Last Thursday saw a little bit of recent history repeating, as, for the second week running, only one of the six teams from our three local squash clubs in the Second, Third and Fourth Divisions of the men’s North West Counties League emerged from its match victorious.

Once again, too, the successful side was a Bollington one, with the First Team securing a 3-2 victory – its first win in over a month – at home to West Heaton 1. Brig Simpson clinched the second-string decider 3-1, after Lyndon Stonier and Rick Walters had set the hosts on their way with the same winning scorelines.

The ‘Bolly Firsts’ are still ninth in Division Two East – albeit with a healthier 12-point breathing space above the relegation slots – and Prestbury 1 stay in sixth position after running title-chasing Bowdon 2 close at Bollin Grove. Captain Nathan Mayers beat former club-mate Leo Oppenheim 3-2 in a pulsating first-string encounter, and Rob Alcock also won, before Prestbury were edged out by the odd match in five.

In Division Three South-East, Prestbury 2‘s result – away to Grove Park 3 – matched the narrow defeat of the club’s ‘Firsts’, as 3-1 victories for Rick Bower and Stuart Melia were not quite enough to see the visitors over the line. They remain ninth but some 23 points clear of the drop-zone, which includes Macclesfield Squash 1 – now firmly rooted at the bottom of the table and still without a win following a 5-0 thumping at Alsager 1.

Bollington 2, placed third in Division Four South, also made the trip down to Alsager – faring a little better against the hosts’ Second Team thanks to wins by Mark Collins and Aldo Palazzo, but ultimately being pipped at the post 3-2. And Prestbury 3’s struggles continue after they were beaten 4-1 by their hosts, and fellow strugglers, Alderley Edge 6. Prestbury’s new signing from Village Warrington, Andrew Worsley, was the sole winner on the night for the ‘Thirds’, who are 17 points adrift of safety.

In Division Five South, unbeaten leaders Prestbury 4 received closest rivals Bollington 2 with just a single point separating the two teams. But by the end of the night, the lead for the ‘Fourths’ at the top of the table had multiplied ten-fold, after Paul Wilson, Dave Jones, Gareth Evans and Paul Minshull all won in the course of a 4-1 victory. Bollington’s Captain Martin Ogden claimed the first-string match to help his team remain in the promotion-race.

Macclesfield Squash 2 overwhelmed their visitors Disley 2, and further cemented themselves in fifth place, after straight-games wins for Daz Glazer, David Birtwistle, Jon Stoker and Simon Fisher, together with a walkover-victory at fifth string, ensured a 5-0 triumph.

And Prestbury’s Fourth and Fifth Teams each moved up a position, to eighth and ninth, respectively. The ‘Fifths’ achieved a long-awaited first success of the campaign – winning 4-1 at New Mills 2, thanks to victories by Phil Colville, Ben Parker, Dave Marwood and 17-year-old Greg Stanger. The ‘Sixths’, featuring four junior players, lost 3-2 against Radbroke Hall’s Second Team, although successes for Matt English (19) and Jonny Murray (14), as well as spirited performances in defeat by Keon Raked (15) and – against an opponent fifty years his senior – Rhys Asquith-Evans (12), suggest great hope for the future!

In the Cheshire Ladies’ League, three days earlier, Prestbury travelled across to Liverpool to take on Northern Crosby 2 and, for the second match running, lost 3-2 – in spite of wins for Fran James and Sarah Lonsdale. They remain fifth in Division Two, while Bollington are now up to third in Division Three after victories against The Northern 3 by Annika Hall, Louise Goodhind, Debbie Kent and June White ensured their second success in as many matches.

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