Surrey hope for six of the best with home advantage
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad PSL Correspondent
Just three days after steering England to success in the European Team Championships in Italy, team-mates Nick Matthew and Peter Barker could find themselves going head-to-head to decide the 2014 Premier Squash League (PSL) title.
For the second year in a row, Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets and Benz-Bavarian Duffield will contest the final of the world’s most prestigious squash league, supported by Dunlop.
But this year, Croydon club Surrey Health arguably have home advantage when they face the Derbyshire club tomorrow (Tuesday May 6) at the Surrey Sports Park in Guildford.
Barker, the world No8 from London, is hoping to lead Surrey Health to title success for a record fifth successive year – but Duffield, PSL champions in 1998, 2006 and 2007, have the sport’s two world champions in their squad – Matthew and women’s world champion Laura Massaro.
“The PSL final this year is going to be an incredible evening,” said Surrey Health team manager Pete Smith, whose team first lifted the PSL trophy in 2008. “Two great teams, a great venue, a packed audience and two World Champions … what more can a squash fan ask for?
“It is fantastic for our club, Virgin Active Surrey Health and Racquets Club, to reach the PSL Final again this year for the sixth time – and to win the title again for the sixth time would be an incredible achievement by the team and a testament of the spirit we have for the PSL competition.
“We are up against a very strong Duffield team playing with Nick and Laura, the two current World Champions – but we will approach the match very motivated and we will want to do well for our travelling supporters. The team are very excited about the evening and we hope it will be a fantastic advert for team squash.”
The defending champions will be led by England internationals Barker, Adrian Grant and Alison Waters – ranked 7, 24 and 6, respectively, in the world – while Matthew and Massaro, both ranked two in the world, spearhead the Duffield attack.
Benz-Bavarian Duffield v Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets
Nick Matthew v Peter Barker
Stephen Coppinger v Adrian Grant
Joel Hinds v Adrian Waller
Andy Whipp v Davide Bianchetti
Laura Massaro v Alison Waters
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