Top of the Premier League, and undefeated coming into this game. Yes that would be Royal Holloway’s Squash 1st. After their 3-2 win over Imperial 1st – last year’s 3rd placed national team – great things have been expected, and with a 4-1 win over LSE 1st, expectations are nervously high. After promotion last year, staying up seemed the main target, but to win the Premier League seemed a dream too far. However, after two outstanding wins over two of the top teams hopes have been rising.
First up was Adam Robin. After taking a 4-1 lead in his game, his opponent began to read his play and with neither player apparently able to win on serve, the score seemed fixed at 4-1. For 12 points this was the case, until a few unforced errors on Adam’s part gradually took the game Imperial’s way. The next went much the same and with 9-0, things did not seem too great. Nevertheless, Adam fought back with more patience, effort and variation to edge it in the 3rd, saving three match balls in the 4th and finally winning 10-9. The 5th game momentum was with him and he returned the 9-0 favour his opponent had previously given him, but this time to take the match 3-2.
Julie Peachey, with some long rallies but precise play, took the 1st fairly comfortably. However, the 2nd went 9-5 against her and the tide seemed to have turned. An experienced Junior and professional player as Julie is, she regained her concentration to take the next two games (9-2), (9-3), thereby securing a 3-1 win. She remains undefeated this year.
Arran Waterman was eager to make it an overall 6-match winning streak. He got under way with some high-paced play, moving his opponent to all corners of the court to take the 1st game 9-3. Things seemed to get better when, despite his opponent chasing everything down, he stormed to a 8-0 lead and finished in style with a beautiful clean winner leaving his opponent on the floor. In the 3rd, the intensity and heat of the courts seemed to have taken its toll on both players and with a lack of concentration from Arran, and determined effort from his opponent throwing himself to all parts of the court, the game came to 7-7. For the last 2 points Arran stepped up a gear to ease to a 3-0 victory.
Jamie Pearce – a.k.a Mr Reliable – (who recently got his name into the International Squash player magazine for a graded tournament win just before the start of university) left his opponent running with great shot selection and cruised to a 3-0 victory dropping only 4 points. Consequently, his unbeaten run continues.
Simon Green standing in for the ill Tim Scarfe got off to a good start taking stroke filled game 9-5. However, his opponent fought back to be 2-1 up and with Simon becoming increasingly annoyed with himself, it seemed as though the day would end with bitter taste. Nonetheless, with support from the whole team and patience he managed to fight back in the next two games. He had match ball three times before eventually taking the game 3-2, thereby securing Squash 1st third Premier League win of the season!