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Prestbury 6 v Knutsford 4

The Fab 4ths found their way to Prestbury scenting points from last-placed Prestbury 6. First to appear for the home side was Roy of the Lomas clan, so on went Gwyn at 2. It was only then that Prestbury's secret weapon was revealed - the Wall! Recently replaced, it suited hard hitters and was liable to make explosive noises if you hit it right! Gwyn served hard and drove hard, the Wall did its bit, and poor Roy had no answer mustering only 5 points. We started to plan for an early finish.

On came Chris 'I need to get away' against Geoff at 3. Geoff seemed ready to oblige him when coasting in the first, but Chris got to work on the Wall and Geoff eventually squeaked it 10-9. No alarms in the second as Geoff got used to the pace of the Wall, but the third was tight again, this time 10-9 to Chris. Geoff managed to cut the mistakes to comfortably take the fourth and the match.

Next up were the youngsters Matt (15) vs our Peter (17) and what a mature performance they gave! The first two games went narrowly to Matt, but Peter stormed back to take the third to 1 and the fourth to 4 as Matt's touch seemed to desert him . Could Peter pinch it? The fifth was tight again, Matt served tight and Peter was scrabbling recovery shots from the back corners. No lack of stamina from our man, but in the end he had to give best 6-9 - well played Peter, unlucky! And bang goes the early finish.

Our Matt  at 4 took on Linda and had few problems, serving and driving hard at the Wall, dropping only 3 points to seal the match and the tie.

 

Meanwhile on the back court Mike at 1 was cruising against Jane, surely playing out of order? No problems for Mike here, no explosive wall to put him off, and a comfortable win.

For Match Scores Click here

Posted by : Geoff Dalton at 12:15:PM on Thursday 14 March 2013
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Knutsford 3 v Alderley Edge 3

This fixture was always going to be a tough one: top of the league vs bottom, and a weakened side. To make things worse, Captain Neil had to drop out at the last minute, his Achilles heel still not right. Thanks to Gwyn for stepping in at short notice; his reward was to be first on his against hard-hitting Phil on a hot court. Gwyn battled bravely but the pressure was unrelenting, never really let him get into his stride, 0-3 and off home straight away for family duties!

Read more...

Posted by : Geoff Dalton at 14:10:PM on Thursday 17 January 2013
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Macclesfield 1 v Knutsford 3

Winter arrived early for the Travelling 3rds when they trekked to Macc Leisure Centre with a team weakened by an outbreak within the club of Halftermitis.

 

Jacko at 4 was first to brave the elements, and he had a real job on to hit a length, the ball was so cold. The first was close: 7-9, the second not so as the effort began to tell and the trademark boasts went narrowly down. But our man stuck at it in the third, eventually conceding 6-9 for a 3-0 thumping.

 

Meanwhile Skipper Neil at 2 was taking on the tall, handsome and superbly coiffed Alex. Neil was looking pretty cool, too, in matching blue top and shorts. When it came to squash, though, Alex had a clear advantage and subjected poor Neil to rather more movement than he was built for. Bravely though he battled, Neil didn't get on the scoresheet until game 3, when he amassed 4 points. Ouch! 2 down already.

 

Geoff was 'guesting' at 5 and during the knockup felt he was in with a chance. But then opponent Russell started serving at 100 mph, Smithy-style, into the nicks. Geoff was doing the right thing, lobs and drops, and took the first narrowly, to give the team its first point of the night. Between games some sneak told Russell about Geoff being left-handed, after which he directed his howitzer serves to the right court, to deadly effect. End result: a 3-1 defeat.

 

Gwyn at 3 took on Adam the Landlord, of whom more later. I didn't see this match, but Gwyn was clearly having the same problems as the rest of us, his points scores being 2 3 1.

 

Could Tim our No 1 turn the tide? His opponent Andy was immaculately turned out in revealing black leotards and an arty farty top with undershirt, finished off with what looked like golf shoes! Oh, and he could play a bit too. Tim had a real job on to handle a pinpoint serve and some surprise high cross-courts. To his credit Tim worked hard throughout and the score, 4 4 and 2, didn't reflect the game itself. But it's results that count and this result was an emphatic 20-1 defeat, and an early finish....

