Prest­bury crowned cham­pion of cham­pi­ons

Macclesfield Express - - SEARCH - SQUASH GARETH EVANS

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.

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