Squash men back on track

Sidmouth Squash suffered a disappointing defeat at the hands of equal top side Exeter Golf & CC in their first game after Christmas. It was a blow to the team’s promotion chances and saw them drop out of the top two to fourth place.

Paul Clare won the opening rubber 3-2. His victory over 14-year-old Richard Harvey was a topsy turvy affair in which Paul prevailed 15-12, 12-15, 17-16, 3-15, 15-12.

Sidmouth won the next when in-form Alick Russell repeated his home victory over GCC fourth string Grant Macree. This time Alick ruthlessly finished off rallies to win 3-0, 15-14, 15-6, 15-13.

Paul Symington secured the opening game against Ben Sullivan on the tie-break. But, from then on, Ben looked in complete control during the 14-15, 15-6, 15-13, 15-5 result, in the process handing Paul only his second defeat of the season.

Dave Maskill went down in straight games to GCC captain Chris Gaite.

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Usually reliable for a victory, Dave never really got to grips with the awkward style of his opponent or the pace of the game and lost out disappointingly 7-15, 8-15, 9-15. The match result depended on the final rubber between Sidmouth's Nigel Desousa and C C's Ross Treleaven.

The opening game was a tight affair with Ross securing the game on the tie-break. He then raced through the second conceding only five points. Nigel played well in the third and deserved to at least win one game but it was not to be as Ross secured the game to run out 15-14, 15-6, 15-12 victor.

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Exeter GCC 3rds 3 (17 pts), Sidmouth 2 ( 7 pts ).

?With matches coming thick and fast, Sidmouth entertained Paignton 4ths just six days later and propelled themselves back to the top of the league with a comprehensive 4-1 win.

Top player Chris Woodruff opened proceedings with a hard earned 3-1 victory over Paignton top string Andy Mitchell.

In a rubber interrupted by lets and explanations, Chris did not allow gamesmanship to affect his game. Looking not at his very best Chris still had the energy and know-how to dictate play, the resultant 15-10, 16-17, 15-10, 15-12 scoreline testament to Chris's improvement.

On the adjacent court, Alick Russell showed no mercy to fellow fifth string Roger Thomason 15-12, 15-3, 15-6.

The match win was decided in Sidmouth's favour when third string Paul Symington won out in a fifth game rubber with Bob Coates. Struggling to find consistency, Paul found himself 12-7 down in the decider. With a point a rally it was all uphill, but Paul produced his best squash to recover and seal the game 15-8,10-15, 15-12, 13-15, 15-13.

With the luxury of dropping down the order to third string, Chris Marriott took full advantage to record a straight games victory over Paignton’s Neil Robinson, 15-8, 15-12, 15-8.

The only blemish on an otherwise great night’s squash was the defeat at second string for Nigel Desousa against ex-Sidmothian, Nigel Artingstall. Artingstall raced through the opening two games, Nigel responded by taking the third and opened up a lead in the fourth, but the Paignton No 2 ended the rubber with another cross court to conclude the match 9-15, 6-15, 15-12, 11-15.

SIDMOUTH 4 (18pts), PAIGNTON 4ths 1 (6pts).

Sidmouth’s next match is away to Tiverton.

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