Win­ning ways at Bollin Grove

Macclesfield Express - - TRAVEL - SQUASH GARETH EVANS

PREST­BURY flew the win­ners’ flag for clubs in and around our town last Thurs­day, when, of the 13 men’s teams in North West Coun­ties League ac­tion, the only four sides to tri­umph hailed from Bollin Grove - and all against op­po­nents just a place away from them in their re­spec­tive tables.

Un­for­tu­nately, that quar­tet did not in­clude Prest­bury’s ‘Firsts’, af­ter they were pipped 3-2 at Brook­lands 1. They also slipped one po­si­tion to sixth in Divi­sion Two East, with wins for Rob Al­cock and the re­cently-crowned Cheshire Se­nior Closed Over-45 Cham­pion for 2018, Mike Lo­mas, not prov­ing quite enough to over­come their hosts, who ended un­beaten for Novem­ber.

Di­vi­sional com­pan­ions Bolling­ton 1 also came a crop­per - los­ing 4-1 at home to Alder­ley Edge 2, fol­low­ing three straight vic­to­ries. Sev­en­teen-yearold James Walton was the sole player to win on the night for the ninth-placed ‘Bolly Firsts’.

There was bet­ter for­tune against ‘The Edge’ for Prest­bury 2, who fur­ther ce­mented third place in Divi­sion Three South-East af­ter re­ceiv­ing in-form Alder­ley 3 - and mak­ing light of their vis­i­tors’ five­match win­ning run by tri­umph­ing 5-0. Brian Lo­mas, Chris Dunker­ley, ju­nior player Jonny Mur­ray (16), Rick Bower and Graeme English per­formed their best squash to achieve the rout.

But Bolling­ton’s Sec­ond Team suf­fered a re­verse to match that of the club’s ‘Firsts’, and dropped a place to eighth in Divi­sion Three Cen­tral South. Martin Og­den’s straight-games win was all that his side had to show from its trip up to strug­gling Brook­lands 3.

In Divi­sion Four Cen­tral South, the two Prest­bury teams achieved a wor­thy dou­ble - with the ‘Thirds’ ex­tend­ing their un­beaten se­quence to five matches by see­ing off pro­mo­tion ri­vals Cheetham Hill 2 in North Manch­ester. Mike Brauck­mann, Rich Curry, Mike Quar­t­ley, Paul Bar­tle and An­drew Wors­ley all won to keep their team se­cure in sec­ond po­si­tion.

And Prest­bury 4, in 11th, hosted Brook­lands 4 - with each side on the back of a se­quence of al­ter­nate vic­to­ries and de­feats that pointed to a win for the ‘Fourths’ if they were both to con­tinue. In the event, and with thanks to the squash gods, that is pre­cisely what hap­pened – al­beit by a nar­row 3-2 mar­gin, as 14-year-old Rhys AsquithE­vans held his nerve to pre­vail over five, af­ter Dave Jones and Paul Wilson had taken their matches in straight games.

Mac­cles­field 1 and Bolling­ton 3, hav­ing re­turned to win­ning ways in the Fourth Divi­sion South a week ear­lier, both slumped to 4-1 de­feats against pro­mo­tion-chas­ing sides - at Bux­ton 1 and at home to Alder­ley Edge 5, re­spec­tively. Cap­tain Andy Phillips tri­umphed for the ‘Bolly Thirds’, who fell a po­si­tion to eighth, while Daz Glaser earned a con­so­la­tion win for fourth-placed Macc.

Prest­bury’s ‘Fifths’, how- ever, were good value for their sec­ond vic­tory run­ning - and leapfrogged Bolling­ton into sev­enth place for added mea­sure - af­ter ‘edg­ing’ out their hosts Alder­ley 6 by the odd match in five, thanks to wins by Ben Parker, Ru­pert Richards and ju­nior Harry Mat­tocks (17).

None of our rep­re­sen­ta­tives ply­ing their trade at fifth-divi­sion level had any­thing to cel­e­brate - with all four on the wrong end of their con­tests’ re­sults. Sec­ond-placed Mac­cles­field 2’s pro­mo­tion bid in Divi­sion Five South was dealt a sur­pris­ing blow at home to sec­ond-to-bot­tom Marple 4, who nul­li­fied 3-1 vic­to­ries by Ol­lie Critch­ley and Si­mon Fisher to tri­umph 3-2 over­all.

And fur­ther down the ta­ble, Bolling­ton 4 (who tum­bled a cou­ple of places to sixth), at Alder­ley Edge 7, and Prest­bury 6 (12th), at home to Crewe Va­grants 6, each recorded a 5-0 loss.

In Divi­sion Five Cen­tral South, Prest­bury 7 en­ter­tained The North­ern 7 - and more in hope than in ex­pec­ta­tion, given that the vis­it­ing side was un­beaten for the cam­paign, As it turned out, the hosts went down 4-1 - with skip­per Gareth Evans pick­ing up their only win.

In the Cheshire Ladies’ League, the trio of lo­cal sides had all en­dured de­feats.

Sec­ond Divi­sion Prest­bury 1 stayed fifth, af­ter bow­ing out 4-1 at home to Bow­don 2 – de­spite a straight-games tri­umph for Helen Thaw.

And Bolling­ton, hav­ing trav­elled west to Liver­pool Cricket Club 1 with­out un­beaten first-string player An­nika Hall who was un­well, dropped a place to eighth af­ter los­ing by the same over­all score­line – with Jen Robin­son’s 3-0 vic­tory pro­vid­ing the one note of cheer for a long jour­ney home.

In Divi­sion Three (b), the fifth-placed Prest­bury ‘Sec­onds’ came close to caus­ing an up­set at Marple, as a win by Jen Pow­ell and a walkover-vic­tory at fifth string put pres­sure on their sec­ond-placed hosts - be­fore the Stock­port team even­tu­ally pre­vailed 3-2.

Ac­tion from Mac­cles­field Women’s team in­au­gral match against Sh­effield at the week­end

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