Men’s teams from our local squash clubs were involved last Thursday in the last set of North West Counties League fixtures prior to this week’s half-term interruption.

Prestbury’s First Team went into the break handily positioned in third place in Division Two East, after hosting Congleton 1 and winning 4-1 – thanks to straight-games victories for Paul Lomas, Mike Lomas, Rob Alcock and Chris Dunkerley.

Bollington 1 are now eighth, having, like their Prestbury counterparts, moved up a position – albeit following a narrow defeat at home to Warrington 2. There were successes for new recruits Lyndon Stonier and Rick Walters, but the ‘Bolly Firsts’ were ultimately edged out by the odd game in five.

In Division Three South-East, Prestbury 2, who lie seventh, were without a fixture – while Macclesfield Squash 1 remain bottom of the table after failing to raise a side to travel down to Stoke for their match at Tollgate.

Bollington’s Second Team continued to show its promotion credentials by making the trip across to Knutsford Sports 3 and dropping only one point in the course of a 4-1 triumph. Stuart Arnold, Olli Stewart, Mark Collins and Tom Binder were all victorious.

But Prestbury 3 slipped down to the basement position after being thwarted 3-2 away to fellow strugglers Grove Park 6, despite wins by Mike Quartley and Paul Bartle. To make matters worse for the ‘Thirds’, Paul Maher was forced to concede on suffering a hamstring injury and retiring hurt in his second game.

The race to the Division Five South title still sees Bollington 3 and unbeaten Prestbury 4 occupying the top two places. Leaders Bollington fielded four junior players at Grove Park 9, and three of them – namely, Martin Ogden, James Walton and Ben Gayne – as well as Andrew Berry were victorious as they chalked up a 4-1 win. Prestbury, meanwhile, were awarded their match, after Disley 2 could not field a team.

The other two Prestbury sides were in action away from home, and each fought gamely before going down 3-2 to hosts with 100 per cent records. Bauke van der Ploeg and Matt English won for the Fifth Team at Radbroke Hall 2, while debutant David Marwood and 12-year-old Rhys Asquith-Evans did likewise for Prestbury 6 against Buxton’s ‘Seconds’.

Macclesfield Squash 2’s match against Alderley Edge 7 also took place, but the result is currently subject to review by the League’s disputes committee so cannot be reported at this stage.

In the Cheshire Ladies’ League, three days earlier, Prestbury achieved a first success of the season in fine style by winning 5-0 at Alderley Edge – and, as a consequence, moved up to sixth in Division Two. But Third Division Bollington must wait a little longer for theirs, after visiting Warrington and suffering a narrow 3-2 defeat for the second Monday running.

The column will return in a fortnight’s time, on 9 November.

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