Round Four

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Round FOUR:

11th Nov


Group A:                                                             Latest Tables

Pontefract 0-5 Chapel Allerton
    Neil Cordell 0-3 Alister Walker                            7/11, 12/14, 6/11
       Adam Taylor 0-3 Chris Simpson                          3/11, 8/11, 6/11
       James Earles 0-3 Scott Arnold                             9/11, 4/11, 4/11
       Sam Wileman 0-3 Jonathan Harford                   8/11, 9/11, 6/11
       Vanessa Atkinson 0-3 Jenny Duncalf                   6/11, 7/11, 1/11

  Duffield 4-1 Oxford
Duffield back to winning ways - Andy Whipp reports
      Nick Matthew 3-2 Cameron Pilley                      7/11, 11/9, 12/10, 5/11, 11/6
       Joey Barrington 3-2 Borja Golan                       8/11, 11/5, 5/11, 11/8, 11/5
       Andy Whipp 1-3 Chris Ryder                              6/11, 11/9, 4/11, 6/11
       Joel Hinds 3-0 Scott Handley                             11/4, 11/5, 11/9
       Tania Bailey 3-0 Madeline Perry                        11/6, 11/8, 11/9

Group B: 

Bristol 1-4 Exeter
   Adrian Grant 1-3 Stewart Boswell                          10/12, 11/8, 7/11, 5/11
      David Evans 1-3 Mohamed El Shorbagy                 6/11, 11/4, 9/11, 16/18
      Hadrian Stiff 1-3 Rob Sutherland                            6/11, 6/11, 11/5, 1/11
      Peter Marshall 3-0 James Snell                              11/4, 11/4, 11/9
      Vicky Hynes 2-3 Emma Chorley                             6/11, 11/6, 11/5, 8/11, 3/11

St George's 3-2 Guildford
Norman rolls back the years - Danny Lee reports
     Daryl Selby 3-2 Jesse Engelbrecht                        5/11, 11/9, 11/4, 6/11, 12/10
       Mark Krajscak 3-1 Stacey Ross                            10/12, 11/6, 11/6, 15/13
       Adam Fuller 0-3 Steve Meads                               7/11, 9/11, 7/11
       Ross Norman 3-1 Jamie Mathews                          11/3, 11/13, 11/9, 11/5
       Rachel Willmott 0-3 Alison Waters                         4/11, 5/11, 3/11

Surrey 5-0 Chichester
Normal Order Restored - David Sobo reports
     Peter Barker 3-0 Azlan Iskandar                           11/6, 11/5, 11/7
       Davide Bianchetti 3-2 Alex Gough                         8/11, 12/10, 11/2, 9/11, 11/7
       Ben Ford 3-2 Tim Vail                                           11/9, 6/11, 6/11, 11/4, 11/6
       Adrian Waller 3-2 Robbie Temple
                          11/8, 6/11, 8/11, 11/5 11/9
       Vicky Botwright 3-0 Annabelle Collins-Ballands
       11/5, 11/6, 11/2

Newcomers Chapel Allerton & Exeter Diamonds Head PSL Tables
Roundup from Howard Harding

After convincing away victories in Tuesday's fourth round of the Premier Squash League, PSL newcomers Chapel Allerton and Exeter Diamonds head the Group A and Group B tables, respectively, on the eve of the midway point in the 26th season of the world's most prestigious squash league.

Leeds-based Chapel Allerton faced under-strength fellow Yorkshire club Pontefract, missing their top three players
James Willstrop, Lee Beachill and Saurav Ghosal.  The hosts' Vanessa Atkinson, jet-lagged after returning from a major women's Tour event in New York, was no match on the night for Chapel Allerton's Jenny Duncalf, going down 11-6, 11-7, 11-1 to the England number one. 

And the visitors' strong squad continued the Pontefract purge, winning the remaining matches in straight games - with top string Alister Walker enjoying his second win of the season by beating Pontefract's newly-promoted number one and fast-improving Neil Cordell 11-7, 14-12, 11-6.

