New-look Chichester start with Premier League win
Chichester Racquets and Fitness Club started the new Premier Squash League season with victory last week.
Chi, who finished third in Division B last year, sealed a 3-2 home success over St. George’s Hill.
A new-look Chichester team welcomed Paul Coll back for a second season, while Nathan Lake returned for a third campaign with Chi. Along with the returning pair, new signings Nele Gilis, Miles Jenkins and Tim Vail were all in for the league opener.
Vail was first up on the glass-back court, taking on a former Chichester favourite in Robbie Temple.
Vail controlled the contest and, despite wobbles at the end of each game, he went onto seal a straight sets 12-10, 11-9, 11-8 victory.
On the adjacent court, Gilis’ Chichester debut got off to a flying start.
The Belgian raced into a two-game lead but back came Hill’s Julianne Courtice to steal the third. Gilis composed herself before taking the fourth 11-9 to fire Chichester 2-0 ahead overall.
Joe Lee handed Hill some hope as he sealed a straight sets triumph over Lake.
In his first game of a third season at Chichester, Lake fought hard fighting back in each of the three games but Lee had all the answers on his way to a 12-10, 13-11, 11-7 success.
Jenkins looked to have sealed a victory in his first game back since a return from Exeter. The talented player raced into a two-game lead before a dramatic fightback from Cornes Ribadas.
After going ahead, Jenkins’ length and width dropped, with Rabadas going onto win the final three games 11-6, 11-5 and 11-9 to set-up a thrilling finale.
The pressure fell on Coll’s shoulders but he stayed calm producing a fine display to win in straight sets.
Taking on Tom Richards, with both players very quick around the court, Coll just had the edge on speed and retrieve.
In the end, Coll came away with an 11-6, 11-7, 12-10 triumph to ensure Chichester got off to a winning start in this season’s Premier League Division B campaign.
Chichester face a trip to new Division B outfit Bexley on November, 8 before a home return on November, 22 as they host Coolhurst.
For more information and news from Chichester Racquets and Fitness Club visit www.crafc.co.uk or contact 01243 785664.
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