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Alsager 1 v Knutsford 2

KSC 2 no match for high flying "Promotion Champs" Alsager 20-0

It was one's Steve C to start this week on the warm Alsager court. A poor start at that and quickly two behind (9-3, 9-1) despite the long rallies and attacking kills. At the end of game three Steve was able to hold his head up high having got to six! Still a long way off Alsager’s level and L3-0.

Graham Wood didn’t have much luck on the other court either, his opponent Steve Hammond won it in 3-0 (9-0,9-1,9-2).

Gary took on Mike Cole and dealt out some great shots- accurate, long, tight. Cole’s reply was dropping early and then attacking on his serve leaving little time for Gary to recover.   The result another L3-0 (9-1,9-3,9-2).

Even now we had high hopes for Greg against the Alsager youngster Chris Riley. His improved game had tremendous speed getting forward and left Greg studying the player manual. He managed to settle into the match and played Alsager front to back and wrong footed with a drive to show signs of a Knutsford victory.  Chris blew up a bit and the forced errors helped Greg’s cause but not the result, Chris too fast getting forward but good effort Greg! L3-0 (9-5,9-2,9-1).

Last man John against Tom Raftery.  Again Alsager had the most advantage on court, John probably the best touch in moving his opponent around but Alsager's composure was impressive and stepped in to take the Lions share of the points. In the end John's efforts made little impression on Toms grip on the game. John resigned to join the losers bench. 3-0 (9-0,9-0,9-4).

For Match Scores Click Here

Posted by : Steve Costello at 20:51:PM on Thursday 6 March 2014
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Knutsford 2 v Grove Park 4

19-6 to Grove Park despite 2 home courts and quality reserve players.

Mike Walton started us and stayed level in his match until the 2nd ½ hammer GP finding extra width and length to win in three (6-9, 4-9, 4-9).

Graham (2nd string) took on Ben the only young gun in the GP side and they went toe to toe in front of a busy balcony drawing supporters over from the finished Walton match.  We were treated to vintage Woods and he romped away 1 up, but for a “niggle” in his calf it could have been 2 up.  The third game produced more good squash with Graham piling pressure on the GP b/h and forcing aggressive returns.  From 2 all the onlookers expected “Woodsy’s” controlled squash to overcome GP, but he faded in the 5th and GP pushed hard for the taste of victory. L2-3, (10-8, 3-9, 9-7, 3-9).

Next one on; Steve C’s return game against Phil Stafford.  Steve got his usual good start and sported a good fitness level,  going 4 up and then a game down!  Straight through in game 2 bagging a point for the team but by game 3 Phil had seen the light and played some fine boasts & volleys.  Game 4 drew more soft touches from Steve and GP enjoyed a comfortable 1-3 (5-9, 9-2, 2-9, 1-9).  On the bright side there were plenty of good rallies.

Dave Smith lost 0-3 (3-9, 2-9, 9-10).  He played well and never gave up on a rally and came close in 3 but Scarle was not going to let it slip.

Greg put in tactical performance against his opponent the infamous Rod Boswell, kept his mind in the here and now and used f/h drives to kill off weak returns to move 2 up.  Rod showed great discipline and a skilful touch to level the match before Greg reasserted his tight squash to bank the 3 points.

Well done Seconds! Winning some important points. 

For Match scores Click Here

Posted by : Steve Costello at 20:44:PM on Thursday 27 February 2014
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Crewe Vagrants 2 v Knutsford 2

17 pts to 8 - Crewe hold out against extreme pressure from a “tough” Knutsford challenge.

Greg and Peter there first and raring to go!  Peter on court at 5 and Greg with the markers pad and pen.  Peter played excellently for all three games with plenty of fight against an experienced 3rd div opponent.  Driving the ball hard down the side wall lead to long rallies and good opportunities to kill the ball. 0-3 (5-9,3-9,3-9) to Crewe.

Steve C No1 next; got off to a good start 4-0 up before repeatedly fading c/c onto Crewe’s racquet.  Dominating rallies only to concede subsequent points got demoralising and the challenge for the forehand was not really threatening enough. 0-3 (4-9, 4-9, 0-9) to Crewe.

The next match was John Burke’s “Master Class” against a rather handy looking 4th string.  Crewe took the first game putting the ball straight and attacked with a boast/volley drop.  Game two John flipped the match on its head and took to a relentless attacking of the b/h drop and made his opponent chase to stay with the game (7-9) to John.  In three, again John changed his attack, including an extra good deep drive to unbalance Crewe and send the ball front to back.  In the final stages Crewe tried to retaliate on the f/h but John steadied his eye and sured up his shots to pressure Crewe out the game!  The 1-2 advantage in game three was used to full effect during the latter stages; Crewe leg’s looked tired and couldn’t find anywhere to recover attacking momentum.  A few half-hearted let calls made no effect on the game as Crewe tried to cope with the all round court craft.  1-3 (9-7,4-9,7-9,7-9).  Both players exited court with smiles a mile wide having played in such a great match.

