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Match Reports


 

ABBEYDALE END LOSING RUN BUT RIVALS DRAW CLOSER - Week 19 Round-Up

Yorkshire Premier League leaders Abbeydale ended their run of three straight defeats on Wednesday but still saw their lead cut by a further point as the title race heads to the wire.

The Sheffield club boasted a 45-point lead four weeks ago that has now been slashed to a mere 11 with only three matches of the season remaining.

The leaders made the short trip to fourth-placed Barnsley this week and came away with a much-needed – but narrow – 3-2 (17-8) victory.

Yet again No.5 Phil Scully (17 wins in 18 games this season) gave them a solid foundation to build on by beating recently crowned England U17 girls’ champion Asia Harris in three. Nick Wall was equally efficient in dispatching the hosts’ Andrew Tressler.

Although Barnsley’s Welsh international Elliott Morris-Devred overcame Oli Turner in four, Adam Turner’s gruelling victory over Jamaican Lewis Walter – 14/12 in the fifth – made the five bonus points safe for Abbeydale. Barnsley’s top string Miles Jenkins beat Adam Auckland in five though to make Abbeydale’s margin of victory narrower than they would have liked with the title race so close.

Second-placed Queens Club narrowed the gap on the leaders by one point by virtue of their 4-1 (18-3) victory over bottom-of-the-table Chapel Allerton 2.

Chapel’s Henry Duncanson stepped up from Division 2 to notch a wonderful win over former world No.15 Sarah Campion, but it was plain sailing for the hosts thereafter.

Youngster Finnlay Withington ended captain Ross Williamson’s tremendous run of wins, then England national development coach Josh Taylor, James Earles and top string Connor Sheen all won with minimal fuss in straight games.

That victory puts Queens on 292 points, with leaders Abbeydale on 303. Dunnington, champions for the last two years, are also on a roll. A 4-1 (18-5) home triumph over Woodfield means they move on to 275 but one feels that even wins in their final three matches may not quite be enough to sneak into contention.

A walkover at fifth string certainly helped the York club’s cause, and although Woodfield’s Ben Sockett picked off Ed Shannon at No.4, Dunnington’s top order got the job done.

Julian Tomlinson won a grueller with Luke McFarland, the returning Rob Downer (who has really beefed up Dunnington’s line-up) beat England’s No.4 junior Simon Herbert and former England international Chris Simpson downed Kyle Finch in rapid fashion.

There were early nights all round after fifth-placed Pontefract 1’s 4-1 (17-3) win over lowly Hull & East Riding as every match was wrapped up in straight games.

Fi Moverley, the former world No.21, got Hull on the board by defeating Carlton Oldham, but thereafter Danny Bray, supreme young talent Ben Beachill, Ponte stalwart Lewis Doughty and fast-rising world No.58 Patrick Rooney all won in quick time for the hosts.

Mid-table Hallamshire 2 recorded a clean sweep over 10th-placed Pontefract 2 in Sheffield. Dylan Martens and Dan Lawrence started the rout with straight-games wins at the bottom of the order.

Nat Fairhurst dropped just a game against John Riley, as did Spencer Yager versus Matt Godson, but the match of the night took place at top string where Harry Falconer and Adam Taylor did battle. Taylor hit back after losing the first two games heavily but succumbed 12/10 in the fifth.


 

ANOTHER ABBEYDALE DEFEAT BLOWS TITLE RACE WIDE OPEN - Week 18 Round-Up

An astonishing third successive defeat for Abbeydale means the race for this year's Yorkshire Premier League title is now wide open - with Queens Club best placed to pounce on the leaders' sudden slump in form.

In just three weeks, Abbeydale's lead has been slashed from 45 points to just 12, with Wednesday's 4-1 (17-9) home defeat by defending champions Dunnington the latest stick in the spokes in their previously serene coast to the trophy.

The addition of world No.120 Rob Downer to Dunnington's line-up was ominous for the hosts and the Portsmouth-based player proved victorious over Adam Turner at second string, with recently-retired pro Chris Simpson also winning by the same 3/1 scoreline against Adam Auckland at No.1.

Dunnington's Julian Tomlinson, playing as low as No.3 for only the second time this season in 18 appearances, was nevertheless taken right to the wire by Oli Turner, winning it 14/12 in the deciding fifth game. Gareth Lumsdon was also taken the distance by Nick Wall Snr before taking the decider 11/7.

Phil Scully was the only Abbeydale success on the night, claiming his 16th win in 17 this campaign by beating Ed Shannon in straight games. Now just 29 points off the lead; don't rule out Dunnington claiming a third straight title just yet.

But it's Queens Club of Halifax who lie in second spot and will be hungry to snatch the crown from Abbeydale's grasp. As the Sheffield side have stalled, Queens have clicked through the gears. Their 4-1 (17-7) victory at Hull & East Riding this week was their fifth in a row and they now match Abbeydale's record of 14 wins in 18.

Although Hull's Mike Reid started the evening by conquering ex-world No.15 Sarah Campion in three games, the remainder of the action all went Queens' way. Finnlay Withington defeated Fiona Moverley - 18 years his senior - in four, and at third string England national performance coach Josh Taylor downed Yusef Forster with minimal fuss.

Kiwi Lawambe Chilshe won his ninth successive YPL match to wrap up the five bonus points and at top string James Earles added the cherry on the cake with a five-game win over 17-year-old Lincolnshire lad Ben Smith.

Woodfield and Pontefract 1 are just two points apart in fifth and sixth after a closely-fought encounter this week. Ponte No.5 Danny Bray won for the tenth week in a row, but Woodfield's middle order of Luke Parker and young duo Ben Sockett and Simon Herbert were all victorious (Sockett dishing out a bagel to Carlton Oldham in the first game!).

At top string, Lewis Doughty reduced the deficit for Pontefract by beating Southampton-born youngster Kyle Finch in four games, adding a more even look to the 3-2 (15-8) scoreline in the hosts' favour.

Chapel Allerton 1 have not enjoyed a vintage season by their standards but they at least extracted maximum drama from their trip to Pontefract 2 on Wednesday night. The two sides finished level on nine points each, but it was Chapel A's three wins to two which earned them the five bonus points to consolidate their mid-table position.

Billy Hawes claimed a long-overdue win for Ponte at fifth string over Chapel A stand-in Jack Garrett but the classy Paul Allen beat John Riley in straight games to level things up. Ponte's world No.29 Hollie Naughton dispatched James Wilkinson in rapid time.

The second-string match proved crucial. Matt Godson went two games up for the hosts, but Mark Fuller's legendary fitness saw him claw his way back and win the next three with relative east as Godson's energy reserves dwindled.

That set up a winner-takes-all top-string match, which world No.206 Owain Taylor took in four against his namesake Adam, seizing the win for the visitors.

Back at Chapel A HQ in north Leeds, there was a big boost for the second team as they won their second match of the season, toppling ninth-placed Hallamshire 2 by 3-2 (15-12).

The good work was all done by their lower order with captain Ross Williamson winning for the fourth successive week, this time 11/9 in the fifth against Dylan Martens. On the court next door, team-mate Adam Wellstead won in precisely the same fashion against Ed Walker.

The five bonus points were wrapped up by Dom Hamilton whose scoreline was only slightly different - 11/8 in the fifth - against Nat Fairhurst. Hallamshire restored some balance to the scorecard by winning at one and two through the fesity Lucas Hughes (in four) and Harry Falconer, who overcame Dec Christie in three. That Hallamshire actually won more games than their hosts (12 to 10) will doubtless be of no consolation.


 

PONTE BREATHE NEW LIFE INTO YPL TITLE RACE - Week 17 Round-Up

The Yorkshire Premier League title is suddenly up for grabs again after runaway leaders Abbeydale suffered their second defeat in a row.

In the blink of an eye, Abbeydale's lead has been slashed from 45 points to 20 following last week's loss to second-placed Queens and now Wednesday night's 4-1 (18-6) defeat at Pontefract 1.

A shock looked on the cards from the moment Abbeydale's No.5 Phil Scully - who had won all 15 of his YPL matches before this week - was beaten in four games by Danny Bray, who racked up his ninth successive victory in the competition this season.

Ben Beachill, son former world No.1 Lee and already a class act at 15, proved too good for Nick Wall and Ponte's Taminder Gata-Aura also beat Oli Turner in four games.

The one consolation from a sobering night for the visitors from Sheffield was when Adam Turner (just two defeats in 17 this campaign) overcame Lewis Doughty in four, but at top string, world No.60 Patrick Rooney outclassed the visitors' Adam Auckland in rapid fashion.

That result will have given second-placed Queens a major thrill following their 4-1 (19-3) triumph over Woodfield.

