3-0.The score makes it look easy, but it
doesn't tell the whole tale, as Cordell controlled phases of
each game. He couldn't press on ,though and Parke hunted the
ball up with relish recalling days of yore.
2-0 to Nottingham, but Pontefract's latest Indian
acquisition, Harinder Pal Sandhu went 2-0 up in style and
led 7-4 in third before Lewis Walters staged a fine recovery
and levelled the match. However the promising young Indian
international re-asserted and won the fifth in style.
Lee Beachill, whose medial ligament problem hasn't been
solved, but who is cleared to play with no risk of further
damage, was 2-1 and 7-0 down to the industrious Renan
Lavigne when one of the more raucous Nottingham supporters,
presumably hired from one of the two football clubs in the
city, shouted 'easy'. Beachill's movement is impaired, but
that was all he needed. He swept through to two all and won
the fifth imperiously.
Nottingham should ban that supporter - he almost certainly
cost them the match. So everything on the top string match.
James Willstrop, fresh from his semi in Hong Kong and
apparently over his ankle problems and the itinerant
Malaysian Ong Beng Hee, now based in Nottingham. And what a
decider it was! Willstrop played extremely well - even he
was pleased and he's not easy to please - and he so
dominated the first game it was inconceivable that Ong would
win it. But he did on a tiebreak 12-10. Willstrop continued
to play squash of a high order and much to his credit Ong
stood up to it remarkably. Taking a 2-1 lead and ahead in
the fourth, Willstrop looked 'home and hosed' in racing
parlance, but once again Ong fought back to level the score.
That was as far as he could go, though and the Pontefract
man won the fifth easily to win the match for his team. He
will be greatly encouraged by the way he played and Ong
should feel equally good about taking him the full distance.
MB Nottingham’s sixth player…
David Coghlan reports
A crunch match for MB Nottingham against Pontefract, record
gate sales, 138 people through the door, The MB Nottingham
crowd was our much needed sixth player hoping to help our
players to achieve victory.
Simon Parke Bt Neil Cordell 11/4, 11/5, 11/7
Things started well on the show court as Nottingham legend
Simon Parke managed to contain young Cordell, although not
as comfortably as the score line may suggest. Cordell had a
plan. To work Parkey he fired the ball in short, keeping him
moving and chasing the ball down. However Parkey didn’t get
to world No. 3 for nothing, in relentless fashion he chased
down every ball and kept Cordell honest, counter attacking
well and forcing errors from the youngster running out a 3-0
Emma Beddoes Bt Kirsty McPhee 7/11, 11/6, 11/5, 11/4
Meanwhile on the backcourt things started less well. McPhee
was out of the blocks quickly, keeping the tempo high and
stepping up the court forcing errors from her opponent and
hitting some sweet winners to wrap up the first in double
quick time 11/7. Beddoes regained her composure in the
second, minimising errors and neutralising McPhee’s attacks.
Playing more patiently, Beddoes was happy to move McPhee out
of position before firing in her own winners to level the
tie 11/6. Beddoes looked much the more settled player in the
third and fourth, despite some outstanding winners from
McPhee, Beddoes didn’t look in much trouble as she took the
match 11/5, 11/6 to give MB Nottingham a 2-0 match lead.
Lewis Walters Lst Harinder Pal Sandhu 4/11, 4/11, 13/11,
Very much a game of two halves, the first two games were an
exhibition by the young Indian player, picking off Walters
loose balls and burying them into the front court nicks. A
change of plan needed for the home player. Playing less
aggressively and reducing the pace that Harinder had thrived
on in the first two started to bear fruit. Reading Harinders
short game much better, Walters began to take control of the
T and force errors from the previously impervious Indian.
Walters saved match ball with a winner to level at 11/11
quickly followed by a stunning cross court volley nick, a
tin from Harinder and Walters had the game 13/11 to the
noisy delight of the assembled crowd.
The fourth was even to 9/9 with Walters continuing to
minimise Harinders attacking options, a winner gave Walters
game point and after two incredible rallies both ending in
lets Walters finally got over the line with another winning
drop. So with the crowd sensing victory and the momentum
very much with the home player the fifth should have been
very different. Three errors to start gave Harinder a 5/2
lead followed by two outrageous winners and two more errors
and Harinder was 9/3 up. Walters patient neutralising game
had been swapped for an attacking short game and Harinder
loved it. Another winner gave Harinder match ball and after
a short come back Harinder closed the deal 11/5 much to the
dismay of the home crowd.
Renan Lavigne Lst Lee Beachill 6/11, 11/5, 11/6, 9/11,
While the drama with Lewis Walters was playing on the
backcourt I had only kept a cursory eye on this match and
after the first game grumblings from audience members it
seemed to be going with the formbook. However, with
Beachill’s heavily bruised and strapped knee it seemed
Lavigne knew he had to keep on the pressure and extend the
rallies. Lavigne soaked up what Beachill threw at him
chasing the ball down, twisting and turning Beachill and
forcing errors from the former World number 1.