Meanwhile Graham Wood had put us right back in the match when he emerged from court2 and pronounced himself 5 game winner (5-9,0-9,9-2,9-3,3-9). Cracking!

Marshall Vs Ormerod was the clincher and Greg studied preceding matches intently.  The opening games found Greg behind but his attacks posed a threat and we could all see that a win was possible.  He dug in killing off loose balls and closed down the forehand court.  The games delivered some neat rallies and Greg got back to level board.  In the 5th  Crewe waited for opportunity and tucked away chances, claiming the match despite “our man’s” heroic efforts

For match score click here

Posted by : Steve Costello at 10:51:AM on Saturday 22 February 2014
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Knutsford 2 v The Northern 3

06.02.2014 Club KSC2 Vs Northern 3

League “Toppers” Northern firmly squashed KS2 to the bottom of the table, 3 pts to 15.

Greg opened the match; unleashing some mighty b/h cross courts to pressure Northern and eventually win a game, bagging 1 of KS2’s 3 points of the night.

To challenge the title chasers from 2 behind was not wise, the match finished 1-3 (3-9,7-9,9-4,5-9).

Steve on next at 1. He got in the swing of the match early and made it hard for Northern to dominate, only failing to compete with the scores. However plan B with a spare racquet, “worked a treat”; the 3rd game greatly improved Steve winning 9-0!  Northern’s reply to this was resisted well and the 4th went into a tie break!  Northern coming through showing supreme fitness 1-3 (3-9,4-9,9-0,8-10).

On next, Dave court 2 and John Burke court 1.  Dave’s match was “over in a blink of an eye”, losing 0-3 (0-9,1-9,4-9), perhaps Northern’s standard just too good for our hard hitting number 5 string?

John did not score a point in his first game and made a great comeback to draw level, commanding long rallies.  Northern wouldn’t falter and hung on intently taking their winners with style. 1-3 (0-9,9-7,1-9,4-9).  

Graham’s challenge followed suit, (narrowly missing out on game 2).  Northern snatched the 2nd string match 0-3 (4-9,8-10,5-9).

 For match scores click here

Posted by : Steve Costello at 14:22:PM on Thursday 6 February 2014
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Knutsford 2 v Tollgate 2

Last moments withdrawal from Greg meant acting Cap Graham only had 4 players in this “bottom of the league clash!”

1st strings on first and the match started great for Steve C at (7-5). However the game went to TG (7-9) with a flurry of attacking volley nicks. The quality squash from TG continued to raise, finishing 0-3 (7-9, 4-9, 3-9).

John Burke in the 2nds to get points for the team and came through on top form.  His opponent; a less experienced runner, the match produced some lively rallies and John stayed in control. 3-0 winner (9-5, 9-1, 9-5).

Graham Woods played 2nd String, another display of good form. He played the right shot at the right time whilst his opponent was thinking, “how to hit the ball harder”. Graham rallied and rallied until tiredness reached the TG arm and Graham drew level. Even at 1-2 down it looked like he might overcome the TG “muscle-man” but in the final rallies TG perked up and found some extra shots to win out 1-3 (1-9, 9-4, 6-9, 7-9).

Dave Smith last on aiming to make 4 wins in a row.  He served a full powered serve and stepped forward catching TG’s weak returns with a good volley kill. TG couldn’t get in front to pressure Dave’s advantage and Dave made his 4th consecutive win.     

For match scores click here

Posted by : Steve Costello at 10:07:AM on Thursday 30 January 2014
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Club AZ 1 v Knutsford 2

Match:  Knutsford 2 Away to Club AZ 1
Date:  23rd of January 2014
ClubAZ justifiably the best side on the night winning 17-6. But an enjoyable trip to the home courts of Astra Zeneca giants.
The glass back court was made available for Greg to start the match off and he lead for stages but lost in quick fashion to Pete Ceuppens, paid his subs and departed early doors.
Paul Norman, AZ no1 played a slower tempo than the replaced Simon Morrison, (injured) and I got one game off him, but the slow start hadn’t helped and AZ ghosted to 2 up on the night. 
Dave Smith made short work of Adrian Hancox and won a comfortable 3-0, driving the ball deep and cutting off danger of playing into difficult rallies.
Steve O’Hare put in a good performance in a tough draw against Graham Moody, he got the first 2 games, but Moody’s experience held out for the win. 
Last but not least Graham Wood Vs Dave Kelly at 2. This was a good match to mark and both players looked like they enjoyed the game; it had plenty of close rallies and came down to the battle between Grahams “power” and Kelly’s footwork and deft volleys.
The Squash grub was “delicious“ best ever! I had to stay for seconds and the AZ team served both courses with a rhubarb cream sauce, “beautiful”. 
For match scores click here
Posted by : Steve Costello at 11:57:AM on Thursday 23 January 2014
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Knutsford 2 v Crewe Vagrants 2

