SQUASH: CHESTER Rugby Club had an excellent 3-2 victory over Village Hyde, led by women's world champion Sarah FitzGerald, from Australia, who took her first scalp of the season for the club.
The night did not start well as Drewe Williams went down in four tough games to Village Hyde's consistent Dave Green. After a lay-off, Williams is improving each week and his fitness levels are growing. On the night, however, his opponent had the edge.
There was a lot interest seeing Chester's Nick Gatward back for his seasonal debut. He looked a little rusty playing Cheshire junior champion Thomas Javanaud and went down 3-0.
Chester captain Jonathan Clark put Chester back in the match in a focused and convincing performance over his opposite number Geoff Taylor, who was allowed only three points.
David Campion, fresh from a great victory last week, looked initially a bit sluggish against the Hyde professional Paul Kelly, but quickly took control and won 3-1 to level the scores.
An expectant crowd saw Sarah FitzGerald take on Michael Knight. In such an important tie, she started nervously and couldn't get into any sort of rhythm and lost the first.
She fought back and took a tight second game. It seemed to discourage her opponent as she ran away with the next two games to loud cheers from the crowd, to win it for Chester by 3-2.
Chester have mid-table respectability before the last game of the first half of the season next week at Rochdale. FitzGerald is not available as she flies to Australia for two months. Dragons cruised to a solid 5-0 win against a weakened Heswall side. Colin Elson kicked things off and, after a dodgy start, recovered to run out a 3-1 winner with some controlled squash.
Phil Noble was on next and had quick a 3-0 win, and Damien Brown disposed of Heswall stalwart Paul Johnson 3-0.
Giles Cook stuttered but eventually fired on all cylinders to take his match 3-1, and skipper Brian Meehan performed in a similar fashion.
After losing their unbeaten home record the week before, second team captain Val Thompson rang the changes and the Dragons beat Cheshire County Officers thirds 4-1 at Upton.
The returning John Morris got Dragons off to the ideal start with a 3-1 win, and Andy Senior's superior fitness swept him to a comfortable 3-0 victory.
Dragons' intrepid adventurer Shan Morris, back from Everest Base Camp, let her opponent back to 2-2, then allowed him to go 8-2 up in the decider. But she powered to a 10-9 victory.
Dragons 2nd's player of the season so far, Bernie Spaven, won 3-0.
With Dragons 4-0 up, a whitewash looked on the cards. But CCO's Graham Hill had other ideas and won 3-1.
Dragons thirds beat Whitby seconds 4-1 with good performances from Tony Elliot and Ed Heaver, both winning 3-1. This was backed up by a solid 3-0 showing from Mark Bryant and stand-in skipper Ian Kerrod. The only slip-up was Andy Baird sliding to a 3-0 defeat.