Squash: Chichester hammered at home - but Bognor win again

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Chichester’s Premier Squash League team slipped to a 5-0 home defeat to champions Surrey.

But Bognor’s first team chalked up another win in their bid to win Sussex division three west.

For Chichester, Lauren Briggs, world No 32, played Alison Waters (world 41) in a repeat of the 2012 national championship semi-final. Waters is returning to form after injury and was in top form for an 11-1, 11-5, 11-3 win.

Anthony Graham (world 116), against Surrey’s Alan Clyne (35), started well and built up a 9-5 lead by using good holds in the front of the court. But his patience deserted him and Clyne edged the game 12-10.

The same happened in the second game. Graham forged ahead to reach nine first before Clyne reeled him back to take it 12-10. Clyne took the third game 11-3 for a 2-0 Surrey lead.

Chichester’s Alex Gough (former world No5) started well against Adrian Waller (world 55). Gough was competitive and with great anticipation and reading of Waller’s cross courts, he took the first game 11-9.

Waller fought back to take the second 11-3 and maintained the pressure and went on to win the match 11-8, 11-5 and give Surrey an unassailable 3-0 lead.

On the championship court Sussex No1 and world 66 Olly Pett took the first game for Chichester against world 17 Adrian Grant. He played attacking squash and hit good lengths.

Grant came back at Pett and took the pace down. Pett’s rhythm started to go and Grant took the game 11-4. In the third Pett looked for winners too soon allowing Grant to take it 11-4. In the fourth Pett regained his rhythm and fought back well to win it 11-9 to force a decider.

Both players were wary at the start of the early exchanges and tried to weigh up each other’s game. They were never more than a couple of points apart and reached 9-9. Grant held his nerve against the fearless young rising star to win 11-9.

The final match on the glass-back court was between No1 strings Robbie Temple (world 60) and Surrey’s Peter Barker (No7).

Barker started strongly and reached nine first before Temple gamely fought back to level. Both players were striking good lengths with crisp hitting and tight straight drops. There was nothing between them before Barker squeezed it 14-12.

In the second, the exchanges were even to the midway point when Barker stepped up the pressure and Temple hit the tin a few times to give Barker the second game 11-5.

The third was even up to 4-4 but Barker was always ahead after that and took it 11-7 to give Surrey an emphatic 5-0 victory and round off a thoroughly entertaining match.

Chichester are away to Winchester next, with the final match of the season on March 27 at home to Bristol.

Bognor’s first team overcame their biggest hurdle to date in the battle for the number-one spot in division three west when they travelled to play Bluecoats Sports.

Having beaten the other top-three club Horsham in their previous match, Bognor were able to field a strong squad for this crucial fixture and it paid off with a resounding win for the visitors and a maximum-points tally.

Bognor started well with Pat Jones at No5 wasting little time in his 9-3, 9-3, 9-3 win over David Stanley. Fourth string Paul Thompson won an equally-impressive match against Tony Fiveash 9-2, 9-4, 9-2.

No3 Luke Allen had one of the longest matches, a four-game thriller with Marcus Leake which could have gone either way. Allen took the long first game but Leake fought back well to level and followed two demanding games with the Bognor player just having the edge in both - score 10-8, 6-9, 10-8, 10-9, which gave the visitors a winning margin.

Second-string Steve Enfield was unstoppable against Phil Nash winning 9-1, 9-1, 9-4.

The No1 rubber was closer, with Bognor’s Steve Porter taking an early lead against Ross Barnes, who took the next two.

But Porter was equal to the challenge and won the next two comfortably to give the visitors a welcome 20 points to Bluecoats’ three, an exact reversal of the score when they met on the opening day of the season.

The second team are in action at Hawthorn Road on March 16 (7pm) when Midhurst are the visitors – details on 01243 865462.