RAC are in town but Chichester can't get started
Chichester's final home match of the Premier Squash League season ended in defeat to top-of-the-table RAC.
First on court for Chichester was Amy Jones who played world No10 Alison Waters. Jones attled well but the pace and accuracy of Waters proved too much and she was defeated 11-2, 11-1, 11-2.
Tim Vail was up against world No63 George Parker. The first two games were tight to midway but Parker’s athleticism, retrieving skills, good line and lengths and excellent volleying, kept Vail on the back foot.
Vail made some uncharacteristic tin shots to lose the first two 11-7, 11-7. In the third Parker forged a good lead and, aided by some errors from Vail, he wrapped up the game 11-4 and the match to put RAC 2-0 up.
Chichester’s Tom Walsh, semi-finalist in the 2018 British under-23 open, played Dutch national champion, Piedro Schweertman.
Schweertman plays an attacking straight game at a very high pace and hits the ball cleanly. Walsh was equal to this style of play and when both players started mixing it with lobs a great all-court game ensued.
Schweertman took the first 11-9 before Walsh won 11-5 in the second. Schweertman’s strength and consistency allowed him to drive through to take the next two games 11-4, 11-6 in an excellent match for the packed gallery to watch.
Ollie Pett, Chichester’s No2 string, played world 48 Ben Coleman. Both players played an attacking all-court game.
Coleman, full of running, took a tight first game 11-7. In the second Pett’s excellent shot making came to the fore and he took the game 11-6.
After an even start in the third Coleman stepped it up and won 11-5. The fourth followed in the same pattern but Coleman always seemed to have the edge and finished the 11-4 winner to put RAC 3-1 and clinch the result.
The much-anticipated final match was between Chichester’s Omar Abdel Meguid (world No40) and Paul Coll (world No11 and last season’s top string for Chichester).
Meguid started to break Coll’s rhythm with constructive use of the lob and volley. Coll ran down and retrieved almost everything but Meguid held out to take it 11-8. In the second Coll started well while Meguid lapsed into a few errors and Coll ran through to take it 11-3.
The third game was evenly matched and what followed was a masterclass in fantastic shot-making and retrieving from both players. Coll just managed to get enough back to snatch the game 12-10.
In the fourth Meguid threw caution to the wind and tried everything to break Coll’s rhythm but he hit too many tins and eventually lost the match 11-4 – meaning RAC were 5-0 winners.
Chi’s final match of the season is away to St George’s Hill next Tuesday (March 27).
Bognor’s second team continued their poor run when they visited Midhurst firsts in their latest division two west match, only managing a single point.
Midhurst are doing well in the league and Bognor gifted them the fifth-string rubber, failing to raise a full team.
In the visitors’ No4 spot was junior Ethan Randell, stepping in for some experience. Although he performed well Randell was no match for Midhurst regular Jonathan Dean who won 15-7, 15-8, 15-5.
George Porter was third string for Bognor but was unable to take much from his match with Julian Kean with the Midhurst player winning 15-10, 15-7, 15-6.
In the No2 contest Bognor’s Zoe Shardlow pushed Dan Page in the first game but could not get the vital points and Page went on to take that and the next two for a 3-0 win – 15-12, 15-5, 15-5.
Finally Jon Corke at No1 for Bognor prevented a complete whitewash by taking the second game in his battle with Michael Jordan.
Jordan came back strongly in the third and just hung on in a close fourth to deny Corke, winning 15-10, 9-15, 15-6, 15-13 to give Midhurst a 5-0 victory and maximum 20 points to Bognor’s one.
Bognor are now unable to catch third-bottom Arun Leisure and with only two games left are favourites to take the wooden spoon.
There will be a rearranged home fixture for the first team on Wednesday, March 28 (7pm) when the visitors are Weald. Details from 01243 865462 or bognorsquash.co.uk