Sarah Campion received a walkover and 15-year-old Finnlay Withington was barely forced to break sweat either as he dispatched Richard Oades for the loss of just 11 points.

That was certainly not the case in the third-string tussle where Woodfield's Jon Davies took a sweat-soaked five-setter against Lewis Harding 13-11 in the deciding game. James Earles and Connor Sheen restored the theme of rapid 3/0 victories for the Halifax club at the top of the order, however.

Meanwhile, who's this sneaking up into third place? It's Dunnington - champions for the last two seasons - who have now won four matches in a row and cannot be completely ruled out of a third successive title just yet with a deficit of 37 points on Abbeydale.

It was a stroll for the York club at home to Hallamshire 1 as Matthew Stephenson, Ed Shannon, Gareth Lumsdon and Julian Tomlinson all brushed aside their respective opponents in straight games, with only youngster Oscar Beach at second string offering any significant resistance against Tomlinson.

It was recently retired England international Chris Simpson at top string who had most trouble, eventually seeing off Alex Cutts 11/3 in the deciding fifth game to wrap up a 5-0 (20-2) victory for his side.

Barnsley's title hopes took a potentially fatal hit as they went down 3-2 (14-10) at home in a thriller against Chapel Alerton 1.

Ben Mann and Paul Allen got the visitors from north Leeds off to a flyer with 3/0 wins at the start of the night, but Matthew Broadberry and Welsh international Elliott Morris-Devred then posted straight-games triumphs of their own for the hosts, to make the top string match a decider.

It was another Welshman, Chapel A's Owain Taylor, who ensured the five winning bonus points returned to Leeds, as he eventually conquered Jamaica's Lewis Walters in a five-set cracker.

The night's other two matches featured the bottom four teams in the league.

Firstly, Hallamshire 2 thrashed Hull & East Riding 5-0 (20-5). The step up from Division 2 proved a little too much for Hull's George Bidder as he went down 3/0 to Dylan Martens at fifth string, but Hallamshire's Ed Walker was at least taken to five by Mike Reid. The hosts' Dan Lawrence and Nat Fairhurst were also made to dig very deep by Glyn Saunder and Yusef Forster respectively. At top string Lucas Hughes' win over Andy Cockerill was a straight-games affair.

Chapel Allerton 2 had the whiff of just a second victory of the season in their nostrils when both fourth and fifth strings Adam Wellstead and Ross Williamson won - the latter quite brilliantly in five games over Billy Hawes to record his third YPL triumph in a row.

However, opponents Pontefract 2 roared back later in the evening, with Matt Godson beating Dom Hamilton in four, and Ponte's Adam Taylor and Abhay Singh both victorious in three to clinch a 3-2 (16-7) away victory.


 

FRESH HOPE OF QUEENS SNATCHING THE CROWN - Week 16 Round-Up

The chasing pack suddenly have hope in the race for the Yorkshire Premier League squash title after seemingly-uncatchable leaders Abbeydale were felled by Queens Club on Wednesday night.

Queens inflicted only the second defeat of Abbeydale's awesome season in round 16, heading back to Halifax with a 4-1 (19-7) victory to their name - and giving them a small chance of snatching the title with six games to go.

It was newly-crowned British Over-35 champion Sarah Campion who got the visitors off and running in Sheffield with a 3/1 win over Andy Mills, while England coach Josh Taylor beat veteran Nick Wall by the same scoreline on the adjacent court to put Queens in command early on.

The pattern continued as Zambia-born Kiwi Lwambe Chilishe overcame Oli Turner in three tight games and the visitors' No.2 James Earles beat Adam Turner in an exhausting five-setter. Another marathon saw the leaders put a win on the board as top string and captain Adam Auckland outlasted Connor Sheen in five, but it was too late to change the surprise outcome and reduce the gap at the top to a 'mere' 33 points.

Third-placed Barnsley - 13 points behind Queens - hit back from their defeat to Dunnington last time out by giving Pontefract 2 a sound 4-1 (17-5) away beating. At fifth string, Ponte's Daniel Siddall stepped up from Division 1 to beat last year's European U17 Junior champion Asia Harris in three, but there was little joy further up the order for the hosts.

Barnsley's Sam Watts emerged triumphant from a titanic five-setter with Billy Hawes, but the visitors' top order of Matthew Broadberry, Lewis Walters and Miles Jenkins all won in three (although Jenkins was taken to tie-breaks in the first and third by Ponte's No.1 Adam Taylor).

Pontefract 1 were also at home on Wednesday night and they took no prisoners against fellow mid-table outfit Hallamshire with a resounding 5-0 (20-3) victory.

Danny Bray and youngster Ben Beachill were ruthless in dispatching Fergus Hunt and Sam Davey respectively, and Taminder Gata Aura also took just three games to see off Australia's women's world No.37 Donna Lobban.

Only at the top of the order were Ponte 1 given any real bother, with Alex Cutts taking Lewis Doughty into a fifth game which he lost 11/5 and Nick Wall extending ever-improving world No.60 Patrick Rooney to four games, each of which was closely contested.

Dunnington's stealthy climb up the table continues as a 3-2 (17-8) win at Chapel Allerton 1 sees the defending champions consolidate fourth spot.

It was a see-saw affair with the York side roaring out of the blocks with early wins for Sam Burton and Gareth Lumsdon over Cameron Ward and Paul Allen. However, back came the hosts, with James Wilkinson winning in four games and the evergreen Mark Fuller taking an epic battle with Julian Tomlinson by reeling five points off in a row in the deciding fifth game to take it 11/8.

Chris Simpson, the recently retired former world No.20, sealed the five winning bonus points for Dunnington though, with a four-game victory over Welshman Owan Taylor at top string.

Woodfield remain in fifth place after an emphatic 5-0 (20-2) beating of an under-strength Hallamshire 2 in Donacaster.

Jack Smith and Nic Davies were both making their first Premier League appearances and perished to Richard Oades and Luke McFarland respectively. At No.3, Luke Parker won his sixth YPL game out of six this season in beating Dylan Martens, while Woodfield's top order of youngsters Ben Sockett and Kyle Finch both won with minimal fuss.

The bottom two teams met on Humberside as Hull & East Riding took on Chapel Allerton 2. The visiting skipper, Ross Williamson, having broken his season's duck in their last game, made it two wins in a row by overcoming Paul Norton 11/8 in the fifth.

Alas, Williamson's team-mates couldn't match his feat as Mike Reid and former world No.21 Fiona Moverley beat Ben Milner and Adam Wellstead respectively. Then Yusef Forster and England's number three-ranked junior, Ben Smith, both won in four games to complete a 4-1 (19-5) victory for Hull.


 

DERBY WIN TAKES ABBEYDALE EVER CLOSER - Week 15 Round-Up

Runaway leaders Abbeydale won their cross-town battle at Hallamshire 2 as their seemingly unstoppable march to the Yorkshire Premier League squash title continued on Wednesday night.

Only the retirement of No.1 string Adam Auckland due to injury in the third game of his tussle with Harry Falconer prevented the champions-elect picking up maximum points as they cruised to a 4-1 (18-4) victory over their Sheffield neighbours.

Phil Scully kept up both his ever-present and 100% winning records this season with another exemplary display at No.5, dispatching Dylan Mertens in straight games, while furtheer up the order Nick Wall Snr and Adam Turner were equally efficient. Oli Turner, at No.3, dropped a game in defeating home captain Dan Lawrence.

The 18 points put Abbeydale 45 points clear of second-placed Queens whose 3-2 (16-7) home triumph over Hallamshire 1 just about keeps the title pot boiling.

Queens No.5 Sarah Campion, the former world No.15, beat current world No.101 Charlotte Jagger, but Hallamshire youngster Oscar Beach took care of the hosts' Lewis Harding in straight games.

Aussie Donna Lobban, fresh from winning the Edinburgh Open last weekend, was downed in three games by Queens' Josh Taylor and when James Earles overcame Alex Cutts in four, the five winning bonus points were sealed for the Halifax club. Nick Wall Jnr's five-game win over Connor Sheen at top string was a mere consolation for the visitors from Sheffield.

There was a humdinger between defending champions Dunnington and third-placed Barnsley, with the York-based club closing to within five points of their opponents by claiming a 3-2 (16-8) home win.

Sam Gibbon dished out a savage 'bagel' in the first game of his 3-0 victory over Polly Clark and although Ed Shannon took only three games to see off Sam Watts, each game was close.

The match soon swung the other way, with Jack Turney (in three) and Lewis Walters (in five) dragging Barnsley level at 2-2, only for the returning Chris Simpson, the recently retired England international, to sew up the win by eventually overcoming Miles Jenkins 11-1 in the deciding fifth game.