 

Then we discovered that our journey had just begun. The aforementioned Landlord, late of the Cock Inn where we used to eat, now runs the Spinner in Outer Bollington! For future reference, the post code is SK10 5PW and it's nowhere near the Leisure Centre!. Bit of a wait while the kitchen coped with our early arrival, but a nice curry 'with a bit of a bite' (N Robinson).

 

 

For Match Scores Click Here

Posted by : Geoff Dalton at 14:43:PM on Thursday 25 October 2012
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Knutsford 4 v Crewe Vagrants 4

The 4th team regulars were elsewhere trying to keep the 3rds up, so it's thanks to Graham, Richard, Matt and Dave for stepping into the breach.

Matt Roberts at 3 played first against the vastly experienced Mervyn, and gave him a fright. Narrowly losing the first as he got used to the fast court, Matt started to crack his drives and cross-courts to take a 2-1 lead. Mervyn mixed it up a bit to level at 2-2, and the final game was Matt's for the taking at 8-5, but Mervyn scrabbled back to 8-8 before squeezing the narrowest of victories! Unlucky but well played Matt.

Next up Dave Bentley making his first - and last - appearance of the season. His opponent Andy used the pace of the court to blast his serves at Dave, who was still adjusting his sights when game one ended 0-9. The gallery muttered 'Andy doesn't play much like a Div 5 No 5'. Game two was a close one as Dave steadied his game and started to move Andy around and force him into errors. Dave fought to 8-8, but could not quite take the game. He battled on in the third, but Andy was too strong and won 9-4 for 3-0. Played Dave.

Richard Holmes at 1 faced Rob and now the squash really started to motor! Fierce driving from both players, and tremendous retrieving - excellent stuff not often seen in Div 5. Richard stayed close but a few errors in each game allowed Rob to graft to a 2-0 lead. Richard wasn't finished though: he tightened his serve and cut the errors to pull back to 1-2. Another close game in the fourth, but this time Rob prevailed for a hard-earned 3-1 win, both players looking remarkably full of running at the end of a gruelling match. Unlucky Richard!

Graham Thomson at 4 took on the well-bandaged Ben: could he exploit these physical frailties (or were they decoys?). Ben served tight and Graham took some time finding his rhythm, losing the first 3-9. He played to a better length in the second but was out-boasted and lost 6-9, and a similar score in the third meant a 0-3 shutout.

Could Geoff at 2 stop the rot? Geoff  - at 2? Say no more. Although the court was cooling down a bit, his lob serve wasn't quite tight enough, and Dave got enough on it to force Geoff into rallying and running and... running out of puff. Another 0-3 for a '0-5 IIAWAH'. Good thing too because it was getting late and tea awaited - well that's my excuse.

Well played all, we won't meet teams like that too often next year - I hope!

For match scores Click Here

Posted by : Geoff Dalton at 11:31:AM on Thursday 29 March 2012
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Knutsford 4 v Prestbury 4

The Fab 4ths faced formidable forces in the form of Prestbury 4, second in the division and upwardly mobile. First up was Tony Hindley at 3, who wasted no time imposing his game on hapless Kevin, who didn't get a look in in game one: 9-0 to Tony! Game two was more even but Tony prevailed again 9-6, with some cracking cross-courts and baffling boasts. The carnage continued as Tony dominated, 9-2 and an imperious 3-0 win: great stuff Tony!
 
Roger was up next at 2, a rematch against Brian 'perpetual motion' Lomas. What an epic this turned out to be! Both players played tight, error-light squash, mostly on the backhand wall. Roger took the first narrowly 9-8, but in trying to vary his game made a few errors to lose the next two games, albeit narrowly. Roger looked to be blowing a bit, but he fought back magnificently in the fourth to level the tie at 2-2 after a good hour! The long slog eventually told on Roger although he was still battling at the end, as Brian took the decider 9-2. Tremendous squash Roger!
 
