Yorkshire Squash League: Nick Matthew steps in to lead Hallamshire to victory

Nick Matthew. Picture kindly supplied by squashpics.com
Nick Matthew. Picture kindly supplied by squashpics.com
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World No 4 Nick Matthew warmed up for the defence of his British National Championship by guiding Hallamshire to a comfortable 18-4 home win over Abbeydale.

The 36-year-old triple world champion, who will be chasing a record ninth Nationals title in Manchester next week, overpowered British Under-19 champion Kyle Finch 3-0.

With Nick Wall, Alex Cutts and Dan Lawrence defeating Guhan Sethikumar 3-1, Oli Turner 3-0 and Murray Scott 3-0, Hallamshire are well clear in fifth place. Their solitary loss came at No 5, where Tom Turner beat Paul Jegede-Brimson 3-1.

It was a different story for Abbeydale’s second team, who pulled off the shock result of the night by upsetting defending champions Barnsley 18-8 in Sheffield.

In a hard-fought contest victories by Matthew Broadberry, Phil Scully and Andrew Mills over Chris Fuller (3-0), Oli Harris (3-2) and Phil Wakefield (3-0) decided the bonus points, although the games won by Adam Turner and James Biggin in their 3-2 losses to Tom Bamford and Phil Bowker were also crucial.

With third-placed Pontefract also losing in their first match of 2017, Dunnington and Chapel Allerton are now well clear at the top of the table.

Dunnington made it 11 wins from 12 fixtures by crushing Pontefract seconds 19-5 at home, with only Julian Tomlinson missing out as he succumbed 3-2 to Adam Taylor at No 1.

Gareth Lumsdon and Matthew Stephenson cruised home 3-0 against Elliot Ridge and Japan’s Misaki Kobayashi, while Michael Andrews and Andy Cross overcame Matt Godson and Ben Sockett 3-1.

The York club had their lead trimmed from 22 points to 19 as Chapel Allerton routed Hull and East Riding 20-4 at home.

The Leeds outfit recorded a whitewash, with Mark Fuller, Owain Taylor, Stuart MacGregor, Declan Christie and Niall McKinnon defeating Harry Falconer 3-2, Yusef Forster 3-1, Fi Moverley 3-0, Glyn Saunders 3-1 and Paul Norton 3-0.

Chapel Allerton are now 28 points ahead of Pontefract, after the West Yorkshire team crashed 16-6 at home to Queens.

Patrick Rooney, James Earles and Connor Sheen secured the win with 3-0 drubbings of Taminder Gata Aura, Alex Hodgetts and Lewis Doughty, rendering Neil Cordell’s 3-2 win over Matt Sidaway and Sam Todd’s 3-0 rout of Tom Whiteley academic.