Chichester’s home comforts continued when they took the shine off Exeter Diamonds in a thrilling Premier Squash League tussle.
Former Chichester squad player Tim Vail was first on court for the visitors in a much-anticipated meeting with his former pupil Olly Pett.
Pett was out of the blocks quickly and stormed to a 1-0 lead by taking the first 11-3. From that moment, Pett was always one step ahead and he did not allow Vail into the match.
With great conviction, Pett took the next two games 11-7, 11-8 to take victory in 29 minutes and end Vail’s unbeaten record this season.
Robbie Temple started slowly against Joey Barrington and lost the first game 11-2. The second game was even up to the midway point when Barrington pulled ahead to take a 10-7 lead.
Temple stubbornly dug in and took the game on a tie-break, 13-11. The next two games were very competitive with a great blend of power, speed and touch from both players. Temple came through in both games - 11/9, 11/8 - to put Chichester 2-0 up.
Jackie Kemp (Chichester) played Tory Temple-Murray in a repeat of the recent ladies’ BSPA Boston open final in which Kemp was the 3-1 victor. This time she took the match 3-0 with competitive first and second games and a confident third to put Chichester 3-0 up and clinch the match - ending Exeter’s unbeaten run.
Rex Hedrick had a fantastic attritional game with Exeter’s Olli Tuomenin from Finland. There was some amazing retrieving from both players.
Tuomenin took the first two games before Hedrick struck back to take the third. Tuominen began to look tired in the fourth but he had just enough left to get Exeter on the scoresheet with a 3-1 victory.
The final match was between the number-one strings, Chichester’s Jon Kemp and Exeter’s world No18 Lauren Jan Anjema from Holland.
Anjema played a very straight game and solid down the right-hand wall while Kemp was not given too many angles. Anjema took the first two games 11-4, 11-9. Kemp struck back in the third and finished the game off 11-9 with some of his trademark nicks.
In the fourth, Anjema again applied the pressure, as he had in the first two, and opened up an early lead. He closed the game and match 11-6.
This was a spectacular 3-2 win for Chichester and after a three wins and two losses in the first half of the season, it is still very close in the race for the play-offs.
The squad now take a break for Christmas and will be ready for a competitive second half in the new year.
Bognor’s third team ended 2013 on a winning note when they beat highly-placed Middleton IV in a close encounter at Hawthorn Road - despite losing a player to injury.
Home No5 James Norman had a 2-1 lead over Ben Fuente before succumbing to a knee problem and forfeiting the match, but fourth string Jon Burley was in good form to level matters when he beat Spencer Aubrey 9-5, 9-2, 9-4.
Robert Norman at No3 played James Ryman and came back well after losing a close first game, taking a 7-9, 9-7, 9-4, 9-0 win.
The No2-string rubber saw Bognor’s Greg Jansz pull out all the stops to record a well-deserved victory. Jansz won the first comfortably but Middleton’s Phil McCumskey levelled before a real battle in the third ended with the home player just holding on to win by the narrowest of margins.
McCumskey rallied, taking the fourth game, to set up a deciding fifth which was another marathon won finally by Jansz at the last gasp - the score 9-3, 2-9, 10-9, 6-9, 10-8.
In the No1 spot, Bognor’s Will Burley managed one game but was outplayed by Ian Morris who won 9-1, 5-9, 9-2, 9-1 which left Bognor 3-2 winners, their second victory of the season, taking 17 points to Middleton’s nine.
The next match at Hawthorn Road is on January 9 (7pm) when the first team play Middleton seconds.