"We put out a young squad tonight - and I was heartened by their performances," said Pontefract team manager
Malcolm Willstrop. "In a couple of years' time, they'll be something - and tonight they showed their promise."

The maximum points 5/0 win takes Chapel Allerton to the top of the Group A table for the first time.

The other tie in the group finished only minutes before midnight as former champions
Benz-Bavarian Duffield ground out a 4/1 home win over Esporta Oxford. The opening match of the night saw a welcome return to action for England's former world No4 Tania Bailey, playing her first competitive match since July after a troubled year which included knee surgery in April. 

The Duffield star faced the in-form Irish international Madeline Perry, now ranked 11 in the world. And the sensational comeback saw Bailey win 11-6, 11-8, 11-9 - no doubt raising hopes with the England selectors that the former British champion will be available for next month's Women's World Team Championships
 in Egypt.

I just didn't know what to expect," said a delighted Bailey afterwards. "So I am very encouraged by that win - especially as I know Madeline's really playing well at the moment. It's the first proper game I've had for ages - and I really enjoyed it.

It was only last week that I thought I'd be OK to play - but to get a result like this is more than I could have expected. I'm playing at a level better than I thought," the 29-year-old from Lincolnshire continued. "2008 has been a pretty horrible year for me. I've really missed playing. I'm just looking forward to getting back into it now."

Bailey's performance inspired team-mate Joel Hinds to beat Oxford's experienced Scott Handley in straight games - then new squad number two Joey Barrington played the match of his life to clinch the team's win by beating Spain's newly-crowned Santiago Open champion Borja Golan 8-11, 11-5, 5-11, 11-8, 11-5 - fighting back from 5-8 down in the fourth to draw level before clinching the match in the decider. 

The evening-ending top string clash also went to five when Duffield stalwart Nick Matthew eventually overhauled Australian star Cameron Pilley 7-11, 11-9, 12-10, 5-11, 11-6.

The sparkle of Exeter Diamonds in Group B seems to show no signs of fading as the Devon debutants chalked up their fourth successive PSL win by beating South West rivals Probuild Bristol 4/1 away from home. Both Emma Chorley and Rob Sutherland 
notched up their first ever wins over Bristol opponents Vicky Hynes  and Hadrian Stiff, respectively. 

For the second tie in a row, it was Egyptian teen sensation Mohamed El
Shorbagy  who clinched victory for Exeter - this time the 17-year-old Millfield School pupil beating Bristol's former British Open champion David Evans 11-6, 4-11, 11-9, 18-16.

"It seems we can't go wrong," said Exeter Diamonds team manager Tony Snell. "I didn't expect to win tonight, to be truthful, but it just shows the strength we've got in our squad.  I'm very proud of them. And the crowd at Bristol was fantastic - it was totally sold out!"

PSL title-holders PCL Whitehall Security Surrey H&RC produced their most powerful win of the new season, beating PNH Properties Chichester 5/0 at home in a repeat of last season's final. But it took determined performances by Adrian Waller, Ben Ford and Davide Bianchetti in matches that went the full distance as the Croydon club trio beat Chichester's Robbie Temple, Tim Vail and Alex Gough, respectively.

Top string Peter Barker - one of four members of the team that won the title in May - finished off the tie in style, dismissing the Chichester No1 Mohd Azlan Iskandar 11-6, 11-5, 11-7.

Just two months short of his 50th birthday, former world champion Ross Norman made his first PSL appearance for more than six years when he turned out for TWP St George's Hill in their home tie against Surrey county rivals
UniSport Guildford. And the popular New Zealander showed that he has not lost his touch when he defeated fellow world champion Jamie Mathews - the reigning World Deaf Champion - 11-3, 11-13, 11-9, 11-5.

