Duffield Extend PSL Group Lead
It was far from ‘home sweet home’ for teams in the sixth round of the Premier Squash League (PSL) as the visitors recorded victories in all five ties – with former champions Benz-Bavarian Duffield extending their lead in Group A with a 3/2 win over Oxford Health & Racquets in the opening clashes of the second half of the season of the world’s most prestigious squash league.
Despite the last-minute withdrawal of squad number one Nick Matthew, the new world number one, the Derbyshire club soon took the lead with straight games wins by Laura Hill and Laurence Delasaux. And even though the club’s newly-appointed number one Joel Hinds went down to Oxford’s top-ranked Spaniard Borja Golan, Andy Whipp had already made sure of Duffield success with a five-game win over long-serving Oxford player Scott Handley.
And in the only league table change after the evening’s clashes, MB Nottingham moved up to second place in the group after defeating University of Birmingham 3/2. The home team made a strong start with wins by Nathan Lake and team newcomer Deon Saffery – but visitors Nottingham battled back to clinch the tie after a courageous comeback by Eddie Charlton in the deciding match when he came back from 2/0 down to beat Jaymie Haycocks 8-11, 8-11, 12-10, 11-5, 11-8.
Title-holders Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets maintained their leadership in Group B following a 3/2 win at UWE Bristol. The most notable performance came from the Croydon club’s Australian debutant Sunil Seth. The London-born 21-year-old fought back from the loss of the first and third games – then battled back in the decider from match ball at 6-10 behind to beat Bristol’s Tom Ford 9-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-6, 12-10.
Exeter Diamonds boasted the most decisive win of the night, beating IGT Winchester 4/1. James Snell, Tim Vail andSteven Finitsis produced the tie-winning victories for the Devon club before Dutch number Laurens Jan Anjemaextended the margin of victory after a 12-10 11-5, 11-9 win over Winchester newcomer Yann Perrin. The French international was a last-minute replacement for the club’s usual number one Ong Beng Hee, the Malaysian who triumphed against expectations on the PSA Tour at the weekend in Detroit, USA.
Last season’s beaten finalists TWP St George’s Hill celebrated success at Team Chichester – but the 3/2 win was not sufficient to move the Weybridge club ahead of Exeter in the Group B tables. Hosts Chichester befitted from notable wins byAnthony Graham and Robbie Temple – left-hander Temple stunning higher-ranked England international Tom Richards in five games – but top string Daryl Selby clinched victory for St George’s with an 11-3, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8 win over the home club’s Malaysian international Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan.
RESULTS: Premier League, 6th round:
Oxford Health & Racquets 2 Benz-Bavarian Duffield 3
Borja Golan bt Joel Hinds 11-7, 11-6, 11-7
Scott Handley lost to Andy Whipp 11-8, 7-11, 5-11, 11-9, 7-11
Mark Cairns lost to Laurence Delasaux 9-11, 8-11, 5-11
Andrew Birks bt Chris Fuller 9-11, 7-11, 11-4, 11-3, 11-9
Victoria Bell lost to Laura Hill 5-11, 11-13, 12-14
University of Birmingham 2 MB Nottingham 3
Jaymie Haycocks lost to Eddie Charlton 11-8, 11-8, 10-12, 5-11, 8-11
Jonathan Harford lost to Shaun le Roux 5-11, 5-11, 11-8, 8-11
Chris Truswell lost to Mark Fuller 9-11, 8-11, 9-11
Nathan Lake bt Oliver Holland 11-7, 11-5, 11-5
Deon Saffery bt Alicia Mead 11-2, 11-4, 11-7
IGT Winchester 1 Exeter Diamonds 4
Yann Perrin lost to Laurens Jan Anjema 10-12, 5-11, 9-11
Dylan Bennett lost to Steven Finitsis 11-13, 9-11, 5-11
Stacey Ross lost to Tim Vail 18-16, 10-12, 5-11, 9-11
Michael Harris lost to James Snell 6-11, 9-11, 11-9, 7-11
Catherine Finlayson bt Rhianne O’Donnell 11-4, 11-7, 11-3
Team Chichester 2 TWP St George’s Hill 3
Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan lost to Daryl Selby 3-11, 5-11, 11-8, 8-11
Robbie Temple bt Tom Richards 11-4, 11-13, 12-10, 7-11, 11-4
Olivier Pett lost to Mark Krajcsak 11-13, 8-11, 3-11
Anthony Graham bt Stephen Meads 11-7, 11-5, 11-4
Annabelle Collins-Ballands lost to Dominique Lloyd-Walter 5-11, 2-11, 4-11
UWE Bristol 2 Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets 3
Mohamed El Shorbagy bt Peter Barker 11-5, 11-5, 9-11, 13-11 (27m)
Arthur Gaskin lost to Adrian Grant 11-7, 5-11, 9-11, 4-11 (43m)
Hadrian Stiff bt Steven London 11-5, 8-11, 11-4, 11-3 (40m)
Tom Ford lost to Sunil Seth 11-9, 7-11, 11-8, 6-11, 10-12 (66m)
Olivia Howell lost to Alison Waters 2-11, 3-11, 0-11 (18m)
PSL TABLES (after 6th round)
|St George’s Hill||6||4||2||16||14||58||50||78|
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