Team Chichester’s first home fixture in the 2018/19 PSL season was played against defending champions, St. George’s (Weybridge); St George’s fielded current World No.1, Mohamed El Shorbagy. This season there is a new format and matches are played to the best of 3 and all five matches are played on the championship glass-back court.
First on court for Team Chichester’s Jared Carter, making his debut for the team, played St. George’s, Paul Broadberry, also playing his first match for the Surrey side. Carter dominated throughout the match and battled extremely well to take both games 11/2, 11/7 to put Chichester 1.0. up.
Miles Jenkins WR188, a member of the Chichester Club for 12 years, was next on court and faced WR87 Charlie Lee. Both players started cautiously, hitting deep and steadily going short trying to gauge each other’s game. Lee reached game point first, but Jenkins was not going to give in and, subsequently, he tightened up his game to reel off several winners to snatch it 11/8. Jenkins carried on in the same vein in the second and he hit some brilliant cross court low drives to win the game and match 11/8. Team Chichester now 2.0 up and could there be an upset on the cards?
Next on court Team Chichester’s, Alison Thomson WR74 also made her debut for the squad. She played former Chichester player, Jasmine Hutton who is currently WR84. This was set to be a close encounter and the capacity crowd was treated to a fantastic match. Thomson was trailing in the first but battled her way back to take it 12/10. Hutton was determined to make her mark on the match and steadfastly began to take control and after a very close game she won it 10/12. In the third game decider Hutton forged a good lead by stepping forward and attacking well to close the game 5/11.
Chichester’s Kyle Finch WR158 played Tom Richards WR30. Finch started his campaign by relentlessly going for shots in the front of the court. Such was the success of these shots that he forged an 8/6 lead. Errors from Finch, however, began to creep in and Richards took it 8/11. In the second Richards was always a point or two ahead but Finch still went for his shots and continued to fight for the points. Richards kept focus and retrieved well and, in the end, there were too many mistakes from the young Chichester player and Richards took full advantage to win it 5.11. 2-all and the much-anticipated match followed.
Finally, Tim Vail faced the World No.1, Mohamed ElShorbagy and it proved to be a very entertaining match. Vail matched Shorbagy in the early points. He was hitting deep but Shorbagy’s speed proved the big difference and he won the first 6/11. Vail competed well in every department and led 9/8 in the second but Shorbagy proved why he is WR1 to take the game 9/11 and win the match 3.2 for St. George’s.
It was a great night of very entertaining squash. All 5 matches on one court and all the best of 3 certainly appeared to be a winner on the night.
Mike Phillips: Team Manager