Saturday, December 9, 2023

PSL: Surrey stars meet in Guildford final

Team-mates Peter Barker and Simon Rosner pictured at Canary Wharf by KIM ROBERTS

Surrey Health & Racquets Poised For Historic PSL Prize

Defending champions Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets are poised to record a historic double when the club takes onTWP St George’s Hill in the second successive all-Surrey Premier Squash League (PSL) final next Tuesday (8 May) at Surrey Sports Park in Guildford.

Run from the beginning of the season in October, the premier England Squash & Racketball league, supported byDunlop, has seen 11 teams fight for places in next week’s final.

Victory over their Weybridge rivals for the second year running would see Surrey Health & Racquets not only become the first team in the league’s 27-year history to take three titles in a row, but also the first to win the PSL crown a fourth time.

But the Croydon club will need to beat St George’s Hill for the first time this season – after two narrow defeats in the group stages of the world’s most prestigious squash league.

Tuesday’s final promises to be one of the most evenly-contested of all-time – featuring a number of prized clashes between players with a rich history of combat on a squash court.

There is no more perfect example than the women’s line-up between England’s number two and three: Londoner Alison Waters (Surrey Health) and Lancashire lass Laura Massaro (St George’s) – both of whom boast career-high world No3 rankings – contested British Junior Championship finals from U14 to U19 between 1997 and 2002.

In February this year, the pair went head-to-head for the British National Championship title – with Massaro winning the final to avenge the defeat to her England team-mate in the 2008 climax!

Surrey Sports Park will see their fourth meeting this year – with their career head-to-head record evenly-balanced at 11 wins apiece!

Essex school-mates Peter Barker and Daryl Selby could play the decider: Londoner Barker, the world No7 and Surrey Health top string, boasts a 13-5 career head-to-head record over the St George’s number one who is ranked just three places lower. Selby is looking for his first win over the left-hander in six PSL meetings since 2003 – but became British champion in 2011, a status yet to be achieved by his England team-mate.

Adrian Grant and Tom Richards have competed against each for places in the England team over the past few years, with 25-year-old world No16 Richards (St George’s) getting the selectors’ nod ahead of the Surrey Health world No17 for this week’s European Team Championships. So 30-year-old Grant will no doubt have a point to prove as he bids to extend his 7/1 head-to-head tally.

And two of the rising stars of continental squash will also want to demonstrate that the sport is played to a high standard beyond our shores. Surrey Health’s German number one Simon Rosner has already beaten Nicolas Mueller, the highest-ranked Swiss player of all-time, this season in the league.

But the younger St George’s third string from Zurich is now only five world ranking places below his German rival – and looking for his first win over Rosner in seven years.

Just two months separate the ages of the teams’ fourth strings – and Adrian Waller (Surrey Health) and Joe Lee (St George’s) have been doing battle since contesting the British Junior U15 final in 2004. Waller moved the head-to-head record between the pair to 6/5 after beating his rival in last month’s British U23 Championship final – but the slightly older Lee has a PSL advantage of 3/1.

The Final kicks off at 7.00pm, with the following line-up:

Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets v TWP St George’s Hill
Peter BarkerDaryl Selby
Adrian GrantTom Richards
Simon RosnerNicolas Mueller
Adrian WallerJoe Lee
Alison WatersLaura Massaro

For all the latest news, visit the official website


Related articles

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Latest articles