There was a festive mood at the club as it played host to Grove Park in the final match of the first half of the season. There was a big crowd to see two new debutants play.
On first was Carlton Oldham against Yawar Abbas. Carlton played well which saw him safely win in 3 games. Next on Court 6 was Sam Wileman versus Oscar Beach. Sam started brightly to take the first game. Oscar responded and won the second. By now, Sam was carrying a muscle strain that was inhibiting his ability to push off. Oscar took his opportunity and took the next 2 games 8-11 to win and level the tie.
Meanwhile on the show court, Andy Whipp was playing Morgan Hibberd (above). Andy was in fine form and moving around the court like he was 15 years younger. Despite Morgan’s efforts, Andy was never in any trouble and won in 3-0.
Next up playing his first game for Warrington was Portuguese No.1, Rui Soares. He took 22-year-old New Zealander, Joel Arscott. This was an extremely competitive match and the score line does not really do justice to the match. The speed of the players on court was outstanding and some of the retrieving unbelievable. Yet Rui always looked to have more time on the ball, and a wider range of shots than Joel. This was enough of a difference to see him through in 3 games.
Finally, it was the player most had come to see; the former World No.1, James Willstrop. The list of his achievements is endless. For Grove Park, it was Chris Simpson (above). Still a highly ranked player, Chris was not going to be put in the shadows. He won the first game 7-11 with some super-tight shots. This was the wake-up call for the big man, and he came out to play the second game at a different level which he won 11-2. The third was closer but also went to James, 11-8. Now completely in his stride, James entertained the crowd with some wonderfully deceptive shots and closed out the match. These two truly fantastic players played the game in such good spirit, showing the mutual respect each deserved.
So, Warrington ends the first half at the top of the table and undefeated. The lead over second place Liverpool is 14 points. But Liverpool has a strong squad and there is no room for complacency. The next match is also at home against The Northern on 11th January 2022. Happy Christmas everyone.