Chichester squash aces in Devon heaven

Chichester's Robbie Temple
Chichester's Robbie Temple

CHICHESTER remain top of their Premier Squash League group after a 3-2 win at Exeter.

After a great 5-0 home victory against Winchester in this season’s opener, Chichester kept up their good start in Devon.

With both teams at full strength, a fantastic battle was in prospect.

Lauren Briggs was first on court and played Exeter’s Tori Temple Murray. The match swung back and forth and Temple Murray forged a 2-1 lead but Briggs used her experience to reply in the fourth with an 11-1 win. Briggs remained focused in the decider which she resolutely won 11-9 to put Chichester 1-0 up.

Robbie Temple has played for Chichester for ten years and is still the player everyone dreads to play. At the age of 29 he remains the best ambidextrous player in the world – his ability to switch hands at will makes him a terrific crowd-pleaser.

Temple started slowly against Exeter’s Tim Vail, dropping the first game 11-9 before his game gathered momentum. Temple got stronger as the match progressed.

A 3-2 win for Chichester ensured they remain top after two rounds. On Tuesday they host fourth-placed Surrey Health and Racquets at Chi Racquets & Fitness Club.

He used his incredible speed, and several boasts which Vail couldn’t reach, to unfalteringly win the next three games 11-6, 11-7, 11-5 to put the visitors 2-0 up.

Nathan Lake for Chichester was in total control against Exeter’s Joey Barrington. From the outset he controlled the middle of the court to wrap up an 11-4, 11-0, 11-5 victory in 24 minutes to give Chichester an unassailable 3-0 margin.

Paul Coll of New Zealand, world No40 and Australian open champion, made his debut for Chichester against world 20 Mazen Hesham.

The pace was frantic and although Coll competed very well, Hesham had a variety of shots and was slightly more accurate at playing the high-tempo game. His win made it 3-1 on the night.

Chichester’s No1 player and world 25 Adrian Waller faced Exeter’s top string and world No1 Mohammed Elshorbagy. Three unforced errors at 5-5 cost Waller the first game 11-8.

Elshorbagy upped the tempo in the second and established a good lead – he never looked back and won it 11-4.

In the third game, however, Waller played positive attacking squash to establish a good lead and, despite a comeback from Elshorbagy, Waller closed it out 11-8 to take the third game.

In the fourth, Elshorbagy re-established his authority and applied the necessary pressure to take the fourth and the match 3-1.

A 3-2 win for Chichester ensured they remain top after two rounds. On Tuesday they host fourth-placed Surrey Health and Racquets at Chi Racquets & Fitness Club.

It will be a tough task but, with a good squad available, a third consecutive win looks possible.

Tickets are on sale on 01243 785664.

MIKE PHILLIPS

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