Evo was first on court, he was destined to be leaving early due to a work induced migraine. However he played good enough to take the two opening games but for Martin nipping in and taking the first 8-10. At one all Evo's concentration waned and his focus turned to the door. Those two games were the best he'd played so far this season and he really challenged Martin with changes in pace and feathered drops to both the front corners. (9-10, 9-4, 1-9, 1-9).

Graham Wood dropped in from the 1st Team to play 2nd string and help grab some points from a Vagrants side that looked beatable.Graham remained full of confidence despite a fast start from Tom and falling behind (1-9, 1-9). At that point the match erupted. Graham had settled in and trying to make a comeback, but Tom's commitment to hitting the skin off the ball was not enough, he was also getting advantage through roughing Graham up on his way to the f/h passing shot. A few words with the referee and Tom was asked not push off his opponent using his left arm. Martin's grip on the game was broken and Graham dominated the rallies to draw the match level at two all. Unfortunately Graham couldn't stop Tom from getting back into winning positions and he closed out the match by overpowering some classy squash! (1-9, 1-9, 9-3, 9-7, 7-9).

 Nigel Uttley played 4; his familiar array of c/c nicks and volley drops steered him into a good lead. Again Vagrants showed great guts at digging in and chasing many lost causes to keep the match alive, at two all the sensible money was on Nigel’s measured length, but not this week he lost out to the fitter man. (9-3, 6-9, 6-9, 9-6, 3-9).

Greg was another confident KS player off to a good start at 3 and looking to bag up some points only to find best efforts dashed. This time by Rob, arguably one of Vagrants best on the night. It was all Greg in the first game his experience in shot selection was excellent and accurate with his drives (narrowly losing out 8-10),  Rob had the extra gear and used it to give as good as he got, definitely one to watch out for in the future! (8-10, 2-9,3-9)

Last but not least at one Steve C Vs Paul Spreadbury.  Paul looked shaky in the opening rallies and had complained in the changing rooms about previous performances. On the other hand Steve was full off spirit and determined myself to not start slowly and got out in front early on. Worryingly Paul soon had the better of the court and the game 6-9. The next two games were made far too easy for Paul, Steve got it all wrong on the night and couldn’t break away from putting the ball into easy to reach zones, all to Vagrants delight.

 With only 5 points from the match KS2 will stay at the foot of the table until they can get 2 or 3 wins under their belt.    

For match scores click here

Posted by : Steve Costello at 20:32:PM on Thursday 31 October 2013
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Prestbury 2 v Knutsford 2

Keith Edminson opened the match against 5th string Mark Beale. Beale played Greg at our place when we met last.  Keith back from injury had the better of Beale and walked away with an easy 3-1 win; knocking the ball around with serene confidence and collecting an early drink from the bar.

Next on was our 1; Perry Russell and young gun Dan Mayer. Mayer dropped down from their 1st team was on good form and with his attacking might Perry did well to get back into the match after losing the first (0-9). However 5 points in game 2 were never enough to unsettle Mayer who's power, skill & strength were unmatchable on the night. Perry tried his best open the court to his advantage but lost too much of the front court action and the match was levelled, one all.

David Warings opponent was Mike Quartley. Dave had a Mr consistent head on and pushed Quartley all the way in the tightest match of the night, winning the first 10-8. Quartley dug in, pulled out all the stops and hounded Dave in the next 2.  The Prestbury man proved to be as sharp as ever and continued to keep Dave under pressure looking for the slightest weakness to exploit. Dave battled on and won some good rallies with disguised lobs but lost points to a countered drop boast at the front. Quartley looked like he might falter but held his nerve to get over the finish line 10-8  giving the home team the advantage. Well played Dave it will be interesting to see this match up again, 3-1 to Mike on the night.