Pontefract 1 and Chapel Allerton 1, so often title contenders in recent seasons, both find themselves among the also-rans this term. They met on Wednesday night with Ponte coming out on top in something of a thriller.

Chapel A's Luis North ended a run of nine YPL defeats by beating Dominic Pegg in three and Mark Fuller also notched three points for the visitors by outlasting Taminder Gata Aura in four titanic games.

Ponte's middle order of Danny Bray and young Ben Beachill, son of former world No.1 Lee, both won fairly easily, which left their top string star Patrick Rooney to finish the job, toppling Welshman Owain Taylor without undue fuss to close out a 3-2(15-6) victory.

Ross Williamson's first YPL victory of the season for the Chapel Allerton 2 rightly received a rapturous reception but couldn't prevent Woodfield leaving the leafy Leeds suburb with the five bonus points.

Chapel A's Sam Cantle got one game off Jon Davies, but Woodfield's top order of Luke Parker, Ben Sockett and Simon Herbert all won in straight games to give the visitors from Doncaster a 4-1 (17-4) victory that keeps them in a solid mid-table position in their debut season in the Yorkshire League's top flight.

The night's other game saw two strugglers, Pontefract 2 and Hull & East Riding, play out a close encounter which Hull won 3-2 (15-7) to card just their third win of the campaign.

Captain Fiona Moverley, Yusef Forster and England's No.3 ranked junior, Ben Smith, were Hull's winners on the night,with Ben Hodgetts and Matt Godson's victories for Ponte not enough to prevent defeat for a team missing their outstanding No.1 Sam Todd.


 

ABBEYDALE NUDGE EVER CLOSER TO YPL TITLE - Week 14 Round-Up

Despite all their title rivals winning, Abbeydale added a further two points to their already-commanding lead this week at the top of squash’s Yorkshire Premier League.

The Sheffield club were at home to bottom side Chapel Allerton 2 on Wednesday night, and their 4-1 (19-6) victory stretched their advantage over the chasing pack to 43 points with eight matches of the season remaining.

Chapel Allerton 2, with just one win to their name this season, gave a very good account of themselves with the returning Dom Hamilton claiming victory over Oli Turner at No.3 string. Abbdeydale top string Adam Auckland – with six consecutive YPL wins to his name before Wednesday – was also taken to five by Declan Christie before the latter succumbed 11/6 in the decider.

However, Abbeydale encountered fewer problems in the night’s other games, with Phil Scully – ever-present and unbeaten all season at fifth string – beating Ross Williamson in four, and Nick Wall and Adam Turner rapid winners.

Queens Club of Halifax nudged to the front of the chasing peleton into second place courtesy of a fine 4-1 (19-6) win at Chapel Allerton 1.

Sarah Campion kicked things off with a marathon win over Alec Foster at No.5, with Lewis Harding’s triumph over Cameron Ward a good deal quicker on the adjoining court.

Haris Qasim, a 17-year-old Pakistani making his YPL debut, was far too sprightly even for the ever-improving Paul Allen, while Queens’ top string Conor Sheen dropped just one game against Welshman Owain Taylor.

Chapel A 1’s only win came via the dependable Mark Fuller, who beat James Earles 11/9 in the fifth, but came too late to prevent the home side’s defeat.

Barnsley are just three points behind Queens in third place as they shaded a real ‘game of two halves’ at home to Pontefract 1.

Danny Bray and young Ben Beachill, son of former world No.1 Lee, got Ponte off to a roaring start with straight-games wins, but Jack Turney’s 3/0 victory over Carlton Oldham turned the tide for the South Yorkshire side.

Lewis Walters, the veteran Jamaican international, levelled matters at 2-2 with his epic victory from two games down against Taminder Gata Aura at second string, which left Miles Jenkins to complete an epic comeback by overcoming Lewis Doughty in three tight games.

With only four matches taking place on Wednesday (Hallamshire firsts play their seconds on Friday night, with Hull and Woodfield not in action), the evening’s only other tie saw defending champions Dunnington just about remain mathematically in the title frame by edging a close encounter at Pontefract 2.

Youngster Ben Hodgetts and stalwart Matt Godson were Ponte 2’s victors – both in straight games – but Ed Shannon took a five-setter against Billy Hawes at fourth string and Nick Sutcliffe dismissed John Riley to make it all square going into the top-string tussle.

It was Julian Tomlinson who took it for the York-based visitors, beating Adam Taylor 3/0 to wrap up Dunnington’s 3-2 (14-8) victory.


 

BARNSLEY TRIUMPH BUT ABBEYDALE SOAR CLEAR - Week 13 Round-Up

The highlight of week 13 in squash's Yorkshire Premier League saw high-flyers Queens and Barnsley do battle in Halifax and it was the visitors from South Yorkshire who emerged victorious.

Teenager Saran Nghiem made her YPL debut at No.5 for Queens and beat Simon Haigh 3/1 but Barnsley took control thereafter. Michael Mattimore received his third YPL call-up of the season and maintained his 100% record by overcoming Tom Godzelak in four.

Millie Tomlinson, the world No.25, saw off former England international Sarah Campion in three tight games, before Barnsley's top two, Stuart MacGregor and Miles Jenkins, both dropped just one game in conquering youngster Finnlay Withington and relative veteran James Earles, respectively, to seal a 4-1 (18-6) away win. Queens were left to rue the absence of their usual No.1 Conor Sheen.

Despite leapfrogging Queens into second, Barnsley are still a massive 41 points behind leaders Abbeydale, whose title charge continued apace with a 5-0 (20-3) rout of Hull and East Riding.

No.5 Phil Scully - unbeaten all season in the YPL - was once again imperious and Nick Wall Snr (just one defeat this season) also won serenely. Adam Turner beat Andy Cockerill with minimal fuss in straight games at second string, while Oli Turner did drop a game in overcoming Yusef Forster.

The top string game was a much more even affair, with Adam Auckland coming up against Ben Smith, one of England's top juniors. Smith went 2-1 up after taking both the second and third games 12/10, but Auckland gritted his teeth to take the final two and complete the Abbeydale clean sweep - their 12th win in 13 games so far.

Abbeydale's cross-town neighbours Hallamshire are fourth in the table after a very tight 3-2 (16-10) victory at bottom side Chapel Allerton 2, who came so close to a second victory of the season.

Carrie Ramsey, the former world No.59 who is now club junior coach, came within a whisker of beating Sam Davey at fifth string before succumbing 12/10 in the final game.

Chapel's Sam Cantle won for the third week in a row, beating Harry Heathcock in five, but further up the order Hallamshire's dynamic youngster Oscar Beach won in four before Ian Chappell levelled the match by thrashing Alex Cutts.

That left the top-strong duo to slug it out to become the match-winner, but to the home crowd's disappointment it was 19-year-old Nick Wall Jnr who took it 3/1 against Declan Christie.

It's looking increasingly certain that Dunnington will not be winning the title for a third season in succession after they went down 4-1 (18-7) at Pontefract 1.

Dunnington's Matthew Stephenson won a gruelling four-setter against Dominic Pegg at fifth string but the hosts dominated after that with Danny Bray, Ben Beachill and Lewis Doughty all victorious, before Abhay Singh handed Chris Simpson his first YPL defeat of the season, taking it 11/4 in the deciding fifth.

Sixth-placed Woodfield continue to hold their own in their first top-flight season, winning 4-1 (17-6) against Pontefract 2, for whom recently crowned British Junior Open U17 title winner Sam Todd got his expected victory at top string against Kyle Finch.

The other four matches all went Woodfield's way though - youngsters Simon Herbert and Ben Sockett both triumphing in straight games, even if Jon Davies and Alec Tomlinson were kept on court a good while longer in their lower-order wins over John Riley and Billy Hawes.

Chapel Allerton 1 captain Simon Parke phoned virtually every club member on Wednesday looking for a No.5 to travel to Hallamshire 2 but ended up recruiting none other than world No.26 Greg Lobban! It certainly worked, with the Scot an easy victor over Harry Falconer at No.1, with trusty duo Owain Taylor and Mark Fuller also winning handsomely in three.

Earlier in the night, the ever-improving Paul Allen won a marathon battle with Ed Walker and Jack Cornell got Hallamshire 2's only win of the evening, eventually overcoming Alec Foster 14/12 in the fifth!


 

ABBEYDALE STRENGTHEN YPL TITLE BID - Week 12 Round-Up

Abbeydale continued their title charge by overcoming Woodfield as squash’s Yorkshire Premier League resumed after the Christmas break.

Sheffield side Abbeydale have led the table nearly all season, losing just once in 12 games thus far, and their fifth string Phil Scully has been instrumental in that run. He maintained his 100% record by a straight-forward 3/0 win and No.4 Nick Wall Snr beat Jon Davies in four.

