Despite suffering their first loss of the season, former champions Benz-Bavarian Duffield are already virtually assured a place in the end-of-season play-offs after taking points from each match againstMB Nottingham in the eighth round tie of the world’s most prestigious squash league.
The East Midlands derby always brings out the best in both teams – and Nottingham stalwart Emma Beddoes paved the way for the hosts with a stunning 11-5, 5-11, 13-11, 7-11, 11-6 victory over the visitors’ Laura Massaro, the world No3 from Preston who competed in her third successive British National Championship final on Sunday.
It was world No31 Beddoes’ first win over the England number one in seven meetings in the last six years.
Inspired by his team-mate’s unexpected success, Scot Greg Lobban dug deep to earn his first win over Duffield’s Chris Fuller – delighting the packed Nottingham crowd with a 106-minute 13-11, 11-9, 11-13, 7-11, 11-8 win to extend the home side’s advantage.
When Nottingham-based Eddie Charlton survived the third five-game match of the day to beat Duffield’s Joel Hinds 11-6, 9-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-9, it signalled the end of Duffield’s season-long unbeaten run.
But the Derbyshire club won the other two matches to reduce the margin of defeat to 3/2 - Andy Whipp beating Declan James in four games, and the new record five-time British National champion Nick Matthew clinching a straight games win over the top-ranked Scot Alan Clyne.
Duffield have in fact extended their lead at the top of the Group A tables to 26 points, as second-placed Oxford Health & Racquets also suffered a 3/2 defeat away from home at Chapel Allerton.
The Leeds club’s England international Jenny Duncalf made up for the disappointment of a semi-final exit at the National Championships by beating Oxford’s Irish champion Madeline Perry 11-9, 11-6, 11-13, 17-15 – but the real star of the Chapel Allerton line-up was Channel Islander Chris Simpson.
With the tie poised at two-all, the top string from Guernsey beat Oxford’s Cameron Pilley 13-11, 11-6, 4-11, 11-5 to record his first ever win over the Australian number one.
Elsewhere in the group, Yorkshire club AJP Pontefract kept their play-off hopes alive with a 4/1 home win overUniversity of Birmingham, with victories from Saurav Ghosal, Siddharth Suchde, Lee Beachill and Sarah Kippax.
A change of order came in the other group after reigning champions Integrity Surrey Health Racquets crushed Exeter Diamonds 5/0 to replace the Devon team at the top of the Group B tables.
The Croydon club supporters were treated to a fine display by the home team, led by the newly-crowned British National champion Alison Waters, and followed by Adrian Waller, Gregoire Marche and Karim Abdel Gawad. A courageous performance by the Surrey Health number one Adrian Grant saw the Londoner recover from two games down to beat Dutch international and fellow left-hander Laurens Jan Anjema 11-13, 4-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-9 in 82 minutes to give his team maximum points.
Exeter drop to third place in the tables – making way for Team Chichester to move up to second place following a powerful 5/0 away win at UWE Bristol. The Chichester star turn was Jonathan Kemp, the semi-retired former world No20 who overcame a two-game deficit to the Bristol number one Mohamed El Shorbagy to beat the world No6 from Egypt 10-12, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8.
Last season’s runners-up TWP St George’s Hill kept alive their slender hopes of a place in the playoffs by beatingWinchester Racquets & Fitness 4/1.
RESULTS: Premier Squash League, 8th round, Tuesday 19 February 2013
MB Nottingham 3 Benz-Bavarian Duffield 2
Alan Clyne lost to Nick Matthew 11-13, 11-13, 7-11
Eddie Charlton bt Joel Hinds 11-6, 9-11, 10-12, 11-8, 11-9
Declan James lost to Andy Whipp 7-11, 11-13, 11-4, 6-11
Greg Lobban bt Chris Fuller 13-11, 11-9, 11-13, 7-11, 11-8 (106m)
Emma Beddoes bt Laura Massaro 11-5, 5-11, 13-11, 7-11, 11-6
AJP Pontefract 4 University of Birmingham 1
Saurav Ghosal bt Peter Creed 11-8, 11-8, 11-6
Siddharth Suchde bt Jaymie Haycocks 13-11, 12-10, 7-11, 6-11, 11-7 (88m)
Lee Beachill bt Nathan Lake 12-10, 11-5, 11-8
Taminder Gata-Aura lost to Chris Tasker-Grindley 5-11, 3-11, 2-11
Sarah Kippax bt Sarah-Jane Perry 15-13, 4-11, 11-9, 11-7
Chapel Allerton 3 Oxford Health & Racquets 2
Chris Simpson bt Cameron Pilley 13-11, 11-6, 4-11, 11-5
Dylan Bennett bt Scott Handley 11-5, 11-7, 5-11, 11-2
James Earles lost to Ben Coleman 8-11, 11-4, 8-11, 8-11
Matthew Sidaway lost to Mark Cairns 8-11, 11-7, 4-11, 8-11
Jenny Duncalf bt Madeline Perry 11-9, 11-6, 11-13, 17-15
UWE Bristol 0 Team Chichester 5
Mohamed El Shorbagy lost to Jonathan Kemp 12-10, 11-9, 8-11, 8-11, 8-11 (42m)
Lucas Serme lost to Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan 9-11, 6-11, 14-16 (43m)
David Haley lost to Robbie Temple 7-11, 5-11, 3-11 (29m)
Thomas Ford lost to Anthony Graham 7-11, 8-11, 11-6, 5-11 (48m)
Emma Chorley lost to Lauren Briggs 6-11, 9-11, 12-10, 3-11 (35m)
Integrity Surrey Health Racquets 5 Exeter Diamonds 0
Adrian Grant bt Laurens Jan Anjema 11-13, 4-11, 11-3, 11-9, 11-9 (82m)
Karim Abdel Gawad bt Olli Tuominen 11-8, 11-7, 7-3 ret.
Gregoire Marche bt Joey Barrington 11-3, 14-12, 11-5
Adrian Waller bt Tim Vail 11-6, 11-4, 11-2
Alison Waters bt Victoria Temple Murray 11-3, 11-1, 11-6
Winchester Racquets & Fitness 1 TWP St George’s Hill 4
Marwan El Shorbagy lost to Daryl Selby 11-4, 6-11, 11-4, 8-11, 5-11
Stacey Ross bt Tom Richards 11-1, 4-3 ret.
Robert Downer lost to Joe Lee 5-11, 5-11, 6-11
Adam Auckland lost to Charles Sharpes 11-6, 8-11, 9-11, 11-6, 5-11
Rachel Willmott lost to Dominique Lloyd-Walter 8-11, 7-11, 9-11
PSL TABLES (after 8th round):
|St George’s Hill||8||4||4||21||19||77||64||97|