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Promotion hopefuls Stratford 1 still top

Stratford first team travelled away to Edgbaston Priory 3rds with the intention of gaining revenge over their opponents who narrowly beat them in the first half of the season.

 

Rolf Wilson at fifth string, hoping to continue his unbeaten streak this season found himself up against an opponent who would provide a stern test of his winning run. Unfortunately for Wilson the Stratford player could not capitalise and execute his style of play on his opponent, going down in competitive fashion by three games to nil.

 

Making only his second start for the season having redirected his time this year captaining Stratford's men's first hockey team, Alex Bryd graced the court against an opponent who had only lost twice this season. Having not played regularly for a year this was to be a stern test of Byrd's skills with a racket rather than a hockey stick. Even with his year long hiatus from squash Byrd certainly did not look the player who'd been away from the court for this amount of time. Swapping the opening four games Bryd found himself in a five set battle, however in the fifth it was Byrd who came out firing taking the crucial points when it mattered to see through a victory and level the tie.

 

Being pushed up the order due to injuries and missing players, George Owen promoted up to third string was in line for a close battle against his opposite number. It was a match of contrasting styles, the agility and athleticism of Owen versus the shot making of his opponent. Unfortunately however for Owen, it was the shoemaking ability of his opponent that eventually secured the match. At two games to one down it appeared Owen's tactic of tiring his opponent was proving effective however in the fourth, due to some unforced errors his opponent marginally pulled away to take the match and provide the home advantage to Edgbaston with two ties remaining.

 

Having delivered a match winning performance last week Simon Kemp continued this form throughout his match. Having narrowly lost to his opponent last year by three games to two Kemp exacted revenge, grounding down his opponent securing a well fought match by three games to nil to set up the deciding tie.

 

It was tasked with the captain and first string Simon Johns to achieve victory for Stratford. Playing one of Edgbaston Priory's top female professional players Johns narrowly found himself a game down. Having to change his tactic against his opponent, Johns flipped the direction of the match to take the next three games all by narrow margins to secure victory for the Stratford team by three ties to two.

 

Stratford presently sit top of division 2, with their nearest rival in hot pursuit. With the top two places in the division granting promotion, Stratford will be hoping to secure a further victory next week at home against Cleaver.


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