Playing in front of a large home crowd, Warrington took on close rivals Grove Park.
Having lost earlier in the season to Grove Park, Warrington were taking no chances and had its star players on show. Grove Park are particularly strong lower down the order. First up was Andy Whipp on Court 6 against Oscar Beach. Despite carrying a slight injury, Andy was too strong for Oscar and Andy ran out a convincing win in 3 games.
Next on Court 6 was Jaish Talib, playing for the second time for the first team. He took on Ky Hibberd who made it hard for Jaish to establish a rhythm. Despite a creditable performance, Ky took the match in 3 games. All square in the match.
Meanwhile on the show court Ameel Talib was playing Morgan Hibberd (Above). This was a battle of attrition. Morgan took the first 9:11 and the long second game 13:15. With both players giving it all, Ameel pegged one back 12:10 to great cheers from the home crowd. The fourth game was equally tight, reaching 10 all before Morgan edged it 10:12 to take the match. As a measure of how close this match was, the two matches on court 6 were finished before this match completed. Advantage Grove Park.
The second strings were on next; Adrian Waller against Michael Andrews. Adrian’s class was evident from start despite missing some early shots. But he was never in trouble and cruised to victory in 3 games (Right). All square again.
Finally, it was the one everyone wanted to see; Welsh Number 1 and current World Number 12, Joel Makin against Chris Simpson, who himself has had a highest world ranking of 20 (Top & Below). In truth, it was a slightly disappointing match. Chris was not at his best – he said later that he had got his preparation wrong. But Joel was just awesome. Moving around the court with effortless speed and power, he dominated Chris from the start and won relatively easily. Although not stretched, you could see why he is where he is in the World Rankings.
So in the end, Warrington won by 15 points to 6 to take a 20-point lead at the top of the 1st Division. Next week, Warrington face 2nd place Liverpool CC away in another decisive match for the title. It will be another tough one.