Prest­bury fall at fi­nal hur­dle

Macclesfield Express - - SEARCH - SQUASH GARETH EVANS

APRIL came to a close with the North West Coun­ties Squash League di­vi­sional play-off fi­nals at Grove Park.

The Mac­cles­field area was rep­re­sented at these by Prest­bury’s First Team, who, as Di­vi­sion Three South East win­ners, were pit­ted against cor­re­spond­ing North West re­gional ta­ble-top­pers Liver­pool Cricket Club 2 - to de­ter­mine which side should be crowned di­vi­sional ‘cham­pion of cham­pi­ons’.

But, fol­low­ing an af­ter­noon of high-qual­ity squash and sev­eral twists and turns, the Prest­bury ‘Firsts’ were ul­ti­mately edged out by the odd match in five.

The see-saw drama of the con­test was well il­lus­trated by the first pair­ing on court, at fifth string - with Prest­bury cap­tain Mike Quar­t­ley go­ing two games be­hind, be­fore fight­ing back to level, and fi­nally, alas, los­ing the de­cider.

Broth­ers Mike and Brian Lo­mas en­joyed spook­ily sim­i­lar for­tunes, as each lost his first game but then changed tac­tics to win the next three. In Mike’s case, a lethal mix of shots – in­clud­ing his trade­mark ‘dy­ing boast’ - that his op­po­nent could not read did the trick. And Brian turned the ta­bles by con­tin­u­ally at­tack­ing his young ad­ver­sary’s weaker fore­hand.

Chris Dunker­ley, play­ing at three, found him­self up against, and un­able to over­come, a highly ex­pe­ri­enced player of First Di­vi­sion vin­tage who had not been beaten while play­ing for the Liv- er­pool 2015/16.

With the score at two matches apiece, the de­cid­ing con­test - rather fit­tingly for a fi­nal of this cal­i­bre - was be­tween two first-string play­ers who had both gone through the sea­son with­out suf­fer­ing any Third Di­vi­sion losses.

Some­thing had to give, ‘Sec­onds’ in then... and, sadly, the win­ning record ended was that of Prest­bury’s Paul Lo­mas, as An­drew Breen as­sumed con­trol of the tie’s many long ral­lies by tak­ing the ball early and cut­ting out Paul’s at­tack­ing shots to win three close games.

“It was great to go into the fi­nal match at two-all against a very strong team,” said Brian Lo­mas af­ter­wards.

“We’re ob­vi­ously dis­ap­pointed to have lost in the end - but equally pleased with how well we all played.

“And with new play­ers join­ing Prest­bury over the sum­mer, our ‘Firsts’ will at least hold their own in Di­vi­sion Two - or pos­si­bly push for a top-four place - next sea­son.” Play-off fi­nal: Prest­bury 1 v Liver­pool CC 2 1. Paul Lo­mas lost 0-3 (9-11, 8-11, 8-11) v An­drew Breen. 2. Mike Lo­mas won 3-1 (8-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-3) v Alan Gib­bons. 3. Chris Dunker­ley lost 0-3 (10-12, 4-11, 9-11) v Bar­rie Rus­sell. 4. Brian Lo­mas won 3-1 (5-11, 11-7, 11-5, 11-2) v Ben Doyle. 5. Mike Quar­t­ley lost 2-3 (5-11, 7-11, 11-9, 11-5, 4-11) v Lee Wal­ton.

●● The Prest­bury team of Chris Dunker­ley, Mike Lo­mas, Mike Quar­t­ley (cap­tain), Brian Lo­mas and Paul Lo­mas

●● The win­ning All Hal­lows squad with their RBS medals

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.