Chichester Racquets & Fitness Club’s Premier Squash League team lost 4-1 to Coolhurst in their final home match of the 2018-19 season.
Coolhurst’s star studded line-up included two former Chi players, Max Lee (world 24) and Nathan Lake (world 52).
Chichester’s line-up comprised Olli Pett, Tim Vail, Miles Jenkins, Kyle Finch and Alison Thomson. The squad knew it was going to be a tough match but were resolute in their quest for another win.
Finch started proceedings and played Ammar Altamimi (Kuwait, world 110). Both players moved the ball well and Altamimi took a tight first game 11-9.
In the second Finch built a 10-6 lead before relaxing slightly to allow Altamimi back in to the game. Altamimi ultimately took the match 15-13 to put Coolhurst 1-0 up.
Next Chichester’s Jenkins (world 179), took on Lake. A fantastic match ensued as both players moved the ball to all corners. Jenkins had game balls in both games but narrowly lost the match 16-14, 13-11. Jenkins played a superb match and displayed the tremendous improvements he has made in his game; he ran very close to a player ranked more than 100 places above him.
Next on the glass-back court Thomson (world 73), played Coolhurst’s Katie Maliff, who had recently played in the third place play-off of the English Junior U19 Championships.
Thomson always had the upper hand and was able to read Maliff’s game well and ran out a 2-0 winner – the first victory of the night for Chichester – by 11-6, 11-7.
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Vail faced Greg Lobban, world 27. In the first game Vail’s anticipation and reading of Lobban’s speed and shot selection was exceptional. He managed, at full stretch, to keep Lobban in check.
Lobban pushed harder at the end of the first to take it 11-8. In the second game Lobban increased his pace and movement. He read Vail’s game well and was on to everything and very quickly wrapped up the game 11-2 to give Coolhurst an unassailable 3-1 lead.
In the final match Pett faced Lee. Pett showed real class and for two games matched Lee in every department.
With great touch, speed and reading of the game the first two games were shared 11-8, 8-11.
Lee’s speed, fitness and general hardened match play enabled him to build up a healthy lead in the decider. Pett clawed back a few points before Lee closed it out 11-4 to give Coolhurst a 4-1 victory.
Chichester’s final match of the season is away to RAC on April 2.