Woodruff once again sees Sidmouth over the line

A series of mixed results put paid to Sidmouth Squash Clubs promotion hopes weeks ago, but they produced a fine home victory over mid table Devon and Exeter 7’s.

Struggling to put out a consistent five has hampered the team’s preparations, but this week was an exception and Sidmouth put out a strong side to face an unpredictable team from the counties premier club.

Rob Cann opened proceedings with an excellent victory over D and E fifth string Steve Peake. Despite losing the opening game Rob settled into a game of excellent length and accurate lobs, frustrated, Peake responded by squandering his limited opportunities and Cann ran out a comfortable winner 12-15; 15-10; 15-8; 15-12.

Alick Russell produced one of his best games for some weeks with a straight games victory over fellow fourth string Tom Freeland. Patience and boundless energy, being the key factors in the comfortable 15-13; 15-9; 15-9 victory.

D and E hit back by winning the second string match when visiting number two Tony Blackmore got the better of Sidmouth number two Chris Marriott in a close 10-15; 16-18; 12-15 result. Marriott was kicking himself afterwards for failing to pick up on the majority of Blackmore’s points coming from high drives and volley’s which was apparent to all on the balcony with a player who was well over six feet.

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Sidmouth looked to have wrapped the tie up when third string Nigel Desousa led 2-1 and had six match balls, leading 14 -8 in the fourth. Opponent Simon Ramsey had nothing to lose and played perfect squash to level the fourth to take it into a tie-break, unfortunately for Desousa, in the opening point he tore a calf muscle and was severely hampered allowing Ramsey to level the rubber. Desousa sensibly retired at the end of the fourth handing victory to Ramsey to conclude a marvellous game played in a great spirit 12-15; 15-13; 9-15; 17-15; 15-0.

With the match level, not for the first time this season, it was left to No 1 Chris Woodruff to see the team home. Proving he is one of, if not, the best player in the division he set about opponent Steve Cockram in usual fashion, start off slow building to a fast hard hitting game. Having won the opening two games Cockram’s spirit was broken and he put up little resistance in the third to conclude the match 15-10; 15-13; 15-3.

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All that remains of the season is the final league game at home to promoted team Kingsbridge and the Devon Shield Plate final at the Devon and Exeter Club in early April against second division team Plymouth University.

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