Glancing over the balcony to see Lavigne 2/1 up and 8/1 up
in the fourth I contented myself that the match was in the
bag and I could go back to watching the tense affair on the
backcourt. Big mistake. When I re-joined the empty show
court expecting Willstrop and Beng Hee to start knocking up,
the grimaces on the faces of the crowd told me what had
really happened. Beachill had battened down the hatches
given Lavigne no free points and with Lavigne mentally off
the court and in the shower the impossible had happened
Beachill levelling 11/9.
The fifth was painful, Beachill had renewed vigour
minimising his errors and playing patient tight squash,
Lavigne clearly aggrieved to have lost the fourth made
errors that merely fuelled the downward spiral. Beachill
wrapped it up 11/4 with a grin at the crowd having performed
the great escape and scuppered MB Nottingham’s chance of
Ong Beng Hee Lst James Willstrop 12/10, 4/11, 6/11, 11/9,
All down to the last match and what a match. The squash had
been top class all evening but this was a fitting end to a
great night. Willstrop dominated the first game, standing up
the court and keeping the pace high, Beng Hee used height to
slow the pace and try to move Willstrop from the T, however
anything loose was simply put away by the World No. 5. With
Willstrop at 10/6, a lapse in concentration that had
afflicted Lavigne earlier came to haunt Pontefract. A tin,
two winners from Beng Hee and a stroke, suddenly from
no-where the game was level at 10/10. A tin from Willstrop
and another stroke and Beng Hee had the first in the bag and
a ray of hope for MB Nottingham.
The second and third saw no such lack of concentration,
Willstrop was simply awesome, retrieving everything that
Beng Hee could throw at him and showing no mercy, executing
winner after winner at the front of the court.
The fourth continued at this frantic pace, both players
putting absolutely everything into the match however
Willstrop couldn’t extend a lead as Beng Hee worked hard to
close down every ball and stay in the rally. His efforts
were rewarded at 9/9 as a tight back hand drop couldn’t be
scraped off the wall by Willstrop to give Beng Hee game
ball, while an acrobatic jumping cross court volley nick
levelled the match and got the crowd jumping out of their
The effort to win the fourth seemed to drain Beng Hee, who
couldn’t deal with Willstrop in the fifth who again stood up
the court dominating the court and keeping the ball just
beyond the end of Beng Hee’s racket. Willstrop ran out an
11/4 winner to another late night standing ovation at
Nottingham Squash Rackets Club.
No win for Nottingham, but a ‘maximum’ losing points haul
still keeps us in contention for the playoffs. The next half
will be crucial and difficult as we play 3 of our 4 matches
away. However with the support we’ve seen from the MB
Nottingham faithful don’t be surprised to find a bus load of
Nottingham fans at your club in 2009.
TWP ST GEORGE'S V
TWP St George's Hill showed their fighting character in
defeating PSL league leaders Exeter Diamonds by three
matches to two at the Devon and Exeter Club. The TWP tail
truly wagged with numbers 3, 4 and 5 Neil Hitchins, Phil
Nightingale and Rachel Willmott all defeating higher ranked
opponents to secure a famous victory for the Weybridge club.
Rachel Willmott the former British Junior Champion played
intelligently but lost a close first game against her old
rival Emma Chorley the World number 61. Willmott added
greater variety and more aggression to win a pivotal second
game and managed to shrewdly mix her tactics to hold out for
her first win of the season.
Meanwhile on the large show court, facing local youngster
James Snell who was backed by a noisy , partisan home crowd,
TWP's Essex import Neil Hitchins played in a calm attacking
manner to take the first two games. Snell clawed his way
back into contention and held match ball in the deciding
fifth game. Hitchins fought hard and ultimately deserved his
narrow win after 76 minutes of gruelling squash.
TWP's giant number 4 Phil Nightingale, a man with a plethora
of apt nicknames, recorded one of the best wins of his
career against former top junior Tom Pashley. "Pashley"
looked slightly off his game but all credit to Nightingale
who overcame a one game deficit to seize control of the
centre of the court and the match ultimately cruising to a
3-1 win sealing the match for the visitors.
Exeter Diamonds were still fighting both for points and
pride and their number two Jonathan Kemp set off at a
furious pace. TWP's Tom Richards managed to match him shot
for shot and emerged victorious from the first game quick
fire shoot out. Kemp's answer was to play even faster and
Richards suddenly struggled to find a length. Kemp duly took
the second game. Richards metaphorically put his foot on the
ball in the third game to retain control of the match. He
built up a decent 8-4 lead in the fourth game but slightly
lost his way as the frenetic Kemp regained momentum and
ultimately the flow of the match. Kemp controlled the
deciding fifth game and put paid to Richards' brave
The battle of the number ones promised plenty but was a
dour,edgy match where both players showed flashes of
brilliance which acted as mere puntuation to an encounter
which never flowed. Stuart Boswell who has been ranked as
high as number 4 in the World in the end had too much
experience for Daryl Selby who looked a little tired. Selby
rallied well to take the third game but Boswell's class
A great win for the TWP team which takes them to fourth
place in the Southern Section of the PSL. Exeter's setback
puts them back in second place and the division looks wide
open for the second half of the season.