Round Eight: Chichester can’t hold Surrey

Team Chichester –v- Integrity Surrey – Round 8

This week Chichester Racquets & Fitness Club’s Premier Squash League team played its penultimate home match of the 2011/2012 season.   The Chichester squad played current champions and leaders of the league (Group B) Integrity Surrey H & R; a tough undertaking for the city squad.

Lauren Briggs, currently world No.32, started Chichester’s campaign and played Alison Waters (world ranked 41), in a repeat of the 2012 National Championship semi-final.   Alison is returning to form after injury and on the night was in fantastic form and ran through a 1/11, 5/11, 3/11 to put Surrey 0.1 up.

On the adjacent glass-back court, Anthony Graham (WR116) played Surrey’s Alan Clyne (WR35).   Graham started well and built up a 9/5 lead, with great lengths and by using good holds in the front of the court.  Thereafter his patience deserted him and Clyne edged back to take the game 10/12.  Exactly the same happened in the second game; Graham forged ahead to reach 9 first before Clyne reeled him back to take it 10/12.  A long road back for Graham failed to materialise and Clyne took the 3rd game 3/11 and a 0.2 lead for Surrey

Next on court 4 Chichester’s Alex Gough (former WR5) started well against Adrian Waller (WR55).  Gough was very competitive and with some great anticipation and reading of Waller’s cross courts he took the first game 11/9.  Waller fought back to take the 2nd, 3/11.  Waller then maintained the pressure and went on to win the match 8/11, 5/11.

This gave Surrey an unassailable 0.3. lead.

Meanwhile on the glass-back championship court Sussex No.1 and WR66, Olly Pett, took the first game against WR17, Adrian Grant.   He played fast attacking squash and hit good straight lengths and used his volley drop to great effect.   Grant then came back at Pett and started hitting better lengths and took the pace down a little; consequently Pett’s rhythm started to go and Grant took the game 4/11.  In the 3rd Pett impatiently looked for winners too soon allowing Grant to take it 4/11 and a 1.2. lead.   In the 4th Pett regained his rhythm and fought back well to win it 11/9 to force the match into a decider.  Both players were wary at the start of the early exchanges and tried to weigh up each other’s game.  The game was never more than a couple of points apart and eventually they reached 9-all.    Grant held his nerve against the fearless, young rising star, who is ranked 49 places below him, to eventually win the match 9/11.

0.4 to Surrey.

The final match on the glass-back was between number one strings Robbie Temple (WR60) and Surrey’s Peter Barker (WR7).  Barker started strongly and reached 9 first before Temple gamely fought back to level the score.   Both players were striking good lengths with crisp hitting and tight straight drops.  There was nothing between them before Barker squeezed it 12/14.   In the 2nd the exchanges were even to the mid-way point when Barker stepped up the pressure and Temple hit the tin a few times to give Surrey the 2nd game, 5/11.

The 3rd game was again evenly played to 4-all but thereafter Barker was always ahead and took the game 7/11 to give Surrey an emphatic 0.5 victory.  It was, however, a thoroughly entertaining evening of exciting squash.

With 2 rounds to go Team Chichester is away to Winchester in 2 weeks time with the final match of the season on 27th March, at home to Bristol.

Robbie Temple 0-3 Peter Barker 12/14, 5/11, 7/11
Olly Pett 2-3 Adrian Grant 11/5, 8/11, 4/11, 11/9, 9/11
Anthony Graham 0-3 Alan Clyne 10/12, 10/12, 3/11
Alex Gough 1-3 Adrian Waller 11/9, 3/11, 8/11, 5/11
Lauren Briggs 0-3 Alison Walters 1/11, 5/11, 3/11

Mike Phillips

Team Chichester Manager