R7: Chichester win top of table clash with Bexley

Team Chichester’s penultimate home fixture this season was against newcomers, Bexley. Team Chichester played them away in Round 2 and came away with a narrow 3-2 victory. This match was a challenge for the top spot with Chichester defending a 3-point lead over Bexley.

The Chichester squad was not at full strength and without its top two players an exciting fixture was anticipated. It was, undoubtedly, going to be a tough ask for the home team.

First on the glass back court Chichester’s Miles Jenkins [WR256] played Rui Soares, Portugal, [WR137]. Soares’ steady game flowed and a medium paced first game gave him the first game 4/11. Jenkins immediately took charge of the second and quickly forged a 6/1 lead. He took the ball earlier and attacked the front wall well to reach game ball at 10/7. Jenkins then faltered to allow Soares to come back to take the game 10/12. Once again in the third Jenkins took a 6/1 lead and this time he resolutely ran out a 11/4 winner. In the fourth Soares got off to a better start and Jenkins was always playing catch-up and he just couldn’t close the gap and Soares won the match 6/11.

On the adjacent court Chichester’s Nele Gilis [WR35] played British U17 Open runner-up, Elise Lazarus. Nele started slowly and Elise took full advantage of this and used her front court game with great effect to win the first game 8/11. In the second game Nele began to get into her stride and used her speed around the court, all court game and mixed up the pace to take it comfortably 11/4. In the third Nele was in full flow as she retrieved well and once again mixed the pace to give her the advantage and finally won it 11/7. Nele was ahead all the way in the fourth but Elise was pressing Nele all the time and there was never more than the odd point in between them. Nele built a 10/7 lead and eventually won through 11/9.

Tim Vail followed on from Jenkins on the glass-back court and faced Lance Beddoes [WR100]. Vail performed superbly and with great holds and deft touches kept Beddoes out of the game. Throughout the entertaining encounter, Beddoes fell into numerous errors whilst Vail tidied up for an outstanding 3.0 victory, in 23 minutes.

Meanwhile Adam Corcoran, making his debut for Chichester, put in a terrific, consistent performance against Robert Downer [WR178]. Corcoran worked the drives and drops well and generally performimg the simple things well and, more importantly, with great consistency. Downer rallied well in all 3 games but Corcoran played superbly to win the match 3.0. to give Chichester an unassailable 3.1. lead on the night.

In the final rubber between the number one strings, Ollie Pett [CHI] played WR49 Todd Harrity, (USA). The match started admirably, with wonderful flowing squash. Both players moved well whilst combining good length with a variety to the front of the court. Pett took the first game 11/9. In the second Harrity started to work well to the front left and capitalized on this to take the game 6/11.

Midway through the third Pett fell and injured his hamstring and, sadly, had to retire and give the tie to Bexley.

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Team Chichester’s 3-2 victory keeps the squad on the top spot.

The next fixture is away to Coolhurst on March 14 when, it is hoped that Team Chichester will field a full squad.

The play-offs are now within touching distance.

Mike Phillips – Team Manager.

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