Steve Costello stepped up next with Keith Tolley. Steve looked confident and hit the ball nicely in the warm up. Having swapped marking duties with Perry there could be no excuses fro not delivering an equaliser for Knutsford. The opening exchanges were won by Steve and he raced ahead by a couple of points with tight squash and neat footwork. Then after a chasing a brief spell of drops Steve carelessly played the ball into Tolley's fire path and Tolly greatfully opened up an insurmountable lead that couldn't be pulled back despite some brilliant rallies and more tight squash.  In 2 worryingly the fight never came from Steve and he made far too many mistakes losing (0-9). Again shockingly the 3rd game went the same way (1-9) Steve just couldn't apply any pressure and Tolley punished the loose ball.  Blame it on the early starts eh Steve!

The final match was played for pride, Knutsford had lost and Mark Strefford didn't want to let that ruin his chance to impress the home crowd. Melia playing 3 this week made no easy opponent and it was difficult for Mark to find his rhythm and he struggled to sustain a run of points, melia took the first game. In the 2nd Mark got a vital break, seeing more of the ball he was able to contol his attacks and came back with a (9-4) win. Melia flew out of the blocks in 3 running away with the game; he forced errors and finished rallies mercilessly. Mark tried to keep in touch but the tally of points was just not enough (1-9). Spurred on by the spirit of a knutsford revival Mark got right back into it, he knew where his weakness laid and set about reversing the play to eat into melia's game.  The free flowing squash from Mark was unstoppable and he won (9-3) match levelled at 2 all. The decider was even stevens for the victor, both players looked like they might be tiring and both were big hitters. However it was Mark that made the most unforced errors and Melia drew hope from this, still it was in within Mark's grasp to win and it wasn't until after a long game Melia found enough energy to play some cracking drives that put Mark out of touch with the T. Pressure off, Melia helped himself to the Match (9-5).

So an 18-6 loss to top of the league Prestbury drops us firmly behind the leaders, we are now chasing 2nd place.

For Match Scores Click Here

Posted by : Steve Costello at 11:47:AM on Thursday 8 March 2012
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Knutsford 2 v Prestbury 3

Steve Costello vs Rob Thorneycroft. The return match was an easy victory for Steve. Thorneycroft still threatened with a deadly b/h cross court drop.  But Steve pushed most of the play deep which limited Rob's options.  Rob scrambled forward to play some trickle boasts but wasn't hanging around for a fight; making too many mistakes into the tin.  3-0 to Steve.

Next: Mike Walton vs Rupert Richards. 5th string Richards set off looking like business and thundered down his serve and followed up with well struck drives. Mike couldn't match Richard's force and was soon 0-2 down. However Mike kept playing and did really well to take pace off the ball and lob it high over to the f/h. This gave Mike a chance to put away some winners of his own, which he did and it won him the 3rd game. The 4th game was very close and Mike looked like he might win but a calf strain picked up at the end of the 3rd took the edge off his attack and a menacing Richards squeezed out the match 7-9.

One all and Steve O'Hare vs John Bennett.  Steve started slowly allowing Bennett to settle in. The game went, hand out, hand in, hand out, hand in for some time before Steve started to win proportionally more points than his opponent. Driving the ball tight to the wall and good drops off the loose ball Steve won the 1st.  In the 2nd game Steve's power speed advantage showed more clearly; as although Bennett was now hitting much harder he was trapped driving the ball from the back of the court. To top things off, in winning game 2 Steve got forward and hit some impressive touch volleys, very nice.  In 3 Steve had the win in his head and ran away with it 9-1, despite saying this there was a lot of squash played and Steve stayed well in control making an easy win.

Simon Whitaker vs Paul Bartle. The outcome off this game determined the degree of pressure on Mark Strefford playing 2nd string. Mark paced the balcony watching intently and preparing his 15 minute warm up routine. Bartle and Simon both looked like they had a big game in them and both players fired the ball into the side wall nick. At the back of the court Bartle was stronger and followed up his drive with a good touch at the front, but Simon was better at the c/c and targeted Bartle's f/h and a number rallies got Simon in front (9-7). The 2nd was (10-8) to Simon the deciding factor this time was one or two extra shots at the front of the court. The was an intense pace in the game and Simon was lightening around court and fought back from impossible positions but his touch failed and he gifted some sitters into the tin. Bartle won that one (4-9).  Unperturbed and up for a win Simon stuck to his game and forced Bartle back, he was much tighter and dictated the direction of play, at last Bartle was crushed and couldn't stop the flurry of drops that finished off the match. A great win bringing the match to Knutsford.

