There has been a gap in the match reports as I took a short break away in January. Match 11, the first after the Christmas break, was at Tame Valley. We fielded a strong team with Adrian Waller at the top of the order. Adrian, Andy Whipp, Emily Whitlock and Nat Fairhurst all won convincingly in 3 games. Only Adam Taylor spoiled the clean sweep, dropping a game to Amir Manoucherhri. So a 20:1 point start for the second half.
The next match was at home to Liverpool Cricket Club. Adrian was again heading the order, but this time it was Rob Taylor in place of Emily, pushing Nat up to forth string. By all accounts, it was a fantastic match; the highlight of which was a tough 5-setter between Adam Taylor and Rohan Toole. Adam won, but Andy, Nat and Rob all lost, resulting in Liverpool winning the tie 16:10. This was the first loss this season – such a disappointment.
So with Bowden winning their match 20:5, the gap at the top of the Division closed another 10 points. The next week was a gap week for Warrington and Bowden won again. So by the time of the match against Wigan, we were only 7 points clear.
First on was Mike McDonald against Rob Taylor. Rob played steadily and was rewarded with a straightforward 3 game victory. Meanwhile on the other court, Ameel Talib faced Nat Fairhurst. Despite both being members of WSC, these two had not played each other previously. It turned out that Nat was too strong for Ameel and he won in three (below).
Matt Godson was up next facing Ryan Atherton. Ryan usually puts in a gritty performance and this time was no exception. The first two games were equally balanced but it was a rather scrappy match with many lets for interference. The next two were similar bringing the score to 2:2. By now the home crowd was behind their man. So it took great mental determination from Matt to eek out a win in the fifth – more of a battle than a stylish squash match (top).
While this was going on, Paul McDonald faced Adam Taylor. Both of these play a similar style. Why run when you’ve got such a fantastic range of shots? The first two games were entertaining and just went Adam’s way with both games going to two clear points. Paul then pulled one back. Fortunately with the Ryan/Matt match still in the balance, Adam regained control and secured the tie.
In the final match, Patrick Rooney played Andy Whipp. Patrick is a class above Andy these days and it showed. He seems to make movement around the court look effortless. It was no real surprise that Andy lost in three. Nevertheless, it was a good win for us keeping us the same distance ahead of Bowden who beat Tame Valley 17:8.
Next week it is Alderley Edge at home, while Bowden face Liverpool. Alderley Edge are third in the table and have won their last 4 matches. It should be a good game.