Doubles and trebles all round at Chichester squash championships

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The annual squash doubles finals took place at the Chichester Racquets and Fitness Club – and there was a hat-trick for one partnership.

In the mixed main event, Jon Potts and Hannah Wright-Davies proved too strong for the new pairing of Mike Phillips and Kelly Eastment, with Potts and Wright-Davies winning in straight games.

The mixed doubles plate final was contested by Chris Lock and Clare Hollingsworth against Jack Lerwill and Hannah Ockwell. Lock and Hollingsworth’s general squash experience also saw them take the title in straight games.

The men’s events were far more competitive and the plate final between Andy Bishop and Simon Lightfoot against Tommy Strudwick and Andy Homer was a classic. The match went down to the wire, with Bishop and Lightfoot finally winning the title 12-10 in the fifth.

The men’s main final was between two-times winners bidding for their hat-trick, Miles Davy and Neal Smith. They were facing Phillips, in his second final of the night, and Paul Wykes.

Phillips and Wykes had not played together before and as underdogs they equipped themselves well and contributed to a very entertaining match.

The final score – 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 11-9 to Davy and Smith – highlighted the closeness of the games.

Phillips and Wykes reached nine points first in the last three games but managed to turn that into victory just the once, and Davy and Smith achieved their treble.

It was a fair result for a final played in great sporting spirit; a good advertisement for squash doubles in general.

The next event to be staged at the club will be the racketball championships, which will boast two current national champions and a national finalist among entries.

BOGNOR

Bognor’s first team ended a pretty successful first half of the season with a rare defeat when they visited Lancing.

Bognor had to play one man short, forfeiting the first rubber, and then fourth string Dave Meagher was unable to take much from Lancing’s Mark Stearman, losing in straight games 3-9, 1-9, 7-9.

But the next two ties brought the match level when Steve Carruthers beat Dan Seymour pretty convincingly 9-5, 9-5, 9-6 and Steve Enfield emulated the feat when he triumphed in three games, 9-6, 9-2, 9-4, against Aidan Murray.

Bognor were hopeful in the decisive No1 string match with Steve Porter in good form, but Lancing’s Ross Twine started well, taking the first two games.

Though Porter fought back he could not quite edge out the home player, losing by three games to one. The score was 7-9, 5-9, 9-7, 5-9. Bognor took seven points – a setback for Bognor, but they still look strong for the second half of the season.

The second team reversed a run of defeats with a close win when they travelled to play Arun Leisure seconds.

Promising junior George Meaby stepped up for Bognor but his opponent gave him few chances, winning in three games. Bognor’s fourth string Steve Kus also went down in three games despite a rally towards the end which nearly extended the tie. The score was 4-9, 3-9, 8-10.

It was left to the more senior Bognor players to remedy things. Dave Meagher edged out Graham North in a close-fought match which went to 2-2 before Meagher proved the stronger for a 6-9, 9-4, 9-7, 7-9, 9-3 win. Paul Butcher showed his class by outplaying ex-Bognor member Richard Laine in a straight-games win 9-2, 9-7, 9-0.

Finally Steve Carruthers at No1 secured the win bonus for the visitors against Martin Fallows.

Carruthers took the lead, but Fallows pulled back the next two games. The Bognor captain responded to level the tie then won a great fifth game, just getting the breaks to see him home 9-7, 7-9, 5-9, 9-7, 10-8. It gave Bognor 14 points to Arun Leisure’s ten.