Integrity Surrey Health & Rackets retained their PSL title tonight at Nottingham, but it went to the deciding tie as Duffield pushed them all the way …
Benz-Bavarian Duffield 2-3 Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets
Laura Massaro 3-0 Nada Elkalaawy 11/9, 11/9, 11/2 (24m)
Andy Whipp 0-3 Adrian Waller 3/11, 6/11, 11/13 (39m)
Joel Hinds 0-3 Karim Abdel Gawad 6/11, 8/11, 12/14 (43m)
Nick Matthew 3-0 Peter Barker 11/8, 11/9, 11/4 (43m)
Karim Ali Fathi 0-3 Adrian Grant 7/11, 9/11, 3/11
The final, blow by blow
Meanwhile on the showcourt Karim Abdel Gawad got the better of Joel Hinds in a fast-paced match to put Surrey level. After taking the first two games the Egyptian let a 5-1 lead slip in the third, couldn’t convert two match balls at 10-8 and had to save a game ball before eventually taling it 14-12.
The fourth string match finished with an uncannily similar scoreline, also for Surrey, as Adrian Waller took the first two games, couldn’t convert a match ball and had to save a game ball before finishing off Andy Whipp in 39 minutes.
Peter Barker may have beaten Nick Matthew in their last meeting, but the Duffield number one still went into the fourth match of the night with a 25-2 winning record, and once again made it tell as he beat Barker in three tough games to set up a decider for the title.
That left Adrian Grant, Surrey’s perennial late-night finisher, taking on Duffield’s Karim Ali Fathi for the title. The young Egyptian competed well for the first two games, but it was the experienced Englishman who took both games before running away with the third to make it four in a row and a record fifth title for Surrey.
Full report to follow …