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PSL: Matthew leads Duffield march to top spot

Alan Thatcherhttps://squashmad.com
Founder of World Squash Day, Squash Mad and the new Squash 200 Partnership, building clubs of the future. Founder of the Kent Open and co-promoter of the St. James's Place Canary Wharf Classic. Author and Public Speaker.

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Nick Matthew in actionDuffield Clinch Group Top Spot For Home Advantage In PSL Semis

A sensational season-ending performance by former champions Benz-Bavarian Duffield in the tenth and final round of the Premier Squash League (PSL) earned the Derbyshire club top place in the Group A tables – as well as the advantage of a home tie in next week’s semi-final play-offs of the world’s most prestigious squash league.

Led by Yorkshire’s world champion Nick Matthew, Duffield delighted their loyal home supporters by defeating Courtcraft Pontefract 5/0 to top the tables for only the second time this season – the first being after the opening round, in which their season-long rivals LEBC Group Chapel Allerton received a bye!

Yorkshire club Chapel Allerton, champions in 2009, led Group A for most of the season – and went into the final round three points ahead of Duffield.  But the Leeds club struggled to contain CLFS Esporta Oxford in their visit south – and ultimately went down 3/2 after Oxford’s Australian international Cameron Pilley beat the visitors’ Renan Lavigne 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 in the tie decider.

But Duffield, PSL champions in 1998, 2006 and 2007, truly saved their best till last – with Derbyshire fire-fighter Laura Hill and Australian Matthew Karwalski both surviving five-game battles to clinch valuable points for the home side, and youngster Chris Fuller and experienced Jonathan Kemp claiming important straight games wins, before Matthew held off the challenge of veteran fellow YorkshiremanSimon Parke in four games to ensure maximum points for the club.

“I am very proud of my group of players, and tonight they did a fantastic job in front of one of the biggest crowds we’ve ever had – they filled every nook and cranny we had in the club,” said team manager Felix Frixou.

“Laura came back from 4-7 down in her final game – and it takes a lot of guts to do that.  And young Chris Fuller did us proud – it’s good to see our young players coming through.

“But Pontefract really made it hard for us – and Simon Parke was really impressive.  I take my hat off to him – his match against Nick was played in great spirit.”

 

The two top teams in Group B both enjoyed 4/1 wins to consolidate their places in the semi-finals.  Runaway leaders TWP St George’s Hill journeyed to Devon to face Exeter Diamonds – and quickly earned the single point required to maintain their leadership, before finishing off with 17 after confident wins by British national champion Laura Massaro, Hungarian No1 Mark Krajcsak, Swiss No1 Nicolas Mueller, and new England international Tom Richards.

In a late night conclusion to the tie, Australian international Stewart Boswell gained some consolation for the hosts by beating the Weybridge club’s top string Daryl Selby 11-6, 11-3, 11-5.

It was a similar story for second-placed Surrey Health & Racquets, the title-holders who built up a 4/0 lead over visitors IGT Winchester before the PSL newcomers gained a consolation point in the final match when leading Frenchman Gregory Gaultier beat the Croydon club’s Peter Barker 11-3, 11-9, 11-4.

But there were earlier commanding straight games wins by France’s Camille SermeAdrian Waller,Peter Nicol and Adrian Grant to guarantee Surrey Health’s fifth successive season in the semi-finals.

 

Whilst not featuring in the battle for places in the semi-finals, the remaining tie in Group B produced a momentous outcome when UWE Bristol beat Team Chichester 3/2 at home to earn their first win of the season!

Semi-finals line-up (Tuesday 5 April):

Benz-Bavarian Duffield v Surrey Health & Racquets

TWP St George’s Hill v LEBC Group Chapel Allerton

 

 

RESULTS:            10th round, Tuesday 29 March 2011

Group A:

Benz-Bavarian Duffield 5  Courtcraft Pontefract 0

Nick Matthew bt Simon Parke    11-8, 10-12, 11-3, 11-4

Jonathan Kemp bt Lee Beachill    11-7, 11-2, 11-2

Matthew Karwalski bt Neil Cordell    6-11, 8-11, 11-7, 13-11, 11-6

Chris Fuller bt Karan Malik    11-8, 15-13, 11-0

Laura Hill bt Kirsty McPhee    11-7, 11-3, 9-11, 9-11, 11-9

CLFS Esporta Oxford 3  LEBC Group Chapel Allerton 2

Cameron Pilley bt Renan Lavigne    11-7, 11-7, 11-7

Borja Golan bt Aaron Frankcomb    11-9, 11-8, 13-11

Chris Ryder bt Chris Simpson    5-11, 11-7, 11-8, 11-9

Scott Handley lost to Laurence Delasaux    12-14, 8-11, 6-11

Katherine Quarterman lost to Jenny Duncalf    1-11, 5-11, 2-11

 

Group B:

UWE Bristol 3  Team Chichester 2

Mohamed El Shorbagy bt Max Lee    11-3, 11-5, 11-9

Lucas Serme lost to Olivier Pett    5-11, 8-11, 8-11

Michael Harris bt Tim Vail    11-9, 11-5, 6-11, 12-10

Daniel West bt Alex Gough    5-11, 9-11, 11-2, 11-7, 12-10

Rebecca Quiney lost to Lauren Briggs    5-11, 6-11, 1-11

Exeter Diamonds 1  TWP St George’s Hill 4

Stewart Boswell bt Daryl Selby    11-6, 11-3, 11-5

Campbell Grayson lost to Tom Richards    11-9, 7-11, 7-11, 11-3, 4-11

James Snell lost to Nicolas Mueller    8-11, 7-11, 9-11

Peter Creed lost to Mark Krajcsak    11-7, 8-11, 8-11, 11-9, 4-11

Victoria Temple-Murray lost to Laura Massaro    1-11, 5-11, 7-11

Surrey Health & Racquets 4  IGT Winchester 1

Peter Barker lost to Gregory Gaultier    3-11, 9-11, 4-11

Adrian Grant bt Joey Barrington    11-9, 11-9, 11-7

Peter Nicol bt Dylan Bennett    11-5, 11-8, 11-8

Adrian Waller bt Mark Cairns    11-7, 11-4, 11-5

Camille Serme bt Zephanie Curgenven    11-4, 11-6, 11-3

 

PSL TABLES (after 10th & final round)

Ties       Matches     Games    Pts

P   W   L    W    L     W     L

Group A:

Benz-Bavarian Duffield 8   6   2   28   12    93    57   123

LEBC Group Chapel Allerton 8   5   3   26   14    88    58   113

CLFS Esporta Oxford 8   4   4   24   16    81    65   101

Courtcraft Pontefract 8   4   4   14   26    63    90    83

MB Nottingham 8   1   7    8   32    44    99    49

 

Group B:

TWP St George’s Hill 10   9   1   35   15   119    68   164

Surrey Health & Racquets 10   7   3   32   18   110    77   145

Team Chichester 10   5   5   24   26    91    91   116

Exeter Diamonds 10   4   6   23   27    89    96   109

IGT Winchester 10   4   6   23   27    82    96   102

UWE Bristol 10   1   9   13   37    64   127    69

For all the latest news, visit the official website www.pslsquash.com

FOOTNOTE: All the men in the Surrey Health and Racquets team are left-handers!!

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