Geoff Dalton at 5 faced the Flying Dutchman Bauke. 'Lob serves', advised Tony. So lob serves it was, causing the big man a few problems. Geoff was making too many mistakes though, and lost the first two games to 7 and 6. The error count dropped allowing Geoff to take the third game 9-3, but normal service resumed and Bauke won 3-1.
 
Gwyn vs. Gareth at 4, and whatever language Gareth was speaking, it wasn't Welsh, more 'jungle'. He was really pumped up and never  let Gwyn settle. It was fast and furious stuff, and everything Gareth tried came off: just one of those nights - unlucky Gwyn!
 
So, the match was Prestbury's and the hour was late thanks to Roger's marathon, as Dave Smith strode on court with the experienced Patrick. Well. Gareth may have been in the zone, but so was Dave! With a mix of howitzer serves and delicate drops, Dave simply blew Patrick off the court 9-0 in the first. Pat fought back but Dave took the second 9-6 and the third emphatically 9-0: excellent squash Dave!
 
In the end the teams were separated only by the bonus points, an impressive result for the Fab 4ths - well played all!
 
For Match Scores Click Here
Posted by : Geoff Dalton at 12:20:PM on Thursday 15 March 2012
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AP Club 1 v Knutsford 4

The Fab 4ths headed for Holmes Chapel to take on league leaders AP Club 1. This week's last minute sub: Chris Sheppard making his first appearance this season - thanks Chris - more later!
 
Bill Jackson at 2 got proceedings under way against Tony and was quickly in the lead with a mix of drives, lobs and boasts. 'Mind, he's a slow starter', quoth Bill, prophetically, and true to form Tony upped the tempo and tightened his serves, giving Bill all sorts of problems - including a very special zero-bounce floorboard in the back corner! Bill couldn't stem the tide and went down 1-3.
 
Geoff next at 3 against Jump Junior - Chris.  After two games this was looking like a mismatch, but Geoff got his lob-and-drop game going in the third, only to lose it 8-10.
 
Two down in the match already - early finish, did somebody whisper? If they did, Graham Thomson didn't hear it. Playing 4 against rangy Rob Leech, Graham knew he was in a fight after a long first game, which he won 10-8. Graham's drops served him well in the second which he took 9-2. But Rob was another slow starter, and by game 3 he got his lob serve calibrated to pull one back. And he virtually served Graham out of it to take the fourth game 9-2. 2-all and both players full of running, but fatigue took a toll of Graham's touch shots and he eventually went down 9-5 - unlucky Graham, well played!
 
Ian Hopkins at 1 faced speedy Khaled, but quickly found the length of the court, forcing Khaled to scrabble in the back corners before slipping in the short boast. It worked well and Ian was soon 2 up with Khaled looking baffled. Not another slow starter? Afraid so, as Khaled got a bit of rhythm and raced up and down the court, pulling back to 2-2 and drenched in sweat. Could Ian stem the tide? Hard though he tried, Khaled had the momentum to take him to an epic 3-2 win - well fought Ian.
 
Chris Sheppard had been taking all this in as he prepared to play his first team match of the season, against another rugby player Kristian. Chris used his power shots to win the first impressively 9-2. The second was tighter as Kristian retrieved better, but Chris still prevailed 9-8. Two games went narrowly to Kristian, building up to a titanic finale as both players gave it their all. At 8-8 it was a nail-biter, but Chris held his nerve to win an epic battle 10-9 - what a finish! Well played Chris.
 
So, only 8 points on the board, but a huge amount of effort expended by the team - well played everyone!
 
For Match Scores Click Here
Posted by : Geoff Dalton at 16:15:PM on Thursday 16 February 2012
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Knutsford 4 v Congleton Bear Town

In a complete reversal of last week's glut of players, skip was on the phone on Thursday afternoon looking for a very-last-minute replacement - thanks to Andy Dalton for turning out! Fortunately Congleton were having problems too, fielding only 4 players, so we were 3 points to the good before start of play, and maybe heading for an early finish!

Geoff got us under way at 1 against the lively Lee, and was 0-2 down in no time and wondering when to warm up the tea. Concentrate! Geoff upped the pace (not easy when you're rising 64!) and it nearly worked, just pipped 9-10 in the third.

