Visitors take bragging rights in derby clash
THE North West Counties Summer League drew to a close last Thursday - with all four South Division teams from our local clubs taking to the courts for their final matches.
Given that the quartet continued to occupy the divisional middle-tolower ground ahead of the evening’s games, there was relatively little at stake - although two of the sides were pitted against each other, to bring inter-village bragging rights into play!
So it was that the fixtures-computer had arranged for fifth-placed Prestbury 2 and Bollington 2, one position below, to conclude their campaigns by competing together at Bollin Grove. And by the end of the night, the places were reversed following a comprehensive 5-0 win for the visitors from ‘Bolly’.
Both sides fielded two juniors from among the growing squads of impressive young players they now have registered for men’s team squash. And Bollington’s charges on this occasion - namely, Ben Gayne (17) and George Lomas (12) - each won in impressive style.
Their victories were supplemented further up the order by Andrew Berry and Mark Collins, before Rick Walters rounded off the evening at first string by beating his Prestbury friend, and regular social squash sparring partner, Rob Alcock, over four tight games.
The concluding night turned out to be a doubly good one for Bollington, as the club’s other team also triumphed to move up a place. ‘Bolly 1’ finished seventh, after edging affairs at the village’s leisure centre against bottom side Buxton by the odd match in three.
The hosts had their top three players to thank for victory, as 16-year-old James Walton, together with Olli Stewart and Martin Ogden, won in straight games to see them home against the Derbyshire visitors.
The win saw Bollington 1 leapfrog Macclesfield Squash, who ended their summer season in eighth and with a third successive defeat.
The 5-0 thumping at Alderley Edge was not, however, quite enough to clinch the title for Macc’s hosts – who had to content themselves with being runners-up, two points behind titlewinners Crewe Vagrants.
Time now for a rest, to be enjoyed by the players and this column alike! The serious business of the Winter League gets under way again in September.
George Lomas, Martin Ogden and James Walton