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Duffield & Surrey Health Clinch Early PSL Play-Off Slots

Duffield & Surrey Health Clinch Early PSL Play-Off Slots

Last season’s finalists Benz-Bavarian Duffield and Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets made sure of places in this season’s PSL semi-final play-offs despite contrasting fortunes in the ninth and penultimate round of the world’s most prestigious squash league.

Derbyshire’s three-time champions Benz-Bavarian Duffield went down 3/2 away from home to East Midlands rivals Air-IT Nottingham but are assured of top place in the Group A tables.

Like most of the ninth round teams in contention, Duffield were without key players participating in the PSA World Series Finals in the USA or the Penang Women’s World Championship in Malaysia – but victories by former women’s number one Tania Bailey and former European Junior Champion Declan James gave the visitors vital points.

“I thought it may go 3/2 to Nottingham, and in fairness they played well,” said Duffield team manager Felix Frixou. “We just needed six points to mathematically make the play offs and play a home tie, happy to get the extra one point.

“Really pleased to have won the group once again, and look forward to welcoming our southern runners up, whoever if may be, to our humble Squash club at Duffield.”

Nottingham are one of four teams in contention for the other play-off slot from the Group, though Coolhurst Londonsuffered their heaviest defeat of the season – a 5/0 home drubbing by University of Birmingham - which moved the league debutants down from second to fourth in the tables.

The Birmingham team move up to third place in the tables – but Yorkshire club Chapel Allerton boosted their play-off bid with a 4/1 home win over county rivals AJP Pontefract to reclaim second place.

Numerous permutations could result from April’s tenth round clashes.

Defending champions Integrity Surrey Health & Racquets emerged victorious in a top-of-the-table clash with Exeter Diamonds in Group B, winning 3/2 at home.

Londoner Adrian Grant clinched victory for the Croydon club after beating Finnish number one Olli Tuominen 12-10, 13-15, 11-6, 6-11, 11-5.

“It was a very well-contested high class match tonight between two strong teams,” said the jubilant Surrey Health managerPete Smith. “Adrian won a brilliant match 3/2 to secure the win and a semi-final spot for us.

“It’s fantastic to reach the semi’s again and congratulations to the team.”

Exeter need just two points from their final tie against Team Chichester to be sure of a first ever place in the play-offs.

Chichester claimed a tight 3/2 home win over Luxfords St George’s Hill which almost certainly ended the Weybridge club’s play-off aspirations.

In the other Group B tie, UWE/Elitesquash Bristol secured an impressive 3/2 away win at Winchester.

Group A

Nottingham (94+14) 3-2 Duffield (136+7)

Alan Clyne 3-0 Joel Hinds  12-10, 11-5, 11-8
Eddie Charlton 3-0 Andy Whipp  11-4, 11-7, 11-9
Chris Fuller 0-3 Declan James   10-12, 2-1 rtd
Ollie Holland 3-1 Scott Handley  10-12, 12-10 rtd
Vai Reddy 0-3 Tania Bailey  1-11, 3-11, 3-11

Chapel A (100+18) 4-1 Pontefract (30+5)

Daryl Selby 3-2 Saurav Ghosal  12-10, 11-7, 9-11, 8-11, 11-6
Chris Simpson 3-0 Chris van der Salm  11-7, 12-10, 11-9
Shaun Le Roux 3-0 Alex Hodgetts  11-2, 11-3, 11-8
Simon Parke 3-0 Jack Cooper  11-7, 11-9, 11-9
Carrie Ramsey 1-3 Kirsty McPhee  11-7, 8-11, 4-11, 8-11

Coolhurst (107+5) 0-5 Birmingham (95+20)

Omar Abdel Meguid 2-3 Chris Ryder 11-7, 7-11, 11-8, 8-11, 7-11
Ben Coleman 1-3 Jaymie Haycocks  15-17, 6-11, 11-6, 8-11
Adam Auckland 2-3 Peter Creed  6-11, 11-7, 5-11, 11-5, 4-11
Steve London 0-3 Joel Makin   1-11, 11-13 , 7-11
Rachel Willmott 0-3 Chloe Mesic   2-11, 7-11, 7-11

Standings:
Duffield 143, Chapel A 118, Birmingham 115, Coolhurst 112, Nottingham 108, Pontefract 35

Round 10, 01-Apr: Pontefract v Nottingham, Duffield v Birmingham,  Coolhurst v Chapel A

Group B

Chichester (92+15) 3-2 St George’s (103+7)

Jon Kemp 3-1 Tom Richards  11-4, 11-8, 11-13, 12-10
Rex Hedrick 1-3 Joe Lee  9-11, 6-11, 11-8, 6-11
Ollie Pett 3-0 Henrik Mustonen  11-8, 12-10, 11-8
Steve Wykes 0-3 Charles Charpes  2-11, 6-11, 5-11
Lauren Briggs 3-0 Dom Lloyd-Walter  11-6, 16-14, 12-10

Surrey (122+16) 3-2 Exeter (121+8)

Peter Barker 2-3 Omar Mosaad 11-7, 9-11, 11-9, 8-11, 7-11
Adrian Grant 3-2 Olli Tuominen 12-10, 13-15, 11-6, 6-11, 11-5
Greg Marche 3-0 Tim Vail   11-6, 11-9, 11-3
Adrian Waller 3-0 James Snell  11-8, 11-8, 11-7
Nada Elkalaawy 0-3 Aisling Blake 10-12, 10-12, 8-11

Winchester (44+9) 2-3 Bristol (79+15)

Greg Lobban 3-1 Lucas Serme  14-12, 4-11, 11-6, 11-7
Abdulla Al Tamimi 3-0 David Evans 12-10, 11-8, 11-7
Robert Downer 2-3 Tom Ford  11-3, 11-2, 5-1, 4-11, 4-11
Scott Fitzgerald 1-3 Mike Harris  11-9, 10-12, 10-12, 3-11
Alison Thompson 0-3 Yathreb Adel  2-11, 2-11, 6-11

Standings:
Surrey 138, Exeter 129, St George’s 110, Chichester 107,  Bristol 94, Winchester 53

Round 10, 01-Apr:  Exeter v Chichester, St George’s v Bristol, Winchester v Surrey

Semi-Finals: 8th April, Final: 6th May

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