Round TEN: Semis spots decided
Pontefract and St George’s
secure semi-final spots
The final round of league matches saw Team Pontefract and Luxfords St George’s Hill both with home fixtures and a points target to claim second spot in Divisions A and B.
In Division A Pontefract, at home to University of Birmingham Lions, needed 12 points – or more realistically any sort of win – to reach the playoffs for the first time, and although Eliot Ridge and Chris Simpson dropped games in the opening matches, they still put Pontefract two up. Patrick Rooney, Laura Massaro and James Willstrop completed the rout with three-nil wins to the delight of the home crowd.
Malcolm Willstrop Reports: Jonathan Tate ‘s Birmingham may not have been at full strength, but they provided worthwhile opposition to an almost full strength Pontefract.
Jamie Haycocks went 1-0 up against Chris Simpson; Michael Mattimore was level at one all against Eliot Ridge and Jan Van den Herrewegen and Millie Tomlinson battled hard against the Commonwealth Games bound pair of James Willstrop and Laura Massaro.
Pontefract are happy to be in the play-offs for the first time and looking forward to the visit to the RAC Club in May.
Meanwhile at UWE / Elite Squash Bristol, visitors University of Warwick/Kenilworth Squash knew that they had to better Pontefract’s points tally by nine to reach the semis in their first season in the league.
Although Sarah-Jane Perry and Guy Pearson won for the visitors at the bottom of the order, Bristol’s top trio of Marwan ElShorbagy, Youssef Soliman and Josh Masters all won in straight games to give Bristol the win – but they still finish bottom of the table, albeit by just one point.
The Division B match saw St George’s take on bottom of the table Chichester needing a 4-1 win to put themselves out of reach of Coolhurst and Bexley, who play on Thursday.
Dominique Lloyd-Walter put the home side ahead but Kyle Finch levelled the match to inject some nerves into the home crowd. Carlos Cornes came from a game down to win, and Tom Richards swept to victory leaving St George’s needing just one point from Mohamed ElShorbagy.
The World #1 and World Champion duly delivered as he took the opening game, but Chichester’s Olli Pett put in a spectacular performance, eventually losing out in the fifth as St George’s made the semis for the sixth time.
The semi-finals will take place on Tue 8th May with Nottingham at home to St George’s, and Trads RAC at home to Pontefract.
Division A, Tue 27-Mar
Pontefract 5-0 Birmingham Lions (20-2)
James Willstrop 3-0 Jan vd Herrewegen 11-5, 11-7, 11-5
Chris Simpson 3-1 Jaymie Haycocks 8-11, 11-2, 11-6, 11-7
Patrick Rooney 3-0 Stuart Macgregor 11-9, 11-4, 11-3
Eliot Ridge 3-1 Michael Mattimore 11-5, 9-11, 11-7, 11-4
Laura Massaro 3-0 Millie Tomlinson 12-10, 11-7, 11-9
BRISTOL 3-2 Warwick/Kenilworth (16-7)
Marwan ElShorbagy 3-0 Mahesh Mangaonkar 11-9, 11-5, 11-7
Youssef Soliman 3-1 Mark Fuller 3-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-7
Josh Masters 3-0 Harry Falconer 11-8, 12-10, 11-5
Jethro Binns 2-3 Guy Pearson 4-11, 12-10, 11-9, 2-11, 6-11
Kip Quiney 0-3 Sarah-Jane Perry 5-11, 2-11, 4-11
St George’s Hill 4-1 Chichester (18-6)
Mohamed ElShorbagy 3-2 Olli Pett 11-6, 9-11, 11-9, 7-11, 11-7
Tom Richards 3-0 Tim Vail 11-7, 11-2, 11-4
Dylan Bennett 1-3 Kyle Finch 4-11, 9-11, 11-8, 4-11
Carlos Cornes 3-1 Miles Jenkins 9-11, 11-7, 13-11, 11-6
Dom Lloyd-Walter 3-0 Amy Jones 11-6, 14-12, 11-8
Coolhurst 1-4 Bexley (6-18)
Adrian Waller 3-1 Bernat Jaume 11-6, 6-11, 12-10, 11-8
Angus Gillams 2-3 Rui Soares 11-8, 7-11, 8-11, 12-10, 6-11
Joe Green 0-3 Rob Downer 6-11, 6-11, 9-11
Sam Levin 0-3 Bradley Masters 4-11, 5-11, 9-11
Katie Malliff 1-3 Kace Bartley 5-11, 11-4, 8-11, 4-11
PLAYOFFS : The semi-finals will be on Tue 8th May at Nottingham and RAC
the FINAL will be on Tue 22nd May at St George’s