The win started the momentum for St George's Hill whose Hungarian star Mark Krajcsak - fresh from victory in last weekend's PSA Tour event in Vancouver - then beat Guildford stalwart Stacey Ross 10-12, 11-6, 11-7, 15-13.  Krajcsak surprisingly agreed to a change of ball at 10-all in the fourth game - and duly sprinted to victory after barely warming up the new ball!

But it was the top strings
who were left to decide the outcome of the tie - and the hosts' Daryl Selby recovered from 1-7 and 6-10 down in the decider to beat Guildford's Jesse Engelbrecht 5-11, 11-9, 11-4, 6-11, 12-10 to give St George's Hill a popular 3/2 win.



Selby seals points as TWP St George's Hill snatch their first win
of the season in the Premier Squash League.

Danny Lee reports

Ross Norman, Squash legend and the 1986 World Champion who has not played top level squash for six years, put TWP St George's Hill on course for a famous victory against local rivals Unisport Guildford at St George's Hill, Weybridge last night.

Norman was called up when local youngster Tom Richards turned his ankle in training and was ruled unfit to play. With several other players away playing international tournaments Norman was the obvious choice to keep the team competitive in a match they needed to win to have any chance of making the league semi finals.

The super fit Norman, just two months short of his 50th birthday, defeated 21 year old Jamie Matthews by three games to one in a 48 minute match which had the old bones creaking but not quite giving way as Norman retrieved almost superhumanly all that Matthews could throw at him.

It's 22 years this month that Norman ended the five and three quarter year unbeaten run of Pakistani Jahangir Khan in the World Open Final in Toulouse and his classy performance against Matthews showed that he is still capable of beating players in the world's top two hundred.

TWP's lady player Rachel Willmott nearly failed to make the match due to a major crash on the A3 which left her stranded in her car for an hour and a half. Her comprehensive drubbing at the hands of World number 6 Alison Waters must have made Willmott wish she had stayed at home. She showed glimpses of quality but her efforts went unrewarded as British Champion Waters dominated most rallies with her hard hitting.

TWP's Adam Fuller was making his debut for the Weybridge Club against former World number 11 Steve Meads. Fuller narrowly lost all three games as Meads showed just too much class for the newcomer.

Mark Krajscak, TWP's Hungarian import flew in from Vancouver to take part in the match. His opponent Stacey Ross sensed that he could capitalise on his opponent's jet lag and snatched the first game. Krajscak's "power nap" on arrival in England obviously paid off as he recovered to win the second and third games. The fourth was a humdinger which reached an amusing climax as Ross gasping for breath asked for a new ball at 10 all. Krajscak, who would have well within his rights to refuse, bizarrely agreed and then even more strangely allowed himself to be rushed into a restart as Ross tried to use the freezing new ball to his advantage. Ross rolled the first return for a quick winner but then Krajscak produced a gem of his own before hounding down two more Ross attacks to narrowly snatch the match.

The decider kept the large crowd entertained until the last rally as TWP's Daryl Selby ranked 37 in the world faced South African number 1 and World number 61 Jesse Englebrecht. Most people expected Selby to saunter to victory as Englebrecht had, like Krajscak, just returned from Canada. Englebrecht came out of the blocks fast and took Selby by surprise as he took the first game 11-5 and raced ahead in the second.

Selby vitally just managed to claw back that game and dominated well in the third to take a two one lead. It was Selby who looked as though he had spent twelve hours on a plane as Englebrecht hunted down the volleys to level the match and then lead 7-1 in the deciding game. Selby looked spent as Englebrecht reached four match balls at 10-6. Incredibly Selby stayed calm and won the next six rallies, shattering the last resistance of the indefatigable South African.

An amazing night of squash was enjoyed by all present. The highlight for nostalgia buffs was undoubtedly Ross Norman's amazing age defying performance but for sheer excitement Daryl Selby's comeback in the final game would be hard to top. TWP St George's Hill gained their first win of the season despite having several players missing. They travel to Exeter on December 2nd hopefully at full strength, where they will hope to climb the league table with another win.


