Chichester's squash decider with Surrey is a thriller

The Chichester and Surrey teamsThe Chichester and Surrey teams
The Chichester and Surrey teams

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Chichester just missed out on top spot in their Premier Squahs League group '“ but can look foreard to a play-off at Nottingham.

The final match of the group stages saw them lose 3-2 at home to Surrey HRC in a straight battle for first place, with both already having secured play-off places.

Chichester’s Jasmine Hutton faced a tough task against world No9 and former No3 Alison Waters. It was a massive learning curve for Hutton and although she competed very well she lost 11-4, 11-2, 11-5.

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Miles Jenkins faced Rory Stewart and the first two games were shared 11-9, 9-11. From that point, Stewart upped the pace and errors began to appear in Jenkins’ game. Stewart won the next two games 11-5, 11-2 to put Surrey two up.

Adam Corcoran was playing Surrey’s Aidan O’Brien. A very tight first game ensued and Corcoran held his nerve at the end of a rallying game to take it 11-9.

There was more of the same in the second with another tight all-court rallying game which Corcoran managed to convert 11-9. Corcoran was in control and forged a strong lead to finish the match 11-4 to reduce Chichester’s arrears.

Chichester stalwart Tim Vail was next up and started well against Diego Gobbi with his signature holds and flicks dominating the first game to go 1-0. up. In the next two, Vail controlled the match in every department to wrap up a 3-0 victory.

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The final match – with everything riding on it – was between Olly Pett and Surrey’s Ben Coleman. It really was down to the wire, every point vital.

The first two games were extremely tight. In the first, Pett reached 10-8 and game point but then hit four tins. The second game proved just as close and again Pett gained a game ball at 10-9 before losing it 12-10.

In the third Coleman’s confidence continued to grow and he forged his way through to an 11-6 victory which gave Surrey a 3-2 win, the division B winners’ title and a home fixture for the semi-final.

Chichester will travel to Nottingham on Tuesday, May 9 for their play-off.

Mike Phillips

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