Away Day in the PSL as leaders maintain the momentum

There were no massive movements in the league tables after tonight’s round six of the Premier Squash League – the first of the ‘second-half’ reverse fixtures – but there was certainly no shortage of drama on court as all but one of the five matches went to the wire, and all five finished with wins for the visiting team.

In Group A runaway leaders Duffield took a weakened squad to Oxford, who were in second place just ahead of Nottingham. The visitors only just managed to maintain their unbeaten record, thanks to wins from Andy Whipp (in five against Scott Handley), Laura Hill (3-0 but with two extra-point games against Victoria Bell) and Laurence Delasaux (3-0 in the decider against Mark Cairns).

Nottingham, meanwhile, travelled to the University of Bimingham and had an even narrower escape. With the match tied at two-all, Birmingham’s Jaymie Haycocks stood at 2-0 and 10-7 against Eddie Charlton, but the Nottingham man staged a remarkable comeback to take the match for the visitors, much to the disappointment of the packed home crowd.

Group A Results:
Oxford 2-3 Duffeld (8-16), Birmingham 2-3 Nottingham (9-14)

Provisional Group A Table:
Duffield maintain their grip at the top of the table with 90 points while Nottingham take a one point advantage over Oxford to move into second place with 65 points against Oxford’s 64. Birmingham stand on 37 points, while Pontefract, with a game in hand over the others, remain bottom with 23.

Group B also featured close finishes as the top three teams all won away from home to maintain their positions in the table.

Leaders and defending champions Surrey took the lead against bottom of the table Bristolthanks to the returning Alison Waters, but after the match was tied by Bristol skipper Hadrian Stiff, Surrey retook the lead with a comeback from 10-6 down in the fifth from Sunil Seth to deny Bristol’s Tom Ford. Mohamed El Shorbagy surprised himself with a 3/1 win over Peter Barker at top string, leaving it to Adrian Grant to wrap up the win for Surrey with a 3/1 win over Arthur Gaskin.

Exeter closed the gap on the leaders – by one point – with a 4/1 win away to Winchester, wins by James Snell, Tim Vail and LJ Anjema putting them 3/1 ahead and taking the pressure off new recruit Steve Finitsis, who won the final tie to give Exeter a comfortable win by the night’s standards.

St George’s Hill, last year’s finalists, started the evening just two points ahead of hosts Chichester, and this one too went down to the wire. Dominique Lloyd-Walter and Mark Krajcsak put the visitors two-up, but Anthony Graham and Robbie Temple – the latter with a very creditable 3-2 win over Tom Richards – brought Chichester level, leaving it to National Champion Daryl Selby to keep St George’s on the pace with a 3/1 win over Nafiizwan Adnan.

Group B Results:
Winchester 1-4 Exeter (5-17), Chichester 2-3 St George’s (7-16), Bristol 2-3 Surrey (9-16)

Provisional Group B Table (all pld 6):
Surrey 92, Exeter 87, St George’s 78, Chichester 67, Winchester 61, Bristol 33

Borja Golan 3-0 Joel Hinds   11/7, 11/6, 11/7
Scot Handley 2-3 Andy Whipp 11/8, 7/11, 5/11, 11/9, 7/11
Mark Cairns 0-3 Laurence Delasaux 9/11, 8/11, 5/11
Andrew Birks 3-2 Chris Fuller  9/11, 7/11, 11/4, 11/3, 11/9
Victoria Bell 0-3 Laura Hill 5/11, 11/13, 12/14

Jaymie Haycocks 2-3 Eddie Charlton 11/8, 11/8, 10/12, 5/11, 8/11
Jonny Harford 1-3  Shaun Le Roux 5/11, 5/11, 11/8, 8/11
Chris Truswell 0-3 Mark Fuller 9/11, 8/11, 9/11
Nathan Lake 3-0 Ollie Holland   11/7, 11/5, 11/5
Deon Saffery 3-0 Alicia Meads   11/2, 11/4, 11/7

Yann Perrin 0-3 Lauren Jans Anjema
Dylan Bennett  0-3 Steve Finitis 11/13, 9/11, 5/11
Stacey Ross 1-3 Tim Vail 18/16, 10/12, 5/11, 9/11
Michael Harris 1-3 James Snell 6/11, 9/11, 11/9, 7/11
Catherine Finlayson 3-0 Rhianne O’Donnell     11/4, 11/7, 11/3

Nafiizwan Adnan 1-3 Daryl Selby 3/11, 5/11, 11/8, 8/11
Robbie Temple 3-2 Tom Richards  11/4, 11/13, 12/10, 7/11, 11/4
Olly Pett 0-3 Mark Krajscak 11/13, 8/11, 3/11
Anthony Graham 3-0 Stephen Meads  11/7, 11/5, 11/4
Annabelle Collins Ballands 0-3 Dom Lloyd-Walter 5/11, 2/11, 4/11

Mohamed El Shorbagy 3-1 Peter Barker   11/5, 11/7, 8/11, 13/11
Arthur Gaskin 1-3 Adrian Grant
Hadrian Stiff 3-1 Steve London
Tom Ford 2-3 Sunil Seth
Olivia Howell 0-3 Alison Waters

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