SQUASH: CHESTER RUFC's squash first team made it three wins in a row in North West Counties Division One with a nailbiting victory over Wigan.
Three of the ties went all the way to the final game, keeping the crowd entertained long into the night. Michael Waight, who travelled up from London University to make his Chester debut, started particularly well in the first two games against Wigan's Andy Taylor. Taylor levelled but, in an incredibly tight fifth game, Waight just managed to edge through to put Chester one up in a match full of top-quality squash.
Jonathan Davies, having an excellent season, also started well in the first game against Stuart Wardle, but the Lancashire county player produced some scintillating squash to go up 2-1 up. A determined Davies was not to be denied and he raised his game when it mattered to win the next couple and put Chester two up.
Wigan pulled one back when their top professional Adam Stevenson proved a little too sharp on the right for Chester's David Campion. Chester captain Jonathon Clark, in a rich vein of form of present, was extremely quick into his stride against British Over 45s champion Ian Bradburn. Bradburn fought hard but found Clark a little too quick and Clark clinched the match for Chester with a 3-0 victory.
The last match on court proved to be extremely entertaining as Chester's young professional from Pontefract, Craig Smith, took a 2-0 lead against Wigan's Nigel Willis. Willis produced moments of brilliance over the next three games, using the racket like a magic wand as he fought back to win 3-2 to make the final score 3-2 Chester.
The Australian Women's World Champion Sarah FitzGerald, back from National League duty for Birmingham, returns to the Chester fold for the next three matches. Chester are at Grove Park next Thursday before a home fixture against league champions Manchester Northern on November 18.
Dragons 1st 2 Chester RC 3rd 3
DEBUTANT Chris van Wyk was in all sorts of trouble, he went down 3-1 to Al Holl to give the Rugby Club an early lead. After a shaky start, fifth-string Colin Elson produced the form that has made him number five, thrashing last-minute replacement John Goodall 3-0 to level the match.
Phil Noble flattered to deceive by taking the first game against Ricky Popplewell, but then the wheels came off, in a big way, and he slumped to an ignominious 3-1 defeat.
Match of the night at number-two string was Dragons captain Brian Meehan against 'Dependable' Dave Phillips, who raced into a 2-0 lead. Meehan crawled, scrapped and battled his way back to 2-2, but at 7-2 down in final game, it all looked over for Meehan. However, Dave called a shot down, when all around thought it looked up, which signalled the Meehan fightback. There were nips and tucks all over the place, but Meehan ran out 9-7 winner in the fifth to level the match.
If you need a victory to win a match, you would look no further than rugby tough-nut Giles Cook, and playing against the Rugby Club's equivalent, Craig Chadwick, there was not much room on court for the ball, which didn't really matter because neither of them managed to hit it very often.
Craig played some truly awful squash which, given that he won 3-0, shows just how poor Giles was in meekly capitulating to hand the match to the Rugby Club by a 3-2 margin. Oh well, there's always next week! Dragons 2nds beat Chester Rugby Club 4ths 4-1. The 3rds had no game.