Prestbury crowned champion of champions
SPRING may now be in full swing, but an already highly successful winter season for Prestbury’s First Team in the North West Counties Squash League is not quite ready to end yet.
For the ‘Firsts’, having secured the Division Three South East title, swooped into the final of the play-offs that are held annually to determine the various regional league ‘champions of champions’.
Hosting Central South table-toppers West Heaton 1, Prestbury recorded an emphatic 5-0 victory to book a showdown with fellow semi-final winners Liverpool Cricket Club 2.
The hosts made one change to the line-up that had seen off Wrexham Brymbo 2 in the quarterfinals with captain Mike Quartley replacing Mike Brauckmann, who was ruled out with a knee injury.
Chris Dunkerley, at third string, was first on court. And he put in a typically diligent and tireless shift against the highly experienced Eddie Tasker, recovering well after the loss of the second game to settle matters in Prestbury’s favour within four.
As it turned out, the ‘Firsts’ were not to concede another game all evening, as they put their visitors well and truly to the sword.
Mike Quartley and Brian Lomas, playing at five and four respectively, saw off their challengers without undue ceremony. And Brian’s victory came as belated revenge for a Fourth Division play-off semi-final defeat he had suffered against the same opponent, while playing for the Second Team, twelve months earlier. Clearly, good things do come to those who wait!
With a place in the final secured, it was left to cousins Paul and Mike Lomas to complete a clean sweep against two young pretenders at the top of the playing order - with experience triumphing, and in no little style, on each occasion.
“We all stepped up and did a job tonight,” said Mike Quartley afterwards.
“West Heaton had some talented and tricky players, but ours turned in great performances. And some of the winning shots - particularly from Mike Lomas - were pure class.”
The final will be played this Saturday at Grove Park Squash Club in Cheadle Hulme - starting from 1pm. Play-off semi-final: Prestbury 1 v West Heaton 1 1. Paul Lomas won 3-0 (13-11, 11-7, 11-8) v Tom Shaw. 2. Mike Lomas won 3-0 (11-1, 11-4, 11-4) v Rob Lamb. 3. Chris Dunkerley won 3-1 (11-5, 6-11, 11-9, 11-5) v Eddie Tasker. 4. Brian Lomas won 3-0 (11-6, 11-5, 11-9) v Simon Whittle. 5. Mike Quartley won 3-0 (11-8, 11-8, 12-10) v Steve Lamb.