Chichester squash aces are off the mark - but Bognor are beaten again

Chichester notched their first Premier Squash League win of the season when they welcomed Bexley to launch the second half of the season.

Friday, 18th January 2019, 5:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 5:33 pm
Chichester and Bexley line up for their PSL action
Chichester and Bexley line up for their PSL action

It made amends for Chi’s 4-1 defeat at Bexley earlier in the campaign.

Chichester’s Miles Jenkins (world-ranked 173) played Curtis Malik and dominated from the start, taking the middle of the court well, hitting deep and using the volley drop to great effect.

He won the first game 11-3. In the second Jenkins continued in the same manner. Malik tried to come back and hit a few good shots but lacked positivity and made too many errors. Jenkins took full advantage and ran out a 11-6 game and matchwinner.

Tim Vail took on Bexley’s Frenchman Benjamin Aubert (world 112). The first two games were very tight with Vail making greater use of the lob and being patient during the game and he won it 12-10.

In the second, Aubert’s speed around the court kept him in the match and both players traded points. Vail had match ball but Aubert persevered and eventually fought back to take it 16-14. In the final game Vail began to tire and fall behind, allowing Aubert to take it 11-4.

Chichester’s Alison Thomson (world 74) faced Kace Bartley (world 87). Both started cautiously but Bartley was slightly more adventurous and hit a few outright winners. Thomson was not going to give in and from 10-7 down she battled hard to sneak it 14-12.

Thomson upped her game and doggedly retrieved every ball she could and was always a couple of points ahead. She maintained her lead and wrapped up the match 11-7 in the second.

Chichester’s Olli Pett played world 95 Rui Soares from Portugal. From the outset Pett was having trouble moving and although he battled well Soares quickly took this advantage and worked Pett all around the court to score an 11-7, 11-6 victory.

That made it 2-2 and meant the game between Chichester’s Mathieu Castagnet (world 27) and Oli Tuominen (world 61). The match was full of attacking squash and both players covered the court well.

Castagnet’s excellent touch play enabled him to edge the first game. Tuominen’s persistence and attacking volleying helped him save a match point in the second to equalise and take it to the wire.

In the match decider, Castagnet upped the tempo and pace and raced to a 10-1 lead before closing out the match 11-3 to give Chichester victory.

Next for them is a trip to face St George’s on February 5.

* Bognor’s second team resumed their programme with a visit to Midhurst – but could not break their duck this season, going down 4-1.

In a team with three juniors, Bognor’s Calum Porter was at No5 but he could not make much impression on opponent Will Stather, who won in

three 15-6, 15-7, 15-2.

Another promising junior, Ethan Randell, was fourth string. Playing in only his second team match this season he made Midhurst’s Neil Proctor work hard for his win, pulling back the long third game after going two down.

But Proctor had the edge and took the tie 15-11, 15-7, 14-16, 15-6.

Bognor captain Steve Carruthers, still not back to full fitness, had a tough match against Jonathan Wright, who won in straight games 15-12, 15-4, 15-10 to give the home team a decisive 3-0 lead.

At No2 for Bognor was the consistent George Porter who pulled one back for the visitors when he beat Dan Page in three - score 15-11, 15-12, 15-12.

In the top-string contest Bognor’s Jon Corke made a good start taking the first close game against Michael Jordan. Jordan went ahead before Corke levelled at 2-2 but the home No1 had enough to edge the decider winning 13-15, 15-9, 15-12, 7-15, 15-9 and giving Midhurst 17 points to Bognor’s six.

Bognor remain firmly in bottom place of Sussex division three west with another away fixture to follow. The next match at Hawthorn Road is on Friday,February 22 when the second team entertain Storrington.

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