Graham Thomson next up at 2, 'haven't played since Christmas etc'. It didn't look like it as he ran over round and through the bulky and non too mobile Mick, imploring the unmoved marker for some strokes. With a lot of front court stuff, Graham just missed out in the first 7-9 but fought back to level with some death-defying dives. The third was close, Mick just edging it as Graham looked to cut everything off. By the fourth the effort was starting to tell on Graham's back, knee etc and he finally went down 9-3  for a 3-1 loss - well fought Graham.

Andy Dalton made his first appearance for over a year at 4 against the wily greybeard Tony in another good tussle, Andy mixing some cracking shots with a liberal dose of tins, always in touch but losing the first two game to 5 and 4. Andy got it together in the third, playing a more controlled game, to win it 9-6 - could he turn it round? Sadly no, as Andy's inexperience showed, and Tony won 3-1. A game won this time Andy - next time a match?

Finally Nick Johnson made his first appearance of the season at 3 against Rob, who towered over him physically. Could Nick turn the tables by dint of art and agility? Close in the first as he got back into the Thursday night rhythm, but not close enough: 6-9. Rob served him out of it in the second 1-9 but Nick fought back in the third pushing Rob hard, ultimately to no avail though, 6-9 and a 0-3 defeat - better luck next time, and may next time will come a bit sooner than last time (er?).

Overall, then, a measly 5 points. Nice tea though - a hearty paella!

For Match Scores Click Here

Posted by : Geoff Dalton at 18:39:PM on Thursday 9 February 2012
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Prestbury 6 v Knutsford 4

The Fab 4ths were bolstered by the presence of Dynamite Dave Smith for their visit to bottom of the league Prestbury 6: what could go wrong?
 
Geoff Dalton at 5 led off against statuesque (i.e. immobile) Chris on a cold court, and was 1-0 up and 8-0 in the second before the wheels came off and he found himself 2-1 down and not sure why. Doggedly back to 2-2, some sage advice from Tony  - 'Don't lose it now' - duly noted and a narrow victory to Geoff. Phew!
 
Ian Hopkins at 4 faced tall languid Tom who revealed himself to be Elastic Man, able to reach every corner at will, albeit in slow motion! Ian ground out the first 9-5 but the second went to the wire. Tom bravely asked for  Set 1 - and got it! The third game was equally close, another Set 1 called, but this time Ian pinched it for a 2-1 lead. Ian worked on his length but still had to work hard to see Tom off in 4 - well fought Ian! And 2-0 up in the match.
 
Tony was already in action on a second court against the burly Dutchman Bauke, moving him around with his stylish array of shots to cruise to 9-2. I missed the rest of what must have been a close encounter, as the score went back and forth until they were level at 2-2. Sadly there was no-one on hand to echo Tony's sage advice (see above), and Tony narrowly lost the decider 9-6. A minor setback surely...
 
Meanwhile back on the cold court Roger was in action against Brian of the Lomas clan, who ran and ran. And ran. etc. Some amazing retrieving. Roger stayed close in the first two games but just couldn't put the ball away, and in the third Brian ran away with it 9-1 for an emphatic win. He confessed afterwards that he had been working with the club's 'Fitness Coach'. What's one of them? Sounds unethical to me, in Division 5 anyway!
 
So, 2-2 in the match and Dynamite Dave to win a dramatic victory, yes? Unfortunately no-one had briefed the diminutive Ang. A real contrast in styles this, Dave powering his serves, Ang conjuring drop shots from the most unlikely places. Dave tried everything, even some drops of his own, but  found himself 2-0 down. The third game was tight, very tight, but sadly Dave was pipped 10-8 and the game - and the match - was lost. Unlucky Dave
 
For match Scores Click Here
Posted by : Geoff Dalton at 12:18:PM on Thursday 2 February 2012
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Knutsford 4 v Alderley Edge 5

The Fantastic Fourths welcomed the wizards of Alderley Edge, who wandered in one by one as 7.30 came and went. No. 1s led off, Richard Holmes against elfin Tim. Richard gave an exhibition of driving in game one, leaving Tim scrabbling in the back corners to no avail, 9-2 to our man. 'Play some drops' said the senior pro, so he did and promptly lost a bit of rhythm, though still in control for 9-6. Back to plan A in game 3, and Richard won it imperiously without dropping a point - magic!
 
