Summer league kicks off with derby
WITH end-of-winterseason play-offs having been completed the previous weekend, the North West Counties Squash Summer League began this week.
Both Bollington and Prestbury have entered two broadly-matched teams of mixed ability in the Southern Section of this competition, which will run for the next two months. And, as chance would have it, the opening night’s fixtures included a local derby between the clubs.
Prestbury 1, acting as hosts, were to edge out Bollington 1 by the odd match in five – with all contests for the evening being closely fought, albeit ultimately producing straight-games victories.
Brian Lomas and captain Mike Quartley shook off some of their disappointment following the Prestbury First Team’s narrow play-off final defeat to beat, respectively, Andy Phillips and Martin Ogden. And a battle of the juniors at fifth string saw Prestbury’s Greg Stanger overcome debutant Forbes Hunter.
Better fortune was enjoyed by the visitors in the middle-to-lower order, as Gareth Ainsworth and Andrew Berry picked up points for ‘Bolly’ by seeing off the respective challenges of Dave Jones and Ash Hanson.
Prestbury 2 were without a match, while Bollington 2 endured a tough start to their campaign - losing 5-0 at home against Alderley Edge 2.
With Alderley fielding a Second Division regular and two from Division Three, it was always destined to be difficult for the hosts who nevertheless fought creditably with their team of lower division players. In particular, Nick Shatwell and junior Ben Gayne ran their opponents close - picking up two games apiece.
Just ahead of the Summer League’s start, players at Prestbury had been involved in their annual Club Tournament.
The Men’s Final featured top two seeds Paul and Mike Lomas. The cousins, with only three defeats between them for the whole of the winter season, served up some typically high-quality squash before Mike triumphed over three close games.
Jane Mackay’s name had already graced the winners’ board with a remarkable 14 appearances, before she beat Linda Maher 3-0 in the Ladies’ Final to make it her 15th.
And it was the same scoreline in the Men’s Plate, as former teacher Phil Colville defeated his King’s School replacement Ash Hanson. What might have been the odds on that final pairing? Best ask one of them... they are, after all, mathematicians!