Leicester get their first PSL win as Duffield survive again and Surrey extend lead
It was a dramatic night around the country as the season reached its halfway stage with the fifth round of league play.
In Division A leaders Duffield had to hastily rearrange their team after the late withdrawal of number one Nick Matthew, and found themselves in danger of suffering their first defeat of the season as visitors Birmingham Lions took a 2-1 lead thanks to wins from Peter Creed and Chris Ryder after Millie Tomlinson had put Duffield ahead, coming from 2-1 down against Deon Saffery.
Duffield’s late replacement Ashley Davies was also 2-1 down but took the last two games to set up a decider which Chris Simpson – after being 1-7 down in the first against Jaymie Haycocks – won in four games to the relief of the packed Duffield crowd.
Leicester, seeking their first PSL win, welcomed second-placed Coolhurst, and went 2-0 up with a debut win for James Bowden and a hard-fought victory at number one for Daryl Selby. Mdeline Perry pulled one back for Coolhurst, but Ben Coleman beat Jo Green in straight games to bring up the long-awaited win for Leicester, and George Parker put the icing on the cake with a 3-2 win in the final match.
Nottingham made it four wins in a row as they travelled to Pontefract. With Lee Beachill unavailable the home side were up against it, and although Nottingham went two ahead with 3-0 wins from Ollie Holland and Emma Beddoes, it took a five-game win for Mark Fuller over Simon Parke to clinch the points for Nottingham. “I’m not going to lie to you, that was hard!” Fuller tweeted to his younger brother Chris who congratulated the team in his absence.
Leaders of Division B Surrey kepy their unbeaten record going with a 4-1 win away to Chichester to stretch their lead at the top. Alison Waters, fresh from winning the decider in the Women’s World Teams in Canada, put Surrey ahead, but Lyell Fuller, Fares Dessouki and Peter Barker all had to recover from losing their first games to secure the win for the defending champions.
Bristol travelled to South-West neighbours Exeter and won the first three matches to guarantee the win. Josh Masters and Hadrian Stiff both came from a game down to win 3-1, while Lea Van Der Zwalmen recorded her first PSL win with a five-game victory over Alison Thomson.
Tim Vail and Mohamed Elshorbagy won the final two matches for Exeter, who nevertheless finish the half as the only team without a win to their name.
It was Winchester’s Gaultier who won in straight games, and although Winchester remain fifth in the table on 55 points they’re just 12 points away from a playoff position, currently occupied by St George’s on 67 points.
So the scene is set for the second half, which begins on 27th Jan with the first half fixtures reversed.
Benz Bavarian Duffield 3-2 Birmingham Lions (16-11)
Chris Simpson 3-1 Jaymie Haycocks 11-8, 11-4, 11-13, 11-6
Declan James 2-3 Chris Ryder 10-12, 12-10, 11-4, 8-11, 5-11
Richie Fallows 0-3 Peter Creed 7-11, 10-12, 7-11
Ashley Davies 3-2 Miles Jenkins 11-9, 15-17, 7-11, 11-3, 11-9
Millie Tomlinson 3-2 Deon Saffery 7-11, 5-11, 11-2, 11-9, 11-8
Everards Leicester 4-1 Coolhurst London (17-7)
Daryl Selby 3-1 Greg Lobban 9-11, 15-13, 11-6, 12-10
Ben Coleman 3-0 Joe Green 11-3, 11-8, 11-5
George Parker 3-2 Ondrej Uherka 9-11, 11-6, 11-5, 7-11, 11-6
James Bowden 3-1 Nick Sutcliffe 9-11, 11-2, 11-6, 11-7
Tania Bailey 0-3 Madeline Perry 8-11, 9-11, 2-11
Pontefract 1-4 Air-IT Nottingham (7-18)
Saurav Ghosal 3-1 Alan Clyne 9-11, 11-8, 14-12, 11-7
Aqeel Rehman 2-3 Eddie Charlton 11-9, 8-11, 4-11, 11-7, 7-11
Simon Parke 2-3 Mark Fuller 11-5, 7-11, 11-7, 7-11, 9-11
Alex Hodgetts 0-3 Ollie Holland 5-11, 11, 10-12
Sarah Kippax -03 Emma Beddoes 4-11, 4-11, 7-11
Exeter Diamonds 2-3 UWE/Elite Bristol (10-17)
Mohamed Elshorbagy 3-1 Tom Ford 7-11, 11-6, 11-8, 12-10 (41m)
Tim Vail 3-2 Mike Harris 11-9, 3-11, 5-11, 11-7, 11-7 (58m)
James Snell 1-3 Josh Masters 15-13, 6-11, 3-11, 1-11 (37m)
Luke Bishop 1-3 Hadrian Stiff 11-7, 9-11, 8-11, 8-11 (54m)
Alison Thompson 2-3 Lea Van Der Zwalmen 11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 7-11, 3-11 (56m)
Team Chichester 1-4 Virgin Active Surrey HRC (6-17)
Adrian Waller 1-3 Peter Barker 11-9, 8-11, 8-11, 6-11
Robbie Temple 1-3 Fares Dessouki 11-6, 4-11, 8-11, 8-11
Alex Gough 1-3 Lyell Fuller 11-4, 4-11, 6-+11, 11-13 (50m)
Kyle Finch 3-0 Robert Dadds 11-4, 11-6, 11-4 (28m)
Emma Chorley 0-3 Alison Waters 4-11, 8-11, 6-11 (29m)
Winchester Racquets & Fitness 3-2 Luxford/9 Group St George’s Hill (14-8)
Gregory Gaultier 3-0 Borja Golan 11-8, 13-11, 11-8
Scott Handley 0-3 Joe Lee 10-12, 8-11, 8-11
Scott Fitzgerald 3-2 Tom Richards 8-11, 7-11, 11-8, 11-9, 11-9
Steve Wykes 0-3 Henrik Mustonen 7-11, 8-11, 7-11
Emily Whitlock 3-0 Dom Lloyd-Walter 11-1, 11-3, 11-9
In Division A Duffield look to be heading into Christmas with their unbeaten record intact, expect a heavy home win against Birmingham. Leicester‘s top order should bring them their first PSL, putting a small worry in the playoff hopes of visitors Coolhurst. It should be a close match at Pontefract, and even though it could go either way we’re plumping for a narrow Nottingham win.
Division B leaders Surrey should also be happy with their pre-Christmas haul, but Chichester may well give them a fright tonight. Winchester look strong at the top and bottom, but St George’s middle order should see them through to a win that keeps playoff hopes high. The bottom of the table clash at Exeter looks like a 3-2 either way, with visitors Bristol normally strong at the bottom of the order while Exeter field the world #1 at the top.