Summer League quartet left empty handed
WITH the North West Counties East Division title having been sealed by Prestbury 1 a week previously, attention focused last Thursday on the four other Summer League teams from our local clubs and their collective quest for mid- table respectability in the South Division.
By the end of the night’s play, this quartet occupied all of the divisional ground between fifth and eighth positions - albeit without a single triumph from the evening to celebrate.
Fifth-placed Prestbury 2, as well as Bollington 2 in sixth, came closest to victory - in each case being edged out by the odd match in five against higher opposition.
Bollin Grove tenants Radbroke Hall, occupying third place, received their Prestbury landlords - for whom Graeme English and 14-year-old Kaamil Bhatti secured 3-2 victories over players on temporary loan from the ‘away’ side.
But three straightgames wins for Radbroke elsewhere on the card - including one by another Prestbury loanee Gareth Evans - saw the nomadic hosts over the line.
While Prestbury 2 experienced the unusual sensation of being the visiting side within their own premises, Bollington 2 were properly at home in the village’s Leisure Centre.
‘Bolly 2’ also put the accent on youth against fourth-placed Club AZ by fielding three junior players, and one - namely, James Walton (16) - delivered in style with an impressive 3-0 win against a Fourth Division Winter League regular.
Gareth Ainsworth similarly prevailed in straight games for the home team - only for the visitors to claim the three remaining strings.
Macclesfield Squash were without a fixture, and stay seventh - one position above Bollington 1, who actually climbed a place despite their 5-0 reverse at leaders Crewe Vagrants.
The score in matches masks a valiant performance by the visiting team, who, on another night, could have claimed the overall honours.
As it was, ‘Bolly 1’ had to make the long trek back from Willaston with at least a positive positional change and six points to show for their efforts - courtesy of Rick Walters, Martin Ogden and Neil Garner, who each suffered a narrow 3-2 defeat.
The last-named was particularly unlucky - having been forced to retire from his third-string contest, and concede the match, after leading by two games to one.
Quite literally a case of adding together insult and injury!