Andy Whipp reports

Duffield put in a great performance to come out 4-1 winners against an exceptionally strong Oxford team. A brilliant and welcome return for Tania and an upset for Joey sealed the victory.


Tania came back last night from what seems like years away from the game with injuries. She's been so unlucky of late and has taken a lot of time away from the spotlight to make a full recovery. Not rushing back was a difficult but excellent decision. Last night was Tania's first competitive match in months and months and to come away with a 3-0 win against someone of Madeline's quality was pretty impressive. It would be fair to say if Tania hadn't had hung on to take the third game she was pretty much gone as she was breathing through her arse! But after that long away who wouldn't be? Awesome start.


On paper Joel should have lost this to a higher ranked Scott, but I think most were expecting a Joel win. Scott has been struggling of late and couple that with a hernia in his groin he couldn't put up too much of a fight. Joel played excellently though, kept the pace high and errors down, spanked a few windmill backhands, and even some pretty dodgy decisions from the ref couldn't stop him putting Duffield up 2-0.


This season I seem to be experiencing somewhat of a National League curse, I keep on losing! Chris played well, but it was whoever made the best start to each game and made the fewer errors who won each game. The start to the third and fourth were important after the tie was levelled at 1-1, but Chris hit some good shots, was loving his trickle boast and managed to notch up the 3-1 win to eep his side in it.


On the other court Joey was playing well, obviously keeping it deep and simple. This was a long match, made longer by there being several lets for every single point. Borja was going through patches of upping the pace and dominating but was always playing far too many boasts giving Joey the opportunities to put him under pressure. From 8-5 down in the fouth Joey put in a great effort to keep his cool and claw that game back, then play some good stuff to win the fifth reasonably comfortably. Joey had got us the all important third win to clinch victory agaist a very strong Oxford team.


Nick decided to make the night into a very late one by spending over an hour on court. Nick went through patches of textbook squash, keeping it simple with good length and good straight drops, mixed with some fancier squash which simply didn't work. Pilley is a quality player and whenever he was given the chance played some lovely short shots and deadly delay. The second game was crucial, Pilley was always a few points up and toward the end of the game Nick constructed some great rallies to edge that game 11-9. Pilley kept fighting, Nick still playing some great squash with the odd rally of losing his concentration slightly to always keep Cam in it. Cameron played some brilliant shots to take the fourth easily. Nick then had to up the pace at the start of the fifth which he did. This worked, forcing a few tins from Pilley and aided by a couple of crap tins from the Aussie Nick had a 6-2 lead he was never going to let slip. So 4-1 to Duffield and as always with Nick a very enjoyable match with some great squash.

A good night for Duffield, especially after our blip last week. And also, as per, the cottage pie and flourescent meringue pie were first class!


Normal Order Restored
David Sobo reports

In a repeat of the 2007 PSL final, Surrey played host to last years runners up, the pnh Properties sponsored Chichester side.


It was as you were for the Champions minus our Egyptian number 1 who Im told had visa issues so the ever present Vicky Botwright, Adrian Waller, Ben Ford, Davide Bianchetti and Peter Barker at the helm.


For Chichester, a new face for the ladies in Annabelle Collins-Ballands, Robbie Temple, Captain Vail, Alex Gough and Malaysian, Mohd Azlan Iskandar.


First up on the side court, Vicky vs. Annabelle:


Im told Annabelle is the England U17 number 6 so she could certainly play. Up against the recently retired but very much in form (and STILL World Number 7) Vicky, one might have expected a hiding to be on the cards. Tim Vails advice to Annabelle at the start of the match was to go for it. From the little I saw, Annabelle did ok in the main but Vickys a class act and the result wasnt really ever in doubt.


