Vis­i­tors take brag­ging rights in derby clash

Macclesfield Express - - TRAVEL - SQUASH GARETH EVANS

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

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