Round 3: Duffield consolidate, Surrey take advantage
Round Three Quick Summary:
MB Nottingham 1-4 Benz Bavarian Duffield
Courtcraft Pontefract 2-3 Univ. of Birmingham
TWP St George’s Hill 1-4 Exeter Diamonds
IGT Winchester 4-1 UWE Bristol
Integrity Surrey H&R 3-2 Team Chichester
The third round of the Premier Squash Leage saw ten teams take to the court, many missing their top players who were either resting after the World Open in Rotterdam, or on Tour duty in Macau, Dayton or Vancouver.
In Pool A leaders Benz Bavarian Duffield, despite missing double World Champion Nick Matthew, showed no desire to loosen their grip as the stormed to a third straight win away at Midlands rivals MB Nottingham. The home team took the first point as Emma Beddoes beat Tania Bailey 3/1, but Duffield took the next three with Chris Fuller coming from a game down to win, Matthew Karwalski weilding his ancient Prince CTS Extender II to good effect, and Andy Whipp, introduced to the packed crowd as “the best team player in the UK” living up to his billing to put the visitors 3/1 ahead.
At the other end of the table Courtcraft Pontefract welcomed University of Birmingham, with both looking for their first win. Birmingham took the first two matches, Ponte levelled at two-all, leaving Lee Beachill and Jonny Harford to battle it out for the points. “Both huffing and puffing but Beach more so,” said one tweeter, as Harford beat the former world number one to take the win for Birmingham.
In Pool B leaders St George’s Hill were suffering more than most from missing players, and it showed as Exeter Diamonds came, saw, and conquered, winning 4/1 to put themselves back in contention and into second place after a narrow loss in the previous round.
IGT Winchester were at home to UWE Bristol, both also looking for their first win, and it was Winchester who quickly went 3/0 up to leave the visitors rooted to the bottom of the table, the match finishing 4/1.
Defending champions Integrity Surrey H&R had a chance to leapfrog rivals St George’s at the top of the table, but after going 2-0 down to visitors Team Chichester they were grateful that Peter Barker was available to play as they levelled the match, leaving it to the world number seven to seal the win.