Di­vi­sion Two East duo suf­fer de­feat

Macclesfield Express - - TRAVEL - SQUASH GARETH EVANS

THE ‘stop-start’ month for the North West Coun­ties League con­tin­ued last Thurs­day with a pro­gramme of matches for some of the men’s teams from our lo­cal clubs, prior to an­other mini-break for halfterm this week.

There were, as ever, mixed for­tunes for the sides in ac­tion. But of the eight that played, half signed off ahead of the March re­sump­tion with re­sound­ing 5-0 vic­to­ries.

Un­for­tu­nately, nei­ther of the Di­vi­sion Two East teams could count them­selves among the win­ners on this oc­ca­sion. Bolling­ton 1 travelled to War­ring­ton, and dropped a po­si­tion to ninth (while still some 14 points above the drop-zone), af­ter suc­cumb­ing 5-0 to the hosts’ young Sec­ond Team. And, in spite of a hard-fought win for Chris Dunker­ley, Prest­bury’s six­th­placed ‘Firsts’ fared only slightly bet­ter, as they went down 4-1 at in-form Con­gle­ton.

In Di­vi­sion Three South-East, Prest­bury 2, who were with­out a fix­ture, re­main sev­enth and safe - but Mac­cles­field Squash 1’s sea­son of woe con­tin­ues. The base­ment side’s prospects had looked to be im­prov­ing in the course of three con­sec­u­tive nar­row 3-2 de­feats, but a 5-0 thump­ing at home by Toll­gate 1 leaves the Leisure Cen­tre team with­out a win this sea­son and 64 points adrift of survival.

So far, so gloomy. But there was good news a-plenty, with a cou­ple of those 5-0 wins to re­port, in Di­vi­sion Four South - and at both ends of the ta­ble for good mea­sure!

Bolling­ton’s ‘Sec­onds’ not only ce­mented them­selves a lit­tle more firmly in sec­ond place by host­ing and thrash­ing Knutsford Sports 3 for a fourth vic­tory run­ning, but also closed the gap at the top on - as co­in­ci­dence would have it - Knutsford’s Sec­ond Team to just two points. Rick Wal­ters, Stu­art Arnold, Mark Collins, Mal­colm Ken­drick and, on his Fourth Di­vi­sion de­but, junior player James Wal­ton (15) all won in straight games to en­sure the col­lec­tive rout.

The de­feat of Knutsford’s strug­gling ‘Thirds’ aided Prest­bury 3’s survival hopes, al­though these were also given a huge boost by the lat­ter’s em­phatic, straightgames home triumph over bot­tom-of-thetable Grove Park 6. Nick Barker, Paul Bar­tle, Rob Thor­n­ey­croft, Graeme English and Paul Ma­her picked up max­i­mum points to give their team a much-needed first win of 2017, as well as mov­ing them up to within 11 points of safety.

In Di­vi­sion Five South, sec­ond-placed Bolling­ton 3 had no match. But lead­ers Prest­bury 4 took full ad­van­tage of the opportunity to cre­ate some tem­po­rary day­light by trav­el­ling across to Dis­ley 2 and win­ning 5-0. Paul Wil­son, Dave Jones, Gareth Evans and 18-year-old Matt English all pre­vailed, while a walkover­vic­tory for Paul Min­shull com­pleted the max­i­mum pointshaul.

Bolling­ton’s ‘Thirds’ were leapfrogged by Rad­broke Hall 2, who sit 14 points be­hind Prest­bury 4 af­ter beat­ing Prest­bury’s Fifth Team 4-1 at Bollin Grove. Ru­pert Richards se­cured a fine win, al­beit only a con­so­la­tion one, at first-string for the ‘Fifths’, who re­main in sixth place de­spite a fourth con­sec­u­tive loss.

Nei­ther of the di­vi­sion’s re­main­ing lo­cal teams ac­tu­ally took to the courts - al­though sev­en­th­placed Mac­cles­field Squash 2 were awarded the points by de­fault, when their des­ig­nated hosts Alder­ley Edge 7 failed to raise a side.

It was a sim­i­lar story for Prest­bury 6, whose home match against Bux­ton 2 was un­able to go ahead.

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