Chichester’s first home match of the Premier Squash League season ended in defeat to Bexley.
The squad had won 4-1 at Coolhurst in the first round of games to go top of the table.
Omar Abdel Meguid (world No27) and Mathieu Castagnet (world 32) were making their eagerly-awaited debuts for Chichester.
First on court, Chichester’s Jasmine Hutton (world 229) played Kace Bartley (world 103). Hutton was always on the back foot in the first game as Bartley played with subtle touches to take it 11-5. In the second Hutton stepped up the pace and her court speed saw her win it 11-5. She continued in the same vein in the third and again ran through to win it 11-6 to take a 2-1 lead.
Bartley managed to keep her concentration and she pulled away to take the fourth 11-7. In the fifth, Bartley always had the upper hand and finally won the decider 11-5.
On the glass-back court, Chichester stalwart Tim Vail, played in-form Rui Soares (world 148). Soares set the pace from the start while Vail failed to find his length and lost the first game 11-3. The second game was a closer encounter – Vail was hitting deeper to more effect. Soares, however, played the big points much better to take it 13-11.
Jenkins quickly regained his composure in the fourth (11-4) to take his match 3-1.
In the third Vail seemed to lose his form again and just couldn’t find the length. Soares wrapped it up 11-3.
Miles Jenkins, Chichester’s world No169, faced Bradley Masters (world 174). This match proved to be a very tight battle.
Both players play a similar game – hitting straight and moving quickly. Jenkins took the first two games on a tie-break before Masters persistently fought back to take the third 11-6. Jenkins quickly regained his composure in the fourth (11-4) to take his match 3-1.
Omar Abdel Meguid was next on the championship court to play against Bexley’s Olli Tuominen (world 48). Meguid stormed ahead in the first. He combined some great touches with power squash him to comfortably win it 11-6.
The next three games were very evenly contested. Both players played at terrific speed and displayed some deft touches. Tuominen, converted the big points when it mattered and won 13-11, 12-10, 11-0 to give Bexley an unassailable 3-1 margin.
The match between the No1 strings, Castagnet (world 32) and Bexley’s Mohamed Abouelgar (world 13) proved a fantastic clash.
Both played superb all-court squash and it was no surprise it went to a fifth game. At 7-7 Castagnet began to tire and just couldn’t muster any more points and was finally defeated 11-7.
Chichester’s next home game is on December 5 against St George’s Hill. It is hoped that both Castganet and Meguid will once again head the squad. Before then Chichester are away to the RAC on November 21.