R4: Duffield’s unbeaten start ends on a bad night

SP_10630By Mark Eklid, Derby Telegraph

A NIGHT that started well got steadily worse for Benz Bavarian Duffield with the end of their unbeaten start in the Premier Squash League.

After taking the lead through an authoritative victory for Laura Massaro, the PSL champions slipped to a 4-1 home defeat.

Full-strength Leicester secured the win by taking the next three rubbers against Duffield’s weakened middle order and the misery was complete when Nick Matthew retired through injury.

Matthew struggled from the start with stiff gluteal muscles, following his trip to the USA for the World Championships, felt a pull before the end of the second game and was forced to concede the match to Daryl Selby. He may now have to miss the Hong Kong Open this weekend.

“It was not a good night,” said team manager Felix Frixou. “I kind of half expected it but I thought Nick and Laura would win and Richie (Fallows) could have won to make it a 3-2 for us but it wasn’t to be.

“Fair play to Leicester. I expect them to be play-off contenders with that side but if Chris Simpson and Joel Hinds had been here it would have been a different story.”

Massaro, in her first PSL appearance of the season, maintained her excellent form by seeing off Emily Whitlock 11-6, 11-2, 11-5 but Danny Hockborn, on his debut, and Declan James were outgunned.

Duffield needed Fallows to come through and he fought back to level after losing the first two games against Shaun Le Roux only to lose the fifth 11-7.

They are away to Pontefract next, on December 8.