Rel­e­ga­tion fears eased by Edge win

Macclesfield Express - - TRAVEL - SQUASH GARETH EVANS

WITH the North West Coun­ties League’s win­ter sea­son hav­ing run ap­prox­i­mately two thirds of its course, there were some crit­i­cal matches for a num­ber of the lo­cal men’s teams last Thurs­day.

And this was no more true than in Di­vi­sion Two East, where Bolling­ton’s First Team trav­elled ‘over the Edge’ need­ing a big win against bot­tom­placed side Alder­ley 3 to ease the threat of rel­e­ga­tion.

The ‘Bolly Firsts’ duly de­liv­ered, as Chris Og­dens Ju­nior and Se­nior, Brig Simp­son, Oli Cun­ning­ham and Rick Wal­ters all won to en­sure a 5-0 vic­tory, max­i­mum points and a one-place im­prove­ment in their league po­si­tion to eighth. The re­sult also ended an eight-match se­quence of al­ter­nate wins and losses (not that they will be com­plain­ing, of course!).

Fur­ther up, in midtable, Prest­bury 1 re­main sixth and search­ing for a first tri­umph for 2017, after los­ing by the odd match in five at Grove Park 2. Cousins Paul and Mike Lo­mas both won, but the ‘Firsts’ - for whom cap­tain Nathan May­ers was forced to re­tire with a back in­jury two games in - were ul­ti­mately edged out by their hosts.

In Di­vi­sion Three South-East, Prest­bury’s Sec­ond Team fared rather bet­ter against a Grove Park side. And by host­ing and de­feat­ing the ‘Grove Fourths’ 4-1, the side moved up a place to sev­enth - with Chris Dunker­ley, Stu­art Melia, Andrew Wors­ley and Paul Bar­tle all tri­umphant.

Mac­cles­field Squash 1, mean­while, re­main the di­vi­sional base­ment team - although, for a third suc­ces­sive week, suf­fered the frus­tra­tion of los­ing 3-2 in spite of vic­to­ries for top two play­ers Adam Cole­batch and James Dou­glas. Their lat­est de­feat, against vis­i­tors Alder­ley 4, leaves them some 36 points away from safety.

The ’40-pointer’ of the week saw Bolling­ton 2 play host to Di­vi­sion Four South pro­mo­tion ri­vals Rad­broke Hall 1, and, by the nar­row­est of mar­gins, went the way of the ‘Bolly Sec­onds’. They move up two places, and leapfrog their op­po­nents for good mea­sure, fol­low­ing vic­to­ries for Lyn­don Stonier, Stu­art Arnold (who won the de­ci­sive fi­nal match) and Mark Collins.

At the other end of the ta­ble, Prest­bury 3 picked up some valu­able points thanks to wins by act­ing cap­tain Kevin Wynne and the re­turn­ing Nick Barker - but re­main 12th and in the drop-zone after go­ing down 3-2 against vis­i­tors Crewe Va­grants 4.

The race for the sin­gle pro­mo­tion-ticket out of Di­vi­sion Five South is hot­ting up, after lead­ers Prest­bury 4 lost for only the sec­ond time all sea­son. Trav­el­ling to Alder­ley Edge, the ‘Fourths’ found them­selves up against an ex­cep­tion­ally strong Sev­enth Team, and were beaten 4-1 - with cap­tain Gareth Evans earn­ing their sole win of the night.

Sec­ond-placed Bolling­ton 3 took ad­van­tage at Dis­ley 2 - pre­vail­ing by the same score to nar­row the gap at the top to just seven points. Aldo Palazzo, Gareth Ainsworth, Martin Og­den and 12-year-old Ge­orge Lo­mas all won. And ju­nior debu­tant Ge­orge sealed a mem­o­rable evening by tak­ing the match that guar­an­teed his side vic­tory.

Prest­bury 5 re­main sixth after los­ing for the sec­ond Thurs­day in a row, as vis­i­tors Bux­ton 2 ran out 4-1 win­ners. In-form ju­nior player Greg Stanger (17), who has now tasted de­feat in only one of his last eight matches, reg­is­tered a con­so­la­tion suc­cess for the hosts.

And Mac­cles­field Squash 2 inch up a place to eighth, de­spite suf­fer­ing a fifth suc­ces­sive loss. An­nika Hall and Si­mon Fisher both won at New Mills 2, but their team must wait at least an­other week for a first vic­tory since midNovem­ber after go­ing down 3-2.

Three days ear­lier, Bolling­ton and Prest­bury each achieved a Cheshire Ladies League tri­umph for the sec­ond Mon­day run­ning. Sixth-placed Prest­bury’s po­si­tion in Di­vi­sion Two now looks in­creas­ingly safe, fol­low­ing a 3-2 vic­tory over vis­i­tors Alder­ley 2 - with Fran James, Sarah Lons­dale and, for the first time, Eloise Thomp­son all se­cur­ing wins. And Third Di­vi­sion Bolling­ton, in

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