East Division title win slips from grasp
AS June headed towards its close last Thursday, the only remaining set of North West Counties Summer League fixtures for the month coincided with the concluding night of action in the East Division.
And, locally, all eyes were on that division’s long-time leaders Prestbury 1, who went into their final match, at home to The Northern, within touching distance of the title.
Victory over the mid-table opponents from West Didsbury would guarantee a top-place finish, irrespective of results elsewhere – as would a defeat with a haul of at least nine points.
But The Northern had clearly not read the script, and, as a strong visiting side put the hosts to the sword, Prestbury’s chances of East Division glory appeared to be going West.
Brian Lomas and Mike Brauckmann, at first and second strings, fought valiantly to pick up a game apiece for the home team - although that was as good as it got, ahead of an emphatic 5-0 Northern win that left the leaders with a first defeat in six matches, and just two points to show for their evening’s labours.
Fortunately, in the end it mattered not - with closest challengers New Mills slipping up at home to Grove Park 1. And, after a nervous wait, news came through that the title was Prestbury’s by six points.
The South Division, by contrast, extends into mid-July - although its four teams from clubs in and around our town look, rather, to be destined for mid-to-lower-table finishes in a competition with two weeks now left to run.
Fifth-placed Prestbury 2 were without a fixture – leaving Macclesfield Squash, one position below, hopeful of taking advantage at home to win-less basement side, Buxton.
But as things turned out, the hosts found themselves dropping to seventh as their struggling visitors edged the contest by the odd match in five. Martin Hall and Daz Glazer were the two successful players for Macc.
Macclesfield’s erstwhile placing was usurped by Bollington 2, who moved up into sixth after claiming the bragging rights with a 4-1 victory in the ‘Bolly derby’ - a result that also saw Bollington 1 slip to bottom.
Christian Ogden was the sole victor for ‘Bolly 1’, with a straight-games victory at first string. But his father, Chris Senior, and his brother, Martin, put family loyalty temporarily to one side, as they, together with Mark Collins and Andrew Berry, saw their side - and the ‘away’ team for the night – safely home... which was, of course, precisely where they were!