Chichester sparkle against the Diamonds

editorial image

Chichester sparkled when Exeter Diamonds visited for their final home Premier Squash League game of the season.

Chichester started the night in fourth spot and looking for their third win on the trot, but only a 5-0 win could keep Chichester in with a shout of the play-offs.

In the end, Chichester took the honours 4-1.

Making her home debut for Chichester, Nicolette Fernandes (world No45), delighted the home crowd with a routine 3-0 win over Victoria Temple-Murray.

The Exeter player lacked the experience at the cutting edge and Fernandes won 11-6, 11-4, 11-2.

On the glass-back court, Chichester’s Tim Vail beat Exeter’s Peter Creed who has recently retained his Welsh national title.

Vail looked in command throughout with Creed retrieving but not taking control. The three games were tight but Vail took them all.

Alex Gough, revitalised from his brilliant win over Joe Lee a week earlier, gave another sterling performance. Gough had too much experience for Exeter’s Mike Gregory.

Gough’s superior anticipation and movement proved a bridge too far and his 3-0 victory gave Chichester an unassailable 3-0 lead.

Number-one strings Max Lee (Chichester) and Campbell Grayson (Exeter) had a battle royal. The match was tight with little to separate them.

Lee took the first game 11-7 before Grayson dug in and worked hard to take the next two.

Both players moved the ball to all quarters and in the fourth Grayson built up a lead but Lee began to run down and retrieve everything to clinch it 11-8.

It was nip and tuck in the decider with Lee building an 8-7 lead before two unforced errors let Grayson back in. Grayson hung on and took it 11-9.

The No2 strings’ battle pitted Chichester’s Olly Pett against Jonny Harford, who had beaten Pett at Exeter earlier in the season.

Pett was determined to start well and pile on the pressure and he dominated from the outset and with very few unforced errors he came through a good 3-0 winner to give Chichester a 4-1 victory – their fifth win in nine this season.

The final match is away to Bristol and Robbie Temple, who has done extremely well in the last two matches, will replace Alex Gough. Lauren Briggs is also set to return.

Chichester are aiming to finish third in the PSL southern division which would be a major achievement.

MIKE PHILLIPS