Stratford 1 (3) vs Barnt Green (2)
Match Date: 4th January 2015
The first match back after the Christmas and New Years break saw Stratford welcome Barnt Green. With the Stratford 1 heading the division, the team were keen to continue their winning run through to the second half of the season.
First up on court was George Owen at fourth string. Having only lost two of his matches all season, Owen never found himself out of position, covering the court well and out manoeuvring his opponent taking the match in straightforward fashion by three games to nil.
The ever reliable Rolf Wilson again played some experience squash, maintaining his unbeaten run with a quick fire victory by a similar three games to nil scoreline.
With their usual first string out injured, Simon Kemp deputised at second string. Looking the more comfortable and energetic of the two players, Kemp stamped his authority on the match taking the first two games. However, the match soon swiveled on its head with the Barnt Green player eventually finding some form, pushing the match to a decider. However, unfortunately for Kemp his opponent had the momentum in the match, with the Barnt Green player taking the deciding game 11-9 and ultimately the match by three games to two.
The first string match would see Simon Johns up against an experienced county player. The opening two games between the team’s top players were evenly shared, however some unforced errors by the Stratford player in crucial times in the third and fourth game saw both games marginally slip away and gift his opponent a three games to one victory.
With the overall match set at two matches all, the decider saw Freddie Mills look to become the hero of the hour. With both players playing two contrasting styles of squash the match was set for a close encounter, and as expected it certainly did not fail to deliver. Both players shared the opening two games. With the match at one apiece, the following three games all went right to the wire at 12-10, with the Stratford player taking the fifth and final game in a brutal contest having seen both players give it their all.
The team victory seems Stratford push away from their nearest rivals. However with the teams below having a match in hand, it is expected the points difference will be cut in the coming weeks, although for the time being Stratford sit proudly at the top of the division.