Benz-Bavarian slip up but their place in semi finals is secure
Last season’s finalists Benz-Bavarian Duffield and Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets made sure of places in this season’s Premier Squash League (PSL) semi-final play-offs despite contrasting fortunes in the ninth and penultimate round of the world’s most prestigious squash league.
Derbyshire’s three-time champions Benz-Bavarian Duffield went down 3/2 away from home to East Midlands rivals Air-IT Nottingham but are assured of top place in the Group A tables.
Like most of the ninth round teams in contention, Duffield were without key players participating in the PSA World Series Finals in the USA or the Penang Women’s World Championship in Malaysia – but victories by former women’s number one Tania Bailey and former European Junior Champion Declan James gave the visitors vital points.
“I thought it may go 3/2 to Nottingham, and in fairness they played well,” said Duffield team manager Felix Frixou. “We just needed six points to mathematically make the play offs and play a home tie, happy to get the extra one point.
“Really pleased to have won the group once again, and look forward to welcoming our southern runners up, whoever if may be, to our humble Squash club at Duffield.”
Nottingham are one of four teams in contention for the other play-off slot from the Group, though Coolhurst London suffered their heaviest defeat of the season – a 5/0 home drubbing by University of Birmingham – which moved the league debutants down from second to fourth in the tables.
The Birmingham team move up to third place in the tables – but Yorkshire club Chapel Allerton boosted their play-off bid with a 4/1 home win over county rivals AJP Pontefract to reclaim second place.
Numerous permutations could result from April’s tenth round clashes.
Defending champions Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets emerged victorious in a top-of-the-table clash with Exeter Diamonds in Group B, winning 3/2 at home.
Londoner Adrian Grant clinched victory for the Croydon club after beating Finnish number one Olli Tuominen 12-10, 13-15, 11-6, 6-11, 11-5.
“It was a very well-contested high class match tonight between two strong teams,” said the jubilant Surrey Health manager Pete Smith. “Adrian won a brilliant match 3/2 to secure the win and a semi-final spot for us.
“It’s fantastic to reach the semi’s again and congratulations to the team.”
Exeter need just two points from their final tie against Team Chichester to be sure of a first ever place in the play-offs.
Chichester claimed a tight 3/2 home win over Luxfords St George’s Hill which almost certainly ended the Weybridge club’s play-off aspirations.
In the other Group B tie, UWE/Elitesquash Bristol secured an impressive 3/2 away win at Winchester.
Air-IT Nottingham 3 Benz-Bavarian Duffield 2
Alan Clyne bt Joel Hinds 12-10, 11-5, 11-8
Eddie Charlton bt Andy Whipp 11-4, 11-7, 11-9
Chris Fuller lost to Declan James 10-12, 2-1 ret.
Ollie Holland bt Scott Handley 10-12, 12-10 ret.
Vaidehi Reddy lost to Tania Bailey 1-11, 3-11, 3-11
Chapel Allerton 4 AJP Pontefract 1
Daryl Selby bt Saurav Ghosal 12-10, 11-7, 9-11, 8-11, 11-6
Chris Simpson bt Chris van der Salm 11-7, 12-10, 11-9
Shaun le Roux bt Alex Hodgetts 11-2, 11-3, 11-8
Simon Parke bt Jack Brian Cooper 11-7, 11-9, 11-9
Carrie Ramsey lost to Kirsty McPhee 11-7, 8-11, 4-11, 8-11
Coolhurst London 0 University of Birmingham 5
Omar Abdel Meguid lost to Chris Ryder 11-7, 7-11, 11-8, 8-11, 7-11
Ben Coleman lost to Jaymie Haycocks 15-17, 6-11, 11-6, 8-11
Adam Auckland lost to Peter Creed 6-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-5, 4-11
Steven London lost to Joel Makin 1-11, 11-13, 7-11
Rachel Willmott lost to Chloe Mesic 2-11, 7-11, 7-11
Duffield 143, Chapel A 118, Birmingham 115, Coolhurst 112, Nottingham 108, Pontefract 35
Team Chichester 3 Luxfords St George’s Hill 2
Jonathan Kemp bt Tom Richards 11-4, 11-8, 11-13, 12-10
Rex Hedrick lost to Joe Lee 9-11, 6-11, 11-8, 6-11
Olivier Pett bt Henrik Mustonen 11-8, 12-10, 11-8
Stephen Wykes lost to Charles Sharpes 2-11, 6-11, 5-11
Lauren Briggs bt Dominique Lloyd-Walter 11-6, 16-14, 12-10
Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets 3 Exeter Diamonds 2
Peter Barker lost to Omar Mosaad 11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 8-11, 7-11
Adrian Grant bt Olli Tuominen 12-10, 13-15, 11-6, 6-11, 11-5
Gregoire Marche bt Tim Vail 11-6, 11-9, 11-3
Adrian Waller bt James Snell 11-8, 11-8, 11-7
Nada Elkalaawy lost to Aisling Blake 10-12, 10-12, 8-11
Winchester 2 UWE/Elitesquash Bristol 3
Greg Lobban bt Lucas Serme 14-12, 4-11, 11-6, 11-7
Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi bt David Evans 12-10, 11-8, 11-7
Robert Downer lost to Tom Ford 11-3, 11-2, 5-11, 4-11, 4-11
Scott Fitzgerald lost to Michael Harris 11-9, 10-12, 10-12, 3-11
Alison Thomson lost to Yathreb Adel 2-11, 2-11, 6-11
Surrey 138, Exeter 129, St George’s 110, Chichester 107, Bristol 94, Winchester 53
Fixtures 10th Round line-up (1 April)
AJP Pontefract v Air-IT Nottingham
Benz-Bavarian Duffield v University of Birmingham
Coolhurst London v Chapel Allerton
Exeter Diamonds v Team Chichester
Luxfords St George’s Hill v UWE/Elitesquash Bristol
Winchester v Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets