The 1st team were at home on Tuesday to top of the table Liverpool CC. After the loss at Grove Park, this was a match that had to be won to stay in touch with the leaders.
It got off to a good start with Carlton Oldham playing some fine shots and winning the first game against Andy Breen. Andy, though, has been around a bit and knows how to make life awkward for his opponents. Keeping the ball alive, he took the second game as Carlton made errors. Carlton steadied and won the third. But Andy kept at it and took a tight forth game 9:11. By now, Carlton was visibly tiring and had little resistance left. Such a shame after a bright start. One down.
Meanwhile, Ameel Talib was taking on Matty Powell (above). Matty always had the edge and won the first two games. But Ameel was gaining in confidence and took the third to give the home supporters hope. Alas, he was not able to maintain the momentum. Matty took the fourth game to put Liverpool two up.
Time to bring out the big guns! Andy Whipp was up against rising star, Adam Goad. Andy was on it from the start and never let Adam settle (below left). There were some fine rallies, but Andy was taking the ball early and keeping up the pressure. He took the first two games in uncompromising style. He eased up a bit in the third, but still won the match with out being troubled.
On the show court, Adrian Waller player Connor Sheen. This was a classy match to watch with both players seeming to have so much time on the ball. Shots were played with good width and good length (above right). Adrian took the first two games, but Connor fought back to take the third. Adrian then stepped it up a notch to secure the match by winning the fourth game 11:2 and levelling the tie at two all.
Next up it was Rob Downer versus Lwamba Chileshe (above). Born in Zambia, Lwamba has played most of his squash in New Zealand. This was his first game in the NWCSL and so was something of an unknown quantity. But is was easy to see why he was in the team from the moment he stepped on court. He matched Rob, shot for shot, and there was not an inch of the court that the players left unexplored. Rob just edged the gruelling first game 12:10. The pace did not slacken. Lwamba took the second and Rob the third. The crowd was exhausted: never mind the players! After falling behind in the fourth, Rob put in a tremendous effort which saw him regain the lead and take the game, to win the match and the tie for Warrington. Both players deservedly received a standing ovation from an appreciative crowd. You will not see a more exciting match in this League. Great stuff.
The win puts us second in the table 4 points behind undefeated Grove Park and 1 point ahead of Liverpool. It’s not been this tight for a few years. Next week, the team are at The Northern where we need to keep winning and amassing points to overhaul Grove Park.