Duffield and Surrey stay unbeaten as Coolhurst and Chichester advance
With the third round of league matches in quick succession, only Duffield and Surrey went into play with unbeaten records, and while both maintained that record there were some scares along the way.
Elswhere Nottingham, Coolhurst, Chichester and St George’s all won to put themselves on two wins out of three and in playoff contention.
In Division A Duffield made it three wins out of three as they consigned league newcomers Leicester to a third straight defeat, but it was far from a walkover for the home side. Former Duffield stalwart Tania Bailey returned and took young Millie Tomlinson to five games, while Ashley Davies dropped the first game before beating Darren Lewis 3-1 to put Duffield 2-0 up.
Newly-crowned British U19 champion George Parker gave Leicester some hope as he beat Andy Whipp in five games to cost Duffield their first dropped point, but Chris Simpson and Nick Matthew were too strong at the top of the order as Duffield ran out 4-1 winners.
Nottingham were taken to a decider for the second week in a row as visitors Birmingham won at numbers four and five before the hosts levelled the match courtesy of Mark Fuller and Eddie Charlton. It was left to Alan Clyne, making his first appearance of the season for Nottingham, to wrap up the win with a 3-1 victory over Chris Ryder at top string.
Pontefract got off to a good start at home to Coolhurst as Katie Smith put them in the lead with a 3-1 win over Selina Sinclair, but the London-based visitors took the remainder of the matches to give them a 4-1 away win that puts them clear in second place in the table.
In Division B, still unable to field their Egyptian top order, Exeter’s poor start to the season conbtinued as visitors Chichester took a winning lead with victories from Emma Chorley, Nathan Lake and Robbie Temple.
Rex Hedrick continued the bad news for the hosts as he beat Ollie Pett to make it 4-0, and despite a brave effort by Exeter number one Olli Tuominen, Chichester’s new recruit Adrian Waller took the final match in five at the stroke of midnight to put Chichester on top of the table.
St George’s Hill made it two wins in a row as they raced into a 3-0 lead at home to Bristol, courtesy of Yathreb Adel, Charles Sharpes and Henrik Mustonen. Tom Richards made it 4-0 before Mathieu Castagnet gave Bristol a win at the top of the order as he beat Joe Lee in four games.
There was a French winner at the top of the order at Winchester too, as Gregoire Marche had to pull out all the stops to prevent defending champions Surrey going down to defeat. Scott Fitzgerald and Robert Downer put wins on the board for Winchester, but Surrey struck back as Alison Waters came from 2-1 down to beat Emily Whitlock, and Lyell Fuller profited from an injury to Scott Handley, who had taken the first two games for Winchester before having to retire in the fourth.
“Diving all over the floor”, Marche beat Winchester debutant Mohamed Abouelghar in four games to save Surrey’s skin.
Benz Bavarian Duffield 4-1 Everards Leicester (19-6)
Nick Matthew 3-0 Daryl Selby 11-6, 11-6, 11-1
Chris Simpson 3-0 Ben Coleman 11-7, 11-6, 11-6
Andy Whipp 2-3 George Parker 5-11, 8-11, 11-3, 11-3, 7-11
Ashley Davies 3-1 Darren Lewis 9-11, 12-10, 12-10, 11-9
Millie Tomlinson 3-2 Tania Bailey 9-11, 11-4, 4-11, 11-9, 11-6
Air-IT Nottingham 3-2 Birmingham Lions (14-9)
Alan Clyne 3-1 Chris Ryder 11-9, 11-9, 6-11, 11-5
Eddie Charlton 3-1 Joel Makin 11-8, 11-6, 8-11, 11-9
Mark Fuller 3-1 Chris Hall 6-11, 11-8, 11-6, 11-4
Ollie Holland 0-3 Jonny Harford 6-11, 8-11, 7-11
Sophie Lemom 0-3 Sarah-Jane Perry 2-11, 3-11, 5-11
Pontefract 1-4 Coolhurst London (5-18)
Ben Grindrod 0-3 Cameron Pilley 1-11, 5-11, 7-11
Lee Beachill 1-3 Greg Lobban 11-6, 3-11, 8-11, 6-11
Alex Hodgetts 0-3 Angus Gillams 7-11, 1-11, 5-11
Taminder Gata-Aura 1-3 Joe Green 5-11, 11-9 , 7-11, 4-11
Katie Smith 3-1 Selina Sinclair 11-5 , 10-12, 11-3, 11-8
Exeter Diamonds 0-5 Team Chichester (4-20)
Olli Tuominen 2-3 Adrian Waller 7-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-9, 8-11
Ollie Pett 1-3 Rex Hedrick 11-7, 8-11, 8-11, 5-11
Tim Vail 1-3 Robbie Temple 9-11, 11-8, 9-11, 7-11
James Snell 0-3 Nathan Lake 8-11, 9-11, 3-11
Rhianne O’Donnell 0-3 Emma Chorley 3-11, 2-11, 1-11
Luxford/9 Group St George’s Hill 4-1 UWE/Elite Bristol (18-4)
Joe Lee 1-3 Mathieu Castagnet 11-9, 5-11, 9-11, 6-11 (58m)
Tom Richards 3-1 David Evans 9-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-6 (43m)
Henrik Mustonen 3-0 Josh Masters 11-6, 11-7, 11-5 (22m)
Charles Sharpes 3-0 Jim Bamber 11-7, 11-5, 11-3 (25m)
Yathreb Adel 3-0 Kip Quiney 11-5, 11-4, 11-7 (19m)
Winchester Racquets & Fitness 2-3 Virgin Active Surrey HRC (11-15)
Mohamed Abouelghar 1-3 Gregoire Marche 6-11, 10-12, 11-5, 9-11
Scott Handley 2-3 Lyell Fuller 11-8, 11-6, 5-11, 0-4 rtd
Robert Downer 3-1 Tim Garner 11-6, 5-11, 11-1, 13-11
Scott Fitzgerald 3-0 Phil Rushworth 11-8, 11-3, 11-8
Emily Whitlock 2-3 Alison Waters 11-7, 4-11, 11-8, 9-11, 5-11