Rel­e­ga­tion fears in­crease for Bolling­ton

Macclesfield Express - - TRAVEL - SQUASH GARETH EVANS

WITH the end of the win­ter sea­son around a month away, last Thurs­day’s North West Coun­ties League matches in­cluded a num­ber of crit­i­cal ’40-pointer’ con­tests for men’s teams in and around our town.

The fix­tures were also the third suc­ces­sive set to fea­ture no lo­cal win­ners in Di­vi­sions Two East and Three South-East. And one of the Sec­ond Di­vi­sion sides, rel­e­ga­tion­threat­ened Bolling­ton 1, were un­for­tu­nately on the wrong end of one of those ’40-point­ers’, too.

The ninth-placed ‘Bolly Firsts’ trav­elled up to West Heaton 1, sit­ting two po­si­tions be­low, and, despite wins by Brig Simp­son and Rick Wal­ters, were edged out by the odd game in five for their fourth de­feat in a row. They re­main ninth, but no longer have a points ad­van­tage sep­a­rat­ing them from the drop-zone.

Divi­sional com­pan­ions Prest­bury 1, in sixth, were also on the road - tak­ing on high-fly­ing Bow­don 2, but facing a task that was made all the more dif­fi­cult by the late with­drawal of Paul Lo­mas due to ill­ness. Cousin Brian re­cov­ered in fine style from two games down to win, although his vic­tory proved but a mere con­so­la­tion as the team were beaten 4-1.

Both Third Di­vi­sion sides were at home, but each suf­fered a 5-0 de­feat against higher-po­si­tioned op­po­nents. Eighth-placed Prest­bury 2’s five pair­ings all ended in straightgames tri­umphs for Grove Park 3, while base­ment side Mac­cles­field Squash 1 are still with­out a vic­tory all sea­son af­ter suc­cumb­ing to Al­sager’s First Team.

The Al­sager ‘Sec­onds’ were also in these parts, but suf­fered a pre­cise re­verse of the re­sult en­joyed by their club­mates - go­ing down 5-0 at in-form Bolling­ton 2. Stu­art Arnold, Olli Ste­wart, Mark Collins, Mal­colm Ken­drick and Aldo Palazzo en­sured the col­lec­tive rout.

Bolling­ton con­tinue to hold sec­ond place in Di­vi­sion Four South - but, following a se­ries of League de­ci­sions (still sub­ject to ap­peal) that have led to the re­dis­tri­bu­tion among sev­eral clubs of points based on player el­i­gi­bil­ity, now sit be­hind new lead­ers Rad­broke Hall 1.

At the other end of the divi­sional ta­ble, Prest­bury 3’s po­si­tion has, for now, im­proved as a re­sult of the points re­dis­tri­bu­tion - and was en­hanced fur­ther following a vi­tal home win in a ’40-pointer’ against Alder­ley Edge 6. Straightgames vic­to­ries by Graeme English and Nick Barker, com­bined with tri­umphs over five games for Paul Ma­her and David Fitz­patrick, saw the ‘Thirds’ not only pre­vail 4-1 but also leapfrog their vis­i­tors out of the rel­e­ga­tion po­si­tions and up into 10th place.

The third ’40-pointer‘ of the night, in Di­vi­sion Five South, was a lo­cal derby for added spice, as third-placed Bolling­ton 3 hosted lead­ers Prest­bury 4. The squash more than lived up to the billing - with three matches fea­tur­ing come­backs from two-game deficits. Prest­bury’s Gareth Evans achieved one of them, but the ‘Bolly Thirds’, through Tom Binder and 15-yearold James Wal­ton, won the other two. And straight-games vic­to­ries for Andy Phillips and Martin Og­den wrapped up an en­thralling con­test 4-1 in the hosts‘ favour.

Both teams‘ po­si­tions re­main un­changed - although the Fourth Team’s ad­van­tage over Rad­broke Hall 2, in sec­ond, is now down to two points, following Rad­broke’s 4-1 win at ninth-placed Prest­bury 6, for whom Ben Parker alone was tri­umphant.

The ‘Sixths’ had en­joyed bet­ter for­tune at home to higher-placed ri­vals three days ear­lier, when Ben Parker, Dave Mar­wood and new cap­tain Chris Mur­ray, to­gether with ju­nior play­ers Jonny Mur­ray (15) and Keon Raked (16), saw off Bux­ton’s Sec­ond Team 5-0 in a resched­uled fix­ture from mid-Fe­bru­ary.

Else­where in the Fifth Di­vi­sion, sev­enth-placed Mac­cles­field Squash 2 won for the third time in four matches - as Daz Glazer, Ol­lie Critch­ley, David Birtwistle and two walkovers se­cured a 5-0 win at three-man Dis­ley 2. And Prest­bury 5 re­main fifth, despite los­ing 3-2 at Bollin Grove to New Mills 2. Teenagers Matt English (18) and Greg Stanger (17) both won for the ‘Fifths’ against a strong vis­it­ing side.

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