Macc start summer sea­son with derby vic­tory

Macclesfield Express - - TRAVEL - SQUASH GARETH EVANS

WITH end-of-win­ter­sea­son play-offs hav­ing been com­pleted the pre­vi­ous week­end, last Thursday saw the North West Coun­ties Squash Summer League be­gin.

Both Bolling­ton and Prest­bury have again en­tered two broad­ly­matched squads of mixed abil­ity in this com­pe­ti­tion, while Mac­cles­field Squash, who did not take part last summer, are also field­ing a team.

And, as chance would have it, the town’s Leisure Cen­tre played host on the first evening to a lo­cal derby against one of the sides from ‘Bolly’.

Bolling­ton 1 in­cluded in their vis­it­ing line-up Martin Og­den and 12-year-old ju­nior Ge­orge Lo­mas - both of whom had fea­tured in the Third Team’s Di­vi­sion Five play-off fi­nal at Grove Park five days ear­lier.

Each player ap­peared ini­tially to have shaken off the dis­ap­point­ment of his win­ter team’s de­feat on that oc­ca­sion by es­tab­lish­ing two-game leads – only then to be beaten over five by, re­spec­tively, Daz Glazer and Si­mon Fisher.

Mac­cles­field – who had notched up a walkover-vic­tory at fifth string from the out­set – even­tu­ally pre­vailed 4-1, with An­nika Hall also se­cur­ing a win in straight games. Rick Wal­ters did like­wise, by way of Bolling­ton’s con­so­la­tion suc­cess.

As it turned out, there were to be no open­ing­night win­ners from our lo­cal clubs other than Macc.

And for two teams in ad­di­tion to ‘Bolly 1’, the Summer League be­gan with 4-1 re­verses.

Bolling­ton 2 were at home, and could at least cel­e­brate a straight-games vic­tory at first string for the re­turn­ing Neil Garner, who had taken up mem­ber­ship again at his orig­i­nal club af­ter two sea­sons of play­ing for Macc.

Un­for­tu­nately, that was as good as it got for the hosts, as their vis­i­tors, and Bollin Grove ten­ants, Rad­broke Hall – in­clud­ing on-loan Prest­bury player Gareth Evans – claimed the four re­main­ing matches.

Prest­bury 2 also en­dured a tough start to their cam­paign, as well as a long jour­ney - trav­el­ling south to take on Summer League new­com­ers Crewe Va­grants.

With Crewe field­ing three Third Di­vi­sion stal­warts and two from Di­vi­sion Four, it was al­ways des­tined to be dif­fi­cult for the vis­i­tors who nev­er­the­less fought cred­itably. In par­tic­u­lar, Brian Lo­mas fought back from two-down to win the next three, and Andy Wors­ley picked up the sec­ond and third games in the course of a close de­feat by his young op­po­nent.

And so, fi­nally, to Prest­bury 1 - who, un­like the other four lo­cal teams (in the South­ern Sec­tion of the League), are this summer com­pet­ing in the East Di­vi­sion.

Their ini­tial fix­ture, at home to Dis­ley, turned out to be the tight­est of the night - with no fewer than four of the five pair­ings pro­duc­ing 3-2 score­lines.

Two of these went the way of the hosts, as Ben Parker and promis­ing new ju­nior player Greg Ral­ley (15) both edged out higher-di­vi­sion reg­u­lars.

But the fi­nal one to be played saw the spoils go to their guests, who, with that, edged the over­all con­test by the odd match in five.

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