The picture above shows the Sharks. They are top row, left to right – Mark Webster Smith, Douglas Jacobsson and Alan McNair. Bottom row, left to right – Mark Stratford and Dave Freer
Current A league leaders EasyGym were home to Cannell Print in a match that could have gone either way in this tight, competitive league. EasyGym got underway with Rob Boyles beating Ben Peach 3-0 and team mate Steve Morley coming from a game down to win 3-1 against Dave Freer. Dave Hedley won 3-2 in a close match with Cannell Print’s Rob Colquitt. Paul Barnett achieved the same result for EasyGym against Mike Hayler. The match between the number one players, Malcolm Levy and Tom Whiteway, started at a very quick pace going to 1-1 before Tom secured the next two games taking the only win of the night for Cannell Print. EasyGym’s 4-1 win looks to secure their place at the top of the league for this half of the season.
Team AON had a convincing win over StoneArt who were without three of their top players. Mason McLarney, Jason Crease and Chris Cave all gained 3-0 victories for AON. StoneArt’s Jason Blue won 3-0 against Robin Crease but all the games were close. Jon Shepherd made his A league debut for StoneArt and performed admirably against the higher ranked A league regular Dafydd Lewis, losing 3-2 in five close games. Team AON trail EasyGym by 41 points and will meet them next week in the final match of the season to determine the A league winners.
Outcasts lost 4-1 to Sharks in their last fixture before Christmas in the B league. Sharks showed their strength in depth with wins at three, four and five courtesy of captain Dave Freer, Mark Stratford and Alan McNair. Freer had the closest match of the night taking five very close games to beat Mark Henson. Nathan Quilliam took the only win of the night for Outcasts, never letting his opponent get going. At one the stylish Mark Webster Smith played controlled squash to beat Chris Cave in four very close games. Although Outcasts lost 4-1 they finish the league with 1763 points and are currently top. The only team who can better their score is Crowe Dragons who play next week while Outcasts have a rest week and can only wait and see if they have done enough to win the league.
The Racketeers Pioneers dented Dragons’ B League title charge a little with a 3-2 victory (237/192) last week. A fine 3-0 win for Racketeers’ Daf Lewis over Steve Gaylor got his side off to a great start, before Barry Irvine added a second with victory over B League debutant Oliver Williams. Ben Peach and talented youngster Oliver Wait wrestled back some of the initiative for Dragons, the former edging past Rob Boyles at number one. With the tie poised at 2-2 Marc Taggart ensured his side would be celebrating with a 3-2 win over Dragons’ skipper Jon Shepherd.
Dohle Stars took a convincing 4-1 win over Jewel Tech Juniors in the C league. They just missed out on maximum points thanks to a five setter at number one ending in a good win for Jewel Tech’s Beth Jones over Brian Cowley, Jones wining 15-14 in the fifth. Jewel Tech’s Emma Leith was unfortunate to come away without a game as she battled well against Dohle’s Tony Bentley-Roberts who had a great comeback in the first game and managed to hold onto that momentum to take a 3-0 win.
Island Exhausts Vets also had a 4-1 victory inflicting the first defeat of the season on Browne-Craine Dragons. Exhausts Graham Partington, Lee Loughren and Phil Shaw all won 3-0. The closest match of the night was between Les Callow and Darren Smethurst at three. Although Callow won 3-0 the games were close and could have gone either way. The only win for Dragons was at one where Jon Shepherd inflicted a 3-0 defeat on Exhausts captain Ian Sheard. The result sees Island Exhausts take the top spot in the C league, leading Dragons by only one point. Both teams will face off again in the final match of the season next week when winner takes all.
In a weekend of sporting derbies it was probably fitting that the latest Racketeers’ inter-club C League match was played on Friday evening.
On this occasion it was the Hansard-sponsored side that came away with the bragging rights, overcoming their Santander-backed stable-mates 4-1 (249-185). Despite what the scoreline suggests there were some very close games and Matt Corlett, Lucy Kerr, Ben Dalglish and Gary Stephenson had to work hard for their wins for the eventual victors. Nick Corlett prevented the whitewash for the Academy, edging a see-saw game with Hansard skipper Andy Dalrymple at five.
Buchanan and Pitts Misfits beat Dandara Falcons 3-2 in a close set of matches. Wins for Falcons came from Ian Barnes at one and Kale Combes at five, with Misfits John Watterson and Stephen Pitts winning at three and four. The closest match was between Andy Dixon and Lewi Long who went all the way to five games and only two points separating the players at the end. This proved crucial as Misfits took the bonus points and won overall.