Final Score 3-0 and Surrey 1 upJ


Meanwhile on the main court, Adrian vs. Robbie:


 % Z B b k~ &1 dW  _!4" CC }@ * /  wJ z  !XZ=e?  BH|^T t l Q #oX>h-#6%G]Rd4Tx  ?Z\IDHD ~'l0* C   Q d19ZpZ*},@ 5 = 5 z> k D+-@Odew9]_B&o' p{ .J ! A+U]|> l - ' " \ |~'9R3 $z3)|>F(S'U^)4Hq#@$+5=uai@N_g.M&{#LkQMnq "  @W h:#K-OOv;d|=`4-%eb@/$e;:LdgFUURW3Lg)ccxB"x._5-t8hZc?[MuF/{0 }TMFߐc e$^}%@\4? Ur5^H\rL)g&   +e1x6nxUyuI+17\-!BPa7LQtX_WVC.P_V .Lve_A~9u' hxEZ >oI| # ,  _ \8 __ z$ jR  N()Fwa+ltQ[J3?X Ak$:6`CIZ1G*R Ao) Y3G! $/%#u$} B;|R 1 Ys=4  &` S 8vcd n y B   t7 ]|p j ! Ul !r|[] "~  ]yc > < h m /Rmc{ U 6 Y)  *.  6   i n`6. 8d1[Fy}Hm)kqz"sc[.% v  O Y D ,  t  ^ I A #) F7 " b Q 3+x]CpsAye\8r~LX4Q*^=  i pNEVa4mF $a eW kI%UL: vaK$z|k ^+ /07W0n3=% ba!I 9ߎN, .T /  $ > U^H )tl\BZjN~ci.RNvH/J)AqV%PU6 hV s  N  Y,U+m61QaIE S2T9Yy64W%jP 9OkLsjQHcv8#KE)Vc4$^%?4=GU| 2   14 T7 g[  `} CA  m yKE=NxE9FtCxvxOX=$Or <JVuX^ \=RZvd b# &st}8^_}lfS ; g &N 5: yhy3w}<'fEStL3  RQm{N"a(!kg6UL~ K-  aIM^MyWV4bK4 !F0!#h\niT,A&O.}062e#3y+K  5LW   va\ Q} p (Y1x l ?n M ~  | U L6 # 9 Y 4o # ( +  ir   _ p$"f% 2&%r"0wY Y ont-size: 8pt; font-family: Verdana">And so to the 5th and all to play for. Both players kept it tight cutting out the errors to 6-6. Excellent deception from Robbie, 6-7. Adrian now visibly tiring and Robbie seemed to notice this and took him to the front lots but thenTIN! 7-8

Return of serve TIN! 8-8

Another TIN! 9-8

Adrian this time makes the mistake and gives a stroke away. 9-9

Good drop by Adrian 10-9

And quite fittingly, another TIN by Robbie gives the game and match to Adrian 11-9


Not to do a disservice to Adrian who played very well again in the Surrey PSL colours but Robbie in my opinion looked the better player. He was fitter, had good composure, some very good shot play and should have won this one for his team. He made enough errors though to keep the home player interested and Adrians good shot play and dogged determination gave him a deserved win in the end. Well played mateJ


Surrey 2 upJ


Vickys quick win over Annabelle brought Ben Ford and Tim Vail onto the side court:


Most reports I read about Tim Vail always seem to make reference at some point to the fact that hes not as lean as some of the other players. Even when done in jest, I think we do this guy a disservice by not focussing on the fact that he is a very good squash player with excellent racket skills who will invariably at the very least, hold his own against most players in the PSL. Rant overJ


Ben knew he was in a game today and appeared to hit the ground running working Tim round the court seemingly at will. Most amusing it was to watch Ben go for one of his many trademark shots; this one the crosscourt drop shot nick. It looks absolutely kwality when it works but invariably, a player of Tims calibre will simple shuffle on over to the corner in question and if it doesnt hit the nickPoint over.


