Yorkshire Squash League: Defence of title off to poor start for Dunnington

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Dunnington made a disappointing start to the defence of their Allam Marine Yorkshire Premier Squash League title this week as they went down 15-7 at Hallamshire.

Although world No 23 Chris Simpson, a stalwart of their title-winning squad last season, scored an expected 3-0 victory over Chris Fuller at first string, the defending champions won only one other rubber – Danny Hockborn’s 3-1 success at No 3 against Alex Cutts.

Mark Fuller, Jack Alcock and Neil Guirey made home advantage count in telling fashion with comfortable wins for the Sheffield club over Gareth Lumsdon, Ed Shannon and Matthew Stephenson respectively.

Despite their easy win, Hallamshire lie only one place above Dunnington in fifth in the early table as Barnsley, Heaton and Pontefract all notched 18 points, while Abbeydale recorded 17.

Barnsley are the leaders of the first 2015-16 table as they cruised home 18-3 at Chapel Allerton.

Led by the in-form Declan James, who routed Joel Hinds 3-0, Andy Whipp, Tom Bamford and Oli Harris matched the world No 46 by registering straight-games wins against Dom Hamilton, Declan Christie and Niall McKinnon respectively. Ian Chappell was the solitary home winner against Mick Stead, prevailing 3-1.

Pontefract are second after gaining a resounding 18-5 home win against Queens, last season’s runners-up, who fielded former world No 3 Madeline Perry – now retired from the PSA Tour – at third string.

Although Alex Hodgetts went down 3-1 at No 1 to Matt Sidaway, that was Pontefract’s solitary defeat, with Lewis Doughty, Taminder Gata Aura, Adam Taylor and Sam Wileman respectively coasting home against Connor Sheen, Perry, Tory Temple-Murray and Matty Power.

Meanwhile, Heaton trounced Pontefract’s second team 18-6 and also surrendered only one rubber – at five, where 12-year-old Sam Todd defeated Oliver Stanley 3-1.

The Bradford outfit clinched victory via Julian Tomlinson, Stuart Macgregor, Phil Bowker and Darren King, who defeated Matt Godson, Elliot Ridge, Ben Hodgetts and Katie Smith respectively.

In the other first-round match Abbeydale chalked up a 17-7 home triumph against Hull and East Riding thanks to wins from Adam Murrills, Matthew Broadberry, Nick Wall and Phil Scully over Harry Falconer, Ismail Rauf, Glyn Saunders and Yusef Forster.

Hull’s consolation came at third string where world no.50 Fiona Moverley overcame Nick Wall junior 3-0.