World-class squash back in Chichester - and hosts off to flyer

Chichester and Winchester ready for PSL action
Chichester and Winchester ready for PSL action

CHICHESTER got their new Premier Squash League season off to a perfect start with a resounding 4-1 win over Winchester in front of a sell-out crowd.

First on court for Chichester was Lauren Briggs, who proved too experienced and consistent for her younger opponent, Georgina Kennedy, and she controlled the match. Briggs ran out a 3-0 winner – 11-6, 11-7, 11-9.

On the championship glass-back court Alex Gough of Chichester played Steve Wykes, a club-mate who has signed for Winchester’s PSL squad.

Wykes took the first game 14-12 and continued to play patient squash throughout the second to win 11-5.

A momentary lapse by Wykes in the third was all Gough needed to push through and pull back a game. In the fourth Wykes got back into his stride and played solid squash and kept his error rate very low, enabling him to win the game 11-2 and take the match.

Anthony Graham, No260 in the world, was matched against Scott Fitzgerald, world 80. It proved an evenly-contested match.

Graham took the opening game 11-7. Fitzgerald replied with an 11-9 win in the second and continued in the same vein with a 14-12 win in the third.

Graham took back control and won the fourth 11-1 and his fitness paid dividends as he won the decider 11-6.

Next on the glass-back court, Chichester’s Robbie Temple played Robert Downer, world-ranked 125. Temple was a bit slow to start whereas Downer was out of the blocks very quickly and took the first game 11-9.

Temple responded with a solid 11-6 win in the second and started to dominate the left-hand wall. In the third he controlled the rallies which frustrated Downer.

In the fourth,Temple lost his concentration slightly and allowed Downer to level the match with an 11-8 win. Temple then edged his way through to win the last game 11/9 to give Chichester an unassailable 3-1 lead.

Adrian Waller, the world 27 who is Chichester’s new number-one player, made his debut and played world 41 Scott Handley.

Waller’s recent superb form at the US Open continued. Although Handley contributed very well, Waller took just 28 minutes to ensure Chichester took the tie 4-1.

It was a great start to the season and something on which to build.

MIKE PHILLIPS