Men’s team squash – Div 1 week 3

Some excellent performances and results from the Mavericks and Seniors in D2 continued the CBLTSC momentum this week, so it was up to the D1 sides to see if they could match the scores from the Tuesday night fixtures.

1A hosted newcomers Racquets, knowing that the away side would be relying on their top order to get results. As it turned out, the visitors managed victories at 1 and 4, both Pothecary brothers going down 3-2 from 2-0 up. Ben will probably be the more disappointed by the turn around in fortunes as Sam played impressively to push young superstar Ben Hedger to the limit. Still, narrow defeats for both meant not too many points dropped. Paul Bolden continued his dominant form with a 3-0 victory at 5 and Dan Colquhoun handed Simon Martin his heaviest defeat so far with a 3-1 victory that could easily have been 3-0. It was left to James Pearson to seal the win for the home side which he duly did by winning a see-saw five setter over Steve Nicholls.

A few miles up the A413 in Aylesbury, 1B were also hoping to continue their early season form. The match we were all waiting for was CBLTSC’s own Tom Paine against Bucks county stalwart Tom Phipps. The Aylesbury player oozes class and has tremendous experience so this was always going to be a big test for the Chesham player. The match fully lived up to expectations, with careful tight tactical rallies combined with tremendous retrieving and shot making. But it was Tom Paine who eventually emerged victorious after five gruelling games, the CBLTSC/Oxford Uni player even managing to look relatively fresh at the end of it all.

At 2 Steve Sieff took on Ian McGowan in a match that had the crowd heading for the bar. In fact both players played some reasonably tight squash and even fluked the odd winner but it was the away player who managed to find more consistent line and length to take a 2 game lead. At that point the spectators (alright spectator. Ok it was just the marker by then) probably thought that everything was looking comfortable for the CBLTSC player, but Ian is a renowned battler and with Steve hampered by a mystery foot injury the next two games slipped away to bring the match level. All very exciting for a couple of watching spiders and the odd insect. Fortunately the Chesham number 2 managed to hold his discipline to close out the decider 11-6. Phew.

No such tension at number 3 where wunderkind William Piper continues to prove that if you’re good enough, you’re old enough. 3-1 over Hugh Perks with a display of smooth movement and grooved hitting. OK, one game dropped but the outcome never looked in doubt. Next week against Holmer Green the young man is likely to get his opportunity at 2 and I have no doubt that he will be fully equal to the task.

The captain had his traditional battle at 4 against the wily Simon Townsend. Simon came out the traps like a (venerable) greyhound and Rob like a rabbit meaning the first game shot by far too quickly. But even carrying an injury, Rob will give you everything he has so it was no surprise when about an hour later the match came down to a fifth set tie-break. As ever with these things, one tiny moment or call can decide it, and Rob just found himself on the wrong side of both going down 2-3. Great match and fight back though.

5 saw a late change with Simon Ackers kindly agreeing to step in at very late notice for the stricken Andy Piper. Ackers also started slowly but gradually found his A game to close out an important and (at that stage) match deciding 3-2. Brilliant debut result.

So 18 points collected for the CBLTSC high flyers and a fantastic week for the club teams as a whole. Now over to the Upstarts…