We, the crowd then get to watch Ben chastise himself for playing such a risky shotand then two points laterhe plays the exact same shot againJ although this time, to be fair to him, the ball rollsExcellentJ Anyway, good squash on display by both players saw Ben sneak the first 11-9.


In my humble, Ben has the considerable skill necessary to manoeuvre this match away from Timprovided he cuts down on the errors. Tim on the other hand has all the weaponry necessary to take advantage of any errors made and that is exactly how it panned out in the next 2 games; both of them won deservedly by Tim for the loss of 6 points in each.


1-2 down and staring defeat in the face, Ben dug in and with Tim visibly tiring, Ben was able to work him out of position on a number of occasions. It seemed (to me anyway) that having been made to work a little too hard, Tim wisely gave the 4th away in the latter stages choosing instead to conserve energy for the 5th .. which Ben won convincingly 11-6 with some excellent shot play that drew many ooohs and aaaahs from the crowd (well me anywayJ)


Well played both. Surrey 3 upJ


Davide vs. Alex was a long and drawn out affair too but a good game nonetheless.


With Alex recently retired and Davide clearly the fitter of the two, it was a surprise to some that this one went the full distance. Davides anger management consultant (Vicky B) was nowhere to be seen (actually she was sat right next to me but seemed far more interested in how Tania Bailey had got on in her come back for Duffield than doing what shes paid for and ensuring our Italian brother kept his high pitched wails at the ref to a minimumJ).


All the better though as the crowd were treated to many tantrums at the ref; most, in my humble opinion entirely justified but still, very high pitched and very amusing. Alex held his own in this department too it must be said which kept the ref pretty busy.


Alex probably ran out of legs after the third judging by the biiiiig gulps of air being taken after every point from then on. Credit to him thoughHe came back and ran just as hard after every point. Logic if you can call it that, prevailed in the end with Davide taking the 5th 11-7.


Surrey 4 up and in the immortal words of David LloydStart the car J


And so to the Number 1s


I could talk all day about this match but I do have a day job too!J Suffice to say it was a kwality affair that brought the World #s 11 and 12 on court together in Peter and Azlan with the former bang on form.


I think Azlans just back from a bit of a break but I really dont think it would have made a difference on the night. Peter is in good nick at the moment. I dont think Azlan did anything wrong to go 2-0 down but Peter was everywhere and most encouraging of all, went about his business in a relaxed sort of way acknowledging Azlans good play whilst you sensed (or at least I did) that he knew he could raise it a notch if need be and was never truly troubled. If I were his coach, Id aim for top 8 in the world which should make all the difference to the draws in the big PSA events. Things are looking rosy though if he keeps this up.


An excellent 3-0 to finish off the night. Well played Mista BarkerJ


Surrey 5-0 winnersJ


Truth be told, a 3-2 either way would have been a fair result but each of our team did well, particularly Adrian, and deserved their victories. Chichester though, can justifiably be a little bemused at being white washed, in matches anyway. Unfortunately, the Exeter crew only dropped 3 points so its looking pretty tight at the top.


A good night had by all. Next up, a sojourn to Guildford. No turkeys there please boys and girlJ


Carry on..


Tables after Round Four
          Ties       Matches     Games    Pts

                         P   W   L    W    L     W     L

         Group A:

Chapel Allerton                3   2   1   12    3    38    15    48

Benz-Bavarian Duffield         3   2   1    9    6    31    26    41

Esporta Oxford                 4   1   3    8   12    36    43    41

MB Nottingham                  3   2   1    6    9    26    31    36

Pontefract                     3   1   2    5   10    18    34    23


          Group B:

Exeter Diamonds                4   4   0   13    7    43    31    63

Surrey H&RC                    4   3   1   13    7    44    32    59

Probuild Bristol               4   2   2   10   10    39    34    49

UniSport Guildford             4   1   3    9   11    35    38    40

PNH Properties Chichester      4   1   3    8   12    35    42    40

TWP St George's Hill           4   1   3    7   13    28    47    33


Round Four

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