Last Thursday’s fixtures in the men’s North West Counties League saw our local squash clubs experience varied fortunes once again.

Of the 11 teams in action, almost half were involved in close 3-2 battles – including, for the second week running, Bollington’s First Team who, having won at Grove Park by the odd game in five a week previously, ‘edged’ out Alderley 3 by the same margin at home with wins for Chris Ogden Senior, Oli Cunningham and Stuart Arnold.

The ‘Bolly Firsts’ are now fifth in Division Two East – one place below Prestbury’s First Team, who got back to winning ways with a 5-0 home-thumping of Grove Park 2.

In the Third Division South East, Prestbury ‘Seconds’ also enjoyed a second consecutive 3-2 win – albeit following a sometimes fractious contest at Grove Park 4. Chris Dunkerley, Rick Bower and Stuart Melia all kept their cool to win their matches and see the visitors move up to sixth place.

But life in Division Three continues to be a struggle for Macclesfield Squash 1, who remain without a victory, and are bottom of the table, following their latest loss: 4-1 at Alderley Edge. James Douglas was the sole winner against Alderley’s ‘Fourths’.

Bollington 2 dropped to fifth in Division Four South, when – in spite of a victory for Tom Binder – they were beaten 4-1 at Macclesfield Leisure Centre by Radbroke Hall 1.

Crewe continues to be a truly purgatorial squash destination for Prestbury sides. Already this season, the Prestbury ‘Firsts’ and ‘Seconds’ have suffered heavy defeats on their travels to take on the ‘Vagrants’ – and the Third Team, now in the Fourth Division drop-zone, completed an unwelcome hat-trick by going down 5-0 at Willaston against Crewe’s ‘Fourths’.

Two of the five local teams in Division Five South were successful at home, and, as a result, now share pole position. Prestbury 4 maintained their 100 per cent record with a 3-2 win against Alderley Edge 7, thanks to wins by Dave Jones, Gareth Evans and 14-year-old Jonny Murray. And Bollington’s Third Team demolished early leaders Disley 2, as Gareth Ainsworth, teenagers Martin Ogden and James Walton, Andrew Berry and Eugene Mole all won.

Prestbury 5 and 6 both lost on their travels – although each defeat included an impressive victory for a junior player, with Keon Raked (15) winning 3-2 at Buxton and Greg Stanger (17) in straight games at Grove Park.

And Macclesfield Squash 2 complete the round-up from Thursday much as it began – having been involved in a 3-2 scoreline. Unfortunately, they were narrowly on the wrong end of it – despite wins by Annika Hall and Jon Stoker – losing at home to New Mills 2.

Three days earlier, the Cheshire Ladies’ League began. But there was little opening-night joy for either Bollington or Prestbury, who, respectively, suffered 4-1 and 5-0 defeats against the Second Teams from City of Manchester and Heswall.

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