Although Oli Turner went down 3/2 to Luke Parker, Hallamshire’s top two soon snuffed out any hope of a Woodfield comeback as captain Adam Turner and top string Adam Auckland both won 3/0 against youngsters Ben Sockett and Simon Herbert respectively.

The 4-1 (19-4) victory takes Abbeydale beyond the 200-point mark and extends their lead over second-placed Queens to 29 points.

Queens did their best to keep up the pressure with a superb come-from-behind victory at defending champions Dunnington.

Usman Ali and Sarah Campion suffered early defeats to the hosts’ Sam Burton and Matthew Stephenson, but the visitors from Halifax took a firm grip thereafter. Youngster Finnlay Withington began the turnaround with a four-game win over Ed Shannon and England National Performance Coach Josh Taylor levelled matters with a five-game duel against Michael Andrews. James Earles whipped an out-of-sorts Julian Tomlinson at top string to complete the comeback and pocket a 3-2 (16-9) triumph.

Hallamshire 2 made the short trip to third-placed Barnsley and came away with a surprise victory after Jack Cornell and Dylan Martens laid the foundations with early victories.

Back came the hosts though with Jack Turney and Michael Mattimore both winning in straight games over Dan Lawrence and Ed Walker respectively. That meant the top-string game between Jamaican international Lewis Walters and Harry Falconer would be the decider.

It was Falconer, the 21-year-old from Grimsby, who took it with relative ease, giving Hallamshire 2 a terrific 3-2 (14-7) success and leaving Barnsley to rue the absence of their usual No.1 Miles Jenkins and Welshman Elliott Morris-Devred.

There were two ‘in-house’ derby matches on Wednesday night, one of which saw Pontefract 1 beating Pontefract 2 in something of a turnaround of their pre-Christmas form.

Although stalwart Billy Hawes beat Nadia Pfister 3/1 at fourth string, the other matches all went the first team’s way with Danny Bray taking care of John Riley, Lewis Doughty winning at second string and 15-year-old Ben Beachill taking an absolute cracker against Matt Godson in four to clinch the team win.

At top string, the second team’s No.1 Sam Todd was away at the Berlin Open, meaning Abhay Singh faced Patrick Rooney, the ever-improving world No.61, and the Merseysider won 3/1 to wrap up a 4-1 (18-6) triumph.

The other derby saw mid-table Chapel Allerton 1 beat bottom side Chapel Allerton 2 although the margin of victory was uncomfortably close for Simon Parke’s side.

Wins for Sam Cantle and Ian Chappell gave the seconds hope going into the final match of the night after Alec Foster and the impressive Paul Allen had won for the firsts. That meant the top-string affair between Mark Fuller and Declan Christie would prove to be the decider.

Christie won the first game and had a game-ball in the second, but lost it 14-12 and then Fuller’s superior stamina made the third and fourth games a formality. Chapel A 1 took the win 3-2 (16-7).

Fifth-placed Hallamshire 1 smashed second-from-bottom Hull & East Riding 5-0 (20-1) with the platform laid in the lower order by women’s world No.101 Charlotte Jagger and 24-year-old Harry Heathcock both winning in three.

Oscar Beach and fellow 19-year-old Nick Wall dispatched Yusef Forster and Ben Smith respectively and Alex Cutts was the only player to drop a game, albeit just one, in his victory over Andy Cockerill.


 

ABBEYDALE HALFWAY THERE - AND CHAPEL A 2 BREAK THEIR DUCK - Week 11 Round-Up

Abbeydale are halfway to the Yorkshire Premier League squash title after reaching the Christmas break with a commanding 26-point lead over nearest rivals Queens Club.

The Sheffield club's tense 3-2 (16-7) victory over Pontefract 2 on Wednesday night means they have won 10 of their 11 fixtures thus far - their only loss coming to Queens at the end of October.

Ponte's seconds ran them very close this week though. It started well for the hosts when No.5 Phil Scully - who has won all his 11 matches in the YPL this season - scored a straight-games win over Billy Hawes. However, women's world No.29 Hollie Naughton levelled matters with a gruelling 3/2 win over Nick Wall which finished 11-9 in the decider.

The second and third string matches were also shared - Adam Turner beating Ponte's Adam Taylor in three tight games and Ponte stalwart Matt Godson doing the same to 24-year-old Ollie Turner.

That set up a top-string decider between Adam Auckland and 16-year-old professional Sam Todd, with Abbeydale's Auckland taking it in four very closely-fought games.

Queens' title challenge took a dent as the Halifax club went down narrowly 3-2 (15-9) away to Pontefract 1. The writing seemed on the wall when Danny Bray and Carlton Oldham both won for the hosts at the bottom of the order (although Oldham was taken to five by Lewis Harding) but back came Queens through fast-rising Zambian Lawambe Chilishe and James Earles.

That left Patrick Rooney - who this month reached a career-high of 62 in the world - to topple Connor Sheen and wrap up victory and send the Ponte crowd home smiling, even if they do remain an unusually lowly ninth in the table.

Barnsley could have leapfrogged Queens into second but remain a point behind them after falling to a shock home defeat against previously winless Chapel Allerton 2.

Ben Milner and Sam Cantle got the visitors from north Leeds off to a great start with 3-0 wins but the match scores were soon level at 2-2 thanks to Barnsley's world No.25 Millie Tomlinson and 20-year-old Paul Broadberry. So, Matthew Broadberry battled it out with Chapel's Declan Christie for the match and it was the latter who win in a brutal five-setter to break Chapel A 2's duck for the season.

There was no such drama at fourth-placed Dunnington where the champions of the last two years destroyed 10th-placed Hallamshire 2 by 5-0 (20-4). Chris Simpson kept up his 100% record by dispatching Harry Falconer in four and that was also the margin of victory for second string Julian Tomlinson, as well as Ed Shannon and Matthew Stephenson further down the order. Third string Gareth Lumsdon won in three.

There's a 29-point gap between Dunnington and Woodfield in fifth after the Doncaster-based club lost 3-2 (15-8) at Hallamshire 1.

It certainly helped the Sheffield hosts having three-time world champion Nick Matthew at No.1 and he showed he'd lost none of his famous fighting spirit by ousting his own mentee George Parker, the world No.50, in five titanic games.

That settled the result which had been in the balance after Harry Wyld and Nick Wall jnr notched up straight-games wins for the hosts, but Woodfield replied with victories for Jon Davies and Luke Parker in the middle order. Hallamshire 1 play their game in hand next week against stablemates Hallamshire 2 and need only four points to replace Woodfield in fifth at the halfway point of the season.

Elsewhere there was a second win in a row for Chapel Allerton 1 after a string of six successive defeats. Second-bottom Hull & East Riding were the victims, although the night started well for them with lower-order victories for Fiona Moverley and in-form Glyn Saunders.

Chapel A 1's top order looked very strong on paper though and so it proved. Stalwarts Mark Fuller and Owain Taylor both won in straight games against Yusef Forster and Andy Cockerill respectively, then world No.59 Richie Fallows dispatched promising junior Ben Smith in three at top string to seal the hosts' 3-2 (16-6) triumph.


 

ABBEYDALE TAKE FIRM GRIP IN YPL TITLE RACE - Week 10 Round-Up

Abbeydale took a firm grip of squash's Yorkshire Premier League this week by winning the Sheffield derby with Hallamshire 1sts to establish a 19-point lead after 10 rounds.

The ever-dependable Phil Scully kept up his 100% record in the YPL this season by dismissing Hallamshire's No.5 Sam Davey in straight games, then Frenchwoman Coline Aumard eventually saw off 24-year-old Harry Heathcock to give the hosts a perfect start.

Donna Lobban, the world No.51 who has moved from her native Australia to South Yorkshire following her marriage to Inverness-born world No.27 Greg Lobban, got one back for Hallamshire by overturning Oli Turner in four games.

However Abbeydale's top order finished the job with Adam Turner and Adam Auckland dispatching Alex Cutt and Nick Wall respectively to record a 4-1 (18-5) triumph.

A shock defeat for Barnsley at second-from-bottom Hull & East Riding means they drop to third. Hull's lower order did the damage, with Mike Reid and Fiona Moverley both victorious in rapid fashion, before third-string Glyn Saunders clinched it with a five-game victory over Matthew Broadberry.

Barnsley restored some pride with wins for their top two, Lewis Walters and Miles Jenkins, but their 3-2 (15-8) loss opened up a chance for Queens Club to nip into second place, which they took with some gusto.

Former pro Sarah Campion kicked things off with a titanic battle against Pontefract 2's Billy Hawes which she won 11-6 in the fifth. England National Performance Coach Josh Taylor took care of the hosts' John Riley and Zambian Lwamba Chileshe beat home debutante Hollie Naughton, the women's world No.29, in four to wrap up the five bonus points.

