Friday, December 1, 2023

PSL: Matthew and Willstrop set for 50th career meeting

PSL Round Six: Table toppers Duffield hope to continue form into the New Year
By MICHAEL CATLING – Squash Mad Reporter

After a brief period of rest and recuperation over the Christmas break, the second half of the Premier Squash League season returns on Tuesday evening with James Willstrop and Nick Matthew set to mark their 50th all-time meeting.

Bottom-placed AJP Pontefract face Benz-Bavarian Duffield in Group A, with world number one Nick Matthew looking to extend his five-match winning streak over Pontefract’s Willstrop. 

Matthew, who is unbeaten in his last 37 PSL matches, leads their head-to-head record by a staggering 38 wins to 11 losses and has only been defeated twice in their past 27 encounters since December 2007. 

However, Willstrop will be hoping to build some much-needed momentum ahead of the Tournament of Champions in New York next week, after a disappointing end to 2013. 

Pontefract have picked up just 20 points in their previous five rounds, while Duffield will be looking to Matthew and world number two Laura Massaro to help extend their 16 point advantage over second-place Coolhurst London.

Air-IT Nottingham visit the North London Club and with just one point separating the two sides, their playoff hopes could hinge on the outcome.

In the other Group A meeting, Chapel Allerton host University of Birmingham with Sarah Jane Perry making her return to competitive action against Jenny Duncalf in the pick of the matches.

Luxfords St George’s Hill visit Exeter Diamonds in a second-place showdown in Group B, with both teams just five points adrift of leaders Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets.

Fifth-placed UWE/Elitesquash Bristol will attempt to quell the threat of a Surrey team which features the returning Peter Barker and world number four Alison Waters, while Team Chichester will hope to improve on their inconsistent start to the season when they face lowly Winchester.

Group A

Coolhurst London (66) v Air-IT Nottingham (65)

Omar Abdel Maguid v Alan Clyne
Ben Coleman v Eddie Charlton
Adam Auckland v Ollie Holland
Steve Richardson v Mark Fuller
Madeline Perry v Emma Beddoes

AJP Pontefract (20) v Benz-Bavarian Duffield (82)

James Willstrop v Nick Matthew
Lee Beachill v Joel Hinds
Chris van der Salm v Andrew Whipp
Syafa Kamal v Declan James
Sarah Kippax v Laura Massaro

Chapel Allerton (62) v University of Birmingham (55)

Daryl Selby v Chris Ryder
Chris Simpson v Jaymie Haycocks
James Earles v Peter Creed
Simon Parke v Nathan Lake
Jenny Duncalf v Sarah-Jane Perry

Group B

Winchester (21) v Team Chichester (65)

Marwan El Shorbagy v Jonathan Kemp
Greg Lobban v Rex Hedrick
Scott Fitzgerald v Robbie Temple
Daniel Poleshchuk v Oliver Pett
Emily Whitlock v Lauren Briggs

Exeter Diamonds (71) v Luxfords St George’s Hill (71)

Omar Mosaad v Borja Golan
Laurens Jan Anjema v Tom Richards
Joey Barrington v Joe Lee
Tim Vail v Charles Sharpes
Tory Temple-Murray v Dominique Lloyd Walter

Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets (76) v UWE/Elitesquash Bristol (42)

Peter Barker  v  Mohamed Elshorbagy
Adrian Grant  v David Evans
Adrian Waller v Tom Ford
Richie Fallows TBC v Sam Ellis
Alison Waters v Camille Serme

Pictures by Michael Catling

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