Mark Strefford Vs Marke Beale.  Gone 10 O'clock and food in the oven, the two Marks made use of the vacated court 1, and started off their match. Mark Strefford was playing good and hitting the ball crisply, drives and volleys; an impressive opener won competently.  There was a slight hic up in game 2 when Beale seized the opportunity to get on the score card, he edged into the lead with a slightly better length drive and Mark snatched at a few shots only to deliver unforced errors.  The next game was a turnaround, Mark must have had words with himself because he was a different player, he nailed the ball up the side wall and timed his trickle boast winner to perfection. Beale had no chance, Mark 2-1 up.  In game 4 Mark turned the heat up and kept Beale on a string at the back of the court; Mark was trying to put a hole in the side wall, he nearly did but ran out of time (9-1).

For Match Scores Click Here

Posted by : Steve Costello at 18:35:PM on Thursday 9 February 2012
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Knutsford 2 v Alderley Edge 3

Steve O'Hare played 4th string against the handy looking Chris Fretwell.  Chris tried to play Steve wide but Steve was quick enough and stronger enough to hit good lengths off the balls he retrieved.  He also took his opportunities at the front of court and finished rallies with tight drop shots. The first 2 games went to Steve and he was looking comfortable to win the match.  Fretwell then responded competitively to some close calls from the marker following lets to the b/h side wall and some of the play around the f/h drop shot.  I think the decisions were fair but credit to Fretwell, he used it to his advantage and was spurred on to win the next game as Steve tired.  In the 4th  Steve attacked again and played such good length that Fretwell's own attacking force was diminished; Struggling to match Steve point for point Steve had no problem going on to win the match.  Good squash.

Mike strode on court resplendent in a Shankly and Paisley t-shirt and with a full expectant balcony he wasn't walking alone. Mike easily won the sartorial stakes as his opponent was warming up in a cricket sweater that hasn't been available to buy since WG Grace was a toddler

             However, with below standard length and poor shot choice he allowed the tricky Steve to blast into a 7-1 lead. Mike gave himself a pep talk that was reminiscent of Istanbul 2005 and impossible really was nothing as he turned the tables to win the first set 9-7.     

             The next two sets saw a glimpse of Mike pre recent injury concerns as consistent length, domination of the 'T' and well timed drop shots left an exasperated opponent at a loss as what to do. Mike wins 3-0. It's official, Walton is back. That's a fact!

Greg vs Chris 3rd string game: A slow start for Greg against the powerful Chris from Alderley Edge. Greg tried to get some length in his returns but just seemed to be dropping half court all ready for Chris to capitalise on. Greg went down the first game and deserved a stern talking to! The second Greg returned to his usual form - hitting good width shots, picking the ball early and Chris struggled in turning to return. Greg dominated the game and apart from a slight lapse in concentration took the game with relative ease. 1-1. The third game had a similar theme with Chris also hitting 2 serves down giving Greg the physical and psychological advantage. Greg took hold off the next two games with great shots, mixing up the game and a deft touch at the front court. Greg won 3-1.

The match was safe when play commenced against Phil Morgan at 1. Steve Costello had  a 3-1 away win against this player and Morgan had been pretty done in at the end of that game, so Steve was confident about another win.  The 1st game did not go to plan and Morgan blasted the ball hard and low down the f/h making many winners of loose balls. Steve kept in touch with the score but was unsettled chasing b/h drops; forced into lobbing it up in an effort recover the T.  Morgan won the 1st game; his f/h side wall kill was unplayable.  In the 2nd game Steve kept the ball away from his opponent and won more points by wrong footing Morgan who hadn't got the speed to cover all of the court.  Steve levelled at 2 all and in game 3 caught Morgan out of position and killed of more rallies with the f/h boast from the back.  In game 4 Morgan attacked again, he volleyed the drop returns for winners and controlled the direction of play, this lead to a lot of unforced errors and levelled the match. In the 5th Steve had fresher legs and put less shots into the path of Morgan, combined with a tight b/h side wall won the 5th comfortable.

2nd team stand in Mike Walton was given the honour of marking top player Dave Waring.  Waring being unbeaten for the team this season was in bullish mood.  Enter Alderley Edge comeback kid, Mike Perry.  Perry was unknown to Waring but Walton soon put this right - "he's quite good".  The game started at a great pace, Perry, complaining of lack of match practice and fitness due to child birth looked rusty, played some crisp drives that were matched by Waring in the early stages.  Waring's quality lobs and  killer volley's brought some early success but Perry's consistency was telling.  At  2.0 down there was still a chance for Dave but the 3rd game went away from him quickly with Perry beginning to enjoy himself.  Dave hung on in even trying to implicate the marker in his demise, but to no avail.  A comfortable win for Perry in the end - we can only hope he plays against Prestbury later in the season.

For match Scores Click Here

Posted by : Steve Costello at 22:32:PM on Thursday 26 January 2012
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