Both top order matches also went the way of the visitors from Halifax, with James Earles winning in straight games and Liverpudlian Connor Sheen beating Adam Taylor in four. The absence of top string Sam Todd due to competing in France proved damaging for Ponte.

Defending champions Dunnington are coming up on the rails after a slow start to their title defence - although Wednesday night's win at bottom side Chapel Allerton 2 was not unexpected.

Matthew Stephenson (via a walkover), Ed Shannon and Gareth Lumsdon were all straight-games winners for the visitors from York, Julian Tomlinson dropped a game to Ian Chappell at second string, but Chris Simpson, who last week retired from the PSA Tour, conquered Declan Christie in three at No.1. The 5-0 (20-1) victory puts Dunnington in fourth, 35 points off the lead.

There was a surprise home defeat for fifth-placed Woodfield as Chapel Allerton 1, last year's runners-up, claimed just their third win of the season. Cameron Ward and James Wilkinson both won in four games at the bottom of the order for the visitors, but Luke Parker got three points for the Doncaster hosts by beating Paul Allen at No.3.

Woodfield's youthful top order of Ben Sockett and Kyle Finch could land few punches on Chapel's experienced Mark Fuller and world No.59 Richie Fallows, giving the visitors from Leeds a much-needed 4-1 (17-6) win.

The night's other encounter was a tight mid-table affair in which Hallamshire 2 overcame Pontefract 1 by 3-2 (15-7). Dan Lawrence, Lucas Hughes and Harry Falconer dropped just one game between them to secure the five bonus points for the Sheffield side, with Danny Bray and young Ben Beachill replying for the visitors.


 

SIMPSON DOES NOT LET STANDARDS SLIP - Week 9 Round-Up

Chris Simpson may have announced his retirement as a professional this week but there was certainly no drop in standards as he clinched victory for defending champions Dunnington in squash's Yorkshire Premier League on Wednesday night.

Harrogate-based Simpson, 32, revealed on the morning of the YPL round nine clash with Hull & East Riding that he is leaving the PSA Tour to become a trainee financial planner in January. He won't be giving up his club duties though and showed no lack of professionalism in dispatching England No.3 ranked junior Ben Smith to seal a 3-2 (14-8) team victory.

Before Simpson's decisive win, Dunnington were facing the prospect of a surprise defeat to second-bottom Hull after the visitors' Fiona Moverley (another recently-retired pro) and Glyn Saunders had both won 3-0. Dunnington's No.5 Matt Stephenson and second string Julian Tomlinson both won 3/1 though to level the match at 2-2 before Simpson's clinching triumph.

Dunnington stay in fourth spot, and it's Abbeydale who remain on top after a very comprehensive 5-0 defeat of last year's runners-up Chapel Allerton 1.

Phil Scully got the leaders off to a fine start, edging a tight first game against Chapel's Alec Foster then taking the next two more comfortably. Frenchwoman Coline Aumard profited from James Wilkinson's slight injury in beating him in five games, before the Sheffield side's third string Ollie Turner defeated Paul Allen, who is rapidly improving but remains inexperienced at this high level.

Abbeydale No.2 Adam Turner also benefited from his opponent's injury woes although Welshman Owain Taylor did well to get two games on the board in losing in five. Adam Auckland defeated Chapel's top string Richie Fallows, the world No.61, to complete the landslide.

Second-placed Barnsley hit back from losing to Abbeydale in last week's table-topper, by coming out on top in a cracking encounter with South Yorkshire rivals Woodfield.

Wins for Alec Tomlinson and Luke McFarland gave Woodfield early hope of an upset, but Sam Watts' 3-2 defeat of Jon Davies at fourth string proved crucial for the hosts. Matthew Broadberry beat youngster Ben Sockett in straight at games at No.2 to level the match, allowing Jamaican Lewis Walters to defeat another junior, Simon Herbert, in a tough and contentious four-setter to close out a 3-2 (16-9) win.

In third place are Queens Club after they recorded a sixth win in a row. This latest triumph came against ninth-placed Abbeydale 2, who actually made a positive start when fifth string Dan Lawrence won a thriller against Alex Cahill.

However, the night belonged to the Halifax hosts after that. Sarah Campion, the ex-world No.15, dropped only a game in taking care of Dylan Martens, youngster Finnlay Withington won in three, Lewis Harding was stretched to five by Nat Fairhurst but James Earles quickly won his fifth YPL match in a row at top string; 4-1 (19-6) was the final reckoning.

Hallamshire 1 can't be completely counted of the title race. Despite being 49 points off the lead they have a game in hand and did themselves no harm by thrashing previously in-form Pontefract 2 this week.

Having three-time world champion Nick Matthew in their side certainly helped. The man nicknamed ‘The Wolf’ dispatched Ponte 2’s top string Adam Taylor in three games. It was a similar story all the way down the order, with Alex Cutts, Aussie world No.61 Donna Lobban, young talent Oscar Beach and Harry Heatchcock all winning in straight games for a 20-0 rout.

The night’s other encounter saw Pontefract 1 get just a third win of the season, beating winless bottom side Chapel Allerton 2.

A youthful Ponte side featuring Norfolk’s Robert Thirst, up-and-coming world No.46 Lucy Turmel and Ben Beachill, son of former world No.1 Lee, saw that trio victorious as well as top string Taminder Gata Aura, although Chapel A 2’s No.2 Ian Chappell was delighted to win his first YPL match of the season, beating Carlton Oldham, to restrict the damage to 4-1 (19-6).


 

YORKSHIRE PREMIER LEAGUE - Week 8 Round-Up

Abbeydale won an epic battle with Barnsley to take a five-point lead over their South Yorkshire rivals in Wednesday's table-topping Yorkshire Premier League squash encounter.

In a tussle which went right to the wire, 16-year-old Jack Walmsley and Phil Scully claimed early 3/0 scalps for either side at the bottom of the order, before world No.23 Millie Tomlinson toppled Abbeydale Sports Club's Oli Turner in a five-game marathon. However, Adam Turner's 3/0 trouncing of Stuart MacGregor meant the result would be all down to the top-string match.

It pitted the home side's Adam Auckland, the 26-year-old from Grimsby, against Barnsley Squash & Racketball Club's Jamaican international Lewis Walters, and it was Abbeydale's Auckland who took it 11/8 in the fifth and final game, to the home crowd's delight.

There was a star-studded affair at Hallamshire Tennis & Squash Club where the Sheffield side's first team took on last year's runners-up Chapel Allerton Tennis, Squash & Gym Club 1, with three-time world champion Nick Matthew at No.1 for the hosts up against Scottish No.1 Greg Lobban.

Matthew, who retired from the PSA Tour in June 2018, was 2-0 and match ball down in the third before showing trademark tenacity to restore parity, only to lose a thrilling fifth game 11-9 to Lobban - the world No.28 who only returned from the World Championship in Qatar just over a week ago.

Alas for Chapel Allerton, the match result had already been decided by then. Harry Hitchcock, Oscar Beach and Australian Donna Lobban - who was playing in the opposing team to her husband - had put Hallamshire out of sight with victories down the order. Mark Fuller's 3/0 win over Alex Cutts at No.2 string meant Chapel A 1 earned a few more consolation points, but still went down to a 12-6 defeat. Both sides remain in mid-table.

Queens Sports Club of Halifax, meanwhile, are up to third after dispatching bottom side Chapel Allerton 2. Sarah Campion, Queens club coach and former world No.15, kicked things off with a 3/2 win over young Ben Milner, before Lancastrian junior Finnlay Withington defeated the hosts' Sam Cantle.

Next up, Lewis Harding and Lwamba Chileshe continued the Queens march to victory (although Harding dropped a game to Chapel A's Adam Wellstead), before James Earles conquered Declan Christie 3/1 at top string to wrap up a 20-4 win which puts them just about within reach of the top two.

Newly-promoted Woodfield Squash and Leisure Club lie in fourth, level on points with Pontefract Squash & Leisure Club seconds, although the Doncaster club suffered a third defeat of the season on Wednesday, going down 3-2 (16-7) to defending champions Dunnington.

Kieron Heaphy and stalwart Matthew Stephenson got the visitors from York off to the perfect start only for Tesni Evans - the world No.9 making her Yorkshire League debut - and Luke McFarland to get Doncaster side Woodfield back on level terms.

That left Ben Sockett, England's sixth-ranked junior, and the experienced Julian Tomlinson to battle it out for the glory of winning the match. It was the visitors' Tomlinson who triumphed in three straight games.

Pontefract 2's fine recent form was halted by Hallamshire 2 in another very close affair which the Sheffield side won 3-2 (15-8).

