If Round One was a night of home victories, tonight was more mixed with two home and three away wins in Round Two of the Premier Squash League, which will go down as the first where results were transmitted primarily by Twitter.
Players were tweeting on the way to the venues, supporters were sending messages of support as the 7pm kickoff time approached, and results and comments were being tweeted from the venues as the matches progressed.
Birmingham 0-5 Duffield
After a solid win in round one Duffield travelled to the University of Birmingham, who were playing their first home match since returning to the league. “Great turnout at @UBSportPSquashL with a full crowd of over 200. Amazing atmosphere,” said @sbmsports.
The crowd were kept relatively quiet though as Jaclyn Hawkes, Chris Fuller, Joel Hinds and Steve Coppinger recorded 3/0 wins to put Duffield 4/0 up, leaving the stage set for the number ones.
@UBSportPSquashL was tweeting virtually every point of every match, and opened the final match with: “The crowd are eagerly awaiting the last match of the evening world no.1 @nickmatthew is up against Birmingham’s world number 38 @cwryder”.
In the event Matthew also won 3/0 despite Ryder’s best efforts – in the third game “Excellent backhand by Ryder, is the crowd helping him to an unlikely comeback?” was quickly followed by “Matthew looks calm and relaxed leading 7-3 and totally in control of the match” – to give Duffield a maximum 20-point haul.
“Nick thanks the crowd and the organisers and leaves to a massive round of applause,” concluded @UBSportPSquashL.
@NickMatthew tweeted: “Unbelievable crowd&atmosphere at UnivOfBham. Had to turn people away as sold out twice over. Great job by @UBSquash &@SBMSquash”
Oxford 4-1 Pontefract
Having sat out round one, Pontefract opened their season with a journey to Oxford, for who Madeline Perry, Andrew Birks and Ben Coleman won at 3rd 4th and 5th strings to assure Oxford of the win.
“#esportaoxford lead 3-1 with @campilley working Lee beachill around right now! #stillclass,” reported @ben_coleman91.
Simon Parke pulled one back for Pontefract, but Pilley’s youth and power proved too much for the classy Beachill as Oxford completed a 4-1 win.
Chichester 3-2 Exeter
Being predicted to lose against visitors Exeter, Chichester score a remarkable victory with their numbers two, three and five all winning 3-2.
Ex-Chichester stalwart Tim Vail beat Hong Kong’s Max Lee to put the visitors ahead, but Lauren Briggs came from 2-0 down to beat Aisling Blake to level the match. “Vail beats Lee 3-1, Chichester crowd have mixed emotions” tweeted @squishedup.
Alex Ingham and Robbie Temple both went 2-0 up for the home side, but both were pegged back before winning the deciders against James Snell and Campbell Grayson to put “the Chi” 3-1 ahead.
Updates from @squishedup included “Chichester’s Robbie Temple just broke his racket head right off trying to get a Campbell Grayson shot outta the back”.
In the final match Exeter’s number one Stewart Boswell beat Nafiizwan Adnan to make the final score 3-2 to Chichester.
Bristol 2-3 St George’s
St George’s trip along the M4 proved worthwhile, although @DarylSelby got hungry on the way: “can’t wait for M&S food time. Moto where are you?! Gonna stock up for match against shorbagy, should be fast and furious!!#M4”.
Dominique Lloyd-Walter and Joe Lee put St George’s 2-0 up, but Selby’s snack proved to be a good idea as Arthur Gaskin and Mark Krajcsak set out on a marathon: “This could be a late night. Not only a 7.30 start but first match still on! Crackerjack leading Arrrrtuuur 2-1 but it’s tiight”.
Gaskin came back to win, but @TomRichards89 clinched the match for the visitors: “Tight 3-0 over speedy Lucas Serme. St George’s now 3-1 up after a heroic effort from arttttur gaskin vs crackajack 11/9 in 5th”.
Selby had earlier tweeted: “Interesting crystal ball predictions on @SquashSite tonight. Not sure about us winning 5-0, cos that means me winning?!!!”
He was right too, Mohamed El Shorbagy winning the final match 3/0 to make the final score 3-2 to the visitors.
Winchester 2-3 Surrey
The visitors went 2-0 up thanks to Vicky Lust and Adrian Waller, only to see Winchester level with tremendous wins from Marwan El Shorbagy over Alan Clyne and Ong Beng Hee – on his debut – against Peter Barker.
In the decider Surrey’s Adrian Grant pulled it out of the bag for the champions, but only by a 12/10 in the fourth win against Joey Barrington.
Results from Winchester were being texted by Jordan Mansfield, concluding with: “Thriller”.
The final words were left to @DarylSelby: “Sounds like packed houses all around the country in #pslsquash tonight. Bristol was packed and a great atmosphere.#gosquash #getpopular
“Just left Bristol. It is a 3am job. But at least we came away with all 3 points. The gaffer was happy and we all gave 110%.”
Winchester v Surrey photos from Jordanphoto.co.uk