Teams out to re­build their mo­men­tum

Macclesfield Express - - WILDLIFE - SQUASH GARETH EVANS

THE North West Coun­ties League re­sumed in earnest last Thurs­day, with its first full set of fix­tures fol­low­ing what, for some men’s teams, had been a two-week au­tumn half-term break.

Vic­to­ri­ous sides from our lo­cal clubs were rather in the mi­nor­ity, as only four of the 13 reg­is­tered wins - al­though the same num­ber were only nar­rowly beaten by the odd match in five.

Di­vi­sion Two East in­cluded an ex­am­ple of each - with the added con­se­quence that Bolling­ton 1, who thumped base­ment side Brook­lands 2 at home 5-0, leapfrogged Prest­bury 1, who were on the wrong end of a 3-2 de­feat to their vis­i­tors, and di­vi­sional ta­ble-top­pers, Crewe Va­grants 2.

The ‘Bolly Firsts’ now sit in eighth place - thanks to wins by Chris­tian Og­den, Chris Og­den Se­nior, Rick Wal­ters, Brigg Simp­son and Lyn­don Stonier - and are one po­si­tion above their Prest­bury coun­ter­parts, for whom Rob Al­cock and Adam Cole­batch se­cured con­so­la­tion tri­umphs.

Both lo­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tives in the Third Di­vi­sion South-East en­dured even­ings to for­get.

Prest­bury 2, ly­ing ninth, were with­out a win on the three pre­vi­ous match­nights - af­ter fac­ing sides placed fourth, third and sec­ond (and in that order) - so a trip to un­beaten lead­ers Crewe Va­grants did not bode ter­ri­bly well. And so it proved, as the ‘Sec­onds’ went down 5-0.

Bolling­ton 2, mean­while, re­main with­out a win - and have dropped a po­si­tion to 11th, six points from safety - af­ter los­ing 4-1 at Knutsford Sports 1. Cap­tain Olli Ste­wart re­turned from in­jury to chalk up his team’s sole suc­cess of the evening.

In Di­vi­sion Four South, all matches in­volv­ing teams in and around our town ended with close 3-2 fin­ishes. One of them, too, was a lo­cal derby at Mac­cles­field Leisure Cen­tre - pit­ting Macc’s ‘Firsts’, who had lost their last two fix­tures, at home against Prest­bury’s ‘Thirds’, who had won their last two.

The for­mer, in ninth, just pre­vailed, as James Dou­glas, Martin Hall and Rob Har­land all won to off­set vic­to­ries for the sev­enth-placed vis­i­tors by Paul Wil­son and Ru­pert Richards.

Bolling­ton 3 and Prest­bury 4 each moved up a place - to 10th and 11th, re­spec­tively - but still re­main in the rel­e­ga­tion mix, af­ter be­ing edged out at Bux­ton 1 and at home to Al­sager 2. Neil Garner and Gareth Ainsworth were win­ners on the night in Der­byshire for the ‘Bolly Thirds’, who are still in need of a first vic­tory this term, while Ben Parker and Phil Colville both won in straight games for Prest­bury at Bollin Grove.

Prest­bury 5 con­tinue to keep ahead of the chas­ing pack in the Fifth Di­vi­sion South, and are now 10 points clear af­ter beat­ing the club’s fifth-placed Sixth Team 5-0. Gareth Evans and Dave Mar­wood, to­gether with ju­niors Greg Ral­ley and Harry Mat­tocks (both 16), as well as 13-year-old Rhys Asquith-Evans, en­sured a max­i­mum­points haul.

Bolling­ton 4 are up a place to sixth, hav­ing jumped above vis­i­tors Rad­broke Hall 3 af­ter a 3-2 vic­tory - courtesy of wins by Tom Grimes and ju­nior play­ers Ben Gayne (17) and Sam Jor­dan (13).

Mac­cles­field 2 re­main 10th, fol­low­ing a 5-0 de­feat at third-placed Alderley Edge 6.

And al­though Prest­bury’s ‘Sevenths’ fared slightly bet­ter - thanks to a vic­tory for Dave Pearce on only his sec­ond ap­pear­ance - their 4-1 de­feat at home to Grove Park 8 leaves them at the bot­tom of the ta­ble and still search­ing for their in­au­gu­ral win of the cam­paign.

Three days ear­lier, the Cheshire Ladies’ League had staged matches for both Prest­bury teams - both of whom suf­fered de­feats and now sit sixth in their re­spec­tive di­vi­sions.

Sec­ond Di­vi­sion Prest­bury 1 were edged out 3-2 at home by Brook­lands, de­spite wins for Fran Tay­lor and Sarah Lons­dale, while the ‘Sec­onds’, from Di­vi­sion Three ‘b’, lost 5-0 at The North­ern 3. Prest­bury 2’s di­vi­sional com­pan­ions, Bolling­ton, were with­out a match - but lie hand­ily placed in sec­ond, just seven points be­hind, and with a game in hand on, lead­ers War­ring­ton 2.

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