Dylan Martens took care of Ponte's Billy Hawes at No.5 and Ed Walker got only his second YPL win of the season at fourth string, over the hosts' No.4 John Riley.

Matt Godson replied for Pontefract with a four-game win over Nat Fairhurst, but the jig was up for Ponte when 18-year-old American Spencer Yager, making his Hallamshire 2 debut in the YPL, beat Adam Taylor in four. That made Sam Todd's typically classy demolition of Lucas Hughes at top string a mere footnote.

The night's other match-up saw Pontefract 1 claim just their second victory of the season to move up to ninth, beating Hull and East Riding Squash Club 5-0 (20-7).

Hull claimed at least one game in all five encounters, but Dominic Pegg, Danny Bray, Carlton Oldham, Bradford-born Taminder Gata Aura and top string Lewis Doughty all ground out wins to inject some much-needed impetus into the West Yorkshire side's season.


 

YORKSHIRE PREMIER LEAGUE - Week 7 Round-Up

South Yorkshire's domination continues in the Yorkshire Premier League with Barnsley and Abbeydale way out in front after round seven on Wednesday night.

Barnsley's 5-0 (20-3) whipping of Sheffield side Hallamshire 1 saw them open up a three-point lead at the top. Welshman Elliot Morris-Devred dropped his first game of the season in six YPL appearances, but still triumphed 3-1 over Harry Heathcock. Elsewhere, Sam Watts dispatched Charlotte Jagger in three.

Further up the order, Stuart MacGregor saw off youngster Oscar Beach in straight games, while Jamaican Lewis Walters won in four and Miles Jenkins, the 24-year-old from Sussex, also dropped a game in seeing off one of Nick Matthew's protegees, Nick Wall Jnr.

Second-placed Abbeydale, from Sheffield, inflicted a third defeat of the season on defending champions Dunnington, although it went the full distance before the visitors posted a 3-2 (16-9) win.

Abbeydale No.5 Phil Scully kept up his impeccable record so far with a seventh win in seven - beating Matthew Stephenson in three - before the York club hit back with Ed Shannon's five-game marathon win over Frenchwoman Coline Aumard.

The two Turners, Adam and Oli, sealed the five bonus points for Abbeydale, by beating Julian Tomlinson and Michael Andrews at second and third string respectively, but Guernseyman Chris Simpson reduced the victory margin by maintaining his 100% YPL record this season in taking care of Adam Auckland at No.1.

Woodfield continue the South Yorkshire theme at the summit as the top-flight newcomers from Doncaster won in handsome style, 17-4 at Pontefact 1.

Bolstered by the presence of world No.42 George Parker at No.1 - who beat the hosts' Lewis Doughty comfortably - Woodfield fielded three youngsters in their middle order, all of whom were victors.

Southampton-based Kyle Finch beat Taminder Gata-Aura in four, recent British Junior Championship semi-finalist Simon Herbert won in three and England's No.7-ranked junior Ben Sockett also made rapid work of Danny Bray. Yet another junior, Ben Beachill, got what turned out to be three consolation points for Pontefract 1 at fifth string.

Woodfield are third on 98 points, 20 behind Abbeydale, but just one point behind Woodfield are Pontefract 2, who are having a splendid start, even eclipsing their stablemates Ponte 1, who are lying second from bottom.

Pontefract 2's latest success - their fifth in seven games - came away to old West Yorkshire rivals Chapel Allerton 1.

The hosts were badly affected by No.1 Richie Fallows having to drop out through illness. Rick Saunders stepped in at No.5 at the last minute and lost 3/2 to Billy Hawes in a bruising and contentious game, with the referee changing halfway through.

At No.4, Pontefract's John Riley was facing his old club and would have been extra disappointed to go down in the fifth to Alec Foster in another match which saw several disputed refereeing decisions.

From that point, though, Pontefract 2's top order took command, with Matt Godson seeing off Cameron Ward who was hampered by a back strain in the latter stages, Adam Taylor outclassing James Wilkinson, and 15-year-old Sam Todd - hailed by many as a future world champion - dispatching stand-in top string Matty Powell easily.

Elsewhere, fifth-placed Queens saw off Hull & East Riding with fairly minimal fuss. Former world No.15 Sarah Campion proved she's still got the magic at 36 by seeing off Mike Reid 3/1, only for Fiona Moverley, another former PSA Tour-playing veteran, to hit back for Hull with a 3/0 win over youngster Finnlay Withington.

Queens took control from that point on, with Zambian Lwamba Chileshe, former world No.83 James Earles and top string Connor Sheen all recording victories to give the Halifax hosts a 4-1 (17-5) success.

Chapel Allerton 2's wait for a victory goes on, after they went down 4-1 (19-6) at fellow basement-dwellers Hallamshire 2.

Dylan Martens, Nat Fairhurst, Lucas Hughes and Harry Falconer were the victors for the Sheffield side, with Sam Cantle getting his first ever win at this level by way of a consolation for the visitors from north Leeds.


 

ABBEYDALE AND BARNSLEY BOUNCE BACK IN STYLE - Week 6 Round-Up

Abbeydale and Barnsley recovered superbly from their first defeats of the season in squash’s Yorkshire Premier League last week by recording convincing victories on Wednesday to pull well clear at the top of the table.

Barnsley romped home 5-0 at Chapel Allerton to close to within a point of leaders Abbeydale, who routed Pontefract 4-1 at home. Both South Yorkshire clubs now have five wins from six matches.

Barnsley conceded only one game – in Miles Jenkins’ 3/1 victory over Mark Fuller at no.1 – in their convincing away triumph between two weakened teams.

Stu MacGregor, Elliott Morris-Devred, Jack Turney and Sam Watts all coasted through their contests against Paul Allen, James Wilkinson, Cameron Ward and Alec Foster respectively.

It was slightly tougher for their South Yorkshire rivals, who saw Oli Turner succumb 3/2 to Carlton Oldham at third string.

However, Adam Auckland, Adam Turner, Nick Wall senior and Phil Scully ensured there were no further alarms for the leaders by beating Lewis Doughty 3/0, Taminder Gata-Aura 3/1, Danny Bray 3/0 and Ben Beachill 3/2 respectively.

Barnsley are 20 points clear of third-placed Woodfield, after the YPL newcomers were surprisingly drubbed 5-0 at home by Queens, who are just a point adrift of joint fourth after a third successive win.

However, that scoreline masked three hard-fought tussles in the top three rubbers, with Connor Sheen’s win against Kyle Finch, James Earles’ victory over Ben Sockett and Zambian Lwamba Chileshe’s success against Luke McFarland all lasting five games.

In contrast, Finnlay Withington and Sarah Campion cruised home 3/0 against Andrew Tressler and Alec Tomlinson respectively.

Pontefract seconds are just three points behind Woodfield after defeating Chapel Allerton seconds 4-1 to notch their third win in a row as well.

Matt Godson gave the home team a fine start by beating Luis North 3/1, only for Ben Mann to level matters with a 3/2 success against John Riley.

However, those were the only games Pontefract lost, as Sam Todd, Billy Hawes and Adam Taylor all secured 3/0 victories – against Dec Christie, Phil Davis and Adam Wellstead respectively.

Chapel Allerton seconds are 24 points adrift at the bottom of the table, as Hallamshire seconds, who have a match in hand, edged home 3-2 at ninth-placed Hull & East Riding.

The visitors’ triumph was clinched by their top three players, with Harry Falconer and Lucas Hughes squeezing home 3/2 against Ben Smith and Yusef Forster, and Nat Fairhurst nilling Glyn Saunders.

Fi Moverley and Mike Reid ensured the Sheffield club had to battle for their win, though, with 3/1 triumphs against Dylan Martens and Dan Lawrence respectively.

In the night’s other match, defending champions Dunnington triumphed 4-1 at Hallamshire, whose solitary victory came at first string, where Nick Wall junior continued his unbeaten run this season with a 3/0 rout of Rob Downer.

However, that proved small consolation, as Julian Tomlinson, Michael Andrews and Sam Gibbon notched straight-games successes over Alex Cutts, Harry Heathcock and Charlotte Jagger, and Ed Shannon beat Sam Davey 3/1.

Dunnington are now joint fourth with Pontefract seconds.


 

YORKSHIRE PREMIER LEAGE - Week 5 Round-Up

Abbeydale and Barnsley both surrendered their 100% records and Pontefract 2’s tremendous start continued in round five of squash's Yorkshire Premier League on Wednesday.

Leaders Abbeydale Sports Club made a superb start in their away game at mid-table Queens Sports Club of Halifax but their top order was unable to back up wins from Phil Scully and Nick Wall Snr earlier in the evening.

