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PSL: St George’s and Chapel Allerton march on unbeaten

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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St George’s Hill & Chapel Allerton End First Half of PSL Season Unbeaten

With the first half of the Premier Squash League (PSL) season now behind them, both LEBC Group Chapel Allertonand TWP St George’s Hill remain unbeaten – and have extended their leadership of Groups A & B, respectively, after the fifth round of the world’s most prestigious squash league.

Yorkshire club Chapel Allerton, winners of the PSL title in 2009, celebrated a 3-2 home win over Group A rivals CLFS Esporta Oxford.  Frenchman Renan Lavigne clinched a valuable win in the tie decider in his maiden appearance for the Leeds club.  In a fine battle between two 36-year-olds, former world No17 Lavigne – now retired from the Tour – recovered from two games down to beat Oxford stalwart Scott Handley 1-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-1.

Meanwhile, in a packed St George’s Hill in Weybridge, Surrey, the home side also relied on a veteran newcomer this season to pull the side through in a 3/2 win over Group B rivals Exeter Diamonds.  After eight seasons for nearby Guildford, 40-year-old Stephen Meads made a significant home debut for his new club by beating promising full-timer James Snell, aged 22, 11-8, 8-11, 5-11, 11-3, 11-8.

Later St George’s regular Tom Richards, fresh from two successful runs in PSA Tour events in the USA in January, clinched victory for the hosts with a 6-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-6 win over Exeter’s New Zealander Campbell Grayson.

“It was a fantastic performance from Steve, who has only just returned from coaching duties with the Hong Kong national squad,” said St George’s Hill team manager Danny Lee.  “We’re enjoying a great run this season – and it’s down to a good depth of squad we have, which is the envy of the rest of the teams in the league.”

Reigning champions Surrey Health & Racquets made up for two recent defeats by recording a 4/1 away win over PSL newcomers IGT Winchester.  In the standout match of the tie, former squash great Peter Nicol, the ex-world number and world champion who retired some years ago, took on Winchester’s rising Egyptian star Marwan El Shorbagy, the 17-year-old who last year won the prestigious British Junior U17 Open title.

The teenager went into the match with all guns blazing – but 37-year-old Nicol was able to call upon all the skills which made him one of the world’s best ever players by despatching his young opponent 11-6, 11-9, 11-9 in 24 minutes.

In the final match of the day, the Croydon club’s 40-year-old captain Tim Garner celebrated his 13th match in the last 11 days by recovering from two games down to beat the home side’s South African ace Jesse Engelbrecht 7-11, 6-11, 12-10, 11-6, 11-4.

Team Chichester won the battle to stay off the bottom of the Group B tables by seeing off visitors UWE Bristol 3/2.  The home side quickly claimed their victory with successive wins by Lauren BriggsBrandon Hanley and club stalwart Peter Genever.  But Bristol bounced back when Theodore Anderson beat Nic Birt in four games – and young Frenchman Lucas Serme stemmed a fightback by Tim Val to beat the Chichester captain 11-8, 11-3, 11-13, 10-12, 11-5.

In the other Group A tie, Yorkshire club Courtcraft Pontefract celebrated their first win of the season in a 3/2 home victory over Derbyshire’s three-time champions Benz-Bavarian Duffield.

“It was a great evening of squash – with a fantastic performance from 38-year-old former England internationalSimon Parke who just never gave up in his incredible 14-12, 8-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8 win over tough opponent Joel Hinds, the 23-year-old reigning world university champion,” said Pontefract team manager Malcolm Willstrop.

Former Pontefract number Lee Beachill also entertained the packed crowd with his performance against in-form Cheshire player Andrew Whipp.  At 2/1 down, Beachill gave it his all to level the match after a tie-break in the fourth – but the younger Whipp blasted back in the decider to win 7-11, 13-11, 11-4, 10-12, 11-2.

But it was the host club’s Indian star Saurav Ghosal who clinched victory for the team.  In his first PSL appearance for more than a year, Ghosal beat England international Jonathan Kemp 11-8, 11-13, 19-17, 11-7.

RESULTS:            5th round, Tuesday 1 February 2011

Group A:

Courtcraft Pontefract 3  Benz-Bavarian Duffield 2

Saurav Ghosal bt Jonathan Kemp    11-8, 11-13, 19-17, 11-7

Simon Parke bt Joel Hinds    14-12, 8-11, 8-11, 11-9, 11-8

Lee Beachill lost to Andrew Whipp    11-7, 11-13, 4-11, 12-10, 2-11

Neil Cordell lost to Chris Fuller    8-11, 2-11, 11-7, 10-12

Kirsty McPhee bt Laura Hill    11-7, 11-9, 14-12

LEBC Group Chapel Allerton 3  CLFS Esporta Oxford 2

Renan Lavigne bt Scott Handley    1-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-1

Laurence Delasaux lost to Jaymie Haycocks    6-11, 8-11, 12-14

Anthony Graham bt Lee Drew    13-11, 11-5, 11-9

Adam Murrills lost to Andrew Birks    11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 2-11, 8-11

Carrie Ramsey bt Katherine Quarterman    11-4, 11-8, 11-8

Group B:

Team Chichester 3  UWE Bristol 2

Tim Vail lost to Lucas Serme    8-11, 3-11, 13-11, 12-10, 5-11

Nic Birt lost to Theodore Anderson    11-7, 5-11, 4-11, 9-11

Peter Genever bt Daniel West    13-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-8

Brandon Hanley bt Konrad Tyma    11-6, 11-6, 13-11

Lauren Briggs bt Rebecca Quiney    11-3, 11-0, 11-3

TWP St George’s Hill 3  Exeter Diamonds 2

Daryl Selby lost to Stewart Boswell    11-13, 10-12, 9-11

Tom Richards bt Campbell Grayson    6-11, 11-6, 11-6, 11-6

Neil Hitchens lost to Jonathan Harford    5-11, 8-11, 7-11

Stephen Meads bt James Snell    11-8, 8-11, 5-11, 11-3, 11-8

Dominique Lloyd-Walter bt Rhianne O’Donnell    11-4, 11-0, 11-3

IGT Winchester 1  Surrey Health & Racquets 4

Kashif Shuja lost to Peter Barker    3-11, 6-11, 6-11 (23m)

Marwan El Shorbagy lost to Peter Nicol    6-11, 9-11, 9-11 (24m)

Jesse Engelbrecht lost to Tim Garner    11-7, 11-6, 10-12, 6-11, 4-11

Stacey Ross bt Khawaja Adil Maqbool    11-5, 11-9, 11-7 (39m)

Lauren Selby lost to Victoria Lust    4-11, 9-11, 12-10, 12-14 (40m)

PSL TABLES (after 5th round)

Ties       Matches     Games    Pts

P   W   L    W    L     W     L

Group A:

LEBC Group Chapel Allerton 4   4   0   17    3    53    19    73

CLFS Esporta Oxford 4   2   2   12    8    39    34    49

Benz-Bavarian Duffield 4   2   2   11    9    39    32    49

MB Nottingham 4   1   3    6   14    27    45    32

Courtcraft Pontefract 4   1   3    4   16    23    51    28

Group B:

TWP St George’s Hill 5   5   0   18    7    60    33    85

Exeter Diamonds 5   3   2   14   11    51    42    66

Surrey Health & Racquets 5   3   2   13   12    50    49    65

IGT Winchester 5   2   3   11   14    44    47    54

Team Chichester 5   2   3   11   14    40    50    50

UWE Bristol 5   0   5    8   17    40    64    40

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

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