Prest­bury firsts sign off for break in em­phatic style

Macclesfield Express - - TRAVEL - SQUASH GARETH EVANS

THE North West Coun­ties League pauses for a breather this week, while the Bri­tish Na­tional Squash Cham­pi­onships are in progress at Manchester – but there was a full pro­gramme of matches last Thurs­day for all but one of the men’s teams from our lo­cal clubs.

In Di­vi­sion Two East, Prest­bury’s First Team signed off for the mini­break by re­turn­ing to win­ning ways with an em­phatic 5-0 vic­tory at home to bot­tom-placed Alder­ley Edge 3. The hosts, who re­main sixth, were with­out their in­jured cap­tain Nathan May­ers, but straight-games suc­cesses for Paul and Mike Lo­mas, to­gether with 3-1 wins by Rob Al­cock, Brian Lo­mas and Chris Dunker­ley, saw them com­fort­ably past the line.

While Prest­bury’s Firsts re­versed a se­quence af­ter los­ing their two pre­vi­ous matches, their coun­ter­parts at Bolling­ton did so the other way around fol­low­ing a pair of vic­to­ries.

Eighth-placed Bolling­ton 1 hosted di­vi­sional form-horses Con­gle­ton, but, de­spite wins for Brig Simp­son and Rick Wal­ters, were pipped by the odd match in five.

In Di­vi­sion Three South-East, Mac­cles­field Squash 1 were with­out a fix­ture and re­main very firmly in the base­ment po­si­tion, over 50 points away from safety.

Prest­bury 2, mean­while, trav­elled ‘over the Edge’ and came away with the spoils af­ter Mike Brauck­mann, Stu­art Melia and cap­tain Mike Quar­t­ley all won to se­cure a 3-2 vic­tory against Alder­ley 4.

The Sec­onds, who have now tri­umphed in five of their last six matches, leapfrogged their hosts in the ta­ble for good mea­sure, al­though re­sults else­where keep them in sev­enth place.

The race to go up from Di­vi­sion Four South con­tin­ues to be tight, but Bolling­ton 2’s in­volve­ment was boosted by a rou­tine 5-0 vic­tory at strug­gling Alder­ley 6.

They stay sec­ond, and are four points ahead of their near­est rivals, af­ter Stu­art Arnold, Olli Ste­wart, Aldo Palazzo, Mark Collins and Tom Binder en­sured the col­lec­tive rout.

The cause of the Bolly Sec­onds was also aided by Prest­bury 3, who de­nied their hosts, and pro­mo­tion chasers, Club AZ, a max­i­mum-points haul.

Wins by Nick Barker and Paul Ma­her were, how­ever, not quite enough to pre­vent a sec­ond suc­ces­sive 3-2 re­verse for the Thirds who re­main 12th and in the eye of the rel­e­ga­tion drop-zone.

Sim­i­larly, the Di­vi­sion Five South ti­tle-bat­tle be­comes more fas­ci­nat­ing by the week.

Lead­ers Prest­bury 4 claimed the in­ter­nal brag­ging rights at Bollin Grove with a 4-1 win against their Fifth Team club-mates – with Paul Wil­son, Dave Jones, cap­tain Gareth Evans and 18-year-old Matt English claim­ing matches for the ‘Fourths’ and Ru­pert Richards steal­ing a con­so­la­tion vic­tory for sixth-placed Prest­bury 5.

But Prest­bury 4’s lead is now down to four points, af­ter Bolling­ton 3 hosted and de­mol­ished Prest­bury’s Sixth Team 5-0. Andy Phillips, Gareth Ainsworth, cap­tain Mar­tin Og­den and ju­nior play­ers James Wal­ton (15) and Ben Gayne (17) all recorded straight-games wins to en­sure their side’s sev­enth vic­tory in a row.

While the Bolly Thirds last lost on 17 Novem­ber, Mac­cles­field Squash 2 had hith­erto needed to go back to the same date to re­call the taste of vic­tory. But Macc’s bar­ren streak was fi­nally brought to an end in fine style, cour­tesy of a 5-0 thump­ing of visi­tors Grove Park 8.

Wins for Daz Glazer, Ol­lie Critch­ley, David Birtwistle, An­nika Hall and a walkover at fifth string gave the hosts max­i­mum points, as well as mov­ing them up a place to sev­enth.

Three days ear­lier, in the Cheshire Ladies League, both Bolling­ton and Prest­bury suf­fered nar­row 3-2 de­feats fol­low­ing two con­sec­u­tive wins apiece.

Sec­ond Di­vi­sion Prest­bury stay sixth, af­ter straight-games vic­to­ries by Fran James and Linda Ma­her could not quite see their team home at third-placed Barn­ton 2.

And fourth-placed Bolling­ton were edged out by visi­tors and table­top­pers City of Manchester 2, in spite of their guests hav­ing made the trip down into Cheshire one player short.

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