Zambia-born world No.180 Lwamba Chileshe started the Queens comeback with a fightback of his own, breezing through the second, third and fourth games having lost the opener 12/10 to Oli Turner.

James Earles then made light work of Adam Turner at second string to draw the match level at 2-2 before Liverpudlian Connor Sheen completed the job for Queens at No.1, beating Adam Auckland after also losing the first game. That wrapped up a tight 3-2 (14-8) home win over their visitors from Sheffield.

Barnsley Squash & Racketball Club, therefore, blew the chance to go top as they were also consigned to a first defeat of 2019/20 - Pontefract 2 their conquerors.

Pontefract Squash & Leisure Club's seconds have made a terrific start, winning three out of five matches, and this latest triumph was founded on early straight-games victories for relative veterans Billy Hawes and John Riley.

Barnsley’s British Open Under-23 runner-up Elliott Morris-Devred and Jamaican international Lewis Walters levelled the match overall by overcoming Matt Godson and Adam Taylor respectively. However, prodigal Sam Todd sealed the five bonus points for Ponte by avenging his recent loss Miles Jenkins at the Texas Open, this time winning an epic battle 11/6 in the fifth.

Defeats for the top two enabled top-flight newcomers Woodfield Squash and Leisure Club to close within six points of second place by winning 3-2 (15-6) at Hallamshire Tennis & Squash Club 2, on what was a busy night at the prestigious Sheffield club, with their first team also at home, as well as their thirds In Division One action.

Ed Walker and Dan Lawrence gave the hosts the perfect start, but visiting Simon Herbert and Southampton-born Kyle Finch both won in straight games, meaning the top-string match between Harry Falconer and George Parker was a winner-takes-all decider.

Parker, the world No.40 who is Woodfield’s big signing this season, took it 11/6, 11/5, 11/6 and with it sealed the win for the Doncaster club.

Defending champions Dunnington Squash & Rackets Club have made a shaky start, but Wednesday’s 3-2 (17-7) victory over last year’s runners-up Chapel Allerton 1 pushed the York club up into fourth spot.

Gareth Lumsdon inflicted Chapel’s James Wilkinson’s first YPL defeat of the season while Julian Tomlinson swatted aside Paul Allen, who had stepped up from Division One for the injury-hit visitors.

But lengthy victories for the visitors’ No.5 Alec Forster, over Kieran Heaphy, and Mark Fuller against world No.125 Rob Downer ensured that a tasty-looking top-string affair would be the match decider.

It was Dunnington’s Chris Simpson – fresh from a terrific win at the Egyptian Open earlier in the week against world No.8 Mohamed Abouelghar – who grabbed the win for the home side by beating Scotland’s world No.29 Greg Lobban in four games.

Hull and East Riding Squash Club won the battle of the strugglers with a 5-0 (20-5) win at Chapel Allerton Tennis, Squash & Gym Club 2. Mike Reid, former world No.21 Fiona Moverley, Glyn Saunders and Yusef Forster were all winners (although all dropped at least a game), but super-talented junior Ben Smith dismissed Ian Chappell at No.1 in three straight games.

*The result of Hallamshire 1 v Pontefract 1 had not been entered at the time of writing.


 

ABBEYDALE AND BARNSLEY REMAIN IN CHARGE - Week 4 Round-Up

Abbeydale and Barnsley maintained their perfect records at the top of squash's Yorkshire Premier League after handsome victories in round four on Wednesday night.

Abbeydale's 5-0 (20-2) thrashing of crosstown Sheffield rivals Hallamshire 2 saw Phil Scully firstly overcome Dan Lawrence in a five-game marathon at No.5 string, but thereafter Nick Wall Snr, Oli Turner and Adam Turner all won with minimal fuss to extend their personal unbeaten records in the YPL this season.

At top string, 26-year-old Adam Auckland faced another Grimsby-born player, Harry Falconer, and after a tight first game, he ran away with it 14/12 11-4 11-1 to record Abbeydale's fourth straight-games victory of the night.

Barnsley sit just two points behind their South Yorkshire rivals at the top following a sound whipping of defending champions Dunnington.

Dunnington were missing their usual No.1, England international Chris Simpson, but their 5-0 hammering was still a surprise, and a second defeat in four puts the York club's quest for a third successive title in doubt even at this early stage.

At the bottom of the order, Sam Watts posted his first win of the campaign while Jack Turney won his third straight YPL game this season by trouncing Ed Shannon. Welshman Elliott Morris-Devred and Lewis Walters also maintained their 100% records and Miles Jenkins overcame Julian Tomlinson in straight games to complete the landslide.

Premier League newcomers Woodfield are flying high in third following a thorough home pasting of bottom side Chapel Allerton 2.

Kyle Finch, the 20-year-old from Southampton, beat Ian Chappell 3-0 on his Woodfield debut. Further down the order, Simon Herbert, youngster Ben Sockett, Luke McFarland and Jon Davies all saw off their respective opponents with almost indecent haste.

Old rivals Chapel Allerton 1 and Pontefract 1 clashed in north Leeds, with the visitors coming out on top 4-1 (17-5) on a night of high-quality squash.

Ponte's Danny Bray pulled out his full array of tricks and flicks to take out Cameron Ward 3-0 at No.5, but the hosts' James Wilkinson overcame youngster Ben Beachill, who seemed hampered by being accidentally struck on the forearm in the first game.

Ponte's No.3, teenage Irishman Dennis Gilevskiy, won the British Open Under-15 title a year ago. He swept aside Matty Powell in three games to underline his rich promise, then Lewis Doughty won a tight four-game affair at No.2 to seal the points for the visitors.

The highly-anticipated top-string game was between world No.50 Richie Fallows, making his Chapel A debut, and fast-rising Merseysider Patrick Rooney, winner of last week's PSA Tring Open title. Sadly, the match was curtailed when Fallows succumbed to cramp in his right arm in the fourth game, conceding the match 3-1.

There was even more star presence at Hallamshire as their first team fielded none other than three-time World and Commonwealth Games champion Nick Matthew at No.1 against Queens Club of Halifax. However, his presence alone was not enough to avoid a 3-2 (16-8) home defeat.

Matthew, who retired from the PSA Tour last summer, defeated Connor Sheen with ease and his protegee in the 'Nick Matthew Academy', Nick Wall Jnr, overcame James Earles in a five-game classic at second string.

But the game was lost in lower order earlier in the evening, with Queens' Lewis Harding and Josh Taylor securing early wins, and the five bonus points secured for the visitors via New Zealander Lwamba Chileshe's epic victory over Alex Cutts - 14/12 in the deciding fifth game!

Pontefract 2 continue to look down on their stablemates Ponte 1 in the league table after they tonked second-bottom Hull & East Riding 5-0 (20-3).

Billy Hawes picked up his first YPL win of the season and at No.2 there was also a straight-games victory for Adam Taylor over Hull's Glyn Saunders. Stalwart Matt Godson and John Riley both won in four in the middle order. At top string it was a battle of the juniors with the prodigal Sam Todd triumphing 3-1 in a cracking encounter with England U19 No.3-ranked Ben Smith.


 

ABBEYDALE AND BARNSLEY OUT IN FRONT - Week 3 Round-Up

Abbeydale and Barnsley are clear at the top three weeks into squash's 2019/20 Yorkshire Premier League season after both recorded emphatic victories on Wednesday night.

It's Sheffield side Abbeydale who lead the way, sitting two points above their South Yorkshire neighbours, after a rapid 4-1 (18-3) victory over bottom side Chapel Allerton 2.

Nick Wall Snr kicked things off by making short work of Chapel A 2 captain Ross Williamson in three games, but the match was level when the home side's Luis North won in four tight games against Frenchwoman Coline Aumard.

However, Chapel were swept away by Abbeydale's top order as brothers Oli and Adam Turner, and top string Adam Auckland, all won without expending much sweat.

Second-placed Barnsley travelled to surprise early-season strugglers Pontefract 1 and came away with an emphatic 4-1 (19-5) triumph. Lewis Walters, the Nottingham-based Jamaican, won for the second week in a row at No.1, beating Ponte's top string Sam Wileman in four games.

Earlier, young Stuart MacGregor won in straight games for the third week in succession and Elliott Morris-Devred beat Danny Bray 3/0 after hot-fotting it from PSL duty with the Welsh Wizards the night before.

At No.4, Barnsley's Jack Turney overcame highly promising Lucy Turmel, the 20-year-old world No.46 from Suffolk, in four games. Robert Thirst, from Norfolk, raised the only cheer of the night for Ponte's fans by beating women's world No.22 Millie Tomlinson in a five-setter.