Tony Hindley at 2 played Chris (with something to prove after last week!). Tony set about it in fine style, with super shot selection and pinpoint accuracy, to take the first 9-2. No wobbles in games 2 and 3 either, as the exhibition continued, leaving Chris bewitched and a 0-3 loser. Excellent stuff Tony! Maybe we'd have an early night after all..
 
Next up at 5 was Richard Neale, who stepped in at the last minute after yet another dropout from the upper echelons - thanks Richard! His opponent Mark was no magician but he could run - as could Richard - and an epic battle followed. The lead went this way and that, Richard narrowly missing out in the first but then going 2-1 up, then 2-2. The final game was just as tight, but Richard wasn't going to let this one go, and ground it out  9-6 to win 3-2 overall - heroic Richard! And the match was ours too!
 
Geoff at 4 took on young and upwardly mobile Dan with trepidation - how to lob someone who's 6 ft 2? Let's just hoist the lob serve and see - magic! - 9-1 in the first without breaking sweat! Of course the spell couldn't last as Dan sorted out his overhead shots, and despite a mini-recovery in game 4, Geoff was well and truly jinxed 3-1.
 
By this time the 3rds had long gone (aaah!) so Ian Hopkins was already in action against Lee. The first two games were a bit disjointed, Lee imposing his short game to take an untidy 2-0 lead, leaving Ian scratching his head. Fortunately his rhythm returned and he got his driving game going to take the next two games, as the clock edged towards 11.00. Could he pull off a spectacular recovery? sadly not, as Lee served immaculately to shut Ian out - unlucky Ian, well fought!
 
Overall, a narrow but well-deserved victory. As if the game wasn't gruelling enough, our tea turned out to be .. gruel! Puds were nice though, and the Thirds appeared to have had theirs confiscated so double helpings!
 
No game next week by the way.
 
 
For this match report Click Here
Posted by : Geoff Dalton at 12:54:PM on Thursday 19 January 2012
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Crewe Vagrants 4 v Knutsford 4

The Fab 4ths made the long trek to the back of beyond with a strong side,Crewejust behind us in the league. We welcomed Guy back after a long layoff: he had lost none of his skills of persuasion, 'dicky knee etc', so skip let him go 5 (will he ever learn?). Guy faced Phil, whose racket arm was totally tattooed. It did him no good though, as Guy eased into it gently to take the first 9-6, raising the tempo to tattoo Phil for the loss of only two more points. Excellent return Guy!

Geoff at 4 paid for his generosity to Guy, getting a pasting 3-0 off a young whippersnapper Sean. unfair - a youngster who grew up returning lob serves! I blame the warm court. No more messing about - No. 5 (or lower) from now on!

At 3 Ian played Ben and after two games things were not looking good, as Ian struggled to get width on his service returns. But he persevered as his opponent started to make mistakes, and took the third 9-2. The next two games were close but Ian pulled it off for a hard-earned 3-2 win - well played Ian!

Meanwhile on another court Gwyn was playing  Ant, all arms and legs. Don't know what went wrong, but Ant seemed to cut off everything mid-court, leaving Gwyn stranded. 3 points to Gwyn, 3 games to Ant. Ouch! Interesting approach to marking, by the way, Sean asking for opinions from the gallery, which consisted of me and a Vagrant.

So, 2-2 in matches, Tony to win it for us - no pressure! His opponent David should have been docked points for his footwear, but he was no slouch round the court. Tony controlled it in the first to win it 9-6, but then David got motoring with a tricky low fast serve, well tuned to the warm court. Tony battled hard but eventually lost 3-1 - unlucky.

Only 7 points for a lot of sweat, andCreweleapfrog us in the table. Bah Humbug. Merry Christmas everyone!

For the match result Click Here

Posted by : Geoff Dalton at 13:44:PM on Thursday 15 December 2011
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