With Hallamshire 1 (who won both of their opening games) not in action this week, last year's runners-up Chapel Allerton 1 moved up to third, flexing their title-chasing muscles with a 4-1 (18-5) triumph at Queens Club in Halifax.

Club coach Sarah Campion, the former PSA Tour world No.15, was an early victor for Queens, but it proved to be a false dawn. James Wilkinson, Matty Powell, Mark Fuller and top-string Welshman Owain Taylor - who dispatched James Earles in three rapid games - wrapped up victory for Chapel A in consummate fashion.

Dunnington, aiming for a third successive title, moved ominously into fourth, just two points behind Chapel A 1, thanks to a second straight win. They had surprisingly lost their opening match of the season at Queens.

It was back to business as usual on Wednesday night though, even without their usual No.1 Chris Simpson who had been in PSL action for Pontefract the previous evening. Julian Tomlinson was Simpson's stand-in at top string against Pontefract 2 and he dispatched 31-year-old Adam Taylor in four games, spearheading a landslide 5-0 (20-4) victory for the York hosts.

Sam Gibbon took out Katie Smith at No.5 and Dunnington skipper Matthew Stephenson took care of Ponte stalwart Billy Hawes in equally rapid fashion. Ed Shannon and Michael Andrews faced more stringent tests further up the order against John Riley and Matt Godson respectively, but both toughed out victories to leave Tomlinson to apply the final coup de grace.

Top-flight newcomers Woodfield continue to impress, with a 3-2 (14-8) victory at Hull & East Riding putting them fifth in the early standings.

Although Leicester-based Simon Herbert, at No.1, and Jason Chidwick at No.5 both lost heavily, Woodfield's middle order saw them to victory. Youngster Ben Sockett easily dismissed Hull's Yusef Forster, while Luke McFarland and Jon Davies took four games to overcome former world No.21 Fiona Moverley and Mike Read.


 

YORKSHIRE PREMIER LEAGUE - Week 2 Round-Up

South Yorkshire clubs dominate the upper echelons of the Yorkshire Premier League with Abbeydale, Hallamshire 1 and Barnsley occupying the top three after two matches.

It’s Sheffield side Abbeydale – relegation strugglers last season – who sit top of the pile in the early stages after seeing off Hull and East Riding 4-1 (18-3) on Wednesday night.

Mike Reid’s early scalp for Hull proved to be a false dawn as Phil Scully, Nick Wall Snr and Adam Turner pulled out straight-games victories for the home side before top string Adam Auckland, the 26-year-old from Grimsby, applied to coup de grace by beating England’s No.3 ranked junior player Ben Smith.

Tucked just one point behind Abbeydale are crosstown rivals Hallamshire 1. Nick Wall Jnr, the former British junior champion, dispatched Chapel Allerton 2’s top string Declan Christie in three and it was a similar story down the order as the hosts waltzed home 5-0 (20-2).

Alex Cutts, Lancastrian teenager Oscar Beach and Harry Heatchcock also won briskly, while at No.5, women’s world No.107 Charlotte Jagger took out Chapel’s Henry Duncanson 15/13 in the deciding fifth.

Barnsley are just two points further back in third after they too made it two wins from two by defeating Queens Club 4-1 (19-5).

Miles Jenkins, the world No.209, headlined a strong Barnsley line-up and saw off fellow pro James Earles at top string in four games. No.2 Lewis Walters took care of Charlie Cowie in four tight games but Stuart MacGregor and Welshman Elliott Morris-Devred dispatched England coaching duo Josh Taylor and veteran David Campion in quick time. Youngster FInnlay Withington was the only winner on the night for the visitors from Halifax.

Premier League newcomers Woodfield celebrated their first ever top-flight win after star turn George Parker spearheaded a 4-1 (19-7) victory at Pontefract 2.

Parker, the feisty world No.40 from Leicester, won a high-quality battle with Pontefract prodigy Sam Todd 3/1, and Woodfield No.2 Simon Herbert overcame Adam Taylor by the same scoreline.

Jason Chidwick and Jon Davies had given the visitors from down the A1 a flying start, with Ponte stalwart Matt Godson claiming the home side’s only success, a 3/2 win over Luke McFarland.

Last year’s runners-up Chapel Allerton 1 lost a thriller 3-2 (14-11) at home to newly-promoted Hallamshire 2.

Mark Fuller and James Wiklinson were victors for the hosts, but team captain and ex-world No.3 Simon Parke had to retire with a back injury after winning the first game, and Hallamshire’s Dylan Martens won a marathon against Cameron Ward at fifth string.

That set up a winner-takes-all top-string tete-a-tete between Welshman Owain Taylor and Harry Falconer. In a fractious affair with more than a few refereeing decisions which displeased both players, it was Falconer who edged it 11/8 in the deciding fifth game.

In the night’s other tie, defending champions Dunnington recovered from their shock opening-week defeat by defeating Pontefract firsts 4-1 (17-5).

England international Chris Simpson led a very strong home side and beat talented 22-year-old Patrick Rooney in four compelling games. Julian Tomlinson and Michael Andrews both won in straight games, and earlier Ed Shannon had overcome the very promising Ben Beachill, son of former world No.1 Lee. Danny Bray earned Ponte’s consolation win.


 

DUNNINGTON'S YPL TITLE DEFENCE BEGINS WITH SURPRISE DEFEAT - Week 1 Round-Up

Dunnington’s quest for a third successive Yorkshire Premier League squash title got off to an inauspicious start as they went down to Queens Club of Halifax on Wednesday night.

The York club won 14 out of 18 fixtures last season to cruise to top spot for the second straight season, but world No.44 Chris Simpson was their only winner on their opening-night trip to West Yorkshire as they went down 4-1 (17-6).

Finnlay Withington, the 15-year-old Lancastrian, got Queens off to a winning start by beating Matthew Stephenson – 32 years his senior – in four games. Queens’ England coaching duo of David Campion and Josh Taylor then backed up their young team-mate with contrasting wins in the middle order – Taylor’s in rapid fashion over Michael Andrews and veteran Campion’s going the full distance.

Queens’ No.2, the world No.87 James Earles, made swift work of Julian Tomlinson to make it a superb start to the campaign for the Halifax side, and give Dunnington’s other title rivals plenty of encouragement too.

Chapel Allerton 1 (last year's runners-up) are expected to be among them and they won one of two ‘derby’ matches on the season’s opening night against their second team – although it was close.

Welshman Owain Taylor, who had zipped down the A1 having played for Newcastle against Nottingham in the PSL the night before, beat Ian Chappell at top string in straight games to clinch the victory after former world No.3 Simon Parke took care of Adam Wellstead in equally ruthless fashion.

However, it was a little more uncomfortable further down the order for the firsts, as wins for James Wilkinson and Rick Saunders had given the seconds hope of a huge upset. Debutant and Cambridge University graduate Luis North’s 11/9 11/9 119 win over Ross Williamson proved crucial in the firsts’ 3-2 (16-6) triumph.

In the night’s other ‘derby’, there was a shock for Pontefract 1 as they fell 3-2 (14-9) to their second team in an early setback to their hopes of regaining the title.

Although Danny Bray got the first team off to a good start with a 3/0 win, John Riley notched up a great win over Dominic Pegg, Matt Godson overcame Ben Beachill (son of former world No.1 Lee) and Adam Taylor brushed aside Taminder Gata Aura to claim three winning bonus points for Ponte 2. World No.75 Patrick Rooney’s 3/0 win over the prodigal Sam Todd didn’t affect the overall result.

Elsewhere, Woodfield Squash Club’s debut season at this level began with a 4-1 (19-7) defeat at home to Sheffield side Abbeydale.

Phil Scully, Nick Wall Snr and brothers Oli and Adam Turner were all victorious (the latter thanks to an injury to Ben Sockett) but the hosts, a relatively new club based in Doncaster managed by Rob Waller, got one ‘W’ on the board via their top string Simon Herbert, who took out Adam Auckland in a marathon which ended 12/10 in the fifth.

Barnsley, who finished third last season after a very strong second half of the season, came away with victory from the short trip to Hallamshire 2. Stuart MacGregor, Jack Turney and Michael Mattimore were all 3/0 victors for Barnsley, although world No.155 Harry Falconer, at top string, and 21-year-old Dylan Martens, at No.5, got six points for Hallamshire 2 for a final score of 3-2 (15-6) to the visitors.

Hallamshire 1 were the opening night’s other victorious side with a 3-2 (16-7) victory at Hull and East Riding.

Nick Wall Jnr beat fellow top-ranked youngster Ben Smith in three very tight games, Alex Cutts dropped one game in overcoming Yusef Forster and Harry Heathcock dispatched recently-retired women’s professional Fi Moverley in three. No.5 Mike Read and third string Glyn Saunders earned Hull’s two consolation wins.

 

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